February '18

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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2 0 1 8 F E B R U A R Y P R I N T W E A R || 49 Simulated- Process Separations Masking and Calculations B Y S C O T T D E T A V E R N I E R Scott Detavernier Scott has been doing color separations for screen printing for over 20 years, and cur- rently operates the freelance color separation service For tutorials and color separation dis- cussions, visit his YouTube channel at T here are many different ways to color separate an image. Whether it's four-color process, index, simulated process, or something in between, the color separation plays a big part in the results of the print. Here, I'll go over some of the techniques that I use for separations, specifically mask- ing your image and using CMYK channels and calculations in Photoshop to create a custom simulated-process separation. MASKING Start the separation process by creating masks for each color range. You can include black and white in each mask, but try to keep the true colors in a separate mask. I recommend about five masks, depending on the artwork, in blues, greens, red/yel- lows, pinks/purples, and gray. The masks will help keep the separation clean and manage stray dots in areas they shouldn't be. Mask channels should be set to "masked areas" and 50 percent opacity. I recommend changing the default red color of the mask to a bright green for better visibility. There are several ways to make a mask. Here are three methods that I commonly use for creating custom masks: Manual cut—Using your lasso tool, loosely draw a shape around the area you want to mask. Once you have a selection, click the "save selection as channel" but- ton (located at the bottom of your Chan- nels window). Then, click the "eye" on the Mask channel and the "eye" on your CMYK channels. This will give you a live preview of your mask as you edit. Using your lasso tool, continue to cut the mask, adding or removing black until the mask is complete. Masking from layers—Starting with your top layer, select the layer, then click the "save selection as channel" button (located at the bottom of your Channels window). Repeat the process until all your layers have been converted to channel masks. Next, go to your channels and start from the last chan- nel you made (on the bottom). Select the channel and create a selection (command— click) on the channel above it. Then, add Masking your im- age when creating separations will help create clean files and manage stray dots. (All images courtesy the author)

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