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Using Adobe Photoshop CS, Part 2

Adobe Photoshop CS comes with an amazing assortment of tools to help you edit your images. The latest version includes a wide range of features to make things easier, but how can you get the most out of it? In this second part of Chapter 5 from Mordy Golding's Adobe Creative Suite,(Sams, 2003, ISBN: 0672325918), you'll learn various ways to adjust your images, whether you're just trying to clean it up or want to try out some interesting effects.

Author Info:
By: Sams Publishing
Rating: 4 stars4 stars4 stars4 stars4 stars / 47
November 30, 2004
  1. · Using Adobe Photoshop CS, Part 2
  2. · Curves
  3. · Adjustment Layers
  4. · Dodge and Burn Tools
  5. · The Healing Brush
  6. · Blurring Images
  7. · Getting Rid of Dust and Scratches
  8. · Extract
  9. · Noise
  10. · Exporting Layers
  11. · Spot Colors
  12. · Saving and Printing

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Using Adobe Photoshop CS, Part 2 - Spot Colors
(Page 11 of 12 )

We discussed RGB colors and CMYK inks before, but there is also an additional "color space" called spot colors. A spot color is a specified ink color that printers can use to reproduce a color exactly. There are different ways of specifying colors, and one of the most popular in the United States is the Pantone Color Matching System. Pantone publishes a guide of specific named colors. When you specify a Pantone color, your printer knows exactly what color you want, because he uses the same Pantone guide to know what ink to put on press.

Spot colors play a very specific role in Photoshop (they play a much larger role in applications like InDesign and Illustrator). Photoshop can create spot channels, where a channel is specified as a spot color. Additionally, spot colors are used when one is creating photos that will print entirely in one or several different custom colors-most commonly, duotones.

Spot Channels

Just as there are channels in your document for RGB or CMYK plates, you can also have channels for spot color plates. You can add a spot channel by opening the Channels palette and choosing New Spot Channel from the palette flyout menu (see Figure 5.136). The benefit here is that you can specify an exact color so that you can get a better preview onscreen. From the New Spot Channel dialog box, click on the color proxy to open the Color Picker. You can then choose from any of several standard spot color libraries (see Figure 5.137).

Figure 5.136 Creating a spot channel.

Figure 5.137 Choosing a Pantone library.

Tip -Anything that appears on a spot channel will separate on its own spot color plate when printed from an application like InDesign CS.

Monotones, Duotones, Tritones, and Quadtones

By far, the most common use of spot color in Photoshop is related to multitone files, which include monotones, or images that are entirely one spot color; duotones, or images that consist of two spot colors; tritones, or images containing three spot colors; and quadtones, which are images that contain-you guessed it-four spot colors.

Duotones are mainly used to add color or style to print jobs that are printing in only two spot colors. Multitone files can also be used to add tonal depth to an image-reason enough that some photographers and printers will print black and white photos as duotones made up of black and gray.

To create a multitone file, you must first make sure that your file is in Grayscale mode. If it isn't already, choose Image, Mode, Grayscale. You can then choose Image, Mode, Duotone, and you'll be presented with the Duotone Options dialog box. From the Type pop-up at the top of the dialog, choose one of the four options (see Figure 5.138).

Figure 5.138 Choosing to specify a duotone from the Duotone Options dialog.

Note -For most applications to print duotones correctly, they must be saved as Photoshop EPS files. Illustrator and InDesign will also accept duotones saved as Photoshop PDF files.

There are three settings for each ink:

  • Curves-Click on the curves box to edit the duotone curve values for each ink color (the same way we adjusted curves earlier in the chapter).

  • Ink Color-Click on the ink color proxy to choose the ink color.

  • Ink Name-Enter the name for the ink. If you choose a color from the Color Picker, a name will automatically be added for you.

Tip -The ink name is extremely important in spot color workflows. To avoid having multiple plates separate for the same spot color, make sure that the spot color name in Photoshop and the spot color name in your page layout application are the same.

If fooling around with duotone ink curves isn't your thing, you can use one of several settings that the folks at Adobe were kind enough to include with Photoshop. Click on the Load button in the Duotone Options dialog and navigate to the Adobe Photoshop CS, Presets, Duotones folder, where you can choose from duotones, tritones, and quadtones. Don't worry about the colors that are in these presets-you can easily change the colors yourself-but the valuable parts of these files are the curve settings. Experiment with different presets to find one that suits your needs.

This chapter is from Adobe Creative Suite, by Mordy Golding (Sams, 2003, ISBN: 0672325918). Check it out at your favorite bookstore today. Buy this book now.

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