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How to work with a spot color within PS - Adobe Photoshop 7, CS, CS2 & CS3

Hello there! I completed a layered work in CMYK mode for printing, the colors I used were process. But now I need to have the background filled with only a Pantone color. Well, I don't know how to proceed. Anyone would give me a hint? Thanks to everybody....

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  1. #1

    Default How to work with a spot color within PS

    Hello there!

    I completed a layered work in CMYK mode for printing, the colors I used were process.
    But now I need to have the background filled with only a Pantone color.

    Well, I don't know how to proceed. Anyone would give me a hint?

    Thanks to everybody.
    Sponsored Links Guest

  2. #2

    Default Re: How to work with a spot color within PS

    What do you mean, a full color image silouetted to a solid PMS color all around it? If so, you can make a clipping path, save a flattened version as EPS and place the color image on top of the PMS color in a layout application, or in Illy for that matter. If you have to do it all in Photoshop add a spot color channel, fill with tone, then make an accurate selection of all the full color imagery, and delete the spot color channel tone in this selection. Remember to trap the file, and save as DSC2 which is also an EPS format that will require flattening. Guest

  3. #3

    Default Re: How to work with a spot color within PS

    Thank you John,

    I forgot to mention... i have two layers: a full color shape in foreground (to which I've applied a drop-shadow layer-style effect setted on multiply blend-mode), and of course the background, at this time totally empty.

    I would to preserve the blend between the 'dropped-shadow' shape and the bk which I need to be a Pantone. Is it possible?

    Any help is appreciate. Thanks again. Guest

  4. #4

    Default Re: How to work with a spot color within PS

    In my CMYK doc I've tried to follow this:

    1) In the channels panel, created a new spot channel choosing the solid coated Pantone I need.

    2) with the new spot channel selected, filled the artboard with the foreground color (in the tools panel I noticed black/white foreground & background colors appearance).

    Come back to layers, now all my artwork is covered with a half-solid tint which cover the shape in foreground layer too.

    At this point should I save the file (DCS2), or am I not in my way? Guest

  5. #5

    Default Re: How to work with a spot color within PS

    I would to get to the bottom of this, reading here and there I guess this is a question a little bit huge for not skilled people like I'm, but I just need to fill a background with a Pantone preserving the final appearance of the shape and its shadow over it... So, John you helped me very much with your consideration and I would like to ask You what about if I have in the foreground layer a shape filled with CMYK colors bringing a layer-dropshadow-style with it over the background layer which should be filled with a Pantone? How can I clip the bk layer, since the shadow of the shape above is not flat coloured? Is it right to clip the background layer only along the border of the shape and let the shadow of the shape, to print on it? Could the foreground layer filled with CMYK colors and the background filled with Pantone, mix their opacity each others.

    Thank you for your patience and to anyone which will want to answer about.. Guest

  6. #6

    Default Re: How to work with a spot color within PS

    It sounds like your PMS channel is printing right through the CMYK image which is not good.

    It also sounds like you might be confusing layers and channels. They are not the same thing. A spot color channel for example, does not exist on any layer at all.

    The presence of the shadow makes it seem like this should be done in PS, but even that can be worked around.

    I can think of 3 methods, but it would help to know what layout software you use... Guest

  7. #7

    Default Re: How to work with a spot color within PS

    Once again thank you for answering to my question John.

    The work I'm trying to deliver will be page up within Quark X-Press 4.1 PassPort.

    Yes, I guess that the shadow of the object over the background creates some troubles. Furthermore the shadow (which is a style-effect applied to the layer of the object) is setted on multiply, namely its appearance lives according to the background... but if your workaround provides to avoid it, it's ok anyway.

    Thanks, Betty. Guest

  8. #8

    Default Re: How to work with a spot color within PS

    Method 1:

    Delete the spot channel.

    Do not make the shadow a layer style, rather make it a separate element, by loading the transparency of your color layer as a selection, filling with 0C,0M,0Y,100K on a new layer, then apply some amount of gaussian blur, manually offset it, and play with the opacity until it look like the shadow you had in mind.

    Save that as a working file, in PSD format.

    Then, clear off the color layer, flatten, convert to grayscale, and save as a tiff to a new file name.

    Now open the working PSD again and trash the shadow layer. Make a good clipping path to the edges of your color layer, flatten and save as .EPS to a new file name.

    Now in QXP place the .EPS file where you want it, in a picture box set to background none, and preferably at a file offset of zero X and Y. Now make a duplicate of that box at the same position, place the shadow file also at zero X and Y, colorize the backgound of box with the PMS color at whatever percentage you want, and send that shadow behind the full color image.

    Voila: the old way of doing it.

    Now the newer method:

    Keep the spot channel you have made.

    Also, create the same shadow layer as layed out above.

    Reload the transparency of the color layer as a selection, target the spot channel in the layers palette, and hit the delete key.

    Save in the PSD format so that you can rework layers if you want.

    Then flatten the file, trap it, and save as DSC2.

    When placed in QXP you may extend the PMS color as a flat tint in QXP, but it will not blend together on the screen, but will print OK to a postscript device as separated output. Composite printing will send low rez info that will not match the QXP PMS color, but that is a whole nother issue. Guest

  9. #9

    Default Re: How to work with a spot color within PS

    I'm following the 2 method you suggested.

    I've created the 100% black shadow and blurred it, then I've deleted the portion of the background bounded by the colored element. Now I've 3 layers: 1) the pierced spot colored background 2) the shadow 3) the shape.

    After, I've merged all layers in one and even if I'm not an expert in trapping I found accessible to use the trap command (image>trap=1mm?0.5mm?)

    Saved the artwork as DCS2 (tiff 8bit/pixel preview, single file no composites, binary encode) and imported it into QXP. Here the preview is very rough but if it works it's ok.

    Well, now my question is: Am I done? Forgot anything? :) Hoping in your advise, thanks for the patience. Betty Guest

  10. #10

    Default Re: How to work with a spot color within PS

    Sounds like you're done.

    Trapping in measured in pixels... at 300 ppi 1 pixel is correct, 2 pixels a little too much (unless you are preparing work for silkscreening).

    Hope everything works out OK. Guest

  11. #11

    Default Re: How to work with a spot color within PS

    Yeah, I do hope too.. I'm curious now.

    Just a doubt: since I don't like how the black shadow appears against the background is all the same if I tint the shadow not with 100% black but with a percentage of each CMYK channels (ever darker than the shape, anyway)? Do you remember: the multiply setting made things more vivid on the background and I'd like to re-create that effect as much as I can, in this case using for the shadow a color in accordance with the setting. Betty Guest

  12. #12

    Default Re: How to work with a spot color within PS

    Whether or not to use a 4-color shadow, as opposed to one with only black ink could be said to be a matter of personal choice.

    A factor in favour of the 4-color shadow is added richness, whereas the single color shadow will have less of a chance that it will print with a color cast, but may also induce trapping problems...

    Another factor is whether or not the shadow is surprinting anything else, such as in your case where the shadow is printing on (or under, depending on ink rotation) the PMS color. So your shadow is really 2 color... black and the PMS whatever. In such a case I would opt to not print C,M & Y in the shadow, if for no other reason to avoid screen angle problems, since I gathered that your PMS was not solid but screened. If the PMS is screened that would mean 5 screens in the shadow area, and chances are the PMS would have to run on the same screen angle as the Cyan or Magenta... this could cause problems.

    One thing to remenber is that the multiply blending mode of the shadow layer in this particular instance has no effect on the final outcome since the PMS color is in a spot CHANNEL which does not exist on the background layer... look at the background layer in the layers palette to verify this.

    Another thing to consider is that the "solidity" setting in the spot channel options which defaults to 0%, really has nothing to do with how the thing will print on a press. Changing this value will certainly change the on screen appearance, but it does not alter any of the printing values in the file... For instance setting this value to 100% will obliterate any CMYK color in areas where the PMS ink is 100%, as if to suggest that the PMS ink is totally opaque and will overprint those elements.

    Even in the case of metallic PMS inks which are supposed to be opaque, this is not the case. Most offset inks are rather translucent.

    What I'm suggesting is that Photoshops display of this type of situation is 2 things:

    1- Not color-managed.

    2- Not reliable.

    Part of the problem is that Photoshop can't guess at what the ink rotation will actually be used on press, which with the metallics can have a profound effect.

    The other part of the problem is that Photoshop just simply is not geared for this type of thing, sad as it is to say.

    The only 100% reliable proof of this type of thing is, unfortunately, a press proof. Guest

  13. #13

    Default Re: How to work with a spot color within PS

    John I apologize, I've just noticed I've created a little bit of confusion previously and I'm so sorry!

    Really the PMS will not be screened: it will be employied at 100% all over the background, except for the area corresponding to the overlapping shape.

    So, if that's the way things are, may I keep the shadow colored with CMYK values? There wouldn't be contra-indications? I'm sorry to trouble you again.. Very very thanks, Betty Guest

  14. #14

    Default Re: How to work with a spot color within PS

    ... trying to summarize. I have in this PSD:

    1 - layer above where is the colored (CMYK) shape;

    2 - layer bottom in which I copied and blurred layer 1 to make the shadow of the shape, played with opacity and colored the shadow with a color (CMYK) in accordance with the background (SPOT), for a more realistic effect;

    3 - a SPOT channel (PANTONE) filled at 100%, as background (and pierced right where is the shape of layer 1).

    The matter of my question is all in layer 2: the CMYK shadow will prints over the SPOT background setted to 100% of its opacity (not screened). No troubles at all, the shadow should mixs with the spot background and works, isn't true? Thanks. Guest

  15. #15

    Default Re: How to work with a spot color within PS

    Yes it will work, but probably won't match your screen in the shadow area which you have colored to look like its on the PMS... remember it IS on the PMS. If you put it in black ink only, like 60% in the darkest area, it would look like it's on the PMS because it would be. Guest

  16. #16

    Default Re: How to work with a spot color within PS

    You are very kind to support me. Thank you so much John.

    Bye, Betty. Guest

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