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AiKedar
Currently Being Moderated

Creating bitmap using Spot Colors (PMS/Pantone) only

Nov 16, 2012 2:54 PM

Tags: #bitmap #spot_color #converting_bitmap

Hi,

I'm working with Ai CS3 and CS6 (two different jobs). CS3 mostly. I often have to convert RGB or CMYK bitmaps to SPOT COLORS because printing house don't use standard CMYK method of printing. They are using only Pantone colors.I was wondering is there any method that helps me with converting tat kind of projects? I have to create Pantone Colors image that have to be almost identical with original image received from customer.

 

At this moment I'm using Photoshop to that proces using color range selections and saves them as additional channel. That is sometimes very hard process. But if I can make it I'm placing that PSD file in Illustrator.

 

Is there any possinility to convert bitmap directly in Illustrator and simulate specific pantone colors?

 

I have to say one more thing. Machines are of course limited in terms of colors quantity. There is 8-colours offset. Usually I and my colleague creating "PMS images" containing no more than 3-4 colors. In exceptional cases we are using more colors.

 

Mayby there is some plug-in that helps in that kind of separation process? We have got to much work to play with Photoshop channels and have to find sone solutions that accelerate our work.

 

I look forward to the answer.Thanks in advance. Regards!

 
Replies
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 16, 2012 3:44 PM   in reply to AiKedar

    You could take a look at the plugin Phantasm CS

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 16, 2012 4:22 PM   in reply to AiKedar

    It can also deal with pixel images' channels and re-color those.

     

    see here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UdAwSOwpafo

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 16, 2012 4:34 PM   in reply to AiKedar

    My typical workflow for duo- tri-toned Photoshop images is to simply convert to grayscale in PS, choose dutotone, change the Pantone spot colors as desired and then adjust the curves as needed. I find this far faster than processing color ranges.

     

    If you have an older version of Photoshop like I do, I save the PSD, but also save a PS PDF version and place the PDF version in AI. Spot colors come in great. Any of the newer versions of PS that are using the PantonePlus libraries, one can simply place the PS version.

     

    Take care, Mike

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 16, 2012 4:56 PM   in reply to AiKedar

    Yes there is a trial available: http://astutegraphics.com/products/phantasm/

     

    I'm sorry I don't know about the pricing, but there is a contact on the website and they will tell you.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 16, 2012 8:38 PM   in reply to AiKedar

    A quick Photoshop try that takes less than a few minutes for each image just to get you started. Spending more time and some manual localized  retouching should make it better, like reducing the cast shadow under the pepper to mostly black

     

    Steps to reproduce.

    Convert the image to Multichannel mode. Double click the icon of a channel in the Channels panel, in the dialog click the swatch to open the Color Picker, click the Color Libraries button and select the desired libraries from the Book menu. Photoshop will suggest closest match. For the image of the pepper from the automatic suggestion I only change the  cyan to black. and for the aloes image I changed the suggested magenta to black. I also made a quick Curves adjustment on the channels of this image.

    Untitled-1.jpgUntitled-2.jpg

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 17, 2012 6:34 AM   in reply to AiKedar

    ....printing house don't use standard CMYK method of printing. They are using only Pantone colors....

     

    This really doesn't make sense. If one can load a spot ink into a press's inkwell, one can load a process ink into it.

     

    For example: Despite the separation channels in the Post 7 example being designated spot inks, the printing process would still be essentially the same as CMYK process. Each separation channel will be a grayscale image which requires halftoning.

     

    So is your printing house's limitation that they are only limited to using spot inks (as stated), or is it really (as I suspect) that they are limited to line art ( i.e.; can't do halftones)?

     

    JET

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 17, 2012 8:06 AM   in reply to JETalmage

    It was obvious to me that the OP is not communicating properly the facts  and I gathered that it is a client requirement and not a printing restriction.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 17, 2012 2:55 PM   in reply to AiKedar

    Well AiKedar, the additional information you gave makes this another story. Without multiple shades of the same and overlapping colors you are literality restricted to 3 shades. I tried the index mode in Photoshop with noise dithering using only 4 colors (one is the white for the background) and I got something like the attached image. Higher resolution will make the dithering less visible. I'm also attaching a close up part of the image to show the build. With only 3 color shades there is not much you can do but you can convert the image to index mode and then use the Color Table from Image > Mode in Photoshop to play with different 3 color combinations. After you decide, the colors can be easily selected and converted to 3 pantone channels.

    nuyqfpk6.jpg

    Capture.JPG

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 17, 2012 4:02 PM   in reply to AiKedar

    ... the colors can not be mixed and applied at each other, and if they do, they must do it as little as possible. Otherwise, the ink will not be cured. ...

    This process is called dry offset. Colours must preferably not overlap because if they do they tend to get muddy in long runs. Ink gets transferred back from the plastic substrate and slowly makes its way back to another colour’s ink well. Curing is not really the problem.

    Dry offset works best if you use simple solid shapes. Halftones of more than one colour should be avoided and precise register is almost impossible because of the inevitable slip between rubber transfer roller and substrate. This is especially true of conical packaging.

    This means that a precise fit of abutting pixels like Emil suggests will not work well.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 17, 2012 4:53 PM   in reply to Steve Fairbairn

    Then photographic images which seems to be the client expectation, are simply not very appropriate for this.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 18, 2012 6:16 AM   in reply to emil emil

    Hmm, I made a search for dry offset samples and find some that are apparently done with a press that seems to be quite capable.

    http://intelpackltd.blogspot.ca/2012/05/guide-tofoto-finish-dry-offset -printing.html

    http://braddickinson.efoliomn.com/DO

    http://veepeeart.tradeindia.com/dry-offset-printed-samples-919807.html

     

    I haven't done jobs for this kind of printing and can't tell what's possible but based on what I see, my advice is to ask the printer to provide samples of what they can do with 3 spot colors and then choose, design, and prepare images accordingly.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 18, 2012 6:31 AM   in reply to AiKedar

    Unfortunately, I do not decide how the printing press works.

     

    No one said you did. But it's your responsibility to understand the nature of whatever design limitations are imposed by the printing method for which you are designing. That's what's missing in this whole thread.

     

    If the limitation is actually one of  line art vs. contone, that is an entirely different thing from process color vs. spot color, as was initially posted.

     

    JET

     
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