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Pete Law
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Re colouring greyscale or bitmap tiffs

Mar 8, 2013 4:14 AM

Firstly I'm sure this question must have been asked before but I am unable to find a suitable answer. I wish to recolour a bw tiff in InDesign so that the grey channel within the tiff shows as white/paper, and the white areas of the tiff are transparent, allowing me to overlay a white image of the greyscale tiff on top another image, texture, gradient or graphic pattern. This is a quick and simple process in Quark Xpress but Indesign doesn't seem to have this capability. Can anybody help?

 

e.g. I have a black and white tiff of a logo and I wish to reverse this out of a photograph. In Quark Xpress I would change the image colour to 'white', the box colour to 'none' and the image background colour to 'none'. Simple.

 

Any ideas?

 
Replies
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 8, 2013 4:44 AM   in reply to Pete Law

    Same thing.

     

    Either select the image with the direct select tool so youhave the image itself, not the frame, selected and choose Papaer for the fill, OR just drag the Paper swatch from the panel and drop it on the image.

     

    Not that images with transparency CANNOT be colorized this way.

     
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    Mar 8, 2013 5:25 AM   in reply to Pete Law

    Frame fill should be None. (and that's in general, too, unlike Quark).

     
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    Mar 8, 2013 5:36 AM   in reply to Pete Law

    Something is wrong.  What's the image format? Is it grayscale or bitmap mode?

     
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    Mar 8, 2013 5:44 AM   in reply to Peter Spier

    Just so you can see that it does work, here's a screen shot of the same Bitmap mode tiff placed three times on a cyan background with, top down, image fill set to Black, Paper and Yellow. Not that the frames are slected, and the fill color inthe swatches panel is set to None:

     

    Colorized Bitmap.png

     
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    Mar 8, 2013 5:52 AM   in reply to Pete Law

    Right, it's been a while since I did this with grayscale. You can add a clipping path to remove the background, perhaps as an alpha channel in the image if you don't want to draw a path.

     
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    Mar 8, 2013 5:57 AM   in reply to Peter Spier

    I should add that I've never had a lot of luck with clipping paths based on channels...

     
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    Mar 8, 2013 6:10 AM   in reply to Peter Spier

    Here's a quick grayscle of an antique weathervane with a real clipping path made from a quick selection of the background. The path could be tighter in places, but it's a difficult image to mask quickly because it has quite a bit of light area long the edge:

     

    Colorized Grayscale w Clipping path.png

     
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    Mar 8, 2013 6:17 AM   in reply to Pete Law

    Why not make the image transparent and RGB or CMYK, or even use a spot channel, if that's where you are headed? If the color is already in the image this all becomes academic.

     
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    Mar 8, 2013 6:29 AM   in reply to Pete Law

    Yeah, I don't think that's going to work from a grayscale. I was palying around a bit with no clipping path and blending modes to drop out the background, but if everything is white there's not much you can do.

     
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    Mar 8, 2013 1:10 PM   in reply to Pete Law

    I found a method that works on a 0/0/0/100 background (just stumbled into it and it isn't intuitive).

     

    Fill the frame with Paper and the image with Black, then set BOTH the frame and the image to Difference in the Effects panel.

     

    Reversed Grayscale.png

     

    The white frame edge seems to be a display anomaly in ID -- it isn't present inthe PDF I exported -- and even better, I just discovered this seems to work on many other background colors, too (though not all) if you set the image fill to the same color as the background.

     
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    Mar 8, 2013 2:14 PM   in reply to Peter Spier

    Got it to work with spot colors, too, but I had to switch the image fill to Paper and the frame fill to the same spot as the background.

     
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    Mar 8, 2013 2:16 PM   in reply to Peter Spier

    That seems to work with the process colors, too, to the extent that the other worked.

     
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    Mar 11, 2013 5:55 AM   in reply to Pete Law

    The blending trick gives what I thought you wanted in terms of transparency over a solid background, but I doubt it will help over a gradient or other image.

     
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