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How to reduce the color of an image into 3 o4 spot color halftone for printing plates

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  • How to reduce the color of an image into 3 o4 spot color halftone for printing plates

    Hi, I'm new here.

    Here's the scenario, I have a design (Illustrator) from a customer, it has a text and lines that are vector and it has an image of a real pineapple. Now the problem is that I am trying to reduce the color of an image (please see attachment) into 3 or 4 spot color halftone using channels in photoshop, but I can't make the color the same (or almost the same) with original.
    Is there a technique to reduce the color of an image without making it CMYK? I don't want to use CMYK separation because there are text and lines in that design that if I use cmyk separation they will also be separated as cmyk.

    Thank you
    Attached Files

  • #2
    What I'm not understanding is your reluctance to use CMYK. Why not import a photo of a real pineapple into InDesign, then draw and type the solid black text and lines directly in InDesign? The pineapple is separated into the four process colors, but the lines and text stay 100% black with no halftone dots. What am I missing?

    Comment


    • #3
      He can keep the file in Illustrator without resorting to Indesign and get the same effect.

      OP, if you are going to use 4 spot color halftones anyway, why not CMYK?
      Or are you limited to spot-only printing? ie silkscreen or something?

      Comment


      • #4
        Hi Hizuka007 and welcome to GDF.

        We ask all new members to read very important links here and here. These explain the rules, how the forum runs and a few inside jokes. No, you haven't done anything wrong, we ask every new member to read them. Your first few posts will be moderated, so don't panic if they don't show up immediately. Enjoy your stay.
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        Comment


        • #5
          I guess the other question is, why use a photo of a pineapple with vector leaves? Looks kinda weird? I suppose in Illustrator you could tell a live trace to hold to just 4 colors, but I doubt the result would be good. And who knows what 4 colors you'd get.
          Plus you are using red an yellow as well as green. That could quite possibly make your print 6 color, unless you screen whatever yellow appears in the pineapple as part of the yellow plate.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by B View Post
            What I'm not understanding is your reluctance to use CMYK. Why not import a photo of a real pineapple into InDesign, then draw and type the solid black text and lines directly in InDesign? The pineapple is separated into the four process colors, but the lines and text stay 100% black with no halftone dots. What am I missing?
            I don't want to use indesign because i dont know how to use it yet. I don't want to use CMYK because if I use that then the Text (Color Red and Green) and Line (color yellow) becomes more than 1 plates each. Am I correct? or am I missing something here? . I am new to plate making, so please guide me.

            Originally posted by PrintDriver View Post
            He can keep the file in Illustrator without resorting to Indesign and get the same effect.

            OP, if you are going to use 4 spot color halftones anyway, why not CMYK?
            Or are you limited to spot-only printing? ie silkscreen or something?
            If I do CMYK then the text also becomes CMYK right? It means that the Green text becomes more than 1 halftone plates right? or Am I wrong?

            Originally posted by PrintDriver
            I guess the other question is, why use a photo of a pineapple with vector leaves? Looks kinda weird? I suppose in Illustrator you could tell a live trace to hold to just 4 colors, but I doubt the result would be good. And who knows what 4 colors you'd get.
            Plus you are using red an yellow as well as green. That could quite possibly make your print 6 color, unless you screen whatever yellow appears in the pineapple as part of the yellow plate.
            Don't know why the customer designed that way lol.
            Our Flexo is only 4 colors.

            Comment


            • #7
              Look at this attached file.
              As you can see if I do CMYK it will produce 7 Plates/Colors and our Flexo only supports 4 colors. I don't want to use CMYK on letters (Fresh Pineapple and SAMPLE TEXT) and Horizontal Line of the design because it will make the text not solid color.
              Attached Files

              Comment


              • #8
                So the answer you want to hear is to this question:
                ''can I reduce the photo portion of this design into specific spot screens of the red, green, yellow already in the vector art, and maybe additionally black?''

                About the only way would be to render that pineapple as vector art in some fashion, then swap out screens by hand.

                Did you design this? or did it come in to you from a client.
                If it is client art, you can't do anything but bounce it back to them and tell them it needs to be 4 spot color art, not 3 colors plus a process photo. they have to make the artistic decisions regarding how that pineapple looks. If the designer can't handle that...not sure what to tell you.
                I'm on a tear this week about designers that mess with printers......
                Last edited by PrintDriver; 08-17-2017, 09:44 AM.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I'd love to know what printer is going to run this job with 4 spot colors. It's completely unnecessary. How many prints do you plan to make? If we're not in the 10's of thousands this job is not going to be worth it. (even then it may not be). I'm not seeing any colors on this piece that need to be PMS color.

                  a 4 color (CMYK) press would handle this just fine, and you can save yourself the headache of spot coloring (and money). You output will look just like what you have on screen there.

                  Heck if your quantity is small, there's no shame in having it digitally printed. Save yourself a fortune.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Biggs, the OP said ''Our flexo press'' and ''the designer designed it that way.''
                    I believe he is the print vendor.







                    Comment


                    • Biggs097
                      Biggs097 commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Thanks Print. It's Weird, I dont see that information posted (i'm reviewing the original and prior posts). Maybe i'm just too exhausted these days...Where's the sleep?

                    • PrintDriver
                      PrintDriver commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Bottom of the post #6:
                      08-16-2017, 11:14 PM

                  • #11
                    Originally posted by hizuka007 View Post
                    Our Flexo is only 4 colors.
                    "Our flexo"? You left those two key words out of your first post. I assumed you were referring to offset and not flexography.

                    In offset, CMYK is used to make all kinds of colors with good results. And yes, any typography that's not one of those four solid process colors will be composed halftone screens, which typically isn't an issue with most elements in offset, including large type.

                    The same is true with Flexo, but Flexo is often used to print things, like cardboard boxes, where screentints are very coarse and registration is less than exact. So if that's the situation you're in, yes, I can see why you would want to use four spot colors instead of CMYK screentints.

                    Even with four spot colors, though, that pineapple will still be composed of screentints of whatever spot colors you use, and it's not going to look very good. You could conceivably use Photoshop channels and substitute one of your spot colors for each of the process (CMYK) colors. Then you could alter each channel separately to produce just the optimum mix of your four spot colors. Really though, that's a whole lot of work for something that's destined to print as an unnatural-looking pineapple.

                    A better way to approach it would be to forget about approximating a photo from four spot colors and, instead, grab a piece of vector clip art from, say, Shutterstock ( https://shutr.bz/2wjCi9X ). If you do that, it'll be a stylized illustration composed of your solid spot colors that will look good and it will avoid a bad-looking halftone made from four non-process spot colors.

                    You said it's your flexo press, right? Is this for a client? Are you being paid to print the job, fix the artwork or both? Getting stuck over these kinds of issues and taking on more responsibility than what you're being paid to handle isn't a particularly good way to run a profitable business. But that's another subject.

                    Comment


                    • #12
                      PrintDriver , Biggs097 ,
                      Printdriver is correct it is Flexography and our company is about Corrugated Box. Actually there is already a sample box for this design that the other Box Plant have made into a 4 Colors of the, but I cant get make it the same, thats why i need help on how to reduced this realistic image into 4 colors.

                      Originally posted by B View Post

                      "Our flexo"? You left those two key words out of your first post. I assumed you were referring to offset and not flexography.

                      In offset, CMYK is used to make all kinds of colors with good results. And yes, any typography that's not one of those four solid process colors will be composed halftone screens, which typically isn't an issue with most elements in offset, including large type.

                      The same is true with Flexo, but Flexo is often used to print things, like cardboard boxes, where screentints are very coarse and registration is less than exact. So if that's the situation you're in, yes, I can see why you would want to use four spot colors instead of CMYK screentints.

                      Even with four spot colors, though, that pineapple will still be composed of screentints of whatever spot colors you use, and it's not going to look very good. You could conceivably use Photoshop channels and substitute one of your spot colors for each of the process (CMYK) colors. Then you could alter each channel separately to produce just the optimum mix of your four spot colors. Really though, that's a whole lot of work for something that's destined to print as an unnatural-looking pineapple.

                      A better way to approach it would be to forget about approximating a photo from four spot colors and, instead, grab a piece of vector clip art from, say, Shutterstock ( https://shutr.bz/2wjCi9X ). If you do that, it'll be a stylized illustration composed of your solid spot colors that will look good and it will avoid a bad-looking halftone made from four non-process spot colors.

                      You said it's your flexo press, right? Is this for a client? Are you being paid to print the job, fix the artwork or both? Getting stuck over these kinds of issues and taking on more responsibility than what you're being paid to handle isn't a particularly good way to run a profitable business. But that's another subject.
                      Yes you are right its an issue if I use CMYK in this design because the text and lines becomes 4 colors halftone each and its not good in it.
                      Is there any technique on how to reduced colors?

                      ​Thanks

                      Comment


                      • #13
                        Why not ask the other plant for the file. Unless it's a competitor. That wouldn't go over well.

                        Comment


                        • #14
                          Originally posted by hizuka007 View Post
                          Is there any technique on how to reduced colors?
                          I believe I already answered that in my post. But in addition to substituting your spot colors in the CMYK channels, you could try posterizing the image, you could save it as a indexed color file with four colors (like a png or gif) or you could try Illustrator's live trace feature. Unfortunately, none of these options will work well since the software behind this kind of thing can't make aesthetic decisions about what colors to drop and how to use the four colors you have to work with to create the best pineapple illustration possible.

                          The real answer, however, is to stop trying to make a silk purse from a sow's ear. You're not going to get a good-looking pineapple from the spot colors you're working with by some pushing buttons and selecting menu filters. You could, however, create (or modify) a vector illustration to give you a nice-looking, stylized illustration.

                          Redrawing the pineapple as an illustration, using the colors you have to work with, is most definitely doable and could look pretty good, but you first need the skill to pull it off, and the several hours needed to draw it (all without losing money on the job). This is why I suggested buying a stock vector illustration of a pineapple that you could easily recolor with your limited color palette.

                          However, you seem stuck on the idea of there being some kind of trick to reducing the number of colors in the already odd-looking photo-vector hybrid pineapple that will make it look good. Unfortunately, there is not a way to do that. You seem rather inexperienced with this sort of thing and, oddly, a bit obstinate about pursuing your preferred solution that you want to work. I've been a designer for over 30 years, and one critical lesson that's come from all that experience is to not waste time getting stuck and spinning wheels on solutions that aren't working.

                          If it were me, I'd tell the customer/client that converting a color photo into something resembling a normal-looking pineapple with the four spot colors you have to work with isn't doable unless they're prepared to pay a whole lot more for you to endlessly experiment on a futile project. I'd also tell them that there's, luckily, an alternative that will work out great. It's called vector stock art, to which I already gave you a link.

                          Comment


                          • #15
                            Originally posted by PrintDriver View Post
                            Why not ask the other plant for the file. Unless it's a competitor. That wouldn't go over well.
                            yes you are right, its a competitor's sample box.

                            @B,
                            I can't just replace it with a different vector file because there are many cases here that the customer's design has a realistic image on them. And yes I am inexperience in this thing that's why I'm seeking some help/guidance

                            Comment

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