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Grayscale Magic

(July 2012) posted on Tue Jul 24, 2012

Trimingham describes how to build incredible looking grayscale prints on dark garments


By Thomas Trimingham

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The next step was to select just the fur areas of the wolf quickly using the lasso tool (this is called a pre-selection) and then use the Color Range tool and extract just the black areas (or the edges created by the poster edges effect). I could then create an extra layer on top of the original image and fill just these outlines with black and then edit them to create better edge quality where I needed it and erase extra shapes where I didn’t need them.

These steps create little outlines in the image that will aid in keeping the edge quality sharper and help to make the overall print lighter by allowing the black of the shirt to come through the image in those areas (Figure 2).

Now that the image had all the quality to a decent level, it was ready for separation for grayscale printing on dark shirts. If you were going to image on lighter shirts, you would have to reconstruct the background or go back and edit out areas to create a border for the design to blend properly.

Steps for separation on dark shirts
Extracting the grayscale underbase The first step of creating the grayscale underprint is deceptively easy when the image is created on a black background. I just created four extra alpha channels after the image channels and named the first one shirt channel and changed the Channel Options color to black. After this was completed, I copied the original file, pasted it into the next channel, and then inverted it and titled this channel my gray channel (Figure 3).


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