Poster Design: Textures and Halftones for Screen Printing | DKNG Studios | Skillshare

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Poster Design: Textures and Halftones for Screen Printing

teacher avatar DKNG Studios, Design + Illustration

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Introduction - A Screen Printer's Perspective


    • 3.

      Textures - Part 1 of 3


    • 4.

      Textures - Part 2 of 3


    • 5.

      Textures - Part 3 of 3


    • 6.

      Separations - Part 1 of 5 (Pathfinder Method)


    • 7.

      Separations - Part 2 of 5 (Pathfinder Method)


    • 8.

      Separations - Part 3 of 5 (Manual Method)


    • 9.

      Separations - Part 4 of 5 (Manual Method)


    • 10.

      Separations - Part 5 of 5 (Manual Method)


    • 11.

      Pro Tip - Know Your Colors


    • 12.

      Pro Tip - Overprinting


    • 13.

      Pro Tip - Trapping Defined


    • 14.

      Trapping - Part 1 of 2 (Pathfinder Method)


    • 15.

      Trapping - Part 2 of 2 (Manual Method)


    • 16.

      Halftones - Part 1 of 3


    • 17.

      Halftones - Part 2 of 3


    • 18.

      Halftones - Part 3 of 3


    • 19.

      Pro Tip - Bitmap for Predictable Results


    • 20.

      Pro Tip - Halftone Considerations


    • 21.

      Explore Design on Skillshare


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About This Class

Bring your artwork to life! This class is for designers who want turn their work into a screen printed poster. We'll teach you how to convert your digital design to screen-printable color separations. You'll learn how to create realistic textures and use halftones to maintain the details in your work. 

This class is a great follow up from our first Skillshare class, Rock Poster Design: From Concept Development to Execution.

If you don't have a design that you're prepared to use for the project, don't worry. We'll provide the working files for one of our original designs. You'll be able to download and work with these files as we take you step by step through our process of converting that same design into print ready files. 

If you do have an original design that you'd like to use for your class project, more power to you! You'll also be able to apply the same steps and techniques to your own artwork.  (Note: we recommend using a basic design for the project as artwork with multiple colors or photorealism will increase the degree of difficulty.)

What You'll Learn

  • Basic Principles. Considerations in the screen printing process.
  • Halftone Textures. Create halftone textures from an original photo or scan.
  • Consideration of Color. Separate full color artwork into individual color separations.
  • Trapping. "Trap" your artwork hide errors in the printing process.
  • Final Touches. Techniques and settings to use to create halftoned files for printing.
  • Testing. Test your file to easily predict results on paper.

What You'll Do

Work from existing DKNG artwork or use your own artwork to add texture and create print separations that are ready for screen printing. You'll have the opportunity to share your progress with your classmates and follow along step by step as you prepare professional quality print separations.

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

DKNG Studios

Design + Illustration

Top Teacher

DKNG is a full service graphic design studio with a focus on the entertainment industry. We work directly with bands, venues, promoters and a range of independent and corporate clients.

Dan Kuhlken and Nathan Goldman were both drawn to music and design at an early age, but didnt combine their talents until 2005 when the duo founded a design studio with the goal of fusing these two creative avenues. The pair has found a niche in linking a personal and unique aesthetic to the worlds most talented musical artists.

With dynamically different skill sets ranging from fine art to film production, Dan and Nathan bring diverse talents and artistic perspectives to every project. DKNG strives to provide their clients with the image and recognition that they deserve. Their past client... See full profile

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1. Trailer: DKNG is a full service graphic design and illustration studio, where we're mainly known for our poster design work. Our first Skillshare class covered our poster design process, and one of the most common questions we received was how we create textures and halftones for screen printing. Well, this class will cover exactly that. This class is for designers who want to bring their artwork to the next level in the form of a screen-printed poster, and along the way, you'll learn how to create realistic textures and use halftones to add detail to your work. We'll provide our own design files, so you'll be able to follow along step by step with the same artwork we're using, or you can apply our steps to your own original artwork. We'll also be visiting our screen printer who'll share his insights and additional tips for creating a successful print-ready design. At the end of this class, students will come away with a basic understanding of what's required to prepare our board for screen printing and send their files compressed with confidence. 2. Introduction - A Screen Printer's Perspective : My name is Danny Askar. I've been screen printing for five years professionally. I started off as a designer. I did a lot of web design, I did a lot of design for rock posters, and I found that I love the printing process a lot more and so much so that I wanted to print for other people. I've printed for Kevin Tang, DKNG, Joshua Bud, Olly Moss. I've printed for some of the most talented designers in my opinion in the world. It's a delight to see what comes in every week, and it keeps me inspired, and almost makes me want to stop and be designer again. But, I do like printing a lot more and so I keep with it. I'm trying to improve the way that I print all the time, and I found that the one thing that keeps me going in terms of trying to improve is seeing the designs that come in and trying to challenge myself to say, ''Okay, I want to be able to accommodate this level of detail, and so this is what I need to do or to make that happen." Screen printing process is a stencil process basically and it involves different mesh screens, different size mesh. It involves emulsion on the screen which is developed sort of like a photographic process which is how the stencil is made, and ink is pushed through that screen onto whatever your substrate is. So, if it's paper, or T-Shirt, or wood, metal, the list goes on. The different mesh sizes, they dictate what the detail level is, they also dictate what kind of ink can flow. So, if you have a high detail design, you're going to want to use a higher mesh count. If you have any that contains any kind of metallic or glitter or certain kinds of glow pigment's, you're going to want to use a little lower coarse mesh. One of the things that affects costs when it comes to screen printing is the number of colors used. The more colors used, the more costly a print will be. You can sort of cut that cost a bit by doing what's called overprinting. That just basically means a transparent color overlaying another and creating instead of just two colors, you're creating a third color. Screen printing is a little more effective when it comes to spot colors, than a lot of other mediums. The difference between spot colors and CMYK printing, spot colors are predefined colors that stand alone on their own, and they're specifically formulated to print in a certain way. When it comes to CMYK, it's a little more complicated. So, you want to know that when you first approach your printer with your first screen print, you should probably become a little more comfortable of spot colors first, and see how those lay down on paper, see how those affect each other, and then when you're ready, maybe try a little bit more advanced techniques in CMYK. Remember to always be very forgiving of the CMYK process because what you see on screen, you might not always get in the final results on paper. 3. Textures - Part 1 of 3 : In this video, we're going to be talking about textures. Now, when I say textures, I mean, anything that has a rastered element, like a photograph, that can be added to your vector file in Illustrator. The file that we provided with you is completely vector. All these shapes are simple shapes that basically have gradients, drop shadows, inner glows. But long story short, you can zoom in forever like a font and it will always keep its detail. Now, this looks good, but we'd like to take it to the next level. We'd like to add an extra element to it that gives it a little bit more life. So, for instance, I can add a cloud element in the background or add cement to the bottom of this road here so it looks a little bit more like a road. I can even add an overall textural over the whole thing to give it a vintage look. So, what I'm going to do is I'm going to work off of source imagery that I've actually found myself. So, for instance, this is a picture of cement just outside my yard, this is a picture of the sky and this is a road just across the street. Now, one thing you want to be careful about when using imagery is making sure that you in fact own the imagery, or using imagery that is okay to use. A lot of people might want to go on to Google search and look up cement texture. You can see a bunch of images show up that at first glance will be very useful. However, a lot of this stuff is actually copyrighted and if you don't own it, you technically can't use it without permission. So, make sure whatever you choose is not copyrighted and okay to use. The best way to avoid that is actually creating your own imagery. For this example, we're going use our street photo that we took and we're going to bring it into Photoshop. Now, what we want to do is pick the best part of this. If we look at our poster, we're really dealing with a very long piece of imagery here. I want to get, basically, the same angle that I took this photo at. So, what I'm going to do is, I'm going to crop out all the stuff around it that's not really usable and only really use this much. Let's go ahead and go to Image, Crop, and now, we're just dealing with that. So, you can see that this isn't perfect and this is how Photoshop is very helpful. So, we got a little piece of the lane there, we got a piece of white paint, we have a sewer top, some leaves. All these stuff we can take out and I'll show you how. So, we're going to use our Stamp tool for this one, which is right here. We're going to make sure that the size of it is fairly large, say, for this instance, about 100 pixels. We don't want it to be very hard because if it was at 100 percent, it would do something like this. You can notice circles starts showing up and it's not really as smooth as we want. So, we're going to go back and make sure that it's at the lowest setting of hardness. Then, I want to get rid of this lane. So, I'm going to show you how to get rid of that. I'm going to zoom in, not that much, all right. So, I'd like to take this part of the road and move it over here. So, what I'm going to do is actually hold my option key, hold down there, and then you can see as I scroll over it, it's a good match. So, what I'm going to do is move across. That is a magical tool that we use a lot. So, I just got rid of that lane. Let's go and try this little white spot over here and get rid of that. So, I'm going to grab this arrow next to it and then scroll over it and boom, it's gone. You can get rid of the leaves this way, get rid of all of it this way. So, I'm just going to speed through here and clean up this whole cement thing as nicely as I can, just get rid of that pothole. There it goes. Now, it doesn't have to be perfect because you're more getting a general texture, nothing really needs to be super specific. That's why we're getting rid of the specific things like leaves, because that's definitely going to look odd in your file when you're dealing with a lot of vector shapes. So, I'm getting rid of these release dark spots. That crack's probably not going to be necessary, so I'll get rid of that. Let's see. I'll just take it from here, we'll cross it. Let's get rid of that spot right there, boom. All right. So, it's not perfect, but we're going to move on to the next step, so we can get to the point. Now, we have this file that is essentially a very neutral amount of cement. I'm going to grayscale the whole thing. We're grayscaling because there's no need to use a full color image in your limited color palettes of your poster. Right now, we're dealing with blacks and whites. We're going to go to our levels and play with this a little bit. Right now, you can see there's a lot of midtones. Basically, this is just a super gray image. I want to get this to be a little more high contrast. Let's bring in some of those dark spots, and let's bring in some of those light spots. So, you can see as I bring in these levels, it's really bringing out that texture and making it look a little more sandy, a little bit more high contrast. It's really up to you how you want to deal with this, but I'm going to get it to a point where you can definitely tell its texture but it's not so specific that it looks like we're just slapping a photograph on our image. So, we're at this point where it definitely has a good texture look. I'm going to go ahead and get this ready to put in our file. Now, you can save this right now as a TIFF or JPEG. I'm going to choose TIFF. Let's go ahead and keep this organized. I'm just going to say "textures" as our folder name, and we're going to save it as street.tiff. Now, one thing to keep in mind is that this is a 24 by 18 poster, meaning we want to have the textures themselves be about that size as well. So, we want to save this file to be the same size as our poster, meaning, this area of street that we're trying to create here is 24 inches, because the poster is 24 inches wide. So, what we're going to do is we raster this so that it's about that size. So, I'm going to say this is 24 inches wide. Proportionally, it's going to be four inches tall, which seems about right. I'm going to make sure that its resolution is 300 as well, just because that is the resolution of what the poster is going to be printed at. Now, we're going to save this as our street texture, which we can put in our "texture" folder and I'm going to save it as a TIFF. 4. Textures - Part 2 of 3 : Now, we're going to go back to our illustrator file and we're going to place this into it. So, go to file place and go to your street tiff. You can see as it places it's 24 inches just as we planned. Now, what's cool about dropping imagery into Illustrator is that I can change the color of this by simply clicking it. So, right now it's black. I have the fill option up front and I'm going to just change it to red. So, you can change its color if it's grayscaled. So, I want this red look on top of this red street. So, what I'm going to do is actually, I'm going to cut it and go into my grouping for this road. I'm going to paste it back in there and line it up. Then, I'm going to put on a multiplier. Now, a multiplier is great because it just basically will lay on top of whatever you have already made. So, right now what we're dealing with is this gradient. I'm going to make it the same size of it. So, I'm just going to basically manually stretch it. Since we're dealing with a lateral look, I think it's okay to stretch it this way. It just makes the road looks like it's at a slightly different angle. So, when I zoom out there it is. We have this kind of cement texture now on the floor. You can see that it basically, it made our street darker and that's probably because we haven't lightened this enough. Now that we have a linked image into our illustrator file, we can actually adjust our file in Photoshop and it'll automatically update. So, what I'm going to do is go back to levels and I'm really going to bring up this white a lot more. I'm going to save it. If you go back to your illustrator file you'll see that it will want to update. Say yes, boom. So, that's pretty much what we're looking for. So, this would be considered reading with all this little texture pieces and we're using a gradient behind it as well to help with the three-dimensionality. So, now that we have our cement texture placed on our streets, I want to try and put some clouds in the sky. In order to do so, it's a different process because I'm not multiplying a jpeg or tiff on top of this, I'm really poking holes into this teal, so that sees through to the paper. So, imagine clouds in the same color as this border which represents the paper color. This is a different process because it's basically inverting the whole file and it takes a couple of extra steps. So, what I'm going to do is open up my sky image into Photoshop. We're going to select our favorite part of it, really get rid of the areas that aren't really necessary, so those buildings and trees don't need to be there. So, that's a good selection, and I crop it out. We chose a wispy cloud look because we want this to be a subliminal texture, we don't really want the super contrast, high-contrast fluffy clouds. Because it might look a little unusual with our vector image. So, we're giving a subliminal ambiance of clouds. So, these are a good example of that. Right now, we're dealing with a lot of great tones right now and we're going to play around this level. So, go ahead and grayscale it out. Want to change its image size again to be 24 inches wide which will match the width of a poster. Change its dpi to 300. I'm going to go and play with the levels. So, go back to levels and we're going to bring up those blacks and bring down those whites and then we're doing with a lot more high contrast here. So, you can see that with playing with these levels the clouds really poke out and are much more visible. So, I'm going to go ahead and click out of this and this is where it gets a little complicated. So, I'm going to go slow. We want to make sure that these clouds that are representing white are a foreground and anything behind them represents transparency. Because we don't need to have this darkness behind here. So, in order to do so, what I'm going to do is bitmap the whole thing and you'll understand why in a second. Just to confirm, this is a grayscale image that is dealing with a whole spectrum of grey, so, everything from white to black when I zoom in. Now, if I go to mode bitmap, what I'm going to do is change everything to simply black or white. So, keeping the same output of 300 pixels per inch, I'm going to choose diffusion dither, press okay, and now when I zoom in, you can see that this file has now been converted to only black and only white. So, what I want to do is separate this white from the black. So, in order to do that, we're going to unlock our layer. So, you got to go back to grayscale, doesn't change anything, it's still going to be black and white. So, as I zoom in you can see it's still in grayscale mode now but, it's still black and white. So, I'm going to unlock the layer right here, double-click it. I'm going to pick all the black areas by taking my magic wand tool and selecting it. You want to make sure that contiguous is turned off because it might not capture all the black. This way all the black is chosen if this contiguous checkmark is not checked. Then, I'm going to delete. So, basically once I have it selected, I get rid of it. Now, I know this looks crazy right now, but what we're seeing is the white that's left and the background is transparent. So, in order to actually show that, I'm going to create another layer and I'm going to just show black behind it. So, I'm going to create a black layer and then I'm going to put in drag it behind it. So, that white is there, however, it's got a transparent background, so, when I take away that black it's just white. So, we want that white. One way to just take out that black and I'm going to save this as a tiff, it's going to be a little bit of a heavier file because it's got a transparency going on. So, let's go over our texture file and save it as sky. Make sure that that black is not visible by the way or just delete the layer altogether. So, we're going to go back to our illustrator file and I'm going to once again place an image. So, this time I'm going to place the sky. You can see that this is 63 megabytes, whereas the street was nine megabytes. So, this technique is a little heavy for some computers and I'd be careful with using large imagery. So, this might be a little tough for some people but I'm going to just drop it in. What I'm seeing here is a bitmap file, but we can see the teal behind it. Now, I don't want a bitmap look right now, I want it to be as smooth as possible, so, what we're going to do is go back to our Photoshop file and I'm going to turn back on the background. I'm going to zoom in and I really want to get rid of this highly pixel look. I want to smooth everything out and all you have to do is select that white layer and go to blur. So, we're going to go is do go to filter, blur, gaussian blur and you can play with the levels here. So, you can already see at 3.5 pixels it really got rid of everything. But I'm going to try to get it down to as much detail as possible. You can see here at 1.6 pixels it's sandy's still. What you want to do is get it at a good point where you're not really seeing the sand any more you're seeing more of a smooth original looked like it was in a photograph. So, that's probably a good point right there 3.5 is a good number. Anywhere between 3 and 6 pixels is usually what we go for. So, I'm going to go with a 3.5 for this one. I'm going to zoom out, you can't really tell anything changed but this file is in fact smooth now. I'm going to take away the black layer again, save it and now that I have it actually in my Illustrator file, it's going to want to update automatically. Now we see smooth. Isn't that pretty. 5. Textures - Part 3 of 3: Now, you can see that since this was white in the Photoshop, it comes out white on your screen and Illustrator, and we want it to really represent the color of the paper which is an off-white. Now, in order to do so, what you can do is grab this color and get its actual hexcode, and I'm going to go back into Photoshop and I'm going to give this cloud that tone. So, what I'm going to do is go to Effects, go to Color Overlay, and this is where you can change its color. We're in grayscale. Let's make sure we're in RGB for this one. Don't merge, you want to have separate layers, Color Overlay and I can choose any color I want. So, if the clouds are red, they're red. But we're not looking for a hell on earth looks, so we're going to copy and paste the hexcode which is the soft white. So, I've got the paper color in there and I'm going to go ahead and take away the black layer and save. Now, when I go back to our file and I say yes, it's going to update automatically. So now, we have it change to the color of the paper. So, I'm going to go ahead and push this to the back of my file. I got to find out where my sky is. Right now, I have everything layered to a foreground, mid-ground, background. So, I'm going to cut this out, I'm going to select my background, and I'm going to paste it into that. I want this cloud to sit in the very back, so I'm going to push all the way to the back but just above the gradient of the teal. So, that's how you get clouds or any sort of color over a darker color. Now, I'm going to do the same thing again, but I'm going to do it to other elements of the whole poster. Now, the way you do that is pretty much the same process. I have this cement texture and I want to make sure that you know the bridge, the railing, and the car don't look as a vector it is as it is right now. I want to make it look a little bit more sits in its environment and less computer image looking. So we're going to pull on this texture image into Photoshop. Again, not a perfect image but we can fix that with the Stamp Tool. So, I'm going to go back to the Stamp Tool and play around with the sizing here. I want to get rid of some of these spots, so what I'm going to do is smooth everything out, get rid of that dark corner there, which isn't necessary. Get rid of that light spot. All right. So now, I took away the blemishes so to speak. I'm going again go to Grayscale on this one, you know it's very gray already, it's definitely using all spectrum of color but now it's completely grayscale. Go to the Levels and we want to get this level down. So, this will make more sense once you drop it in. But what I'm trying to do is add a sandy look over everything. We're going to treat it like holes in the ink. So, everything that represents black right now, it's actually going to be poking holes in the whole thing, just like we did with the clouds. So, let's say this is a good starting point. Then I'm going to go to Bitmap. Oh, we got to change the size of this. All right, 300 DPI, 24 inches. Remarkably, this is an 18 by 24 image. I just really blew myself away by cropping it that way. All right. So, this is the exact size of the poster, then that whole thing. To fusion there at 300 DPI. Now, we're only dealing with black and white again. If you don't believe me, there it is. All right. So, just like the clouds, what I'm going to do is I'm going to select all the white in that area and only leave the black. Actually, one easy way to deal with that, after you get out of Bitmap go to Grayscale. We're doing this a little bit different than the first way because I'm going to end up inverting everything. But I'm moving in, I want to keep the black and I want to take out the white areas and I'm going to select it all, makes sure contiguous is unchecked and delete. Go. Make sure that you unlock your layer, then delete. All right. So, now we've got a transparent background with the black on top. Kind of hard to tell with the transparency, so in order to see it, I'm going to drop in a white layer behind it. So, I'm going go ahead and change that white layer to black so we can invert this whole thing, and change that black layer to white by going to Color Overlay and selecting white, and I can see that it's inverted. Now, I'm going to take away the black layer and make sure that I change the color of it to be the paper color. So now, we're going to go back to our Photoshop file and we want to change this white to an off-white and you want to make sure that you're in RGB mode, don't merge. Go to the Color Overlay, copy and paste that hexcode, announce enough white. Couple steps you want to remember here. It's still in a bitmap look and we want to blur it out. So, I'm going to go to Gaussian Blur, 3.5 will work and see we can get any lower on that to maybe 2.53. All right. I'm going to take away this black layer and then I'm going to save as My Cement. All right. Now, we're just going to drop it in on top of our file. So, you can see that it really adds a cloudy look over everything. It might be a little too intense, but what I'm going do is put on top of everything, line it up with my art board. You can see that it really adds a lot more interest to the car, railing and bridge, might be too intense. So, what I'm actually going to do for this texture is give it a 50 percent opacity. So, that's just enough to make it look like it's less vector but it matches the texture style of everything else. Now, as you can see, we're only using three textures but it really does make a huge difference. So, if I were to take away these things and go back to our original file, that's what it was just as vector and just adding three simple textures on top of it, really brought it to life. 6. Separations - Part 1 of 5 (Pathfinder Method): There are a number of ways to create separations for screen printing, or other types of printing use separations as well. Perhaps, it would be helpful to just define what separations are to begin with. We're going to use this poster for fun as an example, and as you can see in the layers here, we have it broken down by color, into four colors that are going to be used to print this poster: light blue, red, dark blue, and brown. Basically, all separations are referring to is the fact that we're taking a piece of artwork, separating it into its various colors, and then, we're going to print them one color at a time. So in this case, we're going to print this light blue layer first, followed by red, followed by dark blue, and our fourth and last color will be brown. Now, the reason for doing this is, as we screen print, we can only print one color at a time. This isn't like an inkjet printer or laser printer where all printing is done at one time. In this case, we need to decide what colors do we want to print first and how are they going to interact with each other. So, the general rule of thumb is to print from light to dark, which is how we created these separations starting with light and red. It gets a little bit darker. Our dark blue gets a little bit darker, and then brown is clearly the darkest color here. There are exceptions to this rule and you may want to get some interesting effects by overprinting a light color on top of a dark color, but as a basic introduction, this is a good example of the printing from light to dark methodology. So, this is the fully separated file. This is ready to go but we want to see how we got to this point. So let's take a look at this file. You'll notice first of all in the Layers palette here that all this artwork is on one layer, other than the background there, but basically, all these objects of varying colors are all on one layer together, and we want to figure out how can we break this up into the separate colors that we need to get to for printing. As you can see here, if I click on some of these objects, let me de-select these, as you can see, if I click on some of these objects, you can see that they're just kind of floating on top of one another. So here's this little reflector, has blue underneath it, and when we print, we don't necessarily want blue to be printing there, because as you remember, we're actually going to be printing the dark blue color of this panel after we print red. If we end up with what we have here, then that blue is actually going to print on top of this red reflector. So, essentially, we need to set this file up so we're actually knocking a hole in the blue there so we can see through to the red and the light blue underneath, and hopefully, that'll make more sense once we get into this here. So our first step really, we need to do a few double checks. One would be to make sure that we've converted all of our type to outlines. I believe I've already done that here but we'll double check. Type, yeah. Create outlines is grayed out but if you do still have live typography in your design, you'll want to convert its outlines at this point. It's also a good idea to expand all of our strokes into solid fills. So we come down here into Object, Path, Outline Stroke, and just make sure that we're only dealing with solid fills now, and you can double-check down in the lower left of the toolbar here that you have no strokes in the artwork. Lastly, we can go ahead and expand appearance just to make sure that there aren't any effects or filters or anything happening in there. So now, we're just about ready to go. The other thing that makes this file slightly more complicated is that we are dealing with some transparency here. We're only dealing with transparency on the brown layer but, as you can see, anywhere such as the shadow on the window, the shadow on the awning here at the side of the door and underneath the track, those we're all going to have to deal with a little bit differently, and to switch back over to the final separations, as you can see, those are actually going to get this kind of cool half tone, angled pattern in the final. So, to make things a little simpler for the moment, let's go ahead and remove all those elements so we don't have to deal with transparency at this point, and then we'll go ahead and add those back in, a little later in the process. So what I'm going to do now is just go ahead and select anything that has transparency and go ahead and cut that, and then let's go back over to layers and make a new layer. I'm just going to call this "Transparent Objects" and then, I'm going to use Command-F to paste that into place, and let's just double-check that there's nothing else. I do see that I just need to grab this window panel here. So I'll do the same thing, go back to my Transparent Objects layer and Comman- F to put it in the same place. I think we have all of them now so let's go ahead and lock that layer and turn off the visibility. So now, we can just work with a file and not have to worry about any transparency for the moment. So, now we get to the fun part where we actually start breaking this up into its different colors. So what you want to do first is just grab everything or select all. This is also a good opportunity to double-check and make sure that every object is unlocked, so you really are dealing with everything on your art board. So now that we have everything selected, we're going to go over to our Pathfinder and you're going to use this option in the very lower left corner of the Pathfinder, Divide. Go ahead and click Divide and that's also a good step. It looks like we're okay here after we divided but you may see some funky things happen when you use the divide filter if you forgot, for instance, to expand an object. So you may have to go back and forth there a few times to double-check, but it looks like we're in pretty good shape here and what you'll find is, if we look at that same example, we looked at earlier, this little reflector, now when we move this up, make sure to, at this point, un-group everything because the Pathfinder does create a giant group of everything you just made. Let's un-group, and now, when we go in to take a look at this reflector, we'll find that rather than seeing through to the blue underneath, now we're seeing all the way through to the white at the background because, essentially, we just chopped everything up. So now, there's no more layering on top. All these objects are simply side-by-side with the white at the background underneath. So, that's exactly what we need to start creating our color separations. 7. Separations - Part 2 of 5 (Pathfinder Method) : If we reference our final file one more time, we can see that light blue is the first separation we want to create. You can do this in any order but we'll go ahead and go and print order now just to keep things organized. So, I'll start by selecting any blue, anything that's light-blue such as the background here, and then you want to go to Select, Same, Fill Color and hopefully what that's going to do is select all that light blue in your artwork. Now, one thing you do need to double check before you get into this and it'll become obvious, if you do have let's say another blue that's slightly different than that and perhaps every blue in your poster or your design is not exactly the same, if you go Command X and cut that, it should pull out all the light blue and it looks like that is in fact what happened here, but that's another good place to double check to see if you do have any stray bits that might be a similar color but not exactly the same. So, now that we pulled out all that light blue and again, we just did that with cutting or Command X, let's go over here to Layers and create a new layer and we'll call this Light Blue. Now, we're going to paste that in place. We can use Command F, or Command B and that's going to paste it in the same place but on a new layer, that new Light Blue layer. Let's go ahead and turn off the other layers for now and we can see that we did end up with just the light blue. So, now essentially, that separation is complete. So, I'm going to go ahead and lock that layer, turn it off and now we can proceed to do the same thing for the rest of our separations. So, for this print, red is going to be next up. So, we'll just select anything that's red on the canvas. Select, Same, Fill Color. Same thing, Command X, cut that and then we create a new layer. We'll call this the Red Layer and then again, we go Command F to paste that in place onto that new red layer. Again, if we double check our work, we only have red elements here and then lock that layer and turn off the visibility. Then coming back, we do see that we pulled out all the red so, so far this was working out. Let's move on to what we're calling the dark blue color next. So, select any area of that blue, Select, Same, Fill Color, cut that. We're going to add a new layer. We'll call this Dark Blue and then we Command F and paste that in place on the new layer. So, if we lock this layer and turn it off, now we see that we are just left with brown on this final layer. However, we're not quite done yet because one thing that's important to keep in mind is that it is possible that we do have white shapes or even shapes with no fills on this layer and that can potentially cause problems as we move on in this process in case you send this file to your printer and something happens and it accidentally selects this area here and colors that you could end up printing something on your poster that you don't intend to have happen. That's actually something that we've experienced when we weren't too familiar with creating color separation. So, what I would say at this point is a safe way to do this on this layer because we know we only want the brown if there's anything like this shape that's hanging out there hiding. Let's go ahead and select the brown item, Select, Same, Fill Color and now what I want to do is select the inverse of that. So, come up here to Select and Inverse. Basically, now what we have selected is anything that's not brown on this layer and as you can see there's quite a bit that's still left in there, that's hiding as either white or no fill. So, let's just go ahead and delete and now we should be left with nothing but brown on this final layer and it looks like that's the case. So, I'm going to go ahead and rename this Brown and now we're in pretty good shape to move on to the next step. One last thing I'd like to do here is just to reorder these layers a bit. So, just visually, I like having these top to bottom in the print order. So think about the order that the ink is going to be laid down on your poster. So we have light blue at the bottom followed by red, followed by dark blue, followed by brown and this would be a good point to go in with a fine-toothed comb and zoom in and just check out your artwork and make sure that nothing funky has happened in the process of separating everything. You will see some of these faint ghost lines in some of these areas and don't worry, that's not going to print, those gaps aren't really there. If we zoom way in, we can see that they're not really getting larger and that's a good way to test theoretically if those gaps were real. We would be able to see them even larger when we zoom in but it's just a side effect of how vector programs display. But one thing we can do to correct that, and I wouldn't suggest doing this unless you're sure that you're ready to move on and that everything's perfect, but let's just isolate the red layer for now. So, let's go ahead and do Select, Same, Fill Color, same way we did before and then we can go back to our Pathfinder. This time we're going to use this Unite button and we do want to hold down Option first to create a compound shape as it's saying here. So, hold down your Option key and then click Unite, and then as you see this Expand key just became available to us. So, you can remove your finger from Option and then expand the compound shape and what that just did is all those little lines and all that little broken up stuff in here, when we expanded it, it clean that up for us and got rid of everything. So, it looks a little nicer, it's a little bit cleaner but again, you should only do that as a final step once you're sure that you don't need to make any other tweaks. So, just for the sake of keeping a clean file, let's go ahead and do that with each layer. So, I'm going to lock the layers that I'm not working on just to be safe. We'll come into this Light Blue layer here, Select, Same, Fill Color, or I mean, just to be safe, you could just drag around this whole layer and hopefully you're going to find that everything that you select is in fact that light blue because that's the only thing on this layer. Again, Option Unite, Expand and now we have a nice, clean compound shape on that layer. We already did the red, so now we'll do the dark blue. Select it all, Option, Unite, and Expand. Then lastly, the brown layer. Select all, Option, Unite, Expand. So, now we have nice compound shapes on every layer. We've deleted any excess that we don't need and we are ready to move on. So going ahead and save your file and we'll get ready to deal with those transparent afterwards. 8. Separations - Part 3 of 5 (Manual Method) : In this video, we're going to separate our file. Now, you can separate your file pretty simple, with the Pathfinder Tool, if it's completely vector and solid fills. However, with this poster it is completely vector, but we have a lot of things going on that are just not complete solid fills. We have gradients, we have inner glows, drop shadows, Gaussian blurs and textures. On top of that, we actually are using an overprinting technique. So, we're going to do what I call manual separating, and here's an example of what we're going to be dealing with. So, we have two colors that we'd like to print physically. When they combine, they're going to create a darker brown. This isn't theory, right now we have this teal I believe on top, and it's on multiply. Now, this doesn't mean that when we print it, it's going to look exactly like this brown. We've printed this poster before, and what we found is that, we can get something close to it, and we have to mix the colors in this very specific way to get as close as possible. So, in reality, it's not quite as dark, but it's very close. So, we want to take this whole design, and separate it into two layers, one being red and one being teal. Right now it's in multiple layers all over the place, based of the fact that it was just designs. We want to now think of it in terms of screen printing. So, from a design perspective, I went ahead and put this into a background and midground and a foreground. But, we're going to put this into two layers. What I'm going to do, is actually bring all this into one big layer. So, what I'm going to do is make sure all my layers are visible, unlock them all. I'm going to select everything, and make sure you also unlock everything and group it. It's right now, it all went to the foreground. So, you can go ahead and delete the other layers. Let's just go ahead and call this artwork for now. So, this represents everything all in one layer. So, now what we want to do is go ahead and make our teal layer and our red layer. So I'm going to go ahead and start with the teal. We save this artwork layer as kind of a backup. So, then we can play with it in case we missed anything. So, what I'm going to do is take everything, copy it, and let's go ahead and start a new layer. I'm going to lock the original layer and make it un-visible. Click on the new layer, and go ahead and drop in the same artwork. One easy trick is to, when you actually cut and paste this whole thing, if you do Command F, it will drop it in the exact same spot it was before. So, there's no need to align anything. We are going to go ahead and name this layer Teal. We're going to essentially delete all the red. We want to make sure that we do it in a way that, we're taking into consideration the layering on here. I can't just delete red in certain areas, like if I delete red here, then it would show this area behind it. Essentially, what I'm going to do is make this red, light. So, it kind of blocks everything out. So, it just kind of want to manually make sure that we're not making big grandiose steps, and then realize that we made a wrong one, down the line. So, I'm going to go step by step with each parts. One quick rule that you can follow is, let's go ahead and select this red color. Then we're going to select the same fill color. So, now you can see that the entire file selected that red. What I'm going to do is now designate that red to be a pure white. Now you see it's starting to get rid of some of that red. You can see this red on this bridge and the reason being is because it's a stroke. So, now we're going to select the same stroke color, and make a white as well. Now, anything that represents brown is technically both red and teal. So, we're going to leave that untouched for the time being. I'm going to go ahead and take the texture here, and I'm going to hide it. The way I'm going to hide is just go Command 3. This layer right here, which is a gradient using red, I'm going to drag and drop these nodes to be white. So that's just basically, it's a gradient using only white. I find it best to, instead of deleting it, just change it to white. So, if we do want to grab it in future, it's still there. It's just not visible to the naked eye. So, this is essentially the teal layer and all the brown elements technically are teal, because red and teal combine are brown. So, for this layer we're actually going to select anything that is using a brown layer, I mean brown color, and we're going to change that to the teal. So, right here's a gradient and I'm going to select all gradients that have that same color. I'm going to drop in that teal. Now the bridge has it. I am going to go ahead and grab this color brown. Sometimes, I actually multiply teal directly over the red, and other times, I just create it brown. So, it's kind of a mixture of both, but they both represent the same thing. So, what we are going to do is select the same fill color from brown and change that too to teal. Now we're getting somewhere. You can still see there's some brown here, looks like it's a gradient. Oh, actually this is red multiplied over the teal. So, in this particular situation, I'm just going to make it invisible or you can make it white. Let's go out and make a white just to be consistent, because white over anything multiplied is going to be visible anyway. It looks like we're still dealing with a couple of little elements here, looks like this is a stroke with the brown. We're still going to select the same stroke color. Make that teal. Looks like this is doing with an inner glow. So, we're going to select the same appearance. I'm just going to go ahead and make the inner glow not visible. It looks like we're also having that with the car as well. We should be only seeing teal at this point. Also, notice that the color of the paper is an actual element that's used in the design. We are not literally printing any color for the paper. It's literally just paper color. So, since it's not an ink, we're going to represent it as white, So, anything that is this paper color, we're going to go ahead and select the same fill color, and make it white. It looks like we got a couple gradients in here. Select same fill color. Everything in the bar are white. One last one in here, that's the very background. The thing we're seeing here that is representing the paper color is in fact our texture recreated including the clouds. So, what we want do is make sure that this is white and not paper color. We can't just simply change the color to white, because we created this color in our file through Photoshop. 9. Separations - Part 4 of 5 (Manual Method) : So, this last shape we're seeing here that looks like the paper color, isn't actually a shape. What it is, is the cloud textually made in Photoshop. So, as you can see it if I move it around, it has that transparent background and that off-white look in front. Since we want to make that white, we can't simply click white and it will change. What we're going to have to do is go back into our file that we created, textures. Go to the cement file, open it up in Photoshop. Right now, it's on the color overlay with this off-white. What I'm going to do is change it to pure white. Then, I'm just going to save it as a new file. What we're going do, is we're going to open up our sky texture and Photoshop, and we're going to change its color overlay to a pure white, and we're going to save it as a new file called sky white. This way I have both options for the designed file and the separated file. So now, it's not going to automatically update since I made a whole new file. I'm going to go to this area and go to Relink, and click on the sky white. Now you can see that's white. Now, the cement color is barely visible because we have another 50 percent capacity, but it is in fact, that off-white color. So, that's going over everything and what I'm going to do is also change that. So, we're going to go back into our folder, click on cement, open it up in Photoshop, go into color overlay, change that to pure white, and we're going to save it as cement white. We are essentially making two versions of our textures, one for separated purposes, and one for design purposes. So, we're going to relink this file, and there we go. So, this is your teal layer. This is what it looks like when it's printed, and it will look a lot different once red is overlaid on top of it. So, we're going to move on to the next layer, the red. So, go ahead and lock this teal and make it not visible. Now, we're going to make our artwork layer back to visible and unlock it. Go ahead and create a new layer, and we're going to call this red. Go back to your art layer, copy. Go ahead and lock it and make it not visible. Click on red and then drop in the artwork main desk. All right. So, now we have everything dropped into this red layer. We're essentially going to do the same exact process that we did for teal, but we're going to do it red. So, we want to make all the teal white, all the paper color white, and this brown color is now representing red because it's combination of red and teal. So, start with the teal, and then select same fill color, and I'm going to make it white. Now I'm going to select same color we'll represent in paper. Make that white. So, this represents the texture that is going over the whole thing called cements. We're going to relink that to our cement white, I am going to walk it to get out of my way. This cloud stuff we're also going to make the sky white layer, good. I tend to lock things after I change them just so I can keep track of what I'm doing, because sometimes it can get lost in the process. So, this is a gradient using the paper color, we're going to change that. Select it's nodes, turn off the white. It's like we have some teal gradients in here, I am going to make sure I turn those to white as well. So, I am going to shield as well. It's a tedious process. So, obviously the more complicated your artwork is, the more time we're going to spend separating it. But it's a labor of love. Sometimes people design in layers so that they don't have to do this as a last step, which is totally up to you. I like to have freedom when I'm designing so that I don't have to worry about separations and restrictions. I can just design and then figure out later, which is kind of a double-edged sword. Here we got this inner glow, I'm going to go ahead and make that visible. It's like we have an inner glow for wheels, you could select the same appearance because it's been used twice, two wheels. Same things going on with these bumpers of a wheel. All right. So we're in a good spot. Using it to make the round bubble look on my railings, so I am going to go [inaudible]. Don't feel like you have to get everything the first time around either. What we're doing is getting a close to final goodbye. Remember you make your saving in these layers to be used later on, and you can always go back and edit them and change them, and that's the great thing about our next step which is trapping. We're going to be able to double check our work. 10. Separations - Part 5 of 5 (Manual Method): We're at a point where we can start changing the brown to the red. So, let's go ahead and, just like we did before with the teal layer, select the brown, select the same fill color and change that to red. One thing I would recommend to make things a little easier is extend your entire artwork so you are not to deal with fills and strokes. Right now we're dealing with both and it can double your workload sometimes. So, what I'm going to do is select the same stroke color representing this brown. But, I could've just done in one step if I expanded everything beforehand. Not a huge deal, but makes your life a little easier. The bridge has some brown elements so, same fill color. I think we're good. Looks like this highlight might be the color of the paper still. Same stroke color, you don't have to make that white. Now that I notice that, I bet that's happening with the teal, so we're going to go back to the teal layer and make that adjustment. So, we have the luxury of going back when we want to. Okay. So now we have a red layer, more or less. Now this is where the magic comes in. So, what I'm going to do is I'm going to consider red our second color because it's the most transparent when with ink. So, what I'm going to do is select the entire file and instead of being in a normal transparency, I'm going to put it on multiply. So now it's multiplying onto its background or any layer behind it. So, when I turn on the teal layer, or seen as the combination of each one. It magically looks exactly like how we started. So, to go back, here's teal, here's red by itself, and when they combine are doing this. What I'm going to do is actually grab the red layer, and move it for a second and you can see what happens. They are in fact layering on top of each other but in perfect coordination on the wheels and anything that represents brown. A combination of both colors creates an overlay. We call it overprinting 11. Pro Tip - Know Your Colors : So, what designers should know what color is it helps to know how to use a Pantone book. Different printers were very different pan-tonal books to use the generally the tunes are coded and uncoded books, spot color and it's really important to know that you need to need to use the actual book. You can't just go buy what Photoshop or Illustrator haven't they're presets and it also helps to know which colors are more opaque than others and pretty much no colors are 100 percent. But it does depend on how it's printed, it depends on how light it is and also depends on what ink it is. So, you might find that t-shirt inks are a little more opaque than poster inks. 12. Pro Tip - Overprinting : One of the things that affects costs when it comes to screen printing is the number of colors used. Some more colors used, the more costly a print will be, and you can sort of cut that cost a bit by doing what's called overprinting and that just basically means a transparent color overlaying another and creating instead of just two colors, you're creating a third color. For example yellow, a transparent yellow printed over a blue will create a green. 13. Pro Tip - Trapping Defined : Trapping is the process of letting along a little bit of color to go underneath subsequent colors above it. What that does is it basically eliminates any kind of white areas from showing through as the print is made color by color, and that basically allows you to have a little bit of leeway if there's any sort of micro-change in registration or anything like that, misalignment and whatnot. 14. Trapping - Part 1 of 2 (Pathfinder Method) : So in this class, we are covering a couple of different methods for trapping a file and the reason being that depending on your artwork it may be easier to go one way or another with it. So for this example, since we're dealing with more geometric artwork, the Pathfinder method of trapping which is a bit more automated than just doing it manually tends to be a better approach in terms of how we like to do it. So one thing I'll mention up front is that this method of doing it as a little destructive to the file so I'd recommend saving at least a backup version of your separations before you start trapping so you can always revert back to that because you will need to pull some elements out of the separated version of the file. So what we're going to start by doing is I made a copy of the file that I'm just calling background and this is just so we can create an additional asset that we need which is basically all the white areas that we see in the truck and in the border and then the white ball tires. We need to pull out all those shapes to basically act as a shape that we're going to use to mask some of our trapping. So we don't have it showing up in unwanted areas. So what we're going to do is basically select everything as well as make yourself a 24 by 18 white rectangle that you'll put behind everything. So with all your layers selected including that white rectangle, go ahead and use the Pathfinder to divide, and when you break that up, we want to select only the white areas and we want to delete everything else. It's a bit hard to see so I'll go ahead and color all these paper color elements to yellow. So we'll know that it's representing white paper, but in terms of working with the file, it'll be easier to see this yellow. So I'm going to copy that and then come back over to these nice clean separations that we made. Let's create a background layer if you haven't already done so and we'll paste that paper color into our background. So again, it's going to be white but we're doing it yellow for the sake of being able to see it easily. So let's go ahead and save this file and this will be our starting point that we're going to use to create all of our trapped separations. So one thing I like to do, you could do this all in a single file but one thing I like to do is save each color separation as a separate file and that way if I do need to go back and make any changes, I have versions along the way. So since light blue is going to be the first separation we need to create, let's go ahead and save this as light blue. Okay. So since light blue is the first color to print, this is a little easier than dealing with some of the others, but basically, what we're going to do is select the light blue layer and I'll turn everything else off for the time being. You should be able to just click once to select this as your full compound shape because we put that together in the separations lesson. Now what we're going to do is add a stroke in the same color, light blue, and I'm going to make it a two-point stroke. That's pretty standard for how we would send a file to our printer with a two-point trap but discuss it with your printer so you'd see how much trapping your file might need. So now that we have a two-point stroke, this file, and I'll zoom in just to show you that we do in fact have an outline on everything now. I'm going to go to path, outline strokes, in order to make it into a fill. I'm going to ungroup it and then, in our Pathfinder area as we did with our separations, were going to option click unite and expand. So now we have a similar compound shape to what we started with, but now, it's basically two points heavier than what we started with and that two-point stroke represents our trap. So the one thing that we do need to be aware of here in our next step is going to be that we don't necessarily want that stroke to expand into the areas where we have paper color exposed. We only want it to expand into areas where it's being overlapped by another ink color and I'll show you what I'm talking about. If I zoom into this area, we do want the paper color, we do want the light blue to be going underneath this dark blue area just to give us a little safety there if the light blue layer moves at all and I'll turn off the light blue to show you that. It is in fact going under the dark blue there. However, we don't want our light blue to expand into areas where it's only meeting the paper color because then it's going to appear to have a stroke that we didn't want. So to show you an example of what I'm talking about, I'm going to grab our yellow background. I'm going to cut it and paste it, command F, right onto the light blue layer. So now basically on that layer, what we have is our yellow paper color sitting on top of our light-blue, and as we can see, we still have this light blue stroke. It's kind of expanding beyond the area of where we would actually want it to be in paper color area. We do want the light blue, for example, turn on the dark blue, we don't want the light blue to expand into that dark blue area, but now what we need to do with the Pathfinder is remove it from the unwanted areas. So the easiest way to do that is to select our yellow that's representing the paper color. Select our light blue and we do need to make sure that the yellow is in front. So let's make sure that's on top of the blue and then go ahead and press divide. Then, we can ungroup everything and let's now select the light-blue, same fill color, select inverse. Delete. Let me turn off the other layer there. When you're doing any of these type of Select All, Select, Same Fill Color, it's a good idea to have the other layers locked just so you don't accidentally tamper with anything else. So, now, if all has gone as we have hoped, we should end up with this light blue now trapped underneath some of these other layers. So, we can check here. We see that, yes, in fact, according to our smart guides that the light blue is still going under the dark blue there as we want it, so giving us a little buffer there if it does misregister at all. But, in these areas where these light blue dots meet the white paper, we don't have the stroke. We basically, when we did our Pathfindering with the yellow representing our paper color, we got rid of all those excess strokes. So, to basically summarize, this method uses adding a stroke to add in the trapping, and then uses that image representing the paper color to cut out any of the excess trapping that is not needed in the areas where we're seeing through to the paper. So, now that we have this light blue area done, we can essentially delete the other layers from this file and just save this as our light blue. So, now what we want to do is go back to the file we saved at the beginning, where we have all of our separations here, plus the background but no trapping. The reason we want to do that is because now when we move on to trapping the red layer, we're going to do the same thing. We're going to Pathfinder it with our yellow paper color, but this time we're also going to Pathfinder it with our light blue. We're essentially going to treat the light blue the same way that we've been treating this yellow, and as we move up the line here, anything that's underneath, we're going to use that to cut out the unwanted areas of our outline. The reason being that once the next color, in this case red, overprints on top of the layer below, any color that's underneath that we don't want it to have a visible stroke, we only want the strokes to be underneath. So, hopefully, this will make a little more sense once we do another example here. So, again, let's go ahead and save this file as our red separation, that way we're making sure we're not tampering with anything else. We're going to grab both our yellow and light blue layers, everything on those layers, and we're going to copy those and then with Command F, we're going to paste those onto the red layer. Now with only red selected, we're going to add a red stroke, two points, outline the stroke, ungroup it and then option click Unite and Expand. Remember, we're just working on the red layer right now, all of our other layers are locked and turned off. So, now, we're going to send red to the back here. So, we basically have a red with a stroke, which is sitting beneath our yellow paper color and light blue as our first layer. So, with all that in place, we can go ahead and Pathfinder again. So, select everything, click Divide, select all the red, select the inverse and delete. Now we have a trapped red layer. If we go ahead and turn on everything else again, we can confirm the same thing, that in the areas where red is going under another color, so in this case brown, the red does extend into that brown area just a little bit. But, in the areas where red doesn't go underneath something else, such as this yellow area, which is representing the paper, it just ends where it's supposed to end. So, that's essentially the method for creating trapped separations with the Pathfinder tool. You would proceed with doing the dark blue layer in the exact same way. It would be red, light blue in the background all combined to Pathfinder out what you want to keep and don't keep in the dark blue layer. The only layer that's a little bit different is the brown layer. Since that's sitting on top of everything, there's no need to do any trapping there, everything gets hidden beneath the layer above it. In the case of brown, since it's the last color, it doesn't have a layer above. So, that would be the last step there. One thing you might want to do, because this can be a little confusing to see what's been trapped and what hasn't, is you can use Transparency. So, that area beyond it that we were just talking about, you could select the brown layer, go to Transparency and make it about 75 percent transparent. Even though, I mean, obviously, we're way off colorwise here but what you can do is zoom in and that brown layer is transparent, it's easy to see where the red is underneath it. So, that's an easy way to work with your file as you go. Another thing that I'll point out is that, using this method of adding the stroke, occasionally the stroke is going to turn corners and expand into areas that you don't necessarily need it. Because, for example, if this red layer were to misregister slightly and move to the right a bit here, we would see these funky tabs, this T-shape sticking out. So, one thing we like to do when we are putting the finishing touches on a trapped file is going and clean up some of these tabs and just make them so, they're just solid lines. So, that way, if this piece right here were to accidentally misregister a little bit, it's essentially going to have the same look to it. It's just one continuous shape whereas you can see down here, you get those little T-shaped tabs. So, that's basically your final step, is to go through the entire file and double-check all those little areas. So, that's essentially trapping with the Pathfinder tool, and it does take some getting used to. It's a little tricky to think about all these layers and what to cut and what to keep, but as long as you follow the rule of saving a new file for each separation, you should be able to always revert back if you make any mistakes. Just remember, try to stay organized in terms of which layers you have turned on and what you have in front of other layers in order to make sure that you're doing this correctly. 15. Trapping - Part 2 of 2 (Manual Method) : We're going to move on to trapping this file, and since we are dealing with a more manual separation technique and we have a lot of those interesting fills that are not just solemn fills, they are the gradients and the drop shadows and everything, we're going to do manual trapping. This requires a pretty solid knowledge of your artwork and you're just really going to go in piece by piece and trap things. So, we explained trapping before, and just to reiterate, what we're dealing with is this red overprinting the steel. So, when I move the red layer, you can see what's going on behind it. We have a gradient of teal, I'll poke out of teal go into the paper, and essentially, it's requiring a butt registration, and when I say butt registration, it means that both layers are lining up perfectly on top of each other, and this could be a little bit iffy for printing because if it does in fact shift at all, we're going to be seeing this three-dimensional weird look and in order to avoid that, we're going to trap some areas. So, what I'm going to do is I'm going to go into specific areas of each layer and bring in certain elements. So, for instance, this area of red, since it's going to be printed second, probably doesn't need to have very much trapping or any trapping at all. What we're going to be dealing with is the actual teal layer behind it. So, I'm going go and select- it's going on behind it. So, this shape right here, if I were to move in its nodes, we'd create a little bit of a buffer. So, imagine that is the teal shape behind and the red's going over it. This is what we call trapping and now red can go freely over the edge of it and if this were to shift, we're not going to get that three-dimensional look. So, let's go ahead and go back to the red layer and give an example. So now, I'm going to move it and you can see the difference between these guys and these guys. It's slightly less noticeable when we move this area. You can see that there's a little bit of white there, so we're also going to move the white. It's going to lock your red layer, make sure you're only dealing with the teal again and looks like there's this white box here too. Because if I move that in as well, now we're dealing with a much cleaner trapping. Go back to your red layer, and when I shift it, you can see how all these layers still have something going on but this one, nice and clean. That's because we moved in those sides behind it and when it's going to print now, we're not going to deal with this open of white. So, one thing we have to keep in mind since we are doing overprinting, anything that we change could potentially change the color that's on top of it. So, if I were to take away the white up here, we're going to be dealing with the sky being underneath this red layer and it's not going to have that pure red look that we want. So, it's really up to you how much you want to trap. If you're going for an overprinted look, then maybe your trapping is going to be pretty minimal. However, if you want it to be very clean and it doesn't give the appearance of a loose screen printed look, you might want to take a different consideration and tie trap. So, going back to this area, what we're dealing with is a white stroke and right now it's at four points. If I bring it down to, let's say, three points, it's taking and I know it's hard to see, it's taking in consideration; the sky. It's very hard to see and this is probably why it's worth it because it's bringing in teal tucking it underneath the red. So, I think with all these bridge areas, it's wise to go in, in the teal layer, and move things manually. One quick technique I would recommend is simply clicking order nodes of shapes and giving it two clicks. So, one, two, and that gives it probably around, I would say, a stroke and a half, maybe two. Sometimes you can do as little as one click and that's enough depending on how your printer prefers its registration. Our personal printer can get pretty tight registration so we usually do one click or one point stroke, but if you're doing a large run, I'd recommend doing somewhere around two or three, depending on the complexity of the artwork. So, again, I can go and change the nodes on all these things, one element at a time. I know that this sounds in a retentive but you have to learn the hard way to understand this because if you work on something for a very long time and you send it to your printer and it doesn't turn out the way that you imagined, it can be a heartbreaking situation. So this process is a way for us to ensure that we're going to get a close replica of what we actually wanted and not to worry about elapse between your design and then the printer printing it changing a whole lot. So, that's an example of how to deal with the bridge, and you can deal with this little lane areas if you wanted to, if I were bringing the sides here. Again, this is such a small area that if I were bringing one-click at a time, we're not even really dealing with anything in the first place. So, I believe with this artwork, we just let this be butt registration ends, it still looked okay. But, if you want to be extra safe, you could bring these in. You can change your settings so that when you do a click it's not such a drastic move, it could be half of what we're seeing here. Let's go to other parts of the poster to get better examples. This area doesn't really matter so much, because this is representing teal behind the red but you can already see that when I designed it, I made a little bit of area below it that where the red would be going over it and it's not that huge of a deal. But this area right here, you can see that it goes all the way to the edge and if I were to move the steel outward, you can see that it's actually teal behind it. If I were to move it in, then we're dealing with a tiny bit of trapping, which I recommend. Because otherwise, you're going to have that teal poking out if your registration is slightly off. So, this confirms that it will, in fact, print normally. Areas like this where we're dealing with a light opacity of red on top of a gradient of teal, I would recommend keeping that butt registration. Because, when we have toneness, this is going to be a bunch of red dots and a bunch of teal dots on top of each other, we're not dealing with any solid fills and when you register it, isn't going to be as noticeable. However, if it's a solid fill, you'll be able to cover things easily. But, since we're dealing with a combination of the two, butt registration is probably fine for this area. One thing to keep in mind when you do anything like this railing, think about repetition too, like, Okay, I did that area. So now, what I'm going to do is make sure I do all the railing. So, I'm going to go through every single piece and do the exact same movement. I'm not going to show you how to trap the entire file because that could take hours and I know because I've been there, but I'm just going to show you all the areas that you could trap. Here's a classic, butt registration situation. This is teal and red completely covering each other perfectly. If I were to change this at all, give this teal, let say, a white stroke, you can see what happens is that basically, we're going to have this red halo around the whole thing and that could be a little weird because you have a choice between the way it looks now, if it's going to be registered perfectly, or you can give it a buffer where we're guaranteeing that red is going to be over the whole thing without any teal poking out from behind. But you're also guaranteeing that you're going to have this red halo. So, let's say that your printer has perfect registration, you have the chance of getting this. You also have a chance of getting this. So, we like to think about each element as its own piece. For this particular area, I'd rather do butt registration and hope that both layers are going to register perfectly than to basically put in this buffer which is basically guaranteeing that there's going to be this red halo no matter what. So, we're just going to leave that alone, and again, all these things are up to you, how you deal with your artwork. For instance, going to the tires, same situation, this is teal and red perfectly aligned. I don't want a red halo around the whole thing to show trapping. I'm just going to leave them alone. Again, with the side of the car, we are dealing with red overprinting teal but the red is using a gradient whereas the teal is a solid fill. For example, there's teal then red on top. It's up to you if you want to make that teal layer have some sort of buffer going on. For the sake of argument, we are going to move this piece right here. We've got multiple layers within this. So, this is the teal, we already moved it up. Do you want to have a red halo around this or do you want to hope for perfect registration and the nice crisp edge? So, I'm going to leave it alone. So, there is a benefit to create an artwork that's not using solid fills and using a lot of gradients and drop shadows. We can actually use it to our benefit when it comes to butt registration and if you're using a lot of solid fills then there's probably going to be more trapping which is probably where you will use the Pathfinder tool. So, this area represents both teal and red on top of each other. Again, since we have this blurry edge, there's really no reason to trap anything. It's literally teal and red combined and since there's no crispness on the edges, we're just going leave it alone. So, when I say manual trapping, it really comes down to your artwork and how you want it to come out. I think it's totally fine that this grass when it overlays on top of each other creates that secondary color and there's no reason to trap the grass. But for this particular project, I would say the bridge is a wise thing to trap and the railing. But it's up to you how you want to do it and where you want to trap. I'd always recommend making two layers like we did and being able to click on them individually so that you can trap things on the fly and see them in action. We used to actually make our layers separate and then kind of blind trap which means making the adjustments without actually seeing how they react with something behind it and that makes your job really hard. So, this is a great way to see how things look as you're making them. 16. Halftones - Part 1 of 3 : Now, as a final step for this file, we're going to do a little bit of halftoning, and if you recall, we have this, our transparent objects that we set aside earlier. What we're going to do now is just isolate those items, and we're going to use those to create a halftone pattern, rather than just a transparency, because with screen printing, we can't simply use the transparency of a color, we need it to be halftoned so it can allow ink to either go through the screen or not. Those are really your only options with screen printing. So, halftoning is a cool way to create similar types of shadows or transparent looks without having to use additional colors. So what we're going to do is just with only this transparent layer turned on, we're going to go to file, export, we're going to save it as a JPEG. Let's go ahead and use the artboard. That's going to help us in a moment, we'll see it with alignment. So, I'm going to call this transparent objects. We can save this in grayscale at 300 DPI, with our anti-aliasing at art optimized. Now if we go over to Photoshop, and open that file, now we have a grayscale JPEG, of those elements. Now we're going to go to mode, bitmap, and we want 300 pixels per inch, halftoned screen, and now we have a few options. This right now is at 55 lines per inch, which I would say is on the upper end of what we can accomplish with screen printing. For this, I think I want a little bit more of a rougher, obvious look. I want the halftones to almost be a design element, and not just disappear. So, I'm going to bring it down to 25 lines per inch. Then, the angle doesn't really matter for this because we're not going to be using multiple layers of halftones, but just to be consistent with how we usually work, I'm going to put this at 22.5 degrees which is usually the starting angle for your first layer of halftoning. Then for the shape, round is the typical halftone dots that you're probably used to seeing, you can do a number of different options. So for this, I'm going to use a line, and I'm going to press okay. If we zoom in here, we can see that what once was various shades of gray has now been reduced to black and white lines. We got a cool design element out of it by using these diagonal lines. Those lines are in fact at an angle of 22.5 degrees, you can change that if you think another angle is to your liking. So, now this is a bitmap. I'm going to save this file as a TIFF. You'll probably call it something like halftoned in the name, just so when I'm looking through my files, it's easy to remember which files have been halftoned and which haven't. So, now let's head back over to our illustrator file. We can turn off that layer, and let's turn back on everything else. Now we know that this new halftoned portion is going to be printing with brown ink. So, we want to include that on our brown layer. So unlock your brown layer, and now we're going to go to file place, choose that halftone tiff file, and place it. Now, all we have to do is align it to our art board, and as you remember, when we exported this as a JPEG, we used our art board, and the reason being that it exported a file that's exactly 24 by 18, and it kept our halftoned items in exactly the position on the page that we wanted them. So, all we have to do is center them, and everything is going to align up exactly as we want. So, our shadow around the door, and our shadow along the awning, and the window here is all exactly where we wanted it. Another method to do this could be to export each of these little pieces as an individual halftone, and you could place them manually, but I like to use this artboard approach, it makes a slightly larger file size, but it does ensure that everything's lining up correctly. If we turn off outer layers, now we can also see that, now our brown layer only is a combination of vector shapes and halftoned shapes, which is fine. So, that's essentially the last step. If we want to test these files, we can export them, and I'm just going to call this my test file. I can use the artboard, and for this, since I'm just looking at it on-screen, I'm going to do RGB high resolution art optimized. Now, if we go take a look at our test file, we can see that we have a combination of vector artwork as well as our halftoned file in there, creating our shadows. 17. Halftones - Part 2 of 3 : So, now that you have your files completely separated and fully trapped, it's time to prepare these for halftoning. Now, right now everything is smooth and each color represents its own color. However, with screen printing, anything that's going to be, let's say is red, now has to represent black because black represents the purest color, same thing with teal, up here, teal is now black. So, a solid fill black represents the ink with no opacity. So, what we're going do is we're just going to focus on the teal layer for now. What we want is to change all teal to black. Now, we're dealing with a lot of gradients and stuff like that, so essentially, imagine this grayscale. But we're not just going to turn it gray, just change this to gray because we want this teal to be black. We want this teal appear to be like a 75 percent opacity. The way I designed this kept that in mind. We've changed the technique of how we design things based off screen printing. So, when we design things, we make sure that our swatches are always going to be using the color that we've chosen. So, I'm not going to make a teal and then represents a 50 percent opacity teal by just changing its bars. Let's say for CMYK, ours to change everything to be like negative 50. This represents basically a lighter version of the teal. This is a separate color and we would have to figure out what the version of this would be in consideration of what black is. That is hard, do we just say that this is 10 percent or do we say it's 30 percent? We don't know. One way to avoid that is just to make sure that everything you've designed is using that teal swatch. So, this area, let's say, that's using this gradient. It is, in fact, using the actual teal swatch in a gradient going all the way down to zero percent opacity. So, I can change now both of those nodes to be black and it just automatically represents the whole spectrum. So, this makes it a lot easier if you just focus on keeping things within the realm of that swatch that you've created, which is why I have the swatches created in the first place. So, what we're going do is we're going to go in and we're going to change anything that's teal to black. Keep in mind that there's types of blacks that can be used in this process. Right now this is 100 percent K. But C, M, and Y, those are at a zero which it still is black but it's not the darkest black you can possibly get. Technically, the darkest black that you can possibly get is going to be all those bars 100 percent. This will basically guarantee that this teal is solid. But since we're dealing with textures, I wouldn't recommend making everything that black, because what happens is, we lose some of the textures that we want and there's an issue that happens when you're printing, where we call it dot gain and those dots that are going to be created actually, get fatter and they will make anything that you create slightly darker than you imagined. In order to avoid that, we do start with making things 100 percent K. We'll adjust other areas to be, let's say, 100 percent CMYK if we want it to be very, very dark. So, what I'm going to do for bad example is the areas that are representing the tires which are an overlay, I want those tires to be as dark as possible. So, what I'm going to do is actually manually make those full CMYK. So, when these things overlay, and this is going to be weird because I'm going to show the red on top. But you can see when the red goes over, it's very dark still around here but it's semi-dark around the car. This is definitely something that you can decide along the way. But for now, we're just going to move through and make this a black and white file. So, we have our sky. I'm going to go in and make the teal. It's the same fill color, excuse me, where else not just using the sky. I'm going to go ahead and make that the black. Any gradients like those black. It's a very over repetitive process because you know we've been through this before when we separated the whole thing and made everything teal but the reason we kept it teal was so we could trap because we can't trap with two black files. So, you're doing what you've already done before. Let's just be honest, this is probably the least fun part of design but it's necessary. I'm going pretty quick with this because I've got my technique down. But feel free to go at your own pace. So, this area is actually using inner glow and I can't just exactly click it and make it dark. So, I have to go back into the setting to make this black and that changes. Same thing with tires here. Go in, change that teal. Okay. It should be in a good place. So, now we have the teal layer completely grayscaled out. The darkest parts of teal are the darkest blacks, the lightest are lightest blacks. But essentially, we have the full spectrum here. All right. So now, what we're going to do is go ahead and save this as its own PDF. I'm going to go ahead and make another folder called seps. I'm going to call this San Francisco seps teal. So, we just made our own file where teal is all grayscaled out. Then what we're going to go and do is go to the red file and do exactly the same thing. So, I'm just going to power through this and change all reds to black. Again, with the areas where we want a very dark brown overlay, I'd recommend making a full CMYK color. So, on the tires, I'm taking down a consideration, dealing with any red strokes. That black, it's texture now needs to turn black, that alone will be red. There's a gradient behind it that needs to be changed and looks like there's an inner glow going on with the car. Go ahead and change that swatch to black and there is the black and white version of red. So now, go ahead and save this as a PDF representing red. So, we're going to save the same name pretty much but it's going to be underscore red. Now, that we've created two files, we're going to go ahead and delete these extra layers because it's just only making the file heavier, and save. Let's go ahead and open up our teal layer and do the same for that. One big reason why I'm doing this is because we're about to bring these files into Photoshop for halftoning, and that tends to take up a lot of memory. So, the smaller these files, the easier your job will be. So, let's go ahead and take out the red and the artwork layers in the teal file. So, we're only dealing with the layers we're about to have tone. Just a side note, when we made our textures and the reason we made them smooth is because of the halftoning process. If they were already bitmapped and we're about to halftone an already bitmapped file, you're not going to get very clean dots because your computer's, you're going to freak out and think that it's halftoning to halftone, which you don't really want. So, you want a smooth, the rastered look when it comes to your textures before you halftone. So, all of our textures are technically smooth and in a tip format and there's no bitmapping going on just quite yet. So now, we have a red file and a teal file. 18. Halftones - Part 3 of 3: So what I'm going to do is, I'm going to drag and drop the tilde PDF into Photoshop. Since this poster has a border, we're going to not worry about the actual size. But if you were doing a full bleed, you want to make sure that your artwork is 24.25 inches versus 24, so you can give it a little bit of an area for bleed and cutting. This whole poster has a border around it, so we don't have to really worry. We're going to keep the resolution here at 300. However, if you're using text and you want everything to have a vector, a very clean look, I'd recommend going as high as 720 pixels per inch. But since this is only artwork and really isn't any texts that needs to be super legible, I think it's okay for this poster in particular to be 300. So we're going to say OK, rasterizing a file usually takes the longest which is why we reduced the size of our artwork in terms of capacity as much as possible. So, we're dealing with a 55-megabyte file. If your file is, let's say 100 megabytes or 500 megabytes, this could take a while. Now that your file's been rastered and it's in Photoshop, we're ready to start halftoning. You can see that there's a transparency thing happening here. That's only because in the Illustrator file this was going back all the way to the artboard which didn't have a white box behind it. However, when we're going to have halftone, anything that's transparent is going to represent white anyway. So, what we want to do is grayscale the whole thing. It confirms that there is no color being used. With our manual technique of changing the colors, we've already accomplished that, but you don't want to go in and bring in your teal file and just grayscale it because teal doesn't represent black. It's probably going to turn into a gray or something like that. So, we want the peers teal to represent black which is why we did it manually. So now, we're going to halftone our file. Go to Bitmap, under Image Mode, Flatten layers, and our output is going to be 300 DPI. I'm going to choose halftone screen for the method. So, this is where settings become very important. Frequency is the size of the dot essentially. If we want to get a larger dot, we can say 10, for example, and this is what will happen. You can see the dots are huge. Obviously, not the detail that we're looking for. If we go to Bitmap, Halftone, 25, we got a pretty good look. Obviously, not ideal. 25 is still pretty large. Our posters are actually set at 55. Fifty five is a pretty small dot and you might want to ask your printer what they are comfortable with. Our printer is comfortable with 55, other printers are comfortable with the realm of 35, for example. The angle is the degree that the lines are going to be made, and we always start with 22.5, and the reason being is screen-printing screens actually are woven like a screen door. When things are woven, they have an angle themselves. You want to create an angle that interacts with that woven texture in an appropriate way. If you have an angle that is slightly off from that, you're going to create what we call more re-pattern, which I'll explain in a moment. So your first layer always do 22.5, that's what we recommend, and you can use round as your shape. Ellipse also works well too for halftoning. You can also use lines, or squares, or cross, or diamonds depending on what kind of artwork you want. So, for this example, we're going to do round. So, we got a pretty good high detail here. When I zoom in, you can see that all artwork that we created has dots. When I zoom in to the car, for example, and that's halftoning. For this particular poster, I'm halftoning the entire layer all at once. This is a technique that we use often. You also have the option of halftoning pieces. Let's say with the fun poster, we halftoned a shadow, but everything else is a solid fill. But since this poster's majority gradients, and overlays, and drop shadows, and enter glows, and it has a lot of different things going on, it's best just to halftone the whole thing at once. So, right now we have our separation halftone for teal. So, I'm going to go ahead and save this as a TIFF. Let's go ahead and create another folder called Tiff_subs. This is essentially what you would be giving to your printer. Now, let's go back and do the same thing for red. Go ahead and drag and drop that into Photoshop. All right. So, now we have our red layer smooth in Photoshop, ready to be halftoned. We're going to do the same exact technique, go to Grayscale, Mode, Bitmap. Same exact settings as the last one, 300 DPI, halftone screens. Now, same frequency, but the angle needs to change. What I recommend is going 30 degrees up from what you had before. So, since we started at 22.5, this layer being the second layer will be 52.5. Now, there's a very important reason why. Now, the reason why angles are so important is because we're trying to avoid creating a moire pattern. Moire patterns happen when two intersecting patterns create a third pattern that isn't wanted. So, you can see with all these examples, I recommend looking up moire pattern yourself, a lot of things can happen when two screens or two angles intersect. So, a good example would be, this right here. We have two dark patterns. One's at a slightly different angle, and then it creates a whole different type of pattern that really is unexpected. So, in order to avoid this in the screen-printing world, we choose specific angles. Using 30-degree increments actually avoids it nicely so they make a perfect circle together. So, what we're going to do with our layer is instead of 22.5, we're going to go 52.5. Press OK, and now we have it halftone, just like the first one, same settings, different angle. So essentially, you're now done. Go ahead and save this as a TIFF. We're going to Tiff_subs, I'm going to call it subs_red. Now, as one last final step, what we're going to do, is we're going to go ahead and open up Illustrator again. We're going to drop these things in and test them. So, once you create an artboard that is the same size as your poster in the new Illustrator file, what we want to do is copy and paste the swatches so we can match our colors. We're going to go ahead and place the Tiffs that we just created. So I'm going to go ahead and place teal. Since it's a bitmap TIFF, we can actually change its color. So right now it's black, I'm going to change it to teal. I'm going to go and place red. You want to make sure that your layers are aligned, which you can do here. Click on red. Since it's black right now, we're going to actually change this color to red. Remember, that red is going to be a transparent ink so you can go ahead and make this multiplied. You can see how it interacts with the teal behind it, just like we planned. Now, the last step that we want, is we want to include our paper color. So, go ahead and create an 18 by 24 sheet of paper. We're going to change it to its color and move that all the way in the back. So, that is essentially our poster, all tested out. We can see that we're dealing with all these halftones beautifully. It does look a little bit bitmappy right now and grainy and that's just because this version of Illustrator doesn't raster things on screen. So, what we're going to do is we're going to export it as a test file, subs_test. Go ahead and export it at a high DPI if you want. I'm going to do medium because it takes a little while. Art optimized, you're okay. Now, if you go ahead and check out your test file, you'll see that it looks exactly like we planned. We have a two-color screen printed poster, transparent red ink over teal, and we're getting a lot of dimension with just two inks. It's because we halftoned a good portion of the whole thing, each layer. So, you can really get a lot from very little ink and this is why halftoning is such a great thing. 19. Pro Tip - Bitmap for Predictable Results: The mapping is the process of making a layer either black or white. In bin mapping, there's no anti-aliasing, which means smoothing of lines to create more I guess smooth outlook to the to the graphic and bin mapping helps in screen printing because that's compatible with the way that screens are burned and exposed. It's either going to be a black line or a white line or black shape or white shape and if you have anti-aliasing going on in your file, it's going to create an unknown and you won't know whether or not that portion is going to burn or not. So, it really helps to have sort of a guarantee upfront that this line is black or this piece of type is black or this circle is white what not and that will help burn cleanly and most effectively. 20. Pro Tip - Halftone Considerations : Halftones allow the design to show multiple levels of value from one color. What designers should know is that they vary in terms of what your printer can or cannot print. Different printers have different variances as far as what they can allow us in terms of dot size. Halftones come in different angles, so generally, your printer will know what to do as far as the angle we're concerned, but if you need to design with different angles, all you need to know is that they should be different so that they don't create what's called a Moire pattern because that can be sort of like a dizzying effect that's not wanted in printing. Moire pattern happens when you don't create the proper angles for each screen. What that does is it creates sort of a net pattern or it creates a pattern that's not pleasing to the eye. Generally, what you want is called a rosette pattern and that's sort of a more pleasing pattern that's created with each screen having a different angle so the colors can overlap each other properly. 21. Explore Design on Skillshare: way.