With the right techniques, you can produce digital proofs that even your most demanding customers will accept – and you can even automate the procedure.
In order for the script to work properly, it’s important to always label the channels the same way so the steps will follow the same progression. In the example file, I labeled the first channel after the RGB image channels as “shirt.” Then I labeled them “underbase,” “color 1,” “color 2,” and so on. (See Figure 2.) Any deviation from the names you’ve chosen will mean that step in the process is unlikely to work properly. The Photoshop action dialog records specific channel names in each step before applying commands to them, so make sure you always name the channels correctly. If necessary, you can rename the channels later to add clarity before outputting the files.
It’s also important to make sure that each separation channel has the proper spot color selected in the Channel Options menu with the correct opacity in order to simulate the blending of inks as they are printed. I like to set the underbase channel at about 90 percent. For the top overprinted colors, five to ten percent seems to work well. Some printers like to use PMS spot colors as the channel colors; others prefer to use the Color Picker menu to select a spot color that appears closest to the inks they are using. Either of these approaches will work. The main thing is to be sure you use the “spot color” option.
After you’ve converted the channels into spot colors, be sure you check “spot colors” in the Save Options menu before saving the file. Photoshop will give you a warning if you forget to check this box, but if you proceed to save the file anyway, you will lose your separation channels!
Record a Practice Action Script
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