Wilflex EasyArt

Index Separations (square dots)

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Files needed for this tutorial >>>>>
Voyage Image file - EasyArt color palette
  click above to download, select save this file to disk

Index printing is similar to simulated process in that you force your image to be converted to a selected or predetermined number of colors that can then be separated. Instead of using halftone dots, index uses a random (dithered) pattern of square dots of equal size to create tonal range, similar to that used by InkJet printers.

For this tutorial you will force the Voyage image to convert to the EasyArt color palette. This makes screen printing a breeze because you can print with the standard EasyArt ink colors, so there is no color matching.
For the best reproduction of this image we will separate it into 9 colors including a white base and black. Index prints always look better the more colors you can print

Note: This tutorial uses the EasyArt color Palette to make printing easier but the most accurate index separations will be acheived by creating your own color palette and mixing your own inks to match each different image.


Before you index this image first create the white underbase so that this design will print onto any colored shirt.
To create the white underbase, go to the blue EasyArt buttons and click on "Alternate White Base" a message will pop up saying "Your image must already have been separated" just ignore this and click continue. Ignore the next message as well and click stop to finish.
Next go to the channels list and select the blue channel and drag it down to the small bin icon to delete it. Do this also with the cyan and magenta channels so that you are now left with only the "White Underbase" channel.
Next go to the menu bar at the top of your screen and click "Image > Mode > Bitmap", in the bitmap window that appears "Resolution Output" should be the same as "Input", in this case 150 pixels/inch, "Method" select "Diffusion Dither" then click OK. Now go back to the menu bar at the top of your screen and click "Image > Mode > Grayscale" in the Size Ratio window that appears check that the ratio is 1 then click OK to continue.
That's the white base finished, save to your hard drive and call it "white base" and close.
Open the original color RGB Voyage image. Now convert this to an indexed image.
Go to the menu bar at the top of your screen and click "Image > Mode > Indexed Color". In the "Indexed Color" window that appears click "Load" navigate your way to the "EasyArt.ACT" (that's the EasyArt color palette) file that you downloaded with the image file,
select it and click "Load". This will load the EasyArt RGB colors that match the EasyArt color ink range.
Including Black and White the EasyArt palette contains 16 different colors. Obviously you don't want to use all of these, so to reduce the number of colors click on the brown box (9 from left) and in the "Color Picker" window that appears type R=0 G=0 B=0 in the RGB boxes and click OK. Next click on the gray box (10 from left) keep the next light flesh color then change all of the rest to black.
Including Black and White this will leave only 9 colors which is all you will need for this image.
You will select and remove different colors on different images depending what colors are predominant in the image and how many colors you want to print for the job.
Press OK to continue. Back in the "Indexed Color" window select "Dither Diffusion" for options and "Color Matching  = Best", then click OK to continue.
The image is now converted to an 8 color square dot print and will display very badly on your monitor. Go to the menu bar at the top of screen and click "Image > Mode > RGB Color". The image won't change at all but will appear much better on your monitor (if you zoom in very close to the image 300% you can see that it is made up of tiny square dots)
To separate, zoom into a portion of the image (somewhere in the middle) and go to the EasyArt blue buttons and click on "Spot Color Separation" this routine will allow you to individually select each of the 9 colors in the image and will automatically create a channel for that color. Click "Continue" for the first message that appears and in the "Color Range" window that appears use the "Eyedropper" tool to select the yellow area. You will know when you have select a color correctly as that color will appear in the foreground box in your tools list.
In the "Color Range" window move the fuzziness slider to "0" (zero) and click OK
In the "new Spot Channel" window that appears type in "Yellow" then click on the color box and in the "Color Picker" window that appears type in R = 255 G = 246 B = 0 in the RGB boxes, then click OK.
Back in the "New Spot Channel" window set "Solidity" to 20% and click OK. You must do this for each of the 9colors in the image including the Black and White.
The RGB and Solidity values for each color are as follows.
Light Blue
Dark Blue
Light Flesh

When you have done each of these colors and the message window asks you if you want to add another color click "Stop".
Now go to the channels list and you will see the separated image. Save this to your hard drive and call it "separated Voyage"

If you are printing onto a white shirt that is all you have to do, for printing onto assorted colored shirts you will need to add the "White base" created earlier.

Open The "white Base" image you saved earlier and select "All" and "Copy" (Edit > Copy)
Select the separated image and go to the channels list. Click on the small arrow head in the top right hand corner scroll down and click "New Spot Channel" type "White Base" color set to white and solidity 80%. Now paste in the white base previously copied (Edit > Paste). While holding down the mouse button drag this new "White Base" channel up the list so that it sits between the "Shirt Color" and "Yellow" channels and deselect.

Note:  Because Index separated images are low resolution you may want to add additional text and graphics in a different program like Illustrator or Corel Draw. You must follow specific guidelines to do this. You can find instructions on how to load your EasyArt separated images into Illustrator or Corel draw on our Tutorials page.

Printing out film
The image has been converted to square dots so there is no need for halftone screens so you can print each channel out directly from Photoshop using any output printer you have including DeskJet printers, just make sure you print out at the best quality your printer can produce.

Screen Mesh
The image has been converted to a very small square dot so you will have to use a fine mesh on your screens approx: 305(in) 120(cm)

Important Note:
The size of the square dot your image is converted to is determined by the resolution of your image before you convert to index. The Voyage image is 150 pixels/inch if you want more detail and a finer dot you can increase the resolution up to 200 dpi before you convert to index, but remember a smaller square dot is more difficult to print.

Screen Printing
Because the image was converted to the Wilflex EasyArt range of colors there is no need for mixing any special colors just use the Wilflex EasyArt standard ink colors straight out of the pot.