Tutorial about coloring and halftoning

posted by kharmazero • 7 years ago

Some of you have asked how i made the coloring on my last sub , a room with view from asteroid b612

so here it is
First of all you need to have your precise line work done.Close your lines, it is important.This one is a wacom drawing, i used for the kid a beach photo of my nephew, he had the perfect pose.The sol is a photo turned to black and white , using levels to simplify it and get rid of unecessary details+some splahes.The leaves are real ones i scanned then turned to brushes, as i can use it easyly.Clouds are photos also turned to brushes.Better to have all your elements on separate layers.Name your layers if you don’t want to be lost.
Skin coloring :,
1 -create new layer,low down the opacity to 50 %,pick up your brush tool, select a large brush with fading, choose black color and go paint for the first shade.You can work largely, and use the eraser if needed.In the case i erased with some splatters to get something interesting and easy to handle
2 -create new layer,low down opacity to 50% and do the same than above for the second shading..
3 – create new layer, select all around the kid , invert selection,fill in black( this is the white background for the kids it will be needed in illustrator.blind the layer for easy work.
So now with these 2 shading layers + the white in background and the line work coming up, we got something near of a dawn light.
Clouds halftoning: create new black and white document,, pick up your cloud brush,put your cloud onto the layer.Go to mode/bitmap/select halftone mode,(about definition i go from 75 dpi to 300 , just mess around with settings to get what you like,but in this case chosse 300),validate,then choose the lpi ( i go from10 to 150, this will give the size of dots, in this case choose 75), set the angle to 45 ( don’t ask me why), choose the kind of halftones(round) ,validate.Switch the document mode from bitmap to grey scale then ,drag it to your original.
Do this for all elements that will be halftoned.
here’s a view of my picture with all layers except the big rainy cloud that i made on another document cause it was easier to handle.

There are other ways to create halftones on photoshop via the pixellate filter.and the aestethic filter has a sub level for haltoning to.
Just test things and mess around to find your way, it is fun, and doors will open.

i learned a lot with these Jimiyo’s tutorials.

With this Walmazan tutorial

With this Odyssey Rock tutorial

Normally i could finish it on photoshop, or do the coloring as explained in the tutorials above, but it would be too simple.Nah, i did this design something like 6 months ago and it was a way to learn how to use illustrator.
Okay, let’s say, all your layers are ready, named and separated .Put back the opacity to 100 % for all layers.save your file as a psd.Close photoshop, open illustrator.Create a new document ,cmjn, 300 dpi.
import your photoshop file, click option import all layers as objects.
Select an object, go to vectorize options,choose one of the preset options, there are some,click on delete the white(very very important).I messed around a long time on vectorisation options , to find out what was fitting with my kind of works so no secret recipe sorry.Not using the same options when vectorizing a line work or a monoprint texture.Be careful about working too finely.
When done ,decompose, and choose a plain pantone color.
Do the same for all your layers.
Then create one layer by color and drag the objects to each layer.
Normally before that you should use the pahfinder to cut some unecessary shapes ,in order to prepare the file for printing, but i skipped this stage in the tuto .
I simplified the tuto a lot, but it was longer and harder to achieve than explained, cause i messed around to find the good settings for halftoning but it was nice to spend some time on it.

Hope this will be helpfull, and clear enough, apologies for the approximative technical english

7 Replies

DBHstaff DBHstaff Staff: Staff from California, United States

Nice resource.

asher2789 asher2789 Artist from United States

you should really do the halftones at the DPI you are working in – which for anything print related should be 300 DPI. it just so happens that t shirts are printed at around 150 DPI due to the screen mesh size being from about 130-150 – any more on the DPI it wont show up because the holes in the screen are too big. however, working at 300 is kind of like an insurance in case something needs to be enlarged – if you bring the file down to 150 DPI the MB stays the same but the physical print size increases.

also – to change the size of the dots you need to change the frequency number. for tshirts i normally do 30 or less – the dots wont come up if they are too frequent, again due to the size of the mesh. if you want the dots to be fairly invisible to the eye, you can go up to about 50-55 without an issue. id ask DBH though about that – professional printers can use higher mesh count screens than your average hand screened print. also, be careful with the angle – if youre planning on doing simulated process, the angles are important – id post them but i dont remember them offhand.

when in doubt… dont halftone the image. the printers can do it, and theyll probably do it better than most people who dont have the technical knowledge. also, one of these days im gonna upload the halftoning and process printing guide i was given when i started screenprinting – its super helpful!

Ingkong Ingkong Artist from Philippines


carbine carbine Artist from CP, Indonesia

Awesome tutor! thanks ;)

frogafro frogafro Artist from Cebu, Philippines

THANK YOU SO MUCH KHARAMZERO! this is really helpful!! keep up the good work! :D

kharmazero kharmazero Artist from France

you’re welcome ,-))
@ asher yes i’m aware of what you’re speaking about, but sometimes i do i low def bitmap halftoning, then drag it to my 300 dpi document and resize it, to get big dots, i made that way for my roboxer and the effect is nice.To say the truth i don’t work anymore like i explained in the post, i ‘m experimenting some other processes.But please upload the screen printer guide you’ve got.

AgostoFilipino AgostoFilipino Artist from Manila, Philippines

great tutorial..thanks for sharing pal!

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