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Learn about creating Spot Varnish in this Adobe CS3 Print Workflow training video series.
Tags:adobe,adobe photoshop cs3 extended,adobe photshop,create,print workflow,spot varnish,total training
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Now we are going to look at creating a spot varnish, now is a little bit different because there isn't a Pantone swatch for varnish; varnish is sort of an arbitrary plate that you are going to create that's going to be used in the printing process as an area of, sort of, shiny silhouette to make these lips look even more dramatic.
We are going to start the same way we did with the Red O32 channel. Go to the Panel Menu choose New Spot Channel again, but this time we are going to name it manually. So you can just name it spot varnish and since you are, kind of, making this from scratch, what you name is doesn't really matter, you just have to make sure that, that name carried through when you get in to your InDesign page and that your print service provider knows that you want print a spot varnish.
Click on the little color block and because you are not really picking an ink, you are really making something arbitrary to represent something that's going to be clear and shiny, you could pick any color you wanted. So what you might do, this is what we traditionally did in prepress was make a really ugly bright green, so it was pretty obvious that this wasn't a printing ink.
I am going to choose the blue, the b here in my picker. I am going to roll up to that vibrant green area at the upper left and click OK. Now keep in mind, this isn't going to print green. All we are doing is giving ourselves a visual representation of something that's clear; kind of a tricky thing to do.
When I click OK, I now have a blank spot channel. So I need to populate this with something. We are going to start very much like we did with the Red O32 channel. Click on the name Magenta, that selects the Magenta channel, go up to Select All of you could use Ctrl+A on Windows, Command+A on the Mac, we have crawling ants again and then we are going to copy this to the clipboard, Edit>Copy or Ctrl+C or Command+C. Click on the name spot varnish to target that channel and paste; Edit>Paste or the handy usual keyboard shortcuts Ctrl+V or Command+V on the Mac.
Turn off the eyeball by the composite channel CMYK, turn off the eyeball by the red and then it won't be quite so ugly. Where we see black in this channel is going to correspond to where a shiny, clear varnish is going to be printed. So we probably don't want it on the teeth, we want it just in the area of the lips. So one thing we can do is pump up the weight of the pixels in the lips. One easy way to do this is with levels. If you go up to Image>Adjustments and choose Levels or you could use Ctrl+L on Windows or Command+L on the Mac and this is what's called a histogram, which is, kind of, a scary technical name, but if you want to think of it as a landmass that may make it a little bit easier. It's really just sort of a map that is showing you the distribution of pixels in the document. Towards the left, it's showing you how many dark pixels you have. As you go toward the right end, how many light pixels you have.
We are going to drag the little black slider and you will see as I drag that the lips get heavier. I am going to move the panel out of the way here so we can see what's going on. I could lighten up the area of the teeth a little bit by pulling back on the white slider. But almost always when you create something like this you can get a head start by using levels or curves or other manipulation methods but you are almost always going to have to do some hand work.
So I am going to make the lips as heavy as possible, then I am going to click OK. It's helpful to know where we are headed with this. Ultimately, what we want is a solid black area corresponding to the red lips and we want an open space around and an open space where the teeth are.
It's really helpful if you can use the image as, sort of, a tracing method. If you'll click on the eyeball by CMYK, then you can see where the teeth are, you can see where the lips end. You can use Lasso tool to clean out that area where the teeth are.
First deselect, go up to Select and choose Deselect, then select the Lasso tool, and draw around the area that you want to get rid of. Here's some good news, when you are creating a varnish, you don't have to be very exact because it's going to be something clear, you are not going to have any color to betray any little sloppiness you might have had while you were drawing around here trying to clean things out.
So I am taking a pretty easy run around the interior of these lips. Once I have it selected, because my background color is white, I can just hit my Delete or Backspace key to delete the contents there and you see I have a little sloppiness there but as I said, you really don't have to worry about it.
Good habit in Photoshop when you are through doing something that involves a selection, it's a good idea to deselect. Go back up to Select, choose Deselect or use Ctrl+D on Windows or Command+D on the Mac.
Let's take a look at this plate by itself. Turn off the eyeball by CMYK and remember our ultimate goal is to have a solid lip shaped area that's going to correspond to the shiny spot varnish that's going to print. We can use the Lasso tool and here's a little trick, when you are using a Lasso tool that can, kind of, get away from you. Anytime I use the Lasso tool, I always hold down Alt on Windows or Option on the Mac and that allows me to remove my hand from the mouse and to just click around, sort of a connect the dots fashion and it's much easier than trying to hold on to your mouse for dear life when you are drawing around complex shapes.
So the goal here is to get rid of any of the little white open spaces and fill them with black. Right now black is my background color, I could hit Delete or Backspace, I am going to start on another selection, remember to hold down Alt on Windows or Option on Mac and it makes that Lasso so much easier to use and I am just following the edges here, trying to get rid of all the little gaps inside because I want this to be nice, solid, smooth varnish plate.
Again, I am going to hit Delete because black is my background color. I need to clean up one little area. I am going to choose Select and Deselect, then I am going to get my Zoom Tool at the bottom of the Tool Panel and I am going to click-and-drag a marquee so that I can isolate this area for painting.
Of course, my Channels Panel is in the way, I am just going to grab it by its top edge and move it out of the way. I am going to select the Lasso Tool and try to catch the last of these little messy bits, and again, you are drawing something that's going to be printed in clear, shiny stuff so you don't have to really agonize over it. You want to make it nice, but you don't want to go crazy doing it. Again, background color is black; all I have to do is hit Delete. I have a few more little guys over here to get rid of, and of course, what you are seeing on your screen is probably a little bit different, but our goals are the same; you want to have black, solid area where the lips are, nice, clean background. Good habit, go back up to Select and Deselect.
I am going to clean up my workspace now by going up to Window>Workspace and I am going to choose the Default Workspace. I am going to go back to View and see this in full screen mode. So I am just going to choose View>Fit on Screen, looks really odd now but remember that the black that you see here in this channel represents a solid varnish area that's going to print.
If you go back to your Channels Panel, click on the name CMYK, the lips still look the same. If you want to click on the eyeball by the spot color pantone red plate, you can see where that's going to fall in. Of course, what you are seeing on the screen is an approximation and then the spot varnish is going to look really weird, but remember it's not going to print in green, it's going to print in clear, we just need the green to show us where it falls.
We are going to save this because we saved it a few minutes ago, but now we have added that spot varnish. So you can just choose Ctrl+S on Windows, Command+S on the Mac or you can go up to File>Save.
Alright, we are finished with this little project. So we have saved the fi