This topic of index separations is like beating a dead horse, but I know there are some out there who know how to do this on flatstock (Dan @ Crosshair)...so I have been messing with it recently instead of halftones which just don't have the look that I have seen Dan achieve or D&L. So my first attempt is crap, I keep having my ink dry in after like two pulls (just switched from tz to photocure pro used an exposure calculator to get my time, but this stuff will expose in a huge window so its hard to pinpoint a dead on time), I have been wiping down the screen w/tw-034 screen cleaner 20% to 80% water before adding ink and using thick floods to try and get the detail back but it will only print the first print in full detail then begin to clog (my ink has been thinned and I'm using a retarder)....I guess thats a whole other issue that I will need to figure out, but my real question is how are you guys that know how to do this well sepping it out? Obviously index does not trap, so are you combining channels to make fill layers in between detail colors and printing semi transparent inks or what? The ink mixing is not a problem for me I can hit that dead on, but doing the straight forward method of index separation for me is leaving huge gaps in between colors especially since I am experiencing a huge loss in detail from clogs/ink drying in. I'm indexing @ 200ppi on 230 mesh (my screens probably need restretched) and using a medley of inks TW,Permaprint,Speedball...seriously a process on index seps for flatstock images would be the tits, that I would pay for. Thanks
Do this. Walk away from the computer. Take an oil painting class, preferably from someone who really knows how to build a painting. Learn to do that. Learn how to put colors down in an order and see what happens when they interact. Then come back to Photoshop and use what you know about index seps with the knowledge you gained from painting. Don't over think the technical shit. Rookie mistake.
For reals. Every image is different. There's no set answer. No one can teach you how to approach an image. It comes from experience. A great separator is an artist in his own right.
I completely understand what you are saying, in that case it would seem like separating the image much like you would for simulated process or using multichannel and subtracting and adding to different channels till you have a good overlap of colors to achieve the final result then to output using bitmap>diffusion dither for stochastic dots instead of halftones?
I figured as much after the fact, I think printing by hand maybe limiting my ability to print such a fine dither dot 200ppi...I have printed 45 ppi halftones by hand fine, but have never tried smaller as I figured 45 ppi halftones by hand might be the max w/out incurring massive dot gain/fallout
You're trying to do too many new and challenging things at once.
Like Goodtimes said, lay the full index sep and dots aside for now.
See if you can make a print with solid areas of color. Maybe 4 inks. See if you can use overlays and transparency to get 8+ colors out of that. Think about underbases and trapping, and how to anticipate and compensate for misregiateation and dot gain/loss. Approach it as a puzzle: how to get from A to B with the minimum number of inks for maximum effect. Then you'll be getting somewhere. Photo realism can wait.
FTR- I don't do index seps, and I don't know how to do index seps. I've never even used channels in PS.
Thanks so much for chiming in Dan, major fan of your work, I believe you are right I am charting in to very technical area quickly. And your process threads I just looked at are great, and helped me understand your seps much better, seems like a lot more play with color range, levels, and threshold to get good seps like that.