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Utility Channels in Photoshop

Using utility channels in Photoshop while creating color separations is something I do every single time I sep. We use utility channels to help us get more control over our separations.

Doing this isn’t something you can do. It’s something that you should do. I do it on every separation I create and so should you.

Let me show you what I’m talking about.

Photoshop Color Separations Tips – Utility Channels

Watch this video on YouTube.

Utility Channels In Photoshop Shortcut Keys

  • Cmd+click thumbnail = make selection of layer, channel, or path
  • Cmd+D = deselect
  • Cmd+Shift+I = invert current selection
  • Cmd+backspace = fill with background color
  • Option+backspace = fill with foreground color
  • Shift+click in Color Range dialogue box = add to selection
  • E to get your eraser
  • B to get your brush
  • D to reset foreground/background colors to 100% black or 100% white
  • X toggle foreground/background colors

Keep in mind that this is a process and we build upon our channels, step by step. There’s no magic wand in Photoshop that’s going to give you exactly what you need.

A lesson from my past

I played around with airbrushing for a bit when I was a kid. I was frustrated with the amount of time that was spent masking off areas, removing the masks, and re-masking over and over again.

A really poorly airbrushed hockey helmet was the eventual result. (Sorry Jason!) But, I learned that much of the time spent airbrushing was spent making masks.

The same is true here.

Much of the time we spend on a file isn’t going to be on simply pulling color. We spend a portion of our time on creating ways to better pull color from an image.

What are your utility channels?

Have your own method of using channels to help separate images? Share them with us in the comments section! It’s always appreciated.

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Utility Channels in Photoshop – Rising Sun Graphics
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Utility Channels in Photoshop – Rising Sun Graphics
Description
Using utility channels in Photoshop can greatly help you gain control over your images, especially when creating color separations for screen printing.
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Rising Sun Graphics
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  1. Pingback: How Would You Sep This? Learn the Methods of a Pro Separator – RSG

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