Spot Process Separation Studio is the latest version of the industries FIRST, MOST ACCURATE and EASIEST TO USE tonal image, color separation software designed for screen-printers by screen-printers. Making fast and easy work of high-end, raster/tonal image color separating revolutionized the industry in 1995 when Freehand Graphics, Inc. released Spot Process the Photoshop Plug- In. It has been widely accepted and proven as the best color separation engine and the company has been

recognized as delivering the best technical support to its users. From Freehand’s first software release in 1995 (plug-in) to this NEW version (stand al application), user’s have been provided free, fully-functional trials as well as free technical support. Not every company can do this or is willing to. You have made the best choice in soft- ware and in the company that develops and supports it. Please enjoy the software and we wish you great business success.


What’s New!

Besides just about everything...Separation Studio is still driven by the acclaimed color algorithm that is Spot Process - resulting in the finest quality separations and press workflow available today. NOW, it’s surrounded by powerful tools and turbo charged redraw engine.

Separate Files with Transparent Backgrounds! Wow, now create only master file and use that to create all your separations including the black channel.
Instant Screen Redraw! Variety of Editing Tools!
Lots of editing tools and selection tools so you can
control every part of your image individually.

New dark interface eases eye strain!
Expand your Separation Studio user interface to full
screen and work with eye calming colored windows and menus.

Create and control your own textile, background and ink color sets!
Open and work on multiple files! Ink and film views!
These views help the artist and production team make
exact edits and decisions.

Multiple Window Views!
These views allow you to open the same Channel as see
it 3 different ways - full color, just that Channel in its color an just that Channel in black and white film view. Backgrounds can even be eliminated to view Channels on transparent backgrounds.

Channel Properties Window!
This Window allows the user to change everything from
the channel name and color to press position in easy window.

Dock-able and Lock-able Windows!
This allows you to customize your workspace.

Independent Background Layer!
Having an independent background layer (not saved as
a spot color) means you will not accidently print this Channel to film or have to manage it in your graphics program. No longer imported into the color palette as a useable spot color value.

NEW single file workflow!

Photoshop users can greatly reduce their workflow by creating a single file that will do all the separations for any print situation. Separation Studio now handles the background as an independent function within the pro- gram giving it control over transparent properties.

1. Create a TIF ( layered file) with a transparent back- ground. When saving select "transparency" in the TIF options window (see pages 31 and 32).

2. Now you can use this file to create your initial set of separations used for printing on a black garment and the same file to generate the black channel used to print on white and colored garments (just as you presently use a cropped image).

Easy, fast and a great workflow enhancement!

FREE Videos online for Separation Studio and much more!

Link to Separation Studio Specific Videos:

Our Video Café is loaded with instructional and informational videos about this software and much more. ENJOY!

Valuable Technical Support Data and Videos are available on our web site: www.softwareforscreenprinters.com

Table of Contents

Installation (Trials and Purchasers) 4
Resources 5
New Version Info 6
Separation Studio Menu 8
Edit Menu 9
Channels Menu 13
Proof Positive Menu 17
Generate Black Menu 17
View Menu 19
Window Menu 20
Drag, Zoom, Lasso, Polygon Lasso, Select, Saturate, Desaturate, Eraser
Active Channels, Channels, Densitometer Window, . . Ground Select, Standard Window, Tools, Tool Settings
VueRite Channels 25
Proof Positive 25
Channels 25
Open and Save Files 26
Best Advice 27

WORK FLOW Reference 28
File Preparation • Pre-Press
ARRK File Preparation (pre-separation) . . . 29 Image Resolution/Quality, File Tip, File Format, Cropped Images, Non-Cropped Images, Transparency
Different Printing Scenarios 30
Transparent Backgrounds NEW 31
Separation Overview 34
Color Adjustments & Edits 37
FILE OUTPUT Instructions
CorelDRAW X5 40
Adobe Illustrator 46
Quark XPress / InDesign 50
Photoshop 50
Halft Screen Angles 51
Halft Spot Shape 52
Pre-Press: Screens 52
Pre-Press: Mesh Counts 53
On-Press: Screen Printing Ink 54
On-Press: Dropping/Adding Color 55
On-Press: Print Order / Position 55
Contact / Request Tech Support 55

INSTALLATION of Spot Process Separation Studio

1. Download the Trial Installer from www.softwareforscreenprinters.com
2. Run the Installer and Register the trial as prompted.

1. Attach the hardware USB Key (dongle) to a working USB port on your computer. Avoid attaching to a USB hub. The light on the USB Key will NOT be a steady green. It will display the green light when it is called to by the software - this is not a power light. These new style USB dongles do
not require any drivers - similar to a USB memory stick - but the device will not mount or
appear on your computer.
2. Run the Separation Studio Installer provided on the CD or downloaded. If asked to replace a previous installation allow the replacement.
3. Launch Separation Studio (Applications or Programs folder). You will be prompted with a screen that says it found a USB dongle and the dongle must be activated/registered before use.
4. If you have a previous user account then use that account info and click the “login”button. If that fails to login or you are a NEW user, create a new account and click the “login”button. A user may need to get the latest version if there was a previous install. These “updates”are free.
5. A window will appear telling you that your dongle has been ACTIVATED to run the Spot Process Separation Studio software.
6. Click the “Run Program”button and begin using Separation Studio.

Your dongle is the most important part of the software and should be cared for properly. Lost or damaged dongles can be replaced - contact Freehand for replacement costs. Terms of Agreement are provided at software installation.

Read the Manual and visit the web site for any additional documentation or videos so you can get the #nest results possible. Expect great results!

INSTALLATION Troubleshooting
Help for common installation questions are at:
-option to submit a Rapid Response Support Request -or- review our KNOWLEDGEBASE

Email: [email protected]


This manual is a great resource for learning about Separation Studio. As of the industries greatest software solutions with an easy User Interface you should expect GREAT RESULTS!

Part of the process of high-end color separating with Spot Process Separation Studio involves #le preparation and #lm output. Understanding how to build a quality #le will result in better looking prints. Understanding all the great features of the graphics applications you will output your #les from will make this process easy and predictable. We encourage you to learn all you can about your vector (Illustration) and raster (Photoshop / Painter) programs.

Your best resource is FREE...

Visit www.softwareforscreenprinterstech.com
Knowledgebase and Video Café

For assistance from a technician kindly submit a request for assistance through the RAPID RESPONSE SYS- TEM also located at www.softwareforscreenprinterstech.com

Spot Process Separation Studio User Interface.

Users of Spot Process VueRite will immediately see the added value of this NEW version release!
The added advanced editing tools and features included within the Spot Process Separation Studio Software (stand al application) gives the user even greater power to get the best image reproduction results without leaving the application and with greater speed than ever before!

Videos and Tech Support are available at: www.softwareforscreenprinterstech.com



Open File Close File Save File

Drag Zoom Lasso Polygon Select Saturation


Spot Process Separation Studio User Interface.

Descriptions of each Tool and Software feature of Spot Process Separation Studio are provided throughout this User Manual as well as in the software by way of convenient, pop up tool description windows.

Separation Studio Menu:
(A Macintosh ONLY Menu) (Windows users will locate these features under the File and Help Menus)

About Menu
Displays the software version number.

Allows you to default the program to view color Channels in INK VIEW (color) or FILM VIEW (black and white). It also allows you to change the “Undo Limit”which is the amount of undo’s allowable.

Quits the Separation Studio Application.

Additional items for Macintosh users located under the Separation Studio Menu are “Services” and “Hide/Show All”.

File Menu:

Open / Close Window / Close Documents / Close All Documents
Open and Close #les and documents. When opening a #le for the 0rst time Separation Studio will
color separate the #le.

Save / Save As
Save a File or Save a copy of the File under a different name.

Save Color Proof / Color Proof Page Setup / Print Color Proofs
Save a high-quality composite of your separated #le for use in a presentation or print it directly from Separation Studio.

Windows users will also 0nd QUIT under the File Menu.

Edit Menu:

Change Ground Color
Allows you to change the background color on-screen to simulate print results on press or when saving/printing color proofs. Custom makes a new temporary color. To Save a color use EDIT TEX- TILE/GROUND COLOR located under the EDIT Menu.

IMPORTANT: For the best on-screen color adjustment control it is advised to use BLACK as a background as often as possible. Changing background colors is great for printing color proofs and on-screen presentations, but using a black background gives the best on-screen, color saturation preview, regardless of the color garment to be printed on.

Important Note: Adjustments made to a BLACK background will reproduce properly on all color garments on press. The lighter and brighter the background becomes on-screen the more it effects the "visual" values of the color data but not the "actual" values (density) which is why you have a Channel Data Densitometer. Black prevents ambient light from surrounding the pixels and altering your perception of the color value. A density percentage does not change upon print out regardless of the background color.

To deselect any selected area (i.e. lasso, polygon or area selection).

Inverse Selection
Inverts or Reverses the controlled area. (Command/Shift i) (Control/Shift i)

Deletes (removes/clears) data within a selected area.

Edit Menu: (continued)

Edit Ink (see image A below)
Create and modify ink sets. By default all Separation Studio (Spot Process) colors are listed with a Manufacturer name of “Freehand”and a Series name of “Factory”. Using the plus (+) and minus (-) buttons you can create, edit and remove custom ink sets using data you receive from your ink manufacturers.

IMPORTANT: It is strongly suggested to use the Standard colors of Spot Process as often as possible in order to best control print results. This is a proven set of colors (RGB based) - just as CMYK has a standard set of colors.

Additional instructions on the next page after Textile Sets under‚“HOW TO SECTION”.

Image A

Edit Textiles \ Ground Colors (see image B on the next page)
Create and modify textile sets. By default only Black and White colors are listed with a manufacturer name of “Freehand”and a “Series”name of Factory. Using the plus (+) and minus (-) buttons you can create, edit and remove custom ink sets using data received from your Textile manufacturer.

Edit Menu: (continued)

IMPORTANT:: It is strongly suggested to use the Black GROUND as often as possible to get the best visual on-screen control.

Create custom Textile sets using color values measured and supplied by Textile manufacturers. This prevents you from making colors that are unrealistically bright on screen.

Click the‚“More”button to add #ltering options to sort through multiple manufacturer color sets Click (+) to add new colors.
Click (-) to remove colors.
Click (Edit) to edit an existing color.

Here you can change names, edit color, create or add to manufacturer colors, create a series within a manufacturer or simply add helpful notes for future reference.

Image B

Edit Menu: (continued)

Ink Mapping
Allows you to assign stock or custom inks to the programs default startup ink set. A very advanced user tool. It is strongly advised to stick to the standard and proven Spot Process ink color set and not to alter these colors unless you have a very speci#c need and tested the results that altering these colors can cause..

Ink mapping can be used to customize Separation Studio to use a different color or set of colors when Spot Process separates an image. Since Spot Process uses a speci#c set of RGB value colors to reproduce images (just like CMYK has a standard set). It is strongly advised that you DO NOT alter this default.

By default all Spot Process colors are listed with a Manufacturer name of “Freehand”and a Series name of “Factory”. Using the plus (+) and minus (-) buttons you can create, edit and remove custom ink sets based on data you receive from your ink manufacturer or mixing system.

Select a color from the Manufacturers list to the left of this window then click the "double arrow" to the left of colors listed to the right of this window under Ink Map. This will apply the new color to that Channel each time Spot Process separates an image. Click "Default" to lock in your change. All #les opened/separated after this change will then reference these colors.

Channels Menu:

Duplicate Channel
Creates a copy of a chosen Channel. A Window will appear allowing you to choose a Channel.

Delete Channel
Deletes (removes) a chosen Channel. A Window will appear allowing you to choose a Channel.

Apply Channel
The Apply Channel feature is used to combine data from Channel to another for special effects or to help build greater under base Channel support for a color.

1. Select a "Source" channel that contains the data you wish to share with another channel.
2. Select a "Target" channel that will receive the data.
3. Select a "Blending" method. There is Multiply and Darken. Multiply is selected by default and is usually the best choice.

Multiply combines the data that is being moved and creates a common value based on the difference between the Channels.

Darken adds only data from the Source channel that is darker than data that already exist on the Target channel.

Channels Menu: (continued)

Move Away From Ground Move Toward Ground
Move away from and move toward Ground changes the print position of a selected channel. You may use this to view how a custom print order will effect the print on press. Moves a Channel print position at a time.

User Tip: Quickly move a Channel to any print position using the Channel Properties window. Click the color swatch in the VueRite window or Right Click a Channel in the Channel Window and choose Channel Properties. Change the "press position" number.

It is strongly advised to use the default print positions. This is a tested and proven con#guration. A great Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) that your production printers will appreciate.

Enhance Red Orange
This feature extends the Red Channel Data to increase the range of Red Channel Data enhancing red/ orange blends and colors.

Generate Brown
This feature creates a speci#c Brown printing channel. A close duplication to the Red channel users may wish to adjust this channel using the lighten adjustment sliders. Best advice is to properly adjust your color image "pre-separation" and allow Spot Process to create fantastic browns as secondary and tertiary colors.

Merge (Merge Grey, Merge Purple, Merge Turquoise)
These features individually combine Channels to reduce the amount of screens needed for the #nal print. Nothing is better than using the primary color Channels on press for total control, but in times when press space is limited or budgets do not allow then merging screens is a great way to save space and my while still achieving great results. Merge all 3 for instant ColorCrunch™ results.

Channels Menu: (continued)

Merge Purple splits the Purple channel data between the Red and Blue Channels resulting in a blue purple change.
Merge Turquoise merges data to the Blue channel (closest related hue) resulting in a blue change. Merge Grey is the best of the merge features, merging data to #nal white channel. Most accurate
result, its advised to adjust the gray channel (saturate data) before merging as the data will more
subtle than the original channel intensity. Saturating prior to merging allows the result to be more accurate to the desired result.

* Further channel merging can be d using the Apply Channel feature also located under the Channels Menu.
** ColorCrunch (1999) was the sister program to Spot Process developed for the 6 color press. This is incorporated into Separation Studio.

Adjust Channels
Adjust Channel is used to adjust the density of data for "multiple or individual" Channels.

The feature allows for the simultaneous adjustment of multiple Channels. All Channels that are presently selected will be equally adjusted using the High Saturation and Low Saturation sliders.

All colors with a "check mark" will be adjusted simultaneously. Click to check and uncheck as desired.

* User tip: you can right click in the main #le window to access this feature.

To quickly control a speci#c color Channel "right click" on any Channel preview in the Channel Window, double click the channel "name" in the VueRite window to display the adjust window as well.

Channels Menu: (continued)

High Saturation Slider: (see image C below)
Sliding to the right saturates data in the Channel increasing ink ©ow on press resulting in a brighter color result.

Low Saturation Slider: (see image C below)
Sliding to the left removes existing data starting with the lowest percentage values reducing color brightness.

IMPORTANT: Use the Low Saturation slider on the White Top Channel to allow for better color on press. Too much white tends to mute colors. Files that are not color prepared well tend to have more white data than needed and a small cut back using the Low Saturation Slider allows for better overall color. Start by changing the adjustment to 95.

USER TIP: Overprinting more than 20% White has a large effect on any color. For bright saturated color be sure to monitor and adjust the Final White Channel as desired.

Image C

Proof Positive Menu:

Here you can turn on and off the view of individual Channels as well as Show ALL (turn on the view) and Hide ALL (turn off the view) of ALL Channels at the same time.

* user tip: you can right click in the main #le window and handle the same function.

Generate Black Menu:

As part of the Spot Process Color Separation algorithm, you can create three levels of special Black Channels to #t your need. Black Channels are important to the success of printing on all color garments and grounds except black. Preset options make it easy to succeed.

It is advised to use this feature over the "from document" feature. Creates a Black Channel from a saved #le. Select the style that is best for your need, locate your "duplicate #le" (the with a white or transparent background). The Black Channel is created and placed into the proper print order. Yes, printing halft blacks early is proper to achieve great color balance and control. Channel data is better balanced with all Channels, created from the same starting point.

Generate Black Menu: (continued)

From Document:
Black Channel is more saturated than Channels created “from #le”, because the data is extracted from the “Adjusted”Channels. Creates a Black Channel for the existing separated (adjusted) #le. Black Channels created this way tend to be slightly darker than channels created from saved #les.

a. Skeletal: for a Black Channel that is strong in the shadow areas. Great for dark garments that just need a little black assistance.

b. Detailed: for medium color garments that require better mid range control.

c. Sharper: for medium to light garments and images that require the highest level of detail through out the entire image.

* Usually these channels require no added adjustments. Like everything else it is directly related the quality of the original, but with most #les they are great "as is".

View Menu:

Zoom feature choices. Many of these features can be executed using keyboard commands or by selecting the Zoom Tool and changing the setting in the Tool Settings window. Zoom In and Zoom out do exactly what you'd expect, view the image larger and smaller on screen.

Zoom Fill Window - Shows the entire document, does not change the Window size.

Fit On Screen - Maximizes the Window size based on screen space then shows the entire image in the Window.

Actual Pixels - quickly shows the art at full pixel size based on the #les resolution. Files with higher resolutions preview larger on screen. Example, if your computer screen is 72 pixels and the #le is 144 pixels it will preview twice as large as it prints. Just a fast way to see the image large and clear on screen.

Match Zoom - Matches the zoom factor in multiple Windows.

Match Location - Matches the exact location viewed in multiple Channel Windows.

Channels, Show All Channels , Hide All Channels, Show Ground Color and Adjust Channel are all copies of features found in the Edit and Proof Positive menus.

Window Menu:

Displays the Separation Studio Tools and Windows. Here you can activate and deactivate Windows. By default the Densitometer is deactivated because this feature is displayed in the VueRite Window. If a user closes the VueRite Window to use only the Channels Window they should activate the densitometer. The smaller Window saves screen space.

Lock Tool bars holds all Window positions.

Cascade, cascades all open Windows based on available screen space.

Tile, tiles all open Windows based on available screen space.

New window, opens a new Channel Window.

All open #les are displayed at the bottom of this menu. Checked #les are active.

Separation Studio Tools Explained:

Separation Studio Tools:

Drag Zoom Lasso
Polygon Lasso Select Saturate Desaturate Eraser

Drag Tool - Drags (scrolls) a zoomed in image allowing you to see various sections of the image.

Zoom Tool - Click in the image area to magnify, click and drag for a fast zoom or use key- board commands (different for Mac or Windows) of Command/Control (- or +).

Zoom Tool options are displayed in the Tool Settings Window.

Fit On Screen - Maximizes the Window size based on screen space then shows the entire image in the Window.

Separation Studio Tools Explained:

Zoom All Windows matches the zoom factor in all open Channel Windows

User Tip: The smaller the drag area the greater the magni#cation. Command 0 or Control 0 brings the image back to full screen. Command 1 or Control 1 maximizes size to actual pixel dimension.

Lasso Tool - Click and Drag to create a freeform selection area. Allows local area control of adjustments and edits.

Polygon Tool
Click different locations on screen to create a selection area of straight lines. Allows local
area control of adjustments and edits.

Select Tool - Click and Drag to create a selection area. Allows local area control of adjustments and edits.

Tool Options:
Lasso Tool / Polygon Tool / Select Tool
The "feather" feature allows you to set a soft edge for the selection. Special Feature:
You can change the feather setting even after you have made a selection. Maximum range is 99 pixels.

User Tip: You can combine (grow) selections by holding down the SHIFT key on the key- board while drawing a new selection. To remove (reduce) a portion of a previous selection hold the Alt or Option key on the keyboard while drawing a new selection.

To Deselect a selection area just double click within the selection area, choose Deselect from the Edit menu or use the keyboard shortcut (different for Mac and Windows) Command or Control D.

Saturate Tool - Saturates (darkens) Channel Data which increases channel/#lm density allowing for greater ink ©ow on press resulting in brighter color areas. Special features allow for precise control. See Tool Settings Window for tool options.

Desaturate Tool - Desaturates (lightens) Channel Data which decreases Channel/#lm density allowing for less ink ©ow on press resulting in darker print areas. Special features
allow for precise control. See Tool Settings Window for tool options.

Tool Options:
Saturate Tool / Desaturate Tool
Diameter controls the size of the tool. Diameter is displayed on screen as a circle called the
"target area".

Hardness controls the edge of the brush. Tool edging can be hard or soft. The result always remains within the tools target area for greater control. 0% is a soft (airbrush) effect while 100% is a hard (solid) effect.

Range allows you to set the style of ts the tool effects. Choose from High, Medium and Low Saturation for greater control.

Tool Options:
Eraser Tool - Erases (removes) Channel Data. Special features allow for precise control.
See Tool Settings Window for tool options

Diameter controls the size of the tool. Diameter is displayed on screen as a circle called the "target area".

Hardness controls the edge of the brush. Tool edging can be hard or soft. The result always remains within the tools target area for greater control. 0% is a soft (airbrush) effect while 100% is a hard (solid) effect.

Software Windows Explained

Most Windows and Palettes are dockable then lockable. You can arrange your workspace to suit your need and screen size. Windows may be hidden to create greater space on screen. See Window Menu to hide and show Windows.

Active Channels
When making Channel edits on the full color “Proof Positive”Window you can select the exact Channel or group of Channels you wish to control. Colors with a check mark are active Channels.

Shows small previews of each Channel. Right click each Channel for a list of options.
Options include: Open in a New Window, Edit Channel Properties, Delete Channel, Duplicate Channel and Adjust Channel.

Densitometer Window
This is a slim multi-layer densitometer designed to save screen space. By default it is hidden. The VueRite Window handles the same function so there is no need to have both on screen together.
If you decide to close the VueRite Window and use the NEW Channel Window for all your needs you'll need the Densitometer to display channel data percentages.

Ground Select
Shows the current background color displayed. Allows you to create and edit background colors.

Standard Window
Displays File Open (Green Arrow), File Close (Red "X") and Save (Floppy Disk) icons.

Shows Tool bar containing Drag, Zoom, Selection, Saturate, Desaturate and Erase Tools.

Tool Settings
Show the options available for each selected Tool.

VueRite Channels
Similar to the Channel Control Window from the previous Spot Process program. Double click on a Channel name to bring up that Channel’s High Saturation and Low Saturation adjustment slider. Single click on the color swatch to open the Channel Properties where you can change the Channel name, color and color press position. Channel Densities are displayed in the Color Swatch area.

Spot Process Separation Studio has a “Multilayer Densitometer”, a valuable tool for any printer that prints wet-on-wet inks.

User Tip: The New Channel window used with the slimmer Densitometer handles all the functions of the VueRite menu. Closing the VueRite menu saves screen space. Future releases may not include the VueRite window.

Proof Positive

Clicking on the Proof Positive Channel quickly displays a full color composite at any time. This Freehand Graphics software for creating high resolution color composites (released in 1997) has now been incorporated into Separation Studio.

Right Click on any Channel and a list of options become available.

a. Open a New Window - adds a Window to your workspace for just that Channel so you can edit in “Ink”or “#lm”view while you see the result in the full color “Proof Positive”Window.
b. Edit Channel Properties lets you change the Channels color, print position, name and even create a new color.
c. Delete Channel removes the Channel from the #le.
d. Duplicate creates a duplicate Channel for special editing.

New Channel Window:
Displays a new individual Channel so you can see your edits in either “ink”or “#lm”view along side your full color “Proof Positive”Window.

Right Click in the New Channel Window to show options.

Channels Menu: (continued)

a. Switch from Ink view (color) to Film view (grayscale).
b. Turning off the ground color sets the background to transparent.
c. Shows Adjustment Sliders for that individual Channel.

Ground Select:
This shows the present Ground color as well as editing the Ground color.

VueRite Channels Window:
Similar to the Channels window in previous versions of Spot Process.

a. Click the color swatch and bring up edit Channel Properties letting you to change the Channels color, print position, name and even create a new color.

b. Double click on the channel name and display that channels individual adjustment sliders.

c. Move your mouse over the image and the multi layer densitometer displays the density percentages for each channel at that x,y co-ordinate. A very valuable tool for getting things right when you are printing inks wet on wet.

d. Check marks turn channel views on and off.

Open and Save Files

Separation Studio has greatly expanded its list of compatible #le formats and color modes including cmyk. Click the pop-down menu for a full listing.

Separation Studio saves all #les in the DCS2.0 format. This advanced format can save an unlimited amount of Color Channels and retains all spot color values as well as press position.

What kind of #les can you separate with Spot Process Separation Studio?

Spot Process Separation Studio can separate many art files as it supports a wide variety of file formats.

Our Best Advice!
When you have a raster image (Photoshop file, Corel Photo Paint or Painter file, scanned imaged, digital photograph, or any raster image file (jpeg, TIFF, etc.) Separation Studio will provide you outstanding separations quickly and easily - ready for minor color adjustments using the built in tools and features. You can even combine these separations with vector elements in your Illustration program and go crazy designing and outputting great designs that will easily print on-press.

To make the best use of this software and every other graphics application you should understand when to use

each of them so you get the very best end result. If a file was completely built in an Illustration program such as Adobe Illustrator or Corel Draw and the number of spot colors does not exceed your press capabilities or the customer’s budget then you should use the separation ability built in the same Illustration program. Why? Solids will remain as solids and gradients/tints will print as halfts. Typography and other vector elements will be clean and sharp. Illustration programs exist for exactly this purpose. When your illustration exceeds your press capability then Spot Process will develop a controlled set of colors allowing for a highly colored art file to fit your press and look great. The art file will print as halfts as that is the nature of tonal image separations.

Enjoy Spot Process Separation Studio!

User Instructions for Separating with Spot Process Separation Studio

File Separation WORK FLOW Quick Reference:

1. Have a #le developed/designed to your liking that is on a separate BLACK background layer. You can also work in transparent layers in Photoshop.
2. Open the #le through Separation Studio. The result is a separated #le delivered in individual color CHANNELS.
3. Run the Black Channel Generator - on the duplicate #le saved with a WHITE background layer or the same transparent
#le if working with transparencies in Photoshop.
4. Use the color adjustment tools, merge features and editing tools within Separation Studio to adjust it to your liking.
5. Save the #le (auto saves a DCS2.eps #le).
6. Import/Place it into your favorite Illustration program, Photoshop or Publishing program for output as halfts.

Pre-Press WORK FLOW Quick Reference:

1. Prepare screens using mesh counts that are 5 times the selected halft frequency (dpi, lpi).
2. Register screens (use the print order provided).
3. Use high-quality, opaque inks and ©ash only the base. All other colors will print wet-on-wet. ENJOY easy printing, long press runs, and accurate, vibrant results!


Arrk File Preparation (pre-separation)

Image Resolution:

When working with raster images (scans, digital photos, Photoshop #les, jpegs, TIFFs, etc.) choose your image resolution between 100 and 150 dpi (when there isn’t text or hard edges). This is proper image handling and highly recommended. Image quality is retained with lower memory while processor and print out speed remain fast.

When working with raster #les with text and/or hard edges choose your resolution between 200 and 300 dpi while working on the full size image to improve the quality of hard edges. This will dramatically increase your #le size and increase processing and print out time but is necessary to create as clean a result with raster image #les.

Image Quality:

Your image should be of high-quality, high-contrast, good shadow values, sharp, clear, color corrected and not dull. A dull or washed out image will yield dull results. Spot Process Separation Studio is designed to reproduce your image as accurately as possible and therefore a poor quality image will yield an “accurate”poor quality print. Low res images from the web are almost always terrible to work with so avoid them. Jpeg images can also be poor quality. Learn all you can about image editing so you can develop the best art #le possible. Why? Garbage in - garbage out!

Visit our web site for support documents and videos. www.softwareforscreenprinters.com

File Tip:

You have a great opportunity to color separate your raster image #le in Separation Studio and then combine it (PLACE, IMPORT into an Illustration program) with vector images (hard edge graphics and text). Color the vector elements and text with the Separation Studio Spot Colors or add additional spot colors. Your results will be even sharper and cleaner than separating vector and text as rasters in Separation Studio. Do this as often as you can. It is very simple and you will love the results! In the output section of this manual additional information is provided.

Arrk File Preparation (pre-separation)

File Format:
Separation Studio has expanded the #le formats that can be separated. Users of Spot Process VueRite had separated RGB TIFFs only. The list of supported #le formats is long with the most popular being TIFFs, EPS, JPEGs). It’s best to work in the RGB color (recommended for best quality results of color images) plus it is needed when working with tranparencies for use in Separation Studio. Separation Studio does NOT create limited cmyk separations. RGB is the broader gamut!

Cropped Images and Non-Cropped Images:

cropped image (has a de#ned border such as a square).

Unde#ned border. Some of the colors even fade away to the background (shirt).

You can color separate cropped images AND images that have no de#ned border including color fades to the background (garment). There are different work ©ows for these types of art #les. The color of garment you are printing on also matters (as described below in Printing Scenarios). A cropped image (eg. movie poster) is the easiest type of #le to prep and color separate. It is ready to separate. Simply OPEN the #le through Separation Studio and you will have a full set of color separated CHANNELS excluding the Black Channel. Then Run the Black Channel Generator to develop the Black Channel. Together you have
a full set of Channels ready to color adjust. When the #le is #nished you have screen-print friendly separations (under-base, spectral colors, black and top white for printing any color garment).

Preparing Files for different Printing Scenarios (Overview)
1. Printing on a BLACK garment only - use a cropped image, an image on a black or transparent background (Photoshop) in TIF format. All will produce proper results for black garment printing. No need to generate a black printing Channel/screen. (Step by Step on page 34)

2. Printing on a WHITE or any COLOR garment. Use a cropped image or an image on a transparent background (Photoshop). (Step by Step on page 34)

NEVER separate a #le with a white or colored background. Spot Process will SEE THESE COLORS of your background and add the color data to your Channels!

Important Information on Files with Unde0ned Borders (most common user jobs)

The most common user #le is an image with an “unde#ned border” (such as that fades to a background). When working with unde#ned borders the easiest of the #les to prep are those already in “layered”form. Prepare Separation Studio software 0les with a “transparent background” and it delivers (extracts) ALL the colors needed for screen-printing for any color garment.

Working with a “©attened”image? Mask the image in Photoshop or PhotoPaint or an auto-masking plug-in/software such as Fluid Mask by Vertus or Corel’s KnockOut2.

Spot Process Separation Studio NOW works with Transparent Layers - WOW!. This saves time and makes it easier for the user.

Image with an “Unde#ned Border”

Image on a “Transparent Background”

Transparent Background Information

Adobe Photoshop:
Photoshop #les must have nothing but TRANSPARENT Channels for the Transparency option to be available in the Photoshop SAVE RGB TIF Option Window. If even Channel is #lled 100% then the option will not be available.

Transparent Background Information

For best results use the SAME MESH COUNT on ALL SCREENS. That’s right, the same mesh count. Many screen-printers believe they should use a lower mesh count on the base screen. Why? They believe the white ink needs a lower mesh count because it is so thick. Today’s base white inks are no thicker or thinner than any of the other inks used and since detail on the base screen is very important to the overall result of the print, reducing the mesh count will also reduce detail captured during screen exposure. Think about it.

All your #lms are produced with the same halft size and angle so changing the mesh count on a single screen will certainly reduce that screens detail as compared to the other screens. Also, your sep- arations have been produced mathematically, the mathematics of how color interacts with an- other is exactly what producing secondary and tertiary color is all about. Change the math and you change the result. The base screen sets up all others, so quality is important.