PshopFor years now, I’ve had a free tip e-mail list where I distribute my Photoshop tips. Now I’m going to start answering Photoshop questions as part of this blog. The third installment is below:

Paul asks: I am trying to convert black & white line art bitmapped images into a rich black (100%K 60%C 30%M 30%Y) and white. When I convert from bitmapped to grayscale to CMYK, Photoshop automatically changes the blacks to 75%C 68%M 67%Y 90%K. Is there a way to get it to automatically convert it to the rich black percentages that I need?

Answer: The CMYK mix you get when converting to CMYK mode is completely dependent on the settings used in the Color Settings dialog box (Photoshop menu on an Mac or Edit menu in Win). Clicking on the CMYK Working Space pop-up menu in that dialog box and choosing Custom CMYK will allow you to modify the settings. You might also try choosing Image>Adjustments>Channel Mixer and dial in the amounts you need to each channel.

Chris asks: Is there a way to remove the background from the images of dragonfly wings?  I want to move the dragonflies onto different backgrounds but can’t get rid of that part of the original background seen through the wings which are translucent and reveal whatever is behind them. I guess this would be similar to removing the background from the image of a glass bottle.

Answer: You’re right about the glass bottle. You’ll need to use the Extract filter along with the Force Foreground option. You can find information about this in the extraction article I posted on my web site here.

Chris had a second question:
How do I toggle thru the fonts to preview the different looks to my text without the highlight obscuring the true color as well as whatever background image it covers? I mean without actually clicking the highlight off.

Type typing Command-H (Mac), or Ctrl-H (Win) to hide the highlighting, then you can click on the font field in the Options Bar and use the up and down arrow keys to cycle though the available fonts.

Chris K asks: I can’t get the Mag glass trick to work, any tips?

Answer: Tell me what happens when you try to make it work so I can try to figure out what’s going wrong. (the Mag glass trick is something I’ve shown at many seminars). Ok, some tips: Make sure the circle layer is linked to the magnifying glass layer and one of those two layers is active. Make sure there are no selections active when attempting to move things. Make sure neither of the background images are linked to anything else.

Robert T. asks: I am looking for a way to take images of people and create line art or a cartoon’ish version of the image. I want the reality that it is a real person, but not to be able to identify the
person. Does that make sense?

If you don’t want to be able to tell who the person is, then you’ll have to reduce the amount of detail in the image by applying one of the following filters:
Filter>Blur>Smart Blur
or Image>Adjustments>Posterize
You might need to use a combination of those filters to get rid of fine details. Then duplicate the layer and choose Filter>Stylize>Find Edges to add black lines around the edges of areas. Also, change the menu at the top of the Layers palette from Normal to Multiple if you want the original colors to show through.