Screen Printing - October/November 2017 - 25
FLATTER SKIN TONES VS. DRAMATIC LIGHTING
Things to check prior to image preparation:
1. Make sure your image is set for final print size at a resolution at least four times the resolution of the output.
(300 dpi is a good default. If you're going to image the
screens with 55-lpi halftones, you should have at least a
250-dpi image in the source file at the actual output size.)
2. Look closely at the edge quality in your image and make
sure that it isn't too blurry. Look for JPEG compression
(areas that look blocky or distorted on magnification) in
your flesh tones.
3. Zoom in and look for color pollution. Often, you'll find
brightly colored pixels like bright green, red, or neon yellow sprinkled in flesh tones.
4. Check the lighting that is hitting your flesh tones for
unnatural color casts. For example, a figure that is lying
on the grass may have a greenish cast to the underside of
its skin and in the shadows.
5. Look carefully at shadows that are crossing your skin
tones to see if any details need to be conserved. What
may look like color pollution when you're zoomed in
on the image may actually be an important detail from
another area of the design.
After reviewing the image, you can move on to the prep
stage. Understandably, there will be times where you need to
rush through a separation and can't do a full review of all flesh
tone areas. Even in those cases, it can make a huge difference
to spend a few minutes zooming in to the design and checking
the quality of the image so you'll at least know if you face a
larger task than you anticipated.