Screen Printing - February/March 2020 - 16

FIGURE 4

Adjusting a Background
Hue / Saturation / Clarity

Original Photo

Adjusted Photo

this simply means you will only be using part of the original
photo in a larger design composition. In a sense, it's exactly
the same as the first option where you're extracting the
foreground element; you need to follow all those steps. The
major difference is the final image will likely be nested inside
of a shape with many other shapes in a larger composition.
One example of this could be a pool table where you would
like to move the balls around into a different orientation.
You would have to mask out the balls you wanted to move,
and then mask some of the table to cover where they used to
be. In this case, you wouldn't be changing the background
entirely, but the steps to create the floating pieces are the
same. The final result would likely be the original photo layer
of the table, then each ball that was moved would be on an
extra layer, and then an additional shadow layer would be
added underneath to establish the illusion.
BACKGROUND ADJUSTING HUE, SATURATION,
OR CLARITY
A final rationale for masking out a background is to adjust
the color, hue, or how sharp or blurry the image is. One of
the common ways to make a foreground element pop is to
slightly desaturate the background (take out some of the color
intensity) and then slightly blur the background so it appears
16

SCREENPRINTING

to be farther away. This type of editing is common where the
foreground image needs to pop against other images in the
background. An example of this could be a racecar that needs
to be highlighted against other cars in a photo. The image is
first masked to "float" the car that will be left unadjusted and
the background can then be duplicated, placed behind the
new layer, and then adjusted into a different saturation and
clarity. Sometimes an additional layer can be added to make
the foreground look like it's in motion or have a slight glow to
make it defined even more (see Figure 4).
All these methods and reasons for extracting a graphic
from a background are very useful to apparel decorators
who wish to quickly prepare images for DTG compositions
and production art steps. There's no substitute for
experience with the tools of Photoshop to edit images
quickly and professionally, but with the right plan and
some consistent practice, the editing of image backgrounds
can be a lot easier and less time consuming.
Thomas Trimingham has been helping screen printers for more than 25
years as an industry consultant, freelance artist, and high-end separator.
He has worked with companies from small, family-owned shops to some
of the world's largest printers. He currently is the marketing communications manager for the M&R Companies. For more information or to comment on this article, email Thomas at ttrimingham@yahoo.com.



Screen Printing - February/March 2020

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