Wilflex EasyArt
Quick Start guide
www.wilflexeasyart.com

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Introduction

EasyArt has been developed to make it easier for all screen printers to produce high quality professional artwork and color separations with a minimal amount of time and effort. Spending less time on the lengthy separation process allows you more time for creating the design. With just a limited knowledge of Adobe Photoshop you can quickly and easily produce amazing results.
To get the most from EasyArt it is recommend you do all of the EasyArt tutorials as each one takes you step by step through the many different features and problem solving aspects of simulated and spot color separation.
If you do have any problems check the FAQ to find answers to the most common questions, if you can't find the answer there e-mail us at "info@wilflexeasyart.com" and your question will be answered usually within 24hrs.
It is advisable to start experimenting with EasyArt as soon as you can and don't wait until you need it. As easy as it is you will still need a little practice before getting the best possible results.

The most important part of the separation process is the Preparation stage, getting your image to it's best possible state ready for separation. Spend a little extra time here and you will get much better separations.

Most problems arise from trying to separate a dull flat image and expecting it to miraculously transform into stunning full vibrant color separations, remember if you start off with rubbish you will only end up with separated rubbish.

The Yellow Action buttons are provided to help you improve the quality of your image before separation, but experienced Photoshop users may want to do this stage manually. Your separations are only ever going to be as good as the image you start with.
For further information, new products, the latest FAQ sheet and additional tutorials check out our web site
  www.wilflexeasyart.com

Note: This Quick Start Guide covers only some of the amazing EasyArt routines, for a more in depth look at all of the features of EasyArt print out all of the tutorials on the website www.wilflexeasyart.com 

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Getting Started

Before starting first make sure you have Photoshop setup correctly to give the best RGB and CMYK results for screen printing T-Shirts.

Color Settings
On the menu bar at the top of your screen click on “Edit" scroll down to "Color Settings" to open the color settings window and apply these settings: Settings = Custom, RGB = Apple RGB,

CMYK = Custom CMYK (Ink Color=SWOP Newsprint, Dot gain 30%, Separation type= GCR

Black Generation= Med, Black ink limit= 85%, Total Ink limit= 250%

Gray = Gray Gamma 2.2 Spot = Dot Gain 30%

The 3 steps of EasyArt    1. Preparation   2. Separation   3. Adjustment

Making separations with EasyArt is a 3 step process, the actual separation of your image is only 33% of the job.

Step 1 Yellow buttons - for image preparation
Step 2 Blue buttons - for image separation
Step 3 Green buttons - for image adjustment

Also included are the purple buttons for Easy Edges and the red buttons for creating various different text effects.

Step 1 Preparation
(yellow buttons)

It is important to start your separating with the best possible image you can. An image that appears dull and flat (as almost all scanned images are) will be separated as such, whereas an image that is bright and clear with good contrast will give the best results.
The first section of the EasyArt actions list is there to help you improve the quality of your image before you begin separation.
Try experimenting with this section of actions to see how you can improve your chances of getting the best separations possible.
Below are two examples of the same image one is the original scan the other has been adjusted, both images can easily be separated with EasyArt but the one on the right will give far superior separations and a much better T-Shirt print.
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Scanned mage with no
adjustments


This is the same image after improvements

Note: Each design is a little different and will require different adjustments, practice on a duplicate image until you are satisfied with the result.

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Step2 Separation
(Blue Action Buttons)

Although this is the most complex step, we have made it easy because the separation routines are automatic, just select the separation routine you need, push the button then sit back and watch.

Special Note:
“Separate for any colored shirt” routine-
Separates any image into 11 spot color channels including 2 Whites.
Your design or image must have a transparent background with the transparent areas representing the shirt. (read tutorial simulated process).

It's always a good idea to remember when you are creating a design for multiple colored shirts, to leave the background layer transparent so you won't have to go back and remove it later which can be difficult in some cases.

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Note: If your image does not have a transparent background (this routine will not work without one) you can quickly and easily create one using any one of the "Easy Edge" routines. Or you can add a 1 pixel transparent edge (background) with the yellow "Add Transparent Edge" button.

Step 3 Adjustment
(Green Action Buttons)

After the separation routine has completed there are always some adjustments to be made whether it's just deleting unwanted colors, combining channels or more. This is the area where you do all of your channel alterations, you can increase or decrease the strength of color in a channel or even just remove part of it.

The green section of the EasyArt action buttons will help you achieve all the adjustments quickly and easily. The best way to learn all the different adjustment possibilities is to complete all of the EasyArt tutorials.

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Quick Start Tutorial

As an introduction to EasyArt the first tutorial will include a little of everything.

You will learn how to:
- Create a background using Easy Edges.
- Convert a photograph into an artistic graphic.
- Print out perfect Laser Film Separations.
- Create a print proof for customer approval.
- Reduce an 11 color separation down to 4.
- Add outlined text.
- Automatically separate.

For this tutorial we will be using a scanned photograph as the image for our artwork.

         There are a few simple rules to remember when scanning an image
  • Always scan at a higher resolution than your final output especially if you are going to enlarge the image. For this truck example our final output resolution of the finished t-shirt design will be 200 dpi and much larger than the photograph size. The photograph was scanned at 400 dpi allowing us to enlarge the image up to t-shirt size without losing much of the image detail. After enlarging the image the resolution can be reduced from 400 dpi down to 200 dpi which the desired output size.

  • When scanning from a magazine or book always use the de-screen filter in your scanner program to eliminate the moiré pattern you get from scanning a printed image. Books and magazines are printed in CMYK using tiny dots, these dots show up as a rosette pattern on your scanned image, the de-screen filter will eliminate this pattern. Almost all scanners have a de-screen filter even the budget ones.

  • Always try the yellow action button "Improve Image RGB" on your scanned image before you begin separation. This will greatly improve the scan in most cases.

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Launch Photoshop to begin.
Navigate your way to the "Tutorials" folder on the EasyArt CD and double click to open. Select the file "Truck" and open.
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Before making any color adjustments to this image it must first be changed to the correct size and resolution. This image was scanned from a standard Photograph at 400 dpi. Because the image will be enlarged it was scanned higher than the output resolution so as not to loose detail when it is enlarged.

The final output resolution will be 200 dpi, First the image must be enlarged, then the resolution can be reduced.

Note: When enlarging an image the physical size must always be altered before the resolution is reduced, never alter resolution then size,


To change the image size and resolution select "Image" on the menu bar at the top of your screen, scroll down and click "Image Size".

Make sure "Constrain Proportions" is checked then change the "Width" setting to "28 cm (11 inches)". You will notice the height setting changes automatically (this is what "Constrain Proportions" does.)
Next change the "Resolution" setting to "200 dpi" then click "OK". This will give the required image size and the correct output resolution for this tutorial.

The first step before separating, is to improve the quality of the image. This photograph looks dull and the colors are flat, which is typical of scanned images.
To improve this image go to the Actions list (Window>Show Actions) and click on the yellow EasyArt button "Improve Image RGB" read the message that opens, and click "continue"

The final design is going to be a more graphic, less photographic, image, the colors can therefore be increased making them stronger, more graphic.
To do this, click on the yellow EasyArt action button "Increase Color".

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Note: All the EasyArt yellow action buttons are to help improve the image quality before you begin separation,
remember, good image = good separations.


Save this new and improved "truck" image to your hard drive and call it "Big Red", do not close it.
This "Big Red" image will now be used to create an background with a transparent edge, that will later be placed behind the truck.

Scroll down the actions list to the purple Easy Edge buttons and click on the "Halftone Edge" button. A duplicate of the "Big Red" image will be automatically created to which the edge can be added. A message will open, read it, and click stop.

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Move the image so it is fully visible, then with the "Rectangular Marquee" tool make a selection similar to the image below. (this will be the area of your background).

Click on the "Halftone edge" button again (which now appears red) to continue. The routine will continue then another message will appear asking you to select a number between 5 and 50. This number will determine the size of the halftone dots. Type 15 in the "Max Radius" box and click OK.

Save this background image to your hard drive as "Big Red back" and close it.

Note: Save as a Photoshop file to retain the transparency.

To remove the background from the photograph, create a simple line "Draw Mask". With the "Big Red" image still be open, scroll down the Action list to the blue EasyArt buttons and click on the "Make Line Draw Mask" button. Read the message and click on the "stop" button.

To create the mask, use any of the Photoshop selection tools, the best in this case is the "Pen" tool. Make sure you have “Paths” selected and not “shape layers” ( paths is the third icon from the left on your menu bar at the top of your screen)
Zoom in to the truck image, you want to get in close making it easier to trace an outline around the truck.
Trace the outside edge of the truck with a series of dots using the pen tool. Try and stay close to the edge of the truck and click many dots to get an accurate outline.
Click all the way around the truck with your last click being on the first dot to close the path.
With the path closed go to the “Paths” list (Window > Paths) and click on the small arrow in the top right hand corner, scroll down and select “Fill Path”

In the “fill Path” window that appears select “Black” in the “Use” dropdown list
Mode = normal and Opacity = 100%
Feather Radius = 0
Anti-aliased should be unchecked.
Then click OK to continue.

The mask will appear purple on screen. Next click on the small arrow head in the top right hand corner of the Paths list scroll down and select “Delete Path”.
Note: If you want to compare your mask one already created, open up the image “Truck Mask” on the EasyArt CD (in the Tutorials Folder) This mask will appear in Black & White, masks only appear purple when using the Make mask routines. With a little practice this mask making process becomes very quick and easy.  
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To convert this photograph to what we call an artists impression, scroll down the blue EasyArt buttons and click the "Artists Impression" button.
This will automatically transform the photographic image into a color graphic that looks more like it was done by hand. The speed of this routine will depend on the speed of your computer a "Routine Complete" message will appear when finished.

The truck image now appears on a transparent layer with the background removed.

Now add the background you created earlier and saved to your hard drive.
To do this, navigate your way to the background image you saved as "Big Red back" and double click it to open.
With the "Big Red back" image still selected press "Ctrl A (PC) / option A (Mac)" on your keyboard (shortcut for select All) then press "Ctrl C" on your keyboard (shortcut for Copy) then close the “Big Red back" image.

The "Big Red" image will be automatically selected, press "Ctrl V" on your keyboard (shortcut for Paste) and the background image will appear in a new layer called "Layer 1"
Select the truck layer in the layers list called "Background" and while holding down the mouse button drag it up above "Layer 1".
You will notice the half toned background image now appears behind the truck.
With the layer "Background" selected now add some text.

To make room for the text increase the canvas of the image.

Select "Image" on the menu bar at the top of your screen, scroll down and select "Canvas Size". Change the "Height" setting to "125 %" (do not change the width) and select the bottom center box in the "Anchor" grid. This will increase the canvas size above the truck only.

Scroll down the EasyArt actions list to the red "Text FX" buttons (at the bottom of the list).

To add the text click on the red EasyArt button " ** Add Text ** ". this will bring up the text option. Type in the Words "BIG RED", use these settings.

Font = Arial Black,
Size= 150 pt,
Italic,
"Anti-aliased" = None

Drag the text into the correct position in your design. (in the center above the truck) then select the “Zoom tool” to get out of text mode. Next click on the EasyArt red "Outlined" button, a window will appear asking you to select the color of the outline you require. For this example leave it at the default color which is black (this color is determined by the foreground color on your toolbox ) Click on the "stop" button to continue.

Next click on the "Outlined" button again which now appears dark red.
A window will appear giving you the option to change the width of the outline. Click "continue".
In the "Contract Selection" window that appears type in "15". This will create thick outline.
Another window will appear asking you to select a color for the letters. Press stop to continue.

To select a color for the letters click on the "Foreground" box, and in the color picker window that appears type in R = 255, G = 0, B = 0 in the RGB section.

Next click on the "Outlined" button again to finish the routine. Next add another line of text to the bottom right hand corner of the design.
In the actions list click on the red button " ** Add Text ** " again only this time use the default settings just change the type to read " Trucking Ltd".

Move the text down to the bottom right hand corner of the image.

The image is now comprised of 4 different layers (2 text layers, Layer 1 and a background layer). EasyArt can only separate one layer so before separating the 4 must be merged into 1. To do this click on the small arrow head in the top right hand corner of the “Layers” list, scroll down and select “Merge Visible”. The merge visible command is used because this will maintain the transparency in the image.

Note: Do not use the "Flatten Image" command as this will flatten your image onto a white background.

The design is now ready to separate. You may want to save this image now before you continue. (just in case!)

Separation

Although separating an image is a very complex operation EasyArt has made it easy. Because the design was created using the "Artists Impression" routine the best separations will be produced using the "Separate Artists Impression" routine.

Scroll down the Actions list and click on the blue EasyArt button, "Separate Artists Impression" The speed of this routine will depend on the speed of your computer. The message "Routine Complete" will appear when finished.

After the imaged has automatically separated go to the channels list to see the 11 different colors.

Clicking on the small eye icon to the left of each channel will turn it off and on, giving you an idea of what the design will look like with or without that particular color.
Try clicking the eye icon off and on for the "red" channel to illustrate this.
For this design use only the "White Base", "Red", "Light Blue" and black channels. You can turn off all the other channels. (leave the "Shirt color" channel turned on)

With the design being more "graphic" than "photographic" any colors that appear a little pale can be easily boosted. In this case we will boost the "red" channel making the color a bit stronger.

Select the "red" channel, (make sure the eye is turned on) then go to the EasyArt actions list and click on the green button "Increase Color in Channel" Then click it again to intensify the color a little more.

The default "light blue" is a too bright for the sky in this design so change it to a more sky blue, which can be mixed from a standard Pantone color of your choice using the Wilflex MX Ink Mixing system.

To change the default "light blue" to a Pantone color, go to the channels list double click the "light blue" channel.
In the "Spot Channel Options" window that appears click on the small blue box to the left.
In the "Color Picker" window that appears type in these RGB values R=0, G=126, B=255.
Press OK to continue. Back in the "Spot Channel Options" window type in "Pantone 298".
The RGB values are a guess only, to simulate what that Pantone color might look like.

You can now manually delete the unwanted channels by individually selecting them and dragging them onto the bin icon in the lower right hand corner of the channels list.

 

Before printing out the separations create a print proof for customer approval.

To create a print proof go to the EasyArt actions list and scroll down to the bottom of the green buttons and you will find a single red button called "Create Print Proof" click to continue.

A duplicate of your image will be created a message will pop up read it and click "stop" to continue.
Next go to the channels list and while holding down the "Shift" key on your keyboard click with your left mouse button on the "Shirt color", "White Base", "red", "Pantone 298" and "black" channels.

Go back to the actions list and click on the "Create Print Proof" button again, which now appears red. All selected channels will be merged together to create a single RGB image that you can now print out with any standard color Inkjet or laser printer.

Printing out Separations.

Before printing out the separations turn off the top 6 channels in the channels list, RGB, Red, Green, Blue, line draw mask and shirt color. (you don't need to print these) The printer will only print out channels that are turned on.

On the menu bar at the top of your screen click "File", scroll down to "Page Setup" and click.
The Printer Setup window that appears will depend on the type of printer you are using. Below is an example for a Minolta Pagepro 20 laser printer. Your printer may be different but you will use the same settings.

In the Page Setup window click the "Screens" button.
In the Halftone screens window that appears click the "Load" button,

Navigate your way to where you installed EasyArt onto your computer and open the folder "printer settings"
then double click the file "halftone-screens".
This will load the EasyArt default settings. You will have to manually type in the halftone settings for the " Pantone 298" color because it isn't one of the EasyArt defaults.
The settings for " Pantone 298" will still be the same as the others.
"Frequency =55 Lpi, "Angle" =25 and "Shape" = Elliptical.
Click OK to continue.

Back in the Page Setup window click the Registration Marks Box and the Labels box. Orientation should be Portrait for this design. Then Click OK.

 

To print go to the menu bar at the top of your screen and click "File", scroll down and click "Print".
In the Print window that appears print quality should be high (no less than 300dpi) and the “Space” box should read Grayscale or Separate. Print Range to All and then click OK to start printing.

The printer will print out all the channels that have the small eye icon showing on them (turned on).

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Wilflex EasyArt
Quick Start guide
www.wilflexeasyart.com