Here is my image with flat colorsenter image description here, colors with the halftone filterenter image description here, and a comic page I am trying to replicate. enter image description here I am missing something. My colors don't have the same look.I am using the same 64 color pallate I think the file is setup correct for if I was going to print the comic. However, I am looking to post single pages to a webcomic. The halftone effect does not have the same feel. I dont know if its because the news print allows for some bleed/fade, or what. I've tried a newpapers texture. My colors still look very digital. How can I accomplish this without printing and scanning each page. Ideally I would like to create an action to run. Any help would be awesome.


Interesting topic.

First of all, you are probably using the same palette, but you are not using it in the same proportions. Here are your paint jars at the end of the day:

enter image description here

Second. You CAN NOT simulate a print effect if you do not know what that printing technique was about.


The style of the print depended on how much ink the paper can hold. So you did not want too much ink on the paper.


The black plate was not screened. Only the color plates.

Here is a process you can use.

1. I "Corrected" the overall look of the image simply using curves to a lighter version, but keeping the black as black.

enter image description here

2. Convert your file to CMYK using a specific color profile, probably uncoated newsprint (I was lazy and only used a standard coated one)

3. The black needs to be adjusted, to eliminate any light gray. The black needs to be a Line Art (See Point B at the top)

enter image description here

4. Here are the 4 plates separated. Now you can see that where you have the black color you also have Cyan, Magenta, and Yellow. That is too much ink and makes the print dirty. (Look at point A at the top)

enter image description here

5. The way to clean it is to invert the black plate and add it to the cyan. That way, where black ink is, there is no more cyan one.

enter image description here

6. Do that to all 3 channels and you have a clean color set.

enter image description here

7. You can now apply the halftone effect to this file. I dropped the black channel because remember, You do not want the black channel to be screened.

enter image description here

8. Add the unscreened black plate.

enter image description here

And done.

enter image description here

The point here is that not only the image "looks " screened and with color separation, it has it because it is in CMYK mode. (the colors could look crazy on the browser but you can download it and see it in Photoshop.)

enter image description here

(You can avoid a lot of these steps preparing your file correctly from start)

Update. RGB output.

If you do not want to print the file, and you want to keep the RGB color mode, blend the black channel (to the CMY file converted to RGB) with multiply blend mode. This way the black will not look Grayish.

enter image description here

Some comments. I am not using Photoshop here. I used Corel PhotoPaint, that gas a really good channel separation to separated files so I could illustrate this in an efficient way.

It also has a configurable halftone filter that allows you to have different dot size, so you need to play with the scale of the dot.

Here are two different dot sizes.

enter image description here


I'm not certain this is a great question but...

  • Your image has much more dark, dense, fine line, crosshatching. This causes all the colors to appear darker by association. Not a problem, style is style. But style will alter perception.

  • It would also appear that your color palette, while close in some areas, is about 20% darker in other areas.

  • Merely applying a Levels adjustment layer and clicking the Auto button evens out the colors much better and gets them much closer to your sample.

Note the circle in the image below. It can be difficult to see in some areas, but is most notable in the upper right quadrant. The circle represents the original image. Outside the circe is merely an "auto" levels adjustment.

enter image description here

enter image description here

Beyond that... yes colors were adjusted for newsprint due to dot gain. Dot gain is the amount of ink a stock will soak up and essentially "spread" the dots of the screen closer together. Customarily newsprint is printed with a lower line screen than other things such as magazines. This was to keep the "dots" farther apart and allow them to "spread" a bit more. To mimic this, you'd really have to play with saturation/levels digitally more than any filter. Filters aren't going to reproduce dot gain very effectively.

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