I'm trying to take an image that was designed in SolidWorks and exported as an AI file and make it two colors only.

I'm using a manufacturing process using UV light so the areas I'm cutting away need to be transparent whilst the other areas need to be completely black.

The problem is there is a slight Color variations along some of my edges. As these will print as tones of gray it can drastically ruin my part. Is there a simple way to eliminate the issue?

I tried a color selection and that did not work

  • 2
    Welcome to GD.SE? Why not do this in illustrator? Image would help.
    – joojaa
    Commented May 28, 2015 at 18:15
  • Bring it into illustrator select your first color then in illustrator go to select/same>color and then change the color to the color you would like. Do the same for the other color. This should eliminate the banding. If not you could try changing the background color to white or black and see if that hides the banding. If you can try posting the file or a picture Commented May 28, 2015 at 18:21
  • 1
    Is everything vector? If so why on earth are you using Photoshop? Did you disable anti-aliasing in the preferences?
    – Scott
    Commented May 28, 2015 at 20:01
  • Treshold would do it if yu for some reason wont use illustrator
    – joojaa
    Commented May 29, 2015 at 16:09

4 Answers 4


If you will require best result in two color variation for print on vector image.

  1. Either recreate this transparent vector image in AI/Corel
  2. IF Photoshop is a mandatory base, refer to following link for smoothing and redefining the edges to get the good but not the best result.



While I agree that a vector-based solution would probably be the way to go if possible, I'll offer an answer that should work if you must use Photoshop.

Because it sounds like the two colors you're talking about are black and transparent, the solution I have in mind is pretty simple:
Convert your image to Bitmap Mode (Image>Mode>Bitmap). Select 50% threshold to prevent any dithering. In bitmap mode, all pixels are forced to become either "1" (black) or "0" (white), forcing all gray pixels to one extreme or the other. Note: You may have to convert to grayscale first, if bitmap is dimmed in the menu. When a bitmap mode image is saved as a TIFF, many applications automatically ignore the white pixels, making that portion transparent. If this is not the case for you, simply convert it back to grayscale (size ratio of 1), then to RGB and save the result as a transparent PNG.

If you have a lot of images that require this treatment, they could be easily converted via batch script.


There are two options I would try, or possibly both: Posterize & Refine Edge.

Posterize, found under (Image > Adjustments > Posterize), limits the number of colors in an image. Although your goal is to reach 2 colors, 4 should greatly reduce noise. Then use Color Range and refine edge. Read the explanation for each option in refine edge as the options are not intuitive. You should then have a decent image to live trace in Illustrator or Corel.

If you are still having trouble, or absolute precision is required you may have to recreate the image in Illustrator.


Is everything vector? If so why on earth are you using Photoshop? – Scott May 28 at 20:01


If it is a manufacturing process you need+should do it in vector format. If the exported image is raster you should vectorize it again.

The only walk arround would be that you exported a raster image in real size at 600 ppi at least (1200 ppi would be good, 2400 ppi ideal). This way you could convert it into monocromatic bitmap.

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