How To's

Get the RIP! AccuRip

For my fellow screen printers. If you want to get into some higher end detail printing that involves simulate process, 4 color process or spots with half tones. Then you need to bite the bullet and invest in some rip software. I personally don’t know anything about it, but I can direct you to someone that does. 
I suggest AccuRip because a lot of my clients use it and are happy.

Give Bob Drake a call and let him give you a quick tour and make sure your settings are correct? In just a five or ten minute phone call we can help you get the maximum benefit out of your AccuRIP trial. Reach Bob at 800-659-8337 x10 or after hours and weekends at his cell 732-492-7722.

How To's · Tutorials and Posts

Screen Printing Art: Spot Color Separations

This is my video series on Spot Separations in Photoshop.  I start with the simple Spot Color with loose registration, move to slightly more complex Spot Colors with trapping, then creating a white base and followed by how to print out the seps.

The First Video: Simple Spot Colors


The Part 2 is in 2 parts.  This is slightly more complex (don’t worry you can handle it)


Here is Part 3 which is also in 2 sections.  This is creating a simple white underbase.


And Finally here is the Video on Printing Out the Seps.


screen printing

Index Separating in Adobe Photoshop

Index Separating in Adobe PhotoShop

Index color separation converts a design/image into a diffusion dither random pixel pattern that almost totally keeps you away from the moire pattern problem. A moire pattern is a waveform pattern caused by interference between half-tone dot angle and screen mesh.

The difference between diffusion dither and halftones is that halftones create shading using different size dots and dithering uses the same size dot but spaced out. It looks like stippling. In index printing, the dots do not overlap like in CMYK to create other colors. Instead they are printed beside each other. This helps eliminates the problem of uneven pressure and color shift that can happen in CMYK or simulated process. I also find this a great advantage to those printers who have smaller shops using manual presses.

This process may take a few tries on your part to get the hang of it. I usually give it a go a few times in order to get the best colors selected. This is a judgment call on your part. You will have to focus your eye for color for this.

First determine how many colors you can print. You have to have the ability to print at least 6 colors to use index separations. The more colors you are capable of the better. A 12-color job will look better than a six or 8. More colors allow you more shades of certain inks.

I only recommend index separations for light garment printing. I have seen it done on dark garments and in my opinion, if you are going to print dark garments, use simulated process. I personally think it looks better and more consistent.

Opening the Image

First of all, I used a downloaded image from the internet for this tutorial to make writing it more interesting. In no way am I encouraging the act of downloading copyrighted material and using it as your own.

Step 1: Open the image you need to separate (File > Open).

[Index Separating in Adobe PhotoShop]

Step 2: Make sure the design is in RGB mode (Image > Mode > RGB color).

Step 3: Image resolution: I normally use 175 pixel//inch but you can use as high as 200 (Image > Image Size > set to 175).

Step 4: Make sure the image is Flattened.

Fine-Tuning the Image

Step 1: Go to Image > Adjustments > Selective Color. In the Colors pull down menu select Neutrals. Change the color percentages (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black) from 0% to 5%. Make sure Absolute is checked in the Method area. Click OK.

Step 2: Go to Image > Adjustments > Levels. Make sure the PREVIEW is checked. Click on the black eye dropper. While holding down the Ctrl key, click on the blackest area in the image. Now click on the white eye dropper, and while holding down the Ctrl key, click the lightest or whitest area in the image. Use your judgment; for some images this adjustment is best left alone.

Step 3: Go to Image > Mode > Lab Color. Open your channels. You should see this:

Select the Lightness Channel and turn off the others.

Step 4: Go to Filter > Sharpen  >Unsharp Mask. Set the Amount around 12%, the Radius up to 1 pixels and Threshold to 0. Click OK.


Step 5: Go to Image > Mode and select RGB.

Now we are done adjusting and tweaking the image. On to the separating.

Picking the Colors

Go to Image > Mode > Index. When the menu box comes uncheck Preview. Make sure that in Options > Dither that Diffusion is selected and Preserve Exact Colors is checked. From the Pallete pulldown menu select Custom. A new box will open called Color Table. Click-drag across all the colors. The Color Picker box will open. Select white and click OK. (It may pop up again. Just click OK again.)

Leave the first box white and click on the second box. The Color Picker again pops up. Using the eye dropper select a dominate color from the image (click inside the imagem not in the popup box).

Repeat this selecting the next available box until you have all the colors you need depending on how many print heads your press has (for this example I picked 10). Don’t forget black.

When you are done selecting your colors click OK on the Color Table. In the Indexed Color box that shows, make sure Diffusion is selected in Dither pulldown menu, Amount is 100% and Preserve Exact Colors is checked. Click OK on the Index Color box. Your image should look like this:

The image will look grainy and it should.

Creating the Steps

Now the time has come! This is the easiest part of all. Grab a soda, sit down and relax. Here we go.

Step 1: In order to pull up the colors you have chosen, go to Image > Mode > Color Table. Does this look familiar? It should, it’s the same table we used to choose the colors.

Step 2: Click on the first color (not the white). The color picker box will pop up. Click the Custom button. This will match your color up to a Pantone Color. Write this number down. In my picture the flesh color was the first color and it matches up to Pantone 714C. Now Click Cancel.

Step 3: Remaining in the Color Table, click-drag over all the colors except the first one. In my case I will click-drag starting with the blue and dragging to the end. The Color Picker window will pop up. Select white on the picker table and click OK. If the Color Picker pops up again simply select white again and click OK. This will let only one color on the Color Table show, which in my case is the flesh color.

Select the color. The Color Picker window will pop up again. This time select black. Click OK to close the Color Picker and click OK to close the Color Table.

Step 4: Go to Select > All

Step 5: Go to Edit> Copy

Step 6: Go to Edit > Step Backwards. Do this twice.

Step 7: Open the Channel menu. At the top of the menu is a double arrow head. Click this and a fly-out menu opens. Select New Spot Channel.

A popup box will open. Name the channel “Shirt Color” and make its Solidity 100%.

Click on the color and a Custom Color menu will open. Click on Picker and select white for the shirt color. Click OK to close the Picker window and click OK to close the Channel window.

Step 8: Go to Edit > Fill. A pop up box will appear. Use black, click OK. (Black becomes the color you selected and colors everything white. Just bear with me.)

Step 9: Open the Channel menu. At the top of the menu is a double arrow head. Click this and a fly-out menu opens. Select New Spot Channel. A pop up box will open. Name the channel. (In my case I call it “Flesh-Pantone 714C.” I will match this up to something I have on the shelf or maybe mix it. I can change the name later if I want.) Make sure Solidity is 100%.

Click on the color and a Custom Color menu will open. Click a color and type in the color you want: Remember the number I told you to write down? Type that in (in my case 714). Click OK to close and OK to close the Channels box.

Step 8: Go to Edit > Paste. Here is what you should have:

Now repeat from Step 1 except choose a different color. In my case, I would choose the blue. Now the first color I started with, the flesh, I would turn that white right along with the others. You are basically, separating each color from the rest and copying and pasting it into a new separate channel.

Printing the Seps

This is the easy part. From the Channels menu: When the eye is visible the channel is on. If the eye is not visible, it is off and won’t print. Turn off the RGB channels and the Shirt Color. In the Page Setup, make sure Registration Marks and Labels are check marked. I also check mark Center Crop Marks. Now one benefit to Index Seps is there is no need to worry about setting the angles for the halftones or setting the line count. Remember: Make sure the eye is on the Channels that you want to print.

Burning the Screens

On these separations I recommend 300 mesh on retensionable frames. (New wood frames will work, but be careful of using sloppy screens that have no tension.) I personally like using the yellow dyed mesh. I feel I get better detail from the dyed mesh plus I can tell at a glance which frames are higher mesh counts. If you ever burned screens for a four color process and had the honor of dealing with tiny halftones you will be surprised at how nice these separations burn and rinse out.

I hope you have found this useful. Please email me at to let me know how you made out with it or if you have any questions. If for some reason something is unclear let me know so that I may change it so it is more understandable.

Happy Printing.

Back to the Drawing Board with Gary

How I got where I am now. Part ONE

After graduating art school, which was an entire story of it’s own, in fear of being one of those jobless graduates you hear about. (Those people that either can’t get a job or are just too lazy to put forth the effort and go on some tree hugging, mind clearing, find yourself expedition.) I decided to work full time at a local T-shirt printer. A job that I got, on my own mind you, between semesters until I found a REAL JOB (as my parents would put it)

The Art school gladly took credit for me getting a job, to add to their job placement credits. (Even though my employer had never heard of them and better yet, the school never heard of him either. ) I was asked what position I held. I answered that I printed the shirts and did some artwork. They listed me as ART DIRECTOR. I suppose since I was the only employee and I now held a degree in art, I was the only qualified person to be ART DIRECTOR. I have never stated this on any resume I ever wrote. But then again, I wasn’t trying to convince parents of graduating high school students to attend my school over a community college or worse yet a state university.

I worked at this shop with what my father referred to as state of the cave equipment for eight years. I stayed as long as I could tolerating half ass quality due to antique equipment and fly from the seat of your pants management. The average human being can only tolerate 8 years of being micro-managed. So after seeing my boss walk in the door just one too many times looking way too happy for my taste. When you get to the point the only thing that goes through your head, is wanting to wipe that ridiculous happy look off their face… it’s time to quit. So I did. Just like that. Walked right passed him, handed him a resignation that I spent the last hour on his time writing on a scrap piece of paper and never looked back.

I went right down the street to his competition, got a job immediately and regretted every since. Talk about jumping out of the pot into the fire. I jumped past the fire, went straight to hell and was now working for the devil himself. I spent the next year not getting paid while listening to every excuse in the book and believing it. I finally got the shits of it, took a job as a pizza delivery dude (free stupid looking uniform included) and just decided not to ever go back. I prayed to god that neither him or my previous employer would every order delivery. If you think I wanted to slap a look off of someone for being happy, what the hell would I have wanted to do seeing that, “Oh Look at you and where you ended up” look.

I plead the fifth.

Psycho Babble Bullshit, Blogging and Events with Gary · Tutorials and Posts

Screen Printing. That’s what I do.

I posted last night a short little blurb about Screen Printing.  Afterwards, I thought, maybe I should start a blog that is informational about screen printing, allowing others to comment and share their input. And to start a Facebook Page dedicated to it. SO………..I did.

Here is a link to my NEWEST Blog….T-shirt Talk with Gary Rudisill


T-Shirt Talk is a blog dedicated to Imprinted Apparel or Screen Printing and at time will focus on some embroidery.

I encourage people to follow and interact.  After being in the Imprinted Apparel Business for over 20 years, as an artist and printer and business owner, I still enjoy the art of printing and sharing information and stories.

There is a written tutorial on Index Color Separating in Adobe Photoshop and several indepth Video Tutorials on Spot Color Separating in Adobe Photoshop.  These tutorials are worth a lot money wise. Many printers and artists pay good money for third party plugin software that doesn’t give you the control this way does.

I started a FACEBOOK PAGE for T-Shirt Talk


Also I have a new QR Code for the Gary Rudisill Newsletter.

*note you will need a QR Scanner App for your Iphone or Droid phone

Psycho Babble Bullshit, Blogging and Events with Gary

Screen Printing and the powers that be

Sometimes I honestly believe things happen for a reason.  Some of you may already know, but my day job is imprinted apparel aka screen printing. I have been doing for over 2o years since the age of 18.  And when I find a product that really tickles my fancy, I like to tell all about it.


Todays product is:

Autotype Delta II


Delta II is an anti-static polyester-based film used to produce laser-imaged film positives for exposure to photostencil systems in the screen-printing industry, as well as printing plates in the lithographic industry.


I love it. Its thinner and does NOT shrink and stretch when printed. The toner is dark on it and it burns screens like a charm.

I do artwork for quite a few other screen printers through the US and other parts of the world.  Recently, one of my steady customers, who I communicate with almost daily had a problem printing this particular job and sent it to me to print.  Usually when I hear this I have the heads up that its a nightmare, so I immediately start trouble shooting it in my head. I needed laser film and decided to order it from a  supplier that I dont normally order the film from because I was already ordering something.  Low and behold the AUTOTYPE DELTA II and I wont use anything but from now on.  The Design at hand had a one color halftoned photo which was of mediocre quality at best. So I sharpened my Photoshop skills and went of the separating with a fine tooth comb and simulated the process in my head over and over trying to anticipate the many problems.

Oh and to add pain to agony, the shirts came in this morning and had to be on UPS at the end of the day. It started out as 150 shirt order and ended up 189 shirts.  Believe it or not, this sort of thing happens a lot to me.  I tend to be the GO TO GUY when impossible things come up and I guess its the challenge, but I always seem to pull it off.  And I did, with flying colors.

Here is a print and yes all 189 shirts were printed on lime green.  and please forgive my cellphone pic