Blending with Pantone or spot colors using Phantasm CS

12 Oct 2010

In my previous post I talked about how you can create a blend between 2 spot colors without having the various hues of the blend turn into CMYK values. Today I want to share with you how you can get rid of the grayness that appear in the centre cross-over colors.

Just a little bit after I posted my article, I received an e-mail from Nicholas from Astute Graphics with this tip to use the Duotone Live Effect, part of the Phantasm CS plug-in application. You see, I've been using this plug-in for a while now, but it feels to me I'm only scratching the surface of what you can do with it. It's so powerful and extensive, with a bit of a learning curve for some parts of the effects. So it didn't cross my mind to look into that direction.

Grayness in the centre cross-over colors

In number 1 and 2 in the picture below within the red bordered rectangle area, you see what I'm talking about. The colors there look flat and less vivid.

Grayness in the centre cross-over colors of the blend

The blends of version 2 and 3 are created differently than in number 1 (which is created using native blends going from 0% to 100% of each color, on top of each other overprinted). Number 2 and 3 use a Live Effect created via a plug-in application called Phantasm CS. Via Phantasm CS you create a blend going from black to white, and then via the Appearance palette you add a Duotone Live Effect where you apply the Pantone colors for each end your blend. Number 2 shows the result using the Phantasm CS Duotone Live Effect. As you can see, by default things look exactly the same as version1, but there is more you can do. You have control over the blend.

Solution for a perfect blend

How can you solve this grayness?

If you use the Phantasm CS Duotone Live Effect you can control this by boosting the mid-points of each tone's curve in the Duotone tool. Number 3 of the image shows the result. The blend is vibrant, just the way we like it.

Phantasm CS Duotone Live Effect window

As you can see, you get full control over how you want your blend, all in a non-destructive way as you can access and modify the blend at any time simply by double clicking the Live Effect via the Appearance panel.

About Phantasm CS

I've written an article about Phantasm CS in the past. I thought it was worth digging this up, because there is really a lot you can do with this powerful Illustrator plug-in application.

Comments

  1. 1 Beatriz Atticiati 12 Oct 2010

    Great post!

    I didn´t know about Phantasm CS. I´m glad you brought the subject back.

    I´m still going to read the original post about it.

    Thanks,


    Bee-Trees

  2. 2 Doug Downing 12 Oct 2010

    Neat! So I have to ask: Does using Phantasm CS circumvent the original spot-color-to-CMYK blending issue? In other words, can you create a single grayscale blend from black to white, then add the spot colors as a live effect, and automatically get a spot color blend when outputting to print?

    Or do you have to begin by creating two blends (e.g., 100%-to-0% black, 100%-to-0% white), group them and apply Overprint, and then add the spot colors via Phantasm CS to that grayscale group?

  3. 3 Veerle Pieters 19 Oct 2010

    @Doug Downing

    Does using Phantasm CS circumvent the original spot-color-to-CMYK blending issue? In other words, can you create a single grayscale blend from black to white, then add the spot colors as a live effect, and automatically get a spot color blend when outputting to p

    Yes, as far as I know, if you have this plug-in installed, using the steps described in this article will output the blend just fine (no CMYK values), and you also keep the flexibility over the blend.