Photoshop: Revising the method for setting colour levels for print purposes, via automation.

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  • Updated 2 months ago
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Part of my job involves preparing images for print in books. When doing this, I do all the usual stuff like cleaning the image, sharpening it, and so on... but when it comes to setting the levels, I have to continuously repeat a task and it adds hours to the process.

So, this is my issue... When I set the levels, I do so via this method:
  1. Using a threshold adjustment layer, I use the eyedropper tool to sample two points, the darkest and lightest areas of the image.
  2. With the Levels adjustment layer, I set the dark and light points to the areas I sampled in the above step.
  3.  Using a Selective Colour adjustment layer, I adjust the CMYK sliders for the colours 'Black' and 'White'. While doing this I refer to the 'Info' panel. When I move the Selective Colour adjustment layer's CMYK sliders for each of the colours Black and White, I'm changing the CMYK values shown in the 'Info' panel for the darkest and lightest point of the image. My aim here is for the darkest and lightest points of the image to read a specific set of values... Darkest point: C:65 M:53 Y:51 K:94  Lightest point: C:5 M:3 Y:3 K:0
It would be really helpful if, when setting the levels, I could specify the CMYK values of the darkest and lightest points. Or perhaps Selective Colour could automatically apply values to sampled points? My bugbear is having to set the Selective Colour's CMYK values for every image I process... when I'm processing  2000 images that equates to 12,000 separate slider adjustments, which is tedious, to say the least! If this could be solved, I could automate part of the process, save hours, and not have to fiddle with Selective Colour's clumsy sliders.

If somebody could help me achieve this, I would be eternally grateful.

Kind regards,

Ian Thomspon
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Ian Thompson

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Posted 2 months ago

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Couldn't you just use a curve to do both?

I think you could even do it with levels in one pass using the target color dialog...