Need help with simple clean-up techniques

imprint

Active Member
#1
Hi, I am halfway decent with Photoshop but in my line of work commonly come across an issue that I KNOW can be done easily with a couple of clicks but can't figure out how. I need to take a low-quality image (like the first one shown below, with some color) and turn it into as clean and high-res image as is possible, in black and white (will eventually be turned into a bitmap). I then send the bitmap for production of metal dies for printing. The second image is as far as I've been able to get towards that end. I started by taking the color image and upping the resolution to 1000 pixels to clean up the lines some. (1000 is also my personal standard so that everything is sized correctly--I know it's unnecessary but it's easy to remember). Then I went to "enhance" and clicked "convert to black and white" and turned the contrast all the way up. What I've ended up with is the second, black-and-white image attached. The problem is that what I've ended up with is true black lines that are crisp enough for my purposes, but some gray tones that "dirty up" the image. What I'd like to know is how to get from the original image to a cleaned-up final version with none of the gray blotches outside of the true black stuff. I imagine someone might be able to tell me a way to do what I want to do that doesn't involve the steps I've already taken, and I'd like you to know that I am certainly not married to my current process. Whatever is simplest and has a good outcome will be awesome. Thanks very much in advance for your help.

BarraTau.jpg Marshall's Original.jpg
 
#2
I'm pretty sure the right thing to do would be to take your b&w image and load it into Illustrator. Since Illustrator uses vector images and not raster, you won't have an issue up-scaling. I'm not very familiar will Ai so perhaps someone who is might inform you on how to do this.
 
#3
I'm pretty sure the right thing to do would be to take your b&w image and load it into Illustrator. Since Illustrator uses vector images and not raster, you won't have an issue up-scaling. I'm not very familiar will Ai so perhaps someone who is might inform you on how to do this.
You'd actually have to make a vecot image out of it, which means remaking the whole thing



For the grey problem:

you can easily use two layer effects, which will get the trick done in one second.
All these are viable solutions:

curves adjustment layer: drag a marker to the top left
The levels adjustment layer: slide the grey middle slide to the left, towards the black slide.
brightness and contrast adjustment layer: slide the brightness slider to the right
 
#4
A threshold adjustment layer would also drop out the grays. Your image will still be rather jagged, though. As others have suggested, to get crisp, smooth lines you would need to draw the image with the pen tool in either photoshop or illustrator.
 

imprint

Active Member
#8
I forgot to mention, and it may be important to, that I have PS Elements 10 with + installed, not full PS. The suggestions of adjusting threshold and levels has been really useful, and I'd like to hear of more suggestions like that. Manually tracing entire images (some of which can be very, very complex) is not an option due to the time it takes. I don't have access to the "pen" and don't know what it is and how it works. I'm guessing it allows me to follow a path easily. That said, simple and quick clean-up is what I need. Other posters above may have already covered all the basics that can help me with what I'm asking for, but if you can think of anything else please let me know! Thanks
 
#9
I did it real fast in ai(live trace). but I bet threshold filter would clean it up nicely with a bit of tweaking