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I searched the forums for this but didn't find anything...

How do screen-printing companies handle opacity?

Consider this. A black t-shirt. A white design. Now I go around in photoshop and start swabbing areas with a slightly opaque rubber which will leave the design see-through at places... now consider I have five different opacities (one full white, the others shades of grey when viewed over black). If I supply a transparency-enabled file,
will these count as five different colors depending on the shirt color?? Or will they be treated as actual opacity maps and thus still count as one color?

Obviously, I am asking this because of costs! One color with opacity would cost so-and-so... but five colors would cost -o-m-g :p

Thanks screen-printing gurus ;)
 

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usually it would be done as a one color design with halftones used to create the lighter shades.

sometimes, if the customer wants to pay more for exact matches, it can be done by using more ink colors (white/light gray/dark gray), but most customers are happy with the way halftones look.
 

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T-BOT said:
very popular now with that gothic/angelic distorted look. :)
i separate shirts all day long.

on dark shirt, you need a base white, and a highlight white. so you will already have two color to begin with if you are doing white on black. highlight white is needed to make the base pop if there are spots that are white white.

base white on a black tee becomes a light gray. and mx is thin so straight on a shirt, it looks like a more dark gray.

so if you had a good separator, you could get away with two. the more colors you allow though the better.
 
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