Adobe introduces a new set of tools to streamline designing for textiles

Adobe is introducing Project Paras for Adobe Photoshop CC – a new set of tools for fashion and décor artists to help streamline the process of designing prints for fabrics. Designers can now do much more within Photoshop, while keeping every element editable until it’s ready to be printed. This includes previewing patterns, defining separations, setting colourways and more. In today’s retail environment, the ability to bring the latest designs to customers as quickly as possible is important. Instead of the traditional months or years, and instead of introducing two or four new looks a year following the seasons, designers today must often introduce new stock every few weeks, Adobe pointed out. Many creatives are already using tools from Adobe to create their designs digitally, before sharing them with the manufacturers of fabrics. Getting that design correct can be a time-consuming process, requiring multiple rounds of testing and refinements – whether fine-tuning on screen, making samples of a short length of fabric, or preparing an order of hundreds or thousands of yards.

Textile and fabric designers can now do much more within Photoshop, while keeping every element editable until it’s ready to be sent to production for printing.

Adobe’s new Project Paras aims to help artists accelerate the process of creating prints and improve the efficiency of handing off the designs to the mills – who will turn those designs into reality with no production issues. Today, more and more fabric is being printed digitally, but artists often don’t always know how their designs will be manufactured. For example, they may not know if their creations will be printed on natural or synthetic fibres, or what pigments and dyes will be used. “We need to be flexible to allow for traditional screen and engraved roller printing, as well as the latest digital techniques,” said Adobe. “Project Paras lets designers be creative today, without worrying whether they can print tomorrow. It was conceived to help users make prints for fashion, or make fabrics for furnishing. And you don’t have to stop there – it can even help you create gift wrap and T-shirts.”

Adobe Creative Cloud applications have long supported the concept of being ‘non-destructive’ – that is, allowing users to make changes to their designs in a non-linear fashion by enabling independent layers, adjustments and filters, and letting users place a vector Illustrator CC smart object in a Photoshop CC design that can be edited later. Project Paras doesn’t require artists to freeze or flatten work or convert to indexed images to create designs. At any time, users can make changes to their repeat or colourway, and Project Paras will update automatically. “Whether you need to alter an existing element or add a new one, there’s no need to redo your work. Make a change and Project Paras will handle the rest,” Adobe added. Basically, Project Paras introduces new tools for making repeating patterns, creating separations and defining colourways.

Users can see their work in the context of the surrounding repeat, and the effects of any changes can be seen on-screen.

Repeating patterns. Project Paras lets users create a print that repeats on a basic grid with a horizontal brick or a vertical drop. Designers get to see their work in the context of the surrounding repeat, and the effects of any changes are seen on-screen. Need to fill a gap on the edge of a design? Project Paras provides a solution that lets elements flow beyond the edge of a central tile and wraps them around to the other side for a seamless result.

Defining separations. Whether designers are using screen printing or engraved rollers, they’ll need to break down their work into separations of discrete colours. Project Paras has powerful options to help identify the most significant colours in a design. Artists can use the built-in tools to make suggestions, pick the colours themselves, or use a combination of both. Regardless of the actual number of colours users are targeting for print, they’ll be able to see clearly how their designs can be reproduced with the number of colours that a printing process and a budget can afford.

When ready to export to production, users to save work in formats compatible with both traditional and digital printing techniques.

Working with colourways. When it comes to thinking about printing, designers should be able to specify which dyes or pigments they want to use to manufacture their design. Project Paras allows users to specify which chosen colour to use for each of the separations. It doesn’t matter if they’re using a colour book from a fabric mill, a third-party guide from Pantone or other suppliers, or an in-house library of colours for the coming fashion season. Designers will be able to specify the exact colourway to be used for the final print – and see the colours side-by-side along with the original design.

Finally, when ready to export to production, Project Paras allows users to save work in formats compatible with both traditional and digital printing techniques. Designers can also include XMP metadata in their files that can be used in production to automatically get the result they imagined – whether it’s the definition of a repeat style, the size of their print, or the colourway they want to use. For more information please visit www.adobe.com/ca/products/projectparas.html.

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Tony Curcio is the editor of Graphic Arts Magazine.