Fig. C: Reduce the range of colors. Fewer colors will be
less confusing to stitch, and will require fewer colors
Fig. D: Add intensity, saturation, or contrast to your
image to compensate for the limited color palette.
4. Preview the effect. 7. Create swatches.
Move a few feet away from your video monitor. If the You’ll be able to keep track of your colors more easily
image doesn’t adapt well, try a different photograph. if you make a row of swatches in a blank area of
your image (Figure E). Using the Eyedropper tool,
5. Choose a palette. click in an area of your photo, then use the Marquee
Your computer displays images in millions of colors, tool to create a small square. From the menu bar,
but for cross-stitching we want to use only a few choose Edit ⇒ Fill and click the Foreground Color
colors of floss. From the menu bar, choose Image ⇒ option. Repeat this procedure for all the colors in
Mode ⇒ Indexed Color. In the dialog box that opens, your photo.
for the Palette option choose Local (Adaptive); for
the Forced option choose None; for the Dither option
choose None; and for the Colors option try entering
various numbers from 4 upward.
You should be able to preview the results while
the dialog box is open. Eight colors were sufficient
for the pigeon. Click OK when you’re happy with the
result (Figure C).
8. Convert back to RGB.
Convert your image from Indexed Color back to
RGB color by selecting Image ⇒ Mode ⇒ RGB
Color. This will make subsequent steps easier.
6. Add saturation.
When you reduced the number of colors in Step 5,
each one became a compromise. This is like mixing
many colors in a paint box: they tend to get muddy.
From the menu bar, choose Image ⇒ Adjust ⇒
Hue/Saturation and play with the sliders to make
your picture more interesting (Figure D).
9. Print the image.
We want your printed version to be the same size as
your cross-stitched version, but your printer may
be unpredictable if you try to print only 16 pixels per
inch. We’ll keep it happy by “upsampling” the image.
Again choose Image ⇒ Image Size from the menu
bar. In the dialog box that opens, for the Resolution
option, enter 160 if you’re going to use 16-count
fabric, or enter 140 if you’re going to use 14-count
fabric, and so on. Don’t click OK yet!