#CreativeFriday – Getting ready to paint with Stratasys Creative Colours and Photoshop for the Connex3

You may have seen last week that Stratasys released the Stratasys Creative Colours painting system with the Stratasys Connex3 printer inside of Photoshop CC. I wanted to get you up and running with this exciting technology in small steps, over a series of blog posts. This one is around making sure that you have the correct colour palette selected inside Photoshop CC.

Before you start to paint in Photoshop CC, you need to tell it how to represent the colours which the painting engine will use. Before you start to paint, you will need the Photoshop profiles and install them, the profiles can be found here and should be fairly straight forward to install by following the guide on the website.

First things first, open the model that you wish you paint on. In the example below, it’s a simple fake comedy moustache.

Screen Shot 2016-02-12 at 17.38.27

The next step is to select the colours that are loaded in the printer, ultimately this colour set will determine the colours used by the printer to print the painted 3D object.

To make sure that Photoshop knows about the colours of the materials loaded into the printer, the working profile of the current environment will need to be changed.

  1. Select from the Photoshop Menu / Edit / Assign Profile
  2. Once selected, Photoshop might say that the colours can change the appearance, click ok
  3. Choose Profile from the next dialog, then choose the colour combination that is loaded into the printer. The one selected here is Pure White, Magenta and Yellow.


Once selected the 3D view port inside Photoshop will change to represent this colour profile.

(N.B. When using RGB colours, either sRGB or Adobe RGB and interchange between them, you most likely won’t notice much of a difference inside Photoshop. In this instance you will, due to the 3 colour range, as opposed to the complete colour range in RGB + white and Black. Also the Connex colour are not a direct map to the RGB colour range. This is why this stage is extremely important when painting in Photoshop for the Connex3).

Everything turns a bit strange (as shown below), because in this case of the white and black mappings. White and Black are at the extremities of both ends of the colour spectrum, therefore in this case white will stay white and black will turn red. Some profiles will show different colour ranges here. The best thing to do next is to selected a colour for the background, so you can see what you will be painting on.


In this case the white areas will stay white (because white is within the profile range), however Black will be turned to red (this is because there is no black in the profile and it’s nearest neighbour is red).

You can test this by resetting the foreground and background colour swatch by pressing the ‘D’ key. You will see the lower and upper most (white and black) range.

Some times the white might not be present, therefore the background might obscure the object. In this case i would create a new empty layer behind the 3D model (by using a new empty layer), and painting it a different colour to the model (as below)

Screen Shot 2016-02-12 at 18.00.39


Now you can carry on painting, using the foreground and background colours with the paint brushes of Photoshop. We will get on to painting next, but for know, please experiment with this setup to get comfortable.

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