Converting a multi-channel image into a single composite image for copying and pasting.

I have a PSD with a single layer with 3 channels wich produce an image that I would like to copy and paste into another PSD. I need to replace the white background with a transparent one before copying and pasting.
How do I do all that?
If this can't be done in Photoshop, how would I do it in Illustrator?
John CarneyReliability Business Tools Analyst IIAsked:
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192_168_1_103Connect With a Mentor Commented:
I've got a solution for you, but it's a bit crazy-sounding, so bear with me.
First thing I need to do is make sure I read you correctly.  You have a spot-color, multi-channel image, and you want to create an image in a different color mode, leaving the white areas transparrent.  Multi-channel images do not have transparency because they simply define the level of "ink" applied over an image; white means "no ink."  I'm going to go forward with converting your image to RGB.
So...Here we go.
1) Create a new document, RGB, Transparent background, same dimensions as your spot-color image.
2) Go up to Layer>New Fill Layer>Solid Color.
3) Name the layer something logical, ignore the other options in the new layer box, hit Ok
4) Select a color.  Since you're in Pantone, click the "Color Libraries" button and select one of your colors from there.
5) Repeat steps 3&4 two more times, selecting your additional colors.

Now, you have a transparent Background layer and 3 layers that look like color chips with a white layer mask linked to them.

6) Go over to your spot color image, into the Channels panel, and select one of your channels.
7) Press Ctrl+A to select All, and Ctrl+C to copy the channel to the clipboard.
8) Select the layer in your RGB document that corresponds to the channel you copied.
9) Hold down the Alt key (option key on a Mac) and click NOT on the layer thumbnail, but on the white LAYER MASK thumbnail for the layer you selected.  Your document will turn white.  Press Ctrl+C to paste the data from your other image.
10) Here's where things work differently from multi-channel.  In subtractive color, black means add lots of ink, white means add no ink.  In Additive schemes, like what Photoshop uses for layer masks, black means hide stuff, white means show completely.  Quite the opposite. Ctrl+I or select Image>Adjustments>Invert to adjust the data correctly for this display mode.
11) Alt+Click the layer thumbnail again to return to your normal RGB document view.

So, where does that leave you?  You should be looking at a colored blob that represents one of your spot colors.  You need to repeat the copy+paste+invert operations in steps 6-11 two more times for each additional channel.

Does that give you what you need?
I am not sure I quite understand the complete file setup, but you should be able to have both PSDs open and drag the individual layers from one file to the other. As long as the white background is on an individual layer, you should be able to use the magic wand tool to select it and delete it, which would make it transparent. This should all be doable in photoshop.
John CarneyReliability Business Tools Analyst IIAuthor Commented:
Hi BongSoo,

There's only one layer.  The layer is locked and no new layers can be added. (??) The image is comprised of three layers: one specifies the colorPANTONE 114 C, one has the Black, and the third specifies PANTONE 288 C.

If the image were constituted of layers, it would be no problem, but it's not.  Is there a way to do this.  I have already tried making a screen print of the image, bringing it into Photoshop, and applying the magic wand to the white.  But even with zero tolerance, I can't get rid of all the white. This would work as a last resort if I could remove all of the white.

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OK, I think I understand. I tried replicating it and got the same issue. I think this is a limit of a multichannel image. What exactly are you trying to do in terms of output? (is this for print or web?) If its print, you may have to separate each channel into its own image and work accordingly.
check the colorspace of each document, you my be having a conflict between the color modes of the two documents. You can check by going to Image>Mode and seeing which space is selected in each document, they will have to match in order to drop one in to the other. BongSoo was right that you will need to determine what your final output will be in order to make the decision (RGB will be easiest to work with if you plan on running filters and other effects).
John CarneyReliability Business Tools Analyst IIAuthor Commented:

sorry for the sabbatical! I probably won't be back at the computer with Photoshop until after Thanksgiving, maybe even first week of December. I will try out your solution as soon as I can.  Thanks!

Hey, no problem.  :)
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