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Old 05-29-2011, 12:33 PM   #3
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 490

Those can be fairly deep subjects with many options and pitfalls, you might want to get a couple of Photoshop books and get detailed answers.

"Simple" things like separations can be impossible or a best extremely time consuming depending on little things like how the original art was made. If an original is made with "5% black" and "10% black" etc. and each one is made as a spot color, simple separations can result in 20 separate spot colors--rather than one black plate. (Yes, I've seen that happen. The artist couldn't understand why they got back 40 plates instead of four.)
Then you have a JPG file, a bitmap. You won't be able to work with that the same way as an original EPS file, either. Now you've got to chase pixels.
If you're actually airbrushing? It may be simplest to airbrush on acetates over a print of the art. Then scan in your acetates as originals, and add in the type and other computer-generated features--all new to match the original--at the end.
Or, scan in the original and do your new work on new layers, with transparency adjusted as needed, in Photoshop. Assuming you can get an original with enough quality to base your new image on it.

Whether the original artwork is just lost over the years, or the printer can't ask for it because he's working under the table...you may have quite a task ahead of you.

Either way a book that explains the options and possibilities is more likely to give you a wider range of answers and options.
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