CMYK Halftone Dots

ColorDrawingDrawing & EdgePopRaster

Replaces continuous tones in the layer with a pattern of dots of varying sizes for each CMYK color channel, similar to the process used in magazine or comic book printing.


The number of dots in the pattern horizontally. This is based on the width of the project. Increase for a finer pattern with more dots, decrease for a coarser patern with fewer dots.

Range: 0 to 500; Default: 100

The sensity of the dot size to the luminance of the color in the original layer.

Range: 0 to 1; Default: 0.5

The amount of blank ink used to represent equal parts of cyan, magenta, and yellow in the printing simulation. For the closest simulation of an actual printer, set this to 100%.

Range: 0% to 100%; Default: 0%

The angle of the dot pattern in degrees clockwise.

Range: 0º to 3600º; Default: 45º

The phase of alternate rows of dots in the pattern. Whole numbers cause all of the dots to line up in matching columns, and fractional numbers such as 0.5 can be used to stagger the dots. Typical halftone patterns have a phase of 0.5.

Range: -1000 to 1000; Default: 0.5


Halftone printing is a method of creating the appearance of continuous shades by printing dots of varying sizes in a single color. For full-color process printing, an image is typially separated into four channels (cyan, magenta, yellow, and black), one for each color of ink, and each channel is then printed separately using a halftone process.

The CMYK Halftone Dots effect simulates the appearance of this printing process. It works best with image and video layers, or layers containing multiple colors or smooth gradients.

To use this effect, start by adjusting Strength until you can see the pattern of dots (if it's too high or low you'll just get a solid color), then fine tune Amount until you obtain the dot size you want. For a look that more closely approximates actual printing, set Black to 100% and adjust Strength until dots of other colors also appear.

Tip: Blur First!

The luminance sample that determines the size of a dot comes from the original color of the layer at the exact middle of the dot. This means that if the phase shifts just slightly, high frequency changes in the original color of the layer can cause a lot of "jittering" of the dot size. If this is not desired, use a weak Gaussian Blur on the layer before applying this effect.

Use Cases