Troubleshooting – Windows Logs

When one of the PrintFactory modules has a problem or causes a crash on Windows, you will need to submit a support request.  Details about what caused the problem/crash can be seen in the Event Viewer as Windows logs.

In order to view/export Windows logs, proceed as follows:

  1. Click on Start button
  2. Open Control Panel
  3. Click System and Security
  4. Click Administrative Tools
  5. Double click Event Viewer
  6. Expand Windows logs by double clicking
  7. Click Application
  8. Select the desired event(s)
  9. Click on Save Selected Events
  10. Type a filename and choose an extension.
  11. Click Save


Event Viewer can be also opened by proceeding as follows(this means the steps 1 through 5 from above will be replaced by the following 2 steps):

  1. Open a command prompt. To open a command prompt, click Start , click All Programs , click Accessories and then click Command Prompt .
  2. Type eventvwr


    

ProductionSuite to PrintFactory upgrade

There are 2 methods to upgrade an existing GMG ProductionSuite installation to PrintFactory. Both of them use the PS2PFUpgrade tool to perform the changes needed:

  • Run the full PrintFactory installer downloaded from the website (v5.0.8 and later)
  • Run the automatic update that will be presented in GMG ProductionSuite at start-up as of early January.
The PS2PFUpgrade tool will only work when there is a ProductionSuite data folder in the C:\Users\Public (Windows) or /Users/Shared (MacOS) and no PrintFactory data folder. When it passes this test the following actions are performed:
  • All ProductionSuite applications are stopped
  • ProductionSuite data folder is renamed to PrintFactory
  • All ProductionSuite preference XMLs in the data folder are renamed to PrintFactory
  • All references to the ProductionSuite data folder inside the configuration XMLs are updated to the PrintFactory data folder
  • All shortcuts to ProductionSuite application in the Dock (MacOS) or on the Desktop (Windows) are updated to PrintFactory
  • All PrintStation shortcuts on the desktop are updated to PrintFactory
Every action is logged in the file “PrintFactory upgrade.log” which is stored in C:\Users\Public (Windows) or /Users/Shared (MacOS).
On MacOS the logging is also visible in the installer log of the PrintFactory installer (Apple+L while running the installer).
Note: The existing ProductionSuite applications will remain on the computer when the MacOS installer is used. The /Application/GMG folder can be deleted manually after the upgrade procedure if you wish.

Rollback

Rolling back the upgrade is a manual process. Depending on how the upgrade process has been performed, the following steps have to be executed to get back to the old configuration:
Case 1 – the automatic updater from ProductionSuite has been used
    • The shortcuts of ProductionSuite have to be placed back on Desktop, as the resource files from  C:\Users\Public\ProductionSuite (Windows) or /Users/Shared/ProductionSuite (MacOS) are already in place.
Case 2 – manually installed the PF release version over the existing ProductionSuite version:
    • Rename the “PrintFactory” data folder from the public folder to “ProductionSuite”.
    • Inside the data folder rename every XML starting with “PrintFactory” to “ProductionSuite”.
    • Optionally: open the XMLs and perform the above replace in those XMLs too. If this is not executed references to profiles or jobs might be lost, but the main part of the set-up is recovered.

Double Sided Nesting

Jobs can now be sent directly to the RIP for Double Sided Nesting.

 

This can be setup as follows:

1. Create a new Queue for the Printer that you want to use for DSP.

2. In the layout settings of the queue enable Double Sided Printing and choose the required configuration:

screen-shot-2016-12-16-at-13-22-43

 

3. Then configure the nesting settings in the RIP by selecting the queue you created in the last step:

screen-shot-2016-12-16-at-13-28-09

 

When DSP files are sent this queue they will automatically be nested based on the configuration settings you created.

screen-shot-2016-12-16-at-13-32-07

HP Continuous Printing Activation

How to activate Continuous Printing for HP Printers

Continuous Printing is enabled by default.  It can be enabled/disabled using the following instructions:

 

  1. In the RIP, select the Printer to be used for Continuous Printing.

 

  1. Add a New “Nesting Setting” in the “Change Media” Dialog box :

hpcp1

 

  1. Set Media Type to “Any” in order to apply “Continuous Printing” to all the printed jobs.

 

  1. Select “HP Continuous Printing” as the method.

hpcp2

 

Note: To disable Continuous Printing, you need to delete the Nesting Setting with “HP Continuous Printing” method.

 

Advanced Option

You can also implement Continuous Printing using Queues by following the steps below, however it is recommended to apply the Continuous Printing function on the printer, rather than a queue:

 

  1. Select the queue where you would like Continuous Printing to be applied:

hpcp3

 

  1. In the Collect By Queue, select the queue where you like to apply the “Continuous Printing”.

hpcp4

 

You can enable continuous printing option from your certified RIP software, it will be enabled by default. Without continuous printing, the printer cures each job separately and then winds the substrate back into the print zone before starting to print the next job in the queue. This adds time to the printing process. Continuous printing saves time by continuing to print the next job in the queue without stopping (tailgating).

 

NOTES:

  • The same print mode and resolution must be used for all jobs in the RIP queue selected for continuous printing, to optimize the overall curing time.
  • Job status reporting might be affected using continuous printing mode
  • For the jobs with printer cutting selected, the printer will cut instead of applying continuous printing

 

White Generation

Explanation

A White Layer

This renders every object that is contained in that layer to the target plate (usually White). So whatever the color is of the object it will be rendered with overprinting white. The white layer output method can be changed anytime during the process.

Multiple layers with different specifications are allowed. The order of the layers influences the rendering and thus also the white. For example a documents first layer maybe be ‘Flood’, followed by a normal layer rendering the color objects and then again a white layer with ‘Density’ for a subset of the objects that are present in the normal layer. ‘Spread’ and ‘Choke’ can be created as required.

The process is applied at the RIP stage on ‘the fly’, matching the pixels and output resolution.

This system enables a mix of different white generation, referencing any part of the document and a visual editor to edit the white effects.

 

White Layers are an addition and do not replace tools like:

  • Plate remapping
  • Drawing and editing White objects

They can be used in combination with each other.

 

Please be aware the following situations will lead to unexpected results:

Removing the White plate: If the plate that is specified in the White Layer is missing then the content of the layer will be rendered using the original color.

Cutting tools: Changing the White Layer to a cut will link to the tool of the cutter. The output will be rendered as if the layer is a normal layer. If changed back to Printer the white generation will again be active.

Supported White Methods

generate-white-tab

Flood

A full coverage, irrespective of the image content.

Under Color

Everywhere there is color white is generated.

For every pixel where the luminosity is not ‘1’ (0=Black, 1=White) white is generated.

Under White

Objects that result in a white color will generate white.

For every pixel where the luminosity is ‘0’ white is generated (for example CMYK(0,0,0,0) or RGB(255,255,255). Where no object is placed there is no white.

Transparency

The Alpha channel is copied to the white channel for every pixel.

No white will be generated for areas where no objects are placed (see also Under White).

Density

For every pixel the inverse of the luminosity value is copied to the white channel.

Light objects generate little white and dark objects generate much white. Effectively the objects are rendered to a grayscale image, this image is inverted and used as white.

Inverse-Density

The inverse of Density and thus generating much white where light objects are and little white where dark objects are. No white will be generated on places where no objects are.

 

White Amount

Described as a percentage, enables control of the quantity of the color.

 

Spread/Choke

This controls the edge of the color to follow the edge with an offset. Described in mm, it enables a small or large adjustment to aid a devices registration shortcomings.

 

White Color

White can be previewed using a specific color so it is visible against the document background and can be adjusted to contrast with specific artwork colors.

Examples / FAQ

 

White under Color

If you wish to print white onto a black media for example.

How to do this:-

Open the file in Editor.

  1. Check you have the right machine and media set, it will need to be a white ink device and PMM setup.
  2. Pick the colored object you wish to have the white under
  3. Open the White generation tool.1
  4. Select White under color
  5. You may want to add some choke or spread (allows the white edge to finish just inside or outside the selected colored object, defined in mm).2
  6. This is visible once applied in the preview of the Editor. Choke is set to 0.1mm.

    3

White under White

Perhaps you have an artwork with a white element that needs to be printed white if you have a coloured substrate. This enables you to pick all objects automatically that are white in colour and define it all to have the white ink applied there.

white-under-white

This can be checked by switching off the other channels in the output tab to leave the white only visible. The white is then displayed as black.

w-under-w-channel

Density

This is ideal for ‘reversing out’ an image, printing white ink onto black media.

Using a ‘greyscale’ image.

screen-shot-2017-08-24-at-10-39-52

  1. Select ‘Generate White’
  2. Click ‘-Density’. This will put white ink emulating the lightness of the greyscale image, so where there is no colour white will be 100%, if there is 25% black then 75% of white will be applied.screen-shot-2017-08-24-at-10-23-21
  3. A ‘White -Density’ layer has now been created, so the original layer needs to be deleted, to leave the white channel as the only printing element.
    To see the White channel clearly, turn off the other colors in the Output Channels panel.

    screen-shot-2017-08-24-at-10-24-04
  4. Use the tonal curve to remove about 28% at the bottom of the white ink channel, this lets the black areas become ‘cleaner’ and white shows in the highlights, reducing the ‘spray’ of white ink in darker parts of the image.

screen-shot-2017-08-24-at-10-24-50

This is now complete a can be printed to produce the white on black image.

final-underground-printed

Océ Colorado 1640: managing media and print mode settings

Océ have decided upon an architecture where the print and media settings are stored in the printer profile.  Consequently, any changes to these settings require changing the pmm.  This document describes how media and print settings are changed once the pmm is built.

How to change print and media settings:

  • open Calibrator and Select the built pmm in Mode
  • edit pmm (pencil icon)
  • step Back step back through the pmm till the settings and amend settings (click yes when message appears: ‘Do you want to restart the Linearization Measurement Session?’ and yes again re ‘Linear data will be lost’ =>  no data is lost and linear does not need to be restarted in this case.)
  •  save
  •  press Save again and wait till message ‘Creating and setting printer profile successfully’ appears.
  • NOTE:  these changes will be saved in all modi under this media.  If this is not desired, then a new media needs to be created for this particular mode.
In order for the changes to be adopted by the printer, the action varies depending on whether Media or Print mode settings are changed.
Media changes:
     –    Unload and reload the media, re-select the media type on press and the settings are synchronised.
Following settings are defined as the media settings:
  • Winding tension (tension bar setting)
  • Automatic media jogging
  • Moist protection/sensitivity
  • Suitable for printer cutter
  • Manual loading
  • Outer core diameter
  • Media Thickness.
All other settings (e.g.: vacuum, temperature en advance correction (= stepping),…) are defined as print mode settings
Print mode changes:
   –    Select file in RIP, right mouse click, Start Job.
This will resend the file from the RIP for the printer to adopt the amended print setting.

Note: there is no need to reRIP the job as the ripped file does not include the print mode settings.

 

 

 

Océ Colorado 1640: tension bar settings

This document describes how the tension bar settings are defined and what changes are allowed.

Tension bar settings in Media list

The media settings are accessible when double clicking a media from the media list in Calibrator.

Every media belongs to a category which has a default tension setting assigned: none, light or heavy.  Depending on the category, the print manufacturer might allow this default setting to be changed.  e.g. light papers can be printed with no tension bar or with a light tension bar.  However, certain heavy materials will not allow the tension bar to be set to None, as this will cause head crashes.

How to change this media setting is explained in: Océ Colorado 1640: managing media and print mode settings

Use of document bleed and nesting in Layout

What

This document explains how to nest or but up images using document or other types of bleed, allowing for the correct finishing in Layout.

Why

To ensure the final lay-up of images has the correct amount and type of bleed with a lay for efficient finishing.

How

The process steps involved:

  1. Trim
  2. Bleed
  3. Alignment and nesting of copies

The first step after importing an image in Layout is to set the image to the final output:

  • Select image
  • Select Trim box on the Page function.  The Trim box is the final output size of your image after finishing.  It removes all bleed present in the image.

faq_docbleed_pic1

  • In Image Marks you select what type of bleed you wish and the desired width of bleed:

Types of bleed:

    • Mirror: mirrors the end of the image
    • Stretch: will stretch the last pixel of the image
    • Solid color: generates bleed by a color of choice
    • Document: is the bleed provided by the originator of the image (if available)

faq_docbleed_pic2

  • Select desired finishing marks: crop, label or registration marks if not already provided in the document bleed
  • After adding the amount of images desired, go to Alignment /nest function
    • Choose whether to leave a space between the images or but-up
    • Confirm by clicking Nest

The but-up function will leave the bleed on the outside, but remove it on the inside with one cut line:

faq_docbleed_pic3

The gap will add the bleed all round and generate a space between the images:

faq_docbleed_pic4

Error Reporting

There are two ways to report errors in PrintFactory:

1.  Enabling Data Collection in PrintFactory Cloud will enable crash reports to available for support.

2. If the Data Collection option is not available or support request specific Windows Logs:

When one of the PrintFactory modules has a problem or causes a crash on Windows, you will need to submit a support request.  Details about what caused the problem/crash can be seen in the Event Viewer as Windows logs.

In order to view/export Windows logs, proceed as follows:

  1. Click on Start button
  2. Open Control Panel
  3. Click System and Security
  4. Click Administrative Tools
  5. Double click Event Viewer
  6. Expand Windows logs by double clicking
  7. Click Application
  8. Select the desired event(s)
  9. Click on Save Selected Events
  10. Type a filename and choose an extension.
  11. Click Save

 

Event Viewer can be also opened by proceeding as follows(this means the steps 1 through 5 from above will be replaced by the following 2 steps):

  1. Open a command prompt. To open a command prompt, click Start , click All Programs , click Accessories and then click Command Prompt .
  2. Type eventvwr

 

    

 

Calibrator: PMM Quality Settings

What

In the bottom right section of a PMM there is an option to select the quality. [Calibrator -> select Mode -> see bottom of Details window].  This quality does not directly relate to the quality of the calibration but to the quality of rendering that the RIP should apply when using this PMM.

There are 3 settings available:

Normal(Default)

The RIP will render at the resolution of the defined print mode. If the print mode defines 600×1200 DPI then the resolution for rendering (contone) is 600 (the lower of the 2). The output and screening are done at the resolution of the printer, so 600×1200. Because the rendered data is 16-bit data there is loads of extra data to feed the screening which is usually on 1 or 2 bits.

Draft

The RIP will render at half the resolution and thus be 2 to 3 times faster than normal. As the output and screening is done at the fulll resolution of the print mode the lower resolution is hardly visible and ideal for processing big size (tiled) output.

High

The RIP will render at double the resolution and thus be 4 times slower than normal. The extra resolution is used to add extra strong anti-aliasing and thus making small type (small compared to the printer output resolution) sharper and better defined. This mode can be helpfull at small, high-resolution printer that need to reproduce very fine details, like the numbers and marks on a dail of a watch.

 

Why

PrintFactory made this choise available in a relatively easy accessible place in the user-interface and linked to the PMM (instead of an automatic internal choice or RIP preference) so you can make a choice that fits your use-case and if needed have 2 PMMs for different purposes without forgetting to change RIP.

Local XML Job Submission

It is possible to submit jobs to a PrintFactory RIP using a local hotfolder and XML.

PrintFactory uses an internal XML structure which is consistent throughout the system (local and cloud).  You can see how the XML should be structured by opening a saved layout template and working with the different nodes, or by opening the settings.xml in a ripped files work folder.  You need to know the GUID of the file to do this (which can be retrieved from the job details in the cloud).

Current Limitations:

  • The submission only works on Windows Hotfolders/RIPs. The Mac version is currently in development.
  • There is no way to get a status message back from the RIP, though you can get this via the cloud. The local method is a submit and forget approach.

Two files are attached to this post which show an example XML with the associated image – which can be used for testing purposes. You can find full documentation on the structure of the XML here:

Job XML

Example XML/PDF

Textile Step and Repeat: faster ripping and smaller meta data: setup

From V6.1.0: the speed of RIP-ing when Textile Step & Repeat is used has been drastically reduced:  if there are for example 100 repeats vertically then the RIP time is reduce to 1-2% of the original time.
Also the META data (ROOM doc) is reduced in size.

However there are some limitations:
– PrintStation can’t be used
– This system will only kick in when the step and repeat document is the only item on the page and no decorations (marks, strips, etc) are present.
– Screening (1 and 2 bit printers, not for CT) might show a break and depending on the printers quality show a slight banding at the repeat.
– Internal repeats of Mimaki Tiger and Durst Alpha are not yet triggered and the “exploded” file is still sent.

Automatic Sheet Loader Support

Some flatbed printers are equipped with ¾ automated or fully automated sheet loaders. These loaders enable printing multiple sheets in one go.

To support multiple sheets per bed there is a specific function in Layout that is explained in this article.
Concept
When using multiple sheets per bed the sheets are positioned on fixed positions on the bed. These fixed positions are usually set using alignment points or using a template where the sheets are fit in.
For example a bed of 3 m x 2 m that holds 3 sheets of 30” by 60”:
Sheets on bed
To fill the bed in Layout a job is created containing 3 sheets (pages) that have the size 30” x 60”. Each sheet is handled individually in Layout (related to the product) and will thus get its own cutting registration marks and tracking barcode.
In the Multi Sheet function enter the top-left positions of each sheet on the bed.
So in absolute numbers in this example the numbers might for example be starting 5 cm from the left, 40 cm from the top and distance between each sheet 1 meter:
  1. Left (X) : 50 mm, Top (Y) 400 mm
  2. Left (X) : 1050 mm, Top (Y) 400 mm
  3. Left (X) : 2050 mm, Top (Y) 400 mm
Unfortunately the positions need to be converted to relative positions against the job it origin. Depending on the capabilities of the driver the following scenarios can exist:
  • All positions are relative to the top-left of the most top-left image. This happens on printers that promote manual positioning. Most flatbed drivers strip all outside unprinted area.
  • All positions are absolute when the driver supports the option “Output not-imaged area”. This option will create a job covering the full bed and thus allowing to use absolute positioning.
Depending on the type of printer relative or absolute positions are to be provided to the Multi Sheet set-up in Layout.

Sheet placement strategy / Grids

The sheets will be placed in the order they exist in the job. It move the sheet to the first available position in the list of provided positions. If a previous sheet covers one or more of the positions in the list then these are skipped by the placement system.
If more sheets (pages) are provided than will fit on the bed (given the positions) then the Multi Sheet system will be disabled and the standard behaviour (multiple jobs) will be used again.

Usage

  • Create/open a multipage job or multiple jobs in Editor or the RIP and invoke Layout.
  • In Layout select the menu item Layout > Multi Sheet Loader
  • Fill in the sheet positions in this dialog that is presented:
  • After pressing OK the Multi Sheet Loader positions are active (the menu item is now checked)
  • Select the sheet size from the Media Size pop-up or define it using Custom Size.
    Note: use to the menu item File > Output Devices > Edit Media Sizes in the RIP to define your own sheet sizes when not available.
  • The Multi Sheet Loader is only active when a flatbed printer is selected. To disable the Multi Sheet Loader function select the menu item again to uncheck it.

HP Wall Art Support

PrintFactory 5 and ProductionSuite 2.2 contain support for HP WallArt.

What is HP WallArt?

The HP WallArt Solution is cloud based software that helps you easily design, 3D visualize and print wall decoration.

Note: More details about HP WallArt can be found here.

ProductionSuite and HP WallArt

The functionality can be configured as follow:

  • Start RIP

  • Go to Edit\Preferences.

    RIP Preferences

 

  • Next in the preferences go to the Accounts tab.

  • Here add your credential as shown in the following image.

Note:

  • The URL can be accessed by going into the HP Wall-art account in  Settings\Workflow Integration.

  • Username/password are the same as the ones used to login to the HP WallArt site.

    HP Wall-art Preferences

 

  • While in the Workflow Integration also enable JDF Connectivity and Authentication.

  • Back in the RIP application define a printer and a ueue.

  • Select a queue. If you do not select a queue and try to access the HP WallArt you will receive the following warning.

    Warning Window

 

  • With a queue selected go to View\HP WallArt

    HP WallArt Menu

 

  • You now have access to the HP WallArt job list as displayed in the following picture

    HP WallArt Job List

Roland Decoupled Print & Cut

This document is written to clarify the working of Roland Registration Markers and to give some hints what could be wrong in some cases.

Introduction

First of all we will show you a snap of the Output Inspector so it will be clear what to expect when you print with the Roland Registration Markers. For the sample we used a rectangle of 20×20 cm. 2 mm printed outline of a square. And on the same position a cutting rectangle in a cutting layer. The Output Inspector shows in this case only the print job.

The Roland Registration markers contain 4 black circles some hairline arrows (not visible in the Output Inspector) a rectangle and the name of the job as label on the bottom. The arrows are pointing to the corners of the original Job.

  1. There should be some white space around the black circles on all sides. As you see this white space, on the left and the right side, is not provided by the job. The reason for this is that you need to setup the media in the printer putting the pressure rolls on the media. The Printer detects the inside of the most left and most right pressure roll, using these positions to calculate the origin and width of the media. The position of those outside pressure rolls adds enough white to the job.
  2. On the bottom of the job 6 cm extra media is needed to make sure the Jobs get in the grip of the pressure rolls while cutting. This is the reason the label is place almost 5 cm below the bottom markers.
  3. We also recommend adding 25mm margin left and right and 35mm top to the job.
  4. Please also ensure that your printer has the latest firmware.

Creating a Roland Registration Marker job

To create a Print & Cut job we use the Editor.

  • Create at least two layers; one to print and one containing all cutting information. How this is done is not discussed here, please consult the manual for details on that topic.
  • Select the Roland Printer as printing device and also as cutting device.It’s also possible to use any non-Roland printer in combination with a Roland Print & Cut device or Roland Cutter.
  • Press the Arrow to start Layout.
  • Check the Decoupled Cutting checkbox in the Cutting tab. Do not center the job. This can result in some problems when pressure roll positions are changed. Just align the job to the left side as shown in the picture above.
  • Submit the Job.

Two jobs will be created; one print job that automatically will start printing and one cutting job that is placed on hold.

When the print is ready, it can be cut off the media. Be sure not to cut off the 6 cm extra space at the end of the job.

Now you can laminate the print if needed. It could be a good idea not to laminate the part of the markers. Some products will have negative influence on the marker detection.

The media now needs to be fed back into the Roland device.

To align the laminated media using the crop marks set the laminated media so that the crop marks are at the center of the blade protection.

When the cutter is ready for a job, start the cutting job in the RIP.

The cutter will start looking for marker #1, if this is found it will detect the rectangle to be able to calculate the jobs skew. Then the other markers are detected and the cutting job should automatically cut all contours.

Troubleshooting

  1. Markers are not detected:
    • Set the media so that the crop marks are at the center of the blade protection
    • Do a “nozzle check” to check if all nozzles are available. Not enough contrast can lead to problems
    • Do not laminate on top of the markers ( or cut out the laminate from the print ).
    • In layout is a possibility to change the density of the markers: for more density select Rich, for less density use Weak.
  2. Bottom markers cannot be detected:
    • Check if there is 6 cm or more trailing space after the markers.
    • Usually its better to load this media as roll and not as sheet.

‘Standardized’ Printing in LFP

Introduction

This document aims to clarify the difference between “Regular” printing in the LFP world with the newer concept of “Standardized” printing.
Both concepts will be explained, as concept, but also how to actually doing it in PrintFactory.

Concepts

  • Input profile
    A profile either embedded in a file or image, or assigned to a file or image prior to color conversion through ICC profiles
  • “Reference” profile
    A profile of a “Reference” device. Currently the whole graphic industry accepts and promotes ISO Coated v2 as a standard, or “Reference”.
  • Printer profile
    A profile of a printer or other output device. This profile contains besides an ICC profile also linearization and ink limiting information.
  • Render Intent (RI)
    The way out of gamut profiles are treated during color conversions using ICC profiles. More information can be found here or here.
  • PDF/X
    A PDF standard, which includes a series of printing related requirements. One of these requirements is that the printing condition or “Output intent” needs to specified, in the form of an ICC profile (e.g. ISO Coated v2 or SWOP). There are several PDF/X “levels” from X1a to X4, specifying extra items as spot col-ors, other color spaces then CMYK, transparencies and profile embedding.
  • Queue
    A PrintFactory RIP queue is a parameter set, which defines what will happen with files sent to it via Editor or via drag and drop on the queue. A queue can publish itself as a printer which can be shared on the network and is also a hotfolder. Files dropped in the hotfolder will be processed by the RIP with the pa-rameters set in the respective queue. Typical parameters in a queue are input and or reference profiles, printer profile, some layout settings, etc…
  • PMM (Printer Media Mode)
    The PMM method allows to print to the RIP without any queue created on the RIP. Instead the RIP scans the profile folder and publishes the profiles sorted via Printer type, Media name and Mode name. This makes it easier to navigate when having multiple printers. It also allows to transfer all the color controls to the PrintFactory Editor. It will then control how colors will be converted and to what printer and media the job will be sent.
  • Device-link
    A profile that converts a device space (like CMYK) directly to another device space without using CIELab of XYZ as intermediate connection space. A device-link is capable of optimising the conversion from the input space (reference) to the output space (printer space) as during the calculation it is for example known which percentages are forming the grey axis and thus being able to preserve it. Because it does a single calculation (CMYK > CMYK) instead of a double calculation (CMYK > CIELab > CMYK) it is more accurate.

“Regular” or “Classic” printing

Generally speaking there are two ways one prints in LFP up to today:
  1. Using color management
  2. Not using color management

Using color management

A RIP is almost always setup with printer profiles. These contain ICC, linearization and ink limits. When also input profiles are set up, files or images will be tagged with the respective profiles (RGB images with RGB in-put profiles, CMYK with CMYK profiles, etc…) and converted to the ICC in the printer profile using the RI set in the preferences. This means the color values are converted to achieve an as close as possible match to the input colors, taking into account the limits of the printer.
Problems that can occur with this method:
  1. Color differences
    Color may look different because the input profile might not match the profile the designer used/assigned. For example when an image with text on top is processed and the text color is derived from a part of the image, changing the profile or intent with the image changes the color of the image relative to the text, not intended by the designer. Applying different profiles and or render intents to different elements (images and vectors for example) can seriously affect the appearance. Again the example where a text is set on top of an image, if the text is rendered with the AbCol RI and the image using the Perceptual RI, differences occur that were not in-tended.
  2. Overprints, transparencies & blends
    These elements can dramatically change when applying profiles. For example an element which after con-version to ISO Coated v2 would result in C+M, but converted to the printer profile result in C+M+ a bit of K, underlying text in K would disappear, since in the latter case also K was generated. Also with transparencies color differences can occur since elements that would blend are maybe converted using a different RI. So overprints can “disappear” and blends can look different when assigning profiles.
  3. Perceptual Intent
    Since perceptual intent changes all the colors in the file, not only the out of gamut ones, colors might look very different depending you convert to a standard like ISO Coated v2 or to the printer profile. Next to the same job printed on different printers will look very different, since the gamut of the different devices can differ a lot and the Perceptual intent adapts all the colors to the output profile.
  4. Spot Colors
    Non defined spot colors are printed using the alternate space (mostly CMYK). If the designer has taken that into account, the result might look very different due to the same reasons as explained in item 1.

Example

Original
Figure 1a : Original
Profiles Assigned
Figure 1b : Profiles assigned
No spotcolors or overprint
Figure 1c: No spot colors or overprint
Figure 1a shows the output of a document created using Adobe Illustrator and consist of an image (RGB with embedded sRGB profile). a grey background (sampled from the background of the image). a text with a color sampled from the acorn and gradient again from that color.
Figure 1b shows what happens when the ‘Designers Intent’ is ignored. The designers intent is usually unintentionally and depending on the (default) settings of the application that defines the CMYK that is use to work in.
  1. A color difference appears as the background is defined in CMYK without a profile. Adobe Illustrator defined the CMYK from the grey of the (s)RGB image (acorn) by converting it to SWOP (the working space the designer has set-up). If not exactly that combination of profiles with the right rendering intents is assigned to image and the background a color difference will appear.
  2. The color of the acorn became brighter and more saturated compared to the rest of the design because it is mapped directly to the printer gamut. This is what you expect that is wanted but as can be seen if breaks the match with the other colors (like the text and gradient) in the design.
  3. The gradient is defined by an overprinting spot color. As the background has now 2 different appearances (see #1) this is also seen in the overprinting or blending effects.
Figure 1c shows what happens when spot colors are removed or replaced with RGB or CMYK before RIPing or when overprint is switched off (as a method to counter issue 3 in figure 1b).
  1. The text is no longer overprinting as its color has been replaced with a CMYK that is representing the spot color. The CMYK used was a very accurate match with the spot color but due to the overprinting effect the spot color was darkened by the grey background.
  2. The gradient is no longer showing the correct overprinting effect. As the spot color before was a duo tone fading to 0 of another spot color and as a result it nicely blended away. But due to either switching of overprint or by replacing the spot colors with their matching CMYK equivalents the overprinting blend has been lost and it blends to white.
Conclusion of this example is that any change to the original design by assigning/removing embedded profiles, disabling overprints or replacing spot colors before RIPing (and thus blending) results in broken output.

Not using color management

Not using color management sends the file’s CMYK data directly to the printer, only passing via linearization. This method results in the least color consistent prints and is not recommended.

Standardized printing

Benefits

Matching prints

The goal of Standardized printing is to reduce the color deviations and variations in prints produced from different printers. These differences exist because these machines vary in color capabilities, sometimes quite drastic. This is due to the variety of printhead technologies (Piezo, Bubblejet), inks (Solvent, UV-curing, mild or ECO solvent, dye and Latex) and substrates (paper, PVC, vinyl, PE, PET, …).

Effortless

Next to that the standardized printing method respects the designer’s intentional overprint, transparency and blend effects. They are converted correctly to the output intent or reference before converting to the printer.
This means that by doing nothing the output is correct and utilising everything the gamut of the printer has to offer. So no experiments on the printer to see if the job is right as it is always correct. Saving operator time in preparing the job and printer time testing the job.

PDF/X – Single supply specification

The way this is done is to convert all incoming (non-CMYK) color spaces to a chosen Reference profile and then to the printer profile. This way all the colors get matched to the standard or reference, and then converted to the printer’s capabilities, maintaining the overall color appearance between different devices.
PDF/X has been developed (among other reasons) for this. It contains the output intent (Reference) with which it should be processed. Next to that, from PDF/X3 on, all file elements of a color space which is not equal to the output intent’s color space need to be tagged with an ICC profile, to assure correct conversion to the output intent can be guaranteed.
As all modern applications support PDF/X its is very easy to specify how your customer needs to supply its job; Choose Export and Select the highest PDF/X that is specified. It delivers a single job with everything embedded and can very easily be checked if it is acceptable for print.

Ink-saving

The standerization converts all color elements to a single color space (reference profile) and spot colors. This allows the unambiguous use of device-link profiles as there is only one color space after standerization. The use of device-link profiles allows PrintFactory to calculate a direct link and thus delivering:
  • Neutral grey
    As the reference space is known it is also known what the grey axis is and the device-link can be optimised for that.
  • Ink-saving
    When working through CIELab the source of a dark color is unknown, there are several CMYK combinations that lead to similar CIELab values. As with standerization the separation of the reference is known it allows to optimise the device-link profile and keep very nice defined mid- and dark tones open while saving significant amounts of ink.
    Saving ink is delivers a direct benefit due to lower ink costs and has additional benefits like; prolongs longevity of heads, improves printability on media and allows to use lower temperatures which printing.
  • Tuneable profiles
    The device-link knows which targets it needs to achieve and how to get every individual printer back to its golden state. This delivers the possibility to print a relative small target (approx. 500 patches for a CMYK printer) and read it with a spectrophotometer. After this measurement step the software simply presents a pass or fail. If it fails it knows how to correct for the deviations and adjust the profile. This process is a simple print-and-measure step so every operator can perform it without additional colormanagement training.

Reduced gamut

An often heard story is that using a reference space will limit the capabilities of the printer to the intersection of the reference gamut and the printer gamut.
This is not necessarily so as there are several strategies that can be used and all have to do how the job is handled after the standerization process:
  1. Spot colors
    In traditional offset the limitations of the gamut are lifted by introducing spot colors. This is also the common way designers work and as a result most of the jobs already contain spot colors for the company colors or where the designer felt he/she was limited by the working space (=reference).
    The spot colors are rendered along the reference space and not compressed in it. So a job using ISO Coated v2 as reference and two Pantone colors will actually render as a 6 channel job; CMYK + Pantone 1 + Pantone 2. This method ensures that all blending and transparency effects are correctly done (like drop shadows and overprints) while enabling the RIP to address the full gamut of the printer with the result.
  2. Gamut mapping
    If printer to printer consistency or a match to a contract proof is not the preference but punchy colors are then the resulting reference colorspace (usually CMYK) can be mapped to the printer gamut in anyway you like. So if the printer gamut is larger a perceptual mapping with black point compensation will make the reference space expand to the maximum of the printer gamut. Equally true if the printer gamut is smaller, but in that case a hybrid between perceptual and colorimetric is recommended; keeping colorimetric in the middle of the gamut (the achievable part) and perceptually compressing the gamut on the edges to retain a visual comparable product without introducing flattening of colors at the edge.
  3. RGB
    For fine-art and photography a RGB reference can be used. This delivers a large gamut without unnecessary separation to a reference CMYK where the black generation of the reference might cause breaks in the smooth transitions. After that standerization to RGB using the aforementioned gamut mapping of your liking the result can be mapped to the printer gamut. While still enjoying both the benefits of standerization and device-linking.

Alternatives

Adobe Photoshop

A common remedy for color differences in the files or ‘broken files’ is to open the file in Adobe Photoshop and let Photoshop flatten it completely to CMYK. This does work as it correctly respects all elements and thus the designers intent.
This approach has the following downsides:
  • Photoshop also renders the spot color to CMYK it dulls down the spot color of the references gamut and removes control over the spot colors (tuning, replacement, etc.)
  • The document needs to be flattened to a sufficient resolution at output size, this results in a large files and time consuming operations.

ColorServer

Another common alternative is to use a ColorServer front-end before the RIP. A ColorServer does deliver you all the benefits of standerized printing.
Even though especially designed for this job there are some downsides on using a ColorServer:
  • Performance
    To be able to process all color conversions parts of the document needs to be flattened to image. The more complex the document is the more flattening occurs. This process often require quite a bit of processing and results in uneditable (as partially flattened) and bulky output files which make the following steps in the workflow slower and more error prone.
    If the collating/gang and job preparation has been done before the ColorServer then complex files are presented to the ColorServer bogging it down due to its complexity.
  • Room for error
    The job processed by a ColorServer requires a specific set-up at the RIP to avoid further color processing and only linearisation is applied. Also each conversion type requires its matching set-up at the RIP. This results in a complex set-up that is hard to maintain and is easy to break or when jobs are processed manually in a big risk of human error or a combination of both.
  • Spot colors
    Depending on the capabilities of the ColorServer, also the spot colors might be flattened to the reference space and thus being dulled down and removing control over them (spot color tuning, etc.)

EPS

EPS is still very popular as a file format for delivering LFP jobs as it is, unintentionally, delivering standerization of the job. EPS is a format based on PostScript and therefore has limited capabilities compared to PDF (PDF is the successor of PostScript). It lacks blending, transparencies and advanced colormanagement therefore all Adobe applications perform a lot of flattening of the file and thus removing all risky elements.
Using EPS is strongly discouraged because:
  • EPS needs to be converted to PDF using a Distiller prior to processing and thus adding a lengthy preprocessing step.
  • Files are commonly many times bigger and heavier than PDF as all smart PDF elements have been replaced by dump and heavy images.
  • The images used for flattening are at a fixed resolution, thus scaling the output can lead to jagged output.
  • Resulting PDFs are uneducable and are hard to touch-up as many elements are cut in many smaller pieces during the flattening.

PrintFactory

Integrated

PrintFactory delivers an integrated approach combining standerized printing and device-linking in one seamless workflow. Due to a deep integration and moving all the processing to a single moment as last step in the workflow it delivers both an easy to use, reliable and fast solution on doing this.
  • Reduce human errors
    The standerization workflow is integrated in each component, being it either the Editor, Layout, RIP or Calibrator. It is the default way of working and no additional actions have to be taken to make it work. Standerization allows to stays away from making many settings and decision and as a result reducing the possibility for human error and reducing the amount of hours needed to prepare the job.
  • Confidence
    The same PDF engine that is used in the RIP is also used in the Editor and Layout to preview the jobs so they will always look the same. Every view is a live preview including live transparency and overprint with a soft-proof of the actual printed result because all settings and properties are automatically retrieved from the printer through the zero-conf network.
  • High performance
    The heavy lifting is done as last at the RIP. The RIP does collating/ganging, rendering (the actual RIPing), colormanagement, bleeds, folds, white generation and many other tasks at the very last moment in 1 go. Until that moment the job only consist of the PDF and XML instructions for the RIP allowing to make last minute changes but more importantly avoiding creating complex and heavy intermediate files that become heavier and complexer after each operation done on them. Combining all this in the last step makes it both fast and reliable.
  • Device-linking on the fly
    PrintFactory Calibrator does not create a conversion tables after it measured the targets. The linearisation, ink splitting and ink limits are set but no profiles are created. The first RIP in the network that encounters a specific reference profile, media and printer combination for the first time for a particular printer will create a profile on the fly based on the setting set the operator has send (called Variation). So there is no need to create extensive sets of profile variations up front only to find out that a specific variation was not done.

How to use it

PrintFactory Editor will allow to work via the principle of Standardized printing. This can be done in different ways.
  1. The job is a PDF/X (any PDF/X type)
  2. The job is a regular PDF or other file format

The job is a PDF/X

If a job is PDF/X, PrintFactory Editor will detect the output intent and set it as output in the Channels palette. All color elements in the file will be converted to this output intent on the fly, using the embedded profiles and rendering intents (RI). Example is the Altona Visual, this contains various elements in RGB, Lab, Grey and CMYK. All non-CMYK elements are tagged with profile and RI, specifying the conversion to the output intent or reference. While the output tab of the Channels palette shows the resulting CMYK values, the input tab still shows the original RGB, Grey and Lab values from where the CMYK is calculated from.
Input values (RGB)Figure 2a : Input values (RGB) Result "Standerized" values (CMYK)
Figure 2b : Resulting “Standardized” values (CMYK)
When a PDF/X is opened, the output intent is automatically detected. When printing (producing) the job, in the “Submit job” dialog the option PDF/X intent needs to be set to Relative Colorimetric or Perceptual, depending whether the printer’s gamut is smaller (Perceptual), equal or bigger (Relative) than the output intent.
Submit Job - Select PMM
When doing so, the input colors other than CMYK will be converted to the reference, resulting in a CMYK file, this file is then flattened and converted to the printer’s color space with the output intent as the reference profile.
The spot colors that are present in the file are mapped directly to the gamut of the printer without being converted first to the reference CMYK. Therefore it essential to respect the spot colors and overprints otherwise the blending might break (ref. figure 1c)

The job is a regular PDF or other file format

When the job does not contain an output intent the reference profile is set as defined in the Standard Preferences and the profile selected at Print Standard will be assumed.
Standard Preference
If the above preference is not set then the user needs to choose the reference profile from within the Channels palette. Clicking the button will open the “Choose profile” dialog where a CMYK reference profile can be chosen (ISO Coated v2 in this example).
The rest of the procedure is identical.

Procedures

Setting up PrintFactory

  • Ideally the PrintFactory RIP should not contain queues. Printing via PMM is simpler and can be less confus-ing than working with queues.
  • In the color preferences of PrintFactory Editor, choose “Never” with the “Apply on open” choice. This leaves the document as-is, meaning that embedded profiles will stay embedded, untagged images or elements will stay untagged. Alternatively you can choose “Leave untouched” and check “Never ask again” in the “Color management” dialog which appears when opening a job.

Opening files

When opening files, make sure the color management settings are done as described above.
  • If the file opened was a PDF/X, you will see the output intent selected in the output tab of the Channels palette.
  • If the file was not a PDF/X, click the   button in the output tab of the Channels palette and select ISO Coated v2 in the CMYK profiles list.
  • Proceed with all the job preparation that needs to be done like scaling, paneling, grommeting etc.

Printing/producing the job

When the job is prepared and ready to be printed, choose File>Production to enter the Production dialog. In the first tab, select Colorimetric or Perceptual in the drop down list with the “PDF/X intent” choice.
Then proceed with the other settings and click the “OK” button.

Remarks

There are some things to keep in mind when using Standardized printing in PrintFactory:
  • The ink values in the Output tab of the Channels palette are the values of the conversion to the Reference profile set (e.g. ISO Coated v2) and are not the ink values the printer will lay down.
  • It is not possible to control the exact ink values on the printer using the “Device Space” option in the “Style” palette.
  • Spot color reproduction in printer inks can not be done directly from the Editor, since the CMYK values seen are of the reference profile, not the printer profile. Spot colors need to be defined in the Calibrator (where it is also possible to do this in printer inks).

Variable Data (VDP) Support

The variable data process involves a template file, in which PlaceHolders and special keywords are defined. When Variable Data is used, these PlaceHolders and keywords will be replaced.

In the Editor, Variable data can be done by importing files in a document with PlaceHolders or by using File – Combine…

In the RIP, Variable data can be invoked by selecting a template file in the Queue Settings Layout tab.

To use PlaceHolders, simply draw them in the Editor, and save the file as a template file. You can specify this in the save-as dialog. When a PlaceHolder is drawn, it gets an ID. The ID can be changed with the PlaceHolder tool.

Keywords are (parts of) texts. A keyword is recognized by two dollar signs, one at the start and one at the end. If a text contains “$Name: $”, this complete text (including the dollar signs) will be replaced by the text which specifies “Name”.

When a keyword starts with ‘:’, the text which will replace the keyword will be obtained from the current document. “$:Name$” will get the replacement text for “Name” from the document.

When a keyword starts with ‘#’ this ‘#’ has to be followed by a PlaceHolder ID, which identifies the PlaceHolder from which to get the replacement text. After this ID, a ‘:’ must be used to separate the ID from the actual keyword. “$#3:Name$” will get the replacement text from the PlaceHolder content with ID 3.

In the Editor, it is also possible to have keywords without ‘:’or ‘#’. These keywords are defined in a user generated text file. When using the Combine function, this text file can be selected.

The are some extra settings, which allow you to do some special things like “after replacing the text, convert the text to a barcode”, or “only show the first two decimals of a fractional number”.

These settings are put in the last part of the keyword, starting with a ‘@’. Multiple settings can be added, by appending a ‘@’with the setting at the end of the keyword.

Some keywords will or will not work in the Editor, while others will not work in the RIP.

Obtaining the Queue name for example, is not possible in the Editor.

The text file that is used in the Combine function in the Editor is has to be a UTF8 encoded text file.

The first row in this file defines the used defined keywords. The keywords must be separated by a tab.

The number of keywords in the first line, define the number of columns.

In the lines that follow, the same number of columns must be used. If a column has no value, an empty entry must be added ( “” ).

Each line after the first one will generate a copy of all pages in the original template file. If the template file contains three pages, for each extra line of data in the text file three pages will be added to the document.

Examples

An example text file:

Name(tab)Adress(tab)Phone Number(tab)#6

Erik(tab)Main street 7(tab)xx31555666777(tab)(path1)

Martin(tab)SubSquare 5(tab)xx31555999888(tab) )(path2)

Paul(tab)Garden view 6(tab)xx32555111222(tab) )(path3)

Of course, each (tab) in this example must be replaced by a real tab in the actual text file.

In this example there are four user defined keywords:

Name

Address

Phone Number

#6

When a template file of 2 pages is Combined with this text file, the resulting file will contain 6 pages.

Two pages for the Erik-line, two for the Martin-line and two for the Paul-line.

All keywords “$Name: $” will be replaced by “Erik” in the first two pages, by “Martin” in the next two pages and by “Paul” in the last two pages.

In this manner, also all “$Adress$” and “$Phone Number$” will be replaced.

The last keyword is a special one. It starts with a ‘#’, which means that the paths in this are used to fill the PlaceHolder with ID equal to 6. The paths can be full paths, or paths relative to the document (paths start with “./” ) .

The paths are used to fill the PlaceHolder. When a PlaceHolder is filled, it ‘knows’ things about its content. The PlaceHolder knows its file, the file size, the number of pages in the file, but also the EXIF data, if present.

This means that the template file can also contain keywords which get their replacement text from a specified PlaceHolder. “$#6:FileName$” will be replaced by the name of the file that has been placed in the PlaceHolder with ID 6.

Example 1

In the Editor, create a new document.

Draw a PlaceHolder, and set its Resize type to “Smallest”. Make sure the ID of the PlaceHolder is 1.

( Do not forget to click the Apply button )

Add a text “$#1:Title$”, and save the file as a stationary ( .st3 in the Save as dialog )

Drop an image on the document. You will see the PlaceHolder gets filled with the image, and the text will be replaced by the title of the dropped file.

Example 2

In the previous example, also add the text “$#1:Title@Code128$”. Save as .st3.

When the image is dropped, this text will be replaced by the same text as “$#1:Title$”, but its font will change to a barcode font, and extra characters will be added to make the barcode Code128 compliant. (You can see the extra characters by changing the barcode font into a normal font)

Example 3

In the first example, also add the text “$#1:XResolution$” and the text “Resolution: $#1:XResolution@%2f$ dpi”

Example 4

If a QR code should be generated, part of the text can be replaced by a Bitmap, containing the code.

The bitmap is placed left top on the left top of the text. So to be able to place QR code bitmaps it is good practice to give them their own text object.

“The link to the file in QR format:” “$URL@QR”

The firsdt text will remain the same, the second will be replaced by a QR code. ( when the table in the text file contains a column “URL” )

The link to the file in QR format: QR.png

If a size if added behind “QR”, the image will take on that size.

QR10mm wil result in an image of 10 millimeter ( width and height are the same )

QR2inch

QR3cm ( centimeter )

Parameter list

Parameter Description
Code128 Standard barcode system
Code39 Standard barcode system
Ean13 Standard barcode system
Ean8 Standard barcode system
AddOn Standard barcode system
Code25I Standard barcode system
QR Standard barcode system
%d Format the result as an integer
%nf Format the result as a fractional number with n decimals
Keyword Description
Title The title of the file
Creator The Creator of the filr
Descriptor Description used in Document Info
Keywords Keywords set in Document info
UsedTime Time used
FileType Type of the file
FileSize Size of the file
PageCount Number of pages
PageWidth Width of the page
PageHeight Height of the page
XResolution Horizontal resolution
YResolution Vertical resolution
Panel Panel information
Tile Tiling information
Guide Information about guides
Annotation Information about the annotations
Grid Grid sizes
EXIF/ExposureTime ExposureTime from EXIF data
EXIF/Description Description from EXIF data
EXIF/Software Software from EXIF data
EXIF/Artist Artist from EXIF data
EXIF/Model Model from EXIF data
EXIF/Make Make from EXIF data
EXIF/XResolution XResolution from EXIF data
EXIF/YResolution YResolution from EXIF data
NAME Job name
QUEUE Queue name
USER User name
PRINTER Printer name
MEDIA Media name
MODE Mode name
DFP Profile name
QUEUETYPE Type of Queue
PFP Reference profile
REFERENCE Reference profile
CMYK CMYK profile name(s)
RGB RGB profile name(s)
GRAY Gray profile name(s)
LAB Lab profile name(s)
CMYKINTENT CMYK intents
RGBINTENT RGB intents
GRAYINTENT Gray intents
LABINTENT Lab intents
DATE Date
TIME Time
PAGE Page
SCALE Scaling
CAM EXIF Artist
MODEL EXIF Model
EDATE EXIF Date
ETIME EXIF Time
FNUM EXIF Fnumber
ISO EXIF ISOSpeedRating
IMAGEDPI Resolution of images
IMAGECOLOR ColorSpace of images
IMAGEPROFILE Images profile
SCREEN Screening type
FORMAT Input format
DRIVERSET Driversettings
SOLIDBLACK Solid Black setting
BLACKCOMP Blackpoint Compensation setting
PAPERCOLOR PaperColor compensation setting
EMBEDDEDPROFS Use embedded profiles setting
INPUTDIR Hotfolder path
TEMPLATE Template file used
WIDTHANDHEIGHT Output width and Height
DAL_MODE 1-bit mode
PREFERX3 Prefer PDF-X setting
CONVERTALLSPOT Convert all spotcolors setting
CONVERTCMYKSPOT Convert all spots to CMYK setting
PLATECURVECOMP 1-bit dotgain curve name
SUBSTRATESIM Substrate simulation name
MIRROR 1-bit Mirror setting
PUREHUE Pure Hue setting
FASTRIP Fast RIPping setting
DAL_NEGATIVE 1-bit negative setting
DEVLINK Devicelink profile name
EXIF Complete EXIF info (fixed set)
CERTIFICATION Certification result

VUTEk – White Printing Support

Connecting

VUTEk printers usually run a LINUX version on their DFE with a folder \INCOMING\ already shared
(if no share is yet created, check the DURST install instructions for sharing folders on a UNIX system or check with local IT; more info might be needed here…)

Some VUTEk stations pull files from a shared server locations (RIP or file server), which could be changed to pull from an output folder on the RIP.

IMPORTANT: if PS RIP is set to output to the \INCOMING\ folder on the VUTEk, then RIP automatically goes on HOLD when the VUTEk printer gets turned off, e.g. overnight or on weekends and all jobs need to be set to CONTINUE in RIP first, once the printer gets turned on again. For very large print files RIP output to local HDD is more stable and then copy file manually to \INCOMING\ or open over network.

Loading print jobs on DFE

Import RTL from the DFE GUI.

This deletes the RTL file from the INCOMING folder and transfers it into the internal format and is now handled by the DFE software.

DFE software usually shows a warning message when 50+ jobs are loaded and requests to delete obsolete print jobs for speed / stability reasons.
(So far no problems have been encountered if the number 50 gets exceeded, but the message can become annoying and consider that HDD space on the DFE is limited).

Print modes

Most VUTEk printers have non-square print modes (e.g. 600×360 or 1000×720), so rotating jobs in PrintStation or on the DFE is not possible.

Current information suggests that some print modes are optional on some machines and need to be separately licensed and enabled / installed by VUTEk in order to become available. This means that available driver during the installation only support modes that were available for testing on models to which we had access to for verifying the drivers.

Example: the “QS2 Pro” supports natively “600×360 [Binary]” and “1000×720 [Binary]”; a “600×360 [Grayscale]” can additionally be licensed (and has been implemented in builds 2.0.3.7894 and higher). It is not known if there is also a [GS] option for the 1000×720 resolution – none was installed on the printer on which the driver was beta tested. Interestingly the DFE accepted RTL files in “1000×720 [Grayscale]” and displayed them properly, yet the printer reported an error message when trying to run them.

If you encounter during install that modes missing, please report them to 3rd line support immediately along with a very small RTL file (content irrelevant; 1cm x 1cm or 1” x 1” is sufficient; important info is in the header of the RTL); chances are you might get a replacement driver with the missing print modes added within 1 work day – please report results with this driver IMMEDIATELY back.

Your tests need to include a large sheet / roll size output with cutter barcodes and camera marks, crop / registrations marks and FOGRA or IDEAlliance label added. These elements outside the main print file area are important tests of the RTL file creation.

White printing (if equipped)

Single Layer Output / Inline White [default]

Submitting a job from the Editor or RIP which includes a White layer will print all channels simultaneous, which creates a pastel look.

If a user is not used to working with in the RIP/Editor generated White, then this can lead to undesired results and the assumption that White generated by the RIP/Editor isn’t working with a VUTEk.
Such user reaction prompted the writing of this instruction sheet.

This print option can be used if White is used as a spot color on the same printing layer as the color image or to create pastel appearances.

This should not be used in FLOOD mode during profiling. The result will look very pastel from either side of a material. See photo

Flood Print

Two Layer Output / Overflood / Underflood
[white creation in the RIP]

This is the most common form of printing with White and directly takes the White channel from the by the RIP generated RTL and prints it as a separate layer before (= Underflood) or after (= Overflood) the CMYK (CMYKcm, CMYKcmyk or similar) channels

Step-by-Step (Underflood)

  • Import RTL
  • Right-Click on image on DFE and select Add to MultiLayer
  • Select 2 Layer in upper right of window

VUTEk console

  •  You’ll see the loaded RTL as Top Image on the left and a plus symbol in the center. The frame on the right remains empty (reserved for 3 layer mode).
  • Click the Image pulldown below the + image area and select White Layer (from Top Image).
  • (Alternatively you can load (click on the + in the preview area) your RTL file also as Bottom Layer and disable in Colors all channels except White).
  • Optional: Click on Colors in the lower left of the frame showing your RTL file preview and verify that “[ ] White” is deactivated.
  • Confirm and print

Step-by-Step (Overflood)

  • Import RTL
  • Right-Click on image on DFE and select Add to MultiLayer
  • Select 2 Layer in upper right of window
  • You’ll see the loaded RTL as Top Image on the left and a plus symbol in the center. The frame on the right remains empty (reserved for 3 layer mode).
  • Click the + in the center of the center frame (Bottom Image) and a browse window will open. Scroll down to your RTL job and import.
  • Check the Target Layer [x] under the Bottom Layer image
  • Click the Image pulldown below the Top Image image area and select White Layer (from Image).
  • Click on Colors in the lower left of the frame showing your RTL file preview (Bottom Image) and check that “[ ] White” is grayed out
  • Confirm and print

Two Layer Output / Overflood / Underflood
[white creation on VUTEk DFE]

This form of printing with White does not require a White channel inside the RIP generated RTL, but generates one automatically over the entire printable area and prints it as a separate layer before (= Underflood) or after (= Overflood) the CMYK (CMYKcm, CMYKcmyk or similar) channels.

This mode leaves an existing (generated by the RIP) White channel untouched inline! Please deactivate an existing White channel in the imported RTL unless you want that channel to print White Inline (= spot channel).

As of August 2013 this mode is required to print cutter camera marks and barcodes onto dark or clear materials. Prints onto acrylic substrates with White Overflood will cover the cutter marks and require the camera marks to be read through the acrylic with the print side down on the cutter. As the barcode and camera marks do not get mirrored, the barcode cannot be read automatically (e.g. by i-cut 7) yet still might work with a handheld barcode reader and reading camera marks through thick substrates (= over 3 mm) might not work at all.
Consider printing 3 layers with DFE generated White layer for cutter functionality to work.
Feature requests to support white backing of camera marks and bar codes as well as mirror options for bar codes / camera marks are being processed. Please alter this paragraph when implemented.

Step-by-Step (Underflood)

  • Import RTL
  • Right-Click on image on DFE and select Add to MultiLayer
  • Select 2 Layer in upper right of window
  • You’ll see the loaded RTL as Top Image on the left and a plus symbol in the center. The frame on the right remains empty (reserved for 3 layer mode).
  • Click on Colors in the lower left of the frame showing your RTL file preview and deactivate “[ ] White
  • Click the Image pulldown below the + image area and select White Flood.
VUTEk Console Underflood
  • Confirm and print

Step-by-Step (Overflood)

  • Import RTL
  • Right-Click on image on DFE and select Add to MultiLayer
  • Select 2 Layer in upper right of window
  • You’ll see the loaded RTL as Top Image on the left and a plus symbol in the center. The frame on the right remains empty (reserved for 3 layer mode).
  • Click the + in the center of the center frame (Bottom Image) and a browse window will open. Scroll down to your RTL job and import.
  • Click the Image pulldown below the Top Image image area and select White Flood.
  • Click on Colors in the lower left of the frame showing your RTL file preview (Bottom Image) and deactivate “[ ] White
  • Confirm and print

Three Layer Output / White+White+CMYK/ CMYK+White+White
(even Black+White+CMYK or CMYK+White+Black)

This form of printing creates a double-density white or a single density white with a black backing (e.g. to block out a tinted substrate or create a black base with white contrast elements and then color on top).

Please follow the instructions as above and use the 3 Layer option.

Use White Flood for 2 layers if you need double density over the entire document.

Use White Flood for back layer, then White from Image for selective white areas that need double white and then as visible layer your color layer (CMYK). Depending on surface or reverse printing Flood White would be first or last to print (= Top Image / Bottom Image) with White from Image making up the Middle Image.

Interesting effects can be achieved with Black Flood as backing, then White from Image and CMYK on Top.

Do not print color onto a black flood as the inks aren’t opaque enough to show visible.

Three Layer Output / CMYK+White+CMYK

This form of printing creates a print result with a white layer sandwiched between 2 color layers. It is generally used on clear or matted substrates for use on light boxes which can be viewed also with ambient light.

Three Layer Output

Examples are outdoor light boxes like they are commonly seen at bus shelters or movie poster displays.

The white backing turns into a replacement of a paper color when seen under ambient light (light box is turned off) and also diffuses the light from the light source in the box (so you don’t see the lamps through the clear film material), while the additional backprint provides higher contrast for when the ambient light is off (e.g. at night) and instead the lightbox itself turns into a light source. Omitting backprint would make the single layer print appear washed out.

Step-by-Step (White Flood from DFE)

  • Import RTL
  • Right-Click on image on DFE and select Add to MultiLayer
  • Select 3 Layer in upper right of window
  • You’ll see the loaded RTL as Top Image on the left and a plus symbol in the center and right frames.
  • Click the + in the center of the right frame (Bottom Image) and a browse window will open. Scroll down to your RTL job and import.
  • Click the Image pulldown below the Middle Image image area and select White Flood.
  • Click on Colors in the lower left of the frames showing your RTL file previews (Top Image andBottom Image) and deactivate “[ ] White
  • Caution: some DFE versions seem to activate the White again when you check the Top Image a 2ndtime (exact cause unknown)
  • Confirm and print
Visual Check Chart

Step-by-Step (White Channel from the Editor)

  • Import RTL
  • Right-Click on image on DFE and select Add to MultiLayer
  • Select 3 Layer in upper right of window
  • You’ll see the loaded RTL as Top Image on the left and a plus symbol in the center and right frames.
  • Click the + in the center of the right frame (Middle Image) and a browse window will open. Scroll down to your RTL job and import.
  • Click the + in the center of the right frame (Bottom Image) and a browse window will open. Scroll down to your RTL job and import.
  • Click the Image pulldown below the Middle Image image area and select White Layer (from image). This White Layer will be taken from the image that’s checked “Target Layer [x]”.
  • Click on Colors in the lower left of the frames showing your RTL file previews (Top Image andBottom Image) and deactivate “[ ] White”; should be automatically deactivated from the one checked “Target Layer [x]”.
  • Caution: some DFE versions seem to activate the White again when you check the Top Image a 2ndtime (exact cause unknown)
  • Confirm and print

Five Layer Output / CMYK+White+Black+White+CMYK

In some cases users want to print different images on either side of a transparent material. To avoid see-thru effects it is common to use a black blocking layer in the middle and white before and after and colors are printed directly onto substrate and as last visible layer.

White Flood / Black Flood / White Flood would generate such layers.

Often prints of this type would be shaped objects in which case a flood white of full document frame size might not be desired, but rather a Blocking Layer Channel and White Channels (identical? / different? For front / back?) would be used, which allow to take predefined shapes.

It is currently unknown if there is a reliable way of achieving this with current VUTEk systems. If information becomes available, please edit this chapter.

Double Density printing

Printing on opaque white film with double strike / double density / dual layer is an easy method to achieve the increased density necessary for backlit applications. This means applications where the light of the light box is never turned off. Using an opaque white film material and no white ink is much cheaper than the earlier CMYK+W+CMYK method on clear film and requires 30% less print time, but without backlight on the prints will look oversaturated and dark.

Cutting 

On a VUTEk it is very easy to use Double Strike: simply create a Multi Layer document and load the same RTL into Bottom and Top Layer (see the white printing steps for Step-By-Step infos on loading documents into layers)

There are 2 methods for color managing this type of printing:

Translucent profiling

Use the Double Strike setting already when creating the PMM and measure in transmissive mode, e.g. using a Barbieri Spectro LFP.

This will produce an accurate profile correctly balancing the ink channels to look correct even with higher ink application. This setting also allows establishing optimal TAC and curing settings as it is treated as a completely separate PMM entity.

Reflective profiling

If a user lacks the ability of transmissive profiling, then a simple double strike using a normal PMM for opaque printing (preferably on the same substrate) can also be used.

To avoid adhesion issues and visible color shifts caused by simply printing the same image twice onto the same substrate area, the user might have to fine tune lamp intensity (Curing Low / Medium / High) and try different PMM modes (EcoSave (CMYK) might produce more stable gray, while Less Black (CMYK) can reduce artifacts caused by printing the same dot pattern twice on top of each other.

Caution!

Be aware that the prints will look oversaturated when not backlit. Also cutter camera marks and bar codes can suffer from the double hit printing.

If it is important that prints also look correct when backlighting is off, then Color-White-Color printing with 3 layers needs to be used

Verifying Settings

Jobs that have been changed into multiple layers or in other ways and need to be modified only need to be right-clicked, then select “Edit Job” and the layer settings window opens again.

Caution: some DFE versions seem to activate the White again when you check the Top Image a 2nd time (exact cause unknown)

Sandwich Printing Workflow

It is possible to do Sandwich Printing using PrintFactory Layout.

Prerequisite Requirement: Sheets are usually delivered in standardised sizes. So those sizes should be available in the RIP otherwise they should be manually added (once).

Instructions
1. Add image to sheet (usually flatbed, thus sheet).
2. Enable DSP and select transparent or opaque depending on the way you want to mirror the bottom layer.

screen-shot-2017-01-11-at-15-13-23
3. Click Create to generate the other layer (on the B-side)
4. Enable White Generation tool

screen-shot-2017-01-11-at-15-13-31
5. Select either Flood or Under Color to generate the blocker layer (white blocker) which is in between the layers.
6. Submit the job.
Optional:
Drop another image in the B-side copy of the original image, if a different image is required on the back.

PrintStation V5 to V6 upgrade

When the settings in PrintStation are completed for a certain printer a shortcut is created on the desktop.   When upgrading on Windows from V5 to V6, the Target path for this shortcut needs to be manually changed.

This is needed as the PrintFactory V6 programs are installed on c:\\Program Files, instead of c:\\Program Files (x86)

Pre-requisites:

Windows

How:

  • On Desktop, right click on the PrintStation shortcut and select Properties
  • Target:  delete the ‘(x86)’ from the Target path.
  • Click OK

 

Connect to remote USB device over the Network

This topic describes the process of sharing a USB connected printer (or other device) over a Network. This will allow you to remotely print files to the printer even without being connected to it.

Note: This tutorial make the following assumptions:

  • You have two Windows PCs in the same network,

  • You have the correct rights to install additional software of both PCs,

  • You have a usb connected printer that you want to share via Network.

  • You have the latest version of PrintFactory.

Please follow the next steps in described order. Please make sure to not skip any of the instructions. If any of the below instructions is not followed, then this tutorial might not work.

Server Configuration

  1. Follow the next link to download the software. Based on your OS, please make sure to select the correct version: x32 or x64.

Note: Download the application on both computers.

  1. Double click on the downloaded .msi file to install the app. Do this first on the PC that has the actual USB connection.

  2. Follow the setup until you reach the Custom Setup step. Here check the Server check box.

Note: Starting from now, we will refer to this PC as the Server.

Server Selection

  1. In the next step, select Trial Version if you do not have a license key.

Note: Please be aware that the trial is only valid for 14 days.

Select License

  1. In the next steps you don not need to change anything, so just click Next and Install.

  2. Once the install is done, click Finish.

  3. Start your printer. For this tutorial we used an Epson Stylus Pro 3880 printer.

  4. Open the new installed application. You should see something like in the next screen:

Printer USB port

  1. Next, with the printer connected and selected in the application, click Share Port.

Share Device Button

  1. If the sharing is successful, you should see the following:

Successful Shared Device

Client Configuration

  1. On the second computer, run the same setup for the USB over Network.

  2. When you reach the Custom Setup step, check the Client Check box.

Note: Starting from now, we will refer to this PC as the Client.

Client Configuration

  1. The next steps are the same as for the Server Setup.

  2. After the application is started, we need to add the server. This is done by going to Edit\Add Server.

Adding Server to Client

  1. In the Remote IP address or Computer Name add the IP address of the Server and click OK.

  2. Now the shared port should become available in the application UI.

Share port becomes available

  1. Right click on the Port and select Connect. Now you are connected to the printer.

Installing the driver

For the configuration to work, you need to have the driver installed on Client. We will not go through this process, because it is printer related and this could also vary from one environment to another.

Configure RIP Printer

Next, you need to configure the printer in the RIP.

  1. Open RIP and create the printer as you would regularly do.

  2. Select the port connection.

  3. The printer name should be displayed here.

Port Connection

  1. Click OK and you are done.

Starting from here, you can use your printer as if it was connected to your PC (Client).

Print from MacOS X to Virtual Printer on Windows

  • On Win, create your queue into RIP and make sure you checked “Register as a printer” option into the Layout tab :
  • Go to Windows “Start->Control Panel->Printers and Faxes” and right click on the name of the queue created at step 1. Choose “Sharing…” and share your printer over the network.

NOTE: In some Windows versions (like XP), spaces are NOT allowed in the shared printer-name. When you share the queue, if you have spaces into the queue name, it is better to adapt the “Share name”, for example, from “Test Win, into “TestWin”

On Mac Leopard 10.6:

  • Now go to Mac into “System Preferences->Print&Fax”. Click on “+” button to add a new printer
  • Go to “Windows” tab and browse for your printer. Select the printer from the list and from the Printer Model pop-up menu choose other.

 

  • Locate and select the correct PPD.

Remark: If you have trouble adding your printer via Windows tab, you also have the following possibility:

1. Right click on the Tool Bar and choose Customize:

 

2. Drag and Drop the Advanced icon on the Tool Bar:

 

3. Access the Advanced Tab and choose “Windows->Another Device”:

 

Into the URL field add:

smb://username:password@computername/printername
where:

– username is the username of an account on the Windows computer.
– password is the password of this user on the Windows computer.
– computername is the network name of the computer
– printername is the name under which the printer is shared on the Windows computer.

Add a name for your printer, select the ppd file and click Add.

Remark: If you have trouble finding your printer, make sure you have both computers set on the same workgroup.

The location for the PPD is:

On Win: “\WINDOWS\system32\spool\drivers\w32x86\”

On Mac: “Applications\[software’s folder]\PPD”

The PPD file has the name of your printer, for example “Epson Stylus Pro 4800.ppd”

The printer will now appear in the Printer List and can be selected from all 3rd party applications.

Print from Windows to Virtual Printer on MacOS X

  • On Mac, create your queue into RIP and make sure you checked “Register as a printer” option into the Layout tab
  • Go to into “System Preferences->Sharing” and make sure you have “Printer Sharing” option checked :

 

  • Go to into “System Preferences->Sharing” and make sure that for your queue created at point 1, you have “Share this printer” option checked
  • Now go on “Win->Start->Control Panel->Printers and Faxes->Add a printer”
  • Choose “A network printer, or a printer attached to another computer” option:

 

  • Click on the “Connect … to the Internet” option and enter the URL. The syntax is given as an example in the Add Printer Wizard but should look like this: http://:631 (= CUPS port)/printers/. In our example we enter: http://192.168.168.35:631/printers/TestMac :

 

  • Finish the wizard. Your printer will show up in the printers list. :

PrintAgent Support for DFE’s

The PrintAgent is a Windows service that can be installed on the DFE of the printer and acts as a local application. It enables remote RIPs to query local files at the printer DFE and to spool files to the local harddisk without having to set-up sharing and access rights.

The PrintAgent advertises its services at port 9100. The installer of the PrintAgent will automatically open this port on the Windows fire-wall, but is not able to do this for 3rd party fire-walls.
Installation
During the installation the Installation Wizard will ask for the location of the hotfolder. This location is the hotfolder that is used by the printer DFE and all output of the RIP will be stored at that location.
After the installation is finalized the PrintAgent is already running, no restart is required.
To change the location of the output folder just uninstall and install again the PrintAgent.
Note: The registry location of the path is [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE]/SOFTWARE/Wow6432Node/PrintAgent/PrintAgentPath
Problem solving
PrintAgent automatically creates a log file at C:\PrintAgentLog.txt. This log file contains by default the critical messages and errors. Sometimes it can be needed to have a more detailed log. The increase the logging level add the following line as first line to the PrintAgentLog.txt:
Level=3
After modifying the PrintAgentLog.txt go to the Service Manager and restart the Aurelon PrintAgent service.

Accessing remote shares

PrintAgent is designed to work with the local volums of the DFE. As PrintAgent runs as a service it does not have access to any of the mapped drives and can’t access log-in information. The following hack allows you to go around this limitation, however it is not supported by either us or Microsoft. Use this at your own risk. (I have tested it on Windows 7 x64)
For this hack you will need SysinternalsSuite by Mark Russinovich:
  1. Open an elevated cmd.exe prompt (Go to Start -> Type cmd -> Right click -> Run as administrator)
  2. Navigate to the folder containing SysinternalsSuite using the cd command (e.g: “cd C:\User\Desktop\SysinternalsSuite”) -> Enter
  3. Execute the following command: “psexec -i -s cmd.exe” -> Enter
    Note: You are now inside of a prompt that is nt authority\system and you can prove this by typing “whoami”. The -i is needed because drive mappings need to interact with the user.
  4. Create the persistent mapped drive as the SYSTEM account with the following command: “net use z: \\servername\sharedfolder /persistent:yes”
    Note: This command will map the folder from the command (“sharedfolder”) to a network location (z in this case).
WARNING: You can only remove this mapping the same way you created it, from the SYSTEM account. If you need to remove it, follow steps 1 and 2 but change the command on step 3 tonet use z: /delete.
NOTE: The newly created mapped drive will now appear for ALL users of this system but they will see it displayed as “Disconnected Network Drive (Z:)”. Do not let the name fool you. It may claim to be disconnected but it will work for everyone.

Flatbed tiling with overlap in Editor

What

This document shows how to set up tiling with overlaps for flatbed printing in Editor.  This is not available in Layout.

How

  1. Open Editor
  2. Open image
  3. Set the total dimensions of the job/ Output
    tiling-in-editor-4
  4. Select Finishing tool screen-shot-2017-09-20-at-14-50-28
    –   Apply Bleed all round in format of choosing (stretch, mirror,..)
    Note: make sure this step is done before the tiling is applied.
    –   Click ok
    tiling-in-editor
  5. Select the Tiling tool  screen-shot-2017-09-20-at-14-49-04
  6. Right click on the Image and select Divide
  7. Fill in amount of tiles and overlap required
  8. Click OK

screen-shot-2017-09-20-at-14-56-00

The result is an exact split in 6 panels with 3 mm overlap:

picpip

You can check the info on each panel by right clicking and going to Properties

cxf spot color libraries

What

How to use .cxf spot color libraries to avoid conflicts between them.

Why

Although all color libraries are supported, to avoid possible conflicts between the libraries, it is recommended upon install to only have the libraries relevant to the customer available in the Libraries folder.  The others will be moved to another folder as backup.

How

  1. Upon installation, please go to:
  • For Mac:  Users > Shared > Printfactory > Libraries
  • For PC:    Users > Public > Printfactory > Libraries
  1. Create a new folder and move all non relevant libraries into this folder.  If ever required, then move a relevant library back into the Libraries folder.

‘Print mode not supported’ on HP printers

Why

This message could have 2 reasons, either:

  • a certain print mode built for a certain printer has been changed or deleted.  Consequently, the mode does not match up with the profile used
  • a certain print mode has been updated via HP firmware or Printfactory software updates. E.g. earlier versions of Latex and Z’s.

How to fix

We fix this by rebuilding the HP UniLibs and comms libraries between the software and the printers:

1. close RIP
2. go to the HP Caches folder in
Windows:    C:/Users/Public/PrintFactory or
        MAC:            Users/Shared/PrintFactory 
3. rename this folder by putting a dash or underscore in front
4. re-boot RIP to rebuild the libraries (can take a few minutes).

PrintStation Limitations

The PrintStation application can only be used for print jobs. Cut jobs are currently not supported by PrintStation.

HP Media Flexibility and PrintStation

The HP Media Flexibility feature that is present on the HP L, Z and Latex series update the RIP its print modes dynamically when the printer is directly connected to the RIP.

In a set-up where the printer is connected to the PrintStation there is no direct connection of the with the RIP and thus is the list of support medias and modes communicated in another way.
Before build 8229 the user was responsible for manually copying the needed files from the PrintStation to the RIP. This was a task that required some skills and knowledge about the internal of the RIP.

Update mechanism

As of build 8229 the system does the updating automatically in the way as described below. As an example we will use here the “HP Designjet L26500 61in”:
  1. At the launch of PrintStation the driver will connect with the printer and download the media list from the printer into the appropriate cache folders (details about which cache folder is used for which printer is omitted here)
  2. When a new media list has been received in step 1 the PrintStation will create a XML in the ROOM Queue folder (that is used to receive jobs from the RIP) with the name of the printer. In our example this would be “HP Designjet L26500 61in Configuration.xml”. This XML contains the media list and a unique ID to identify this version of the media list.
  3. At the launch of the RIP and at the start of every RIP-job the RIP will look in the ROOM Queue folder if the unique ID is different from the unique ID it has associated with that printer (that is stored in the RIP preferences and configuration file).
  4. If the unique ID is different it will load the media list from the XML and pass it to the driver. So the driver can reconfigure itself to adapt to the media list changes.

Printer pooling

When multiple printers of the same type (like “HP Designjet L26500 61in” in this case) are using the same ROOM Queue then it is required to have all printers have the same media list and same firmware. If this is not done the system will constantly be updating the media list as it will see the differences between the printers and each PrintStation will initiate an update sequence as described above.

Océ Colorado PMM handling

The Océ Colorado Printer has new media handling functionalities not previously seen.  Therefore we have adapted the Calibrator to support this new workflow.  This FAQ explains how this is implemented using VISU profile creation. MX is not compatible with firmware builds 2.1 and onwards.

A new Media Catalog is used by the printer to identify media characteristics.  This media catalog is managed as a ‘master’ by the RIP, each change is synchronised from the RIP to the Printer.  Therefore any new media settings needs to be defined in Calibrator before a new profile is created.

This FAQ assumes the printer has been configured in RIP and is network connected.

VISU Profiles

In VISU the new Media Catalogue is fully integrated.  So you can define or choose your media at the start of the profiling process.

Step 1

  • Click on the New VISU Profile Icon
  • Choose the Océ Colorado
  • Click New

new-visu-pmm

Step 2

Select the media you want to use for the profile, or add a new one by clicking on the + icon:

media-selection

Step 3

If a new media type is required you will be able to define it using the new Media Creation screen, which allows you to define your media settings:

new-media-setting

Clicking OK will add the new Media to the list of media available and also send the new media type to the printer.

You can then continue to create your profile using the normal profile creation process.

Note:  when importing a VISU PMM for the Colorado, make sure the media is created in the printer first, then after importing the PMM, check the media in the Printer Settings in the Mode and unlock and adjust if required.
Only after printing will the media databases sync.

Calibrator Max Colour and Print Quality Tips & Tricks

Print Quality Screening

At the “Print Linearization Chart” step please choose both FM (Frequency Modulated or Stochastic) and ED (Error Diffusion) screening as per screenshot below from the Ink Setting menu and evaluate both resulting outputs for smoothness of dot distribution and sharpness of text.

You can go back and press the unlock button to change the screening and then print again. You will find that different printers using differing head technologies will provide smoother more accurate output with either one or the other screening options.

The above should be used for both ICC and MX calibration processes.

screening-2

screening-1screening-3

 

Advanced Ink Cut adjustment in MX colour engine to maximise printer gamut

For adjustments below please use the up and down arrow keys on the keyboard.

  1. For Cyan look at the Chroma C value and b+ value to see if there is any more increase after the software clips automatically due to duplication or bunch-up. Sometimes it is possible to get more Chroma and b+ value by stepping up from the pre-set %.
  2. For Magenta look at the Chroma C value and a+ value to see if there is any more increase after the software clips automatically due to duplication or bunch-up. Sometimes it is possible to get more Chroma and a+ value by stepping up from the pre-set %.
  3. For Yellow look at the Chroma C value and b- value to see if there is any more increase after the software clips automatically due to duplication or bunch-up. Sometimes it is possible to get more Chroma and b- value by stepping up from the pre-set %.
  4. For Black look at the L value only to see if there is any more increase after the software clips automatically due to duplication or bunch-up. Sometimes it is possible to get more darkness/d max by stepping up from the pre-set % (please note that ISO Coated L is 16 and that if you are looking at .1 or .2 increases with higher ink percentages then it is most probably not worth the extra ink as you will see no visible difference) This step will not increase gamut obviously but may allow darker shadows.

 

 

Once you have established the maximum gamut for the CMY inks and darkness or for K then increase ALL these ink cuts (if possible) by a further 3% (this step allows for the gamut reduction that happens later in the MX generation for iterative re-calibration purposes).

The following screenshots where using the arrow keys on the keyboard to increase the percentage Cyan value past the pre-set clip and where it gains more Chroma and B value but then starts to go down (click on further as it may go higher again but you will have to decide if the increase is worth the extra ink used).

We choose screenshot 3 @ 79% and then apply 3% more to counter the gamut reduction for recalibration later in the profiling process (you don’t see this as its done in background). Please use the same process with Magenta looking at Chroma and A value and Yellow looking at Chroma and B value.

 

ink-cut-1

ink-cut-2

ink-cut-3

ink-cut-4

ink-cut-5

In the next additional screenshots below we show you the light ink to dark ink transition presets that start with 3 – default (Balanced).

Please analyse the gradations on the Ink Limit test chart after setting to Medium and Ecosave as the light inks do not normally add colour gamut but just smoothness in highlight to quarter tones and should be used sparingly to save ink. If you can see no discernible additional graininess or steps in those areas of the linearization ramps or gradient balls for the light ink supported primaries then use the lowest of the presets possible.

 

ink-cut-1

ink-cut-6

ink-cut-7

The last screenshots show there is more d-Max to be had on the k channel than the pre-set by going up with the arrows. This of course, doesn’t add gamut but allows for deeper shadow areas which are a key to flatter UV inks.

ink-cut-9Evaluating the Ink Limit chart

The aim here is to get the maximum gamut but not at the expense of print artefacts such as UV gloss banding (stripe effect due to over inking), Latex non-curing (oily effect on patches not dry), Solvent tackiness (where the patches are still too sticky by the time the media reaches take-up) and any other over inking indications such coalescence, mottling, pooling etc. Please try to choose a patch that doesn’t exhibit any of these whilst making sure that you are way past the maximum Red, Green and Blue values and ideally deep into the shadow areas for the coloured ramps.

Once you see relatively no colour towards max ink then there is no point in going further as no more shadow darkness will be produced.