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Building Profiles ?

Discussion in 'Clipart, Vehicle Templates and Digital Files' started by MAB SIGNS, Feb 3, 2007.

  1. MAB SIGNS

    MAB SIGNS Very Active Member

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    What is involved in building profiles for print media and what do you need to do it effectively? I have an HP5000PS with UV ink.
     
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  2. RobGF

    RobGF Member

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    That's a pretty big question.

    On a simple level you need a spectrophotometre and some profiling software. Beyond that, what then happens depends on your workflow and what type of RIP software you have.

    In general terms, once you have the software and hardware you might do something like this; create a new media with sometype of a name (ie: Semigloss 01). Your next step might be to do an ink restriction test to determine how much ink your system can place on a particular media before puddling occurs. This is done often by printing a supplied file from your RIP vendor and making an observation. Depending on the media type, the ink system you have etc., you may find the amount of ink layed down varries wildly from type to type so I cannot tell you what an ideal number might be. Also, depending on your setup the values may be expressed differently.

    Once you have set your ink limits, your next step would be to linerize the media. This again involves tests charts but also your spectrophotometre. This will set up the "printer setup" you are building to a baseline.

    At this point your media is NOT profiled.

    Depending again on your RIP and setup, your next step is to print a standard target and read all of the swatches with the profiling software. Depending on the target you read, there may be 1000 or more swatches. More is better.

    The reading of the swatches will give you a LAB file of your printers performance vis a vis the tarket. The LAB file can then be processed by your profiling software to create your first ICC profile.

    When the ICC profile is created, you will have to go back to your RIP software and to the "printer setup" you have created and install/apply the ICC profile.

    If you have done this correctly you should get pretty good performance out of the ICC profile and your printer.

    That's it in a general nutshell. Everything I said could vary depending on your workflow, and in some cases steps may be done in a different order depending on your workflow. An example of this is that the process is different for Wasatch and Onyx. Wasatch likes to have a 3rd party profiling application like ProfilerMaker (which is great) whereas Onyx Production House has a build in profiling system.

    The first time a person tries to create a good profile it make take hours upon hours. Once you've got reasonably comfortable with the process, it normally takes about 2 hours with all of the back and fourth. We profile every media in our shop and use no canned profiles as they blow.

    Remember, this is just a start. There is lots to know about colour management and I haven't scratched the surface.

    Good luck.
     
  3. Replicator

    Replicator Major Contributor

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    Thanks, RobGF . . .

    It sounds like it would be much easier to hunt for existing profiles

    for your own particular printer and purchase CD's or something . . .
     
  4. RobGF

    RobGF Member

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    You're right, it is easier to hunt for existing profiles. But easier isn't always better :)

    The reality of the situation is that there aren't profiles out there for every media and printer combination. Even if somebody is lucky enough to find a profile for the media and printer combination they use, it was not made on their printer, was not made in their operating environment, with their ink batch number, with their print heads, etc. etc. The point being that there are always differences in performance between printers of the same model type and however minute, these differences are enough so that, for example, no two Mimaki's are really and truely the same.

    However, if downloading profiles makes a person happy and at the end of the day the clients are happy then that is what really matters...

    Rob
     
  5. Replicator

    Replicator Major Contributor

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    Sun City, AZ
    Ironically, I have a bunch of profiles on one of my computers and haven't been able to figure out how to get them onto a new computer . . .

    I've tried copying [ALL] the entire folders over to the new machine, but no luck,

    They're for Flexi 7.6v2

    Any Help with this ? ? :help:
     
  6. MAB SIGNS

    MAB SIGNS Very Active Member

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    Jun 29, 2003
    Thanks Rob, Marc.
     
  7. bigbly

    bigbly Member

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    Aug 13, 2003
    If you want accurate repeatable colour you really just have to bite the bullet and learn to profile your own media. Or be satisfied with customers who really don't know what to expect.
     
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