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File setup/color management options

Discussion in 'Digital Printing' started by nateca, Oct 4, 2012.

  1. nateca

    nateca New Member

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    Sep 13, 2012
    Hello,
    (sorry in advance for the spelling)
    I'm fairly new to wide-format printing, but have some experience with direct to garment printing, so not totally useless:) I'm wondering if someone can provide some insight with the proper way to setup files for outputting to versaworks(something i'm new at as well). What I would like to know:

    Illustrator:
    When outputting, should spot color be used at all times? What settings shouod be configured when doing the following
    edit-color settings(what should be used for working spaces and color management policies)
    edit-assign profile(what should be assigned)

    also, when outputting thru illustrator, what settings should be configured in the print dialouge box(general,colormanagement, output etc)

    Photoshop:
    same questions as above regarding color settings and assigning profile. but also, should any conversion occur

    same questions about the dialouge box, after print is chosen, what should be configured in the resulting printer dialouge box.

    are there any other settings that matter when printing? I desgin in RGB, is this sufficient for outputting, or should i change to CMYK?

    also, what about icc profiles? monitor color profiles? pretty much need to know everything.. sorry for being so vauge. any help would be appreciated. thanks
     
  2. 4R Graphics

    4R Graphics Active Member

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    Jan 28, 2008
    WOW where to start!
    Ok spot colors I never use them reason being is that I dont print with spot colors you use CMYK spot colors are usually a custom color that is made to print just that spot (Like screen printing)

    I dont use versaworks so maybe someone can help you with that part.

    Ok color mgmt here is the thing you need to have a process and use that process always.

    Most of what i will say applies to almost all design software be it Illy, Pshop, Corel draw.

    So lets start with illustrator ideally you would design in CMYK in illustrator but you can use RGB (side note the main problem with RGB is that these printers have a wide color gamut but not as big as RGB so some colors you will not be able to make period. However you will have a better color chose if you use it you just may have some color issues here and there) Ok when you design in illustrator you need to choose a color space idealy (most of us) use the webcoated SWOP2 for CMYK this has a smaller color gamut than what most printers can print so you should be able to print everycolor you see.

    Now for RGB default on windows, illustrator, photoshop and corel draw is sRGB there is really no need to change this as there are plenty of colors and some you just can not print anyways (RGB vs. CMYK).

    Now I dont know about versaworks but I will guess it is like most rips and has the ability to select the INPUT profile if this is true then you need to select the input profiles for CMYK and RGB as the same ones you use in your design programs (ie webcoated SWOP2 for CMYK and sRGB for RGB) then set the output profile to what ever output profile you are going to use (normally it is the one for the material you are using).

    Ok color mgnt in your design program you have the ability to save or embbed the profile when you save it there are 2 ways of looking at this 1 if you embbed the profile it is there for life and anyone you send the file to will have the profile in the file (not a bad thing but it makes the file larger but typically its about a meg or 2 extra in file size) the other option is to leave the file with no profile while this is ok if you design and setup all your software and equipment to use the same settings but if you send the file out to someone else or you change a setting in your process well you or they may print it a little different based on the settings.
    Best to embbed the profile

    If you really want to see what you will print then you need your monitor calibrated no questions asked. If you calibrate your monitor then you can use what is called softproofing in your design program illy, pshop, corel they all have it what you do is setup your file as normal with your working space setup (ie webcoated swop2 or sRGB) then you will select the output profile under color proofing the output profile is the profile you use in versaworks ( you may need to copy this and add it to the windows default profile folder inorder to see it cant remember) when you add this profile and select it and then turn on color proofing you will closely see what your print will look like remember you are looking at LIGHT meaning that the monitor is lgiht based so it will always be brighter than your prints remember its light.

    You can google how to setup softproofing for the programs you use.

    Hope this helps you out if you have more questions please ask away I will try to help if I can.

    You can get a monitor calibrator for about $200 or less so if you need to see what it will look like (with accurate softproofing) then calibrate your monitor.
     
  3. nateca

    nateca New Member

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    Sep 13, 2012
    Thanks

    Thanks so much for the response! Very good info and lots to think about. I'm an ex screen printer, so a lot of what I know pertains to SP. In fact, that's really why I was asking, because when I was ouputting posi's I knew the color setting would dramatically effect how my posi was printed.

    Was really hoping someone would chime in with regard to versaworks, but alas...

    yeah I am printing on a Roland SC-540 and have had some dificulty getting color to appear as is on screen.. calibrating monitor may have a lot to do with it:/ so thanks for that advice!

    ok, I will look into all that, i'm sure i will have more questions!
     
  4. Northern Design

    Northern Design Northern Design Graphics

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    Jan 1, 2009
    seattle
    Versa Works has its own palette for Illy and Coreldraw you can use this for color selection. This willl help with getting you closer to your desired output.
    As For Bearwen- He said it perfectly, follow these suggestion and you will be OK
     
  5. 4R Graphics

    4R Graphics Active Member

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    Jan 28, 2008
    As i said before if you need to see the colors correctly on the screen you need your monitor calibrated noway around this period.

    However ther is still the small problem of the printer acctually printing the colors correctlly this is where CANNED vs Custom profiles plays in everything.

    Canned profiles are the profiles you download or come with the rip some are very good but if you truly need to perfectly see on your monitor what you will print EXACTLLY well then you have to profile everything together and that can get expensive and very aggrivating.

    First things first calibrate the monitor then follow what I said in my first post print several test prints (use different pictures and different types of files) and then compare them to what you see on the screen with softproofing and you will know then if your icc profiles are off if they are off try a different profile if they are close well make a judgment call as to if they are good enough or not. If you can not get things to match or get close enough to be happy with then you have 2 options.

    Option 1 is to print a color chart and use the values from the chart to design your graphics (this wont help you much if you print a lot of photos or RGB stuff ie tiffs, jpegs etc..)
    Option 2 is buy equipment or hire someone to come out and build profiles This can be expensive (hired out) or time consuming (DIY) but if you do this you will be as perfect as you can get in printing what you see.

    Good Luck and again ask away if you need more help.
    Feel free to PM me if you need to or you can PM me for my info and we can talk on the phone as I know it can be hard to type all the info you want and need.
     
  6. nateca

    nateca New Member

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    Sep 13, 2012
    screen shots

    Thanks guys! Great info, will work on suggestions and see if I can make some progress. Also, I have attached some screen shots of the other settings I was hopgin to get some guidance on. All were taken from .ai so hoping someone can tell me what the optimal setup is, or if it varies, what are the conditions that I should follow when changing them. Thanks
     

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  7. 4R Graphics

    4R Graphics Active Member

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    Jan 28, 2008
    Sorry I have not replied back I do not have Illy in front of me (different pc) at the moment but will try and reply back with the answers to the screen shots later today or late tonight.
    I want to see the screens clear so I can tell you what all the boxes are and what you need to set.

    I can tell you this much the last 2 screen shots of the printer settings screens I really dont know as i do not print from Illy I print from a stand alone rip program actually 2 of them (Flexi and Rasterlink Pro 5).
     
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