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Flexi Wash Out

Discussion in 'Flexi' started by nickgreyink, Mar 15, 2016.

  1. nickgreyink

    nickgreyink Member

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    Oct 23, 2014
    Dalton, GA, USA
    Has anyone else had this problem and, if so, how did you fix it?

    We have been using Flexi by itself for years over here, and it has worked like a gem, really, but recently we have begun using Illustrator as it seems to display colors closer on the screen as to what we are printing.

    We are keeping Flexi as we do vehicle wraps and prefer to work in full size. Everything is already the size we need to print at, etc.

    ...but because of this one problem with Flexi has begun to stand out a bit more in our eyes. Whenever we click on Soft Proof in Flexi, it converts it to CMYK view, but the image and all the colors appear "washed out" or faded, like someone stuck a thin piece of digital vellum over it.

    When Illustrator displays in CMYK the colors seem to appear a bit more "bright" or "clear", if those are the right words.

    I've included copies of screenshot of Flexi with Soft Proof on and off and Illustrator displaying the same image in CMYK proof. I also have our color settings in Flexi in case that helps.

    Does anyone know how to solve this issue or direct me to a post or article where I can soft this? I've tried scouring the Interwebs and the forum, but so far no luck...

    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    Soft Proof on: [​IMG]

    Soft Proof Off: [​IMG]

    Illustrator CMYK: [​IMG]
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Ponto

    Ponto Active Member

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    Flexi "softproof" has baffled me from the start.... and has little to do with the output on our Mimaki(s). I've heard others refer to it as joke but this is likely because they were as baffled as I am. Under "Printer" in my color settings I have the two Mimaki printers listed and apparently the monitor should display the printer output depending on which printer I will be using. I would recommend using "perceptual" as the bitmap rendering intent, but all my other settings are the same (or been told to use). When it comes to bitmaps, I strictly use RGB and let the RIP do the CMYK conversions.

    JP
     
  3. Ponto

    Ponto Active Member

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    Nov 24, 2008
    I also understand "Adobe RGB (1998)" should be selected as a part of the input profile.

    JP
     
  4. Correct Color

    Correct Color Merchant Member

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    Well keep in mind that you're only actually soft proofing if you're viewing through the actual profile to which you're printing. So that would be the ICC profile in the actual media you're using. It's a little awkward to set up in Flexi, but it can be done.

    Also note that your monitor is not actually sRGB, and it's guaranteed that whatever your printer profile is, it's not SWOP.

    So with those settings, it'd really be better to just turn it off.

    However, it is true that people have for years not liked the Flexi soft proof, and complained it's washed-out looking. And I think it's because they simulate paper color in their soft proof whereas by default Adobe does not.

    If you take the image in your example, open it in Photoshop or Illustrator, select Proof Setup>Custom and then SWOP, and then select the simulate paper color button, what you'll see will probably match what you see in Flexi pretty closely.

    (Also note, unless you've got Adobe 1998 selected as your working space in Illustrator and you're working in RGB and importing files into Flexi from Illustrator, that's not going to have any effect on this issue.)
     
  5. bob

    bob Major Contributor

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    Where to begin...

    First off, any monitor display regardless of software package, is RGB. Such is the nature of additive color wherein the more colors you combine the closer to white you get. As opposed to subtractive color which is what you get when you print something. With a subtractive model the more colors you combine the closer to black you get. Or mud, depending. With a monitor all manner of variations of white are possible but black is whatever color the monitor screen might be when it's turned off. With printing black is not a problem but white is whatever color the print media happens to be. Big difference.

    Soft Proof is Flexi is Flexi's best guess, given the state of various profiles, of just how whatever is on the screen will print. If you have everything setup reasonably well it's a pretty good indication of what's going to come out of your printer. A not perfect, but not too bad either, attempt at what you see is what you get.

    Now enter your RIP. This process, through all manner of machinations, ends up converting whatever input its given into a CMYK strategy for printing. The operative word is strategy. It does not simply convert everything to CMYK and output it. It's far more devious than that. Things like dither patterns and the comparative input resolution to the output resolution come into play. It doesn't matter if the RIP input is RGB or CMYK, and comes from Flexi, Illustrator, or divine intervention, the process is the same.

    With bitmaps the best and simplest results are achieved by sending RGB bitmaps to your RIP and let it sort them out. Converting them to CMYK before you send them is not helping the process and is, for the most part, futile. Vector and gradient objects can be another matter. Change your rendering intent for bitmaps to 'Perceptual'.

    Once again for any that failed to heed it the first hundred or so times it's been said, in the end it doesn't matter whit what you see on some display, what comes out of the printer is the truth.
     
  6. nickgreyink

    nickgreyink Member

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    Oct 23, 2014
    Dalton, GA, USA
    Tank Folks!

    Thanks Correct and Ponto!

    I'll see if adding the ICC profile helps some with the correct soft proof.

    I have the input disdplay set to sRBG as that is what I am tod most web browsers use by default when they display on the web. So I can see what will be shown for proofs...somewhat anyway.

    As for the U.S. Web Coated SWOP CMYK...I nabbed that from the Illustrator color settings since Illustrator seems to be printing and displaying so well.

    I'll fiddle with the Illustrator proof setting and see how that displays.

    Thanks folks!:U Rock:
     
  7. TonyC

    TonyC Guest

    Back to work Nick. hehehe
     
  8. nickgreyink

    nickgreyink Member

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    Oct 23, 2014
    Dalton, GA, USA
    Ah! They've found me!

    :notworthy:
     
  9. nickgreyink

    nickgreyink Member

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    Oct 23, 2014
    Dalton, GA, USA
    Thanks bob!

    Thank you bob for your reply!

    ...and sorry to everyone else for the bad spelling. Had to type in a hurry. :smile:

    Thank you for the information about RGB to CMYK. We had another issue with that and displaying greens and blues that involved RGB to CMYK conversion. So I think we had that, at least partially, sorted out.

    ...hopefully anyway.

    We are using Roland's Versawork software as our RIP. Normally we are not sending raster images such as the one I showed in my first post. I was using that one as it seemed to give a good idea of the "washed out" look. Normally we are sending vector images in Roland's color chart as we have a Roland VersaCAMM. This usually allows us to have some control over the CMYK output to the printer.

    I have set my Bitmap settings to Perceptual and we do test prints before big printings to match the colors to our Roland chart and Pantone books.
     
  10. Drip Dry

    Drip Dry Very Active Member

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    Long island NY
    Mark Rugan from Givemehelp.com has a few videos related to this subject.

    I never tried it but he seems to think he has it figured out.

    Maybe worth a look
     
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