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Question HP 360 Profiling w/Caldera

Discussion in 'Hewlett Packard' started by daenterpri, Dec 5, 2016.

  1. daenterpri

    daenterpri Member

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    I'm trying to create my own custom profile on our glossy vinyl (GF 203). I'm using an x-rite i1 pro. I used the 360 to create the initial file but I did not let it create the profile. I had Caldera take over from there. I used Caldera to do the linearization, Ink Limit and now I'm on the profile creation step.

    My question is that in the picture attached, you can see that some of these colors in the profile swatch are pretty grainy. Is that normal?

    One of the reasons I'm trying to create my own profile is that sometimes our grays turn out pretty grainy, or sometimes pink. So I'm hoping that by creating my own profile that these things will be better. Will some colors just always be a little on the grainy side of things?

    Let me know if you have any Caldera / HP 360 profiling tips for me :)
     

    Attached Files:

  2. dypinc

    dypinc Very Active Member

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    Some profile patches will look grainy. If you want a smoother looking gray on your finished jobs set you black start to 25% or 30% when making your output profile. Also black generation affects this (grain look) as well. The trade off is if you use less black you need to a keep a tighter reign on you calibration and be aware on faster pass setting with heavy ink coverage you could potentially see ink starvation with lc/lm due to the use of only one lc/lm printhead. The real question is will your customer object more to off color grays or graininess?

    You can use the onboard spectro instead of the i1 if you want when doing the profile from Caldera.

    Also before you create a calibration and profile test you optimizer setting as too high a setting will look more grainy do to lack of dot spread. I find with gloss PSA vinyl 8 to 12 is best depending on your ink density.
     
  3. Correct Color

    Correct Color Member

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    In order for what you're doing to work, you need to not let the printer make its internal "calibration" as well, and also do that -- linearization -- in the RIP.

    Then if you line it all up and do everything correctly, you should be able to get rid of the issue of your greys printing pink.

    As far as graininess goes, your image doesn't look like a head alignment issue, but it also looks like you may not be using light cyan and light magenta.

    If you're not, using them will help reduce some of the graininess you're seeing in highlights to half-tones -- that is their only purpose, after all.

    However, one of the real drawbacks to the contone settings in the 360 is that its ink splits are very poorly done. Even at its best, it won't match the smoothness of the old 260 printing with profiles made with properly built ink splits.

    Meaning that profiling will not help your graininess issue. Either you can help it with some sort of head alignment adjustment, or by using lc and lm, or what you've got is what you're going to get.
     
  4. dypinc

    dypinc Very Active Member

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    A lot of this has to do with the optimizer set to high on the 360.
     
  5. daenterpri

    daenterpri Member

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    @dypinc - If optimizer is too high, how do I know how much less to set it? And then once I've done that, will I need to completely recreate my profile?

    And regarding using less black, how do I do that? In the ink limit portion of the calibration, I did go up to 390 just because the patches, though all black, didn't look runny or wet.

    @Correct Color - I did do the linearization with the RIP and the i1. However, in this process I don't really know what I'm doing or what I should be adjusting if anything. I just measured and went forward :) I am using Lc and Lm...or at least I didn't turn them off to my knowledge.

    Thanks guys!
     
  6. Correct Color

    Correct Color Member

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    I've tested this pretty extensively, going from none at all to max. My experience has been that once it's in range it isn't that much of a factor, and range is established before a fine-tuning point like this. However it's certainly worth a shot.

    What is true though is that the ink splits are poorly set on these machines and unchangeable. And that contributes more than any other single factor to graininess on these machines. From the testing I've done, I'd rate that as the biggest flaw in the contone-only setup of the 300 series, and for my money, it's the absolute reason I would not buy one, and don't recommend them.

    You are right though that conceivably he could help to some extent with black gen. But that's not the issue I'm seeing in his photo.
     
  7. dypinc

    dypinc Very Active Member

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    When you in edit media presets you can print the ink density test after making optimizer adjustments. There is also a separate optimizer test print but I am not in front of the machine right now to tell you exactly what menu it is in. But I would set it as 8 if your doing 10 or 12 pass and do a ink density test print and if that looks fine go with it.

    As for black generation those are setting when your doing you output profile creation. Again you're probably going to have to test this to see what looks and works best for you as different profile packages treat that differently. The 360 being a contone printer I would set the total ink limit to 400 and leave it alone. I have used 4 different RIP profiling packages with with my 360 and have never seen any benefit setting the total ink less than 400. Now ink limit per channel is another story and quite useful when going above 120% Ink density in the preset.
     
  8. dypinc

    dypinc Very Active Member

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    I have seen canned presets for PSA vinyls that were at 18 and 24 and that is way to much unless you like the grainer look and want less CMYKcm ink lay down. It was just a word of warning because since you can do it one might be temped to set it higher than necessary.


    I couldn't agree with you more except about your not recommending them. They obviously are what they are but if you accept that and work with in those limitations you can get some amazing output out of them.

    I am sure you know his photo has no output profile black generation applied only the dreaded HP canned ink splits, but that is what my profile targets look like as well. That is why I mentioned lack of ink spread because the optimizer set too high. But a lot of that graininess in his photo if it was a print piece converted by an output profile can show significantly less grain with proper black generation applied. It really depends on the finished product and how much graininess is acceptable.
     
  9. Signed Out

    Signed Out Very Active Member

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    Wow that test print looks very grainy. Could someone post up some pics of a well calibrated 360's output? I would have a lot of trouble trying to sell stuff that grainy.
     
  10. daenterpri

    daenterpri Member

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    If I find out after I complete the profile that the initial linearization and ink limit did not get saved, after I completed the profiling step, do I need to do that last part all over again? Printing out the patches and scanning and all that? Or does the linearization and ink limit not affect the profiling portion and patch scanning?
     
  11. dypinc

    dypinc Very Active Member

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    A well calibrated profile target (no profile apples) will look like that with some variation based on the optimizer which I have previously mentioned.

    This photo has the output profile applied with black generation set for closeup viewing POP on gloss film. Note I can not do anything about HPs set ink splits so CMK starts at where the 251 number is. That number applies to the gray box below so don't get any ideas. As far as balance goes this is just a iPhone photo, but yes in 5000K light that gray ramp is neutral.

    IMG_0265.jpg
     
  12. daenterpri

    daenterpri Member

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    @dypinc - Will playing with the optimizer after I've created the profile mess up my profile? Or will I want to redo the linearization, ink limit and profiling steps after this step?

    Also, if I'm doing 8pass, is there potentially any less graininess to be had if I create a 10pass version of this profile as well?
     
  13. dypinc

    dypinc Very Active Member

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    I think you confusing terminology here. Linearization and ink limits have nothing to do with the output profile and is generated before a output profile is even printed. Linearization should be a separate file that you can choose to use or not. It has been a while since I used Caldera so I can't say for sure what extension or naming convention it uses, but how do you know it was not saved.

    The L360 being a contone device with onboard calibration does not necessarily need a linearization especially if the preset is set for 120% ink density or lower. So I would suggest just making an output profile with Caldera on top of the printer calibration unless color is really, really critical.

    Proper procedure for a none contone device is that a Calibration or sometimes called Linearization file is created consisting of Ink Limits per channel, my include linearization or that may be a separate target, and Total Ink Limits in it most basic form. After that is done and that file is applied to your workflow (usually done automatically) in a Linearization plus Profile process, only then is a color output profile target generated. Different RIPs will handle this differently, for example the two RIP that I can drive my 360 with one has to link the output profile to the Linearization file to be used in the print flow (done by choosing the linearization file when making a output profile or can be link later to a third party generated profile for example) while the other one you have to choose both files but that can be saved as a RIP preset.
     
  14. dypinc

    dypinc Very Active Member

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    Changing the optimizer, yes it will alter the base setting your calibration, linearization and profile was based on. With small changes will you see it, probably not. Re-calibration, or re-linearization which you pretty much have to do anyhow at some point will probably be all you need.

    The more passes you have it set for will show less grain. If you're concerned about grain I would think on gloss SAV you would not want to go lower than 10pass. The sample I posted was done on 12pass.

    Since we know not what HP programed their ink splits to be we have no way to know if there are differences with different passes. Knowing the limitation inherent with having only one lc/lm head and their low ink density setting I would suspect that they would have programmed the printer to use less lc/lm with the faster passes which would result in more grainier appearance. I have never taken the time to try to test this but I know if this printer was not a contone device I would set the light ink curves to use less ink with the lower pass settings
     
  15. HulkSmash

    HulkSmash Major Contributor

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    Create the profile on the L360, use the onboard i1. Then import the profile into caldera, via Sync... best way to do it.
     
  16. dypinc

    dypinc Very Active Member

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    If you're trying to minimize grain that is a pretty poor way to go about it, or are you talking about editing the imported profile from the HP and regenerating with new black generation. I have done that and it works and greatly improves the output, but it easier to do and makes better profiles using good profiling software with proper black generation for the look you want. Most RIPs allow the use of the onboard i1 so you can make good profiles that way if you don't want use or have a spectro.
     
  17. HulkSmash

    HulkSmash Major Contributor

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    I did not say edit a profile, you can create from scratch on your 360, I print flawless 0 grain 0 banding with 8 pass for wraps. My profiles are perfect.
     
  18. daenterpri

    daenterpri Member

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    @Coloradosigns - How do you do it with 0 grain? After you bring the profile back into Caldera, what do you do that makes your profiles so flawless?

    After spending so much time yesterday trying to dial in a profile, the grey we are trying to dial in really looks yellowish...ugh. What's the secret? Is there a good tutorial on creating profiles somewhere to help me understand what I'm doing?
     
  19. dypinc

    dypinc Very Active Member

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    A couple things I would investigate.

    What are you viewing light temperatures? Have you looked at at the output outside?

    Is your spectro malfunctioning? Have you created profiles using the onboard spectro? What happens if you let the printer do the profiling?

    What about your input profile for what you are printing. Is it set correctly?

    If all hardware, spectro, printheads, etc are functioning you should be able to create a profile that prints neutral grays. On the print flow side your input profile needs to be set correctly and your viewing light temps need to be between 5000K and 6500K.
     
  20. daenterpri

    daenterpri Member

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    @dypinc

    What do you mean by viewing light temperatures? I have a spectro (i1 Pro), but no viewing lights. I figured that the spectro scanned the pallets without needing a viewing light, right?

    The onboard profiling does ok I suppose but it doesn't seem to fix the grain as much as I'd like.

    I do have a question about onboard profiling with the 360, when I bring it into Caldera, and I create settings for 600 DPI instead of 300 DPI, should I have to re-linirealize or recreate the ICC profile? Or just use the files that were already created by the printer?

    Thanks!
     
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