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Light Cyan and Light Magenta

Discussion in 'Roland' started by jason91, Dec 2, 2015.

  1. jason91

    jason91 Member

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    What actually causes these two colors to fire during print? Is there a specific cmyk that I can use to get these two heads to fire by there selves? Might be stupid question...just trying to understand
     
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  2. Solventinkjet

    Solventinkjet Printer Fixers

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    I actually had an experience that might help you out. I set up a CJV30 as a 4 color machine but in the software it was 6 color. So I printed out a 100% to 0% gradient of magenta and, because the light magenta didn't exist on the machine, it stopped printing magenta a little bit before half way. So I am assuming that somewhere around 60% magenta and lower is when it starts to fire. With that little bit of confusing information, do some experiments!

    Edit: I just wanted to add my plug for setting up your machine as CMYK x 2. The only two differences between printing a magenta gradient, such as above, with CMYK x 2 is it's faster. Second, instead of changing over from Magenta to Light Magenta, the head fires smaller and fewer Magenta dots to get the same effect. With the newer head technologies that have variable dot and finer dots than old generations, it is virtually impossible to notice the difference between a magenta/light magenta gradient and a magenta only gradient. The biggest selling point of light magenta was that it does better transitions, such as gradients and skin tones. If you can get the same results with a faster ink configuration, I can't see why you wouldn't. It doesn't expand your gamut at all which tends to be a misconception in the printing world. Ink colors like red, green and orange do however. If you have a DX5 print head or newer, don't let the sales guy at your local dealer con you into setting up 6 color. The end result is an unnecessarily slow machine and extra bucks for the dealer.
     
  3. jason91

    jason91 Member

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    So is my color gamut wider with light cyan and light magenta? Whats the benefit of a six color? I have a roland soljet 545 ex....6color.... how do you change it back to a 4 color?
     
  4. DerbyCitySignGuy

    DerbyCitySignGuy Very Active Member

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    My understanding is that CMYKcm reduces the need for cyan and magenta halftones. You get better gradients, for instance.
     
  5. Gene@mpls

    Gene@mpls Premium Subscriber

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    Good info Vander- I have a 2 x cmyk Roland (RF).
     
  6. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

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    He already addressed that.
     
  7. splizaat

    splizaat Very Active Member

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    Just think of Light Magenta and Light Cyan as blending colors rather than full colors. Going from dark blue to light blue (in a sky for example) you'll get a better gradient and more natural tones. On faces is where it's supposed to really shine.

    We do a TON of stickers - not photo prints, but we went with LightM and Light C on our VS540i anyways thinking that since they're viewed up closer that they'd be less noticeable dots on lighter colors. I don't know if it's the way this machine is profiled or if it's the six color setup, but if I did it all over again, I would have gone dual CMYK without light m and light c......I feel like a lot of times our nice bright vectorized stickers are kind of washed out in the sunlight. They're missing that bright POP that we got with an old CMYK-only roland.

    EDIT:: I REALLY wish there was DUAL CMYK + Light Black option.
     
  8. Solventinkjet

    Solventinkjet Printer Fixers

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    There are some 10 channel heads out there that may be able to be configured that way. I haven't seen it yet but i'm sure it's possible. If you get your machine professionally profiled, it can help a lot with gray scale images without needing the light black as well.
     
  9. Correct Color

    Correct Color Member

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    Jason,

    What actually causes the light colors in any channel to fire -- and this would include light cyan, light magenta, and light and light-light black -- are the "ink splits" that are built into the individual C, M, Y and K channels whatever media profile you are using. And, depending on your RIP, they may or may not be able to be custom-designed by a profile-maker when profiling in your particular RIP.

    Basically the way it works is that for every channel with multiple inks, there is a start point for each ink, a stop point for each ink, and max for each ink, and a curve for each ink. And all of these points are created by someone, somewhere. They are either cooked into profile presets, or they can be set by a profile maker.

    If you know where to look for it, Onyx has the ability to allow a profiler to take the most control of ink splits. Caldera is a close second. Versaworks and Wasatch have none. The other RIP's fall somewhere in between.

    And no, light inks do not increase gamut. The point of light cyan and light magenta is basically to reduce graininess. Both in highlight areas, and in midtones as well. The difference can be pretty dramatic -- for instance, the ink splits built into the contone settings on the HP 360 are horrible. As a result, the machine prints midtones that are significantly more grainy than can be achieved with an HP 26500, with the ink splits properly configured.

    The point of light black -- and light-light black is to reduce black graininess so that black can be brought in earlier in a profile, thus reducing grey hue-shifting in differing lighting. It can actually be incredibly effective, but my experience has been that most people writing stock profiles have absolutely no idea how to use it. And if it isn't used correctly, it might as well not be there.

    Of course, many people writing profiles aren't even aware of the importance of ink splits; and it's important to understand that the how, the where, the how much, and the whether or not they even do what they're supposed to do of your light inks are all entirely dependent on how the ink splits are described in whatever profile you're using.

    I'd also add that in my opinion, I would not convert a machine from CMYK plus lights to dual CMYK. First, it's not true that dual CMYK prints any faster.

    Printhead path and speed remain the same. And there are no printers made -- not even high-end aqueous fine art printers -- that have such a small dot that they don't benefit -- properly set up and profiled -- from light cyan, light magenta, and two light blacks.

    (Edited to add:

    I am a professional profiler and I love light black. I love light-light black even more.

    Also: splizaats, It is the way your machine is profiled. It is not the six color setup. A Roland dual CMYK setup uses the exact same CMYK inks as CMYKlclm. The max value of each is just as attainable with one as the other.


    Mike Adams
    Correct Color
     
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  10. Solventinkjet

    Solventinkjet Printer Fixers

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    Good to know! You know more about color than I do. Does it just make your job easier or do you think it actually looks better?
     
  11. Correct Color

    Correct Color Member

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    Neither one, really.

    The issue involves how an ICC profile itself is created. In profile creation, the profile maker has to create a black generation routine. Which again includes start point, stop point, and ramp.

    And the issue is always where to start the black, versus the CMY. The earlier -- and more aggressively -- you can start the black, the less light-to-midtone greys are made from CMY, and the more they're made from black. This makes them much less susceptible to hue-shifting in different lighting. This is particularly true of Eco-Solvent inks, but all inksets suffer from this to one degree or another.

    Problem is that if you bring in full black too early, you introduce graininess that almost looks like someone shook pepper on the sheet. Light and light-light black allow black to be brought in earlier and more aggressively, eliminating much of this problem.

    The ability to do this, btw, very much depends on what profile-making engine is used to make the profile. One -- and only one -- has full ability to create a black ramp to maximize the effectiveness of light black channels. And it's the only one I use when making profiles that include light blacks.


    Mike
     
  12. jason91

    jason91 Member

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    Can I change my six color (roland soljet sc-545ex) cmyklmlc to a cmyk x2 or cmyk w metallic? If so how?
     
  13. player

    player Major Contributor

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    Well don't keep us in suspense... Which one is it?
     
  14. Correct Color

    Correct Color Member

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    Monaco.

    i1 Profiler is actually basically the Monaco engine, but they left out that one key black generation bit.


    Mike
     
  15. player

    player Major Contributor

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    Thanks... way over my head at this point.
     
  16. bob

    bob Major Contributor

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    Much like wine snobs, color snobs will discuss endlessly macro and even nano distinctions in ink sets, profiles, and output. While this might be fun and allow someone to impress someone else by using some obscure term or another, to anyone printing vinyl to be stuck on some substrate or another, these things merely are mildly entertaining affectations and have little, if any, effect on what is their daily output. LC, LM, G, O, LB and most any other transitional ink concoction are as useless as tits on a boar hog in a work-a-day sign shop.

    A decent CMYK machine and comprehension of the principle that what comes out of the printer is the truth will serve 99.9% of those doing this sort of printing.
     
  17. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

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    Not to her........................


    [​IMG]
     

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  18. DerbyCitySignGuy

    DerbyCitySignGuy Very Active Member

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    If good enough is okay with you, then by all means, keep doing what you're doing. Leave all the clients with brand colors for the rest of us. ;)

    We'll deal with the color snobs all day long for those six and seven figure accounts!
     
  19. Correct Color

    Correct Color Member

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    Of course eventually I did have to put up a response.


    And other than pointing out that this reads a bit to me like it was written by someone who is intimidated by a process and is therefore trying to belittle it, I’ll also point out that it’s entirely untrue.


    In seminars I give to photographers, a question I always ask is, “When you’re in the field or studio with your camera, what is it you create?”


    Of course, they answer all kids of things, but then at some point I stop them and say, “No, what you create is pixels. And it’s the pixels you have to care for, understand, and reproduce.”


    Same in printing. You don’t really create and sell images. You create and sell dots. And all of the above “useless as tits on a boar hog” stuff defines how the dots you create and sell are made.


    And it really doesn’t matter whether you’re reducing fine art, or billboards, or vehicle wraps, or whatever, the more capability you can get out of your printer, the more accurately your printer can reproduce in dots the pixels in your image, the better off you’re going to be and the more money you’re going to make.


    So, I’m reading that and my first impression is that it really doesn’t make any sense.


    But… assuming it might mean exactly what it says, then it doesn’t make sense simply because it’s wrong.


    The actual truth is that the only way what comes out of any printer — CMYK or otherwise — can be “the truth” is if that printer prints an accurate representation of the L*a*b* values of the pixels in the file it’s trying to reproduce. Because it’s those values that are “the truth” of that file.


    And the only way to do that is to have that machine printing exactly correctly, and to the best of its capability on whatever media it’s currently printing. And what does that is a profile. See, the RIP has no idea what the printer is doing. All the RIP does is create dots based on the information in whatever profile it is using. So unless the profile was made for that printer and in that environment on that exact media and with that exact ink, then there’s no way the printer can be printing “the truth.”

    Or, maybe "the principle that whatever comes out of the printer is the truth" I guess could simply mean that you don't have any pride of craftsmanship at all in what you do and whatever piece or crap spits out of your machine is what you've got to sell.

    I don't really have a reply for that, except to say that the only clients you're likely to sell to with that attitude are going to make their buying decisions based solely on price.

    If they're your target client base... Enjoy.


    And as far as CMYK being all you need. Maybe that’s true. Until you need to print Pantone 021, or Home Depot Orange, or AT&T Orange.


    Now of course, maybe you don’t care. I’ve got any number of clients who would — I’m sure — define themselves as “work-a-day” sign shops, and I think one point a lot of them might make is that these days, to stand out and be successful, you have to sell something.


    One thing you can sell is quality. Another you can sell is price.


    So if you’d like to make less money for each job, sure, by all means, don’t care about — in the end — the thing it is you’ve got to sell.
     
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  20. Andy D

    Andy D Very Active Member

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    Color correct, I'm in awe of your color knowledge and passion.
    But a little bit of advice, Arguing with Bob is similar to playing chess with a pigeon, in that,
    it doesn't matter how much you know or how smart you are, in the end he's just going to
    sh*t on the board and strut around like he won anyways........
     
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