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Profile Help

Discussion in 'Roland' started by Biker Scout, Mar 30, 2011.

  1. Biker Scout

    Biker Scout Very Active Member

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    Just picked up an older SC-540 for a song and dance. Needs a little TLC to get it back to running shape. A print head, a roller, thorough cleaning etc...

    Came with a RIP computer and it has Roland ColorRIP 2.2 (circa 2003)

    I've been plucking around with this program, seems very rudimentary and not what I'm used to. Anyway, managed to run a test strip squares that was created in Illustrator and sent over to the RIP as an .eps

    There are profiles preloaded based on media/speed/resolution etc. However, my usual test squares (that I always test print with) print the same (poor) on every profile. How can this be?

    Reds are more orange, yellow doesn't seem quite as vibrant as it should be.

    WHERE SHOULD I START? How do you profile with this RIP? I'm not a typical Roland user, so I'm kinda in the dark on how to dial this machine in. I should add that I'm the Art Director pretending to be (rather forced to be) the printer tech... haha! Apparently because I've owned my own sign shop before and had a couple printers, this makes me the expert! :doh:
     
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  2. P Wagner

    P Wagner Very Active Member

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    The first issue is to verify the nozzle performance of the machine. Run a Nozzle Test print for this. Cleanings/ syringing/ head replacement as needed to get the machine into a functional state.

    Next, I would recommend updating the RIP software. You are not going to find much in the way of canned profile support for a 7 year old application like ColorRIP. Fortunately, it is (was) as OEM of Wasatch, which at one point was offering a very attractive upgrade program to ColorRIP users. I believe that the current Wasatch product is SoftRIP 6.7. It will have much greater profile support, and is an improved RIP compared with ColorRIP.

    SoftRIP also supports creating custom profiles, when paired with an ICC cretion tool such as i1 Profiler, i1 Match, ProfileMaker, or Monaco Profiler. You'll need a supported spectrophotometer for this.
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2011
  3. Biker Scout

    Biker Scout Very Active Member

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    OK, the owners don't want to dump anymore money into this printer beyond the one more print head that's already on order. So a spectrometer is out of the question. I know how much those cost... ouch! This is an old printer to just run cheapy banners on.

    Did a print head nozzle check earlier, and just had a minor issue of vapor lock. I managed to get that corrected. So we are cool on that front.

    I just want to get the printer to print CMKY as they are in the ink cartridges. Lay down a solid block of cyan, yellow etc... I'm not trying to dial in flesh tones or PMS numbers at this point. Just for right now, a basic color profile. I can't see why it's this hard and the machine/RIP are being so finacky?

    I see a bi-directional adjustment is needed, and I'm punching in those numbers. However, on the test squares where there is the slight overlap, is the color density that I am looking for.

    Surely at one point even this version of ColorRIP did manage to print correctly, right? Or way back in 2003 people's expectations of "Red" were just different? HAHA! I think not... ColorRIP 2.2 should be adequate to print basic color palette. I just don't know how to use it, or where to find the adjustments for it.

    If SoftRIP is a free upgrade I'll look into it. However, if it's not... and we purchase it and the printer still prints like crap the owner's are going to flip out!

    I downloaded both an Arlon and an Oracal profile, and managed to figure out how to upload those into COlorRIP and made a test print. An improvement, but not quite the right direction.
     
  4. Biker Scout

    Biker Scout Very Active Member

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    I should add that when we picked this printer up a month or so ago from the original owner. I had him print out our test squares to verify the printer actually printed and to see the condition of the printheads, etc...

    I still have that print sample, it looks great. Now, sometime between then and now, the printer's colors are all off. The printer was transported correctly, from what I understand, things parked where they are supposed to be and all the moving/storage functions were followed.

    The printer sat here for about a month until we got around to doing the flush, and cleaning. Fired it up, and the printheads all fired clear... but the colors are all off. Kinda like we are living in the 70's. Muted Kodakrome vintage look. :frustrated:

    So, how come the colors all decided to not print the same from one facility to the next?
     
  5. Custom_Grafx

    Custom_Grafx Very Active Member

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    are you using the same rip computer that came with it to send the files? and if so, with the same settings?

    if your nozzle check is ok as castek has mentioned, then the only thing it can be is a colour profile issue, and/or ink limits/calibration.

    i'm not familiar with that RIP at all, but if i were you, and knew that the previous guy printed something decent from the same printer, my first action would be to contact him/her and ask about what profile was used.
     
  6. Custom_Grafx

    Custom_Grafx Very Active Member

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    you mention you're sending the files via illustrator as well.

    might be sending them with the wrong settings - just another thing to consider. There are so many steps and variables between illustrator and final output...
     
  7. Bigdawg

    Bigdawg Just Me

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    IMHO this is pure profile problems.

    First of all what SPECIFIC media are you printing to? What SPECIFIC profile are you using for it?
     
  8. Biker Scout

    Biker Scout Very Active Member

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    Thanks for the feedback so far!

    Not sending directly from Illustrator. I'm bringing over a file, whether it be a .tif or an .eps on a flash disk. Plopping it on to the RIP Machine desktop. Dragging that file into ColorRIP icon.

    As far as the profile matching goes... I did download that one profile directly from Oracal for the media that we actually have loaded in the machine. I'm not looking directly at it, but it was like the 3560 media and profile match for a Roland. Etc...

    The computer that has the ColorRIP is similar (Same brand and OS) to the one from the previous owner. I did not install the actual disc myself. But no... the computer is not the same as the one at the other guy's shop. I've been telling the owners that is possibly one of the issues in color fidelity to buy me some time while I'm on here desperately trying to seek info from the wiser (and more humble) Roland users!
     
  9. Biker Scout

    Biker Scout Very Active Member

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    I should note, just in case, that all of our programs are calibrated to the North American SWOP color profile, and have never had color issues on any of the other machines in the shop with that setting. Regardless of which computer we send the files to, or they are created on. We've got a Mutoh, Canon, Xerox Copier and some other things. All the other machines are spot on with each other. Roland is the only one not playing well with others. And I know that the Eco-Sol and Eco-Max etc., inks are the same. (Because they have to be approved by Epson to run in the DX5 and DX4 printheads) So marketing hype aside and the different labels, both inks out of both the Mutoh and Roland should be identical. So I know this is a profile issue as well. I just don't know how to make them or tweak an existing one using ColorRIP.
     
  10. Custom_Grafx

    Custom_Grafx Very Active Member

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  11. Bigdawg

    Bigdawg Just Me

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    Sounds like other computer had proper profiles and yours doesn't. Should have nothing to do with actual computer, but I may be wrong. Postscript is postscript. What version of ColorRIP

    When you installed the program (ColorRIP) did it install generic profiles? Do you have a GCVP profile if it did?

    Edited to add: Good one Custom Grafx
     
  12. Biker Scout

    Biker Scout Very Active Member

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    Yes, there is a slew of generic color profiles pre-loaded. But at the moment, all of those profiles seem to print the exact same level of crap. Some worse than others.

    It's version 2.2
     
  13. Biker Scout

    Biker Scout Very Active Member

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    Thanks for the link... looks like I have homework! haha!

    Why can't wide format printers print like home based printers? You can run down to Staples right now and plop down a measly $80 and get a printer with ink, and start printing right away and get perfect, gorgeous prints!

    But if you spend anywhere from $30,000 to $500,000 on a machine it takes a technician, a $7500 spectrometer and 2 days minimum of profiling to get these damn things to print a basic CMYK test swatch. :banghead: Doesn't make any sense at all.

    Cyan is a known color. It's definition or color temperature is pretty much set in stone and agreed upon by color experts all over the world, right? So, why should it take expensive and hard to use RIP software, and days of profiling to get the printer to fire it's Cyan jets, without putting other color or dot spray in it? When I send a file that says by definition C=100 and all the other colors say 0, the printer should not be muddling that percentage up. Just print what I say, don't try to "help" me by using some fancy algorithem based on perceptual color space. Just print Cyan, please.
     
  14. Custom_Grafx

    Custom_Grafx Very Active Member

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    Because those printers only print on paper and the manufacturer knows exactly how it's going to be used.

    If all of us here only used the roland to print posters on 150gsm gloss stock, and nothing else, then they'd be the same as those printers.

    I know... if only.
     
  15. Biker Scout

    Biker Scout Very Active Member

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    So, just to bring this back up... I've managed to get the reds and yellows back by messing with what looks like a photoshop curves window in the ColorRIP software. But it's not nearly as intuitive. However, when I print something with a white background I now get a faint yellow parchment paper look.

    Why is there not a definitive guide on here on how to profile a printer? It's so secretive and hush-hush. Everyone just says that you have to do it, yet there is not one easy to find source on at least where to get started. Obviously it's the easiest to just use a canned profile or download one from a media manufacturer, but trying to dial in the colors manually, there is nothing available. How about something like a simple screen shot of some DMAX numbers where we can enter manually?
     
  16. mustafade

    mustafade Member

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    We are a sheet fed printing company as well as digital printing such as color copy machines and so-fourth.

    Color management is very critical in our line of business which we do calibrate our equipment everyday.

    To calibrate our Epson 9600 so we can match to our printing press, we use GMG Color proof which is one of the leading color proofing solutions in the world for printing industry.

    This software walks us thru several steps to calibrate our Epson, for this we have media profile for our paper, printer profile and spectrophotometer (DTP 20).

    The software prints patches to be measured by our DTP 20 and compares to the media profile, if it is not correct it gives a red light and prints out another batch of patches to measure, it does this several bunch of time until it knows that Epson is printing according to one of the standard (SWOP, Gracol7 or FOGRA etc).

    We do this because uncalibrated printer will print however it wants to. Unpredictable!

    Just having a media profile isn't enough to print predictable color consistently.

    What profile does is, it tells printer how much of ink to spray on that paper, so the ink doesn't run down or other way around.

    Seems like your printer got effected from being in a different environment, and only way your printer will print predictable colors is after it is calibrated.

    As far as profile makers goes;
    you need a profile maker only the time, if you do not have a profile for a particular media, so you can create a profile for it or say you have 3M profile and you are not using a 3M media and noticed that the colors aren't coming out the way how they supposed to. For instance Reflex blue isn't looking like Reflex it is more on the blue side rather than purplish blue, you get the idea..
    NOW..!
    Profile maker becomes very handy because it will let you open the 3M profile and alter it to your specific media another means 3M profile is a starting point to create that new profile.

    I hope this helps to understand the process.

    Demir
     
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