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Profiling -- yeeaaaargh!

Discussion in 'Digital Printing' started by PNH Jake, Dec 21, 2009.

  1. PNH Jake

    PNH Jake Member

    Aug 22, 2009
    New Hampshire, USA
    When I started at this shop profiling was unheard of... I have been trying to make a dent in improving our color quality and consistency, and want to poke my eyes out...

    The standard here is to print with the default media profiles that come with the RIP -- they yeild an OK print, but can put down too much ink in some cases and photographs as part of graphics can be awful... and grayscale -- when I won't go there. So I have been working on making my own color and media profiles.

    So far things have gone OK, it can be a steep learning curve with the ink restrictions and ink limits... but I seem to have gotten to a pretty decent place. Or at least I thought I had...

    If I have a print that includes people, a photograph, or grayscale -- my profile is great. If I to print something with more vivid colors (vector art, logos, etc...) My profile is much more muted. I have been printing with the default "HP Premium Self Adhesive Vinyl" profile (for example) still for most things, just because it hits all of my pantones much more closely.

    Do people generally have two profiles they use for a given media? One that is tweaked to give you more saturation at the expense of good gradients and gray scales, and one that will give you better quality photographic prints? Is there a way to get both?

    :frustrated: :banghead::doh:
  2. bbeens

    bbeens Member

    Oct 2, 2007
    II Jake-

    I would recommend checking the rendering intend for both Raster and Vector incoming data. If you have your Vector set to Absolute or Relative Colormetric I would recommend switching to Perceptual and testing. I can image the 'vivid colors' you mention will often be out of gamut. The rendering intent will have a big affect on how those out of gamut colors are mapped. The other possibility I would look at is your Total ink being set too low or your ink restrictions. If the muted affect is only happening with colors that rely heavily on one particular colorant (C, M, Y) than I would easy up on your restriction for that channel and generate a new profile. Watch out for over inking when adjusting limit and restrictions.

    You also might try rasterizing your problem files outside your rip and then printing. This will change the incoming data to be processed as Raster vs. Vector. Input profiles or embedded profiles might be the trick as well.

    Good luck, as you put more time into profiling the easier it becomes.

  3. rfulford

    rfulford Active Member

    Feb 9, 2009
    Ill answer the simplest questions first. No, one profile should be enough for each combination of printer, media, ink and print mode. What some people do however is use different rendering intents when confronted with problem colors. I tend to use relative colormetric as a default for all my printing and have always had good results. Look at your profiling options and see what is available to you as far as rendering intents go. You can usually combine rendering intents for images and vectors but I do not recommend it. You will run into more trouble than you save yourself.

    On to the tough stuff. If you like one of the other profiles better, look at the ink restrictions and ink limits settings and see how they compare. With good ink restrictions you should not have to go too crazy with total ink limits. Going overboard with either could limit your gamut.

    What printer, rip and profiling software are you using BTW? This info would help greatly.
  4. Jack Knight1979

    Jack Knight1979 Very Active Member

    Jan 23, 2008
    on my roland the trick is getting channel restrictions correct. Doesn't matter how how many swatches you scan. If the channels are high/low you'll have bad hues going on.

    I had triangle profiles down. now I used solaris and I don't have their gamut perfect just yet.
  5. Rooster

    Rooster Very Active Member

    Feb 22, 2008
    bbeens is correct. Although you might try using a saturation intent on things like excel charts and the like. You will likely see a massive hue shift, but it should maintain the deeply saturated colors of the vector based charts and spot colors. You definitely sacrifice color accuracy for saturation depth, so using a saturation intent for any color critical work or with photographs is not recommended.

    Pre-ripping files using photoshop and softproofing on your monitor with different rendering intents will give you a good idea of how these different approaches will impact the final color of your print files.

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