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S50675 - Pantone Colors not matching. Cyan especially

Discussion in 'Epson' started by FactorDesign, Jul 9, 2018.

  1. unclebun

    unclebun Member

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    Was your Oracal sample swatch printed with the 3M IJ180C profile or a different one?

    I'd be inclined to believe the problem is with the media.
     
  2. FactorDesign

    FactorDesign Member

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    The Oracal sample was printed with the 3M IJ180C Profile. I did not want to change anything at all other than the physical media, in order to narrow in on what the issue might be. I agree it sounds like something with the media, but across 3 separate rolls, and limited to only cyan?
     
  3. ColorCrest

    ColorCrest Member

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    1) You have 30 media setup channels on your printer. Do you know how to use those and do you know if your RIP controls (over-rides) those channels upon sending data to the printer? Some parameters of a media channel effect the appearance of the print.

    2) How is Pantone 298C color specified in what software; Pantone spot color using the exact name, CMYK values, RGB values, HTML values, what?

    3) What is the Working Space of the design document file?

    4) Is the document saved with the embedded profile?

    5) Is your Onyx RIP setup to honor the design document profile and if not, what CMYK profile and what RGB input profiles is your Onyx RIP setup to use?

    6) Is your Onyx RIP setup to use the proper output ICC profile for the given media?

    7) How do you know if you actually have a valid, color accurate output profile for your machine / ink / media combination?

    Sorry, lots of questions because this is critical path analysis to solve your workflow trouble. I don't believe the machine or the media is at fault.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2018
    • Like Like x 1
  4. FactorDesign

    FactorDesign Member

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    1) I am aware of these media channels. 5 of them were set up before I was hired, but we rarely use anything but the #5 channel for printing vinyl. I would say 3M IJ180c V3 is at least 75% of what we print, and on the off chance we print on another vinyl, this channel is still used. The channel being used (#5) was set up by a previous production manager with the aid of the tech that installed the printer. As far as I know, the RIP does not over-ride this.

    2) The file was created in Adobe Illustrator CC and specified from the color book Pantone+ Solid Coated.

    3) U.S. Web Coated (SWOP) v2

    4) This file is saved at the Illustrator Default PDF settings, which has embedded profiles turned off.

    5/6) Unsure

    7) I can only assume that it was calibrated at some point, but I do not have access to tools to re-calibrate the media profiles. Generally I never run into any major issues getting a pantone color to match. Sometimes I will have to convert it to a CMYK value and adjust slightly, but never to this extent.
    For this RIP, I was told "Use this profile and settings with this media." I only have access to the Onyx Gamaprint Rip-Que, and the media manager. Any other parts of Gama-Print (like the layout tool) just crash when they try to run, and usually the media manager causes Rip-Que to crash.

    I've uploaded screenshots of the settings in Illustrator as well as what screens I assume are relevant in Onyx. If there is something missing you want to see, or a setting jumps out at you as being the cause of all my woes, I would greatly appreciate your advice.

    I feel a bit limited by the tools I've been given (or lack thereof), and no real knowledge base or training with how to utilize Onyx, so I really am thankful that some of you are able to point me in the right direction.
     

    Attached Files:

  5. unclebun

    unclebun Member

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    If you create a new design with the Pantone 298 in it, how does it print? What about the whole strip from 297 through 300?

    as far as how Onyx works, the media channels on the printer only control things like media feed, media compensation, temperature, head calibration, etc. They have nothing to do with the color profiles. The color all comes from the RIP in the computer.

    Many different vinyls will print perfectly fine with the same media profile in the RIP. In your case, you are able to print an Oracal vinyl and a banner vinyl and get acceptable color results, but not with the 3M IJ180C. To me that points to a problem with the IJ180C. Unless you have some left of the same roll you originally printed your column wraps with last month you have no idea whether 3M changed something.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2018
  6. FactorDesign

    FactorDesign Member

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    I have created a new test file with 298C, which looks the same as the other test samples. I have not seen a change in how it prints that color on IJ180C. The color is faded and the print itself appears splotchy in even a 4" test square, so on an 8ft column, I would not think it would have an even finish.
     
  7. ColorCrest

    ColorCrest Member

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    As seen on your Onyx screen capture "Mediasetting2.png" where you have the option to print a test image, navigate to the sample file "ONYX Quality Evaluation.pdf" and print it. Report back with your opinion of the appearance and maybe even a photo made with good, even lighting.
     
  8. FactorDesign

    FactorDesign Member

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    Here is that printout. It looks odd to me in a few areas. In particular, it seems like it isn't using enough black in the photos, which makes the contrast very poor. The areas where it prints solid black however look perfectly fine.
     

    Attached Files:

  9. ColorCrest

    ColorCrest Member

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    Awesome.

    Remember and notice from the dialog and place in the Onyx "Progress Menu" (Mediasetting2.png) from where you should have imaged this reference file. From this area, Onyx is not yet using an ICC output profile to influence color. Onyx is just using any ink setup and calibration already in place and therefore is showing you the current state of the machine at its most basic level.

    Next, print the same file except this time open and print the PDF as you normally would for production. This exercise should make Onyx utilize the various ICC profile(s) embedded in the document and also use the ICC output profile for you media. You should see an improvement in the photos and other areas as well. Verify Onyx is using "All Profiles ON."

    Let us know what you see.
     

    Attached Files:

  10. papabud

    papabud Lone Wolf

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    as a comparative. here is that file ran on my machine.
     

    Attached Files:

  11. papabud

    papabud Lone Wolf

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    but looking over your print. i know its just photos of prints. so not a good measuring point. but looks like your is really dark and you losing a lot of the fine detail
     
  12. ColorCrest

    ColorCrest Member

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    Media channels have a tremendous effect upon color and ICC profiles. Media feed, media compensation, temperature, head calibration, etc., all need to be in sync with the given profile.

    When creating an ICC output profile the samples of patches are read and calculated to reproduce a known color. If the mechanics of the machine's ability to jet ink are not perfect, as is often the case, rows of ink will show a color bias. The ICC profile's calculations will correct the bias for that channel setup. Therefore, if a different media channel is used for other than intended or a much different thickness, the color could be incorrect.

    The older Onyx quality evaluation file has small grids of individual C, M, Y, K resolution lines to test for such affects making it easy to see how the machine's mechanics are behaving. Also know that ICC output profiles can often surprisingly color correct radically out-of-alignment machines.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2018
  13. FactorDesign

    FactorDesign Member

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    Correct, now the print looks great printed through the RIP normally.
    Not sure why it is rotating the image, it's landscape on my computer & phone.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jul 12, 2018
  14. papabud

    papabud Lone Wolf

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    yes your second one does look a lot better, what did you mean ripped normally
     
  15. FactorDesign

    FactorDesign Member

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    Opened the file in the rip and printed like I would any normal graphic, rather than using the "Print a Test Image" dialog in the media manager.
     
  16. FactorDesign

    FactorDesign Member

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    Here are more images comparing pantone process colors to the base CMYK I'm getting out of the printer. Don't ask me why when I upload them they rotate randomly... they look perfect before I attach them to the site.
     

    Attached Files:

  17. ColorCrest

    ColorCrest Member

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    Again, awesome progress.

    So, be advised to keep and mark these two prints with the exact media, media mode, date, and the fact one used no profiles and the other used all profiles on. These are now gospel references for the time being. (Onyx has a feature to include this info in the print margin also.)

    When you find the time, perform the same exercise using your other media(s) and keep those marked with references also. You will probably discover you desire separate profiles in order to match your different print modes and media.

    Thus far, do you still suspect the machine is delivering the incorrect amount of cyan ink or do you believe the machine is operating properly?
     
  18. FactorDesign

    FactorDesign Member

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    When printing anything below any Cyan below Pantone 299C, the color goes from being near perfect to being very faded. Everything else looks fantastic.
     
  19. FactorDesign

    FactorDesign Member

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    Here are the latest prints showing 300C looking darn near perfect, then it just goes downhill.
     

    Attached Files:

  20. ColorCrest

    ColorCrest Member

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    So, are you saying; "The machine is still not delivering the proper amount of cyan."? If so, and you feel confident that is the case, your next step is to acquire the tools to re-calibrate or hire someone to visit and perform the task for you.

    I can offer the fact that I operated two of those machines side-by-side in a varied hot, cold, dry, humid environment for over two years and they both did not drift whatsoever from the day they were installed and the two shared the same profiles for color-critical work.

    I suspect the problem is both lack of true color management and workflow management which I will cover in another post but that is not to say your machine doesn't need to be calibrated, it may still. You might also need to refine the Onyx Pantone lookup table for your specific blue callouts.
     
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