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What do you use to create ICC color profiles?

Discussion in 'Digital Printing' started by Gary1, Nov 17, 2020.

  1. Gary1

    Gary1 Member

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    Hi all! Someone suggested I create my own color profiles and life would be much easier.. He recommended the xright i1 basic pro 2. After researching this, I see they are up to pro 3 now. And have pro 3 plus. Since I really know nothing about this, I'd like to be put in the right direction. After searching more, I found the i1Publish Pro 3 Plus can make CMYK profiles too. Do I need this? or just stay with RGB because of the vibrant output as suggsted. I have a Mimaki JV-150 printer. Use Eco-Solvent inks ES3. Use SignLab 10 software. I print on vinyls and reflectives. Currently I have large color swatches I printed that are 4' x 5' with 1" swatches. I have maybe 4 or 5 of those hanging on my walls. And sometimes I still cannot get a good match. So any recommendations would be helpful. Thank you in advance.
     
  2. ColorCrest

    ColorCrest Active Member

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    When the time comes, you would want the 3+ because you're working with large format.

    In the meantime you should feel confident with your knowledge of color management, printer calibration, and workflow. So, if your test print is too red, do you know what the correction might be?
     
  3. FrankW

    FrankW Very Active Member

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    Every i1 Pro measurement device is able to create CMYK-Profiles, it is not an issue of hardware, but software. You will create RGB-Profiles when profiling printers driven by regular windows printer drivers, because they work internally with RGB. If profiling for RIP-Softwares, you have to create CMYK-Profiles. With i1 devices comes a software named i1 Profiler, depending of the package (i1 Photo, i1 Publish etc.), it is equipped with CMYK-Profiling or not (an option of the software).

    It totally doesn´t matter what the i1 Profiler is equipped with if you use internal profiling capabilities of your RIP-Software. Most of the softwares have that capabilities, some of them by standard, others as an option. Some RIP-Softwares (for example Roland VersaWorks) have no internal profiler, so you have to use a CMYK-i1-Profiler. If using Mimaki Rasterlink for example, there is a separate software available to buy, named Mimaki Profile Master (very expensive for my opinion, but with additional, very interesting features). For Signlab, an option should be available by cadlink.

    The i1 Pro 3 Plus is not neccessary if calibrating vinyl. The main feature of the plus is a bigger measurement aperture, this is important if calibrating rough structured media like fabrics. The disadvantage is that you need much bigger swatches than with the regular i1 Pro 2 even if profiling smooth media. There is a spectrophotometer available with the possibility to change aperture size depending on the job to be done, the Barbieri Spectro LFP (a product from italy), but this device is much more expensive than the i1. I use both in business, and I really like the Barbieri (measurement aperture sizes of 2, 6 or 8mm).

    Even if creating own profiles, you will not have everytime the perfect match. You will measure some hundred color values to estimate a color gamut of millions of colours, most of them calculated. And even inks and media will set limits in color gamut. Some RIP´s offers functionality to add own measured colours to ICC-Profiles (Flexi), others will let you read tausands of colour values (Onyx Accuboost) and so on, but with solvent inks on vinyl or banner media, the possible color gamut is small. Proof Printers will often have much more color channels (e. G. additional red, orange, violet and so on) to reach the gamut neccessary for proofing. And shortly when trying to proof a print I run into problems just because the customer have set proof paper with a different white to the paper he regularly uses, and is specified to his standards.

    But nevertheless, you will have much better colour quality when calibrating every media and every print mode you use by yourself. Inkjet printers needing additional tasks to calibrate, setting ink limits and doing linearisation, but if you will check the profiling workflow of your RIP-Software, you will be guided into that tasks.
     
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  4. Pauly

    Pauly Colour Guru

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    everything that Frank said

    All id like to add is that i would suggest getting the I1Profiler software with CMYK profiling as it's easier to get consistent profiles from, and IMO generally better than most RIP profile engines.
    It's not my favourite software but it does work well as an "all-in-one"
     
  5. Dayandnightsigns

    Dayandnightsigns New Member

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    You can check on the website from your material supplier, most of the times they have the profiles ready to be downloaded
     
  6. Pauly

    Pauly Colour Guru

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    OP wants to build his own, not download generic ones.
     
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  7. netsol

    netsol Very Active Member

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    remember, downloaded profile takes into account the characteristics of the substrate, but not of your machine(s)
     
  8. Pauly

    Pauly Colour Guru

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    bingo. Although you can re linearise and it will probably be very close (if the profile is good and made properly) which still requires a spectro
     
  9. ColorCrest

    ColorCrest Active Member

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    One can re-linearize by using a lowly densitometer, or even by eye, if they know how. It's how it was done before the use of ICC profiles.
     
  10. Neil

    Neil Member

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    I use an I1 with Eye -One Match software for building profiles to use in Signlab 8.
    Signlab included an Advanced Calibration Wizard in SL8, but I think they pulled it out of subsequent versions?
    It allows you to start with an existing profile that you like, re-set the parameters (passes, speed etc.), set your max ink limits based on a test print, Linearize by printing a test swatch and reading it within Signlab, then print the swatch file for I1 Match to read and create the output .icc profile.
    Pretty sure you can't do that in SL now. If you can't set ink limits and get good linearization curves to start with, it's not worth trying to create the new output ICC with the I1.

    My recommendation would be to find someone who builds profiles and use them.
    You can probably do it remotely. They send you files, you print and return them.
    Once you have ONE good printmode/profile for printing onto vinyl, you can then just alter the Max Ink ink limits to suit different media/passes.
     
  11. MachServTech

    MachServTech Very Active Member

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    Based on the substrates you mentioned and because of the new filters and larger aperture the i1 Publish with the i1 Pro 3 Plus is what I would use.
     
  12. Pauly

    Pauly Colour Guru

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    There's not much more than that, unless you want to spend 3x the amount or more for more specialised equipment from Barbieri.
     
  13. Zach Starr

    Zach Starr Head of Printing Operations

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    Buy X-Rite i1 Pro3 if you are looking to basic profiles on flexible and rigid boards. If you need to do backlit signs as well, look at getting a Barbieri, its great instrument for automatic ICC Color registration and better for making backlit profiles.
     
  14. Jim Hancock

    Jim Hancock Active Member

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    The i1 Pro3 Plus will do backlit materials when using i1 Profiler software.
     
  15. netsol

    netsol Very Active Member

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    i guess it will be a long time before that feature ends up in flexi
     
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