ChromaMax Part 4: Printer Profiling

The final RIP calibration step is profiling. If the base calibration steps performed beforehand aren’t done properly, you won’t get a get profile. But even if the previous steps are performed perfectly, there’s a surprising amount of profiling variables that are important to discuss to ensure we get the best ICC profile possible. ChromaMax targets use ‘bottom weighted’ patches that allow us to characterize deep shadow color better than traditional targets that distribute patches evenly throughout the tonal range. In the same fashion, its important that we create profiling targets that are…


ChromaMax Part 3: Printer Total Ink Limiting

The third RIP calibration step is to set the total, combined ink limit of all the channels together. Any given media might be able to hold 100% of any individual ink, but holding 100% of all 4 or more inks simultaneously without bleeding is another matter. With high quality media, there’s also a certain point at which it achieves maximum Dmax. If we use with a higher ink limit than this we’re just wasting ink without benefit. The Chromamax total ink limit step helps us find this precise sweet spot where we’re achieving maximum print quality with the lowest ink consumption.…


ChromaMax Part 2: Printer Linearization

The second RIP calibration step is to linearize the ink channels with their newly restricted ink limits. This generates a set of curves that should produce a tonal response that is rich in shadow color and neutralizes the combined gray axis. The problem here is that many RIPs are still using curve generation algorithms that were created a long time ago and haven’t been updated. These RIPs rely on the final profiling process to “fix” an imperfect linearization, and the results are “good enough” for many. The G7 process introduced an excellent way of automating the curve generation process for…


ChromaMax Part 1: Printer Ink Restrictions

The first step to calibrating a printer in a RIP is to set the per channel ink restrictions. The challenge here is that RIPs typically have very poor (or no) tools for determining the optimal settings. The first screen grab below shows a popular RIP that encourages you to set the ink sliders without any guidance whatsoever. Color consultants are pretty good at making educated guesses, or at least have a crude process for getting close. The second screen grab below shows another popular RIP’s Ink Restrictions process where it determines the values automatically, but these settings are…


What my days look like as a consultant

I thought I’d show everyone what my days often look like as a consultant. For 20 years, I’ve traveled around working with people in their studios on issues like color management, workflow, and print quality. A lot of the time this means working on big printers like these. HP Latex printers at New Era Portfolio In addition to common aqueous inkjet printers, I spend a lot of my time working on UV Curable, Solvent, Latex and sublimation printers from companies like Vutek, HP, Epson, Gandhi, Mimaki, Mutoh, Roland, Inca and others. Last week I visited 3 clients in 3 cities including one of my…