Ad
Ad
Ad
Pages: [1] 2 »   Bottom of Page
Print
Author Topic: RIP software for HP z3100  (Read 9047 times)
a.lorge
Jr. Member
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 72


« on: October 25, 2008, 07:54:34 PM »
ReplyReply

Hi,

I'm looking for a RIP for the HP z3100.  When I first bought this printer (about 20 months ago) I made the mistake of letting the HP salesman talk me into purchasing EFI designer edition for HP.  In terms of color, the EFI output is terrible, so I generally just print right from photoshop with the standard driver.  However, over the last few months, I have been making a lot of lenticular prints and sometimes need to print files with odd resolutions (601.4 ppi for example) so that the print and lenticular lens register correctly.  The EFI RIP handles these resolutions, but the standard printer driver screws them up.  I need to find a RIP that produces reasonable color AND can accurately print files with odd resolutions.

In doing some internet searching I found a few options to investigate:  Onyx RIPcenter, Wastach softRIP, and Colorbyte imageprint (which according to the color byte website hasn't been released yet).  Not surprisingly each claims to produce the best color.  Does anyone have any experience using these in conjunction with a z3100?  And if so, what have been your results?  Or do you have any other suggestions?  Thanks in advance.    
Logged
neil snape
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1432


WWW
« Reply #1 on: October 26, 2008, 02:21:25 AM »
ReplyReply

GMG is much better than EFI, but the learning curve is going to be steeeeeeep.

Out of the box the colour is not good with EFI but you can and should make your own profiles for it.
Afterwards I see no reason that the colour should not be good. It takes a bit more work but the EFI rip can work well for applications like this and has a fairly easy to use interface.
Logged
Ernst Dinkla
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 2808


« Reply #2 on: October 26, 2008, 07:20:22 AM »
ReplyReply

Quote from: a.lorge
Hi,

I'm looking for a RIP for the HP z3100.  When I first bought this printer (about 20 months ago) I made the mistake of letting the HP salesman talk me into purchasing EFI designer edition for HP.  In terms of color, the EFI output is terrible, so I generally just print right from photoshop with the standard driver.  However, over the last few months, I have been making a lot of lenticular prints and sometimes need to print files with odd resolutions (601.4 ppi for example) so that the print and lenticular lens register correctly.  The EFI RIP handles these resolutions, but the standard printer driver screws them up.  I need to find a RIP that produces reasonable color AND can accurately print files with odd resolutions.

In doing some internet searching I found a few options to investigate:  Onyx RIPcenter, Wastach softRIP, and Colorbyte imageprint (which according to the color byte website hasn't been released yet).  Not surprisingly each claims to produce the best color.  Does anyone have any experience using these in conjunction with a z3100?  And if so, what have been your results?  Or do you have any other suggestions?  Thanks in advance.  

In what way screw them up?  The separated image strokes influence one another in the scaling ?  In the end any driver, RIP or not, will have to translate that odd resolution to a native resolution of the printer, with the Z3100 to 300-600-1200 PPI. My best guess is that the interpolation and anti-aliasing done in the RIP or driver will destroy that line pattern or not and it may work for 585 PPI input and not for 601.4 PPI while another one will do it correctly in reverse order. In that case you better try Qimage and its wide choice and degree of interpolation routines + the degree of ant-aliasing filtering it allows. You still have the driver's color control then. I guess the 601,4 PPI translation to 600 PPI native resolution shows that the driver's own downsampling isn't up to the task. It could be that the optimal driver setting that asks for 1200 PPI native resolution does a better job but again Qimage may be a better solution.

Stay away of the Wasatch SoftRip if your EFI experience with color has been bad already.


Ernst Dinkla

Try: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Wide_Inkjet_Printers/


Logged
a.lorge
Jr. Member
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 72


« Reply #3 on: October 27, 2008, 04:02:44 PM »
ReplyReply

I printed a few examples using EFI designer edition for HP and wanted to share the results:

example prints

As you can see, I am getting the best color results by printing directly from photoshop and selecting the "let printer manage color" option.  The prints that I am getting from EFI using the manufacturer's profile all have an ugly yellow tint to them.  Also, I made a custom profile today for the paper I am using (HP ID photo gloss) with HP APS and the resulting print was terrible.

I am not discounting the possibility that I am doing something wrong, but I have spent quite a lot of time trying to get good results from EFI designer edition without any success.

This is the process I used in more detail:

- Calibrated the paper
- Opened HP APS chose profile CMYK printer (EFI designer edition only accepts CMYK profiles)
- Saved the largest target (HP ECI2002VP CMYK) to a file using HP APS.
- Printed the target from EFI desginer edition with the "no color management" output preset and the manufacturer's HP instant Dry photo gloss profile as the media profile.
- Scanned the target using the z3100 spectrophotometer
- Patched the profile back into EFI using profile connector
- Printed my file using the color output preset "photo" with the input profile set to sRGB color space (photo's embedded profile) and the output profile set to the media profile I had just created.

Am I doing something glaringly wrong?


Ernst, It screws them up by not maintaining consistent spacing.  If I had to guess what the driver is doing I would say it's dropping the decimal and (in the instance of the 601.4 PPI) sampling the left 6/10 of the print at 601 and the right 4/10 at 602.  I Checked out the Qimage website and I will certainly give that a try.  I wish they had a mac version though.  
Logged
Ernst Dinkla
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 2808


« Reply #4 on: October 28, 2008, 03:48:24 AM »
ReplyReply

Quote from: a.lorge
Ernst, It screws them up by not maintaining consistent spacing.  If I had to guess what the driver is doing I would say it's dropping the decimal and (in the instance of the 601.4 PPI) sampling the left 6/10 of the print at 601 and the right 4/10 at 602.  I Checked out the Qimage website and I will certainly give that a try.  I wish they had a mac version though.  


I leave the color management on EFI to people with more knowledge on the subject but my best guess there is that they use external profile creators instead of HP's version for the Z3100.

That you use printer CM with the driver surprises me as the recommendation is to use the application's CM. I do that and get excellent color with the HP profiles and also with the APS created ones (RGB-device type of course).

What you describe of the sampling by the driver is something I recognise from some tests with the Qimage resolution target. I actually think it is an aliasing issue but your explanation could be as good. The aliasing can be addressed with an anti-aliasing filter and/or choice of extrapolation algorithm. Thinking about your problem some days ago I wondered whether the spacing of the lenticular lenses is related to the native resolution/dpi resolution of inkjet printers, 300-600 PPI for HP/Canon 360-720 PPI for Epson c.q. a common denominator for all three ? At a set temperature, 20 degrees C ? Your 601,4 PPI is so close.


Ernst Dinkla

Try: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Wide_Inkjet_Printers/

Logged
Mussi_Spectraflow
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 171


WWW
« Reply #5 on: October 28, 2008, 08:43:14 AM »
ReplyReply

Colorbyte has been promising the Z3100 driver before the printer was shipping and now that the printer is discontinued it still has not shipped.... i'm not holding my breath. Onyx does not use the HP color tables and so you need to feel comfortable doing an 11 color lin and n color profile, this is not easy, and I haven't been thrilled with the results. EFI interfaces with the spectro and build their calibration on top of the HP color tables. Designer edition is a dead product for EFI, it has been replaced with eXpress. EXpress offers a great interface and ease of use. The down side is that your relying on the stock linearization and profiles, which can vary in quality. The serious RIP choices are EFI Color Proof XF, and the offerings from GMG. All of these allow for custom calibrations and profiles and will deliver excellent color IF properly configured.

Logged

Julian Mussi

Spectraflow, Color Workflow Solutions
www.Spectraflow.com
a.lorge
Jr. Member
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 72


« Reply #6 on: October 28, 2008, 12:14:47 PM »
ReplyReply

Quote from: Ernst Dinkla
That you use printer CM with the driver surprises me as the recommendation is to use the application's CM. I do that and get excellent color with the HP profiles and also with the APS created ones (RGB-device type of course).

What you describe of the sampling by the driver is something I recognise from some tests with the Qimage resolution target. I actually think it is an aliasing issue but your explanation could be as good. The aliasing can be addressed with an anti-aliasing filter and/or choice of extrapolation algorithm. Thinking about your problem some days ago I wondered whether the spacing of the lenticular lenses is related to the native resolution/dpi resolution of inkjet printers, 300-600 PPI for HP/Canon 360-720 PPI for Epson c.q. a common denominator for all three ? At a set temperature, 20 degrees C ? Your 601,4 PPI is so close.


Ernst Dinkla

Try: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Wide_Inkjet_Printers/

I use the printer color management because, after profiling my monitor with the HP APS, the resulting prints very closely resemble what my monitor displays.  So, when I'm printing regular photos, my color management strategy is generally: convert file to srgb profile then print with printer managed color and I am happy with the results.  This might not be the best way to do it (i still have a lot to learn) but it works for me.

Regarding the spacing of the lenticular lenses, there is a connection between printer resolution and the lenses per inch (LPI) on a lenticular sheet.  Ideally, the printer resolution divided by the lenticular sheet's LPI equals the number of images being interlaced.  For example, if you are printing from a z3100 at 600 dpi and using a 60 LPI lenticular sheet, you are ideally going to want to interlace 10 images (600/60 = 10).  In this situation the standard printer driver works great.  However, in practice, things don't always work out this way.  The sheet's LPI is affected by, as you mentioned, changes in temperature and also manufacturing variances.  Also, sometimes I need to either squeeze in a few more images or take a few out.  Which is when it is nice to have a piece of software that can handle odd file resolutions.  I just need to figure out how to get reasonable color.
« Last Edit: October 28, 2008, 12:51:15 PM by a.lorge » Logged
a.lorge
Jr. Member
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 72


« Reply #7 on: October 28, 2008, 12:50:34 PM »
ReplyReply

I just wanted to add one more example:

photoshop screen capture

In this screen capture, I am checking out the custom CMYK profile I created yesterday for HP premium instant dry photo gloss using the proof set up options in photoshop, and the profile appears to be good.  So I am now officially at a loss as to why the prints from EDE are so crappy.  Any ideas on this?  

Logged
robmaci
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 14


« Reply #8 on: December 07, 2008, 12:37:22 PM »
ReplyReply

Quote from: Mussi_Spectraflow
Colorbyte has been promising the Z3100 driver before the printer was shipping and now that the printer is discontinued it still has not shipped.... i'm not holding my breath. Onyx does not use the HP color tables and so you need to feel comfortable doing an 11 color lin and n color profile, this is not easy, and I haven't been thrilled with the results. EFI interfaces with the spectro and build their calibration on top of the HP color tables. Designer edition is a dead product for EFI, it has been replaced with eXpress. EXpress offers a great interface and ease of use. The down side is that your relying on the stock linearization and profiles, which can vary in quality. The serious RIP choices are EFI Color Proof XF, and the offerings from GMG. All of these allow for custom calibrations and profiles and will deliver excellent color IF properly configured.

Sorry, I'm fairly certain that the z3100 has not been discontinued.  Possibly a certain older model, but I just purchased the z3100ps and have heard nothing of its demise.
Do you have a link to an article on its discontinuation?
Logged
Scott Martin
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1311


WWW
« Reply #9 on: December 07, 2008, 01:31:54 PM »
ReplyReply

Quote from: Mussi_Spectraflow
The serious RIP choices are EFI Color Proof XF, and the offerings from GMG. All of these allow for custom calibrations and profiles and will deliver excellent color IF properly configured.
I second that. ONYX and Wasatch output are seriously disappointing and ImagePrint support is problematic.

HP lists the Z3100 as discontinued on this page:
http://h10010.www1.hp.com/wwpc/au/en/sm/WF...79-3204970.html
Logged

neil snape
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1432


WWW
« Reply #10 on: December 07, 2008, 01:40:02 PM »
ReplyReply

Quote from: a.lorge
I just wanted to add one more example:

photoshop screen capture

In this screen capture, I am checking out the custom CMYK profile I created yesterday for HP premium instant dry photo gloss using the proof set up options in photoshop, and the profile appears to be good.  So I am now officially at a loss as to why the prints from EDE are so crappy.  Any ideas on this?



Maybe I am missing something but as soon as I see PRoof and BPC in the same boxes alarms go off. You can and probably should print images for repro with BPC, but you definitely don't want BPC with relative for proofing.


The best rip out there is GMG, and by far. EFI is workable, but a lot of work to get it there. I would like to see Gutenprint support for the 3100/3200 too so that a rip is in place and all the controls for photography there without being forced into a proofing type of thinking.
Logged
a.lorge
Jr. Member
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 72


« Reply #11 on: December 07, 2008, 05:19:13 PM »
ReplyReply

I've made significant progress on this problem since I originally posted this.

To summarize:  Although efi designer edition allegedy supports n-color profiles, i really had no way to create such a profile.  I was creating a generic CMYK profile with APS using that as an output profile, which seemed reasonable at the time.   However, upon learning more about printer profiles, this method obviously won't work.  I looked into purchasing a profiling solution that would allow me to create a 7 channel profile, but they were all prohibitively expensive, so that wasn't an option.  I started calling around to different RIP manufacturers and eventually talked to Ergosoft.  Fortunately, their US office is located about an hour's drive away from me.  They invited me to stop by and were kind enough to take the better part of a day showing me how to operate their StudioPrint software, from linearization charts to ink limiting to profile generation with their built in GPS profiling software.   So I purchased it, along with an Ii spectrophotometer and I really couldn't be happier with the results that I have been getting.  I've never tried GMG, but Studioprint is also an excellent option for driving a z3100.
Logged
dave mason
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 11


« Reply #12 on: December 08, 2008, 06:21:04 AM »
ReplyReply

I have just suffered my way through this process and am a Qimage convert, almost evangelistic at this point. We are in the peak of our Christmas rush and run our Z3100 20 hours a day 6 days a week. Every hour of downtime is at least 3 large gallery wraps that don't get printed. Quess which day that has to be made up on....yeah Sunday. We can not afford downtime, period. If a gallery wrap is returned for quality concerns, it is even worse.

We have tried both the Wasatch and Ergo's rips. The tech support from Ergo is very good and they are really trying to please the customer, but I bailed after almost a full day of downtime setting up the rip. Bottom line, the z and Ergo don't like each other very much. I read 1400 patch profile targets by hand with my Eye 1 because the rip struggled to use the on board spectro. Yeah that's fun. A serious problem was the fact that the rip could not easily cancel an active print job. If you need to stop a batch the printer would hang on to it even though the rip deleted it and it being deleted from the Windows printer queue and canceled at the printer. So, you would have to turn off the z to clear it and inevitably it would go into the 45 minute satanic reboot mode....unacceptable.

Along came Qimage due to recommendations on this site. It has been a godsend, period. We use the HP APS and profile each of our papers this way. Combine it with Qimage and we have cranked out a ton of the best quality work ever. I am a big fan now. We have even installed a copy to drive our Epson 4880 printing our dye sub products. It is unbelievably versatile and feature rich. A bargain to be sure. We are creating our profiles with the Eye 1 pro extreme package, again we previously used Ergo here as well.

Qimage has kept me somewhat sane this year....please don't ask my staff if I am sane : )
Logged
karrphoto
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 42


« Reply #13 on: December 08, 2008, 10:43:21 PM »
ReplyReply

Quote from: Onsight
I second that. ONYX and Wasatch output are seriously disappointing and ImagePrint support is problematic.

HP lists the Z3100 as discontinued on this page:
http://h10010.www1.hp.com/wwpc/au/en/sm/WF...79-3204970.html

Correct because the Z3200 with the new Red has taken it's place...  So that probably means any RIP is going to have to wait for updates to work with the new printer too..
Logged
Mussi_Spectraflow
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 171


WWW
« Reply #14 on: December 08, 2008, 11:56:51 PM »
ReplyReply

Quote from: a.lorge
I've made significant progress on this problem since I originally posted this.

To summarize:  Although efi designer edition allegedy supports n-color profiles, i really had no way to create such a profile.  I was creating a generic CMYK profile with APS using that as an output profile, which seemed reasonable at the time.   However, upon learning more about printer profiles, this method obviously won't work.  I looked into purchasing a profiling solution that would allow me to create a 7 channel profile, but they were all prohibitively expensive, so that wasn't an option.  I started calling around to different RIP manufacturers and eventually talked to Ergosoft.  Fortunately, their US office is located about an hour's drive away from me.  They invited me to stop by and were kind enough to take the better part of a day showing me how to operate their StudioPrint software, from linearization charts to ink limiting to profile generation with their built in GPS profiling software.   So I purchased it, along with an Ii spectrophotometer and I really couldn't be happier with the results that I have been getting.  I've never tried GMG, but Studioprint is also an excellent option for driving a z3100.

So just to clarify a few things, yes the Z3100 is gone, replaced by the Z3200. Any RIP that currently supports the Z3100 will, or soon will, support the Z3200.
In regards to EFI, designer Edition is also a thing of the past. It was unfortunately marketed in conjunction with the Z3100 when it was first released. This was not a happy combination. The full flavor of EFI ColorProof XF is a much different beast. I'm going to have to disagree with Neil on saying that GMG is the best RIP out there. GMG certainly excels when it comes to accuracy, although to get the best results they uses some psudo-non-ICC methodology, although they also have full ICC support as well. EFI uses the HP color table in conjunction with their linearization process. You certainly don't need, nor should you try, to create a n-color profile. The translation from CMYK to 11-color separation is handled by the printer internally, the CMYK profile you create is essentially a characterization of that process. So a standard 4 color CMYK profile is all you need. It's very simple and the results are good, perhaps not as good as GMG but now were getting into the realm of very small differences. From a workflow standpoint I think EFI runs circles around GMG, they have a very good interface, cross platform support, and client server configuration. So it just depends on what you need. Both solutions are also somewhat expensive. I haven't had much dealing with Qimage, although maybe I should give it another look. What ever gets the job done, that's the right solution. You can get a demo from most RIP vendors, for the money your looking at I'd give the final choices a trial run.
Logged

Julian Mussi

Spectraflow, Color Workflow Solutions
www.Spectraflow.com
neil snape
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1432


WWW
« Reply #15 on: December 09, 2008, 01:34:56 AM »
ReplyReply

All I can say is good luck trying to configure EFI rips. I agree the UI is better than most ( I hope so as I added my input on the UI when it was being made). The EFI rips have an easy to use spot colour LUT with a good UI front end. I suppose my comment on the GMG being the best is really technically oriented, with respect to it's ability to tweak the LUTs until the results are exactly where they should be. EFI has an iterative profiling option which does a decent job too, but again these are workflow for proofing, leaving photography long behind.

Ideally Qimage ported for Mac would be the best thing with a UI being a PC world thinking.
As far as colour goes, it is indeed a difficult task to program for n-colour profiles, but it can and is done. It is not possible to argue if it is better or worse as how it is done is more important than whether or not the method is good. You'll find ImagePrint have a lot better color maps than the rgb drivers for the 3100. The linearisation too is good, much different than the HP linearisation. Where they are who knows. Where EFI , GMG and others are on a photographic rip , same. You should know that the internal PS rip is a true Adobe rip but it works only in three channel. This is in effect an RGB driver that can run PS , vectors etc without a problem and have the quality of the RGB driver no problems of installation updates, config.

I can't get into details, but I can say that there are ways of improving colour on the Z printers with and without rips but I doubt we'll see them soon. I will also say that there are a lot of improvements in the Z3200 on colour in unexpected places> that too not sure I can say .... yet.
Logged
marcsitkin
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 125


WWW
« Reply #16 on: December 09, 2008, 09:40:20 AM »
ReplyReply

I've successfully run the Z3100 off a Wasatch Rip. The color was good, but the profiles had to be made via Monaco. The HP- generated profiles didn't work at all via Wasatch.

That said, we run all of our output to the Z3100 via Q-Image, and with the exception of Matte papers (weak reds), we get great color from APS generated profiles.
Logged

Regards,

Marc Sitkin
www.digitalmomentum.com
robmaci
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 14


« Reply #17 on: May 02, 2009, 01:43:12 PM »
ReplyReply

What amazes me (and I'm almost definitely missing something) is that Qimage is widely praised seemingly on par with the others, but Qimage is only 10% of the price.  Is there some reason for this?  Am I missing something?
Logged
robmaci
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 14


« Reply #18 on: May 06, 2009, 05:03:43 PM »
ReplyReply

Quote from: robmaci
What amazes me (and I'm almost definitely missing something) is that Qimage is widely praised seemingly on par with the others, but Qimage is only 10% of the price.  Is there some reason for this?  Am I missing something?


I just bought Qimage and found out the hard way that it won't print on banner mode in order to extend the mazimum size the z3100 will print.  Hp's driver doesn't support banner mode.  I though these rips were their own drivers?
Logged
robmaci
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 14


« Reply #19 on: May 06, 2009, 06:39:51 PM »
ReplyReply

Quote from: robmaci
I just bought Qimage and found out the hard way that it won't print on banner mode in order to extend the mazimum size the z3100 will print.  Hp's driver doesn't support banner mode.  I though these rips were their own drivers?
And just to keep things things clear - Qimage is NOT a rip, it is only printing software.
Logged
Pages: [1] 2 »   Top of Page
Print
Jump to:  

Ad
Ad
Ad