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Author Topic: Does anyone use Wastach SoftRIP?  (Read 4355 times)
aaronchan
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« on: September 24, 2010, 05:21:52 AM »
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I'm trying to setup the SoftRIP 6.7 with my Z3200. And I'm using Epson Luster as my first try. I've been working on it for 3 days straight over 60 hours already and still got nothing out correctly.
I've searched online included their website, and have also called their technical support. what they said was I have to print out the linearization chart and determine the individual ink limit and overall ink limit by my eye which I think it's a little bit not too scientific. Is there any other way to determine it in the right way?
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Scott Martin
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« Reply #1 on: September 24, 2010, 08:10:59 AM »
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There are other tools one can use for determining optimal ink limits. I prefer ColorBurst's chroma linearization graphing that shows you the chroma peak for each and every channel. I actually use ColorBurst for this process even when I'm installing/calibrating other RIPs. That's more of a pain than most people want to do though.
 
When the z3200 first came out, I did an EFI, Wasatch and driver shoot-out. The driver clearly delivered the best gamut, linearization and separation parameters. Unless you're needing long print support, I'd pursue application based color management/proofing and print using the driver. If you're needing nesting capabilities I'd look at ImageNest or other application based options. I think you'll find this will save you a big headache and get better quality in the end.
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aaronchan
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« Reply #2 on: September 24, 2010, 09:46:32 AM »
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There are other tools one can use for determining optimal ink limits. I prefer ColorBurst's chroma linearization graphing that shows you the chroma peak for each and every channel. I actually use ColorBurst for this process even when I'm installing/calibrating other RIPs. That's more of a pain than most people want to do though.
 
When the z3200 first came out, I did an EFI, Wasatch and driver shoot-out. The driver clearly delivered the best gamut, linearization and separation parameters. Unless you're needing long print support, I'd pursue application based color management/proofing and print using the driver. If you're needing nesting capabilities I'd look at ImageNest or other application based options. I think you'll find this will save you a big headache and get better quality in the end.

Thanks for your quick reply Onsight.

I've used ColorBurst RIP with my Epson printers when I was working in New York City and I do have some referance to work with so that was a bit easier. But I have swapped into HP and Wasatch for some reason now. I just re-do my Epson Luster paper again and the result came out ok; but feels like I still can work on the ink limit a little bit more since I see the black is clipping a bit too much.

I'm also working on the Museo paper right now and hopefully I can get the right color out by tonight ( I'm currently in China right now.)

thanks
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Scott Martin
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« Reply #3 on: September 24, 2010, 10:19:55 AM »
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Well, as you know, determining the optimal ink limit is more than just getting the maximum density without bleeding or pooling. Chroma generally increases with density but at a certain point levels off and starts to decrease as density continues to increase. It's this chroma plateau that indicates the optimal ink limits, and there's not way to see that with our eyes (our eyes tend to translate more density into more chroma(saturation)). So I like to print ColorBurst's Lin target through other RIPs with the densities set to their max, measure that Lin target in SpectralVision, and load it into ColorBurst, select Chroma as the linearization method and look for the numeric values that indicate the beginning of each chroma plateau. I then calculate the max density value in the actual RIP being used and move on to linearizing those channels with those limits.

And on that note, ColorBurst's Lab linearization method is, IMO, the best way of doing a composite linearization. Many other RIPs continue to use a density method for composite linearization which leads to a less impressive gray balance and less than impressive black and white image reproduction.

Anyway, you didn't mention your bigger picture workflow options. Are you stuck with using Wasatch or do you have other options worth considering? What's causing you to stick with Wasatch?
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aaronchan
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« Reply #4 on: September 24, 2010, 10:33:47 AM »
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The reason why I'm using Wastach is because my company has bought it already which is out of my control. Is Wasatch not a good RIP since I know serveral big labs in NYC are using it as well.

I do understand what you are talking about and I had actually used this method when I was using ColorBurst. The problem in Wasatch with HP is in the RIP, it has 7 individual channels rather than just CMYK in Colorburst. The name of the other three is Red, Green and Violet. I have no idea their Lab value or any other value to recreate them in ColorPort.

Right now I'm trying to linearize the museo silver rag paper. But when i got the right dens on the lin chart, I will end up laying down too much ink on the 400% test chart. But my overall ink limit has been set to 200% already (700% max.). I have no idea why the printer is laying down so much ink. And the Epson Luster Paper I was working on a bit earlier was using 225% as the overall limit.

I feel like I'm using my luck to linearize the printer with the paper right now.
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Scott Martin
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« Reply #5 on: September 24, 2010, 11:28:43 AM »
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In my consulting work, I often have to break the hard news that the equipment or software they've purchased isn't the right one for the job, and carefully navigate the waters toward a better solution. So I know where you're at! Sometimes returning a RIP and spending that money elsewhere is a solution they like to hear.

Either way you do it, you'll need to keep the per channel ink limiting low enough so that you can keep the total ink limit pretty high for the sake of shadow gamut and to avoid pooling. 200% TIL probably isn't going to be enough. From my experience, Wasatch's multicolor separation parameters leave a lot to be desired and that's not a problem you can overcome without switching to another RIP or driver. Good luck.
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aaronchan
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« Reply #6 on: September 24, 2010, 12:00:47 PM »
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Thanks for your advise

Well, in y our opinion, what would be the best RIP for the Z3200?
I work in a Fine Art Photography Output Lab.
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Scott Martin
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« Reply #7 on: September 24, 2010, 12:12:29 PM »
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I'd recommend using the driver. Are you looking for features that a driver can't deliver (nesting, long print length, etc)?
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aaronchan
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« Reply #8 on: September 24, 2010, 12:26:07 PM »
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I'm having so much problem with the driver, and the worst thing this the custom size issue and the orientation. I've already talked to the HP tech support and they have no clue at all. Also I've realized the Black in HP does not linear enough to produce a good B&W image, specially in the shadow part.

I'm using the ProfileMaker 5 to generate the ICC profile.
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Scott Martin
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« Reply #9 on: September 24, 2010, 02:53:09 PM »
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Fun isn't it? :-] The advanced black and white mode in the driver is excellent.
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aaronchan
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« Reply #10 on: September 25, 2010, 02:23:59 AM »
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I'm having so much fun right now with the Max. Dens, Max Chroma, individual ink limit and overall ink limit.

HP B&W mode is good but not the best yet. I missed my previous Epson 9880 and ColorBurst.
Fun isn't it? :-] The advanced black and white mode in the driver is excellent.
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Ernst Dinkla
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« Reply #11 on: September 25, 2010, 07:26:11 AM »
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I'm having so much problem with the driver, and the worst thing this the custom size issue and the orientation. I've already talked to the HP tech support and they have no clue at all. Also I've realized the Black in HP does not linear enough to produce a good B&W image, specially in the shadow part.

I'm using the ProfileMaker 5 to generate the ICC profile.

For both Color and B&W I do not see the advantage of using the Wasatch Softrip. I have the last, version 6.2 and never use it. First of all I have yet to see a print made with the Wasatch SoftRip that uses a UCR or GCR level of composite grey replacement that the HP normal driver has. If you put a greyscale step wedge made in color mode under a microscope you will still see a lot of CMY and even RGB color dots up to 60 or 70 % grey patches, above that it is the K that dominates. With the three Wasatch provided media presets + profiles and some custom ones made by them on my request after my complaints. I couldn't create anything better either. Make a similar print with the HP driver in color mode and you will hardly see any color dots appear in any of the patches. Considering color constancy with different illuminations (for the purists I will not call that metamerism :-), that's not a good thing, both in Color and B&W. The same for fade resistance and as a last con the amount of ink used will be higher than with HP's driver, possibly dotgain issues may even decrease print quality. The one pro I could think of is a slightly wider gamut in darker colors. Bit more Epson style versus what the Z3100 delivered. HP changed Z3200 driver already somewhat into that direction if compared to the Z3100 so the gamut shifted more to Epson style color, it is not just the new Red ink but the gamma has changed. I think there is a relation between that and the non linearity of the Z3200 B&W where the Z3100 has perfect B&W linearity after calibration with most media presets.

While I can drive the Z3200 with the Wasatch SoftRip 6.2 and the Z3100 driver of it there will be a later version that includes Z3200 support. I do not think that anything substantially is changed. There is no B&W mode like ABW or HP's equivalent that uses the grey inks only, 4 or 3 of them, instead you get black only. Calibration/Linearisation is done using HP's method. There is no control on the partitioning of the grey inks and no linearisation possible over a partioned 4-3 grey ink set, like possible in QTR with pré 9900 Epson models. It must have been more than 5 years ago that I asked Wasatch to add B&W control in the RIP like possible with QTR (for the Epsons I had then). They considered it outside the scope of this RIP.

The alternative RGB-device mode possible in the Wasatch SoftRip to overcome N-color or CMYK profiling is no longer recommended by Wasatch itself despite being still aboard. I have tried to create black generation there in HP driver style but failed and as written above I would like to see any positive result done by someone else.

B&W mode output when linear is easier to control. Slight deviations are not that problematic too. A custom QTR profile made after calibration of a Z's output can convert your B&W images with say a 2.2 gamma profile to the non linear output. With the Z3100's almost always linear output that goes perfectly. With the Z3200 I see that more papers/paper presets have a very difficult shadow tone range and strange Dmax cuts on the calibration strips when measured. I doubt that can be corrected with QTR profiling. The ink limitation possible in custom media preset creation is more a gamma control than actual linear ink limation at the 0-100% ink supply, I thought otherwise in the beginning.
The Z3100 still is the champion in B&W mode. Use QTR profiling and control is excellent + the Dmax stays high. As I have one I use that one then. For color I prefer the Z3200 and I print B&W on that one in color mode.

Considering the HP Large Format Photo Negatives method and media preset it should be possible to have a B&W driver mode (or command line application) that comes close to QTR's features. At the introduction of the Z3100 now 4 years ago I discussed that addition with HP on the Photokina but it didn't get a follow up. The Z3100 already so linear fullfilled in practice what I needed so I let it rest. I reported the Z3200 quirks in B&W mode to HP after I discovered them. A review of the Z3200 + the B&W apect is on my website.

With Qimage and Vista (64) + the HP drivers and a 4 year knowledge of Z driver excentricity I can do my work perfectly.


met vriendelijke groeten, Ernst Dinkla

spectral plots of +100 inkjet papers:
http://www.pigment-print.com/spectralplots/spectrumviz_1.htm
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aaronchan
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« Reply #12 on: September 25, 2010, 01:09:01 PM »
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So my question is why does most of the ProLab still use a RIP?
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Scott Martin
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« Reply #13 on: September 25, 2010, 09:03:25 PM »
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So my question is why does most of the ProLab still use a RIP?
There is an ages old perception that to get the best quality one must use a RIP. It was true years ago but times change...

I travel around the globe working with prolabs and don't see a lot of RIPs in photo oriented labs these days. The bigger question there is currently what lab-wide workflow to implement (EZ Controller, EZ Lab, Express Digital, ROES, etc). RIPs have greater usage in prepress, signage, ad agencies, and reprographics.
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aaronchan
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« Reply #14 on: September 27, 2010, 01:42:57 AM »
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Hi, with simple setup, intuitive workflow, and powerful printing controls, SoftRIP saves you time and money while producing excellent quality color.
1.Tools for Every Level of Expertise
Beginners get great color out of the box with fully plug-and-play imaging configurations and fast setup.
2.A New Standard in Color Quality
Precision Stochastic Screens Halftone Method achieves excellent color reproduction with perfectly smooth gradients. Wasatch software RIPs will help you implement even the most complex color workflows.
3.Make Your Workflow Flow
SoftRIP has the workflow tools to give you complete control. SoftRIP can manage any print environment from one small or large format inkjet printer.
4.Save Time and Money
SoftRIP pays for itself quickly in saved time and media.
Leverage the Power Across Your Network
Any PC or Mac on your network can use SoftRIP to print using a regular web browser. SoftRIP´s server tools are simple to setup on networked workstations and even easier to use.




I have some exp. with inkjet RIP and 7 years of press printing RIP. Also I have pretty good knowledge in color management. But the ink control under Wasatch is a nightmare. Let's put it in this way. When I was using ColorBurst, it provided "A lot of" profile for me already, even they don't have it, I still can use what they provided as a reference to build up on top of it. With my HP Z3200, Wasatch only provided 4 types of profile with only 2 types of paper which I have nothing to build from when I make a new profile.
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Ernst Dinkla
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« Reply #15 on: September 27, 2010, 03:52:22 AM »
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Hi, with simple setup, intuitive workflow, and powerful printing controls, SoftRIP saves you time and money while producing excellent quality color.
1.Tools for Every Level of Expertise
Beginners get great color out of the box with fully plug-and-play imaging configurations and fast setup.
2.A New Standard in Color Quality
Precision Stochastic Screens Halftone Method achieves excellent color reproduction with perfectly smooth gradients. Wasatch software RIPs will help you implement even the most complex color workflows.
3.Make Your Workflow Flow
SoftRIP has the workflow tools to give you complete control. SoftRIP can manage any print environment from one small or large format inkjet printer.
4.Save Time and Money
SoftRIP pays for itself quickly in saved time and media.
Leverage the Power Across Your Network
Any PC or Mac on your network can use SoftRIP to print using a regular web browser. SoftRIP´s server tools are simple to setup on networked workstations and even easier to use.

1/ Only 4 imaging configurations for just 2 HP papers if you have the Z3200, 3 HP papers covered for the Z3100
http://www.wasatch.com/ic/imageconfigs.php?man=HP&model=hpz3200#a3
And they show the issues I described above.

2/ There's no improvement visible to my eyes for the papers mentioned in the link when compared to the HP driver's output. Both with all the combinations of low/high resolution, 8/16 bit images. Using Qimage Studio as the application to print from with the normal HP drivers.

3/ Correct that it has a wide range of supported printers included and keeps older models supported on new Windows OSses.. That doesn't compensate the omissions like good B&W printing modes etc.

4/ The HP Z models are not bad either on that aspect. Add Qimage (Ultimate) on your computers for the nesting etc.

The Postscript interpretation when needed could make a difference but I would recommend the purchase of a Z-PS model anyway and that covers the PS interpretation quite adequately. There are other ways to print PDFs etc to Z models though.

The SoftRip support of the printer's integrated spectrometer doesn't more than link to the HP's integrated calibration. For profile creation you will need a separate profile creation program. The more expensive one that goes beyond RGB-device printer profile creation.

The SoftRip has its place. The RIP's spin off/ extensions for textile printing etc have their place. For photographers and art printers I do not see any advantage.


met vriendelijke groeten, Ernst Dinkla

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









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