With the development of computer-to-plate (CPT) in recent years, the industry generally believes that this technology will inevitably replace the existing filmmaking process, but its development has received some obstacles. Because the use of film processing process can still provide a certain degree of flexibility for manual modification, such as typos or partial change version. However, direct plate making is a method of using the platesetter to image directly on the plate. All imaging data cannot be lost or lost. Otherwise, the entire plate layout needs to be re-exported. In other words, compared to Ctfilm, CtPlate has a stricter set of reliable digital workflows to properly handle the production process from designer to printer. Therefore, the most controversial issue is not whether lasers can be used to create high-precision outlets directly on the plates, but whether there can be an accepted digital workflow to replace the existing production methods, which needs to be considered throughout the entire process. Including: digital proofing, computer imposition, flexibility of production efficiency modification, cost, trapping and film problems. The following is an introduction to the requirements and techniques of digital proofing.
Comparison of Digital Proofing and Traditional Proofing When referring to the effects of digital proofing, the general lecture will use traditional proofing as a benchmark for comparison. Although this comparison is a matter of course, it is often easy to omit some of the features that come with digital proofing. benefit. Here are my three major areas, including quality, cost, and effectiveness. Try to compare the differences objectively.
Quality Effects Color Simulation Capability - Since the traditional proofer also uses ink for imaging, theoretically it can express the color gamut very close to printing. In terms of digital proofing, some equipment can use inks similar to the ink composition, and the performance of the color gamut is very similar to printing. However, the cost of ink and machine is very high (general equipment is between 500,000 and 1.5 million, depending on the format and precision). Other common color printers, such as ink jet or thermal sublimation, can express more color gamuts than printing inks at a low cost. The key is how to use the rich color gamut to simulate the color gamut of the printing ink, which depends entirely on the color management technology of individual manufacturers.
Network simulation capabilities - traditional proofing in this area has absolute advantages. Because they use the same set of film printing and printing. Digital proofing needs to simulate net shopping. On the one hand, it needs to invest more than one million yuan to purchase high-precision equipment, but the effect of the exchange is hardly the same as the actual printing effect. For example, the accuracy of the digital proofer is 2000/3000 dpi, and the accuracy of the image-setter is 2400/3600 dpi. The webs created by the two are completely different. Most devices on the market that can simulate nets can only meet the visual requirements of customers.
Stability - because the traditional proofer is used to manually press and adjust the pressure, so the effect is very unstable, the industry has this experience: This is the same set of film to take out the proofs, the effect is usually not the same. Digital printing is automated imaging and can be very stable. Of course, if the equipment quality is not good, such as the ink head is often blocked, it will also cause instability. However, the more stable equipment on the market is not difficult to find.
Reliability - Traditional proofing uses a film that is consistent with printing, and is highly reliable. Digital proofing can be considered in three levels on this issue:
1. If the RIP of the output proofing is completely different from the RIP of the final platemaking system, then the reliability is low;
2. If the RIP for output proofing is the same as the science and education film system, but it needs to be reprocessed separately before imaging, the reliability is higher;
3. If the same set of data that has been processed by RIP is used as proofing and plate making, the reliability is very high. Because in addition to human factors in the entire process, the most opportunity for operational differences is RIP calculations. The three methods mentioned above are available on the market.
Investment costs - In this respect, traditional proofing is inferior to digital proofing. Because in the same production capacity calculation, such as the completion of two sets of four-color proofing in one hour, the investment in traditional equipment requires four groups to fight machine, supporting the printing plate, plate processing equipment, plus the required staff and In a large factory, the investment is about 2 million yuan. The investment in digital proofing can be 30-150 million yuan, depending on the requirements for quality, while the additional labor is close to zero. In terms of material costs, the cost of traditional proofing paper and ink is very low, and the higher proportion of cost is the plate material and medicine. For digital proofing, an open format is about RMB 20-150, depending on the individual printer. In general, digital proofing (at a certain degree of quality recognition) can yield a much higher return on investment than traditional proofing.
Production speed - on the surface is the speed of digital proofing imaging. The printers that are generally available in the market can complete a half-size layout of the same quality within 20 minutes. The traditional proofing, regardless of size, does not include imposition, printing and processing time, single proofing action, generally takes 30-40 minutes, but this is only a comparison of the production of a proofing. When it is necessary to produce more than one color proof, the discrimination of the two speeds is relatively close.
Multiple Simulation Capabilities - Most of the digital proofers mentioned above have more color gamuts than printing inks. The rich color gamut coupled with the cooperation of good color management software enables digital proofing not only to simulate the effects of prints, but also to simulate other production effects such as screen printing, digital printing, inkjet posters, etc., and even analog The performance under high-speed rotary presses can better meet the increasingly diversified output requirements of the market. The most common example is a set of advertising designs that need to be promoted through different media.
Multiple format capabilities - In addition to simulating the color effects of an output medium, a full range of digital proofing systems can automatically adjust the color of the images in the files for the needs of different outputs so that operators do not need to make manual changes. It can truly be an automated workflow. The features of the above two digital proofing methods are all lacking in traditional proofing.
The choice of digital proofing Digital proofing can basically be divided into three categories:
1, Design proof design proofing, only for layout design.
2, Color proof color proofing, for color effects.
3, Screen proof proofing network, at the same time for color and net effect.
Overall, Color proof color proofing is most versatile and highly selective for best cost effectiveness. In fact, there are many types of color printers that can be selected on the market. The main imaging technologies include: laser printing, thermal wax transfer, thermal sublimation, and ink-jet printing. The ink-jet can be said to be the mainstream of high-end products.
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