Soft Proofing systems on Newspaper Printing Presses
At present we are using hard proofs on the newspaper printing presses on different produciton plants across the country. I am looking for the name of the vendors who provide the soft proofing systems: which should be placed on the presses and pres crew match the printing jobs by the soft proofs. It would be great if help me out for some vendors whose soft proofing systems are working on the printing industry.
I don't think that it is possible to have the press operator match printing to a soft proof. At least I've not seen it done in the plants that I've visited that have soft proofing at the press. The problem is the limitations of the human visual system. We have no color memory, and the eye/brain recalibrates constantly. This means that you cannot do a direct comparison between the press sheet and the soft proof. That is why, when press operators compare the press sheet to a hard proof they cut the sheet through the critical color area(s) and overlay and align that cut sheet on the proof.
Originally Posted by nilay
Soft proofs are good for checking color channel image content (the separations) but, IMHO, not good for aligning presswork color.
Gotta' disagree, Gordo. Soft proofing works well. The trick is to match the relative luminance of the sheet and the monitor. If you have a quantity of light reflecting off of the sheet that is similar to the amount of light being emitted by the monitor, then a good match is possible. In my experience this usually means you have to cut the brightness of the monitor.
ICS (Remote Director) is the biggie in this market. Serendipity (Black Magic and MegaRIP) has some soft proofing capability (even the ability to proof the dots if you feed it 1-bit TIFFs). In truth, you could accomplish most of this in a very basic way with TIFF files and some color management know-how.
The bigger challenge, in my opinion, is finding/building a display structure that will show the entire web. That and the simple construction of the press-side surrounds, but GTI can work with you on that front.
Last edited by rich apollo; 06-28-2012 at 07:47 AM.
I guess it depends on what you consider a match to be.
Originally Posted by rich apollo
Thanks Rich and Gordo. I heard one Japanese display (forgot the name: not sure may be Eizo) works good specially if you see the soft proof from different angles of the device. Sometimes when you change the view angle, it might create problem to see the image in good manner. We will look for Black Magic and ICS Remote Director.
OK, I'll take the middle ground. Rich and Gordo are both right. Monitors can not be critical color approval devices, by definition. However, there is an awful lot of print done that isn't color critical. Just pleasing color, make sure the red is red and it's in register. I support two major web companies using Dalim Dialogue for at-press softproofing every day. It's not critical color compared to a hard proof, but it is very close and allows them to better control costs and schedules. On the other hand, for critical color, my broker friends bring their color match chips to the press approval after approving two rounds of ink jet proofs. If I'm doing a photo book, I'll want some well-calibrated hard proofs. If it's a newspaper, a softproof will be fine.
We don't sell the following solution, however as a Kodak master distributor I am aware of this product:
PRESSPROOF Software - Kodak Graphic Communications Group
A good reference on softproofing can be found here:
Downloads for Softproof - www.fogra.org
Thanks Stephen for the 'fogra link': which I missed to check. One more quick question: is it fruitful to encourage the advertising agencies to check the proof remotely on the calibrated monitor set at our plant or office (same as we set on the printing press)?