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  • 1-bit TIFF Inspection

    We use an Esko Spark for imaging DuPont flexo plates for narrow web labels, with a Nexus RIP upstream producing 1-bit tiffs for imaging. When the system was installed last April, the Esko trainer suggested that when a plate is imaging, we should avoid using Grapholas on the Spark for inspecting the next batch of images to be burned; it likes to have only one thing to do at a time. I'd like to have some way for our platemaker to inspect the images while the machine is imaging, whether on a second computer or on the Spark.

    We also have a single seat of DotSpy, but that is used by the guy who does trapping and step & repeat, and is in a different room, so running the dongle back & forth doesn't really work well. We could upgrade to a site license for DotSpy for another $5,000, but I'd rather explore other options before we spend that kind of money. During the install, the Esko rep mentioned that we could install the Grapholas TIFF viewer on a second machine, but didn't go into specifics about how to do that.

    So I guess my question for others is what do you use for inspecting your files before committing to plate? A corollary to that is, how do you have your workflow arranged? and could we modify ours to be more efficient in this regard?

    Thanks!
    --
    Dave @ Cimarron Label

  • #2
    Re: 1-bit TIFF Inspection

    On ocassion I'll use Photoshop to view 1-bit Tiffs.

    If you set the dropper tool to a large size, say 5 x 5, and view the image reduced, you can get screen value percentages.

    And you can use the measure tool to get the screen angle by "measuring thru the dots.

    You may also need to change the Aspect Ratio in PSD to square. While my 1-bit Tiffs don't require it, a customer providing 1-bit tiff does. But changeing the setting doesn't seem to effect the output.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: 1-bit TIFF Inspection

      We have used that option in the past, but I forgot to mention it; thanks! Gimp might be an alternative, depending on whether I can finagle the purchase of another license for Photoshop.

      One concern with using an image editor is that we don't want any editing to happen to these files; we're doing an increasing amount of work for pharmaceutical customers, and they want us to minimize the points in the workflow where things can be edited. But I guess that can be accomplished through directory-level permissions.

      Any other ideas?

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: 1-bit TIFF Inspection

        A person doing trapping and imposition does not need DotSpy. He can simply view the ripped files with Insight and and the imposed files in Preps. If his preview in Preps doesn't work (and even if it does), he can make a "make composite proof" (pdf) in his Impo workflow to see the imposed flat when it goes through the Impo workflow (to make sure it looks correct, is the correct size, etc.)

        Then the platesetter guy can look at the screened files with DotSpy.

        Don

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        • #5
          Re: 1-bit TIFF Inspection

          Since you were installed Esko-Graphics ( your Spark ) and Artwork Systems ( your rip ) are now one company, EskoArtwork. I would give your sales rep a call since now we can offer more options all under one roof. In addition to DotSpy ,we now have BitMapViewer and FlexoPerfection ( free demo download available on http://www.esko.com/Web/site.aspx?p=138 ). The answer may be more available and less painful than you think.
          "you never know how the past is going to turn out"

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          • #6
            Re: 1-bit TIFF Inspection

            Take a look at First Proof Pro. It has some great features for previewing 1-Bit data.

            http://www.hamillroad.com/main/produ...stproofpro.htm

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: 1-bit TIFF Inspection

              I have a small application named ELAN GMK Glass.

              opens 1 bit TIFFs in a jiffy, and has cursor oriented and quick key enable zoom for fast review. Opens all sorts of weirdo image file formats as well.

              if you buy some java juice, I will send you the application for free.

              http://www.javajuiceextract.com/

              just email your receipt to me at mjahn@elan-gmk.com
              Michael Jahn - Slightly used PDF Evangelist
              Simi Valley California

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: 1-bit TIFF Inspection

                Hi Dave,

                You should take a look at FirstPROOF. The standard (Std) version gives you high-performance viewing (of Hqn PGB, TIFF and Esko LEN) files (to which you can add options). The Pro version gives you (amongst other things) an additional set of specialist tools for checking all sorts of pre-press and press issues (distances, traps, overprints, screening, moire, inking, seams, density, bar codes,...). In addition, the Pro version can do color accurate views of what you are going to print.

                In terms of some of the tools there are and how you'd use them, take a look at the "FirstPROOF Guide to Pre-Press Soft-Proofing" at http://www.hamillroad.com/main/produ...proofguide.htm.

                You can setup FirstPROOF to not allow any modifications to the job (modfiy, delete, merge and rotate can be disabled), so you can guarantee that what you (or your operator) are seeing is what you'll print.

                There's loads of info on our web site, including trial versions you can download. FirstPROOF runs on both Mac and PC. Std retails for £395 and Pro for £995, but exact pricing depends on what our dealers/OEMs charge.

                I can't really do justice to FirstPROOF in such a short reply (it has lots of tools and features in it), so will leave you to take a look at our web site and try it. But if you have any particular questions, I'd be happy to answer them.

                If you do like it and end up using it, you'll be joining our existing install base of 1000s of happy users.

                Regards,

                Andy.

                Andy Cave,
                Chief Executive Officer,
                Hamillroad Software Limited.
                www.firstproof.com
                www.hamillroad.com

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: 1-bit TIFF Inspection

                  Wow! You all have been busy! Sorry for not replying at all, but we ended up with our 9 year old in the hospital last week; strep virus migrated to his heart, causing some inflammation (myocarditis) and a lot of panicky adults. He's out now, and doing very well; back in school even. I'm just now getting my feet back under me.

                  Lots of good advice here; I'll touch on a few of the responses.

                  Peter: I was hoping the fallout from the AWS/Esko merger might yield some streamlining of the tools available. I've been working the tech support side from Esko and AWS trying to get some better tools toward this end, but haven't got very far. I'll try hitting up the sales guys & see what I can shake loose. We bought the equipment through Pitman, and haven't dealt with anyone in sales at Esko; anybody there I can contact directly who services the midwest?

                  Paul & Andy: I downloaded a copy of FirstPROOF, and WOW! does that do a lot! I like it a lot, but not sure how the price will go over with the bean counters. One question for Andy; I downloaded the Lite version to see if that would do what I wanted, and made sure to select Lite during the install, but it defaulted to Demo mode of the Pro version. What are the functional differences between the Pro version in Demo mode and the Lite? Is there a way to force it into Lite mode? Also, I'm a little confused by the feature list for the Lite product; it says that "TIFF Input - Configures an Input Folder for viewing TIFF images (both tiled and striped)" works, but "TIFF Open - Dynamically opens the TIFF files in a given folder for viewing" does not. What's the difference?

                  Michael: I'll take you up on that & order some JavaJuice! I'm the one in the office who has to bring my own coffee because the stuff they brew in the breakroom is far too weak for me; if I wanted tea, I'd drink tea! Nice advertising gimmick; I hadn't heard of that stuff before. I'll email you my receipt once I get that done. Is Glass something that's available from www.elan-gmk.com?

                  Thanks again everyone!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: 1-bit TIFF Inspection

                    David - To get the appropriate person from EskoArtwork to speak with you, your best bet is to call the office at 937-454-1721, give them your location and request. They will get you in touch with the right person from there.

                    - peter
                    "you never know how the past is going to turn out"

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: 1-bit TIFF Inspection

                      > Paul & Andy: I downloaded a copy of FirstPROOF, and WOW! does that do a lot! I like it a lot, but not sure how the price will go over with the bean counters. One question for Andy; I downloaded the Lite version to see if that would do what I wanted, and made sure to select Lite during the install, but it defaulted to Demo mode of the Pro version. What are the functional differences between the Pro version in Demo mode and the Lite? Is there a way to force it into Lite mode? Also, I'm a little confused by the feature list for the Lite product; it says that "TIFF Input - Configures an Input Folder for viewing TIFF images (both tiled and striped)" works, but "TIFF Open - Dynamically opens the TIFF files in a given folder for viewing" does not. What's the difference?

                      Hi David,

                      If you compare the price of FP to other s/w (DotSpy and Perfection have been mentioned), I think you'll find it's very competitively priced, especially when you consider what you get - as well as loads of tools (with more being added all the time), you also get color accurate viewing (using a new method which is simple and fast as well as accurate). And that's before you consider it runs on Mac or PC, is extremely fast,... Try finding another piece of s/w that can do that (color accurate viewing) at the same price.

                      The Lite version is built into Pro. So you get to run FP Pro for 28 days and at the end of that time it reverts (downgrades) to Lite. If you want to see the differences between Std, Pro and Lite, take a look at http://www.hamillroad.com/main/produ...comparison.htm (there's also a PDF file at the bottom of that page you can download). If you really want to, you could force it into Lite mode but the method to do so is not nice (move your clock fowards by 28 days - not recommended).

                      For anyone wanting ocassional use for a quick view, but who doesn't want to do anything too serious, FP Lite can be of use. But for anyone wanting to use the s/w for anything serious, especially on a regular day to day basis, I'd really recommend either Std or Pro depending on requirements. FP Pro has a lot more in it than Std, and continues to get things added - we have lots of ideas for more tools that'll come over time - so to my mind is well worth it.

                      Our expectation is that any purchase / use of FirstPROOF should pay for itself in a matter of weeks or months at most. You only have to catch one bad job that otherwise gets through to being printed and it pays for itself.

                      FirstPROOF allows you to setup a workflow, by creating a "TIFF Input" which has an input folder and an output folder. IIRC, Lite does not allow you to Output, so with Lite you can only create a TIFF Input which lets you look at files in a given folder (which you therefore have to configure for each different folder). Rather than having to configure an Input each time you want to view TIFF files in a particular folder, the "TIFF Open" allows you to dynamically 'open' that folder. It's a faster more convenient method. Since Lite is free, we can't give too much away, so Lite is pretty basic and has a large number of things removed, this included.

                      If you've downloaded the s/w, I suggest you try it for the 28 days and see how you get on with it. I think you'll find that it's excellently designed and developed s/w, being very bug free, very fast, with lots of tools, intuitive, etc... and with a lot of polish and subtle touches. We get a lot of feedback from our end-users and act on it. So it's a tool that has really evolved to work as real operators want, as opposed to what our engineers think is a good idea.

                      And I could also mention that you get excellent support with it - from the actual engineers who developed the product. So if you do get a problem (which is rare), or just need some help, you'll get an answer fast. Ask any of our existing users or resellers about how responsive we are and I'm sure you'll only hear positive things about us.

                      Regards,

                      Andy.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: 1-bit TIFF Inspection

                        Andy,

                        I've downloaded the Pro trial. I'm trying to view one-bit tiffs from Nexus which works fine for viewing the individual separations. Is it possible to view a composite of all colors and if so...how?
                        Joe
                        OS: Mac OS X 10.10.2 - RIP: Prinergy Connect 6.1 - CTP: Luscher XPose! 160 (2)

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: 1-bit TIFF Inspection

                          Hi Joe,

                          FirstPROOF always tries to automatically group files it finds in a given folder into jobs, pages and separations. For Harlequin PGB files it can automatically do this, as the PGB file format (header) contains things such as job name, job number, page number, separation list, separation colors, etc... For TIFF files, although this information could be stored (as TIFF tags) in the TIFF header, it rarely is. What most RIPs do that generate TIFF files is embed this information in the TIFF file name. But there is no standard for this and different RIPs embed this information in different ways - in fact even the same RIP (e.g. the Hqn RIP) allows the user to define how and what information is embedded into the file name (which can include no information).

                          We therefore developed a flexible File Name Filter mechanism which allows you to specify how your file name are structured, so that FirstPROOF can automatically group files etc... Once you've defined a filter, you select it when you create the "TIFF Input".

                          If you download the documentation, you'll find a document titled "Defining File Name Filters". This contains all the information you need to know on how to define them. You can either do so by hand (that is hand write a file name filter), or better still use the Filter Wizard (PC) / Assistant (Mac) to help you write one. Or even simpler still, mail me (andy.cave@hamillroad.com) telling me how your files are named and I'll write one for you.

                          To give you a quick example, I have some TIFF files produced by Nexus. These are in a folder titled "Job_J41706" and are named J41706P001_Black.tif, J41706P001_Cyan.tif, ..., J41706P001_PANTONETETRA0294.tif. If I set my Input folder to be "Job_J41706" then I can use a simple TIFF File Name Filter of "J%nP%p_%c.tif" (excluding double quotes). Or better still "%j="J%n"P%p_%c.tif" (excluding first and last double quotes). This last filter sets the job name (%j) to "J41706", the job number (%n) to 41706, the page number to (%p) to 1 (001 -> 1) and the separation color (%c) to Black, Cyan, ... PANTONEETERA0294. If you really want to get more sophisticated, you can also strip off the "PANTONE" prefix, but I'll leave that as an exercise for the reader... :-)

                          The first result for my example above can easily be done using the Filter Wizard (PC) / Assistant (Mac). The second result needs a bit of help, either by reading the documentation, or by asking me.

                          Once you've set up a correct TIFF file name filter, you'll then see a list of jobs, each with a list of pages, each with a sub-list of separations, etc... and you can select all the seps in a page (double click on the page number - which opens up the page and selects all the separations (list view), or click on the page thumbnail (thumbnail view) - double click here opens up a floating window with the seps in).

                          Note that if you change a Filter, you need to do a Full Refresh to make use of it - not just an Incremental Refresh, as this is designed as a setup/configuration step.

                          Alternatively, you could always just select the multiple jobs (use control-click in the job menu, or use the multi job selection manager), open up the various pages and select the various separations, but that's not really recommended - much better to get the filter right (which in fact is required for color accurate viewing).

                          As I said, if you need help, mail me with a list of your folder / file names and I'll write one for you. I read/check email up to about 10:00 pm UK time, so you'll get a reply even quite late in your time in the US. Or if you just miss me, it'll be waiting for you the next day.

                          Regards,

                          Andy.

                          Edited by: Andy Cave on Feb 4, 2008 9:45 AM

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: 1-bit TIFF Inspection

                            Here in my country, We are using Globis products via Creo to check the file in 1bit tiff. And printout in Epson Stylus. Works pretty well on Heidelberg and komori machines. The problem in 1bit tiff is the graphic is too pixalized.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: 1-bit TIFF Inspection

                              >We also have a single seat of DotSpy, but that is used by the guy who does trapping and step & repeat, and is in a different room, so running the dongle back & forth doesn't really work well.

                              If DotSpy will do what you need and the only thing preventing its use is a single dongle, you could possibly install it on a neutral computer and use a VNC connection to access it from any workstation...only one at a time though or you'll end up fighting over control.

                              Comment

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