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Proofing Black Plate Changes in a PDF workflow using MetaDimension

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  • Proofing Black Plate Changes in a PDF workflow using MetaDimension

    We are looking to find a way to accuratly proof black plate changes in a PDF workflow using the Heidelberg MetaDimension workflow and a HP5000 proofer.

    Currently we have a number of customers who send PDF files for jobs that have multiple versions. They send a composite 4C PDF for each version and ask us to use the CMY from one PDF as a base and take only the K from the other PDFs for the black plate changes.

    Right now we do not have a way to proof the base CMY combined with the K of each version, either by hardcopy or by soft preview and this has become an issue because we cannot gaurentee that the customer has setup a base CMY that will work for each version.

    Does anyone know of a workflow or Acrobat plugin that works in showing if a K plate works with a base CMY?

    Thank you

    Edited by: Joseph Schmidt on Feb 27, 2008 12:13 AM

  • #2
    Re: Proofing Black Plate Changes in a PDF workflow using MetaDimension

    Heidelberg Prinect Signa station enables you not only impositioning, but also powerfull possibilities to do language versioning using layers. It enables you to use CMY+K1+K2 (as in your case) or CMYK + S1 + S2 (S = spot color for text), where you have possibilities to output 5th plate separately or in a case of 4 color printing, to map spot color into black.

    Alternative might be Heidelberg Prinect PDF Assistant, which enables you to combine several pages into one page:,features,4




    • #3
      Re: Proofing Black Plate Changes in a PDF workflow using MetaDimension

      Thank you for the reply.

      If you receive composite 4C PDFs, can you tell Signa to use CMY from one PDF and only the K from 2nd, 3rd and 4th composite PDF?

      Or do I need to find a way to turn those PDFs into seperated PDFs?


      • #4
        Re: Proofing Black Plate Changes in a PDF workflow using MetaDimension

        Of course!

        Let's assume, that your original CMYK composite PDF file contains color pictures and vector elements in CMYK for example car advertising, provided by car manufacturer.

        You would receive in separate files in black, the dealer data. There are different dealers, some of them would add only text, another some logo, but every dealer writes his data into his own PDF.

        In Prinect Signa station, you would during imposing process create basic layer for base CMYK composite file and adequate no. of layers for dealer1, dealer2 ...

        During the plate/proof/film output to Meta, you would in Print menu simply select, that you want to combine base with layer dealer1 and so on...

        Generally, have a base file in composite format, for text mutations, it is very good, to have files prepared as a separated - one color only PDF. Different applications give you different result, when writing to PDF only one color. You just need to try.



        • #5
          Re: Proofing Black Plate Changes in a PDF workflow using MetaDimension

          Tarkware Versions Checker is a special tool for checking jobs with a black plate change.



          • #6
            black change proofing

            Ive been doing quite a lot of these jobs using Signa station and Prinect combined. Previously before i got involved we used to just proof the two jobs and then only plate and use k from the second job for press and it realy was a matter of crossing fingures as the of cource the proofs look perfect but do not reflect whats going to happen on press.
            After some experimenting i do the following:
            If you client has created their indesign file with layers, get them to output the 'base' cmyk layer as one pdf, then turn off the base layer and output each of the 'version' layers (ie kind 1, kind2). These two variable pdf should have only black and will be quite small file sizes as generally they are text only.

            In prinect cockpit, go to product descriptions menu and create as many product parts as there are finished versions. ie 28pp Kind A, 28 pp Kind B.

            In Layouts menu highlight both blue product parts and create a new layoutIn that layout create 2 layers, one for the 'base' and one for the 'plate change'. Dont refer to these layers as the final version as it will get confusing, it is only refering to the plate change. So if there are 5 versions there are still only two layers (base and plate change). print/save jdf.

            You will see now there are two complete 28pp layouts, one in each product part, kind A and kind B, within that layout you will see the layers 'base', 'platechange' and 'all'. If you browse to your signature folder you will see there is only one layout so you cant accidently update one and not the other.

            In Page list menu there will be a 28 page pagelist in both blue product part folders and then a third one called base. Assign all your pages to there respective pagelist.

            Back in layout view you will see that the 'base' pagelist is assigned to both impositions 'base' layer and the two plate change page lists are assigned to their respective layouts.

            you can now plate and proof from 'all' layer for either version and it will combine the 'base' art and imp with the plate change variable data and give you an accurate composite proof.

            I output 'booklet' proof to an HP5550 as a dummy book of each product part from 'all' that gives me two idendtical dummy's appart from the variable plate change data. and then i run high res proofs from one product part only of 'all' layer to sign off for colour. We output CMYK from 'all' kind Aand the k from 'all' kind B.

            This works a treat as long as the plate operater knows what going on. The hardest thing is convincing the client to supply 3 pdf's instead of two as they sometimes think its more work for them, but deffinetly worth it. You can take composite pdfs and strip out cmy but tranparacies like drop shadows and image backgrounds often cause problems so i try and steer away from that.

            You might think 'why not just set up all the versions in signa and not use multiple product part in cockpit'. If you did this when you go to output plate or proof you can only ouput 'All' layer or each layer seperatly, you cant for instance output layer 1 and layer 3 and exlude layer 2. Its one or all wich is no good for combining to mulitiple finished products.

            Hope this helps and you dont steal all my work!


            • #7
              Signa Layers

              Signa also supports Layers where you would be able to bring in another PDF as a layer and output them as separate files.

              If you use or have Cockpit you and turn off CMY and drop the black to an inkjet proofer... this would be the easiest way to do it!


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