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  • remote proofing

    I am interested in learning about peoples' experience with remote proofing. What are the different approaches being employed? Do any of the solutions work with 1 bit tiff data? If so how do they manage the file size, and quality? Can this process be automated? Are any of the solutions cost effective for a small-mid-sized printer ie. 2.5 mil $ in gross sales.

    Thanks,

    Mike

  • #2
    Re: remote proofing

    I know Agfa has the Delano solution:

    http://www.agfa.com/en/gs/knowledge_...lano/index.jsp
    Better train people and risk they leave - than do nothing and risk they stay.

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    • #3
      Re: remote proofing

      We would be glad for you to have a look at our OnTimeProof product. It is a highly automated solution and VERY inexpensive! It is easy to use and supports job submission with job ticketing and automated remote proofing. You can try it out for free!

      David Lewis
      Lucid Dream Software
      www.luciddream.com

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      • #4
        Re: remote proofing

        Delano? Mike said his sales were $2.5mil , not that he wanted to spend $2.5 mil. (Chuckle) OK. It's not really that expensive but way overblown for an organization that size IMHO.

        Break it back down to some simple questions. What quality do you need? This will define a lot of your actions. Every modern networkable printed will work TCP/IP and therefore over the internet remotely. A little tweak on the firewalls will do. Anything that supports one-to-one NAT with decent rules based filtering will get it done. Of course, if your needs are that simple you could probably mail PDF's. Also, it's pretty impossible in corporate or government clients to get any accomadations from the IT departments. If you're looking for contract quality proofs then you have to expect whatever you do in your location to get that quality will need to be done on the other side. So, if you have a humidity controlled clean room you'll need one remotely, etc., etc. Those simple logistics are more likely to bite you in the butt than anything. Particularly if you're looking large format. An HP5000, Epson 9800 or Mutoh Falcon is a big, loud, machine that needs handling. Vendors have come up with all sorts of calibration schemes that work from built in spectro's but what happens when the spectro says the result is to far out of range to calibrate? Dry paper? Clogged jet? Hair ball? So what do you do? Place a service call with GEI Calgraph. Nice people but pricey and a day or two delay. I'm personally of the opinion that Layout&Comp. proofing can be done remotely with any TCP/IP network printer but Contract proofing is only practical when the remote proofer has a remote office with it. That could easily shove it up to a $75,000 per year burden of staff and capital equipment per location. And yes, the files tend to be really big so you may need a full T1 data line for each 8 clients depending on the proofing frequency.

        The level of automation is limited only by your imagination and budget. The big workflows will have actions in the task processors that automatically proof to a specified device. If that device is remote, it'll print there and someone only need pick it up ( good luck the marketing director to do that ). In it's simplest form the artist simply has printer set up for each customer's IPP printer and they print to it. High cost, to no cost and they all look the same to the customer.

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        • #5
          Re: remote proofing

          I would recommend ICS Remote Director. Easy to use and supported very well. Training is done online in a matter of hours.
          It can be automated completely by using their "ProofFlow" software which allows for hot folder driven workflows.
          I don't think that it supports 1-bit tiff though.
          One major bit of advice, stay away from Kodak! Poorly written, poorly supported dysfunctional software.

          Tom

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          • #6
            Re: remote proofing

            Depends on what you want to do.
            If you want to send files to an actual remote proofers there are ways of accomplishing this AND making sure the remote proofer is colour managed to your shop.

            If you would like to have customers/collaborators view and comment on files through an internet browser then WebCenter from EskoArtwork may be of interest to you.
            Here is a link to information on that : http://www.esko.com/web/site.aspx?p=1228

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

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            • #7
              Re: remote proofing

              Hello Mike,

              There are quite a few approaches to this and several options available. Remote Proofing can be a Soft-proofing solution on screen (ideally matched to a calibrated Monitor ICC profile) or it can be a Remote Hard Proofing, output to a printer, Ideally with verification in place so the consistency/accuracy of the proof can me measured/monitored.

              This process can easily be automated but the verification needs to be done by hand.

              I invite you to look at our training videos for setting up remote proofing, you can check out both the softproofing which shows 1bit halftone proofing to a monitor profile and the Remote-Proofing to a remote site which does not require a purchased software for the remote site. File size is determined by the resolution of the output device.
              With the ever increasing speed of the internet, file sizes are of less and less concern.

              http://gallery.mac.com/absoluteproof
              http://www.absolute-proof.com

              There are some other videos there that might be of interest to you as all these features come standard with this proofing software.

              The 1 bit proofing, remote proofing and soft-proofing are standard features that come at no additional cost and can be implemented at unlimited remote sites.
              Verification of proofs requires a purchase of an X-Rite spectrophotometer (Eye- One or similar) and a tool like the free MeasureTool from X-rite.

              I hope this helps,

              Edited by: Hugo Kristinsson on Jan 22, 2008 5:10 PM

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              • #8
                Re: remote proofing

                Does it mean that in Absolute Proof you CANNOT make a contone proof?

                Why?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: remote proofing

                  So Mike? Confused, overwhelmed, perhaps depressed? I think the bottom line once all this is digested is that remote proofing is a big deal. Look at your profit margins and think hard about how you're going to justify this process. A $4000 Eizo in every location you might need to remote soft proof at? An Epson 9800 and X-rite for any hard proofs? This is, sadly, worse than rocket science. At least rocket science is based on the laws of physics. This stuff is based on transient technologies that are bought sold and obsoleted on a year to year basis so your ROIs have to be critically short. You'll end up with a continual bleeding from support contracts or I.T. staff increases that are awfully hard to afford in the current market.

                  I think you're reacting to the same forces we all are. People want proofs same day. There is an environment where that may be practical but given the available technologies it's between fairly large organizations that have permanent high volume relationships. Maybe that's not you but it's who you want to be. In that case there is no ROI, it's a speculative purchase with the attendant risks.

                  My advice... Shore up your internal proofing. Get it solid and redundant and mobile. Let's say you have a system with workflows established and enough muscle that you can drop a final art in a que and get a hard proof in 2 hours (not unreasonable). You have enough redundancy to assure availability. You could offer same day to clients within the limitations of couriers. No headache next day for everyone Fed-X can reach. That's not bad.

                  Good luck friend.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: remote proofing

                    I want to respond to the question "what is your experience". We have had a response that has exceeded our expectations to remote proofing. However it is used for content proofing and file transfer. We have not had much success doing the color remote proofing as of yet to speak of. We have even offered to pay for the monitor etc. The people doing content proofing has become big for us though. It has actually grown a few of our accounts due to the speed and ease to do business. As you are all too aware of we live in and ever increasing "on demand" society and Fedexing a hard proof out just doesn't cut it sometimes. We use Kodak Insite here. It may be a little pricey for you though. I also looked at ICS director and that would have been my second choice.

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                    • #11
                      Re: remote proofing

                      YES! Absolutely. For layout&comp proofing there are scads of options. The simplest is to send a PDF and have the customer print it. The next, going back to my first post, being to have some clever I.T. guy set up your remote TCP/IP printer with port forwarding or one-to-one NAT. Then your sender just sets up an IP printer in Windows or MacOS and they print to it just like it was local. Many of the newer printers have HTTP or FTP spool inputs already, they just need to be routed to the outside world in a reasonably secure way. There's probably lots of software that tries to pre-flight, "normalize" PDF, trap and all that but I wouldn't spend much on it. The process of opening a file, selecting a saved print setup and hitting "print" is simple enough that it's a great way to start. Customer just knows their output falls out of such-and-such printer, most don't know or care how it happens. Work out all the other BS before you invest in automating your own end.

                      Where does the printer go? Who has room in their office for a 54" HP5000PS? When I can't reach it who debugs the network problems? Does the person who wants the output care to get it and walk it around for signatures? Who loads paper and ink? When I send a print and it doesn't come out, who debugs the printer? When I send a print, and the printer has streaks or a clogged jet or even a paper jam, who fixes that? When you send two proofs but the printer has gone through 4 ink sets and 3 rolls of paper who stops the monkey business? I'll insist that it's these kinds of little devilish logistic details that'll can the whole process. Automating a data transfer over broadband is no longer the bigger issue here. If you add a workstation to pre-process the remote data like so many systems do, double the complication of the above list.

                      The desire to transfer 1-bit tiff seems to imply some sort of "digital color key" scenario like you'd do with a GMG system. Oddly there's not a lot of printers that take in tiff, it's almost to simple. In the long run it may be easier to send composite unless the client reeeaaally needs to have paged separations. That gets really complicated really fast. The proofer inks and the printer inks are not the same. In order to replicate process colors, profiles are applied that transfer colors ( read : shift the dot density ). Depending on the severity it can change the screen render so it's possible you'll get dots where there were none or none where there will be some on plate. The two concepts, color accuracy and precise halftone representation, are to some extents exclusive. CMYK representations of spot halftones are even scarier and not practical in higher line screens.

                      I'm not saying the industry shouldn't strive to get same day perfect quality color proofs to anywhere in the inner 4 planets of the solar system for 50ยข each. What I am saying is that many remote proofing vendors are ignoring the things that would make remote color contract proofing truly convenient and economically viable for a small volume highly distributed markets. A small to mid-sized trade shop could run themselves up a fruitless financial creek in a hurry if they get caught up in the hype and don't use common sense.

                      And that's all I have to say about that. - Forest Gump

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: remote proofing

                        Ryan,

                        To answer your question.
                        AbsoluteProof can certainly deliver Contone proofs, remotely or locally,

                        In short::
                        Input,
                        PDF, Tiff, Separated Contone, Separated Halftone, RGB, CMYK, CMYK+Spot, Multicolor / N-Color up to 8 color via ICC.

                        Output:
                        Printer Hard Copy, PDF, Tiff, Contone or halftone depends on source, Printer Native Format.

                        For remote proofing the folowing output format can be used, either Halftone or Contone proofs.
                        Tiff , PDF, Printer Native Format.

                        Delivering the file in a Printer Native Format will deliver the most accurate results but can produce quite large files.
                        The choice of Contone or Halftone does not have an impact on the size of the files.

                        Some larger users use FTP software such as MassTransit from http://www.grouplogic.com to ease the transfer of massive amounts of files.

                        I hope this helps to clarify.

                        Comment

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