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Major breakthrough in pre-press and press-side color accurate soft-proofing

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  • Major breakthrough in pre-press and press-side color accurate soft-proofing

    Hi All,

    The reason for this post - well this is something that everyone we've shown it to up to now (under NDA) has been blown away by. So we want to share it with you all.

    This week we've just announced a major breakthrough in color accurate soft-proofing that can be used both in pre-press and press-side. Our engineers have developed a completely new and innovative way of doing color mangement, which is easy to understand, easy to use and fast.

    The method we've developed is to profile the monitor (as normal), but to spectrally profile (as we're calling it) the press. This involves taking 5 measurements from a previous print (CMYK + Paper) and using that to color manage all future jobs. The process of taking 5 measurements is quick (takes less than 30 seconds) and can be done by an inexpensive device such as the Eye-One Pro (US - $525). That means not having to print a special test chart containing 1000s of patches (which takes press time) and not having to have an expensive automated spectrophotometer that costs $3000+.

    Want to match a spot color - not a problem, as you do exactly the same thing - add a new color to the Spectral Set and take a single spectral measurement of it.

    This is all built on top of our Dot Gain Invention, which I've posted on before - see our web site for more info on this. So if there is dot gain on the print, then you also take another 4 measurements (also less than 30 seconds) to correct for that. If you do both (and you don't always have to) that's a total of 9 measurements taking less than 1 minute.

    That's all in our first release due out this coming Monday 3rd December 2007. Our second release due out in approx. a months time will also correct for ink trapping - which will require a mere three more measurements (taking less than 30 seconds) - but this is only required if you want to be really accurate (for most people not required).

    What we do is basically model the physics of light (which is composed of a spectrum of frequencies) passing through the inks, reflecting off the paper and back through the inks to the eye. Each ink blocks various percentages of the frequences of the spectrum, as does the reflection off the paper. We then take the result, combine with the standard observer and light source, convert to XYZ and pass through the monitor profile. And voila - you have a color accurate proof!!

    Furthermore, since this is all done on a monitor, we have developed a Gamut Check Tool which at the touch of a button can show you which colors you are viewing are out of gamut for your monitor. So if you want to use an Eizo ColorEdge CG221 for absolute accuracy you can, but if you want to use your bog-standard Samsung or Iiyama, you also can.

    We are filing a patent on various aspects of the above, since we feel this is completely new and original in the printing industry.

    The other thing about this is that it's not expensive. Whereas high-end color accurate soft-proofing systems cost $20K+ per annum and some of the others cost $5000+, the cost of this (including all our other advanced pre-press soft-proofing tools) costs $2,000 (one off). Existing users of version 4 of FirstPROOF Pro can upgrade to version 5 FOC.

    If you want to read more, take a look at our web site - - where there's also a PDF you can download which not only explains a lot more, but also shows you how simple it is to setup FirstPROOF to use this.

    The whole thing is so easy to use, from installation with a Harlequin (or Esko LEN or any TIFF) RIP to getting your first color accurate soft-proof takes a matter of minutes.

    For anyone who knows about Color Management, this should be quite an eye-opener. Or at least we think so.

    Regards to All,


    Andy Cave,
    Chief Executive Officer,
    Hamillroad Software Limited.

    Edited by: Andy Cave on Nov 28, 2007 6:39 PM

  • #2
    Re: Major breakthrough in pre-press and press-side color accurate soft-proofing

    Does this mean that I can have a trapped and screened PDF that could be
    "repurposed" for the newer press setup (e.g. GRACoL2006_Coated1 via G7
    method) which will compensate the TVI so that it prints on the new setup and
    looks like it was printed on the old setup? (I hope it does and it sounds
    like it does). If so, then that may be better than ICC repurposing, which
    some people don't see as a problem, but I do because of black elements going
    to four-color. I can see where solids will still be different than before,
    but frankly if and until Adobe and others start actually caring what happens
    with what they recommend, then I'll do whatever I can to avoid ICC
    repurposing like the plague. I definitely don't want to start something I
    will not want to continue doing (and fixing a whole lot of four-color black
    type and drop shadows to be what they were built in the first place is
    rediculous and should have been kept from happening instead of having to fix
    it downstream all the time). End rant. Sorry you had to hear it, it's just
    frustrating to hear the same recommendations for years and no friggin' way
    to implement them to keep stuff from happening in the first place (not
    anything you've said, just had to get it off my chest I guess).

    Thank you,

    Don Isbell


    • #3
      Right on Don


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