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  • #2
    Some things don't change as much as one would hope.

    I was just surfing the internet regarding interesting colour topics and came across a 2008 WTT article that Gordon wrote about Gray Balance. It was interesting to read the comments and I tend to think not much has changed. I am not such a good judge of that and have no interest to get into the discussion but there were interesting comments by some heavy weights in the industry.

    http://whattheythink.com/articles/53...ssroom-metric/

    I think job security also covers a lot of experts in the industry as long as problems don't get solved.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Erik Nikkanen View Post
      Some things don't change as much as one would hope.

      I was just surfing the internet regarding interesting colour topics and came across a 2008 WTT article that Gordon wrote about Gray Balance. It was interesting to read the comments and I tend to think not much has changed. I am not such a good judge of that and have no interest to get into the discussion but there were interesting comments by some heavy weights in the industry.

      http://whattheythink.com/articles/53...ssroom-metric/

      I think job security also covers a lot of experts in the industry as long as problems don't get solved.
      My original article doesn't appear to be available through that URL link. A similar article can be read in my blog here: http://the-print-guide.blogspot.ca/2...onvenient.html

      I don't want to argue the issue grey balance issue here. However, I will say that having been on the idealliance committee and seeing first hand several of the press runs that were the basis for Gracol 7 and G7 I (and the engineers I worked with at creo) were very concerned about the methodology that was followed, the direction of discussions within the group (which is evidenced in the comments in the link that Erik posted), and the apparent lack of understanding press operation by those who lead the process. It got so bad for me personally that I no longer wished to be associated with the group. There's not much science, engineering, or logic in this industry (again as shown in those comments) but there's a great deal of faith and dogma.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by gordo View Post

        There's not much science, engineering, or logic in this industry (again as shown in those comments) but there's a great deal of faith and dogma.
        But there is job security for some and some people, who have not produced much new knowledge or predictable technology, are rewarded for good attendance and saying the usual accepted things.

        Unfortunately, this is not limited to the printing industry. There are some fields in science that are suffering from a "Groupthink" mentality and are rewarded for saying the same thing over and over again. Saying something often will make people believe it is true even though it is not.

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        • #5
          Job security fixing files will only increase as more and more people think they can be designers simply by renting Photoshop.

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          • #6
            I'm curious (Erik/Gordo) if you could create a press side color management program what would it entail? I think if I have followed you both successfully Erik you think gray balance is 1 of many things that should be evaluated and Gordo you are more skeptical of gray balance as a whole. You have proven in press runs that you could maintain pleasing color in the live area of newsprint while being out of gray balance when using GCR and FM screening. To be clear I'm asking from a curious standpoint, not critical.

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            • #7
              Job security is also having equipment so old no one else living can run it.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by arossetti View Post
                I'm curious (Erik/Gordo) if you could create a press side color management program what would it entail? I think if I have followed you both successfully Erik you think gray balance is 1 of many things that should be evaluated and Gordo you are more skeptical of gray balance as a whole. You have proven in press runs that you could maintain pleasing color in the live area of newsprint while being out of gray balance when using GCR and FM screening. To be clear I'm asking from a curious standpoint, not critical.
                Wow, this is actually a big question and this place is not the place to discuss details. But I will try to break it down to the essentials of how I view the problem. Gordon views things from a much more practical and thoughtful perspective on how the process now exists, while I have tried to understand and think of possible solutions from a theoretical perspective on how the process could exist.

                My thinking applies to any printing process even though my main interest has been in changing the offset lithographic process.

                Let's just think philosophically about this problem.

                If you have a printing device/process and the output is repeatable, consistent and predictable, then the output is determined and can be known.

                If you have a printing device/process and the output is not repeatable, not consistent and not predictable, then the output can't be known and you have to adjust after starting and hope you can reach sellable output and continue adjusting the process to try to maintain sellable output.

                The reality is that offset and even digital printing lands somewhere between these two extremes.

                So in general, one can not apply, even a perfect prepress colour management concept, to an inconsistent printing output device and expect consistent and predictable results.

                For this reason, I have tried for a long time to state that what was important was to make the offset process consistent and predictable first. And to do that requires first to correct the ink feed problem. Nothing else can be done until that is done.

                So to address your question, with respect to how I see the problem, I say that the first step would be to make the offset process consistent and predictable. This means that the press goes to the desired running targets without any adjustments by operators or closed loop control. I expect the press would be in colour within 50 impressions. This is based on computer simulation runs done 25 years ago.

                In such a situation there is little need for colour bars or gray patches although they would be good to have to catch breakdowns in the process but not for control during normal running conditions.

                Colour management could also then be much more straight forward. Since the colour output would be consistent and repeatable, mapping the output would make it predictable. This means that if one has a simple, quick and accurate way to map the range of colour the press will print under specific conditions, then that can be used to drive the prepress process. There would be not reason to use standards or tone curves or G7 or gray patches. All the information of how the press can print would be in the mapped data.

                Now ICC does this type of thing but uses a limited number of measuring points. For a CMYK print on an offset press, if we think of each plate having 101 possible percent dot exposures, from 0 to 100 percent, there are 101 to the fourth power combinations of screens possible. That is 104,060,401 possible combinations, each that could possibly result in a slightly different colour when printed at some standard SID values with a specific ink set and paper combination. If an ICC profile has only a little over 1000 measured points, then one can see that is not going to accurately describe all the combinations. More points are better for accuracy.

                What is needed is to measure thousands of points very quickly. One can not do this by hand of course. I have known that a device to measure so many points would be required and have waited about 15 years for some technology to come out that can do this. So now there is a company in Germany that is selling a device that can measure 10,000 points all at once. I would not name the company because I don't know how well their product works but that kind of capability is needed to move the industry forward.

                So if you had new presses or even old presses that were modified to be consistent and predictable, then you could just quickly run a test form with 10,000 small patches and have it measured and your prepress could use that to provide predictable colour matched to your consistent press. No hours of running forms, G7, guesswork, hope etc.

                This does not help you with your problems today. Gordon will be more helpful for you on this. But I will say that I have been looking at this problem for the mid 1980's. I presented a paper at TAGA in 1997 about some of these issues that needed to be addressed. There has been absolutely no interest on the part of the experts in this field to change much and that is what Gordon and I have complained about. Their disinterest over the years has hurt printers like yourself.
                Last edited by Erik Nikkanen; 01-09-2017, 02:05 PM.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Mark View Post
                  Job security is also having equipment so old no one else living can run it.
                  Mark . .. funny you should post that . . . just a week ago I had somebody bring in FreeHand 3 and Pagemaker 3 or 4 files from 1993 . .. fortunately I have an old box running a scsi scanner and still had those apps running on it . . .

                  also . . Gordo, do I recognize that guy sitting in the chair????

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Hello Erik,

                    Let us leave aside your search for the "Nirvana Times" and its printing presses,

                    which of the many the variable inputs to this celestial printing press would you

                    start with? .......................... please leave your ideas on the roller trains aside also !

                    Regards Alois
                    Last edited by Alois Senefelder; 01-09-2017, 02:32 PM. Reason: *********

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Alois Senefelder View Post
                      Hello Erik,

                      Let us leave aside your search for the "Nirvana Times" and its printing presses,

                      which of the many the variable inputs to this celestial printing press would you

                      start with? .......................... please leave your ideas on the roller trains aside also !

                      Regards Alois
                      No comment

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by arossetti View Post
                        I'm curious (Erik/Gordo) if you could create a press side color management program what would it entail? I think if I have followed you both successfully Erik you think gray balance is 1 of many things that should be evaluated and Gordo you are more skeptical of gray balance as a whole. You have proven in press runs that you could maintain pleasing color in the live area of newsprint while being out of gray balance when using GCR and FM screening. To be clear I'm asking from a curious standpoint, not critical.
                        Just to be clear regarding grey balance. IMHO, grey balance is an aspect of a device calibration (e.g. setting up the press or proof to an industry standard/specified condition). But CMY (3/C) neutral is not really as useful as the individual solid and tint patches for process control at the press. That being said, the 3/C neutral is a useful metric to indicate stability of the press run when multiple samples are measured and plotted as a a*b* scatter plot. I.e. the 3/C patch in the color bar may not be neutral but its hue bias remains consistent through the run.

                        What I would like to see is real closed loop color control and the elimination of color bars. This is technically possible today but AFAIK is not being pursued.

                        What I mean by real closed loop color control. Presently printshops and systems are set up so that data goes in one direction from file creator to job delivery - just as has been for centuries. Vendors apply automation and metrics to effect and monitor the various processes. The only time data goes back is when the process fails and a diagnosis as to where and why the failure occurred. What should happen is that data, metrics, etc. should loop back to job source - even as far back as the document creator so that the manufacturing process can be continuously refined and to make it predictive in order to avoid errors in the first place. I could write a book describing in detail how this would work and the benefits of such a system. Too much to go into here.

                        The color bar should be eliminated since all the information required to produce, control, communicate, and validate the pressrun is in the live image area. And it's the live image area that the customer is paying for and that the printshop is set up to deliver - not the color bar. I could write a book describing in detail how this would work and the benefits of such a system. Too much to go into here.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by gordo View Post
                          The color bar should be eliminated since all the information required to produce, control, communicate, and validate the pressrun is in the live image area. And it's the live image area that the customer is paying for and that the printshop is set up to deliver - not the color bar. I could write a book describing in detail how this would work and the benefits of such a system. Too much to go into here.
                          One thing I have been following is the use of RGB scanning to control color on press, which could look at a live image area and compare the current scan to previous or a PDF. Eliminating spectral measurements but also eliminating the need for color bars. Is this what you are hinting at? Some of these vision systems claim to be nearing the accuracy of a spectro...

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by gordo View Post



                            The color bar should be eliminated since all the information required to produce, control, communicate, and validate the pressrun is in the live image area. And it's the live image area that the customer is paying for and that the printshop is set up to deliver - not the color bar. I could write a book describing in detail how this would work and the benefits of such a system.
                            There are companies that are trying to control the press via the live image but this is not a trivial problem. It is not easy to get the individual CMYK ink information directly out of the live image to be able to make a decision to move an ink key. It might be done in closed loop control by taking iterative steps by making educated small guesses about what CMYK key to move, look at the result and then make another guess until one gets to the desired result. I could see that working. Maybe you already have a good idea how to deal with this.

                            Of course, doing that in one area of the print will move the rest of the print inline with it. If such a action brings one area into the target range but moves the other area out of the target range, then that implies there is something wrong with the colour management of the image or the press.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by dabob View Post
                              [snip]

                              also . . Gordo, do I recognize that guy sitting in the chair????
                              Indeed, you were the inspiration for this 'toon so it seems only fitting that you be the face of job security ;-)

                              BTW I'm happy to emabrass any forum member for eternity as a character in one of my 'toons. Just email me pritchardgordon (at) gmail dot com a clear in focus photo of yourself. It should be at least 2000 pixels wide at 72 dpi or higher.
                              Last edited by gordo; 01-10-2017, 01:41 PM.

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