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  • Giclée Workflows

    I would like to know how others produce Giclée prints, from file handling, stock profiling, RIP, etc?

    Hardware: Epson 9900

    Disclaimer: Based in Ireland.

    Thanks in advance.
    Last edited by dnoone; 01-12-2018, 07:24 AM.

  • #2
    Are you reproducing art like paintings, drawings, etc?

    Comment


    • #3
      They are produced by spitting ink on paper. Look it up what Giclée means.

      Comment


      • #4
        DYP -that's an odd response, bordering on disrespectful. I have been involved in producing them in limited runs. Epson has a number of canvas based stocks that have coatings applied with various levels of sheen to accept the printer ink. The artist's painting is scanned or digitally photographed and printed on the chosen canvas. (Typically the artist's signature is cloned out in Photoshop before printing so they can sign and number in person). After printing, a coating is applied either by spraying or brushed on to further enhance and protect the print. I personally prefer the coating applied with a broad brush-it gives the illusion of brush strokes. In some cases the artist will actually have their palette on hand and dab on some paint to further enhance the depth and uniqueness of the print. Finally the canvas is stretched on a frame for displaying. Giclées can be sold for hundreds of dollars and can be quite profitable.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by gordo View Post
          Are you reproducing art like paintings, drawings, etc?
          Hi Gordo,

          Company has offered to prove the process to a potential customer who currently travels for their prints. They know we have never produced a Giclée before but are willing to let us try.

          It will be paintings. Digital photographs to be supplied, adjustments required. Unnamed stock that matches a 'German' fine art archival paper.

          How hard could it be?

          Comment


          • #6
            Thanks Macmann.

            What software/RIP do you use to drive the Printer?

            Comment


            • #7
              I believe it was a ColorGate-that was 6 years ago-I'm sure the process has evolved. I did work with fine art paper with little success. Unless it is certified for the inks you are using it can be a nightmare. The ink either soaked in and looked blurry or the ink literally ran off the sheet and created a cleaning fiasco. Grayscale images are a challenge as well since with the Epson all 8 colors are used to create the gray which results in a cast being introduced. I'm pretty sure Epson had a specific set of ink cartridges for doing black and white images which gave a better result. I would reach out to a place that sells fine art prints and pick their brain.

              Comment


              • #8
                The term giclée actually has kind of an interesting history, but the short version is that it was originally used when large-format inkjet printing was in its infancy and Nash Productions wanted a term for their prints that sounded more exotic and high-tone than merely inkjet. They settled on giclée, which is basically French for 'to spray' but I have been told more than once can also mean ejaculate.

                Anyway, there's no actual definition or standard for what makes a print a giclée print, other than that it be printed on an inkjet printer. And as far as I'm concerned, the term inkjet can stand on its own these days.

                That said...

                dnoone,

                I've got some experience in this as what I do for a living is color management and color workflow consulting and implementation for large and grand format inkjet printers, and I've been at it now for twelve years, and done it all over the world.

                So first off understand that what you're trying to be here is a large-format inkjet printer. It doesn't matter whether you're doing fine art, or billboards, or vehicle wraps, or point of purchase displays, or dye-sublimation or whatever...

                The process is exactly the same.

                You're taking images, either creating them as pixels or capturing them by some reproductive process (converting them to pixels) and then converting those pixels to printing dots which you then print with an inkjet printer.

                And in this business, what is key to understand which most people nod their heads at and say they get but I think few actually do, is profiles are everything.

                Bottom line is that every single issue Macmann relates above is a profile issue. A profile issue and nothing else. Every single issue he relates could have been solved with proper profiles.

                The way it works is that -- again -- you've got to somehow or another create or reproduce the image you wish to print as pixels (which are the smallest unit of complete color information in a digital file) and then convert those pixels into dots (which are the smallest unit of individual colorant in a printed image.)

                And that process is done in a RIP. A RIP converts pixels into dots...

                using information in profiles.

                So it's the printer profile you're using that tells the printer exactly what dots to create.

                Of course there's a good deal that goes into this. In the case of your 9900, you're working with a CMYKOG inkset, plus light cyan, light magenta, light black, and light-light black. (And just as a note, this inkset is perfectly capable of producing stunning and absolutely neutral black and white images; it's just a question of proper profiling.)

                And the first component is inking itself. Inking issues always come down to: Ink splits (between light colors and dark colors in individual channels); single channel ink limits; linearization; and multi-channel ink limits.

                These are dynamic and will vary from media to media, but setting them to best advantage is the key to getting the best out of the machine on every media you use.

                And they're always there and always set by some one for some purpose.

                You can, of course, not use a RIP at all and just print to the machine from, say, Photoshop; but when you do all of the inking settings are baked into whatever front panel setting you use in the machine, and they may or may not be the best possible inking configuration for the media you're using or the result you're trying to achieve.

                Or you can use a "RIP" such as Colorburst Overdrive which only uses the onboard settings and doesn't give you inking controls.

                But if you do, you're also not going to get the best out of your printer on every media in every situation.

                These days, the RIP's that most people use in this industry by far are ONYX, Caldera, and Fiery XF. All to one degree or another allow creation of media profiles that allow the profile-maker to tune the inking to the media and to the desired result.

                I like ONYX; I like Caldera; I'm not a huge Fiery fan but I understand why some people are.

                Myself, with my Canon iPF8400, when printing for my own personal use or friends and family I use ONYX. I use it because it gives me the most complete and comprehensive set of inking controls of any RIP out there.


                There's more, of course. A lot more. This is just a tiny scratch on the surface. I haven't even mentioned that there are 27 different ICC profile-making engines out there; that no two of them are the same and that a lot of them suck; and that what most people blame on RIP's is the fault of the RIP at all, it's the fault of profiles.

                In fact, what I'd bottom line put out to you is that while rule number 1 in the industry is profiles are everything, rule number two is you can't learn it on the Internet.

                There's just too much to getting it all right, too much bad information out there, and as a newbie, you don't know the good information from the bad; and all the while you're testing, trying, and learning, you're burning time, materials, clients, and money.

                If you're really serous about being in business and getting it right and the best it can possibly be the first time, you'll save money in the long run by hiring me to come set it all up for you. And that's pretty much a guaranteed fact.



                Mike Adams
                Correct Color
                Last edited by Correct Color; 01-12-2018, 11:21 AM.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by dnoone View Post

                  Hi Gordo,

                  Company has offered to prove the process to a potential customer who currently travels for their prints. They know we have never produced a Giclée before but are willing to let us try.

                  It will be paintings. Digital photographs to be supplied, adjustments required. Unnamed stock that matches a 'German' fine art archival paper.

                  How hard could it be?
                  Run away. LOL

                  Have you seen the digital photos that they will be supplying?

                  Remember GIGO. In my experience printshops doing this kind of work either take the photo themselves using a 4x5 view camera with digital back (sometimes a 3 shot pass rather than a bayer sensor) or they have a good working relationship with a photographer who has such a setup. They'll also use a drum scanner rather than flatbed if the surface has a texture (e.g. watercolor paper).

                  This type of client is often even pickier than conventional print buyers and typically knows even less. Shops that cater to this kind of client often have a separate sales and office set up that reflects the market for this kind of work.


                  Comment


                  • #10
                    What Gordo said. The resulting inkjet will NEVER match the look and feel of oil on canvas-there has to be a trade off. The artist is so intimately connected to their creation that they are seldom happy with the results. My situation was unique in that we were an offset printer whose Epsons were profiled to match the presses and the owner of the company was also the artist. He was okay with the resulting Giclée. In reality we should've had a separate printer specifically profiled for Giclées as Mike Adams mentioned. The additional cost prohibited him from doing so.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Good points...

                      When I did fine art, I had the images shot as 4x5's by a guy in Dallas and the scanned them on a Howtek 8000. (I loved that thing; wish I still had it.) Of course that was back before the days of true digital capture. Pretty much these days anyone serious about reproducing paintings is not going to photograph them but go directly to digital capture.

                      So, it is a little concerning why the client would be furnishing "photographs." But I'm making the assumption though that they know what they're doing and are giving him a good capture, and maybe it's just a question of terms.

                      If not, then yeah... He should run away.

                      "This type of client is often even pickier than conventional print buyers and typically knows even less."

                      I'd just quibble with this. This is a viable, valid market. True, the clients can be discriminating. But lots of them know what they want, have money to spend, and are perfectly reasonable as to what is possible. All they ask is to be at the outer edges of what that is. As long as they're serious credible players, there's no reason not to pursue them.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        The resulting inkjet will NEVER match the look and feel of oil on canvas-there has to be a trade off. The artist is so intimately connected to their creation that they are seldom happy with the results.
                        No, no, no...

                        This is a misconception and just not true.

                        I've got tons of clients who work in this market, and while it's just as true in this market as in any other that all the rules of color and reproduction apply, it's also true that it's possible to please clients in this market. It's also true that this is pretty much the top rung of the reproduction process ladder. (That's probably the main reason I enjoy working in it.) So it's also true that if you can achieve the very best physically possible result, and then be able to explain that to your clients, you're not going to be spending a lot of time worrying about being the lowest bidder.

                        Also of note I'd just add is that in this arena, it's an old saw that the crappier the art, the pickier the artist.

                        It's still printing, the same rules apply. But it's a real market, with real money in it.

                        My situation was unique in that we were an offset printer whose Epsons were profiled to match the presses ...
                        Not to pick, but just to note: This is never the case. A device is never profiled to match another device. It's profiled in a particular state, and then sent files that tell it by their make-up to emulate another device.



                        Mike




                        Comment


                        • #13

                          Originally posted by Correct Color View Post

                          If you're really serous about being in business and getting it right and the best it can possibly be the first time, you'll save money in the long run by hiring me to come set it all up for you. And that's pretty much a guaranteed fact.
                          Thanks for the offer, I’ll keep it in mind.


                          Originally posted by Correct Color View Post

                          So, it is a little concerning why the client would be furnishing "photographs." But I'm making the assumption though that they know what they're doing and are giving him a good capture, and maybe it's just a question of terms.
                          My Bad. Digital images.


                          Originally posted by gordo View Post

                          Have you seen the digital photos that they will be supplying?
                          Haven't seen them yet. They are done by a professional photographer but I was told "there is always some retouching required". I know this bit will be a ball-ache.


                          Next steps:
                          Agree a stock (swatches ordered)
                          Profile using CGS Oris Color Tuner, i1Pro2.
                          Run sample images and wing it.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Note that Oris has absolutely zero presence in the large format inkjet industry. It's far from your best choice for what you're trying to do. The extent to which you can profile a printer in Oris is very limited as it's only to profile a machine to set it up as a proofer.

                            If you're serious about this project, you need a RIP designed to do what you're attempting to do.



                            Mike

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                            • #15
                              I have access to Onyx Postershop 12. Would it do the job?

                              Comment

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