Pitstop action for adding Wide Format Marks and pulling cut path information.

jthomas_ultimax

New member
Hello,

My name is Jason and I work at a wide format shop here in Denver, Colorado. We are upgrading our current software to start using PressWise and have a question as to how to make registration dots and marks for our Summa. I was referred to this site by Michael Jahn of PressWise and he said that some Wide Format shops that use PressWise have a PitStop pro action that they create that can make this happen.

We have an older version of Pitstop ( V12 ) but if we have to upgrade to make this happen, that would be fine.

What I need for this action to do is.

- Create registration dots for the Summa so that the camera on the Summa knows how to to register itself. These marks will have to be on the file that goes into production.
- Pull the cut path information out of the PDF that PressWise creates so that we can give that cut path information to the Summa for cutting.
- Bonus points if there is a way to put some job information on that PDF as well to make it easier for the floor team to track the job.

We know we are going to have to start creating the cut paths for each PDF that comes in for production ( unless there is a way of pulling out the cut path information from the PDF file ).
 

Stephen Marsh

Well-known member
Can you provide a couple of sample PDF files?

A file out of PressWise that contains this “cut path info” (I presume that this is metadata and not a vector graphic element), and a final mockup PDF of how a final file should look, with a description of the required size, location of the rego dots, a true cut path and how this is worked from the info from PressWise etc.


Stephen Marsh
 

jthomas_ultimax

New member
I've attached a PDF that I batched from PressWise, please ignore the text on it as we are still setting things up.

I've had to create a cut path, which in this case is called "CutContour".

What I would need is registration dots about every 18 inches and at least two within 6 inches of each so that the Summa knows where the corner is.

The way to think about it would be, pick a corner to start from, add a dot, add a second dot 6 inches from it and then make a dot about every 18 inches around the entire piece.

I've uploaded a file named "N11_Ultimax_Test_Print_MOCKUP" which is what we would like the final production file to look like. Note that it's low resolution.
 

Attachments

  • N11_Ultimax_Test_Print.pdf
    6.5 MB · Views: 170
  • N11_Ultimax_Test_Print_MOCKUP.pdf
    336.7 KB · Views: 160

Stephen Marsh

Well-known member
The file without mockup in the name without rego dots, it has a CutContour spot path where the trim marks intersect… Did this come from PressWise or did you add them? Where is the info regarding the trim info from PressWise and how is it translated into a vector path with spot colour?


Stephen Marsh
 

jthomas_ultimax

New member
Yes, the CutContour is the path with the trim marks intersect. PressWise did not make this, I had to add it into the PDF.

Part of the problem is that PressWise does not seem to create the trim information at all and is something we had asked them about as well.
 

Stephen Marsh

Well-known member
It is not surprising that a W2P system does not produce page boxes. You specifically mentioned that the trim info was somehow embedded in the PDF from PressWise… So I am not sure if this was lost when you added the CutContour path or not (I was looking for an untouched file straight out of PressWise)? Being an MIS, PressWise should/would have the trim info in it’s database and printed or electronic job tickets or other files.

Your sample PDF has “trim marks” of a sort, however they are set to deviceCMYK 0cmy100k which is not that helpful… If they were set to registration/all colour, then a PitStop Pro action list called “Set Trim and Bleed Box to Marks” could automatically set the trim box, then another action list called “Add a Stroke to the Trim Box for Visualisation” could be used to create a CutContour path on the trim box info. Both of these standard action lists could be incorporated into a single action list and the eye-spots could also be added in the same action list as well.

How are trim marks being added to the files? Does your client do that? Do you? Does PressWise? Is there a possibility of having the marks preset correctly using rego/all colour? Will they have consistent thickness, colouring etc?

The eyespots are in a spot colour named “RegMark” (0cmy100k) is that a requirement or just “what we do” – an in-house convention so to speak?



Stephen Marsh
 
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michaelejahn

Well-known member
It is not surprising that a W2P system does not produce page boxes. You specifically mentioned that the trim info was somehow embedded in the PDF from PressWise…

If someone built a storefront template within PressWise storefront, one could of course add dies - most of our customer use a spot color set to overprint. When PressWise then steps in repearts the PDF - lets saw something like a CR80

https://www.idzone.com/800303UPGQ-PF.html?

Then of course, PressWise preserves that die line as long as it is in the PDF already. I have not seen ANY W2P storefront apps that can look at the art and automagically generate a die line on the fly. Would love to meet one of these magical unicorns !

But there is the issue here of custom sized PDF files being "imposed" - which means "there is no imposition template" - that is the issue here - placing the art Nup is not an issue. Creating a template at the sheet or board size with "eyespots are in a spot colour named “RegMark” is also not the issue. It is having the custom item linked to the substrate size and then using that substrate size template.

So, for now, yes, that is not possible within PressWise.

If we know the art size we can use a productID and link that to how ever many imposition templates that are required. The issue is "mystery" sized ( AKA custom size )
 

Stephen Marsh

Well-known member
Hi Michael,

By page boxes I was referring to art/bleed/crop/trim/media metadata, not a vector object. The PDF engines used by the W2P systems that I have seen do not set this metadata.


Stephen Marsh
 

michaelejahn

Well-known member
Hi Michael,

By page boxes I was referring to art/bleed/crop/trim/media metadata, not a vector object. The PDF engines used by the W2P systems that I have seen do not set this metadata.


Stephen Marsh

Steven - yeah - Any system can either use a TrimBox present within a PDF, or add a TrimBox to a PDF - the issue at hand is two fold.

1. Examine the art and create a cutline -
2. Place Registration marks every N-inches with two in close proximity of a corner ( to communicate where to "start" )

Often in W2P storefront systems that have templates that will be die cut, you can represent with layers objects that will be set as non-printing, but used to verify your art "fits" - but these templates typically have a fixed die.

https://www.alta-graphics.com/pub/me...-1-key-tag.pdf

what they are looking for is - what if I upload a custom image of something like a fire hydrant - they would like the system to somehow trace the edges, create a layer ( or spot color line ) to be used by the cutting machine to automatically follow the shape of the fire hydrant - that I have not seen.
 
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Stephen Marsh

Well-known member
1. Examine the art and create a cutline -
2. Place Registration marks every N-inches with two in close proximity of a corner ( to communicate where to "start" )

Hi Michael,

For a regular square/rectangular CutContour path this is easy to do via an Enfocus PitStop action list. As long as the trim marks are set to a colour of ALL or 100c100m100y100k they can be picked up and a page box = trim box can be created, plus a spot colour vector CutContour path can be created based on this trim box info. Half the job done! Next the eyespot rego marks can be “easily” added…

The OP has gone silent… I have created this PitStop action list file as above. Currently it only does a rego eyespot mark on each trim mark corner, plus the other one in close proximity to mark the start corner (5 eyespots). One can then manually copy the required number of repeats from this start point. I have not had time to look into the automated repeat of the eyespot every N inches, however I believe that this is possible (there is a default action list for adding grommets that demonstrates the possibilities).


what they are looking for is - what if I upload a custom image of something like a fire hydrant - they would like the system to somehow trace the edges, create a layer ( or spot color line ) to be used by the cutting machine to automatically follow the shape of the fire hydrant - that I have not seen.

There is software that can do this, however it is not “cheap”… When I have time I’ll try to dig up some links…

Here is an old video from Arden Impact CAD that shows the use of the “Art Trace” feature to create a vector path from raster data (back then called Raster to Vector) and also to step and repeat using interlocking for best yield etc:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=62Bm3I_pZj4
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UeCmmOA-sB4

I believe that there are wide format step and repeat/nesting software from Tilia Labs and Esko that can do similar.

It should also be possible to do this after a fashion in either Illustrator or Photoshop for the original 1up file, then incorporate this into the artwork PDF.
 
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michaelejahn

Well-known member
Here is an old video from Arden Impact CAD that shows the use of the “Art Trace” feature to create a vector path from raster data (back then called Raster to Vector)

Hi Stephen - so, could it trace a fire hydrant ( see attached file namedFire_Hydrant_.jpg ) like this ?

( I don't think anything cant automatically - but would LOVE to be wrong ! )
 

Attachments

  • Fire_Hydrant_.jpg
    Fire_Hydrant_.jpg
    234.8 KB · Views: 139

Stephen Marsh

Well-known member
Yes, however a little prep work in Photoshop would help and the result would need some cleanup to fix cuts that don’t touch. Arden Impact has a very good tracing algorithm, however it is not perfect and is probably not designed for such a project.

Such an image would likely have a “hold away” zone where there may be a small bit of media left around the product and the inside of the chain links would not be cut etc. I doubt that anybody would be expecting a perfect cutout and if they were more work could be put in to get the perfect path if the base tools at hand did not offer the necessary precision.
 
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michaelejahn

Well-known member
Yes, however a little prep work in Photoshop would help

Which is exactly my point. I think the cut line would require decisions. it is just a rough outline, do we need the internal bit cut out, do we need each chain link to be weeded out - it is the designers job to make such decisions, not some prepress guy. or prepress system. adding registrtaion marks would not need much in the way of human logic, but the cut lines would.
 

joshlindsay

Well-known member
Hi Michael,

For a regular square/rectangular CutContour path this is easy to do via an Enfocus PitStop action list. As long as the trim marks are set to a colour of ALL or 100c100m100y100k they can be picked up and a page box = trim box can be created, plus a spot colour vector CutContour path can be created based on this trim box info. Half the job done! Next the eyespot rego marks can be “easily” added…

The OP has gone silent… I have created this PitStop action list file as above. Currently it only does a rego eyespot mark on each trim mark corner, plus the other one in close proximity to mark the start corner (5 eyespots). One can then manually copy the required number of repeats from this start point. I have not had time to look into the automated repeat of the eyespot every N inches, however I believe that this is possible (there is a default action list for adding grommets that demonstrates the possibilities).




There is software that can do this, however it is not “cheap”… When I have time I’ll try to dig up some links…

Here is an old video from Arden Impact CAD that shows the use of the “Art Trace” feature to create a vector path from raster data (back then called Raster to Vector) and also to step and repeat using interlocking for best yield etc:


I believe that there are wide format step and repeat/nesting software from Tilia Labs and Esko that can do similar.

It should also be possible to do this after a fashion in either Illustrator or Photoshop for the original 1up file, then incorporate this into the artwork PDF.
Hi @Stephen Marsh , Sorry to pull up an old topic but are you able to share the Pitstop actions to create the eye marks?
 

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