Once we have set up the different printing parameters, now it is time to start printing step one of the calibration process. To complete this window of the Wizard there are three very important steps that need to be done, and they need to follow an order, always from top to bottom:
Step 1: Ink Limit
We will now start to ink control and linearize our printing conditions. You are able to print up to 400% of ink, to find the best absolute ink limit for your media on the test file. By default 400% are used. The Extra options allow for a calculation of different inks together. Print the absolute ink limit chart. The interpretation and usage is explained later in this document.
Before the actual print, a window opens with a preview of the charts, where you can adjust parameters.
Position and orientation : You can set here printing parameters, such as orientation (portrait or landscape), mirror printing (transfer printing), horizontal and vertical position, copies and scaling. With spectrophotometer and single ink limit chart as well as linearization chart we recommend to use portrait printing in combination with 100% scaling.
Page setup : Define the page settings here. The width will present the layout of the placed chart. You can either set roll media (in nite) or cut sheet media (with a certain length).
Printing parameters : Printer driver specific parameters can be altered here, such as uni- or bi-directional printing or cut sheet at the end of the print out. Depending on the printer, additional printing parameters can be adjusted inside the Advanced… window. As explained in the chapter 9.0 Print Parameters Configurations the advanced window only shows printer specific parameters provided by the driver documentation of the printer manufacturer. Usually you can set here the amount of passes, overprint, feed adjustment, etc. But since you've probably set all the parameters in a previous window it is not required that you change them here.
Layout preview : This part of the window shows how the chart will be printed. Note that neoStampa's layout is generally 90° rotated counter-clockwise, so from left bottom to left top will be your printer's media width. If the media width in page setup is smaller than the chart's width, the chart will be cut automatically.
Channel order : Since the charts in the ink cut, linearization, ink limit and rich black (black addition) are based on a multichannel file format, the channel order will be considered in such a way that the main channels K,C,M,Y are automatically re-arranged to the top four positions. We recommend not to re-arrange the order of the channels here.
Ok / Cancel : Click Ok to print the chart or Cancel to exit the window without printing.
Print chart evolution
To evaluate the test chart make sure that the print has dried and - if using textile material - fixated or steamed and washed.
For some other medias like paper, cutting inks criteria is different. In those, it should be entered the maximum percentage of ink before any irregularities-blurred, stripped, matte, wet print-appear.
Chart Result A
Ink-prelimitting is not required because, neoStampa uses Ink Limit Control with default cut at 400%.
Chart Result B
Ink-prelimitting is required, because the linearization strips are bleeding lower than 400%. If all of the color-mix patches are bleeding you should first try to find out whether the material is not suited for the inks or the print has been made with a too high resolution. In the image example the recommended cut would be between 170% and 175%.
After visual chart evolution you limit globally entering the percentage of the first patches that show bleeding in the 'Ink Limit' field and reprint the chart using the 'Print...' button. It's recommended to try several ink cuts until you reach a reasonable printout that does not require pre-limitting.
Step 2: Single Ink Cut and Linerization
In this step you are able to cut single ink limit. Therefore you need to print a CMYK plus light inks test chart, with gradient 0%-100%.
Measurement - Single Ink Cut
Once the print is ready washed and dried or vaporized proceed with the Measurement. Press the 'Measure...' button and connect the spectrophotometer.
Then start reading the lines carefully and slowly according to given specifications.
Calibration Wizard offers the possibility to get 3 measurements for each print. This is useful when for example the media is rough, and we want to get much precise results. The Wizard will produce average values from the 3 measurements using the methods that are explained in the printer profiling step.
Notice also that the data for this measurements and of each reading can be exported with Export…, if necessary, they can also be imported with Import… button.
Pressing right-click mouse opens the spectrum visor showing the spectral curve of the selected chart patch compared to same chart patch in all measurements.
When you finish the reading, the Densities and Ink cut dialog will pop-up. This dialog shows the measurement results based on LAB measurements per color. The Wizard will perform an automatic ink cut if a peak is detected, based on the values obtained. The user can apply custom ink cut to save ink, optimize penetration or other specific applications.
If you toggle through the inks with the radio- button checked left of to the ink name's short-cut, you can view each ink density curve.
The data for the measurements can be exported with Export… or imported with Import… buttons.
Clicking on the '3D...' button the visualization is available with options to compare and validate the curves.
Light inks transition
In Light inks transition you can pre-set the best ink transition. It offers some possibilities to increase or decrease the amount of light ink used in the dark and light calculation. The default mode is "Medium Light Ink", recommended for most of cases.
Without Light inks
In neoStampa 9 a correction is applied to the individual inks and the combination of dark and light based on the ink cut and light ink transition preset. The shortcut that is used in neoStampa 8 always applies even if you have light inks.
Step 3: Re-Linearization
Step 3 serves to re-linearize your printer. Note that in comparison to neoStampa 8 the actual version already applies ink cut, linerization and a virtual dark and light ink transition curve. The effect will be that the re-linearization result will almost look linear. It's merely to fine-tune linearization data.
Once again, before the actual print and measurement, a window opens with a preview of the chart, where you can adjust parameters (ink channel, print direction, position, orientation, page setup). When the above parameters are set, press Ok to print the test file.
Measurement - Re-Linearization
After printing the test file, proceed to connect the spectrophotometer, as you did before. Press the 'Measure...' button and connect the spectrophotometer. Then start reading the lines carefully and slowly according to given specifications.
Also here, the possibility to get 3 measurements for each print is given. The Wizard will produce average values from the 2 or 3 measurements. Same options as shown in step 2 to import and export measurements with the corresponding buttons.
Densities and ink cut
When you finish the reading, the Linearization performance will pop-up with Densities and Ink cut dialog. You will see the density values. You can view all the curves together, or one by one. The data for the measurements can be exported with Export… or imported with Import… buttons.
Click on Ok to continue with Linearization dialog.
The next windows will pop-up with Ink Control dialog. It shows the correction curves window. We can make some adjustments to improve the result, if the curve behaviour is not as expected.
It is possible to modify graphically any of the color channels adding new points, by pressing on the line in a zone where there is no point, or modify the position of a point by pressing on it and displacing it onto a new position. Toggle between the channels to change the view of the linearization curve to the actual selected ink.
Only correct a curve if you really think that a certain point is shifted due to measurement irregularities as shown in the example below.
Input and Output values of each curve can also be modified manually, from the fields on the right. The option Reset Ink erases all the points of the selected curve, which implies that no linearization will be made. It is recommended not to use it. The Smooth option enables a 16 bit interpolation between the reference points which we recommend to always leave this button on. Click Ok to continue or cancel to abort.
If you finish the step 3 proceed to the next step.