Once we have set up the different printing parameters in a new calibration, it is time to start printing step one of the calibration process. There are very important steps to print and measure, that define the ink limit, linearization, and profile and they need to follow an order, always from top to bottom:

The profiling step is the step in the calibration process where the ICC profile is generated. 



STEP 1 - Ink Limit: Print out the absolute ink limit chart. To evaluate the test chart make sure that the print has dried and - if using textile material - fixated or steamed and washed. 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. 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.

STEP 2 - Single Ink Cut and Linearization: Print out the single ink limit chart. In Linearization, you are able to see the performance of CMYK ink set with light ink set in post-linearization curves. After reading, the Densities and Ink cut dialog shows the measurement results based on LAB measurements per color. The Wizard will perform an automatic ink cut, based on the values obtained. The new values are based on 100% of ink. The single cut will be measured by the software.

STEP 3 - Re-Linearization: Step 3 serves to re-linearize your printer. Note that in comparison to the previous version of neoStampa 8 since version 9 the ink cut applied, linearization, and an internal, virtual dark, and light ink transition curve. The effect will be that the re-linearization result will almost be linear. Step 3, therefore, serves to fine-tune the final linearity of the involved inks. Like with all steps in the Calibration Wizard, Step 3 should always be conducted.

Printer Profiling: This is the step in the calibration process where the ICC profile is generated. After completing the Hueman v2 black generation window, you will get to the printer profiling one, when hitting next. 

Remember that this option is only activated if you have purchased the license to generate ICC profiles, so, if you don't have it, the Measure and Generated buttons won't be available, and related options like Smoothing.

Before the actual print, a window opens with a preview of the charts, where you can adjust the 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 a spectrophotometer and single ink limit chart as well as a linearization chart we recommend using 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 (at 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 printout. Depending on the printer, additional printing parameters can be adjusted inside the Advanced… window. As explained in the chapter 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 number 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 the 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.

Print statistics and settings information: Incorporated text information for every sample print copy.

Measurements configurations

Once the print is readily washed and dried or vaporized proceed with the Measurement. Press the 'Measure...' button and connect the spectrophotometer. 

1. Proceed to connect the spectrophotometer and mode and start reading the lines carefully and slowly according to the given specifications. 

2. Calibration Wizard offers the possibility to get 3 measurements for each print. Get 3 measurements for each print and the Wizard will produce average values from the 2 or 3This is useful when for example the media is rough, and we want to get precise results. The Wizard will produce average values from the 3 measurements using the methods:

  • Arithmetic: Makes an average with the number of measured patches divided by a number of measurements.
  • Discard worst + Arithmetic: Excludes measurements that are furthest from the average.
  • Weighted:  Makes average with the number of measured patches, but gives more importance to the distance measurements with the minimum distance between them.
  • Discard worst + Weighted: Excludes measurements that are furthest from the average, but use a combination of arithmetic and weighted methods.

3. In order to print a target for your spectrophotometer, select from the drop-down list the appropriate target: Medium/Large/Very Large/Custom. For a high-quality profile, you should print at least 1500 patches for paper prints, and 2250 for textile prints. After you have selected the right target, use the 'Print…' button to print out the target file on your media. The Page selector opens to select the type of the target file to be printed.

You are now ready to measure the target. As with all charts, you have to steam and wash it or have it dry for a couple of minutes (paper printing). Make sure you select the same target file that you have previously printed and press on the 'Measure...' button to open the measurement dialog and to connect with the spectrophotometer. Then start reading the lines carefully and slowly according to the given specifications. Be sure to read slowly regular the lines, one by one.  Calibration Wizard provides four average methods, as described above, which are available with the use of three measurements. By default is arithmetic.

Measure three targets to make an average between the measurement. This will improve the quality of the profile while removing interruptions in the measurement. This is useful when for example the media is rough, and we want to get many precise results. The Wizard will produce average values from the three measurements using the average methods.

4. Pressing right-click mouse opens the spectrum visor showing the spectral curve of the selected chart patch compared to the same chart patch in all measurements.

5. Notice also that the data for these measurements and of each reading can be exported with Export…, if necessary, they can also be imported with Import… button.

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