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· Registered
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Rip software converts your image to a series of halftone dots for CMYK and simulated process printing.
Your inkjet printer uses gradients to produce colours - if you print a solid area of colour ranging from black to mid gray onto a piece of film you will see what I been. As the image gets lighter the amount of ink laid down gets less and the film becomes more transparent. If you were to try and burn this onto a screen then at some point along the image it would simply cease block light from the exposure unit.
CMYK printing uses a series of angled dots, overprinted in various colours to produce a wide range of colours.
If you want to print multi colour images with anything other than spot colours then you are probably going to need it.

There is a freeware product called 'SimRip' that is an Adobe plug-in.

· Registered
209 Posts
As far as free RIP software goes, no, sorry.
RIP software is one of those things a professional shop needs, and costs money.
You can live without it, but only just.
I tried every way to get good film positives without a RIP, but the black ink on the film was always just too thin, and the halftones were hell to get.

Another thing RIP software does is halftones, and it makes getting halftones soooooo easy.

A shop needs some things to make a professional shop
A good press, good software for art, good estimating software, good film output, good light source,
RIP software is one of those capital expenses that are worth every penny.

With every film i print, with the RIP software, I know I will get good film positives, and I remember it cost $400-500.
I've printed 1000's of film positives, so the cost of each for the RIP software is pennies.
Well worth the piece of mind, and quality film positives.
Good film positives makes good screens!
Good luck.
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