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printing films with inkjet printers

19503 Views 8 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  PositiveDave
it seems like mostly everyone uses some type of epson printer, should i not use my HP B8550 to print films and get an epson 1400. And are halftones just used for highly detailed images or fading from one color to another or photos, if my designs are solid colors do i need rip software or can i just design on coreldraw x4 and print films if they are just basic like text,outlines, contours. And does anyone know if the Ryonet screen printing 101 dvd is very helpful. thanks again Phil H
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Not sure about your HP, the easiest thing to do is try it.
Halftones are for any image that isn't block or line work, so fades, shades and shadows all apply.
You don't need a RIP if you are just doing blocks
You don't need a rip software for making halftone screen splits.This is easily done in photoshop. For a smaller laser printer that is great to use it is the hp laserjet 1010 or 1020. I get 85 lpi for all my process printing jobs. I have been using them for years and they work great. I also use Casey's better than vellum for my positives.
I've been using an HP9800 for the last 3 years. For halftones, depending on the job, I either output them as bitmap halftones from grayscale seps out of Photoshop, or run the job through Ghostscript/Ghostview.
An alternative to halftones that I've been fiddling with is to use dithered diffusion halftones out of Photoshop, which is like what you do with index separations. If I'm printing through a 305 mesh, I change the resolution of my grayscale sep to 200dpi, then so the mode/bitmap/output 200/diffusion dither routine and print my films. The only downside is in open areas you can sometimes get a bit of a stippled look, but if you match the dpi to the mesh count, you won't get moire. A 230 mesh, I'll output the file at 170 dpi, and for a 195 I'll use 150. That's as low as I'll go. I tried a 200dpi film on a 195 mesh and got bad moire.
Dithered Diffusion - can also be called FM or stochastic screening
Tom, you used dittered diffusion for CMYK prints?
I have tried it once in a test. A tad oversaturated, but I was surprised at how well it actually came out. Like anything else, you've got to get your film/exposure-emulsion/press technique dialed in for consistent results. I have more fiddling to do.

I did just do a one-color black on white job for the back of a 5K run. A bunch of logos right-clicked off the internet, and I ran the film out as regular dot halftones and as a dithered halftone, and the dithered halftone held much better detail, and was what I printed with. It looked surprisingly good, with only one of the logos that was a kind of western look font that had tints and gradients in it kind of hard to read, but still sharper than with a 55 line screen halftone.

For those doing simulated process jobs through a program such as QuikSeps or FastFilms, you can do the same thing by splitting the spot color channels and then outputting each as a dithered halftone. This is not the same thing as creating an index print. I also did a single-color white on black print from a crappy web photo that came out pretty fair.
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Dithered Diffusion - can also be called FM or stochastic screening
So that's the "stochastic" process.

The images does appear darker after the diffusion dither so oversaturation is no surprise. Tried some single color prints before but from what I recall, lots of details were lost.

No angles. No lpi resolution. I presume your dpi is lower than the mesh.

Hope you keep us updated.
Your inkjet will use a stochastic dither but at a very fine dot size. RIPs allow control of the dot size so that you can hold the dot. Because inkjets have dot gain, and dithered dots are smaller and therefore have a high edge/area ratio, the dot gain is much graeter than postscript dots.
Wasatch have introduced an interesting feature in their latest release.
Most screenprinters can print between say, 8-92% because smaller bits of emulsion fall off the mesh and smaller holes don't wash out. Wasatch have kept the postscript dots but in the highlights, instead of the dots getting smaller as would normally happen, they keep the dot size and randomly remove dots. Quite cool really.

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