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Profiling the BESTColor DE RIP

SmartNote: 483
Type: TechTip
ColorGeek factor:

The Desire:

The BESTColor DE RIP (Designer Edition) for the Mac is a good-quality RIP for lower-cost inkjet printers that runs on the Mac OS. It can readily accept CMYK profiles for proofs or presses for simulation (proofing) on the inkjet. BESTColor DE comes with a suite of ink/paper profiles for the standard manufacturer's papers as well as BESTColor papers.

The Situation:

Many people want to use the proofing RIP with their own ink/paper combinations or want to improve on the profiles supplied with the RIP. When both profiles are removed from the setup overinking tends to create dark sloppy target prints.

An application called "Ink Assistant" is included with the RIP but is intended as an after-color-management adjustment so is not appropriate for use in creating ink limits for better target printing.

There is no application for the Mac at this time that will create custom base linearizations for use when profiling and printing.

The Technique:

The work-around is to use one of the included base linearization files when profiling and then setup the profile so the RIP will use the linearization file when it is chosen.

- Run the BESTColor DE RIP
- File: General Settings - click the "Color Management" tab
- Remove any profiles you may have set for "Reference Profile" or "Paper Profile"
- Hold down Control-Command-B and click on "Linearisation"
- Select a linearization file from the Profiles folder in the BESTColor folder.
- Print your profiling target

You can tell the base lin files as they have a name like "BaseLin_100950073.BPL". If you cannot see these files when loading then you have not pressed the right keys while clicking on the "linearisation" button - this is the trick.

Experiment with this step using a few of the baselin files until you find one that prints the target well on your ink/paper combination. You should look for clean whites, dark blacks and bright colors. Avoid blown-out highlights, plugged-up shadow colors, or rapid transitions in any tones.

- build your profile using your profile building tools or send it off to us at CHROMiX to build you a custom profile. When you build your profile (or send it to us) make sure you name the profile "BEST_xxx_date.icc" where the xxx is the exact number in the baselin file you used and date can be a numeric date (punctuation not suggested). THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT - see below.

- When you have built your profile you can use it "by hand" in Photoshop for testing.

To load the profiles into the RIP for in-RIP transforms (proofing):

- select your proofing profile for the "Reference" profile
- copy your new inkjet profile into it's own folder - inside the BESTColor folder is a good place
- copy the baselin file you used into the same folder
- select your new printer profile for the "Paper" profile.

The RIP will automatically choose the baselin file according to the number you used in naming the profile. If the numbers are wrong or the baselin file is not in the same folder as the profile, the RIP will not load the baselin file properly and so your proofing will not work.

That's it! Now your can proof print to your inkjet using custom profiles.

Note: Give the RIP as much memory as you can. 128MB or more will not be too much!

Note: If you have access to the Windows versions of BESTColor RIPs you can create baselin files using the Windows version for use on the Mac version.

TechNote - Printing to the BESTColor RIP from the same computer on which it is running.

The MacOS does not always handle simultaneous network connections well. When you try to print to the BESTColor DE RIP from an application on the same computer, the machine can slow to a crawl and take FOREVER (as in hours) to print.

A quick work-around is to print the job to a file (save as postscript) and then drop the file into the BESTColor DE RIP's folder for your printer. Then the RIP will take the job and quickly RIP and print it.

Thanks to Daniel Portnoy for this printing hint.

See Also

To buy the BESTColor DE RIP... Tool: BESTColor RIP Designer Edition