At the heart of FirstPROOF is an extremely high performance viewing engine that is capable of viewing high resolution data from Harlequin, Esko Flex (LEN), Presstek DI or any TIFF RIP. This allows the user to rapidly zoom in and out, pan and rotate the view in real time so as to see exactly what has been RIPped in the job. Any mistakes or problems in the job are therefore easily detected, allowing the user to guarantee that what they print will be right first time.
Jobs that have been viewed can either be temporarily marked as approved or rejected, or permanently output or deleted. Prior to that, annotation notes can be attached to each job.
As well as the soft-proofing capabilities it offers, FirstPROOF Professional also contains a number of additional workflow features that would usually be associated with much more costly systems. Amongst these are the ability to modify / merge separations (e.g. P 123 CVC and P 123 CV) and rotate / mirror separations where an incorrect orientation has been applied.
FirstPROOF Professional contains some very powerful but easy to use tools for measuring distances, screens, densities and barcodes. These can be used to check things such as traps, overprints and halftone screen details (frequency and angle).
One of the latest features in FirstPROOF Professional is a completely new and innovative method for color-accurate viewing of jobs (see below for details), which is inexpensive, easy to use and fast. This significantly removes or reduces the need for slow and costly hard- copy proofs, leading to further savings in both time and money.
FirstPROOF Professional also contains some very powerful advanced tools for checking other issues in jobs. Amongst these are the ability to apply dot gain, check moiré, ink limits, cylinder seams and front to back alignment.
When viewing soft-proofed 1 bit data, it rarely matches what is going to be printed on press. This is mainly due to three phenomena:
This of course assumes that the press can print consistently, which in itself is not guaranteed due to the many varying parameters affecting it - temperature, humidity, blankets, rollers and ink flow, to name a few.
To get a color-accurate soft-proof on a monitor of what is going to be printed on press, you therefore need to adjust the 1-bit data being viewed to compensate for these differences.
FirstPROOF's innovative solution
The color management solution in FirstPROOF Professional is a completely new innovative method for generating color-accurate soft proofs, which is inexpensive, easy to use and fast. This involves profiling the monitor, measuring the dot gain, spectrally profiling the press and then using these to adjust what is viewed. The process of both measuring the dot gain and spectrally profiling the press is simple and takes very little time. This is because it involves taking a previously printed job and measuring only a small number of colors from the color bar around the outside of the job. You therefore do not need to print any special test charts and can use an inexpensive spectrophotometer (such as an Eye-One Pro) to take the measurements.