Inverse Dot Gain Tool Invention

Daniel Badea FirstPROOF

Hamillroad Software Announces Invention of Inverse Dot Gain Tool for Soft Proofing

7th December, 2004

Hamillroad Software, the world leader in Post-RIP Soft-Proofing Systems for Harlequin1 RIPs and TIFF2 based workflows, is pleased to announce the Invention of its Inverse Dot Gain (IDG) Tool, due for release in the next version of FirstPROOF. This new revolutionary tool allows for simple and accurate physical emulation of the Dot Gain characteristics of a particular output device (CtP or Film Based) and therefore the display of a visually accurate soft-proof.

‘1-bit’ data from a RIP usually has a dot gain or calibration curve applied to it (in the RIP) so as to produce linear output on the output device. However, this means that simple monitor viewing of the ripped ‘1-bit’ data as performed by other soft-proofing systems or viewers, views an image that contains no dot-gain and is by definition too light. In addition, checking the output for things such as density and TAC produces incorrect results.

Hamillroad Software’s IDG Tool models the physical attributes of the exposure process of the output device, simulating the effective laser beam aperture and additionally its power curve. In modelling the laser beam aperture, it physically enlarges or shrinks the dots being viewed, according to the physical characteristics of the output device. The modelling of the power curve in contrast allows one to see the effects of low exposure levels, which cause under exposure and pixel loss in the fast scan direction.

In comparison, other applications that try to compensate for any calibration curve a RIP might have used, apply a simple Dot Gain Reversal Curve (if anything). However, this does not properly model what happens, especially with regards to exposure in the fast scan direction of the output device, and also does not work when more than one calibration curve (or screen) is used on the same image. For example, a job that mixes FM and AM screens on the same page, woudl not work with simple Dot Gain Reversal Curves, but with Hamillroad’s IDG Tool the effects of Dot Gain are accurately seen.

“We are thrilled with the development of the IDG Tool in FirstPROOF. ” comments Andy Cave, Hamillroad Software’s Technical Director. “Accurate soft-proofing of post-rip 1-bit output is now possible where the effects of Dot Gain can be viewed and checked prior to output. The development of this technology takes post-rip soft-proofing to a higher level than before and clearly shows our commitment to our customers in producing the worlds’ best post-rip soft-proofing system.”.

But don’t listen to us; this is what one of our Beta sites who tested the IDG Tool had to say about it:

“I really like the new IDG Tool in FirstPROOF [Plus] ,” says Marko Rakar, CEO of Printel , “especially when checking jobs that include stochastic (HDS) screening. With this tool we are now able to accurately soft-proof RIPped data prior to output on our CtP machine, and see exactly what we are going to get from a printers perspective. This is the very first time that a soft-proof on a monitor will actually show your page more accurately than any other digital hard-proofing method .”

The next release of FirstPROOF Plus which will contain Hamillroad’s unique IDG Tool will be shortly available through Hamillroad Software’s sales partners, which include a number of dealers, distributors and OEMs. For further details, please see our web site at: