What does high-fidelity printing tell us?

Modern color printing, with high-fidelity printing visual effects as a print quality goal, has begun to become an international trend, demonstrating the synchronization of printing science and technology and social high-tech development. The research and application of high-fidelity color printing technology is a change of traditional concepts, and the improvement of quality objectives is the only way for the development of modern printing enterprises.

At the end of the 20th century, high-fidelity color printing technology came out of the scientist's laboratory and entered the production workshop, marking the beginning of a new era in the printing industry. The complete set of technologies centered on high-fidelity color separation technology will become the norm for the exquisite printing process of color images. Therefore, today's different attitudes that concern, understand, and utilize this technology will affect the comparison of technical strength among enterprises and the customer market. distribution.

First, the nature of color image printing

Color images are essentially copies of natural scenes. Nature scenes cannot be directly printed and reproduced, and the shape and color must be recorded on a flat medium such as a photosensitive material by means of an imaging device to form an analog quantity of color, or recorded in a photoelectric conversion device such as a CCD to directly generate a digital quantity of color. Can be used for print reproduction process.

Existing imaging photoelectric devices generally decompose the spectral colors of scenes into red, green, and blue component records, forming the color space of the device. The three primary colors are selected differently, and the color space is different in size. The greater the brightness and color saturation of the three primary colors, the larger the color space, and the smaller the difference between the color described on the spatial boundary and the corresponding spectrum color. When the natural scene is image-replicated, due to the limitation of the color gamut of the photosensitive material, or the influence of the performance of the photoelectric conversion device, the authenticity of the color may be lost. Therefore, for color image reproduction, the appropriate RGB color space is used to express the original document. The color is very important for the printing effect to be close to the true color of the natural scene.

Human visual perception of color, rod cells feel light and dark, cones feel color. So for color image copying, the image color should also be divided into two parts, namely the color component and the neutral gray component. The three-dimensionality of the color image is represented by the color brightness of the image, with the main influence being the neutral gray component.

When the colors are printed and reproduced, the range of ink printing gamut will cause the color space to be compressed again, and the original color linear conversion and color separation algorithm will also change the printing color tone characteristics. Therefore, the control of the printing color gamut and the selection and optimization of related algorithms are also crucial.

Second, four-color printing technology defects

Due to the limitation of color materials and production processes, the color inks of C, M, Y, and K used for four-color printing have a large gap between the spectral curve of color printing and the ideal color spectrum curve. The secondary color CM, CY, and MY color effects of ink overprinting, especially blue and green, are much different from the ideal color. With the existing ink production process, the performance of the ink is greatly improved, leaving little space. Therefore, the four-color printing color gamut is hardly greatly expanded.

Four-color printing has long matched the density of the original with the printed color density. Measuring the printing color density is essentially measuring the amount of printing ink. As described above, the printing color is composed of a color component and a neutral gray component. Under the condition of limiting the amount of printing ink, if the neutral gray component is too much, not only will the distortion of the brightness characteristics of the printed image be greatly deteriorated, but also the color will be relatively reduced. The amount of ingredients causes the color saturation to decrease.

The visual brightness of a four-color printing color approximates a straight line, showing that the neutral gray component of the printed color is too much. Four-color printing emphasizes increasing the saturation of duplicated colors, at the expense of over-sacrificing color brightness, and is another important drawback of four-color printing technology.

Compared with the natural landscape color, because of the above defects, the four-color printing has a heavy color reproduction, a large tone distortion, an unrealistic layering, and a strong three-dimensional effect. Therefore, customers are often complained about poor printing quality.

Third, the characteristics of high-fidelity printing technology

High-fidelity prints show two aspects of color characteristics. First, the printed color space is enlarged, brighter and more vivid colors are added, and the printed colors look closer to the colors of the real scene. Second, the linearity of printed colors is different from that of conventional four-color printing. The visual perception is more similar to the effect of spectral color change, and the print layering is more real and the three-dimensional effect is stronger.

The main reason for the increase in high-fidelity printing color space is due to the addition of new and appropriate primary color inks based on CMYK, and all primary color inks other than black inks are all involved in matching color components in the input color. The new basic color inks include O, G, B, etc. These inks and adjacent C, M, and Y superimposed secondary colors, the color brightness and the color saturation exceed the secondary colors of the C, M, and Y overprint, and the corresponding Tri-color inks are superimposed to further increase color saturation. Therefore, the printed color space is predictably and modifiable.

While expanding the color gamut of printing, it also pays great attention to the maintenance of the linearity of the hue of printed color hue. In the conventional four-color printing, the saturation of the color is often emphasized, and the linearity of the tone is less emphasized. The color components of the different tone colors in the high-fidelity printing space match the input RGB color hue and saturation tone characteristics. The ink color is as faithful as possible to maintain this characteristic, so that the color visual effect of the printed color image is closer to the actual scene color perception, and the image layering is more realistic.

In order to restore the color of the original as accurately as possible, the gray scale is linear, and in the matched ink color, the color component and the neutral gray component are separately controlled so that the visual effect of printing the brightness of the color image is as close as possible to the input color. Stronger. Neutral gray color can be composed of all the base color inks, and it can also be selected according to the needs of the process or the customer's personalized service needs. Neutral gray color calculations are performed using the guttpel equation. High-fidelity color separation is performed in the CIERGB color space, and the input RGB color will obtain luminance and chromaticity characteristics closer to the spectrum color. The different primary color inks match the input color chromaticity parameters of different hue intervals respectively, for example, red matches M, O and a small amount of Y, and green matches Y, G and a small amount of C. The channel setting of the base color ink ensures that the printing color gamut can be expanded and the tone can be linearly reduced. Compared with four-color printing, color brightness does not decrease due to an increase in saturation. This is a very valuable feature that cannot be achieved with conventional four-color printing.

Fourth, the market value of high fidelity printing quality

The high-fidelity seven-color printing color gamut expands by more than 30% compared to conventional four-color printing, greatly improving the ability to express vivid colors; its print color tone is more linear, enhancing the ability to express shades of change in color; The adjustment not only makes the color change in the dark tone color more noticeable, but also enhances the three-dimensional impression of the printed image.

The ability of high-fidelity printing technology to express, is exactly what high-grade color printing needs. Compared with high-fidelity printing quality, conventional four-color printing will retreat to the second-rate quality level. In the future, in the high-end printing customer market, companies that cannot provide high-fidelity printing quality will lose their qualifications to undertake orders.

The high-fidelity printing technology has the ability to change the base color inks, select the flexibility of the color separation model, and support the printing companies to innovate to realize the duplication of color image personalized effects. This technology can use customer spot colors as base color inks to ensure high-fidelity print quality while maintaining spot color consistency and reduce printing costs. High-fidelity printing technology can also support designers in the realization of print anti-counterfeiting features, help publications or packages to prevent counterfeiting. Therefore, high-fidelity printing can not only achieve higher quality and higher output value, but also increase the value of printed materials and increase the added value of printing to increase the profitability of output value.

Fifth, the investment benefits of high-fidelity printing technology

The printing company's service attributes determine its optimal investment scale and direction.

If the customer is too far away, it will inevitably increase transportation costs, and enterprises will be disadvantaged in price competition. Due to the customer's instability, if the scale of production is too large, excessive equipment idle will increase the amortization of costs of printed products and reduce profit margins. Therefore, investment solely for the purpose of expanding production capacity should pay attention to grasping the production capacity suitable for predictable customer scale. This is a limited goal. If it is blindly exceeded, it will result in a decline in profits and it will be difficult for enterprises to continue. In terms of social benefits, if the value of finished products is low, causing excessive waste of resources, which is not conducive to the sustained development of social economy and culture, then the fate of being restricted and eliminated is difficult to escape.

The benefits of the company are not only related to the scale of production, but also related to the profit rate. If the same operating time and material consumption, to obtain higher output value, especially higher profitability, this highly efficient production method should be the preferred mode of development of the company. Improving product quality and increasing product functionality are fundamental ways to increase product profitability. Only relying on technological progress and technological innovation can achieve this goal.

The technological advancement of printing companies depends not only on updating equipment. Appropriate equipment-independent process technology can effectively improve product quality and increase profitability of equipment. Compared with equipment investment, the technical investment quota is generally relatively small, and the investment profit rate is relatively high. The introduction of advanced technology by enterprises, digestion and absorption process can promote the improvement of employees' technical level, help enterprises to accumulate their own research and innovation capabilities, and support the continued healthy development of enterprises.

The timely application of high-fidelity printing technology will enable companies to obtain greater investment benefits.

Sixth, the application of high-fidelity printing technology

At present, the application of high-fidelity printing technology is very simple. A stand-alone software system is installed in the Apple computer. The application personnel can use the training to operate independently and complete the color separation output. The technical R&D side provides software with on-site printing process parameter settings and print product quality inspection guidance until the company produces a qualified product. High-fidelity color printing complete sets of technical processes have been appraised by the expert committee organized by the China Printing and Equipment Equipment Industry Association as an international advanced level, and through the identification of new products organized by China Packaging Corporation, it has been applied in the production of printing enterprises. Expected quality goals.

The printer chooses to print all models of primary color inks at one time. In addition, by replacing the ink, any type of machine can perform high-fidelity printing. Because the core of high-fidelity printing technology is color separation technology, this technology is applicable to various printing processes such as offset printing, gravure printing, screen printing, and flexo printing.

Source: Guangdong Printing

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