Comparison of Various RIP Software Solutions in Regards to Output Resolution Capabilities


Document ID: 
Martin Habekost, Rhonda Atkinson


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The purpose of this study is to determine differences in the capabilities of software RIP solutions. Although one would think that there are no significant differences between these software solutions the authors of this paper have evidence that the same file processed by different RIP solutions and printed using the same device, as well as onto the same paper, resulted in slightly different output results, particularly in the processing of halftone dots.

The test file that will be used for this evaluation is Henry Freedman's Resometer Watch test file. The Resometer will be the primary tool in determining final image quality produced by the various RIPs. A key element is the contrast resolution indicator in the Resometer file.

The two initial approaches of evaluation were altered. Instead of both approaches, one approach was focused on. The Resometer test file, as well as a test form including G7 evaluation elements, was processed through different RIP systems, and onto similar substrate using various proofing and/or inkjet devices. The RIP solution and not the printer driver will address the proofing device. Software RIP solutions available at the School of Graphic Communications Management, as well as solutions from Fuji Canada were used to output print samples for this study.

Although it is known that the quality of the paper has an influence on the print quality, the addressability of the RIP and its true resolution will most likely not be influenced as proofing papers similar to one another were used. The focus will be put on the results of Resometer test file, as it contains several key elements that test the paramaters of device output quality.

The Resometer file offers test fields in regards to resolution, fine type reproduction, addressability, contrast resolution, etc. (see below). The Resometer data will help assess the quality of the RIPs in combination with the output devices, as well as reveal the behaviour of the output device using different types of papers.

The variations between the printed halftone images reveal that different RIP software, as well as setting parameters within the RIP software itself can directly change the final output characteristics. Overall quality, ink density, trap, and gamut reproduction are dependent on the RIP and can vary between software and devices.

In addition to using the Resometer for the assessment of the printed quality, an additional quality assessment will be carried out through the use of an image analysis software that was used in the previous study carried out by the above listed authors. The unique test target that was used for this study will be used again for this project. The results of that study were presented at the 65th annual technical conference of TAGA in Portland, OR.

The main purpose of this study is to get a better understanding of all the parameters that influence print quality on a digital output device.

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