Color Management for Color Inkjet Printers

Color management of color inkjet printers mainly includes: color matching between input devices; matching between original colors and display colors; color matching between output devices; matching between display colors and print colors; Color matching. Color management is to solve the problem of color conversion and matching among various devices. Due to the large number of factors, the printer can be said to be the most difficult part of the color management system. The way in which colors are represented by the printer is very different from how it behaves on input devices such as monitors. This is a subtractive method. The three primary colors are C, M, and Y. They are represented by toner and ink droplets.

There are two ways to introduce the printer's color management system. One is to bundle with professional color management software. The color management is completely completed by the software. The printer only outputs the printer simply. The other way is the printer itself has integrated color. Management system, color management is done by the printer. Either way, it is for the purpose of outputting accurate colors. That is, people often say that the colors to be printed are the same as the printed colors or the colors that the screen sees. This process is the ultimate goal of color management - "What You See Is What You Get."

So how to color printer management? Mainly from the equipment calibration, production equipment color profile, color conversion in three aspects to discuss.

First, equipment calibration

Equipment calibration means that the calibration equipment meets the standards so that the equipment can obtain the best color expression. Device calibration is a prerequisite for color management. If the device itself is not in good condition, it will affect the later stage of color management. The input device mainly refers to the display. The purpose of monitor calibration is to calibrate the input device's brightness, contrast, and RGB primary color balance. The output device mainly refers to the printer. According to the equipment parameters provided by the printer manufacturer, the printer is calibrated in color to output the printer according to the factory output characteristics.

ALab Color Space B Monitor Color Space C Printer Color Space

In the figure, A represents the color space that the human eye can see, and the display B shows the color space. The specific color range that can be represented is determined by its physical characteristics and the corresponding color profile. Adjustments to the monitor allow the monitor to have an optimal brightness, contrast, midtones, color balance, and white field color. In other words, correcting the display's color cast with proper brightness and contrast keeps its displayed gray neutral gray. Makes the image displayed on the screen close to the print of the image. Printer color space: Corresponding to the black frame of the printer in the figure C, the specific color range that can be expressed is determined by its physical characteristics and the corresponding color profile.

Second, ICCProfile

With the device profile, a color conversion program can be used to perform mapping conversion between the device's color space and the CIELab color space. The working process of the color profile is to convert any input color information into the color in the CIE color space. In turn, it can convert the color of the CIE color space into the color reproduction space of the output device. We use the standard ICC color profile format, which is a standard that can be used to describe the color reproduction capabilities of devices from different vendors.

The ICC file benchmarks for printers used by different color management software are different, so printer ICC files cannot be common across software. Such as COLORPROOF and SCREENPROOF software, before doing ICCProfile first need to adjust the printer's basic linearity, control the printer's ink output, and then the data measured by the spectrophotometer and the printer's basic linear combination to generate the printer ICC file ( That is, PaperProfile; and the ColorTune software's printer ICC file is generated in conjunction with the printer density curve. The establishment of the printer ICC file has a close relationship with the printing ink droplet combination method, ink output, resolution and other printing parameters. Different ink output and resolution need to use different printer ICC files.

Although the printer, media, and ink type are fixed, the printer's ICC Profile should be fixed. However, due to differences between the same type of printing equipment, media and ink, such as: the same type of inkjet printer, the working status of different printer print heads is not the same, the amount of ink jet is not the same, so that the output The imaging characteristics are also different. Therefore, this requires the digital proofing color management software to achieve a certain standard by correcting the amount of ink (printing density) of the printer, so as to achieve the universality of the ICC Profile of the printer itself. When the working conditions of the digital proofing system change, only the amount of ink (print density) corrected for the printer can be used to ensure the color stability of the entire proofing system.

Third, the color conversion method

Color conversion is a bridge between the color image data and the device-independent color space. In short, no matter which mode color conversion is used, the color output from the display and the color printer must be as close to the original as possible. Color Conversion: The software driver first converts the RGB representation of the computer into the CMY representation used by the printer. This conversion process determines the relative amount of each primary ink used when printing the desired color. The software driver first converts the RGB representation of the computer into the CMY representation used by the printer. This conversion process determines the relative amount of each primary ink used when printing the desired color. Halftoning Subsequently, the software driver uses a process called halftoning to convert the CMY representation to an on/off command (a set of nozzles for each color) of a series of color printhead nozzles. It is also monochrome (usually Yes Black) The printhead nozzle prints text and images to produce a series of on/off commands. The CMM Color Management Module (CMMColorManagementModule) generates device-suitable signal values ​​based on the device profile. If the color device is properly characterized, the CMM should be able to produce the desired effect. For example, with the display and printer profile files, the same image displayed by the display and the printer should be very similar.

Fourth, the impact of print media

The first is to choose whether the quality of the used inkjet paper is good, as well as the cleaning status of the nozzle, the vertical and horizontal alignment, the balance of the grayscale and the resolution. After these questions are completed, each tone should be calibrated. Each level should be clearly identified. For example, printers print four-color guides to measure with a spectrometer, and then calculate and then correct them. This is a special feature of RIP; however, if you want to print directly, without RIP, there is no way to do calibration or basenearization. Measure the color space printed by the printer on the paper, and then read the color through the instrument. Although different instruments have different guides, the number of patches will be different because of the distribution of the instruments. The final result is the same. The device profile defines the printer's color space, such as the print guide (TC918RGB, 918 color blocks).

The pros and cons of the print media also directly affect the production of the printer's characteristic file, and also have interference effects on the color management of the printer. A good media should have a smooth surface, good chargeability, proper whiteness, and high resolution. If the surface of the medium is not smooth enough to consume more toner, the surface of the medium can reduce the consumption of toner. A good medium also has a good performance in the control of moisture content (up to 5%), high moisture surface resistance, low moisture and high surface resistance. The printing process of a color laser printer is accomplished by the movement of a charge. Images printed on a low-resistance medium can generate noise and affect the output quality. When making a device characterization file, you must select the media to be used as a printing reference.

Points to note when designing a display: Characteristic values ​​such as brightness and contrast of the display device must be recognized and processed by the operating system for proper color management. Points to note when designing a printer: The printer should be prepared to communicate with the user in adjusting the colors. Internal monitoring capabilities should be able to monitor the density and spectral data of printed colors. The printer should be able to understand the characteristics of paper and ink to a certain extent and be used by the operating system and advanced color management software to control the output of the printer. After the above adjustments to the printer and the display, the goal of color management can be achieved in printed matter: WYSIWYG.

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