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Offline Laurens

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The total ink coverage thread
« on: February 14, 2008, 03:56:54 PM »
I am working on a page about total ink coverage.

I know that using the 'Registration' color as well as incorrect separation settings are causes for exceeding TIC but are there any other errors that frequently appear in design?

Next to that I am curious about easy and/or cheap ways of checking TIC in prepress. Some workflows or trapping solutions allow you to specify a threshold value. The system will visually indicate which areas exceed this value. Are there any other solutions?
Having fun writing about prepress & printing for my Prepressure site

Offline tapdn

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Re: The total ink coverage thread
« Reply #1 on: February 14, 2008, 04:04:18 PM »
...like Pitstop Laurens? or is that too obvious/expensive?
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Offline DigitalCrapShoveler

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Re: The total ink coverage thread
« Reply #2 on: February 14, 2008, 04:04:33 PM »
I have found that a lot of designers don't really like to modify their color settings and prefer to leave them factory. Another issue is AI and ID's handling of black preference. They both should be set to View and Print Blacks Accurately, instead of "Rich Black". This in unison with the color setting make some pretty ugly files.
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Offline doubting_thomas

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Re: The total ink coverage thread
« Reply #3 on: February 14, 2008, 04:17:57 PM »

Next to that I am curious about easy and/or cheap ways of checking TIC in prepress. Some workflows or trapping solutions allow you to specify a threshold value. The system will visually indicate which areas exceed this value. Are there any other solutions?


Both Acrobat and InDesign have a TIC indicator in the Seperations Preview window
called Ink Limit in the drop down menu. It uses a percentage system that's adjustable
to highlight heavy coverage. The default settings work well for us as 280% usually
ends up setting off on our presses. It works pretty well for finding stuff like built
text/objects that should be black.

Offline DigitalCrapShoveler

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Re: The total ink coverage thread
« Reply #4 on: February 14, 2008, 04:39:12 PM »
I open every single raster file on every job I do to check for unused channels, bit depth, unused layers and paths. While I am in Photoshop I always check the TIC and the color settings. I am not a fan of automation. John Henry Syndrome.
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Offline Laurens

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Re: The total ink coverage thread
« Reply #5 on: February 14, 2008, 05:01:45 PM »
PitStop's TIC control actually only checks the ink coverage of individual objects without taking their stacking order and overprint/transparency properties in consideration. Put a 100C100M rectangle in overprint on a 100Y100K rectangle and PitStop won't complain. I don't know how good InDesign and Acrobat are. I have in the past written about the Acrobat option but I never checked how sophisticated it is when it comes to overprints or transparency. I assume the most reliable checks are done on final rendered data which automatically means fairly expensive systems.
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Offline DigitalCrapShoveler

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Re: The total ink coverage thread
« Reply #6 on: February 14, 2008, 05:08:25 PM »
View raster data on Printdrive will show TIC, but again EXPENSIVE!
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Offline Gutnbg

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Re: The total ink coverage thread
« Reply #7 on: February 14, 2008, 08:58:48 PM »
We often handle it from the other end.

We do a lot of version printing, and (hopefully, in some cases) the customer has a color layer and a separate layer for black type. They can use whatever rich black or reggie black they like, and we use our output (Prinergy, formerly RamPage) to turn it to grayscale and overlay the color. If they have a color change, we charge 'em for 4c, knowing full well they're going to use one of those silly colors instead of an overprint black.

Could this change, given proper education to the customer/designer/service bureau?
Maybe, if the education was provided in conjunction with a hickory stick.
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Offline DigitalCrapShoveler

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Re: The total ink coverage thread
« Reply #8 on: February 14, 2008, 11:17:39 PM »
Eloquently said Gut.
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Offline Gutnbg

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Re: The total ink coverage thread
« Reply #9 on: February 14, 2008, 11:32:09 PM »
Thanks. Hey, I notice a lot of people call you by your initials. You don't mind if I call you something else, do you? Digi-something, or Shoveler?

I get a tic thinking "DCS." Too many four-part files in my past, I guess. (Pointer, -.C, -.M, -.K, usually. At least the four seps could have been combined and masked! ....too many of those, too, though.)
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Offline DigitalCrapShoveler

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Re: The total ink coverage thread
« Reply #10 on: February 14, 2008, 11:34:30 PM »
Gut, DCS is fine, Shoveler is fine. DigitalCrapShoveler is merely for the easily offended. I really wanted DigitalShitShoveler, so DSS is probably more accurate. You can call me Ms. Jackson if your nasty.
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Offline Laurens

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Re: The total ink coverage thread
« Reply #11 on: February 24, 2008, 03:41:45 PM »
Thanks everyone for the feedback. I have published a summary on my site on this page and linked back to this thread.
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Offline jezza

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Re: The total ink coverage thread
« Reply #12 on: February 25, 2008, 04:01:50 AM »
I just read the page over at prepressure and you rightly state that some software is limited to checking vector objects and not embedded images.

I open up the info pallet in Photoshop and then from the fly out menu, I select the Info Palette Options. Then from the drop down menus in the dialog box you can select 'Total Ink' so that when you use the eye dropper tool you will see the total ink values rather than just the cmyk.
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Offline Laurens

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Re: The total ink coverage thread
« Reply #13 on: February 25, 2008, 03:02:12 PM »
Matt Beals added a comment on the page to rightly point out that PitStop 7 can indeed check ink densities in images. I probably got stuck in older releases too long and overlooked this.  :embarrassed:

In fact, it happens a bit too much that I think something isn't feasible just because the first 5 releases of a product didn't support some feature. Must be old age - could somebody please upgrade me?   :laugh:
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Offline DigitalCrapShoveler

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Re: The total ink coverage thread
« Reply #14 on: February 25, 2008, 03:45:48 PM »
InDesign users can check TIC by going to -Window, -Output, -Seperations Preview, then when the palette opens where it says "View" off, set it to Ink Limit... Wallah! You can also check Seps before output, very handy.
« Last Edit: February 26, 2008, 05:27:14 PM by DigitalCrapShoveler »
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