CHROMiX

Color Servers

Looking for opinions on Color Servers such as gretagmacbeths !Queue.

Is this the way to go for consistency
Is there a better or different way than a color servers
What is out there besides IQueue server

What are the drawbacks

Just starting to research this so all information is useful

Mike

Dear Sir

I am looking for same range of products

Currently looking at ‘GMG color Server’ and trying to evaluate

I will give my feed back in week’s time

Regards

venkat

The right solution depends upon what type of workflow your are implementing. A lot of workflow solutions now include color management negating the need for a separate application. Paint us your bigger picture so we know what you are dealing with.

I too am looking into a color server. Here’s what’ I’m needing, and what equipment I’m doing it with…

Needed:
A method to automate our color management policies, regardless of originating graphics program.

Hotfolder based

Capable of handling LARGE (3+ Gb.) files

Equipment used:
3 - Lambda 130 printers (using Endura, Duraflex, Duratrans, and Metalic)

2 Vutek UltraVu 3360
9 Mimaki JV4
These printers print to dye sub transfer paper, which goes through heat transfer to fabric.

1 Vutek PressVu 360 UV

15 Mac based operator stations for setting up jobs to send to the printers.

With this many operators, working in 3 shifts, color management rules are difficult at best to implement. We have been testing the Alwan Color Hub, but it has a 1.5Gb file size limit. Some of our jobs exceed 200 inches by 600 inches, so filesizes tend to be large.

Any input would be appreciated!

Craig Maravich

Craig, your type of shop and list of equipment is very familiar to me. The latest software for all of these devices handles color management including custom linearization and color space conversions. If you are still using the DEC Alpha for the Lambdas consider upgrading the the current Windows based solution which is fantastic. ONYX Postershop or Colorburst would be a good solution for your VuTeks and Mimakis - it’s nice to run them all on the same RIP for simplicity when possible. What RIPs are your running now? Fortunately you won’t have to rely on a 90’s era hot folder approach with your equipment.

Scott Martin
www.on-sight.com

We are using Cheetah for the Lambdas, Colorburst (version 7.6J) for the Vuteks, and Ergosoft (V12) for the Mimaki printers.

I know the hotfolder approach is “90’s era” (love the analogy), but it seems to me to be the best way to automate our color management policies. One thing I’m looking at is the possibility of unique profiles for some of our fabrics. Most of our artists could handle that, but it could cause a HUGE headache. But if an artist just needed to find the folder for the correct printer / fabric combination, save the file there, it gets processed, and saved to a print folder at the RIP, it could be easily found by the print techs, and job’s done.

That’s my vision of how production could work. MANY changes still need to be done. We are using a .PS or .EPS workflow now, and I’m in the process of testing everything using a .PDF workflow.

Hey, if it was easy, everybody would be doing it.

Craig.

Having unique profiles for all of your printers and substrates and having your RIPs automatically convert all files to these profiles is too easy no to do in this day and age, IMO. Your RIPs will want to utilize different linearization files and possibly different resolution and screening methods for different substrates which puts a wrench in the whole hot folder processed color server approach.

Sounds like you’ve got some workflow issues between the artists and techs. The artists shouldn’t have to deal with output profiles - they should be able to keep their work in the appropriate working space. Some of these RIPs allow for hot folders for different substrates but perform the color management when printing. Perhaps you can get the best of both worlds (your workflow concept and full color management) with an elegant RIP setup.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help. You equipment is not unique and many people have tackled this kind of thing before.

Scott Martin
www.on-sight.com