Plate output files as soft proofing solution?


I searched this forum for a popular soft proofing solution that uses 1-bit TIFF files for soft proofing but came up with nothing so I’m soliciting ideas/comments/cheap shots from the peanut gallery here…

The challenge I’m up against is this: I need to be able to present a single tool to our production facility that will do a number of things, including dot area measurements, previews of individual separations, previews of trap, close-up viewing of areas as required, etc… and it would be fantastic if that same software would accurately reproduce, on-screen, the output of the press.

I get the concept of a soft proofing method that uses your actual plate output files; theoretically, if the press and paper characteristics can be accurately measured and reproduced using the plate files as the source, this would be the most accurate method for representing what will actually print, in my opinion, because the rendering is post-RIP. (The plates are what they are… nothing but the press will come between them and the paper)

Based on my research of both this soft proofing product and the G7 method of press “calibration” it appears they are compatible… meaning that the press profile is neither generated by the Curve 2 software, nor is it required by the soft proofing software. Of course I could create a press profile (and probably would) for our customers to generate their own proofs when required.

I’m wondering how that method of soft proofing compares in accuracy and consistency as compared to the more traditional ICC workflow? Who here has experience with the method I describe above? What are your impressions of the product?

Thanks in advance for any feedback you can give me.