What is a RIP and do I need one?

RIP stands for Raster Image Processor, but knowing that doesn’t help you understand what a RIP does, or why it is so important when printing films (transparencies) through an inkjet printer. It’s also described as a PostScript® translator – another term a screen printer is likely not too familiar with. To understand the value of AccuRIP Black Pearl software we’ll start with art. Graphics files created in Adobe, Corel and other mainstream graphics programs are built using Adobe PostScript data. To accomplish simple to complex computer graphics you’re relying on the power of the PostScript language introduced by Adobe in 1984.

Adobe created PostScript, so when you create PostScript graphics as you do, and want to print these files as separations (including one color) you need either a PostScript printer (with Adobe PostScript chips), or a RIP that expertly translates the data to a non-PostScript printer. You guessed it – most inkjet printers do not have Adobe PostScript chips, or include PostScript software to translate the data. They are called non-PostScript devices.

Companies such as Epson will suggest AccuRIP, for example, for your PostScript translation to print your separation to film. Freehand custom developed a version of AccuRIP at the request of Epson America for their product line, and AccuRIP Black Pearl is available for over 4 dozen printers.

So, PostScript is all about halftones? Absolutely not. AccuRIP manages every part of the file translation from solids to tints/gradients (halftones) to fonts. This important ability is not an ability of an inkjet’s printer driver. Plus, AccuRIP provides additional capabilities such as ink lay down control and setting resolution to achieve the darkest and sharpest film positives and negatives. Too light or too heavy of an ink lay down spells disaster. With AccuRIP software output production is accurate, controllable, reliable, fast and easy.

The best news for AccuRIP users is the incredibly short time to experience a complete return on investment. During the 14-day, fully-functional trial period as production ready films are printed and used to expose screens for press production, the profits are being generated to cover the cost of a business software that drives output. That’s fast.




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