There are many discussion on “why do I need a Rip?”
Most everyone has heard the word Rip and someone may have given you the definition, Raster Image Processor and then lets you know you need a spectrophotometer, color management software and then tells you it is all going to cost you a few thousand dollars and you’re thinking all I want to do is print images and I spent a good deal of money on Photoshop. Why is it so involved. Who is going to tech me and how much is it going to cost to learn?
Here is my response. Not everyone needs to have a Rip more involved than the Epson Driver working through Photoshop or your favorite application. Quite a few people have realized that making a custom profile makes a great deal of difference.
Why you don’t need a Rip:
If you are happy with the results of your printing, you don’t need a Rip.
If your printing a few images now and then and not multiple images at one time. You don’t need a Rip.
If you are not looking to push the envelope in all aspects of imaging quality, and are content with the results your obtaining, you don’t need a Rip.
If your computer has enough resource power for what your printing, You don’t need a Rip.
If your Black and White Prints are perfect for you, you do not need a Rip.
Why you need a Rip:
If you are trying to offer the best Giclée prints, you need a Rip.
If you are trying to produce the best Black and White Prints, you need a Rip.
If you are planning to work with Textile Inks, you need a Rip.
If you are going to produce signs and panel murals, you need a Rip.
If you need to use special inks such as Giclée Multi-channel colors, Textile Acid inks, and Textile Neon99, you need a rip.
A side note about Archival Giclée printing:
When Giclée printing began print studios strived to produce the best prints possible and spent tens of thousands of dollars on equipment and software. They spent as much time as it took to learn to be the best. There was no plug and play as there is today. Today anyone with a inkjet printer claims to be a Giclée print shop. To me that’s like saying if you give me the brushes, the paints, and the canvas that Van Gogh used, I am a fine art painter or if you go out and buy a camera, you’re a Photographer.
Applications such as Photoshop are significantly valuable and offer incredible features. I believe that it is the backbone of image structure or restructuring, but it is not a Rip and does not offer the control a Rip does.
I think the one aspect that holds people back from buying a Rip, is not the cost alone, but the lack of support. The more advanced the Rip, the more it takes to learn it. It also takes showing results that are superior that makes you want to buy that Rip.
Most people who use a Rip or Layout pre-stage to the Epson Driver use this function for ease of printing and features such as:
Layout - setup multiple images at one time.
Crop and size images for test prints
Great Accuracy - control of gray scale and color.
Position, mirror, and rotate
Boarders, Crop Marks
Tiling for murals and panoramic's.
Creation of templates ideal for portraiture, school, and wedding photographers.
Color, density, and saturation control
Text applied to the bottom of a print
Canvas rap, a new feature that has become very popular.
Nesting with for horizontal or Vertical cutting.
There other aspects of a Rip which we feel are very important. One main aspect is how you can control the ink lay down and I will discuss it later in this article. Another aspect is some Rip offer different dot patterns and resolution not offered by the OEM driver.
Rip Layout: Most Rips allow you to drop and drag an image into its Layout and position it, but it’s even better. You drop and drag a thumb nail of the image, which means that you are not using up resources as you are when using Photoshop using the full image. The image in the layout uses the real image when printing and usually rips line by line. This reduces the use of computer ram as compared again to Photoshop.
Big pictures 10, 20 and even 30 feet can be placed in a Rip Layout without effort.
It does not matter the size of the original files or how many Mega Bytes. All you do is drag and drop them into the layout. You can resize position and crop with ease. See below: