Pre-press point of view: raster image processor (RIP) explain (on)

RIP, full name raster image processor. The role of color desktop publishing system is very important, it relates to the quality and speed of output, and even the entire system operating environment, can be said to be the core of color desktop publishing system. Of course, for the computer-to-plate system, the role of RIP is also very important, it can be said that the heart of the system, in the core of the system. Since the computer-to-plate system is based on the color desktop publishing system, the development of corresponding RIP software is still relatively slow. Therefore, the RIP software currently used is mainly a color desktop publishing system. Now many manufacturers are working hard to develop RIP software that is compatible with computer-to-plate systems as soon as possible. The main role of RIP is to interpret various images, graphics, and texts in a computer's production layout into dot matrix information that can be recorded by a printer or an image-setter, and then control a printer or an imagesetter to record image dot matrix information on paper or film.

RIP is usually divided into two kinds of hardware RIP and software RIP, there are also RIP soft and hard. The hardware RIP is actually a dedicated computer dedicated to interpreting the information on the page. Because the amount of computation for page interpretation and screening is very large, hardware RIP is often used to increase the speed of operation. Software RIP uses software to perform page calculations. The interpreted information is transmitted to the imagesetter through a specific interface card. Therefore, the software RIP is installed on a computer. At present, the computing speed of computers has been significantly improved. RIP's interpretation algorithm and screening algorithm have also been continuously improved, so the interpretation speed of software RIP no longer lags behind hardware RIP, and even exceeds hardware RIP. In addition, software RIP is easy to upgrade, and it can be increased with the increase of computing speed of computers. Therefore, it is increasingly favored by users.

RIP is also the key to directly reflecting the openness of the system. Therefore, whether RIP conforms to the Postscript standard is related to whether it can explain the PS files generated by various application software, whether it can support Chinese characters, and whether it supports various hardware platforms. The screening of images is also done by RIP during the output process. There are many different algorithms for screening. Each RIP manufacturer has its own screening algorithm, such as the HQS screening of Reno-Haier Company and Agfa's Balanced screening, Adobe's precision screening, and more. However, different algorithms will produce different effects, and the speed of screening will vary greatly. The shape of generated rose spots is also different. This is mainly due to the slight difference between the number of screen lines and the angle of the screen and the dot shape. If the screening angle is accurate and the number of screen lines is close to the nominal value, it usually takes a large calculation cost and the interpretation speed is reduced accordingly. Therefore, the RIP's screening algorithm directly affects the quality of the image and the output speed.

For now, the main technical indicators of RIP are:

1, Postscript compatibility. Because the Postscript page description language has become the common language of the printing industry, various desktop application software use this as the standard, so the compatibility is directly related to whether RIP can explain the layout of various software production, and whether the output will appear error.

2, explain the speed. Explaining speed is one of the issues that users are most concerned about because it is directly related to production efficiency. However, the overall speed of the output also depends on the recording speed of the imagesetter and the network transmission speed, so it is better to comprehensively examine the speed of the system.

3, screening quality. Screening is an important function of RIP, and the quality of screening directly affects the quality of printed matter and is very important in the production of color prints. Some prints are thick on the Internet at some color levels, have poor visual effects, and are inconspicuous at other levels. This is caused by the RIP screening algorithm. The screening quality and interpretation speed are a contradiction. The fine screening algorithm increases the amount of calculation, and the corresponding interpretation speed decreases.

4, support for Chinese characters. Supporting Chinese characters is a necessary condition for our country. The current RIP is no problem, but some old systems may still have such RIP.

5, operation interface and function. The functions of various RIPs are different, and there may be some differences.

6, support for network printing. It can be very convenient to use, and more importantly, it can be used between different hardware platforms, which is now often referred to as a cross-platform system.

7, preview function. Can be used to check the layout of the explanation, to avoid errors and reduce waste, so now in most cases must first look at the inspection, preview function has become an essential feature.

8. Imposition output function. You can use the film more effectively and improve your work efficiency. Because the film width of the imagesetter is fixed, and the layout of the output is ever-changing, it is often encountered that a very small film is used to output a very small layout, especially for large format imagesetters. This is a waste of film, and the use of RIP with imposition output can solve this problem. However, RIP with imposition output function is not universal, and only newer products have this function.

The working mode of hardware RIP is generally relatively simple. Usually, network printing is used, and there is no preview function. Software RIP receives page data more flexibly, and can have network printing mode, and can also directly interpret PS files formed by groupware. You can also interpret PS files in batch mode.

The so-called network printing method means that RIP is set as a network printer. Each workstation can be connected according to the method of selecting a network printer. The data printed by the groupware software is sent to the RIP for interpretation directly over the network, and then the imagesetter is sent. Output. This method is the easiest and most convenient output method. As long as it is connected to a workstation on the network, it can be printed directly. The disadvantage of this output method is that it takes a long time to occupy the workstation, you can use the spooling method to speed up the offline speed.

Explaining PS files is a little more complicated. First, use the groupware to print the layout into a PS file, transfer it to the RIP through the network, or put the PS file in a batch folder. Finally, the RIP opens the PS file to explain the output. Many software RIPs use this output method, especially early software RIP. The network printing function is very weak and can only be output in this way.

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