CIPS--Calculating Costs, Customizing Output
Apart from some dedicated formats, InkPlanner's main output format is the CIP3 Print Production Format (PPF) file. This file contains a low-resolution image calculated from the RIP. Contrary to the dedicated formats, the CIP3 file can be sent to a wide variety of presses.
The transport of the CIP3 file can be done in many ways. If the file is rather small, floppy disks can accompany the final plates. This is only feasible if the final format is not too big or if precision can be diminished. The CIP3 format demands 50 dpi for the low-res image, making floppy disks mostly too small for the bigger formats.
Mostly, CIP3 files are sent to the press stations over a network. BARCO Graphics' server architecture supports this kind of access. The press vendor's software then works on a Windows NT PC within the same network as the BARCO server. CIP3 files are left on the server and made visible to the PC in the network. The press vendor's software then converts the data to internal ink key data.
BARCO's Dewitte elaborates. "InkPlanner is suited both for a film workflow and for a direct-to-plate workflow. In the case of a direct-to-plate workflow, InkPlanner can take off non-printing zones," he explains.
Furthermore, InkPlanner allows the CIP3 file to be customized for specific use on specific presses, fully taking advantage of the syntactic possibilities given by the CIP3 administration data.
Where does BARCO see the PPF evolving—and how might Adobe, also a member of CIP3, impact PPF projections with the help of PDF?
Dewitte responds: "In the future, there will also be a PDF variant of the current PPF CIP3 data—both syntaxes have the same semantic contents and can be converted using simple conversion filters available in the market."
BARCO Fast Fact