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Free downloadable halftone test file

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Here's a good test file to determine what you are actually holding in print.

I suggest printing it using your device of choice, and then printing in black ink on a white garment material at various halftones. 45, 55, 65 etc.

The goal should be to hold at least the 5% dot and in the area of 94-97% shadow dots in print.

If you are holding better, then you're on point. If not, then something is not aligned in your process accurately.

NOTE, before you expose and print, (check the images) to confirm you are actually containing that information in your films or on DTS. If not, (if your shadow dots area already filled in at lets say the 80% range for example, then you are losing some art information before you ever start. That is a problem.

You need to adjust your tonal range output (for your device) aka, dot gain that you are getting some information out onto your device in those areas. In the best case scenario, you would use a reflective or transmissive densitometer for accurate measurements, (and adjust again to compensate) on films/dts and then read it again on press... but most don't have that luxury. If not, as long as you have "some halftone content" in there and as small as you can get it (down to the 99% range), the better off you are.

No two adjustments will be identical, so one shops compensation will not be the same for another shop. Each will have different results. Some far more drastic than another.

Once you do get a handle on your dot gain aka tonal curve adjustments, (use that on current or future orders only). Re-orders with halftone work (with a new tonal curve adjustment) can be drastically different then previously printed. Therefore, it's vital that you use the new compensation only on newly separated jobs.

Thanks Dan, this is some good stuff!

Thanks Dan.

I've been playing around with this when I've had some free time.
The Wilfex EasyArt PS plugin has been my method for my halftone output.
Normally I would layer and mask the EasyArt file and the original to get good text and halftones, I didn't on this one and you can see that in the text and lines.
This got me motivated to streamline my process a little and I loaded GhostScript and did a bit of reading on how to use it.
I'm happier with the GS film from AI and now that I sort of have GS figured out it should save me some time.

I do see that I am not holding detail on both ends of the grey scale, any other observations and suggestions?


Thanks for posting the print results. If you want some good feedback, you can try to set your camera on a higher setting of resolutions and try and take some more tighter, more focused shots at high rez. I opened these in Photoshop but it's grainy and I can't see really what you are holding in the shadows and highlights. You can also scan the printed shirt. That might help as well. 

Do either of these Rip options enable you to make adjustments for dot gain?

You're holding some line work in the .25 line area so thats real good.


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