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Old May 6th, 2009, 12:03 PM   #1 (permalink)
nosaj nosaj is offline
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Default Halftones

Looking for some tips on printing halftones. I have a Lexmark W812 printer and cant get it to print large enough dots for a good screen. Always sort of wavy and inconsistent. Any thoughts.
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Old May 6th, 2009, 03:58 PM   #2 (permalink)
Designboi Designboi is offline
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Default Re: Halftones

Are you printing Vellum or Acetate.
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Old May 6th, 2009, 04:15 PM   #3 (permalink)
nosaj nosaj is offline
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Default Re: Halftones

vellum
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Old May 6th, 2009, 04:18 PM   #4 (permalink)
Designboi Designboi is offline
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Default Re: Halftones

what software are you using to print from? Any RIPS? And also what kind of screens are you using. The most important thing really is the Mesh, and the positives. I have always used Acetate for halftones because you get a crisper light through it when you are putting it on screen. What size shop are you?
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Old May 6th, 2009, 05:12 PM   #5 (permalink)
nosaj nosaj is offline
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Default Re: Halftones

I use corel x3 and generally use a 158 mesh screen when printing halftones. I just cant seem to get the dots big enough to wash out well. Even on higher mesh they just look too small. Printer is set to 300 dpi with coarse dithering. I use a toner aid to darken the possitive but doesnt seem to really help. The final product is usually ok but i believe it could be much better. We are a smaller shop but ive working here for 4 years.
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Old May 6th, 2009, 05:18 PM   #6 (permalink)
Designboi Designboi is offline
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Default Re: Halftones

Pick up an inkjet and print on acetate. That's your first step. Then you need to start getting better screen mesh, high thread count, always the yellow fabric for halftones if it is fine. The problemis that acetate diffuses the light and you can't get a clean dot to expose on a screen using it.
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Old May 7th, 2009, 04:25 PM   #7 (permalink)
brothersprinting brothersprinting is offline
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Default Re: Halftones

We use a laser printer and vellum for halftones and it works fine for us. And as far as mesh count goes everyone says you have to use a higher mesh count but I have done some pretty detailed stuff on 110. Did you check to see if you can change your halftones on the printer itself. I can actually go into my printer options and change halftone sizes.
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Old May 16th, 2009, 12:50 AM   #8 (permalink)
PrintMonkey PrintMonkey is offline
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Default Re: Halftones

This is something I do alot of on an Epson 3000 onto film...I'll give you an example of a nice halftone for like a white underbase for a mutli color piece of art:

In Corel X3, lets say you have converted the portion to be halftoned to 300 dpi B&W or even Grayscale depending upon the art. Go up to Bitmaps, edit bitmap, it pops open in Photo Paint, go to image, convert to B&W - select halftone under conversion type, screen type round, 56 degrees, 51 line screen per inch

On my printer under dithering I select NONE, and select all the "best" black output settings...not sure how your printer works but I know when I have accidentally selected the any of the dithering settings it tweaks the art.

A rule of thumb would be to multiply the line screen of the halftone by 4, that should be the minimum mesh count that you use.

Also, back when we used a toner printer and vellum we would put some washers on the corners of the vellum and run it through the tunnel to darken up the toner on the vellum...not sure if that works with inkjet on vellum but the images always exposed alright.

I am by no means an expert but I hope that helps someone.
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Old June 5th, 2009, 11:26 PM   #9 (permalink)
directioneast directioneast is offline
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Default Re: Halftones

Vellum will work, but inkjet is the best aside from an image setter (very expensive printer) Inkjets print a blacker black than a laser printer, plus if you have clear BG and a dark image that is going to burn better than a frost BG with less black. Then you have to have a really good emulsion, a photopolymer is best and also have a really good burn and wash out. I would suggest printing through RIP, not FASTRIP though. If you don't have RIP you have to manually create halftones, which for some graphics is a pain. So get RIP. Also print at about 45 -55 lpi with RIP. Use atleast a 280 but 230 mesh can work, use colored mesh. Print with a hard squeegie and have a clean pallet. Use good ink not cheap ****. Good luck. Yeah Corel is what I use most the time, but dealing with so many adobe users, I have learned those programs too, saves some time in the long run. Good luck.
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