ADTP- Aquatint Direct To Plate photopolymer
I have tried printing directly to plate (Toyobo KM73) with Quad Tone Rip and Epson 3880. I have printed an image using the QTR rip and the printer, but the raster that is given gives a very difficult image to print. The raster does not hold the color needed for smooth surfaces such as sky under many prints, but works well if there is a lot of structure in the image. I have tried different prints with only black (Epson MK ink) and with several colors. The result is similar to a flat print a slightly dead expression (sterile). I have tried to add a raster to the image but without a successful result. Still, many people use this technology.
The advantage is that you do not need a film original and only a lighting without a vacuum to relate to, avoids dust and vacuum problems.
Photogravure with photopolymer with aquatint raster in a traditional way works well and the one I use to work with. The downside as I see it is that there are many steps and you need to produce an expensive film as an original. I only use Agfa Copy Jet. The aquatintrasteret that Peter Ragnarsson and Lasse Mellberg developed gives a classic feeling of photogravure together with polymer that I like. It can give a 3D feeling in the plate that the copper engraving gives and not a flat printed surface as with classic DTP.
Why not combine the two techniques?
Cone Edition Press has developed a technology by rewriting a printer driver that provides an aquatint intrusion, see www.cone-editions.com/gravure
“We have invented an entirely unique method of producing photogravure plates using a Cone Editions Piezography driven calibration method. We have a unique printer driver that assimilates very fine aquatint. There is no mechanical screening used. The acuity of this system is therefore much finer than traditional methods of making gravure plates. We are able to make photogravure plates from digital images that produce gravure prints that match a calibrated display.”
I do not have the possibilities or knowledge so I decided to experiment with the aquatint raster I have access to… If this is good, I would like to go further and try to digitize the aquatint raster and print together with the image so you avoid a vacuum lighting.
Anyone know how to add an aquatint grid when printing or digitize a raster?
How do I do then?
- I first illuminate the plate under vacuum with an aquatint screen 1/4 of the time
- Print with Print Tool and QTR rip directly on the plate.
- Illuminates the plate without vacuum 3/4 of the time.
- Test print.
I have tried and aligned the printout with an i1profiler (calibrator) and used QuadToneProfiler – QuickCurve by Richard Boutwell, bwmastery www.bwmastery.com according to Clay Harmon. It is difficult as much affects, printing, lighting, development, printing, color, etc.
I think I have something promising going on, feels like a bit of the traditional aquatint is on the plate. It remains to print a lot and try different pictures and see if the picture holds?
UPDATE: Has now printed a dozen pictures and the plate feels stable.
I also hope that you get closer to a WYSIWYG on the screen, which would make it easier and avoid all the test plates that I otherwise do. To be continued…
All text Google Translate, original post here.