Gutenprint...The Poor Man's RIP

soberprinter

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I have been asked to make up a tutorial for using this printer driver (RIP). Actually this is for the Windows compile of Gutenprint and it's use with Photoshop. Here's a "getting started" PDF so you can install and at least get it functioning.

I'll continue sharing what I know as long as there's interest. It is not a polished product but does a fantastic job in printing, especially if you want to customize your printer.

Let me know.....

Maury
 

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pharmacist

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Maury,

I really appreciate your sharing your knowledge. It is like a online lesson for all of us. I will have a look later this evening and follow your instructions. I will try with my Epson 1500W first and see if it works to make the following ink configuration:

Photo Black => Photo Black
Yellow => Yellow
Cyan => Cyan
Magenta => Magenta
Light Cyan => Matte Black
Light Magenta => Grey

The Epson 1500W can produce 5 different droplet sizes per ink channel ( 1.5, 3, 7, 14 and 21 pl), so it must be possible to create very fine prints without the light colors. Canon printers can only print 3 different droplet sizes for the cyan, magenta and grey channels: 1, 3 en 5 pl. No light/photo colors for the Canon printers and still producing very nice prints. However: printing will slowed down significantly, but I am very patient :caf.
 

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All the math required for drop sizes is done in the software for Epsons. I know Gutenprint has 1 dither algorithm that supports up to 3 sizes. The drop sizes are pre-configured but are a variable that can be modified. Canons, on the other hand, have more routines built into the printer firmware. So basically, everything that has to do with converting an image to how to fire the nozzles in an Epson is done, pretty much, before the data is sent to the printer. Many of the specifications Epson advertises are based on THEIR software and what it can do. They made the thing and they know the special secrets to make them work with custom driver software. Since we elect to make Epsons work with different paper, ink, cartridge chips and different software, we have a lot to learn and play with.

Maury
 

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I've added several more pages to the WinGP manual. I included all that I have done so far. After this, I will only include newer pages to keep file sizes down. I'm making this up on the fly, so bear with me and my dyslexic keyboard. (It doesn't spell very good either). :)

Maury
 

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martin0reg

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Thank you for your instructions!

Question of a complete beginner:
I have downloaded and installed the "wingp_5.2.6_PrintAll-Working_ICM" ... it seems to work with PSE 8 (which is the only adobe software I own), at least the option is there at "export to "PhotoGP"
This is followed by a window called "Print v5.2.6" , with some presets.

And I have downloaded Gimp ... but I am not sure about correct installing of wingp as a plugin for Gimp. Although there is an option in Gimp to "print with Gutenprint"
This is followed by the same window called "Print v5.2.6" , with the same options to choose a long list of printers, but without the presets.

So could it be that Gimp for windows (which seems to be not very stable BTW) has Gutenprint RIP on board already and does not need wingp? I did not try the RIP for printing yet, only see the option...
 

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So it works with Essentials?...... I had forgot that the install of wingp_526 had some presets that the author had left in when he posted it. They are pretty useless to you except as examples as how things get set up. Deleting them requires editing the "printrc" file which I'll cover in my later ramblings. You will need an XML editor to do it. Notepad just don't cut the cake. Yes, the "printrc" file has no extension. If you rename printrc or delete it, the next time you export to Gutenprint (wingp, photogp) it will create a new blank printrc file. Never installed Gimp so I can't say (unchartered territory for me). I've played in Photoshop since DOS days when it was first released so it would be hard to teach this old dog new tricks.
 

martin0reg

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PSE "Photoshop Elements" - well it seems to work, I just made the first print though the "gpspooler". Both with PSE and with Gimp.
But without a compatible printer I can not report anything except "it is printing" (actually I have a L300 plugged in which is not on the list...results are kind of bizarre...)
I will try further settings later on with an epson R285, which is on the list.
 

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Here's the latest version of the WinGP manual. Even though the file size is getting larger, I elected to put them all together because they are all part of the "getting started" section. I'll work on a different method of making pdfs for file size reduction.
I use both the OEM printer drivers and WinGP in my printing. I originally started using WinGP to control ink densities and print resolution on uncoated stock. The OEM driver either used way too much ink or the printout still showed those thin unprinted horizontal lines, albeit minutely. When I got a used 2400, I wanted to have both blacks and gloss optimizer installed. WinGP did the trick. I will say that you probably will never get the same gamut size out of a RIP versus the OEM driver. There are way too many special tweaks done in the OEM driver that can't be replicated in a RIP (especially a free one).

Maury
 

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Smile

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I too want to learn how to use this software however there is another port of gutenprint for windows called wutenprint, installation is automatic just run wizard.
I think it should be more easy to use especially for starters, I could not install the gutenprint no matter how I tried.

http://wutenprint.blogspot.com/
 

soberprinter

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I did not know that someone else was compiling Gutenprint for Windows. Perhaps you could try wutenprint and start a thread on your experience with it. Now, which part of getting this version of Gutenprint "installed" is troubling you? I thought my instructions and images in the PDF were clear but I'll review them again.

1) Obtain a copy of WinGP wingp_5.2.6.2_PrintAll_ICM.zip from the Google Code site.
2) Create a folder in the root of your C drive naming it PhotoGP.
3) Extract the contents of the zip file to this new folder.
4) Double click to open gpspooler.exe and select the settings tab.
5) Select the Install button to set the path environment and then exit out.
6) Copy the file photogp.8be from the PhotoGP/plugins/Photoshop folder to your import/export folder of 32bit Photoshop.
7) fini

If this part of the procedure fails you, this is the easy part. This is not intuitive software, the learning curve is steep. I am making what I know about it available for people who might want to make their printers do more than the OEM provides and learn about printer control. It only works with 32 bit Photoshop products and Gimp (of which I have no experience). Remember, this is a compile of software written originally for Linux and similar OSs.
 
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