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Hybrid Color Screening

There is one more method of simulating a “real-world” continuous-tone image: using tiny spots to simulate tints and colors, but making those spots so small and so diffuse that the image appears contone. The three primary examples of this sort of imaging are: high-resolution inkjet, color laser, and stochastic screening, either on a conventional press or on a direct-digital press such as the Indigo E-Print or the Agfa Chromapress.

Inkjet. In inkjet technology, the printer sprays a fine mist of colored inks onto paper. The amount of each ink is varied, much like a contone printer, but it results in tiny spots on paper, often with paper white showing through, more like halftones. While older low-resolution inkjets couldn't be mistaken for contone imaging devices, prints from current high-resolution inkjets are so smooth that for all practical purposes they can be considered contone devices. This holds true for both large-format inkjets like the Epson 9600 and their desktop-size siblings. They use tiny droplet sizes of four, six, or more inks, deployed with very sophisticated error-diffusion screening, to produce results that are indistinguishable to the naked eye from a true continuous-tone print.


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