Piezography: Unparalelled Digital Negatives
We now have a new digital negative system that will deprecate Methodology 3. The new system is called PiezoDN and is radically different than Methodology 3, and radically different than any other digital negative system ever invented. You can read about it here.
Or you can continue reading about Piezography Digital Negative Methodology 1 and 3 below.
We took a different approach to making digital negatives than has anyone else. What Jon Cone set out to do was replicate an actual continuous-tone silver negative. A Piezography digital negative looks just like a traditional silver negative and it behaves just like a traditional silver negative. The system uses QTR as its printer driver, but you do not need to do any work within QTR. You will never have to make a QTR curve, nor hang out on users lists trying to figure out how everyone else is doing it. The only thing you need to supply is a reversed negative image Tiff format file, select the Piezography digital negative curve, and click print. In just a few moments a sheet of Pictorico film will reveal what looks like a "real" negative. No false color. No "venetian blind" artifacts. Just long smooth continuous-tone reversed grayscale information.
This goes against the grain of everyone else who is jumping through hoops trying to create a system for their particular process. But, the reality is that photographers have spent decades exposing film in cameras and making prints from them without having to jump through hoops. By using the approach of replicating what actual film looks like, and how the film continuously blocks light similar to silver, the Piezography digital negative does what no other system does. It works right out of the box. So, if your process can use a traditional silver negative, then your process can use Piezography digital film.
- It requires a supported printer model (2400, R2880, R3000, 3800/3880, 4800/4880, 4900, 7800/7880, 7890/7900, 9800/9880, 9890/9900).
- You need the Piezography digital negative ink set.
- You need to install QuadTone RIP and also QTR Print Tool (if on OS X).
- You need to download the correct Piezography digital negative QTR curves.
- Install the inks according to our manual.
- Open an image in Photoshop or any other image application that allows you to invert it from positive to negative, and Save it as either a Gamma 2.20 or Adobe RGB 1998 TIFF.
- Open the the saved image in QTR GUI (PC) or QTR Print Tool (OS X), select no color management, and print it with QTR selecting one of our five density curves that are equal to your print process.
The five QTR curves we supply are all fully linearized. We do not use QTR to produce them. Like all Piezography curves, they are produced by the proprietary Piezography profiler. You will never have to modify them nor adjust them nor even learn what that means. The five curves differ in how dark (opaque) a film they make. Most silver papers require a negative with no more density than 1.60. So you would select the 1_6 curve. However, if you are used to printing very thin negatives, you may wish to use the 1_4 or 1_5 curve. Platineum/Palladium requires more density in the 1.7 - 1.8 range, and you would select the 1_7 or 1_8 curve. Carbon printing works well with the 1_6 curve, but we designed a special one for Richard Sullivan called the Carbon curve. It's included in our download and it is the same as the 1_6 curve but produces film without any film base+ fog. All of our other curves produce film that looks just like real film including the "base fog".
Then dry the Pictorico for a moment with an electric hair dryer contact expose this film with your paper (do not use contrast filters) and develop normally. Little if any Photoshop compensation is needed other than with Pt/Pd (as it would with traditional silver based film.) Spend more time making prints and less time trying to devise methods and manners. All Piezography systems are turnkey.
The Piezography digital negative curves are designed solely for Pictorico OHP or OHP Ultra film. These two film bases uniquely can support the ink load that Piezography is famous for. That ink load is produced by our forcing the printer to only print with the highest dithering frequencies in order to produce perfectly dotless film.
With the more polular Methodology 3 in set, there are five different film densities available: 1.40, 1.50, 1.60, 1.70, 1.80. Each of these film densities have a dMin which mimics film base+ fog or about 0.27. In addition there is a Carbon curve that is 1.60 with a film base that is purely that of the Pictorico OHP. They are designed to be contact printed. Vacuum contact printing will yeild the best results.
Your standard exposure and development should be used. The resultant print may be perfectly linear without any further adjustment in Photoshop. If some adjustment is needed, a simple Photoshop curve can be applied to the image prior to inverting.
The Methodology 1 ink set is appropriate where a film density up to 3.0 is required. This is nearly fully opaque. For example in Gum Printing – a very opaque film can be desired.
Piezography Digital Negative ink sets are different than the print ink sets. It utilizes two unique shades: 2.5 and 4.5. Methodology 3 only uses shades 2, 2.5, 3, 4.5, 5. Methodology 1 uses 1, 2, 2.5, 3, 4.5, 5. The Piezography 2 Digital Negative system allows those with 8 ink printers to install both a K6 ink system and the two special shades (2.5 & 4.5) so that both film and prints can be made without having to change inks in the printer.