Piezography relies on a family of software to work: QuadtoneRIP (the print driver), OS X Print-Tool or Windows QTRgui (the print layout software), and Piezography Community Edition (the media and ink profiles for Piezography). This chapter explains the installation procedures for all three sets of software. At the end, it briefly talks about the “Piezography Professional Edition” which is an optional add-on software for calibration of the Piezography studio and system. Also described is the PiezoDN software which is a set of curves and tools for printing high-level digital negatives for any darkroom process. All the software is available free or for nominal fees that include unlimited updates forever.
QuadTone RIP Installation on MacOS
Installation on Mac includes installing the (1) QuadTone RIP package, (2) Print-Tool, (3) the Epson Printer driver and utilities, and then finally (4) the Piezography Community Edition curves archive.
Download the QuadTone RIP package from
http://www.quadtonerip.com. This includes the installation package that puts the underlying printer drivers into your system.
But, please do not use the downloaded Tutorial.pdf for Piezography Workflow. Use the manual that you are now
reading as a tutorial!
Follow the on-screen directions provided by the QTR installer.
Please make sure that you pay the author his shareware fee when you have finished installing the package!
Print-Tool is a wonderful (Mac-only) utility created by Roy Harrington, of QuadtoneRIP fame, that lets you drag and drop multiple images onto a single print canvas, arrange them, and print them with full color-management. Over the years, Apple, Adobe, and Epson have conspired to hide and get-rid-of full color controls for fine-art printing. Their thought was to make the user interface simple and easy for novice users, however in doing-so, they succeeded in dumbing down the process and getting rid of much-needed features like “no-color-management” and grayscale ICC printing. Print-Tool is a nifty utility that gives back these features to the printmaker. Print-Tool is a required software for fully color-managed Piezography printing on the Mac! You can download it at quadtonerip.com
Print-Tool is installed by downloading the .zip file from quadtonerip.com. Double clicking the .zip file will unpack the application and this should be dragged to your Applications Folder.
**Windows users already use a stand-alone QTR application called QTRgui that is installed when the Windows version of QuadtoneRIP is installed.
QuadTone RIP Installation on Windows
Windows users can download and install the latest version of Quad Tone RIP from here:
The software is an executable and is installed either during the download or after the download. This is always a process that is set by the user when the download link is clicked. We recommend that you install after the download so that a copy of the installer remains on your computer. Please select the Default locations so that QuadTone RIP is installed and appears in your Start Menu.
After installation is complete, you will see a QTRgui application. This is the application that you use to lay out your image and select the Piezography curve (profile) that you will print with. However, Piezography curves must first be downloaded with the Piezography Community Edition (next step).
We recommend that you install the Epson printer drivers and utilities for your printer so that you have access to the alignment and printer utilities. Without doing so, will you not be able to use QuadTone RIP.
The Piezography Community Edition, available at http://piezography.com/download, is a complete set of QuadtoneRIP K6, K7, and P2 curves, tools, & manuals for our customers. We keep it continually updated and this is the go-to location for new curves, new workflows, new test-images and everything Piezography-related. In the past we had broken up the curve archive into individual chunks, but this proved to be an organizational problem. It became increasingly hard for users to download the correct curves. Along with the launch of the Piezography Community Edition, QuadtoneRIP will no longer publish Piezography curves. This will enable us to continually (and quickly) update the curves in the Piezography Community Edition and give all our users one place to get the most up-to-date curves without accidentally printing with an old curve. The Piezography Community Edition is for both Mac and PC. On the Mac, the software comes as an installer and gets installed into Applications>Piezography. On the PC, it comes in a zipped folder that can be placed anywhere.
To install new Piezography curves to use with QTR on Windows, you will need to do the following. Download the Piezography Community Edition Windows version. Open this downloaded zip files and navigate to Curves>Your-Piezography-Printer-Model. Select the curves (.quad files) you want to install from this folder and drag and drop the curves (NOT the FOLDER containing the curves, but the individual curves themselves) into the following folder location: C:\ProgramFiles\QuadToneRIP\QuadTone\(Your Piezography Printer Model). After they have been placed in the correct QuadtoneRIP folder you will be able to select them in the QTRgui.
To install new Piezography curves to use with QTR on Mac OS, you will need to do the following. Download the Piezography Community Edition Mac version. Install it and navigate to /Applications/Piezography/Curves/(Your Piezography Printer Model). Power on your printer and make sure it’s connected to the network or to your computer (via USB). Double click on the install.command in the curve folder and all of the piezography curves inside of that folder will be installed. A new printer will be created and you will be able to select this printer (and installed curves) when printing from Print-Tool.
Photoshop and Lightroom
There are two very distinctly different and useful applications. We believe that Photoshop application to be the best for printmakers. At the same time, Lightroom is incredibly useful. But, we do not believe that you can get the best out of Piezography without Photoshop.
The primary difference between these two applications is that Photoshop gives you access to the pixels. Piezography prints pixels. We think that you should gain mastery over your own pixels. Where Photoshop will gain over Lightroom is in differentiating between absolute black and convincing black, as well as in image sharpening.
Lightroom is for all practical purposes an image proxy application. It is working on behalf of your image files without actually working on your image files. Its non-destructive file behavior is fantastic. But, it is not designed for those who print. In fact, some of the Print-Tools available now in Lightroom are very late to their game. Lightroom is to imagers what Photoshop is to printmakers.
We believe that you should install both these applications.
Personally, I start with Lightroom. Nothing can beat its catalogue system and file access. Also, the raw tools are very intuitive and easy to use. I then export files to Photoshop for my final edits. If I have to choose one - I will sadly give up Lightroom. But, no one has to choose one with Adobe offering both at $9.95 per month (as of this writing).
Setting Up Lightroom
There is only one important dialogue to setup in Lightroom. It controls the output of your file when you print it or edit it outside of Lightroom. The ProPhoto Color Space can not be used because it’s gamma is incompatible with Piezography and images saved in ProPhoto will print with unexpected results. ProPhoto is ideal for images made with camera sensors to remain in a working space suited to the raw data from the camera sensor. The Gamma is 1.0 or scientific gamma. Gamma 1.0 is not suitable for looking at images. We would not be able to see what looks like a normal contrast. Because ProPhoto is so inappropriate for image viewing, Adobe continues to use Adobe RGB 1998 in conjunction with it in Lightroom. A very complicated viewing condition is made by Adobe to compensate.
Somehow it all works. There are as many opinions on how this works as there are to whether you should use ProPhoto or not. With Piezography you can not use ProPhoto. Simple!
Piezography prints a Gamma of 2.20 and requires either Adobe RGB 1998 (internal gamma of 2.20) or Gray Gamma 2.20.
Therefore, to export images either for printing or for use in Photoshop set up the Lightroom Preferences as in the illustration on this page. Resolution is not critical and the default is used. There will be no scaling of the image file by this setting. Scaling is undesirable and we will cover that later. The bit depth should remain in 16bit if possible. The critical components are TIF file format and AdobeRGB (1998).
Images are not printed directly from either Lightroom or Photoshop. They are exported prior to printing with QuadTone RIP. So the other settings for Print in Lightroom will not be addressed in this manual or during our workshops at Cone Editions including sharpening. We will address only what we can actually see. But we will talk more about and use Lightroom. I love it! (Jon)
Setting Up Photoshop
Photoshop is the application through which to make most of our critical corrections to images as well as define the way to sharpen our images. These concepts can be brought back into Lightroom, which is a virtual space for sharpening and correcting imaging issues. We can not actually see the defects in Lightroom that it produces. Or I should say, we can not easily seem them as we can with Photoshop.
Photoshop Color Settings must be edited to work with images destined for Piezography. The Piezography system produces a modified Gamma 2.20 output. The Piezography curves expect a Gamma 2.20 input file.
Photoshop > Edit > Color Settings brings up the dialogue on in the next column. The RGB Working Space must be set to Adobe RGB (1998) and the Gray Working Space must be set to Gamma 2.2. Color Management Policies for RGB and Gray should be set to Convert to Working and the Profile Mismatches should all be checked.
What Working Spaces do is control how Photoshop displays images to you on your monitor. Using these settings will allow you to view an image with the relative contrast relationship that Piezography will print it. It also allows you to embed the correct profiles to your RGB or Grayscale mode grayscale images. The profile mismatches will alert you to images that were previewed in a different working space. There may be a reason why you want to have two different versions of a file when you Save. If you print the image at its default setting of Dot Gain 20% using a non-Piezography system, saving it with an embedded profile of Gamma 2.2 may change how it prints again on the non-Piezography system.
We will discuss more color management of Piezography process later. For now you have set up both Lightroom and Photoshop so that the files you Save or Export are in the correct Gamma 2.2. Piezography can only be used with Gamma 2.2 images.
Piezography Professional Edition
The Piezography Professional Edition is a new thing. It enables DIY (Do It Yourself) high-quality linearization (calibration), and tuning, of Piezography curves. This package is an add-on to the Community Edition that includes as set of tools for measuring Piezography targets, extra targets, the Piezography Deluxe manual with documentation on how to use all the tools, and much more. To properly utilize the Professional Edition, one must download the Community Edition first and then buy the Professional Edition at shop.inkjetmall.com. After purchase of the Professional Edition, staff at InkjetMall build a custom Google Drive spreadsheet that is shared with each Pro edition subscriber. This spreadsheet is the final tool that enables correct measurements of Piezography target data. So, in order to use the Pro edition, one must have a Google account. To install everything but the shared google spreadsheet, you will get a username and password to Piezography.com that will enable download of the Piezography Professional Edition windows and mac packages. This may take up to 48hrs after the purchase of Piezography Professional Edition, because each username and password is added manually by staff at InkjetMall.
PiezoDN is our professional-level digital negative solution. It’s a set of curves and tools for printing and calibrating digital negatives with Piezography ink for any darkroom process. This software is available for purchase at shop.inkjetmall.com and is downloaded from piezography.com/piezodn. Full documentation and instructions are available after download in The Piezography Manual Deluxe Edition and at piezography.com/piezodn.