Blackmagic is a complete color management system, designed to produce precision color-matched proofs from a huge gamut of hi-resolution bitmap and postscript CTP RIPs, composite and separated postscript files.
Blackmagic is made to plug into and play alongside your existing workflow. It is suited to even the most demanding print and press environments, Proofs are generated using the same post-RIP data used by the press, maintaining data integrity and color accuracy.
Integrated RDT (Real Dot Technology) ensures proofs retain original halftone screening, while features including press ICC matching, dot gain compensation, unlimited spot colors and color verification guarantee proofing fidelity.
Access to advanced features like paper profiling, color replacement and digital blue line, combined with the flexibility to output to an extensive range of large format inkjet printers this means that there will be maximum productivity with virtually unlimited proofing options.
In the press or the studio, on your network or working remotely, Blackmagic instantly creates contract proofs from any RIP on any printer, with no changes to your current workflow.
Color Management and Spot Color Handling
Blackmagic’s color management system is ICC v4.2 compliant and is adept at reproducing press process ink and spot colors within the gamut of CMYK proofers. Unlimited spot colors can be easily imported or created in L*a*b*, CMYK or multicolor colorspaces. Special colors are handled in an L*a*b* colorspace for accuracy and consistency.
Advanced spot merging techniques simulate how each color will react with other spot and process press inks, making true spot color proofing a reality.
RDT (Real Dot Technology) made Blackmagic the first software capable for delivering proofs containing exactly the same dot structure as source imagesetter/platesetter RIP files. RDT is an integral part of all Serendipity proofing packages and remains the most popular feature of the software.
The 16-bit Advantage
Blackmagic performs all functions and processing in true 16-bit, providing over 250 times the color depth of 8-bit processing. A 16-bit engine gives Blackmagic finer color control and allows it to calculate the differences between black and white, shadows to highlights with far greater accuracy.
Total Printer Control
Blackmagic uses a paper profiling system that individually characterizes proofing media based on colorspace, output resolution, printer ink set and paper being used for proofing.
Users can access and select which dots will be fired by the printhead for each ink channel, choose from a number of intelligent ink limiting methods and linearize a printer based on a customizable set of radiation curve points.
Paper profiling maximizes the gamut available to the printer, allowing for the accurate reproduction of process CMYK and spot colors.
Blackmagic’s main user interface is aptly named “Jobs”. An easy to navigate window enables users to monitor, manage and track the progress of jobs before, during and after processing.
Tabbed windows, containing more configurable job management and information tools may be added from a tab library according to individual user preferences, location and workflow needs.
Blackmagic features an additional Monitor application, an alternative to Jobs. Monitor allows users to custom design and save a control panel style interface to fit precise requirements. Layout designs can be copied for use on other Clients.
Clustering, or distributed processing, is a method whereby multiple computers are used to share processing workload. Blackmagic harnesses this technology to speed up processing.
Cluster nodes running on additional computers can be seamlessly added to the cluster. Managed centrally by the Blackmagic Server, nodes can be run across mixed Linux, Mac OS X, or Windows platforms.
Nodes can be dedicated to job processing for specific printers or auto-managed, ensuring faster nodes receive and process jobs before slower ones.
Gray Balancing and RGB Support
Blackmagic’s linearisation methods are designed to balance the printer’s CMY or RGB grey output while calibrating its ink channels. Blackmagic does the heavy lifting before the ICC profile is created, giving the profiling software room to fine-tune the grey output. The result is optimal grey balanced prints. For photographers requiring wide gamut printing, Blackmagic allows files to be rendered in RGB using industry standard ICC profiles and rendering intents. Blackmagic also supports RGB print modes for supported RGB-enabled printers, using RGB output ICC profiles and custom grey-balance focused linearisation.
Blackmagic features a screen print mode, designed for printing film separations with an inkjet printer. Files are separated into individual plates and each plate is printed as a black separation with halftone dots applied at the defined screen angle for each colour.
Users have the option of combining two or more overlaid inks for each plate to increase the density or alter the hue of the output film separations.
Screen frequency, dot shape and screening angles can be defined and plates printed using standard halftone screening or Blackmagic’s Supercell mode, which produces better dot shape and higher quality output.
Blackmagic supports all major brands of large format printers used for CTP proofing. Printer driver suites are bundled to allow output to any supported printer model made by a selected manufacturer. Blackmagic packages ship with a driver suite of your choice, with extra printer suites available separately. Blackmagic installs ready to run all the local and remote printers on your network, straight out of the box.
Blackmagic configurations and calibrated printer setups can be backed-up using the integrated Archives application. Individual items or a complete system database can be stored to prevent data loss in the event of system failure or copied for use on another Blackmagic Server or remote site. The Archives application can be set to perform automatic backups on a regular basis.
A built-in de-imposition function allows imposed press sheet files to be virtually cut and proofed at published size, as singles, 2UPs or duplexed using any supported printer. Signature groups can be custom built or imported directly from jobs in a number of industry formats, such as Dynastrip, Preps and JDF.
Users can edit signatures individually or in groups, changing parameters such as plate offset or page size, invaluable when working with large publications.
Ink Key Viewer
The Ink Key Viewer aids the press operator in the initial setup of press ink ducts. Plate size and the number of ink keys are stored in Blackmagic press configurations and applied to the view on screen.
Press pages can be examined independently or positioned on the plate displaying the relative ink use for each ink key. The amount of ink used by the print run can be calculated instantly by entering the number of prints and the process ink weights (in g/m2).
The SoftProof application uses ICC color management of the monitor to display color accurate previews at full output resolution before committing to print. With black magic you can view spreads, signatures and show-through, or apply a digital Blueline.
Blackmagic has render effects available within the Page setup that may be applied to any job during the rendering phase of processing and viewed using SoftProof.
The render effects include such things as adding a watermark or adding a border, negating or mirroring an image, including a slugline, removing black from the image with ThruBlack, applying cropmarks, centering, applying an Unsharp Mask, Signature Decorations for publications, and Edge Detect.