Piezography Pro curves

I’m just setting up Pro inks after migrating from K7. I 'm sending through a series of patches that determine tonal distinction from DMax to paper white. I have no concern about colour, only maximizing microtones. My 100% warm, 100% neutral and 100% cool produced the same results. I like 100% warm. My question is, if I print 100% of one curve, am I shutting down 3 of the available 8 channels, and if so would that result in fewer tonal distinctions? Would that be ostensibly a K4 process?

Yes technically it would, if you want 100% warm or 100% cool… but not if you wanted 100% Neutral. However just adding back some neutral would gain you…



Ok thanks!
So then my 100% warm, neutral and cool patches could not have been the same.
Guess my eyes aren’t what they used to be.

What exactly do you mean by the same? Their measurements or their color?

Send pics…

I mean colour, and principally in the toe and shoulder of the curve. I used to measure, especially in colour managed workflows, But in K7, tonal distinctions are decimal L* and I never found theses readings reliable and consistent. I just use a ring lit magnifying glass to examine the patches. Here are the scans of the neutral and warm toe & shoulder patches, but I don’t think you can see the nuances of the original. The targets are Same as Source, I send the 256 control signals in increments of 1 from Adobe 1998, the toe section patches are set against 0, the shoulder paper white. If I need to check to see if opening the shadows was at the expense of compressed areas higher along the curve I send patches nested in their neighbours (ie.128 in 129, 129 in 130 etc). I’m sure its not the most precise system but I like its simplicity and I like using my eyes. Its really just to find the best paper/ curve match.

My eye sees the black threshold emerging at level 3-4 and the white threshold at 254 for both of these.

Yes, definitely not the same. Your sensitivity to luminance is spot on! Could use yourself as a densitometer.
But, the difference in colour is evident in this photo. If you can not see the difference in colour then it’s just blue-yellow sensitivity loss and welcome to aging. I’ve always thought that “Neutral” is overrated and wasted on the youth.

Entrada is not a dMax champion. If you really want to get more out of the bottom end:
Arches88 and Bamboo papers are to die for…

Ok yes, sorry, I’m using “colour” in a larger sense, (HSL). When you wrote “Their measurements or their color?” I thought you were asking me if I had read the values or if I’d perceived them with my eye. Yes I do see a chromatic difference, (so still some blue-yellow sensitivity left) but I couldn’t see a difference in tonal distinctions given, as you said, the neutral option should produce more micro-tones.

Thanks for the paper tip!

Dear Paul,

Piezography Pro is essentially a K4+ process (variable depending on the blending as you describe above) but because Pro prints on modern printers (K7 came out for the 9600 platform originally) the amount and frequency of nozzles and ink overlaps that are built into the pro curves more than make up for any tonal variance degradation one might expect between K7 and K4.

I useful note: prior to K7 inks, I had a 9600 set up with a set of Selenium K4 and Carbon K4 “PiezoTone” inks. Essentially is was exactly the same as modern Pro configurations using matte only and 7 channels. I printed professionally this way for artists for years even on such an old model. My college Tyler Boley did the same thing actually. There was never an issue with tonal degradation. The most important thing tonally is to ensure the ink curves/overlaps are set correctly which they are in this system. And also to make sure at least 4 blacks are printing at a time. Three is too little.

Later in 2011 Tyler and I did a residency at Cone Editions and we formalized this split-tone system with Dana and Jon on a venerable 4880 printer using QuadtoneRIP instead of StudioPrint. I remember Jon marketing this in 2012 as an upcoming “Piezography Pro” ink system (did not happen until I arrived in 2016). So even from the beginning of K7 days it has been very possible to do K4+ printing. Even the original PiezoTone system for the 9500 in early 2000s was a duel ink K4 system using ImagePrint as a rip.

warmest regards

Hello Walker,

Thanks for the detailed explanation. I’ll make sure to combine neutral and warm inks in the final recipe. In fact I’ll probably find a balance that best corresponds to the K7 SEL kit so that I can compare with prints from past editions.

Thank you Jon and Walker, I greatly appreciate the help as always. Couldn’t function without it.

Best regards