ONYX Delivers a RIP in Many Sizes to Fit Your Shops Needs
With the maylay of printers pouring into the marketplace there is always the need to have the right RIP for the right workflow for a shop. We've overviewed the product offerings from ONYX to help you see the benefits available for your shop.
By Terry Lee
ONYX Graphics Corporation, one of the leading manufacturers of Raster Image Processing software (RIP), in April 2006, announced version 7 of its production line. This version was upgraded across all levels, including ONYX Production House™, ONYX Poster Shop® and ONYX RIP Center™. While the introduction was made at the International Sign Association annual show in Orlando, FL, it began shipping in July 2006.
The three levels of the ONYX product represent 3 levels of functionality within the program. Each program contains compatibility with the Windows® operating systems including 2000 Pro, XP Pro and Windows 2000 Server
The ONYX RIPCenter version 7 is the entry-level product from ONYX Graphics. The program loads and displays as a printer within the user’s system for direct printing from any graphics application. Printing can occur directly across any computer attached to the network. It also allows printing utilizing drag and drop capabilities into a ‘Hot Folder’, a folder that the printer will communicate with on an ongoing basis. Once a file has been deposited into the hot folder, the job will automatically be sent to the printer that has been designated. This level of the product allows communication with a single printer. Its compatibility with the Windows operating systems includes 2000 Pro, XP Pro and Windows 2000 Server.
ONYX RIPCenter Features
The ONYX RIPCenter comes with a variety of features ideal for the operator who is just entering the Large Format Printing arena, or those individuals who are going to retain a single printer for their printing needs. These functions include:
- A visual print preview to allow accurate viewing of a print before it begins printing, which should reduce costly reprints.
- Automatic nesting, which reduces media waste by positioning prints in the most optimal arrangement. A nested preview, with automatic, pre-designated, overlap will display for the user prior to output.
- PANTONE® matching- ONYX RIPCenter contains a PANTONE licensed library, providing an easier method of matching spot colors.
- A collection of ICC profiles is available for more accurate printing to certain types of media.
- The ability to track and report the amount of ink that the printer is using.
For those owners who require more from their RIP software, users can step up to a titled ONYX PosterShop. ONYX PosterShop is the intermediate level software available to users. All of the features of the ONYX RIPCenter are available in ONYX PosterShop. This program delves deeper into color management and color correction than does RIPCenter. In addition, it allows communication with 2 different printers, providing additional flexibility for those shops with multiple printing options.
ONYX PosterShop Features
ONYX PosterShop introduces some additional features that provide the user a more comprehensive approach to Large Format Printing. The additional features in ONYX PosterShop include:
- Web Portal Job Management allows the user to manage and submit jobs over any LAN-based Web browser. This increases the flexibility of the product beyond the basic job submission allowed in ONYX RIPCenter.
- Contour Cutting Workflow- This feature allows the user to create graphics with a customized cut around the graphics. This option is ideal for creating decals, and many of the major cutting devices are supported.
- The color correction tools resident in ONYX PosterShop give the user a level of control available to users who have a better understanding of color correction. The user has a number of tools at their disposal, including the ability to adjust saturation, brightness and contrast and an opportunity to adjust the image Grey Component Replacement, or GCR. This allows for the ability to replace the amount of black that is created using a combination of cyan, magenta and yellow with pure black.
- Media Manager- This feature allows the user to provide custom media selections to the basic media offerings of ONYX RIPCenter. This feature provides additional flexibility when dealing with specialty or newly introduced media from media manufacturers.
- ONYX PosterShop allows the user to RIP individual tiles of a large production job independently to allow better control and quicker production times for larger jobs that have to be paneled or tiled.
- Preflight- This powerful feature allows the user to preview the image and make changes to the image, such as custom scaling, cropping, tiling and orientation, with basic, easy to use controls. In addition, colors will be accurately displayed in a workflow that has been correctly color calibrated.
- Additional tools, such as customized color separations, that make ONYX PosterShop ideal for screen printing applications.
For those shops with goals and abilities to take full control of their large format printing, they can step up to ONYX ProductionHouse. This program allows the user the highest level of capabilities when it comes to Large Format Printing. From controlling every aspect of the image, including scaling, tiling, orientation, to managing the color aspects of the print, such as all areas of color correction, to assigning output in a large work environment, ONYX ProductionHouse is the product for complete hands-on Large Format Printing.
ONYX ProductionHouse Features
Again, ProductionHouse utilizes all of the tools available in both ONYX RIPCenter and ONYX PosterShop. There are a few features that ONYX ProductionHouse provides that ONYX PosterShop doesn’t offer, but they are substantial in the control and benefit that they offer the user.
- Being a production-oriented piece of software, ONYX ProductionHouse offers a variable data tool. This provides the user the ability to create a large run of prints, changing particular text or images on each one to give it a level of customization.
- ONYX ProductionHouse gives the user layout tools specifically created for use with flat bed devices. By displaying the flat board on-screen, the user can position, crop, and scale the jobs to fully utilize the available area on the board.
- A variety of proofing tools are available including the ability to create a proofing printer that co-exists with a user's large format printer. Also, ONYX has created RIPeXtend , which gives the user the ability to create a soft proof and e-mail or FTP it for the customer's approval.
- Again, leaning toward a greater level of production, ONYX ProductionHouse allows communication with 4 active printers, and the ability to optionally expand that number to a total of 6 printers. It also lets the user simultaneously operate 2 RIPs for faster output results. This number can also optionally be increased to 4 RIPs.
- The major feature of ONYX ProductionHouse, however, is the Profile Generator. This tool gives the user the ability to create individual ICC output profiles. These profiles would be specific to the user’s own workflow, including the specific printer and media, among other items, which provide the highest level of customized results for the user.
ONYX also provides additional support for their entire line of products. These services include:
- Free telephone technical support for U.S. users operating their current version of the product.
- A large library of media profiles that is available. Over 13,000 profiles are downloadable for a wide variety of media and printer combinations.
- An automatic update tool that regularly checks over a connected line via the internet for program updates. If it finds an update from ONYX for any new program updates or machine drivers that are not resident on a particular computer, they will be automatically downloaded and available to the ONYX user.
In conclusion, ONYX offers a full spectrum of products that are available for any situation. With a strong support component, most users should feel comfortable with any software product that ONYX provides.