The term Characterization in Sierra refers to the process of recording the current state of the tint values printed at a specific ink density to a known tonal and density value. The process starts with the expectation that the plate has been linearized already. We plate a job through Sierra with only the linearization applied. This job is run to the expected densities for CMYK on the press. This raw press sheets scale is read and recorded as the Actual state of the press. The Characterization will then use a target as the goal for output. This target can be an industry-standard such as Fogra, SWOP, Gracol, or merely an older press. Between the actual state of the press and the target, a characterization curve is created.
1. Open the Calibration Manager.
2. Select the Records & Proofers icon.
3. Select the type of output in this case, "TIFF Export." Next, you will click on Calibrate.
4. This will open the Calibrate Window. From this window, you create all of your Linearisations and Characterization curves.
5. Click on the Characterization tab.
6. Click New, and now name the new Characterization curve. We recommend that you add the date to the name so that you will always know when this curve was created. Select Multiple Inks, and click OK.
7. You will now have the Characterization curved named. Under the Process Inks tab, click the Edit button next to Actual. This is where you will input the data for the Actual press curve.
8. You will now see the Edit Curve Data window. Click on the More >> button.
9. You will now see more fields to input your Actual press curve data. Input your data.
10. Input your Actual press curve data, and then click on the Save Curve button at the bottom of the window.
11. This will prompt you to name the Actual press curve. Again, make sure to add the date to the curve name. (example: Test Actual 01-02-18)
12. Once you have saved the curve, you will now load it. Click the Load Curve button.
13. Select Load from file.
14. Browse to where you just saved the Actual press curve, select it, and click Open.
15. You should see that your data has not changed, click OK. If it has changed, then the wrong curve was selected.
16. In the Characterization tab, you should now see the proper name of the curve that you have just created in the Actual field.
17. Now click on the Edit button next to Target.
18. Click on the More>> button to reveal all of the fields.
19. Input the curve data for the Target Curve, and then click on the Save Curve button at the bottom of the window.
20. This will prompt you to name the Target Press curve. Again, make sure to add the date to the curve name. (example: Test Intended 01-02-18)
21. Now click Load Curve.
22. Select Load from file, and click OK.
23. Browse to where you just saved the Target curve, select it, and click Open.
24. You should see that your data has not changed, click OK. If it has changed, you have selected the wrong curve.
25. In the Characterization tab, you should now see that both the Actual and Target fields display your new curves. Click the Apply button and close. You are now done with the Calibration Manager.
26. Now open the Sierra Client and click on the Admin button.
27. In the Administration window, select Press Profiles from the left-hand column.
28. Select the press that you will be applying the new Characterization curve, and then select or create a new Press Media Profile. In this example, a new profile was created.
29. Name the profile, select or create a new media type, and then select an ICC Profile.
30. Now click on the Stretch & Characterization tab. In the “Please select a Characterization” drop-down menu, select the new Characterization that you created earlier.
31. Now scroll down and select all of the Screens that you will be using for this Characterization. Once you have them selected, click on the Set button.
32. When you click the Set button, the screens that are selected will move to the top of the list. You will also notice that under the Characterization column that they now display the name of the curve that you applied. Click OK.
33. You will now see the new Media Profile for this press.
34. We will now apply this to the job template for future use. Select Templates from the left-hand column. Now select the Job Template that you would like to apply the new Characterization curve to, and click Edit.
35. Select the press workflow item.
36. Now select the Media tab.
37. Under Media Profile, select the new profile.
38. Now go back up to the workflow items and select the plate workflow item.
39. Select the Screening tab.
40. In the Screening, scroll down to the Browse button and click. You should note the Characterization field highlighted below.
41. Select one of the screens that you applied the Characterization to in the media profile, and click OK.
42. You will now see the name of the Characterization curve in the Characterization field. Click Save. Your job template is now ready to use the new Characterization Curve.