Posted: Mon Dec 30, 2013 9:28 pm
I really like teaser 8. I'm looking forward to hearing where these were printed.
The Magic Librarities Forum
Hi Hankhammr7 wrote:Alexis,
Marvelous how you are educating everyone on how color products are developed and produced.
The crazy aspect is that more "seps" (short for color separations) haven't managed to escape. Every set of Magic cards goes through numerous iterations of development, and each iteration usually has its own set of separations. The cost of final production separations used to be quite expensive, especially if you were using rotogravure processing. Modern print technologies have reduced the cost, but final production separations are still expensive enough that they are usually kept in case additional print runs are required, or to serve as a starting point for reprints.
All Magic cards are printed as a composite of black plus three colors, like the inks in a color printer. But instead of being applied simultaneously (like an ink jet printer), in traditional industrial printing each color gets its own application station. So uncut sheets (or a large uncut roll) of card stock will be sequentially processed through each color, and then through one or more finishing coats (for luster and wear control).
Many print errors are the result of either one or more colors running out (think albino cards, etc.), one or more colors clogging up or being cleaned (smudges, smears, or streaks), or very blurry or shifted colors and / or text (poor registration of the colors to each other).
As a side note, anyone who collects Crazy Clown tokens is aware of the numerous reprints of the 7th and 8th series tokens, which devastated token prices about a decade ago. Some of these reprints are quite good, and the primary method for determining original or "reprint" is the card stock they were printed on.
After studying hundreds of these cards, I believe that whomever made the better reprints was only able to do so by obtaining the original black and color separations (or an exact copy). This means either the print facility that Arai originally used, or someone kept the original separations when Arai Jin was forced to quickly divest everything related to those tokens.
There are also poorer quality reprints which likely used scans of tokens, rather than the original print masters.
snarke wrote: This is a matchproof, but not a Fujiproof. The Fujiproof system laminated the layers together so you couldn't lift them up and separate them. Most of the typos were due to the fact that the extended character set for the text font didn't get loaded to the imagesetter correctly. The "ff" in "affected", for example, is not two letter "f"s. It's a single glyph, known as a ligature, that looks like two f's that are joined together.
Item Owner wrote: On the back of the sheet we can read:
Commercial base "
And on the front, the name : "Aldus Preprint"
snarke wrote: I doubt anybody else really is terribly concerned about exactly what kind of proof it is. "Aldus PrePrint" is the software that generated the color separations. The quadrants were "printed" from Aldus Freehand as PostScript files, (not Encapsulated PostScript, but actual .ps files), then processed by PrePrint to create four new postscript files, one each for the C, M, Y, and K printing plates. The new files were reversed left to right and were reversed light-to-dark, in order to create "negative emulsion-side-down" film.
Those films were then laid on special photosensitive plastic sheets and exposed to UV light. The plastic sheets had C, M, Y, and K (blacK) photosensitive dye. Dye exposed to the UV was made permanent. The rest was washed away. Those sheets are then stacked one on the other to replicate what will happen when a printing press prints those ink colors.
snarke wrote: This is a matchproof for the Regathering showing where Aldus PrePrint 1.5.1 was screwing up the color separations.
Tavis wrote: What was the purpose of making this print?
Was it just to show Aldus that their software wasn't working?
snarke wrote: No, it's made from the film negatives to check and see that there aren't any errors before the negative film is shipped off to Belgium and used to make printing plates.
When we saw what was going on, we said "...!" and "That's not what it's supposed to look like. What is going on??"
"unaVected" was just because the expert-set font wasn't loaded into the imagesetter.
The blue mana circle background sliding out from underneath the droplet was PrePrint screwing up its save/restore isolation.
Tavis wrote: So this was basically a way for you to check the work before going to mass production.
Would this also have been done for the other 3 quadrants of the sheet?
It seems like you'd want to check the whole sheet before going to print, not just a single quadrant.
snarke wrote: Yes
Tavis wrote: Was this a regular thing when a new set was made, it would be checked like this before going to print in Belgium?
snarke wrote: Generally
Tavis wrote: If this was a regular thing, I'd guess there's potentially a lot more of these color separations somewhere.
snarke wrote: Probably not. I only saved a few myself; mostly defective ones.
I don't remember if good ones were sent along with the negative film to Carta Mundi or went back to WotC, but they were probably thrown out once the cards were in print.
I've never seen any Magic Matchprints or FujiPrints other than the ones that I personally kept and took with me when I left Wizards.
Tavis wrote: Thanks again for all the info. Always a pleasure chatting with you!