A raster image processor (RIP) is a component used in a printing system which produces a raster image also known as a bitmap the most common of which is TIFF (.tif), BMP (.bmp), PICT (.pct), GIF (.gif), JPEG (.jpg). There are others as well typically Photoshop’s native PSD format that supports bitmaps, text and vector layers.
The bitmap is then sent to a printing device for output. The input may be a page description in a high-level page description language such as PostScript, Portable Document Format, XPS or another bitmap of higher or lower resolution than the output device. In the latter case, the RIP applies either smoothing or interpolation algorithms to the input bitmap to generate the output bitmap.
Raster image processing is the process and the means of turning vector digital information such as a PostScript file into a high-resolution raster image.
Every image that exists in a digital electronic format is made of picture elements. At some point, all such digital image data, whether expressed as vector format data or bitmap format data, must be rendered into pixels for display on a monitor or for printing on a printer. All images, therefore, have pixels as their base. Rendering, or translating the digital data into physical output, is the most important part of realising such images. The term raster image processing (RIP) refers to the process of translating digital image data into physical visual images and graphics. The software RIP interpretes the page description languages and digital image data and translates the representation into a continuous tone bitmap. It then applies frequency and amplitude modulation precisely controlled by sophisticated mathematical algorithms producing the information that is required for the output device to function properly.
When we want to print an advertising poster the best results are achieved incorporating both vector and bitmap graphics. A combination of
- Photographs – lots of colours, fixed/finite size from a digital camera. These files will be bitmaps, probably.tif or.jpg files and large size to achieve the required resolution. Photos just can’t be easily represented as a vector graphic.
- Company logo and some simple illustrations that will be small-sized files that will print smoothly at any resolution. The files use simple, non-photorealistic colours, and we may want to edit them a bit to serve our needs. These files should be bitmaps – probably. EPS files for use in other programs.
- We will also use some fonts, which are basically vector files.
- The logos, illustration files and the text files are going to be small vector files and they will scale infinitely to allow us to print a billboard size and the edges will remain razor sharp.
Once we have these files collected, we need a program that can work with both bitmaps and vector graphics. Photoshop, by far the most popular page layout tool, is adept at handling both bitmap and vector graphics. Regardless of the program, the vector and bitmap elements get integrated into one work, possibly a Photoshop PSD file or Portable Document Format.
Every PostScript printer contains a RIP in its firmware.
Large design offices and print service providers often use an independent RIP that can cost many thousands of pounds. In some cases these RIP solutions perform additional functions alone or in conjunction with dedicated software including queuing print jobs, batch processing, imposition, trapping, colour separations, and halftone screening. The RIP software may include additional pre-flight functions such as checking for missing fonts or graphics prior to processing.
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In comparison with the HP Designjet 5500 the Z6100 series provides
Reduce overall large format printing costs:
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Improved print quality:
– 2400 X 1200 dpi from 1200 X 600 dpi for improved print quality
– HP embedded spectrometer & HP Optical Media Advance Sensor (OMAS)
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The HP Z6100 Printer series provides savings of up to 40% on ink costs! From posters to photos, maps to fine art, the HP Designjet delivers significant savings, exceptional print speeds and outstanding image quality and durability up to a maximum width of 60 inches.