Modeling and Halftoning for Multichannel Printers: A Spectral Approach
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Printing has been has been the major communication medium for many centuries. In the last twenty years, multichannel printing has brought new opportunities and challenges. Beside of extended colour gamut of the multichannel printer, the opportunity was presented to use a multichannel printer for ‘spectral printing’. The aim of spectral printing is typically the same as for colour printing; that is, to match input signal with printing specific ink combinations. In order to control printers so that the combination or mixture of inks results in specific colour or spectra requires a spectral reflectance printer model that estimates reflectance spectra from nominal dot coverage. The printer models have one of the key roles in accurate communication of colour to the printed media. Accordingly, this has been one of the most active research areas in printing. The research direction was toward improvement of the model accuracy, model simplicity and toward minimal resources used by the model in terms of computational power and usage of material. The contribution of the work included in the thesis is also directed toward improvement of the printer models but for the multichannel printing. The thesis is focused primarily on improving existing spectral printer models and developing a new model. In addition, the aim was to develop and implement a multichannel halftoning method which should provide with high image quality. Therefore, the research goals of the thesis were: maximal accuracy of printer models, optimal resource usage and maximal image quality of halftoning and whole spectral reproduction system. Maximal colour accuracy of a model but with the least resources used is achieved by optimizing printer model calibration process. First, estimation of the physical and optical dot gain is performed with newly proposed method and model. Second, a custom training target is estimated using the proposed new method. These two proposed methods and one proposed model were at the same time the means of optimal resource usage, both in computational time and material. The third goal was satisfied with newly proposed halftoning method for multichannel printing. This method also satisfies the goal of optimal computational time but with maintaining high image quality. When applied in spectral reproduction workflow, this halftoning reduces noise induced in an inversion of the printer model. Finally, a case study was conducted on the practical use of multichannel printers and spectral reproduction workflow. In addition to a gamut comparison in colour space, it is shown that otherwise limited reach of spectral printing could potentially be used to simulate spectra and colour of textile fabrics.