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Subject: Printing white images onto clear sticker paper rss

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Purple TripleCrown
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Obviously, home printers do not print white ink.

Has anyone figured out how to do this inexpensively?

(Why do I want to do this? I'm replacing some solid coloured board game counters that have white images on them and I'm trying to use the spare (blank) coloured counters from the game to ensure a perfect colour match to the rest of the counters.)

As an aside (and maybe as plan B), can anyone recommend a "fool proof" and methodical process for colour matching printed material with original physical game pieces you are trying to copy? My attempts at trial and error are time consuming, frustrating, and not particularly successful!
 
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Meaker VI
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Purpletriplecrown wrote:
As an aside (and maybe as plan B), can anyone recommend a "fool proof" and methodical process for colour matching printed material with original physical game pieces you are trying to copy? My attempts at trial and error are time consuming, frustrating, and not particularly successful!


There is no such thing. Matching colors is a time consuming process - what you see on your screen is different from what gets printed is different from what was printed by someone else on a different printer.

I know of no way to print with white, so I can't help you there. All printers I'm aware of assume white paper. Maybe an old pen-plotter or a mill machine loaded with a white marker.
 
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Chris Schumann
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HP, Epson, OKI, and probably others make printers that can use white ink. They are generally pro-sumer models and pretty expensive. For example: http://mountaincow.com/shop.printers.C711WT.html

Your local print shop might have one you can use.

As a third alternative, you might consider replacing all the counters so they all look similar.
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Sam Phillips Beckerman
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also, be aware that "clear" stickers are not clear. It will fade the color of what you are going to stick it to. Experiment before you go chasing white ink.
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Purple TripleCrown
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Whizkid wrote:
HP, Epson, OKI, and probably others make printers that can use white ink. They are generally pro-sumer models and pretty expensive. For example: http://mountaincow.com/shop.printers.C711WT.html

Your local print shop might have one you can use.

As a third alternative, you might consider replacing all the counters so they all look similar.


Thanks for the link. Maybe I'll call around to Staples and a few of the independent printers nearby. Problem is that it's such a small job (everything I need could be printed on a single full sheet!). I'll see what I find.

In restoring some other games I have done exactly as you suggested, but in this case the number and variety of non-standard shapes of the counters would make crafting a new set a big job. I'm trying to take advantage of the availability of blanks that are already cut to the correct shapes.
 
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Jake Staines
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Alternative answer:

- Print your image on transparent sticker paper
- Also print your image on regular paper
- Scribble the back of the regular-paper version with a soft pencil (4-9B)
- Place over your target substrate and firmly trace the outline of the coloured area with a sharp and hard pencil (HB+)
- Lift paper again and reveal transferred graphite from back-scribbling leaves the outline on the substrate
- Carefully fill the transferred outline in with white hobby paint (miniatures paint if you have any, craft paints if you don't). Use a fine brush and aim to get a clean outline.
- Carefully apply the transparent sticker over the top, lining the colour-printed area up with the painted-white area.
 
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Steve Yates
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Purpletriplecrown wrote:
As an aside (and maybe as plan B), can anyone recommend a "fool proof" and methodical process for colour matching printed material with original physical game pieces you are trying to copy? My attempts at trial and error are time consuming, frustrating, and not particularly successful!

Not foolproof by any means, but I developed some tools to help with color matching while restoring pinball machines that could be of some help. They are designed to help find a match from your specific printer. The Color Strips tool can help narrow down a color when you are close.The tools can be found at

http://tools.reelpinball.com/

Instructions for their use are at

http://tools.reelpinball.com/instructions.php
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Purple TripleCrown
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Meaker VI wrote:
Purpletriplecrown wrote:
As an aside (and maybe as plan B), can anyone recommend a "fool proof" and methodical process for colour matching printed material with original physical game pieces you are trying to copy? My attempts at trial and error are time consuming, frustrating, and not particularly successful!


There is no such thing. Matching colors is a time consuming process - what you see on your screen is different from what gets printed is different from what was printed by someone else on a different printer.

I no of no way to print with white, so I can't help you there. All printers I'm aware of assume white paper. Maybe an old pen-plotter or a mill machine loaded with a white marker.


Obviously I'm aware of the differences between screen colour to printed colour and between both to a person's perception of colour of the original component based on finish/etc., which is why I'm asking the question.

What I'm really asking about is a sound approach to playing with the variables:

1. Do you start with adjust brightness/contrast/saturation before adjusting colour? Does it matter where you start?
2. What increments of adjustment do you apply to be able to produce a variety of test prints?
3. How do you deal with the differences between your intended printing paper (which may be too expensive to justify doing dozens of test prints on) and a less expensive "test" paper?
4. Is the there a software which easily allows for a spectrum of adjusted images to be printed on the same page for easy comparison to the original component?
5. Is it necessary or helpful to attempt to calibrate your printer to your display screen before you seek to match to a physical component that you've scanned?
6. What approach do you take to calibrating scans to real world colours of what is being scanned? Do room lighting conditions in the room of the scanner affect scan colours (assuming that the cover is down tightly, but the cover may not completely "seal" against room lighting)? Does the finish of the original item affect colour integrity of the scan?
7. Do you recommend against using any printer driver colour adjustments (vivid, enhanced, image optimization, etc.)?

These are questions that have occurred to me, but they certainly may not be the right questions, or all of the right questions.

I'm sure that someone who reads this group has the experience to make some helpful suggestions as to a sound method to apply.

Much appreciated.

Edit: I posted this simultaneously with the helpful post immediately above it. Thanks.
 
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Purple TripleCrown
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Bichatse wrote:
Alternative answer:

- Print your image on transparent sticker paper
- Also print your image on regular paper
- Scribble the back of the regular-paper version with a soft pencil (4-9B)
- Place over your target substrate and firmly trace the outline of the coloured area with a sharp and hard pencil (HB+)
- Lift paper again and reveal transferred graphite from back-scribbling leaves the outline on the substrate
- Carefully fill the transferred outline in with white hobby paint (miniatures paint if you have any, craft paints if you don't). Use a fine brush and aim to get a clean outline.
- Carefully apply the transparent sticker over the top, lining the colour-printed area up with the painted-white area.


I was intrigued by your answer, but I don't think I understand it.

I could print an image of one of the counters that I am trying to replicate, but what I would get (on a clear sticker) is the coloured background of the image, with the image itself appearing as clear. While the colour of the background might be close to the original counter, it will not be an exact match (barring development of my colour matching technique).

If I follow the rest of your instructions (which are basically a way to create a template for applying white paint onto the blank (but coloured) chit, why would I then cover the colour of the chit with a sticker that may not be an exact match?

I must misunderstand your instructions in some way.
 
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Holger Doessing
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Purpletriplecrown wrote:
1. Do you start with adjust brightness/contrast/saturation before adjusting colour? Does it matter where you start?
2. What increments of adjustment do you apply to be able to produce a variety of test prints?
3. How do you deal with the differences between your intended printing paper (which may be too expensive to justify doing dozens of test prints on) and a less expensive "test" paper?
4. Is the there a software which easily allows for a spectrum of adjusted images to be printed on the same page for easy comparison to the original component?

I recall seeing a product from this company a couple of years ago. It was a device you attached to your monitor. You would then run some software that displayed a range of colors and the device would work out a color profile for your specific monitor.

I also remember reading about companies that would have you print out their sample page and then send them the printout. They would then analyze the print and generate a profile for your printer.

Other hints can probably be found here: http://www.colorwiki.com/wiki/How_To_Get_My_Monitor_To_Match...


Generally, a printer profile matches that printer on that specific paper using those exact inks. If you switch to another paper (even the same brand, but a different grammage), you need a different profile.

When you print you often get an option in the print dialog window to move the print about on the page. This way you can feed the previously printed sheet back into the printer and just move the printout to an available spot on the paper. I've done this at my local print shop, where you pay per sheet.

Purpletriplecrown wrote:
5. Is it necessary or helpful to attempt to calibrate your printer to your display screen before you seek to match to a physical component that you've scanned?

It's a fairly complicated topic. As hinted above, you need to establish a color profile for both your monitor and your printer. If you are using scanned material you also need to have a good profile for your scanner.

Purpletriplecrown wrote:
6. What approach do you take to calibrating scans to real world colours of what is being scanned? Do room lighting conditions in the room of the scanner affect scan colours (assuming that the cover is down tightly, but the cover may not completely "seal" against room lighting)? Does the finish of the original item affect colour integrity of the scan?

Unless you have a very high-end monitor exact color profiling is almost impossible to attain. The viewing angle between your eyes and the monitor changes as you sit up or slouch an anything in between, and for many monitors the viewing angle affects the colors you see. Changes in gamma are quite easy to notice.

Scanning anything that is irregular is a problem. A lot of gaming materials have linen-like patterns laminated onto or embossed into them. They become very visible once you scan them, and they are very hard to get rid of. Another issue is that, even though you scan at ridiculous resolution, you'll often see moiré effects from the offset printing dot pattern. The solution is to apply blur, but scanning and re-printing typically doesn't yield those crisp black edges you see in the original material, so now you're fighting a battle on two fronts.

Purpletriplecrown wrote:
7. Do you recommend against using any printer driver colour adjustments (vivid, enhanced, image optimization, etc.)?

If you're just trying to get your pics out of the computer, then experiment to see what yields the best print. But if you're serious about color profiling: gulp shake blush yuk

Since we've already begun peeking into the rabbit hole I feel I should also point out that the lighting in the room, where your calibrated monitor sits, matters. The color temperature of natural light changes throughout the day, whereas that of your monitor doesn't, so it is much preferred to only use consistent artificial lighting when you compare the colors on your monitor against your prints or original gaming materials.

So is it all worth it? Most likely not. Accept that there is no easy way to matching colors and rejoice whenever you manage to get it right. Alternatively, one of the previous commenters suggested that you redo all the tiles; I'd second that.

By the way, I'm also looking for a solution to print stickers with white ink. I saw number of companies that offered to do transparent stickers with white ink, but most either required minimum orders of, say, 500 USD, or they had terrible customer reputations. If you manage to find something useful and affordable, please send me a geekmail.
 
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Purple TripleCrown
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holgerd wrote:
Purpletriplecrown wrote:
1. Do you start with adjust brightness/contrast/saturation before adjusting colour? Does it matter where you start?
2. What increments of adjustment do you apply to be able to produce a variety of test prints?
3. How do you deal with the differences between your intended printing paper (which may be too expensive to justify doing dozens of test prints on) and a less expensive "test" paper?
4. Is the there a software which easily allows for a spectrum of adjusted images to be printed on the same page for easy comparison to the original component?

I recall seeing a product from this company a couple of years ago. It was a device you attached to your monitor. You would then run some software that displayed a range of colors and the device would work out a color profile for your specific monitor.

I also remember reading about companies that would have you print out their sample page and then send them the printout. They would then analyze the print and generate a profile for your printer.

Other hints can probably be found here: http://www.colorwiki.com/wiki/How_To_Get_My_Monitor_To_Match...


Generally, a printer profile matches that printer on that specific paper using those exact inks. If you switch to another paper (even the same brand, but a different grammage), you need a different profile.

When you print you often get an option in the print dialog window to move the print about on the page. This way you can feed the previously printed sheet back into the printer and just move the printout to an available spot on the paper. I've done this at my local print shop, where you pay per sheet.

Purpletriplecrown wrote:
5. Is it necessary or helpful to attempt to calibrate your printer to your display screen before you seek to match to a physical component that you've scanned?

It's a fairly complicated topic. As hinted above, you need to establish a color profile for both your monitor and your printer. If you are using scanned material you also need to have a good profile for your scanner.

Purpletriplecrown wrote:
6. What approach do you take to calibrating scans to real world colours of what is being scanned? Do room lighting conditions in the room of the scanner affect scan colours (assuming that the cover is down tightly, but the cover may not completely "seal" against room lighting)? Does the finish of the original item affect colour integrity of the scan?

Unless you have a very high-end monitor exact color profiling is almost impossible to attain. The viewing angle between your eyes and the monitor changes as you sit up or slouch an anything in between, and for many monitors the viewing angle affects the colors you see. Changes in gamma are quite easy to notice.

Scanning anything that is irregular is a problem. A lot of gaming materials have linen-like patterns laminated onto or embossed into them. They become very visible once you scan them, and they are very hard to get rid of. Another issue is that, even though you scan at ridiculous resolution, you'll often see moiré effects from the offset printing dot pattern. The solution is to apply blur, but scanning and re-printing typically doesn't yield those crisp black edges you see in the original material, so now you're fighting a battle on two fronts.

Purpletriplecrown wrote:
7. Do you recommend against using any printer driver colour adjustments (vivid, enhanced, image optimization, etc.)?

If you're just trying to get your pics out of the computer, then experiment to see what yields the best print. But if you're serious about color profiling: gulp shake blush yuk

Since we've already begun peeking into the rabbit hole I feel I should also point out that the lighting in the room, where your calibrated monitor sits, matters. The color temperature of natural light changes throughout the day, whereas that of your monitor doesn't, so it is much preferred to only use consistent artificial lighting when you compare the colors on your monitor against your prints or original gaming materials.

So is it all worth it? Most likely not. Accept that there is no easy way to matching colors and rejoice whenever you manage to get it right. Alternatively, one of the previous commenters suggested that you redo all the tiles; I'd second that.

By the way, I'm also looking for a solution to print stickers with white ink. I saw number of companies that offered to do transparent stickers with white ink, but most either required minimum orders of, say, 500 USD, or they had terrible customer reputations. If you manage to find something useful and affordable, please send me a geekmail.


Many thanks for your helpful reply!
 
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John "Omega" Williams
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Question: What is the transparent sticker being applied to? Some dark colour I assume?

One trick is to do a negative.

You use a white underbase and then the area you want printed white you instead do as a blank with the tiles intended undercolour as whats printed to the sticker.
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Purpletriplecrown wrote:

I could print an image of one of the counters that I am trying to replicate, but what I would get (on a clear sticker) is the coloured background of the image, with the image itself appearing as clear. While the colour of the background might be close to the original counter, it will not be an exact match (barring development of my colour matching technique).

Then make it a different color on purpose: contrasting or neutral, much lighter or darker shade. It's much easier than color matching.
 
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