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ImageNest RIP review V2 update

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ImageNest RIP review V2 update

Review update – Version 2.1



The ImageNest RIP (V2.1 from Blue Cubit (a Multi-Image Layout Tool for Mac OSX) is aimed at giving a usable interface for page layout your large format printer.

This short update reflects some of the features appearing since our original review.

printing with z3200

The functionality is described in much greater detail in the original ImageNest review.

The ImageNest RIP

The software (V2.1) is only currently available for Apple Macs. We’ve tested it on a current (Intel) Mac Pro under OSX 10.6

It’s been upgraded over time, and when recently reviewing the Epson 3880 printer I had a look at driving it via ImageNest. The 3880, not having a roll paper option is perhaps not the sort of printer you might think of using IN with, but since the software supports as many printers as you’ve got, it’s easy to try.

There is a downloadable demo available.

The software drives any connected printer (and makes PDFs), although I decided not to try it on the office label printer…

The advertised updates in V2, over what we tested last year (V1.2) are

  • Improved Nesting/Fitting Algorithm
  • Image/File Annotation
  • Image Borders (Custom frames)
  • Soft Proofing
  • PDF Creation
  • 64 Bit Processing
  • Updated PostScript Level III support
  • Faster Image Processing

It just so happens that I have a load of my recent wedding pictures to print out to show as proofs.

I’ll print them out of sheets of A2 paper (some 250 images).

paper size selection

Images are easily loaded, and the software quickly lays them out.

multiple image layout options on single sheets

You can manually lay out images, or the program very quickly optimises layout for a better fit (less paper) or to minimise the amount of cutting needed.

print layout options

An interesting feature of the latest software is the provison of ‘snap-to’ guides to enable more accurate manual alignment of images. I normally rely on the automatic placement, such as with the examples here. The manual options are of more use I find with sets of images of differing sizes.

The software has a lot of options when it comes to annotating printed images.

annotating multiple images

I’ve set it to simple file names, since the prints would be used for people to order what they want.

detailed Image annotation options

If you run the 64 bit version of ImageNest (selected via the ‘Get Info’ option for the application) you can get ImageNest to handle colour management for you – or you can use ColorSync (built into Mac OSX) to sort things out.

If I was printing black and white images on the 3880 (or my own 7880) I could use the Epson Driver’s ABW mode

printer colour management options

All the installed profiles are available.

available printer profiles

The new version has support for soft proofing, so you can get an idea what your images will look like when printed. It can take a bit of practice to get the benefits from this – I’ve more info on the subject in an article/review I wrote about print viewing.

Once happy with settings, I’ve just hit the ‘Print’ icon and I get the normal print driver dialogue.

print dialog - 3880 and ImageNest

Fourteen sheets of wedding pictures on their way…

multiple sheets printed

Although perhaps more usually thought of as a product you’d use with a printer with roll paper, it worked very well with sheet paper on the 3880 and saved me a lot of messing round in Photoshop.

Conclusions

Version 2 adds to the flexibility of a useful piece of Mac OSX software.

I know of several wedding and portrait photographers using it for their proofs and general print layout.

Available from Blue Cubit.

Pricing (Supports multiple printers with no additional cost and any printer smaller is supported).

  • ImageNest Desktop $59 – For any printer 13 inches wide or smaller.
  • ImageNest Small $99 – For any printer 17 inches wide or smaller.
  • ImageNest Medium $249 – For any printer 24 inches wide or smaller.
  • ImageNest Large $449 – For any printer 44 inches wide or smaller.
  • ImageNest X-Large $549 – For any printer 64 inches wide or smaller.
More print related information

For information about other printers, paper reviews and profiling (colour management) see the Printing section of the main Articles and Reviews page, or use the search box at the top of any page. There are also specific index pages for any articles connected with the following topics:

 


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