Computer to film

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ScanView photosetter DotMate5000
For other uses, see CTF.

Computer to Film (CTF) is a print workflow involving the printing from a computer, straight to film. This film is then burned onto a lithographic plate, using a plate burner. The plate is then put on an offset printing press to make a product (usually around 100.000 copies, then you have to make a new plate.). This process requires a clean environment, skilled workers, and a well thought out proofing system / workflow to maximize quality.

With technological advancement in heat stabilization of polyester film, new generation Laser Printer Films provide excellent image registration and sharpness for multi-colour jobs. For multi-coloured jobs the image is broken down using special software for CMYK printing. Each of these four images is printed on a separate laser film. The films are then used to expose pre-sensitized plates using U.V lights.

Compared to C-T-P Plates the cost of maintaining and running a CTF system is much cheaper, although it does require an additional step in the plate making process.

CTF is being replaced with the more advanced CTP (Computer to Plate) technology.

See also[edit]