Staccato Screening: Screening Explained

To understand why Staccato completely outperforms conventional screening methods to deliver true photographic quality results we need to look at the difference between Staccato and a normal AM screen.

The halftone dots in a conventional AM halftone screen are arranged on a grid. Larger dots are rendered for darker tonal values while smaller dots are used for lighter values – hence the term Amplitude Modulated (dot size controlled) screen, or AM screen. When viewed from a distance these dots create the illusion of a continuous tone reproduction.
AM screens are characterized by the spacing of dots in terms of frequency, ruling or mesh, and the screen angle, with each ink colour printed at a different angle. This produces patterns, or rosettes, that can be seen with the naked eye.
Because each rosette is made up of a small number of fairly large dots, it's impossible for fine details to be reproduced since the rosettes effectively cover them up.
In Staccato screening very small dots are arranged in a random pattern. Dark tones are rendered with more dots and light tones with fewer dots – hence the term Frequency Modulated (quantity controlled) screen, or FM screen.
Random distribution of the dots eliminates patterns and the rosettes that characterize AM screens.
The microdot structure leads to real photographic quality print and means very fine details can be reproduced with ease. Staccato screens are truly amazing when fine details, smooth tints or small text needs to be reproduced.

See Also:

Expanded Color Range
Photo Quality Print
Small Type & Illustrations
Simulating Spot Colours

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