In recent years there has been a renewed interest in modeling the halftone microstructure to better control the colors produced in a halftone image. Diffusion of light within the paper has a significant effect on the halftone color; this effect is known as optical dot gain or the Yule–Neilsen effect. Because of diffusion, a photon may exit the paper from a different region of the halftone microstructure than that into which it entered the paper. To account rigorously for this effect requires knowledge of the paper’s point-spread function or, equivalently, the paper’s modulation transfer function (MTF). A new technique for measuring the MTF of paper—the series-expansion bar-target technique—is introduced. The method uses a bar target, but the analysis more closely resembles that of the edge-gradient technique. In the series-expansion method, bar-target image data are expanded into a Fourier series, and the paper’s MTF is given by the series-expansion coefficients. It differs from the typical bar-target analysis in that the typical method plots the amplitude of the fundamental frequency component for several targets of varying frequency, whereas the series-expansion method plots the amplitude of the fundamental and its harmonics for a single target. Two possible techniques for measuring the MTF with the bar-target series-expansion method are considered. In the first, the image of the bar target is projected onto the paper, and in the second, the bar target is placed directly on the paper, in close contact.
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