Unlimited, Summer, 4th Edition and French/German Test Prints

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cataclysm80
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Post by cataclysm80 » Fri Jun 20, 2014 7:21 am

Neuron wrote:
ende73 wrote:
I checked through my cards and feel safe in confirming the Konnen fliegen Waldfeen is from German FWB or German WB REV (unlimitierte) and not from 4th. This is based on me owning several Konnen fliegen versions and no Fliegend ones and since I only bought some German FWB or German WB REV packs in 1995 (i.e. the ones with dual lands) and no GER 4th edition ones.
I have Birds of Paradise from DU and 4th (recognizable easily through the shape of the "i" dot) and they both have "Können fliegen".
Looks like Neuron had it right. Both German 3rd & German 4th Scryb Sprites use the "Können fliegen" phrase.
More info on that can be found here http://www.magiclibrarities.net/forum/v ... php?t=9321

I have each version now, and will try to do an alignment comparison sometime to see if the test print Waldfeen matches anything.

Tav

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B_UN|T
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Post by B_UN|T » Sun Jun 22, 2014 1:41 pm

Hey from germany;)
Sorry find this thread to late.
Will check my binders about german Scryb Sprites.
But i think i can give you scans from ger 4th, ger Introductory Two-Player Set Cards and 5th ger.
I will check it after work
My Summer Edgar Common Project
http://mtg-summer-edgar.blogspot.de

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Post by Neuron » Fri Jun 27, 2014 11:06 pm

B_UN|T wrote:Hey from germany;)
Sorry find this thread to late.
Will check my binders about german Scryb Sprites.
But i think i can give you scans from ger 4th, ger Introductory Two-Player Set Cards and 5th ger.
I will check it after work
Hi,

scans of your German 4th Edition cards would be very welcome. See here:

http://magiclibrarities.net/forum/viewt ... 3334#83334

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Post by cataclysm80 » Fri Aug 22, 2014 8:58 pm

Daniel Chang recently posted a textless Island for sale on Facebook. It was acquired with a lot of other test prints and a full set of Summer.

I scanned Unlimited, Revised, & 4th Islands and photoshopped them together with the Summer and textless that Daniel scanned. I did not adjust any colors at all. (I added the German test print version from elsewhere just for fun.) This is not an ideal situation because the images are put together from two different scanners, but this is as good as we will get until one of us has all of these cards in the same place and can scan them all together at the same time.

Images of Summer Island & Textless Island are provided by VintageMagic.com, LLC. Their website will be launching December 2014 @ www.vintagemagic.com
Please check our their social media channels:
www.facebook.com/vintagemtg
www.twitter.com/vintagemtg
www.instagram.com/vintagemtg
www.youtube.com/gradedmagiccards

Image


Even though that isn't a perfect comparison, it does resemble the textless Samite Healer comparison I had done previously.

Image


I contacted Daniel about any textless cards he might have, and was able to pick up this textless Blue Elemental Blast for my global set. Here is its comparison. I Scanned all of these cards together here on my scanner. This should allow for the accurate comparisons of these cards...

Cards are arranged as follows...
Unlimited
Summer, Textless, 4th
German test print, Revised, Armada Comics promo

Image

and the back sides...
Cards are arranged exactly the same (each card flipped individually)
Unlimited
Summer, Textless, 4th
German test print, Revised, Armada Comics promo

Image

I hope to do some more in depth comparisons soon, such as measurements, etc.

Tav

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Re: Unlimited, Summer, 4th Edition and French/German Test Prints

Post by cataclysm80 » Sun Aug 30, 2015 9:10 pm

Regarding the Unlimited cards with backs that show Unlimited & Antiquities cards double printed over each other with gray borders…

I frequently hear of these gray bordered cards being referred to as test prints. They’re even mentioned as such at the very beginning of this thread. For some time, I’ve felt that these gray bordered cards are Not test prints. I now own some of these cards, and can do a thorough personal inspection of them. I’ve also tracked down where this rumor came from and interviewed Dave Howell, the source of the original statement which caused this misunderstanding.

I can now confirm that these gray bordered cards are Not test prints.


Here is a link to the Librarities thread where people started calling the gray bordered cards test prints.
viewtopic.php?f=15&t=2806&hilit=Unlimit ... mited+Back

Here is a quote from that thread.
Ralph Herold wrote: It was indeed me who told pickle.69 that a grey border was tested as an alternative to the white border in the earliest days of Magic. I believe I had received this information from Dave Howell, former production manager of WotC and registered member of this forum named snarke. I may even have found the information on his website Magic - A Historical Perspective (a link can be found in the Links section) which is unfortunately offline at the moment. Maybe Dave will comment on this topic himself, otherwise I will contact him.
As mentioned, Dave’s website was offline when Ralph made that statement. Fortunately, Dave’s website is now available again.
Here is a link to Dave’s website.
http://howell.seattle.wa.us/games/mtg/

Specifically, the page titled “The Regathering” is where the reference to gray borders comes from. Here is a link to that page of the website.
http://howell.seattle.wa.us/games/mtg/Regathering.html

Here is a quote of the reference to gray borders from that page.
snarke wrote: Our original plan had been to mark unlimited sets with a gray, not white border. (And I don't mean silver, either.) We found out later this was technically too difficult, and had to settle for the much less esthetically satisfying white.
In this context, “unlimited sets” does not mean the set named Unlimited, it means all sets which are not limited edition. Unlimited, Revised, 4th edition, 5th edition, 6th edition, 7th edition, 8th edition, etc. were all “unlimited sets” as signified by their white border.

There has been some confusion over whether the gray borders were intended for Unlimited or Revised. Here is why.
The game designers started to work on Revised BEFORE Unlimited. There were a few unfinished attempts to create a Revised set before the actual Revised set was released. Dave refers to these unfinished attempts as “Regathering”. Internally, this project was known by many names, MTG2, 2nd edition, Tap Cards, Revised Edition.

Here is a more detailed accounting of the order of events.
After film had been burned for the Beta cards which needed updated and sent to Carta Mundi for printing, work began on a revised and updated set of cards.
snarke wrote: It started out when Richard, Skaff, possibly Jim, and myself were trying to define the difference between mono and poly artifacts. At some point, I realized that the only difference between them was that mono artifacts functioned like land ("Tap to") and poly artifacts worked like enchantments, so we could drop the distinction and just call all of them "Artifacts" by simply requiring tapping or not as a cost when using an artifact. "Since it's functionally a cost, just like a mana cost, we could even dispense with saying "tap to" entirely, and just have some kind of tap symbol instead." I know, it seems terribly obvious now. :) The logical extension was to use the tap symbol for all magic cards that tapped. I also came up with the tipped-T for the symbol. It later had to be replaced with the arrow-version when we started doing other languages because the word for "tap" doesn't always begin with a "T".
The idea was to run a new set of films for the 2nd edition, with a bunch of improved or revised text for the cards. The original plan was another, larger, limited edition with changed card backs. It's called "Magic, the GATHERING" because it was the first edition. The next one was going to be "Magic: something else". Which, of course, would have made the backs different. But PrePrint had a serous bug in it, which was making a mess of the mana symbols. In order to fix it, I actually walked right into their offices and made them fix the problem while I waited. The solution was upgrading from 1.5.1 to 1.6. "You call us and order it and we'll send you the upgrade." "How long?" "About a week." "Not acceptable. This is supposed to have shipped yesterday. Upgrade me right now. I'll wait." In the end, we decided to give up, because we had to get to work on Arabian Nights. However, that meant we would run out of core set cards. So that's why we came up with the idea of "unlimited."
The following link contains information about a locally made test print for this first unfinished attempt at a revised set. Notice that the text has been updated and includes mana symbols in the text boxes. Notice that Mono and Poly artifacts are just called Artifacts, while Continuous Artifacts are still labeled as Continuous. Notice the tap symbols.
viewtopic.php?f=4&t=9189
The tap symbol was used internally on playtest cards for Arabian Nights & Antiquities, but was not seen publicly until a core set with an updated instruction booklet came out to explain it.

At that time, Arabian Nights was also planned to have a different card back.

Gary Adkison
mystical_tutor wrote: The work on the release of Unlimited was not much more than a phone call. Arabian Nights was in the planning stages early on (as a different game).
Cathleen Adkison wrote: My recollection is that Unlimited came out as a result of the Alpha and Beta selling out at such a speed that we realized we needed more cards to fill the gap...even though we'd planned to make some game adjustments to the cards that clearly needed some revising. Unlimited filled the space between the original release of the base card game and the release of Revised. Revised is what we'd always planned to have after the initial set but there just wasn't time.
Carol Monahan wrote: "Unlimited" was a stop-gap, but it was directed at the same sales space as "Revised" and all the white-border sets which followed - it was for the game player who just needed cards, rather than the collector. We knew we needed to fill both of those needs. 
snarke wrote: Unlimited is simply Beta with white borders. We just called Carta Mundi and said "can you change the border color on the films you have now?" We wanted Unlimited to be gray bordered, but Carta Mundi made it clear that would have required either a 'screen' of little black dots or paying to have a spot color on the press. They could only do solid color modifications with tape. That meant black, white, red, yellow, green, cyan, magenta, or dark blue. The color options would have looked hideous against some of the card colors, so white it was. Carta Mundi did the equivalent of laying strips of white tape between the images on the printing plate films. They created a new set of printing plates, but the plates were made from the same films that they'd used for beta.
Paying for a spot color on the press was not an extra expense that WotC was willing to incur, and creating borders with a screen of little black dots to simulate gray would have required burning more film, which would also have been an extra expense. Using white tape on the Beta films to make new printing plates saved money, not only from spot color fees and film burning / shipping costs, but the white border cards would use less ink during printing. It also saved time because Carta Mundi could get started right away. No gray border test prints were made by Carta Mundi.

I’ll take a moment here to explain what is meant by “screen of little black dots”.
On the first sets of cards that were made (Alpha, Beta, Collector’s Edition, International Collector’s Edition, square corner artist proofs, and Unlimited), the text of the card name, card type, and artist credit was gray.
The printer only uses 4 colors of ink. They are Cyan (blue), Magenta (red), Yellow, and Black. (any additional colors needed are called spot colors and increase the cost of printing) By placing the ink onto the cardstock in small dots and controlling the size and quantity of dots, different colors are simulated. For example, an area that contained small blue dots and small red dots would appear purple to the naked eye, but under magnification you can see the individual colored dots. Similarly, red and yellow would make orange, while yellow and blue would make green. Blue, red, and yellow together make brown. Black dots make an area appear to be darker. There is no white ink. White space is simply unprinted cardstock showing through. Gray is simulated with small black dots on the white cardstock. The shade of gray can be controlled by changing the quantity and size of the black dots.
Here is a scan showing a close up view of the gray text on a Beta card. Notice the “screen of little black dots” that make the text gray.
Image

That image also clearly shows the black border of the card having two different shades of color. The inner portion is mostly black, but also contains dots of blue, red, and yellow. This is called rich black and was on the Alpha and Beta films that WotC sent to Carta Mundi.
snarke wrote: When Photoshop (or maybe PrePrint) converted the image from RGB to CMYK, it did it by doing something like 80% black, with 20% cyan, magenta, and yellow. That would, in theory, create something that looked "black," but would blend much better with other colored areas nearby. However, if there are variations in ink density, the complex black will end up coming out different than a simple 100% black with no other inks.
The outer portion of the black border is plain black. That was not on the film from WotC, and was added by Carta Mundi to fill the blank white space between the cards on the film. This was likely done with black tape on the film before making the printing plates, very similar to how white tape was later used to make the Unlimited cards. Some cards show a white “dot” (actually more of a little triangle) in the corners between the two black borders.

For the next sets of cards that were made (Arabian Nights, Antiquities, and Revised), the text of the card name, card type, and artist credit was not gray, but instead a very similar color of light brown comprised of blue, red, and yellow dots.
Image

On sets after that, the text of the card name, card type, and artist credit was practically white, containing very few colored dots.
Image



After Arabian Nights was sent to Carta Mundi for printing, another attempt was made to revise the core set.
snarke wrote: Our second attempt to release a new core set was after Arabian Nights, so we had a list of which 1st edition cards were going to be replaced with Arabian Nights cards. The list is from a version of the master card-text file with a timestamp of December 3, 1993. I don't remember why we didn't release that one.
The following link contains some sheet printouts from this second attempt.
viewtopic.php?f=5&t=6375

The reason this version wasn’t released probably has something to do with needing to get to work on Antiquities.
snarke wrote: I vividly remember being all set to leave early for Christmas so I could go skiing before the holidays, and then having to cancel those plans because the designers & editors kept making changes to Antiquities and blew their deadline, and then there was some kind of production problem with *those* films, so I lost about 3 days and had to skip the ski trip.

After Antiquities was sent to Carta Mundi for printing, a third attempt was made to revise the core set.
snarke wrote: This version came from an internal memorandum I circulated.
Note the reference to "MTG2," referring to the first major change to the card set since the initial release, even though this would eventually become the "3rd" edition.
The file timestamp is January 15th, 1994, 2:54 pm
Here is the complete list (I hope!) of what cards that were in
MTG1 have been replaced with expansion cards in MTG2…
This third attempt was seen through to completion and became the set that we all know as Revised.
During that process, a test print was done to show what the other solid color tapes that Carta Mundi had available during Unlimited would look like as card borders.
The following link contains more information on these colored border test prints.
viewtopic.php?f=4&t=9476


Now that you understand why there was confusion over whether the gray borders were intended for Unlimited or Revised, and that gray border test prints were not made by Carta Mundi, let’s take a closer look at these gray bordered cards.

Image

Image

This is an Unlimited Samite Healer and an Antiquities Ivory Tower printed over each other.

You can tell that the Samite is from Unlimited by the black dots which make the card name appear gray, the beveled edge which Revised does not have, and the lack of a tap symbol.

Notice that the gray border is not comprised of a screen of little black dots like the gray Samite card name. Gray ink was not used as a spot color in the printing of either Unlimited or Antiquities. Notice that the gray border appears mottled. It is not as uniform as a spot color would be.

You can see that the card is miscut and showing a couple more cards at the top. By looking at uncut sheets, I’ve determined that these other cards are an Unlimited Drain Life (black card) and an Antiquities Circle of Protection: Artifacts (white card).

Notice that it is the Antiquities cards which have the gray border. You do not see the gray border printed at the edges of the Unlimited cards.

Antiquities was a black bordered set. Look at the other black portions of the Antiquities card such as the rules text in the text box and the expansion symbol. Notice that they also printed as a lighter shade. The gray borders were clearly caused by a problem with the printing of the Antiquities card.

We all know that Unlimited was printed before Antiquities. The Antiquities cards are printed on top of the Unlimited cards.
snarke wrote: The overprinted card: no, not a gray test. That's just somebody feeding a finished Unlimited sheet through the printing press. Since Unlimited was white border and Antiquites was black border, the black was being printed onto the paper AFTER the clear varnish coat had been applied. Result: the ink was repelled, causing it to bead up, creating that weird grayish mottled look.
When cards are double printed, the first image printed remains most visible because it was able to properly print with the ink in the porous cardstock, while the second image printed is typically lighter due to the ink not being able to contact the cardstock.

These gray bordered double printed cards are not test prints.
They are most likely scrap sheets which were used to set up the printing presses at Carta Mundi.
Test prints are created with special attention to details and would not be printed on top of an already printed sheet because that would make it very difficult to analyze the test print. (remember the gray border here is part of the Antiquities image that was printed on top of the Unlimited cards) For the same reasons, it’s pretty unlikely that test prints would be miscut. They’re made in small batches and closely monitored.
Some have suggested that these cards are scrap sheets of test prints. The evidence above shows that they are not test prints at all, scrap or otherwise.

To be clear, I don’t think that they are at all devalued by not being test prints. They are really amazing and cool cards which are worth quite a bit of money. I like them very much.

Tav

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Re: Unlimited, Summer, 4th Edition and French/German Test Prints

Post by dragsamou » Sun Sep 06, 2015 3:12 pm

Hi Tav

Brilliant explanations. That's why I never labeled those as Test Prints in the subsections, cause being the first one who got 2 of them, and asking info about it as I always do back in the years, never it was mentioned to me that they were Test Prints. Also according to my sources, the second sheet that was uncut at the basis, and with the Square corners cards ones showing up recently, never was cut by anyone at Carta Mundi back in the years, this was done not so long ago for "merchandising" purposes, like most of the uncut sheets....I will add more info in the proper subsection, in between more pics of the Square cut ones have been added as well as internal link of this topic.
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Re: Unlimited, Summer, 4th Edition and French/German Test Prints

Post by cataclysm80 » Mon Sep 07, 2015 5:05 am

Thank You Alexis, it's good to have you back here again!
dragsamou wrote: Also according to my sources, the second sheet that was uncut at the basis, and with the Square corners cards ones showing up recently, never was cut by anyone at Carta Mundi back in the years, this was done not so long ago for "merchandising" purposes, like most of the uncut sheets....I will add more info in the proper subsection, in between more pics of the Square cut ones have been added as well as internal link of this topic.
I'd have to agree with your sources. The ones showing up recently are slightly curved as if they were cut from a sheet which had been stored rolled.

Tav

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Re: Unlimited, Summer, 4th Edition and French/German Test Prints

Post by cataclysm80 » Mon Dec 21, 2015 6:45 am

Note: In the above topic on the Gray bordered cards, I quoted several WotC employees who said that Unlimited had very little planning or design, basically amounting to a half hour international phone call. There were no Unlimited test prints. This means that the textless forest which is claimed to be an Unlimited test print is probably not one. It IS a test print, just not from Unlimited.

My own opinion is that it looks very much like the other textless test prints which are known to exist, and it's probably one of those. I may be able to confirm that by looking at the clock position (angle) of the colored dots on the card if we could get a very high resolution scan.

The textless test prints seem to have been created when the .tiff background files were modified between Fallen Empires and Italian Edition.
They have a different clock position (angle) of the colored dots than Summer, so they are definitely not Summer.
Also, Summer is before the .tiff background file change, and these textless test prints are definitely after.
I plan to explain the clock position differences more in depth in a future post.


The German with French copyright test prints have a slightly lighter colored back than regular cards.
BEB = Blue Elemental Blast (It was to much to type out on the picture.)
This Mesa Pegasus/Scryb Sprite is one of the cards from Amy Weber.

I've used a loupe to look very closely at the card edges, and comparing them to regular cards with blue layer cardstock, along with Traditional Chinese 4th edition cards which use a black layer cardstock.
All three of these German with French copyright test prints appear to have black layer cardstock.

I dislike the bend test. It stresses the fibers of the card. If you bend anything enough times, it will eventually fail the bend test. Card stock thickens and stiffens with age & humidity, and real cards sometimes fail the bend test. I will continue to suggest that people do not do the bend test.
I have just tried the bend test on my BEB/Unholy test print, & my Samite/Grizzly test print. Corner to corner, all the way until they touched. No creases. Both came back flat and are just fine.

Enrico has successfully bend tested an Amy Weber Mesa Pegasus/Scryb Sprite already, so I didn't feel the need to try mine.

Tav

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Re: Unlimited, Summer, 4th Edition and French/German Test Prints

Post by dragsamou » Mon Dec 21, 2015 8:23 am

cataclysm80 wrote:Note: In the above topic on the Gray bordered cards, I quoted several WotC employees who said that Unlimited had very little planning or design, basically amounting to a half hour international phone call. There were no Unlimited test prints. This means that the textless forest which is claimed to be an Unlimited test print is probably not one. It IS a test print, just not from Unlimited.

My own opinion is that it looks very much like the other textless test prints which are known to exist, and it's probably one of those. I may be able to confirm that by looking at the clock position (angle) of the colored dots on the card if we could get a very high resolution scan.

The textless test prints seem to have been created when the .tiff background files were modified between Fallen Empires and Italian Edition.
They have a different clock position (angle) of the colored dots than Summer, so they are definitely not Summer.
Also, Summer is before the .tiff background file change, and these textless test prints are definitely after.
I plan to explain the clock position differences more in depth in a future post.
Hi Tav

I agree with you about the Unlimited very little planning or design, it was confirmed to me as well. Regarding the "Unlimited" Test print, I did add that info coming from the owner of the card, as you know, I rely on what members are telling me from info that was provided to them years ago, but whenever we have proof that the primary info was inaccurate, I always update it with the latest one, I have done that so many times already. I don't own the 2 cards, and it was sent to me as pics not scans, but I will gladly send you the original pics not cropped so you can have a better look at them.

cataclysm80 wrote:The German with French copyright test prints have a slightly lighter colored back than regular cards.
BEB = Blue Elemental Blast (It was to much to type out on the picture.)
This Mesa Pegasus/Scryb Sprite is one of the cards from Amy Weber.

I've used a loupe to look very closely at the card edges, and comparing them to regular cards with blue layer cardstock, along with Traditional Chinese 4th edition cards which use a black layer cardstock.
All three of these German with French copyright test prints appear to have black layer cardstock.

I dislike the bend test. It stresses the fibers of the card. If you bend anything enough times, it will eventually fail the bend test. Card stock thickens and stiffens with age & humidity, and real cards sometimes fail the bend test. I will continue to suggest that people do not do the bend test.
I have just tried the bend test on my BEB/Unholy test print, & my Samite/Grizzly test print. Corner to corner, all the way until they touched. No creases. Both came back flat and are just fine.

Enrico has successfully bend tested an Amy Weber Mesa Pegasus/Scryb Sprite already, so I didn't feel the need to try mine.

Tav

Image
After our long chat about those, we definately need to try to solve that mystery. As I own, a bunch of those, I will take HQ scans of the backs, I send you already some of them and use a precision scale in a way that we could spot hopefully the difference between what I believe was different runs of Test Printings. As I don't own any of the Walfdeen from Amy or the newest batch that shows up those last years with the same regular back, only some from might be the very first batch with so many variations on the backs. Maybe, we would be able to tell if there was difference in the cardstock used in those Test Prints, why some can go through the bend test while others don't, then we will update the info accordingly to the results. It will be more difficult to find out why Only one Artist did received 50 of them as a finished product, why one owner have 17 BEB/Unholy test print, cause some others are amazingly scarce to find up to know and to estimate that 17 to 50 of each test prints exist is a wrong info to provide till we know more about it.
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Re: Unlimited, Summer, 4th Edition and French/German Test Prints

Post by cataclysm80 » Tue Dec 29, 2015 4:24 am

dragsamou wrote: I agree with you about the Unlimited very little planning or design, it was confirmed to me as well. Regarding the "Unlimited" Test print, I did add that info coming from the owner of the card, as you know, I rely on what members are telling me from info that was provided to them years ago, but whenever we have proof that the primary info was inaccurate, I always update it with the latest one, I have done that so many times already. I don't own the 2 cards, and it was sent to me as pics not scans, but I will gladly send you the original pics not cropped so you can have a better look at them.
It would be nice to look at the original pics not cropped.
The photo is probably not good enough to see the kind of detail that I'd be looking for, but it couldn't hurt to look.

Tav

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Re: Unlimited, Summer, 4th Edition and French/German Test Prints

Post by cataclysm80 » Tue Dec 29, 2015 4:32 am

cataclysm80 wrote: The textless test prints seem to have been created when the .tiff background files were modified between Fallen Empires and Italian Edition.
They have a different clock position (angle) of the colored dots than Summer, so they are definitely not Summer.
Also, Summer is before the .tiff background file change, and these textless test prints are definitely after.
I plan to explain the clock position differences more in depth in a future post.

First, a very brief explanation of the printing process.
Magic cards are printed on a 4 color offset printing press. This is called CMYK. Each letter stands for a color.
C = Cyan (Blue)
M = Magenta (Red)
Y = Yellow
K = Black (actually K stands for Key, but in this instance, Black is the Key color)
Wizards of the Coast designs the cards and has them halftoned and color separated.
Halftoning changes the solid image they work with into an image comprised of many tiny dots. There are only dots of the 4 colors mentioned above, with all other colors being simulated by overlapping these 4 colors and adjusting the size and space between the tiny dots.
(For Example: Tiny Yellow & Blue dots together will appear Green. More white space between the dots will be a lighter color. Less space (or no space) between the dots will be a darker color. Additional black dots would make the color even darker.)
Color separating turns the one image comprised of all 4 colors into 4 images, each with only one of the colors. This is done because each color is printed separately.
Wizards of the Coast burns the color separations onto film and sends that film to Carta Mundi to be printed.
Carta Mundi uses the film color separations to make a printing plate for each color. (The film is saved in case duplicate plates need made.)
Each sheet of cards is printed on by each color so that the finished product has all 4 colors and looks like it's supposed to.
Then the sheets are cut into individual cards.


Here's some additional information about halftoning that is important for what I'm about to go over.
The dots of each color are in a grid.
Because we don't want all the dots of one color to be completely covered by the dots of the next color printed, each colors grid of dots is rotated to a different angle. (This may be easier to understand if you think of it as a different clock position. Blue dots pointed at 1 o'clock, Yellow dots pointed at 3 o'clock, Black dots pointed at half past 2 o'clock, etc.)
These overlapping grids of dots create patterns, and the human eye is very good a picking up patterns. (They're called moire patterns.)
Some angle combinations create very distracting patterns, while other angle patterns create less noticeable pleasing patterns.
Here is a picture that shows some of the most common angle combinations used.
Image
The angle of each color grid is chosen when the halftoning is done. Each Magic set could use different angles, and some sets do have different angles.
This information may be useful in helping to identify whether a card is like another card or different from another card.
I'm hoping that we can learn more about the textless test print cards by looking at this information and comparing it to other normal cards of that era.


I stumbled across the sets having different color angles when I was looking at very high resolution scans of my textless Blue Elemental Blast and my Summer Magic blue Hurricane.
The color angles on both my textless test prints are different from the color angles on my Summer Magic blue Hurricane.
The color angles on both my textless test prints are identical to each other.
I didn't have time for a more thorough analysis looking at other cards, but it appeared that both of my textlesss test prints are from the same "set".
(one from Brian & one from Daniel, each having received them from different WotC employees at different times.)
It also appeared that the textless test prints were not from Summer Magic, due to the different color angles used.


I've finally had a little time to work on this so that everyone can see the difference.
I've made very high resolution scans of each card so that each individual colored ink dot can be seen. Then I've made color seperations of that image so that we can more easily look at the angle of each color.

Here's are some examples to give you an idea of what the color separations look like.
Image
Image

Here is close ups of the Blue layer on these cards.
Both of the textless cards have the Blue layer angled at 75 degrees.
The Summer Magic blue Hurricane has its Blue layer angled at 67 degrees.
I've marked these angles with black lines in this picture to make it easier to see and compare.
Image


Here is the Red layer.
The textless Samite Healer is not pictured here, but I did check it, and all of its angles are the same as the textless Blue Elemental Blast.
Image


Here is the Yellow layer.
Note: The two layers (blue & Red) shown previously on textless cards use 75 degrees & 15 degrees.
These #'s are listed on the above picture that shows commonly used angle combinations, along with 0 degrees.
The dots are in a grid, so 0 degrees is the same as 90 degrees. Either label could be used accurately.
Although I personally like the 90 degree label, I've chosen to use the 0 degree label which is shown paired with the 75 & 15 numbers in the above picture.
Additional Note: The angles used on the Summer blue Hurricane are all 8 degrees less than the angles used on the textless cards.
I'm using 0 degrees as the label on the textless cards, but I didn't want to label the Hurricane negative eight degrees. I prefer not to label things as negative degrees. I've chosen to label the Hurricane as 172 degrees. (0 degrees = 180 degrees, 180 - 8 = 172)
If I had used the 90 degree label on the textless cards, I would have used an 82 degree label on the Hurricane. That would also be accurate.
All cards were straightened and had their angles measured in photoshop, so the measurements are accurate.
Image


Here is the Black layer.
It's difficult to see the angles of the black layer on this portion of these (blue) cards, but I've checked several different places on these cards and the angles shown are accurate. They also happen to agree with the above picture of angle combinations that are commonly used together.
Image


So, In Summary,...
The textless cards use Cyan 75 degrees, Magenta 15 degrees, Yellow 0 degrees, Black 45 degrees
The Summer Hurricane uses Cyan 67 degrees, Magenta 7 degrees, Yellow 172 degrees, Black 37 degrees

Tav
Last edited by cataclysm80 on Thu Dec 31, 2015 8:08 am, edited 5 times in total.

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dragsamou
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Re: Unlimited, Summer, 4th Edition and French/German Test Prints

Post by dragsamou » Tue Dec 29, 2015 8:50 am

Hi Tav

Brilliant explanations, now according to what you wrote, can you provide more info about those (I don't own any):

*TEST PRINTING TEST PRINTS*

Those Test Prints are on the same card stock as GERMAN/FRENCH COPYRIGHT TEST PRINTS . They will not pass the bend test and are slightly oversized compared to a normal card. No additional info is available for the moment.

Do you have any idea for what Edition or Extension those were tested for ?

*TEXTLESS "SUMMER COLOR" TEST PRINTS*

Those Test Prints are slightly oversized compared to a normal card. No additional info is available for the moment.

Do you have any idea for what Edition or Extension those were tested for ? According to different sources, they are supposed to be 4Th Edition Test Prints ? Can you provide more info about the card stock ?

Textless Summer Colors Paralyze Test Print Front and Back. The colors of the Paralyze Test Print are matching perfectly the colors of the Paralyze Summer Edition Card. All the Paralyze Alpha, Beta, Unlimited, Revised have a real different color. So, the probability that Summer Test Prints exist is not to excluded, but since approximately 120 millions Summer cards were destroyed, it's quite impossible, otherwise, they will have noticed the color problem and else while testing.

What should be modified in that sentence ?

*TEXTLESS UNLIMITED TEST PRINTS*

Textless Unlimited and Summer Colors Test Prints have in common:
*Both of them have a lighter Back, all the others Test Prints after the Summer Colors ones doesn't have that lighter Back.

So those are the same as TEXTLESS "SUMMER COLOR" TEST PRINTS ?

Let me know, so I can update info in the index of the Test Prints, Press Checks and Production Anomalies subsection:
http://www.magiclibrarities.net/719-rar ... index.html
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viewtopic.php?f=8&t=8903
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cataclysm80
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Re: Unlimited, Summer, 4th Edition and French/German Test Prints

Post by cataclysm80 » Fri Jan 01, 2016 12:57 am

For quite a while, I've been wanting to take a more in depth look into the halftone screen angles. I've finally had a little time to do that.

After seeing that the textless Blue Elemental Blast has different angles than a blue card from Summer Magic (Hurricane), The next step was to look at the angles of all the Blue Elemental Blasts from that era.
Depending on when the angles changed, maybe we can narrow down when the textless card was made.

Due to the number of cards shown in these pics, the images aren't as close up, but each card was measured just like in the previous pictures, and the info recorded here so that anyone can reference it.

Image

Image

Image

Image

I think these images are a pretty good comparison. I've tried to organize the cards in the order they were made.
They show that the angles on Blue Elemental Blast were changed before Foreign Black Border went into production.
I think this means that it's extremely likely these textless cards were made before that change.


A bit of a surprise here though. The Summer Blue Elemental Blast doesn't have the same angles as the Summer blue Hurricane.
I'll look into that more next.

It's also a bit odd that the yellow layer on the German/French test print has a different angle.

Tav

cataclysm80
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Re: Unlimited, Summer, 4th Edition and French/German Test Prints

Post by cataclysm80 » Fri Jan 01, 2016 10:10 am

Here are my Summer Magic cards and their halftone angles.

Image

Image

Image

Image


It looks like Summer cards could use either
Cyan 75 degrees, Magenta 15 degrees, Yellow 0 degrees, Black 45 degrees
OR
Cyan 67 degrees, Magenta 7 degrees, Yellow 172 degrees, Black 37 degrees

I'm surprised to find a set which uses more than one combination of color angles.
The difference doesn't appear to be related to rarity (common, uncommon, rare).
The difference doesn't appear to be related to card color.
It would seem that cards with different combinations of angles would appear on the same sheet in Summer.
I think this would mean that the halftoning was done before the cards were arranged into a sheet layout.
I think that if the halftoning had been done at the sheet level, then all cards on the sheet would use the same angles.

I know that Summer was the first set with Tom Wannerstrand as production manager, and they used a new process which was different from what Dave Howell had been using up until then. (Dave went to work on the foreign cards and continued to use his old method for them.)

I'll have to look at another set to see if it also has different halftone angles used on the same sheet.

I should also look at another card, similarly to how the Blue Elemental Blast was done, to see if it has an angle change in the same place.

Tav

cataclysm80
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Re: Unlimited, Summer, 4th Edition and French/German Test Prints

Post by cataclysm80 » Fri Jan 01, 2016 10:05 pm

cataclysm80 wrote: I'll have to look at another set to see if it also has different halftone angles used on the same sheet.

I should also look at another card, similarly to how the Blue Elemental Blast was done, to see if it has an angle change in the same place.
I've chosen to look at two cards.
Samite Healer which has a textless card and a German / French test print included. I expect the numbers will be the same as Blue Elemental Blast.
and
Scryb Sprites which has a German / French test print included. We know that the Summer Scryb Sprite is one of the cards which uses different angles, so I'm not sure what we'll find here.

Blue Elemental Blast, Samite Healer, & Scryb Sprites are all commons and were all printed on the same sheet, so this should also tell us if other sets use multiple angles on the same sheet like Summer Magic does.

Here we go...
Image

Image

Image

Image

I did double check the yellow layer on the German / French test print, and it is the same unusual 52 degree angle as on the other German / French test print.

All of the angles on these Samite Healer cards do match the angles used on the Blue Elemental Blast cards.
Again, this shows that the angles were changed before Foreign Black Border went into production.
We could reasonably expect the same results on any of the cards which use the Cyan 75 degrees, Magenta 15 degrees, Yellow 0 degrees, Black 45 degrees angles in Summer Magic.

Now for Scryb Sprites
Image

Image

Image

Image

Again, the German / French test print has the unusual 52 degree angle on the yellow layer. I don't know why these are different from all the other cards, but all of the German / French test prints seem to be this way.
That German / French Scryb Sprites is one that came from Amy Weber.

It appears that the cards in Summer Magic which use the angles Cyan 67 degrees, Magenta 7 degrees, Yellow 172 degrees, Black 37 degrees had an angle change before Summer Magic instead of having it before Foreign Black Border like the other cards in Summer.

I think this is the correct order of products for this time frame.
Revised
Legends
The Dark
Summer
Sewers of Estark / Arena
Nalathni Dragon
Fallen Empires
Italian black border

It may be interesting to look at some of the sets between Revised and Summer, and also between Summer and Italian Black Border to see what angles were used on those cards. Maybe we can better pinpoint where the change took place.

Although it's slightly off topic here, I'd also like to look at whether there are any angle differences between FWB and Foreign 4th edition.
I don't expect to find any differences, but if there were some, it would be possible to positively identify the cards that are otherwise difficult to tell which set they're from.

Tav

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