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Old 08-16-2019, 03:53 PM   #1
UpsetSmiley UpsetSmiley is online now
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Default How do studios print disc labels?

Something I've been thinking about is how do factories transfer images onto discs? At home I only know of printing onto a disc using ink, but studio pressed discs are done much differently. Anyone know about the process involved here?
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Old 08-16-2019, 04:22 PM   #2
Wendell R. Breland Wendell R. Breland is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UpsetSmiley View Post
Something I've been thinking about is how do factories transfer images onto discs? At home I only know of printing onto a disc using ink, but studio pressed discs are done much differently. Anyone know about the process involved here?
Just a guess but I would say offset printing, some info here.
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Old 08-16-2019, 05:12 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wendell R. Breland View Post
Just a guess but I would say offset printing, some info here.
Thank you, I'm surprised there isn't more info out there about the process involved in making DVDs/Blu-rays.
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Old 08-16-2019, 06:08 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UpsetSmiley View Post
Thank you, I'm surprised there isn't more info out there about the process involved in making DVDs/Blu-rays.
The Studios really don't want you to make your own Discs. When I Backed-up my DVD's and Blu-rays I printed the picture on the paper sleeve for DVD's and printed an insert on thin plastic case for Blu-rays. Just used a marker to label the Disc, because putting a sticker on the Disc throws the balance of the spinning Disc.
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Old 08-16-2019, 06:25 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alchav21 View Post
The Studios really don't want you to make your own Discs. When I Backed-up my DVD's and Blu-rays I printed the picture on the paper sleeve for DVD's and printed an insert on thin plastic case for Blu-rays. Just used a marker to label the Disc, because putting a sticker on the Disc throws the balance of the spinning Disc.
I design my own cover art and disc labels for home videos and wanted it to have as much of a realistic feel as possible. The method shown in the link above is completely out of the question for anyone who doesn't have access to sophisticated machinery. Inkjet printing is great but I'm always looking to one up myself.
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Old 08-18-2019, 05:42 PM   #6
Anthony P Anthony P is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UpsetSmiley View Post
I design my own cover art and disc labels for home videos and wanted it to have as much of a realistic feel as possible. The method shown in the link above is completely out of the question for anyone who doesn't have access to sophisticated machinery. Inkjet printing is great but I'm always looking to one up myself.
there is also silkscreen and inkjet printing
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Old 08-18-2019, 08:23 PM   #7
Wendell R. Breland Wendell R. Breland is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UpsetSmiley View Post
I design my own cover art and disc labels for home videos and wanted it to have as much of a realistic feel as possible. The method shown in the link above is completely out of the question for anyone who doesn't have access to sophisticated machinery. Inkjet printing is great but I'm always looking to one up myself.
Me too, been designing and printing my color labels for many years. And don't worry about disc balance, any reputable label (Avery, Neato) should not cause you any problems.

In some cases toner type color printing can exceed the quality of inkjet printing. Dye Sublimation type printers can print nice images.

Have you ever tried printing direct to disc? I know Epson (here) makes printers that can do this, there may be others. Most of the blank disc that I purchase is ready for direct printing but never owned a capable printer.

As usual, just how much do want to spend!
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Old 08-18-2019, 09:06 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wendell R. Breland View Post
Me too, been designing and printing my color labels for many years. And don't worry about disc balance, any reputable label (Avery, Neato) should not cause you any problems.

In some cases toner type color printing can exceed the quality of inkjet printing. Dye Sublimation type printers can print nice images.

Have you ever tried printing direct to disc? I know Epson (here) makes printers that can do this, there may be others. Most of the blank disc that I purchase is ready for direct printing but never owned a capable printer.

As usual, just how much do want to spend!
Thanks! I print directly on disc, it can be a hassle at first trying to print within the boundaries so there's no over spill but it's worth it and I recommend them. They're very affordable nowadays as well. I bought an Epson inkjet printer in 2017 for 50, roughly $60.

I'd love to be able to replicate the look of a professionally produced disc, especially the translucent effect on some of them. I know this example is bland as there's no artwork in particular but I still like the simplicity of the design.

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Old 08-18-2019, 09:36 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UpsetSmiley View Post
Something I've been thinking about is how do factories transfer images onto discs? At home I only know of printing onto a disc using ink, but studio pressed discs are done much differently. Anyone know about the process involved here?
The general public doesn't really know how movie studios print their DVD and Blu-ray discs, unless they are an employee at the facility, and they probably had to sign a confidentiality agreement, promising not to reveal any of the company's production procedures and supliers to the public, prior being hired. I'm assuming they use professional automated disc printing equipment made exclusively for that purpose, that may not be available for home use. I use to work at a corrugated box plant for many years, and we use multiple rotary printing, and die cutting machines, with the customer's name and logos that are pre-mounted onto a heavy duty plastic sheets. The sheets were aligned and stapled on the machine, then loaded various colors of ink into their designated compartments for the initial setup. The corrugated was manually fed into the machine to be cut, printed, fold and glued. The setup is performed the same repeatedly for each and every customer, to produce the amount of boxes as requested by the customer. The printing process of discs could be similar, but not exact.

Last edited by slimdude; 05-22-2021 at 09:47 PM.
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Old 08-18-2019, 11:15 PM   #10
Wendell R. Breland Wendell R. Breland is offline
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Quote:
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The printing process of discs could be similar, but not exact.
The following was in the reference in my first post. For high volume, offset printing makes the most sense.

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Old 08-18-2019, 11:54 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wendell R. Breland View Post
The following was in the reference in my first post. For high volume, offset printing makes the most sense.
I don't know if it's the exact process that movie studios use, but I've figured that a high tech, automated machineries are used to print and label thousands of units efficiently, a process that only a manufacturer can incorporate in their facility. An average consumer couldn't even afford anything like that for home use, that would cost millions of dollars to install, and a technician to setup and adjust all of the controls accordingly to specifications of the disc. Besides a average consumer wouldn't need equipment that sophisticated for personal use, unless they're operating a piracy company.

Last edited by slimdude; 05-22-2021 at 09:43 PM.
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Old 08-19-2019, 01:33 AM   #12
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I worked for the NYS Archives for some years. When they started putting copies of historical documents on dvd's instead of paper copies for customers, they bought a machine that printed the labels on the discs. All I know is that it didn't cost millions. It was designed solely to print the Archive logo onto cd's and dvd's. I'm guessing that it was an ink jet process. You could email the Archives and someone could probably provide more details.
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Old 08-19-2019, 02:21 AM   #13
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I worked for the NYS Archives for some years. When they started putting copies of historical documents on dvd's instead of paper copies for customers, they bought a machine that printed the labels on the discs. All I know is that it didn't cost millions. It was designed solely to print the Archive logo onto cd's and dvd's. I'm guessing that it was an ink jet process. You could email the Archives and someone could probably provide more details.
I bet that machine wasn't anything near as sophisticated, and high tech like the one in the video.
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Old 08-19-2019, 02:22 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wendell R. Breland View Post
The following was in the reference in my first post. For high volume, offset printing makes the most sense.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ElD...ature=youtu.be
Wendell, very nice find.
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Old 08-19-2019, 02:43 AM   #15
jvonl jvonl is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slimdude View Post
I bet that machine wasn't anything near as sophisticated, and high tech like the one in the video.
Well, of course not. Didn't imply that it was. However, it would certainly work for folks who want to make their own discs.
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Old 08-19-2019, 03:55 AM   #16
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Genetically modified human monkey hybrids with colored sharpies on redbull and Pez.
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Old 11-29-2019, 03:13 PM   #17
Phillip c. Niethe Phillip c. Niethe is offline
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I'm assuming since no one has posted an answer after mine then the G.M.H.M. theory has been accepted
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Old 11-29-2019, 11:44 PM   #18
Lee A Stewart Lee A Stewart is offline
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https://electronics.howstuffworks.com/dvd2.htm
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Old 05-21-2021, 10:06 PM   #19
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Pressed Blu-rays and DVDs use one of two different methods to print discs;

1. Offset print - this is generally used for full colour photo images. It has a smooth texture and reproduces photos nicely using the CMYK process (cyan, magenta, yellow & black). The draw-back is that this method doesn't reproduce strong solid patches of colour and can look a bit washed-out. This method can't reproduce a specific Pantone shade of a certain colour.

2. Silkscreen print - this is generally used for reproducing solid, accurate Pantone colours creating a much more vibrant result. The draw-back is silkscreen doesn't work very well for reproducing photos as the detail is hazy, gradients are rough and the physical texture is rather coarse. Most of the recent Blu-rays and DVDs use a 1 colour silkscreen (text knocked-out to silver) for simple text-only labels. This method is cheaper than the more expensive offset print method and is very effective for simple designs that use less than 4 colours.

3. Laser Etching - it hasn't been used since the late 1990s but this method laser etched an image in the silver surface of the disc. Warner and HBO video used this method for a few years.

For "home" use there are three options:

Thermal Printing. These are CMY ribbons applied with heat to the surface of a special-coated thermal-print disc. This method is considered the best print for low quantity orders on recordable media. The colours are vibrant and the image is water-proof. These printers sell for about $5,000, made by Rimage.

Ink-jet Print. These discs contain a special ink-jet print white (or silver) surface to print on. Like your ink-jet printer at home you are aware of the limitations. Colour banding, moisture damages to the print, ink is expensive etc.
"Water-Shield" discs are available which are mostly water-resistant and give a glossy look.

Paper Labels - This is the cheapest method but actually look quite good if you print them on a proper toner-based digital printer. Longevity might be an issue.

Light Scribe printing/burning - this was a company that made special burners and blank discs that allowed the user to burn the data side of the disc and then flip the disc to laser-etch an image or text on the print-side of the blank disc. I think they discontinued this around 2014.

Last edited by orangerunner; 05-21-2021 at 10:25 PM.
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