Tech Support

Support topics - Film

Select a question from below to view the answers

What is a Film Positive?

A film positive is required when using the photographic exposure process for photoresist films. It consists of an opaque image on a transparent sheet, such as acetate or Vellum, or LaserFilm. General it is produced with a laser printer, inkjet printer, image setter, but it can also be procuced by hand with india ink. A commercial printing company can convert your artwork to a film positive if you are unable to make your own. Your image must be sharp and in high contrast.

How do I get darker prints on an HP Laserjet printer?

There are two primary controls on HP LaserJet printers to obtain darker prints.

  • First the TONER DENSITY value should be set in your driver to 5. The settings range from 1 (light) to 5 (dark), but the default setting is 3.
  • Secondly, Econo Mode should be turned off on the printer, and in the driver.

NOTE: It is best to change the Toner Density and Econo Mode from the driver or software application. (Driver and software settings override control panel settings.)
See the printer manual in order to verify the correct way to modify this value.

Do I need a Postscript printer?

A Postscript is not needed to produce line art on a printer. Postscript can give you control over producing an exceptional film print tool used for halftone screening for an engraved photo. this can also be achieved through software.
Adobe Photoshop can produce a raseterized halftone screen that can be printed on printers without Postscript support.

How do I make a halftone screen in Adobe Photoshop?

To make a halftone image in Adobe Photoshop go to Image->Mode->Bitmap.  Change the method to Halftone Screen.  Your Output should be 600dpi or higher, depending on your printer capabilities. Set you screen settings (e.g. Frequency of 45 lpi, Angel of 45 degrees, and the Shape of Ellipse.

Can I purchase UV Vellum, Laser Film and Ink Jet Film from an office specialty store?

It is not recommended that you purchase UV vellum from an office supply store because UV vellum has a specific grain and weight that allows maximum UV translucency and works best when making a Photomask.

Rayzist Photomask, Inc. supplies the following: UV Vellum, Laser Film, and Ink Jet Film and these are approved graphic print films designed for photographic processing when making a Photomask.

How long does it take the photoresist to washout?

This will depend on the sheet size, thickness of the material and the temperature and pressure of your water. All these answers combined are crucial to producing a perfect photomask everytime.

How do I know if I am over exposing my photoresist film?

Here are a few things that would indicate over exposure:

  1. It’s hard to wash or even provides a non existent wash out process.
  2. During washout out you may see an inconsistent washout. There may be some stubborn areas that will not wash away. Spending more time washing will result in overwash.

What is a photomask?

Photomask: a stencil made of photoresist film that has undergone a developing process. The stencil design is typically created from custom, computer-generated artwork, which may include lettering, photo images and/or a design pattern. The finished photomask is used to guide the sandcarving process, so that the custom artwork is etched or engraved into the surface being carved.

--- Photomask may also be called mask, stencil, premade pattern or template. ---


What is Custom Photomask?

Custom Photmask: a premade, finished stencil that is produced by Rayzist Photomask, Inc.


What is a Film Print?

Film Print: the material onto which the custom artwork is printed in the process of making a photomask. Rayzist UV Vellum, Inkjet Film and Laser Film are all film prints.

What is a Membrane?

Membrane: a clear, exceptionally thin layer present on some types of photoresist films. The membrane allows for easy release of the film carrier and, once the film has been developed, holds the photomask together. The membrane disintegrates during the sandcarving process.


  • Membrane photoresist films are not recommended for Liquid Cream Etching.
  • Liquid Cream Etchers must order Non-Membrane photoresist film manufactured by Rayzist Photmask.
  • Non-Membrane photoresist films can be purchased in Custom Mask and SR2000 upon request.

What is Photoresist Film?

Photoresist Film: a translucent, durable, flexible, light responsive, water soluble, raw film that has not gone through a developing process.

---- Photoresist film is used to create a finished photomask. Photoresist film may also be called raw material or film. ---

Why is the photoresist washing right off the carrier sheet as I'm washing out?

What has happened is you have forgotten to expose your photresist film. You will need get another sheet and begin the exposure process again.

If you are washing out with the hand sprayer; you will see the material just dissapear, revealing no artwork.

Automatic Wash:
If you are using an automatic processing washer; the material would have washed away leaving the clear carrier revealed.

How do I use UV Vellum, Laser Film and Ink Jet Film?

You may print on either side of UV Vellum and Laser Film.
UV Vellum and Laser Film can be used with any monochrome laser printer.

  1. Place the UV Vellum and Laser Film in place of the regular paper in your printer’s tray. Alternatively, you may manually feed the film through your printer.
  2. Print black-and-white, vector artwork on the UV or Laser Film; this becomes your film print.

    Ink Jet Film is for ink jet printers only. Ink Jet Film can only be printed on the matte finish side. To determine the side on which to print, you can:
    • Inspect the film visually to determine which side has the matte finish.
    • Moisten your finger and touch both sides of Ink Jet Film. One side will feel sticky; print on the sticky side of the film.
    • Locate the notch on the top, right-hand corner of the film. Print on the notched side.
      1. Place the Ink Jet Film in place of the regular paper in your printer’s tray. Alternatively, you may manually feed the film through your printer.
      2. Print black-and-white, vector artwork on the film; this becomes your film print.


What is UV Vellum?

What UV Vellum is:

  • UV Vellum is a transparent wood pulp paper product. There is a specific weight and grain that works best for the maximum allowance of the UV light to penetrate through to the photoresist film.
  • UV Vellum is a less expensive, alternative to Laser Film that is used to print black and white vector artwork.
  •  UV Vellum can be used on most all printers but works best with a monochrome laser printer.

Use of UV Vellum:

UV Vellum is used to expose bold lines, text and artwork when making a photomask and is refered to as a film print tool. See video.


Why don't I see an image appearing as I'm washing out?

You may not have exposed your photoresist film. Take another sheet and begin the exposing process again.

What is Laser Film?

Laser Film is a higher quality print film tool than UV Vellum.
It is used to print black-and-white, vector artwork for the exposing process of creating a photomask. Laser Film is recommended for all types of artwork including detail and photos. Because Laser Film is durable; it works well for repeat orders. Laser Film works best with monochrome laser printers.

Why is my artwork/photoresist taking so long to wash out?

One of these four things can be causing your problem; all of these factors play a vital role in the production of a first-rate photomask.

  1. Film Print
    Check your film print. This is key when developing a photomask. Hold the printed artwork up to the exposure light. If you can see the bluish light through the black printed area, you can expect a longer, more stubborn wash time.
    • Check your printer settings increase the print quality if necessary.
  2. Exposure Time
    Double check your exposure time, with the Letralite® unit time should be 20 seconds.
  3. Water Pressure
    Your washing pressure also plays an important role in film developing process. When washing, hold your nozzle 2 to 4 inches away from your photomask. Warm water is recommended, but water pressure is the most important factor. Your time will vary depending on your sheet size and mil thickness. You should not be washing out longer than 45 to 90 seconds. Learn more about water temperature and pressure. Learn more about sheet size.
  4. Handling Your Film
    You should not be handling your film before or after exposure in sunlight. It only takes 5 to 10 seconds of direct or indirect sunlight to expose the photresist. This will disrupt the integrity of the film and cause a more stubborn washout process.



Darker Film Prints:
Try adjusting your printer to a Better or a Higher Quality print setting. See the printer manual in order to verify the correct way to modify these values.

How do I remove the photomask after sandcarving?

This will depend on two things: the material of your engraved surface and how that engraved surface can be treated.

1. For best results, submerge the piece in warm water and let it soak for several minutes. Because the photomask is water-soluble, it will absorb the water and cause the photomask to loosen from the engraved surface. Warm water also helps remove the dust and grit from the surface, which  helps prevent scratching.

If the item you have engraved cannot be submerged under water, as in the case of a picture frame or a labeled wine bottle, try the following:

  • Blow off any excess dust or grit from the item.
  • Spray the remaining photomask with warm water and allow the item to sit for several minutes.
  • Peel away the photomask from the surface.

2. You can also try lifting off the remaining photomask material with tacky tape. This way, you avoid rubbing the surface, which can scratch wood, acrylic, polished or coated metals.




If you have added paint after you engraved your item; allow the paint to dry then remove the photomask.

Can I buy UV Vellum from a local office supply store?

We do not recommend purchasing these supplies from an office specialty store. UV Vellum film prints for sandcarving require specific grains and weights to allow for maximum UV translucency when making a photomask. Rayzist Photomask, Inc. supplies UV Vellum, Laser Film, and Ink Jet Film. These are approved graphic print films designed for photographic processing when making a photomask.

What is Ink Jet Film?

Ink Jet Film is a print film made solely for ink jet printers. Ink Jet Film is a premium print film that is suitable for all types of artwork, including detail and photos. Also, we do not recommend using ink jet film with color laser printers.




How do I use Ink jet film?

Place the Ink jet film print in place of the regular paper in your printer’s tray or you can manually feed through your printer.
Print black and white vector artwork on the Ink jet film and this becomes your film print.

  • Ink Jet Film is a film for ink jet printers only.
  • Ink Jet Film can be printed on one side only; this is the matte finish side.

Determining which side to print on:

  • Moisten your finger and touch both sides of Ink Jet Film, one side will appear to feel sticky. The sticky side is the side to print on -OR-
  • Locate the notch on the top right hand corner that will determine which side to print on.