ColorAnt ColorAnt

ColorAnt is a software solution for the measurement data processing prior to profiling. There are many situations in which measurement data are not prepared correctly causing trouble when creating the ICC profiles. There could be reading errors from the instrument, print errors or other artifacts (e.g. inhomogeneous data) resulting in a less than perfect measurement data quality. To optimize the measurement data and to intelligently average multiple data sets, ColorAnt is the perfect tool.

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Product information

ColorAnt 4.2 is a free update for ColorAnt 4 users and comes with major improvements in Edit Primaries, the Spiderweb View and Export Chart and incorporates several bug fixes.

Benefits

  • ColorAnt is a standalone software for Mac OSX and Windows platforms. It is part of the ColorLogic profiling solution CoPrA but can be purchased separately, too.
  • ColorAnt supports colorimetric and spectral measurement data from various vendors of spectrophotometers.

Key features

Intelligent analysis and optimization of measurement data

ColorAnt corrects and optimizes measurement data prior to profiling. There are many situations in the print process that cause issues for creating accurate ICC profiles. Errors from the instrument anomalies, printing errors or other artifacts (e.g. inhomogeneous data) resulting in variances in measurement data quality.

Powerful and comprehensive tools

Multiple tools like optical brightener correction for paper or tone value curve adaptation for various specifications (e.g. according to G7, ISO or house standards), smoothing, error correction, white point adaptations, averaging and idealization of measurement data for standardization purposes are available in this powerful, easy-to-use solution. The spectral editing of primaries and automatic calculation of overprints in complete sets of measurement data, allows creation of printer profiles even without time and cost intensive printing of large test charts. Additional analyzing, comparing, reporting and viewing features assist in figuring out potential sources of error and which tools to use to correct them. Additional features in ColorAnt 3 include custom test charts that respect specific requirements, while working with different color spaces. ColorAnt 3 supports profile creation with the best methods possible.

Enhanced print production reliability

The quality of ICC profiles is always dependent on the quality of the measurement data. Analyzing and optimizing measurement data allows higher profile quality which leads to a higher reliability of the entire print production process.

ColorAnt assists in optimizing data for every printer profiling tool, whether the software is ICC compliant or not.

Release notes

4.2 23 November 2017

Improved Features in ColorAnt 4.2

  • In previous versions of ColorAnt non-traditionally sorted channels (e.g. KCMY vs. CMYK) have not been displayed correctly in the Spider Web view. This has been corrected in the new version using intelligent algorithms taking the hue of the channel into account. The fix applies in particular to Multicolor color spaces, too. The screenshot on the left shows the incorrect view of a KCMY color space, the correct view is shown on the right. (Ticket #170223)

Note: The channel sequence of a CMYK color space does not have to match the printing sequence. For example, the printing sequence KCMY is quite typical in web offset presses, however, the channel sequence should still remain CMYK as some programs can’t handle untypical channel sequences correctly.

  • The quality of the spectral overprint model used in the tool Edit Primaries has been improved. Color characteristics are detected better using limited data resulting in better predictions. Shadow areas with and without opacity information are now calculated in a better, differentiated manner. In addition calculations with spectral gradients have been improved so that the Rescale tool benefits from this, too.
  • PDF test charts which are exported using the tool Export Chart now also have embedded fonts. This will prevent unnecessary error messages in RIPs or PDF preflight programs.

Bug fixes in ColorAnt 4.2

  • Correction of index errors that occurred when trying to Link certain data sets and to create Reports.
  • An error in the mode Flexo Profiling of the tool Custom Chart has been fixed which created tone values only from 1.6% instead of the desired 1.2%.
  • Various minor errors which occurred when saving CxF3 or exporting to CxF/X-4 have been resolved. Now an undefined “Name Space” is stored correctly and no additional channel is displayed in the user interface for 1- to 3-channel data.
  • A truncated error message has been fixed which occurred in the Export Chart dialog when selecting too small chart sizes.
  • In the Registration dialog, the link to the URL of the new ColorLogic website has been updated.
  • When exporting test charts with 8 channels using the tool Export Chart the 8th channel has been exported as black. This error has been corrected.

Note: Even if it is not yet possible to create reference files for test charts with more than 7 channels with ColorAnt 4.2, a correctly structured test chart can still be created from an 8-color reference file using Export Chart. Typically, the channel names and colors from the information of the reference file are used in this process. If this information is missing, it may result in unfavorable test charts and channel names may only be assigned generically, for example, channels may be named Channel 1-8.

  • When starting ColorAnt the splash screen sometimes superimposed and blocked other messages (for example, the update notification). This error has been fixed.
  • Showing more than 7 channels under certain circumstances in Custom Chart has been fixed. (Ticket #170448)
  • The error in the Rescale tool has been fixed that Sample Names existing in the reference file got lost in the rescaled file. (Ticket #170439)

4.1.3 1 August 2017

Bug fixes

  • Fixed measuring 3rd party test charts without horizontal gaps with X-Rite i1iO in Measure Tool.
  • The terminology for the Gap Size in the Export Chart tool and Measure Tool now match.
  • The missing German translation for Gamut Volume in the Report has been added.
  • Fixed that the chosen chart in Measure Tool did not transmit the file name.
  • The naming and display of emissive measurement data has been fixed. Measurement data will be shown as Emission and not Remission any more.
  • The way the random Patch distribution in the Export Chart tool works has been changed. If the Export Chart dialog stays open and no changes to any other option in the dialog have been done the exported chart will not be newly randomized each time it is saved in a different file format.
  • Improvements have been added for patch size warnings on the i1i0.

4.1.1 8 June 2017

Bug fixes

  • Fixed FD-9 plugin not loaded message when starting Measure Tool on a Windows installation without previously installed FD-9 driver.
  • Fixed scanning support for M0 Single Mode for X-Rite i1iO in Measure Tool. Strips are measured in scan mode now and smaller patch sizes as with the Dual Mode are supported.
  • Fixed an Index Error in the White Correction tool that occurs with picking measured data using the eyedropper. Now all measured data will get the name extension measured for better differentiation between the reference data and the measured date.
  • A bug in the White Correction tool in combination with XYZ measurements has been fixed.
  • Fixed channel naming issue and corrupted file with multicolor TIFF files after exporting with the Export Chart tool.

4.1 30 May 2017

Key Features

The Edit Primaries tool has been updated to allow the assignment of new color values to device values (DCS values) which do not already contain color values. Thus, new characterization data can be created which is based only on existing wedges of primaries or on the input of Lab values. There is no longer a need to reprint test charts.

Procedure:

  1.     Open a reference file (for example IT8/7-4) and, if available, measurement wedges or existing characterization data of test charts containing the desired colors.
  2.     Select the reference file, click on Edit Primaries and use the eyedropper tool to choose colors from the pool of measurement values.
  3.     Alternatively, fill in the Lab value if there isn’t other data available. The best results are achieved using spectral values, wedges or information on overprints.
  4.     If measurement values are assigned to all primaries and the paper white, and click Start.

Export CxF/X-4 Feature

A feature to automatically optimize and remove redundant color patches has been added to the tool Export CxF/X-4 in the File menu (to save CxF/X-4 compatible measurement values). If the checkbox Remove Redundant patches is activated all required color patches will be saved only once in the exported CxF/X-4 file, avoiding duplicates.

Bug fixes

Measure Tool

  •  The Measure Tool now remembers the last used settings of each measuring device.
  •  When using the X-Rite i1iO, measurement table older i1Pro measuring devices (Revision A-D) are now supported as well.
  •  For measurements using X-Rite i1iO with newer i1Pro measuring devices (Revision E) the default setting is now M0 (Dual). In previous versions, the default setting was M0 (single) which resulted in slow single patch measurements if users did not change the setting manually.
  •  Measurements of multi-page test charts using the X-Rite i1iO are working properly under MacOSX.
  •  An error has been resolved in which a recurring message appeared when the drop-down menu for the measuring direction has been selected during a measurement using the Konica-Minolta FD-9.
  •  Several messages have been translated.

Export Chart

  •  The option Randomize of the feature Patch distribution has been revised and now works with multi-page charts. Additionally, remaining white patches are no longer listed at the end, but will be spread across the chart. Furthermore, light measurement patches at the edge of the chart are also avoided. These measures increase the measurability of such charts especially if Patch delimiters are not activated.
  •  An error has been resolved in which the size set in millimeters in Patch delimiter was not transferred correctly into the created chart.
  •  An error has been resolved in which the target definition for basICColor catch was not generated despite the option Create Target Definition for basICColor Catch being activated.
  •  The minimum Patch height for strip measurements of test charts using the X-Rite i1iO has been corrected to 7.5mm in the default Preset (Default – Minimum Patch Size).
  •  The Chart width and Chart height for measurements using the X-Rite i1iO has been increased to 320x230mm in the default Preset (Default – Maximum Chart Size).

CxF support

  •  An error resulting in unusable color values or missing DCS values when saving some multicolor data as CxF has been corrected.
  •  The support of CxF files from X-Rite i1Profiler which have proprietary extensions but are in fact CxF files has been optimized. (Ticket #170116)

The compatibility to CxF measurement values of different manufacturers has been optimized.

 Smaller bug fixes

  •  The feature Apply redundancies correction after averaging added to ColorAnt 4 in the tool Averaging had an error. This error has been corrected. (Ticket #170105)
  •  The Correction and Smoothing tools had an error in the processing of measurement data which contained only color wedges of primaries. This has been corrected.
  •  When editing the black point of RGB or 3CLR measurement data using the tool White/Black Correction the black point is now calculated correctly. (Ticket #170104)
  •  Channel names have not been detected correctly in some 4CLR measurement data. This has been resolved provided that channel names are noted correctly in the document.
  •  In the tool Tone Value, it is now possible to apply Corrections according to ISO 20654 on 2CLR measurement values.
  •  The drop-down menu option Correction according to a tone value curve of an ICC profile in the tool Tone Value is now grayed out when no ICC profiles matching the measurement values have been found. This prevents inaccurate artifacts and error messages.
  •  The display of color space expanding colors of a multicolor comparison profile in the window Spider Web under View has been optimized. The colors of comparison profiles are now displayed brighter for a better identification of the measurement data.
  •  The import of spot colors from PDF files that don’t contain CxF/X-4 measurement data has been optimized.

4.1.1 8 June 2017

Bugfixes in ColorAnt 4.1.1

  •  Fixed FD-9 plugin not loaded message when starting Measure Tool on a Windows installation without previously installed FD-9 driver (Ticket #170178).
  • Fixed scanning support for M0 Single Mode for X-Rite i1iO in Measure Tool. Strips are measured in scan mode now and smaller patch sizes as with the Dual Mode are supported. (Tickets #170174,#170178, #170169, #170098)
  •  Fixed an Index Error in the White Correction tool that occurs with picking measured data using the eyedropper. Now all measured data will get the name extension measured for better differentiation between the reference data and the measured date.
  •  A bug in the White Correction tool in combination with XYZ measurements has been fixed.
  •  Fixed channel naming issue and corrupted file with multicolor TIFF files after exporting with the Export Chart tool.

4.0 6 April 2017

Key Features

  • The Measure Tool supports additional instruments such as X-Rite i1iO, X-Rite eXact and Konica-Minolta’s ultra fast strip reader FD-9.
  • Improved usability of the Custom Chart tool.  We have added an expert system that provides guidelines for typical use cases such as creating linearization test charts, profiling test charts, special profiling test charts for Flexo printing and updating of profiles. The new options answer the typical question of how many patches should be used for a desired test chart.
  • The Export Chart tool has added functionality to create printable test charts as PDF, TIFF or PSD files that are best suited for the supported instruments in Measure Tool. In addition individual settings can easily be saved and reused.
  • The Edit Primary tool has been improved for better prediction of overprints using the new Printing Sequence feature.
  • The previous White Correction tool has been updated to the White/Black Correction tool. It adds functionalities such as selecting the white point from another data set, improved spectral calculations and adding black point editing.
  • The Tone Value tool allows correction choices for G7 and the new ISO 20654 methodology of colorimetric based linearities used for spot colors instead of density calculations. Even G7 + ISO 20654  is possible for Multicolor files with CMYK+spot ink channels. This is especially helpful to handle expanded gamut color including CMYK and spot color gradations.
  • The Views have added support for comparing the Spider Web, 3D gamut ,TVI and Curves with another profile. Curves allows to compare TVI versus ISO 20654 (aka SCTV) curve shapes.
  • The Online Help has been updated to a new platform
  • There are several improvements to various tools such as the Correction tool, which has a Protect lights feature similar to the Smoothing tool. The new Averaging tool allows automatic application of redundancy correction after averaging, which ensures that this easily missed step is not forgotten.
  • CxF file support has been improved and a new option to export spot colors as CxF/X-4 files added. In addition, spot colors as CxF/X-4 or Lab based can be extracted automatically from loaded PDF files.

3.2.2 8 November 2016

New features

  • With the installer of ColorAnt 3.2.2 comes the new version of UPPCT v2.3.5 that supports the X-Rite eXact instrument.
  • The Comparison tool has been optimized. It not only shows the Lab values of the selected patch and the delta E but the device values (DCS values), too. This is useful for analysis in cases where DCS values have been changed.
  • Compatibility for CxF/X-4 files from a third party vendor has been increased. Such CxF/X-4 files can now be loaded and correctly displayed in ColorAnt (Ticket# 268245).
  • The Redundancies tool has been improved. The order of processing has been changed. First redundant white patches are averaged, then gradients are optimized and finally all remaining redundant patches optimized (Ticket# 145121).

Bug fixes

  • An error has been fixed in the Link tool when combining CMYK and multicolor files in combination with a not fitting license.
  • Renaming of channels with Edit Primaries has been fixed in cases where files contain differing white patches that have not been redundancy optimized before.
  • The error has been fixed in the Windows version of the Export Chart tool that multi page PDF test charts couldn’t be exported.

3.2.1 29 August 2016

Bug fixes

  • Manual editing of a channel via typing in a new LAB value does work again in Edit Primaries. In the previous version the LAB values did not change.
  • Fixed a crash of ColorAnt when saving an XML report with a comparison profile enabled in the report settings.
  • Fixed Argument Error in case of exporting 4CLR charts with Export Chart tool. In addition it is possible now to export PDF files for multicolor testcharts without CMYK components.
  • Optimized handling of mixed spectral and Lab data in Edit Primaries tool leading to better overprint and gradations calculations.

3.2 25 May 2016

The new Link Tool

The Link tool has been redesigned and one new option added. There are three options available now in the Link tool. The options are grouped with radio buttons that are enabled and disabled according to the chosen files.

  1. The Link data with same color space option is able to combine several separate measurement data files with the same color space to one large data set. For example you may combine three CMYK data sets to one large CMYK measurement data set.
  2. Combine CIE with DCS allows to combine two separate files to one combined data set. This option is enabled if one file contains the reference data (DCS – Device Color Space) and the other file contains the measurement data (CIE) have the same amount of patches.
  3. The new option Merge by Channel Name is able to combine separate measurement data files with different channel names to a new file. For example if you combine a four color CMYK file with a CMYK+Orange data set the resulting file will be a 5 color data set CMYK+Orange with additional CMYK data. This is a very useful tool to link multicolor measurement data from different origins, for example separate Esko Equinox measurement data files.
    Note: The feature to combine multicolor data requires a ColorAnt L license.
    Have a look at the new channel re-ordering options in Edit Primaries, too.

Channel re-ordering in Edit Primaries

Channel re-ordering in Edit Primaries  The Edit Primaries tool can be used to exchange, add and delete channels in a measurement data file. With ColorAnt 3.2 and higher it is possible to reorder the channels without changing the measurement data. One example is if you add Orange as a 5th channel and Green as a 6th channel to a CMYK data set.

But later on you decided that the channel order should be CMYK+Green+Orange. Now you can simply exchange the channel order by using the pipets icon and selecting Orange for Green and Green for Orange from the same measurement data file without the measurement data changes. If channels are only reordered this will be indicated with adding ChannelOrder to the file name.

Note: The channel reordering feature in Edit Primaries and the new Link tool Merge by Channel Name can be used to prepare multicolor measurement data from different origins. For example it allows to combine the four separate 4 color Esko Equinox files to a 7 color multicolor data set to be used for profiling in CoPrA.

Support loading and displaying of CxF/X-4 data

The CxF3 file format has been supported since a longer time in ColorAnt already. With ColorAnt 3.2 we support to load and display CxF/X-4 data for spot colors, too. Saving as CxF/X-4 is not yet possible in ColorAnt.

Note: CxF stands for Color exchange Format. CxF files shall be used to communicate color vendor neutral. CxF/X-4 is an ISO standard since 2015 and has been designed to define spot colors by measuring and storing spectral information of ink solids and tints, on substrate and process black. This spectral definition allows color management systems to better proof and reproduce spot colors.

Further enhancements

  • The quality of the core technologies Correction, Smoothing and Rescaling has been improved. For example Smoothing with a 100% slider setting is behaving stronger now compared to the previous version and still more accurate.
  • Improvements on Export Chart: We increased the distance between the numbering of the rows and the first patch on that row in the exported tests charts. This makes measuring these charts with certain instruments, e.g. Konica-Minolta FD-7 easier.
    Note: The instruments head should not be placed on any of the numbers otherwise you end up with wrong readings. Make sure to place the instrument on the blank space between the numbering and the first patch of a row.
  • Support loading of measurement data from ICC profiles using the CxF tag for storing measurement data. E.g. X-Rite i1Profiler saves the measurement data this way.
    Note: Some profiling tools save the measurement data needed to build the ICC profile within the profile. A standard tag for this is the TARG tag. ColorAnt is able to load such data from ICC profiles if available and will show an error message if no such data is existing.
  • The spider web diagram allows to select RGB working space profiles (e.g. AdobeRGB or sRGB) as comparison profiles now. In previous versions only printer profiles have been allowed for comparison.

New UPPCT 2.3.4 measuring tool

  • The new UPPCT supports a few more languages. It supports now Croatian, Serbian, Bosnian and Czech languages, too.
  • Settings for the X-Rite i1Pro 2 instruments for remission and scan readings have been fixed.
  • Fixed an issue with wrong measurement data with Konica-Minolta FD-7.
  • The new printing references for FOGRA51 and FOGRA52 have been added for comparison purposes.
    Note: For using the comparison feature a license is needed that you can buy from the Ugra.

Bug fixes

  • The Tone Value tool has been fixed for Correction according to TVI targets.
  • The Tone Value tool has been fixed for cases that no manual tone value changes have been applied or all channels have been deselected but the Start button has been pressed. In previous versions channels might have changed in such circumstances.
    Note: If a tone value change has been applied to one channel, the other channels will also be processed with at least correction/removal of redundancies and other pre-/post-processing that may affect all channels. We suggest that applying Redundancies and Correction should be done before using the Tone Value tool.
  • Opacity information when exchanging or adding channels in the Edit Primaries tool has not been used correctly. This has been fixed.
  • A format error has been fixed that occurred when unsupported file formats have been saved in ~/Documents/ColorAnt/Wedges.
  • An issue has been fixed in Export Chart where the limit for test chart sizes was set to 10 inches. This only affected the inch setting.
  • Some issues with wrong characters or unsupported color spaces with ACO files (Photoshop color palettes) have been fixed.
  • Issues with scrambling layout with certain data sets and wrong density reporting for primaries in the PDF and XML report have been fixed.
    Note: The density that is reported needs to comply with the density settings the user has defined in the Preferences which is the case now.
  • Some small improvements to the PDF report have been done that prevents unnecessary line breaks or truncations of very long data set names.

3.1.1 26 November 2015

Bug fixes

  • Fixed file saving options. In the previous version only the TXT file format was accessible.
  • Fixed viewing of some CxF3 files in 2D View. Now the patch name and Lab data is shown correctly.
  • Fixed CxF3 import of a 3rd party CxF3 file with an unnecessary complexity.
  • Improved performance for importing, viewing and processing of large CxF3 files without device data. This improves processing and viewing large spot color libraries with spectral data.

3.1 18 November 2015

Improvements

Complete overhaul of the measurement data report generation

The dialog before creating the data reports as PDF or XML file have been changed. The dialog new with added features.

In addition to the two options to Check the measurement data quality and to compare the data with a different profile (Check print standard), there is the choice of two DeltaE methods for the evaluation. You have the choice to either select the conventional method DeltaE76 or the modern DeltaE2000 method. In addition, you can Search from your list of ICC profiles on your computer which profile fits the data best. The percentage of compliance is displayed behind the profile name. If required you may select this profile in the drop down menu of the Check print standard option to compare the data. In the new version of ColorAnt 3.1 multicolor measurement data can also be compared to your existing multicolor profiles.

However, most of the changes are in the new PDF report that is created by clicking on the Save button and define the file name. The report now offers even more useful information, provides an overview of the quality of your measurement data, and recommends what kind of corrections should be applied. In addition, the suitability of the used test chart is checked, as well as dot gain, linearity, and spider web diagrams are shown and the conformity or nonconformity to a print standard (ICC profile) listed. The PDF report is an excellent documentation of the measurement values of your print run, too.

A vivid example of a PDF Report featuring the new ColorAnt report layout can be found here. It compares the new characterization data FOGRA51 (PSO Coated V3) with the ISO Coated V2.

Note: In addition or as an alternative to the well designed PDF report with graphics and tables, you may also create a ColorAnt XML report with the pure data. The corresponding TVI values, comparisons and DeltaE evaluations are listed in a XML structure. A XML report is useful if you want to create a separate report in the specific layout or with other evaluation priorities.

Reordering measurement data

ColorAnt 3.1 enhances the capability to create and reorder test charts for 3rd party tools with the Swap Rows with Columns feature. By right clicking on the data set, six options are available. This feature will enhance compatibility with third party software.

Note: Open the 2D-View to verify the results of the reordering applied. If there is an issue with reordering simply click the  History entry to revert the data.

Combine seperate reference and measurement data

Another similar task to the reordering is that some third party tools save the measurements without the reference data. Without reference data, neither ColorAnt can work with the measurement data nor can CoPrA create an ICC profile. In order to combine or link the separate reference and measurement data files they must have the same patch count. Simply load both files in the Data Sets section select them and click the Link tool to combine them to one file.

Extentions tot the Edit Primaries tool

The tool for the editing of primary colors works with spectral data and uses complex mathematical calculations. This may take a little while especially when using large test charts with many channels. For this reason, a progress bar has now been incorporated in the dialog which shows you the current status of the calculation.

When replacing the Substrate or Paper white, this change does not affect the primary colors. This is done on purpose, because the tool is intended only for smaller paper white changes from which the full tone of the primary colors would not be effected. For this reason, additional information will be displayed in the dialog. If you want to make major changes to the paper white, we recommend that this should be done before editing the primary colors with the White Correction tool.

Until now, only primary colors could be exchanged with other colors when the reference and measured values for the color to be replaced were present in the loaded data file. With spot color libraries such as the Pantone libraries, which can be opened as a CxF file in ColorAnt, there are no reference values. Therefore the exchange was impossible in former versions. With ColorAnt 3.1 you can use these spot color libraries for the exchange of primary colors. Each spot color in the library is interpreted as full tone and can be selected to replace a primary color.

Note: If only the full tone for the exchange of a primary color is available but no gradation values, ColorAnt will use the gradation behavior of the original primary color.

Enhancements of the White Correction tool

The White Correction tool is predicting the impact of paper white changes to the measured values of a test chart. With ColorAnt 3.1 there are three different methods to calculate this effect. ColorLogic Default is still recommended as the default setting. The two other methods available are ISO 13655 and Relative colorimetric.

Relative colorimetric effects are strongest because paper white changes will modify the entire color space. In case of major changes in the paper white this will also massively effect the primary colors. The ISO 13655 method is still similar in the highlights and colorful primary colors to relative colorimetry. However, this method assumes that the shadows and very dark colors are not changed. The ColorLogic Default method, we proceed like in ISO 13655 and assume that the shadows are not effected and that there is a much lower impact on the primary colors. Due to our experience this corresponds more to the real observation.

Improved CxF support

The CxF3 file format is predominantly used for exchanging spot colors. ColorLogic has improved the CxF3 import filters to be compatible with the recent ISO standard 17972-1:2015. In addition, a second ISO standard, 17972-4:2015, for the exchange of spot colors with tints. ColorAnt also supports the import of compatible with CxF/X-4 files.

Note: Older CxF versions are no longer supported by ColorAnt.

Additional improvements

  • A new feature, Clear entries, has been added to the list File/Open Recent. ColorAnt remembers the last 20 files. With Clear entries they all can be deleted to reset ColorAnt if required.
  • ColorAnt now supports the CGATS XML file format. The CGATS specification supports both a TXT and XML format and so does ColorAnt.

    

  • The tool Export Chart allows to save exported test charts as a TIFF or Photoshop PSD file and now also as a PDF file.
  • When exporting single page test charts with the Export Chart tool, ColorAnt uses algorithms to evenly spread the patches on the page. This may lead to a layout that does not use the maximum chart width. If you wish to force the usage of the chart width, you simply enable the new option Always use full chart width.

  • The ICC Transformation tool now allows selection of an abstract ICC profile for conversions. Note: Abstract profiles are a special type of ICC profiles that perform a direct Lab-to-Lab conversion such as special effects or Lab modifications.
  • All tools are now optimized in a way that the Start and/or OK button is highlighted. This allows application of a tool by hitting the enter key.
  • A new version of the measuring tool UPPCT v2.3.3 is included in the installer. The new version fixes an issue with multicolor measurement data that weren`t transferred to ColorAnt or CoPrA.

Bug fixes

  • Error message when trying to use the CIE Conversion tool have been fixed.
  • When creating a single patch reference file with the Custom Chart tool a full tone will be created instead of 50%.
  • The progress bar when creating a PDF report now more accurately displays processing time.
  • Using Rescale tool in a previous versions to for small chart into a larger one, the linearity and TVI curves were smoothed. The curves will now closely match those of the original file as good as possible (depending on the fulcrums available in both charts).
  • The selected rendering intent in the ICC Transformation tool will now be applied correctly.
  • Third party measurement files with an unknown syntax will not crash ColorAnt. When an unknown syntax occurs, an error message will be displayed.

3.0.1

Bug fixes

  • We reduced the Chart width in the two Presets we deliver in the Export Chart tool. This allows for better reading with the ruler of the X-Rite i1Pro.


     
  • A crash when exporting multi page Multicolor charts with the Export Chart tool has been fixed.
  • We optimized the dark Patch delimiters used between color patches with non-CMYK test charts exported with theExport Chart tool. Now we do not use the color of the fourth cannel any more but use rather darker colors needed for strip measurement instruments.
  • Potential customers downloading ColorAnt and wishing to see which kind of features it offers can now do so without loading a licence file. In certain dialogs a warning message may pop up telling the user that further actions can only be done with a valid license file (for example a demo license). Without licensing saving any files is not possible. How to get a demo license is explained  here.
  • An issue with wrong displaying of IT8 formatted measurement data files provided from third party instruments (e.g. multiline quoted values from Barbieri Gateway) has been fixed. In addition some small syntax errors in some third party files that prevented ColorAnt from opening them have been fixed. Now ColorAnt is more tolerant with such files and will open them.
  • The wrong channel names shown for the Multicolor test charts and reference files supplied with CoPrA after loading in ColorAnt and measuring with UPPCT has been fixed.
  • Some memory leaks have been fixed.
  • The issue that ColorAnt was not able to show measurement data in case no system profile has been set in the OS has been fixed. Now ColorAnt will use a default conversion in such a case and will still operate.
    Note: ColorAnt uses the monitor profile set as system profile for true color view of measurement data. A properly calibrated and profiled monitor will greatly improve your true color experience within ColorAnt.

3.0

New  features

For the first time ColorAnt 3 will be available in two packages: ColorAnt M and ColorAnt L.

  • ColorAnt M includes all the features that users have come to rely on for optimizing, editing and correcting measurement data, along with a host of new features including: creating custom test charts (new Custom Charts and Export Chart tools), CIE conversion and the Edit Primaries tool for the CMYK sector.
  • ColorAnt L includes all the features in the M package and adds specific functionality that is squarely focused on the packaging and multicolor markets.

Tools

The tools to edit and modify measurement data are organized in groups in a vertical tool bar on the left hand side. Active tools that can be applied on measurement data are recognizable due to their colorfulness whereas tools that can’t be used are grayed out. At the bottom of the tool bar you directly navigate to the  Registration  dialog for loading and requesting licenses and to edit the basic setting of the applications in the  Preferences.

  • The  Automatic Correction  is the most used tool and is therefore placed on the top. The  Auto  tool works differently depending on the loaded data sets. If only one measurement data file is selected in the  Data Set  area it optimizes it. If multiple measurement data sets are selected it averages them.
  • The group  Data Import/Export  contains tools that beside loading existing measurement data files via the file menu allow to create measurement files.
    • With  Custom Chart  you are generating your own reference files for test chart creation.
    • Export Chart  will create test charts as TIFF or PSD files from your own reference files to be printed.
    • With  Measure  the software from the  Ugra  called  UPPCT  is started to measure any test charts or media wedges and to transmit the measurement data directly to ColorAnt. For measuring there are multiple measurement

Edit Primaries

The  Edit Primaries  tool allows the user to add, remove, and exchange primaries or the paper/substrate into an  existing measured test chart. In typical print production, adding or swapping ink(s) requires the expense of printing a full blown test chart. The  Edit Primaries  tool will simply require the spectral data of the new ink(s) to be added or exchanged.  Edit Primaries  will not only exchange the inks but also recalculate all overprints based on intelligent spectral color models and generates new measurement data. With this extraordinary tool you are immediately able to create all required data for calculating ICC profiles for modified color combinations.

Potential efficiency gain with the  Edit Primaries  tool in typical production scenarios are:

  • Variance in press condition:  The characterization press run is slightly deficient in solid ink density or hue on one or more colors.
  • Exchange of paper/substrate:  The inks shall be the same but a slightly different paper shall be used.
  • Exchanging inks in packaging print production:  Create a new profile that swaps in e.g. Blue for a Cyan or a Rhodamine Red for Magenta.
  • Flexibility for packaging customers:  Create different color variants from a full blown 7 color press characterization data set by deleting channels to building new characterization data sets without printing a new test chart. For example, from an original 7C data set (e.g. CMYK+Orange+Green+Violet) build variants for CMYK only, CMY+Violet, CMYK+Orange+Green or other combinations. The production facility would need to insure the press is stable and depending on the color needs of the job, you will need to print, select the profile with the least amount of channels.
  • Increasing CMYK gamut:  Adding a 5th, 6th or 7th color to a CMYK printing process.

Using Edit Primaries

  1. Load the measurement data of a test chart for editing in ColorAnt. ColorLogic’s suggested workflow is to load another data set with the measured new primaries, including gradations of the primaries and overprint information.
    Note: A sample of a reference file for CMYK plus one spot color is delivered with ColorAnt 3 L. You may find the wedge Spotcolor-CMYK+X-v1.txt  (shown as Red spot color in the screenshot) under  File/Open Predefined.  Use the tool Export  Chart  to generate a printable wedge.
  2. Select the measurement data of a test chart measurement file for editing and click  Edit Primaries.
  3. Exchanging a primary: Click on the eyedropper icon of the color to be exchanged (see screenshot demonstrating an exchange of Cyan).
  4. Select the new primary from another data set loaded in ColorAnt. Click on the channel to be imported the primary. Selecting a color from an other channel is also an option. In  Edit Primaries  the Lab value of the new primary will be shown to allow you the check immediately if the changes have taken place. If the imported measurement data are spectral data you will see a colored star icon beside them.
    Note: The most exciting function during import of measurement data happens in the background. The tool has the ability to dynamically choose the best patches from the data provided. The more complete the data that is provided to the  Edit Primaries  tool (spectral data is preferred) the more accurate the results. Some items that will improve the exchange are gradations of the primary color, overprint information, such as the primary with black. If you only have the full tone, ColorAnt will assume a certain printing behavior.
  5. If no measurement data of your new primary is available you may even enter the Lab values into the numbers box. Even though you have to consider that all calculations are not as exact as if they were done based on spectral measurement data. This will also be visualized by a gray star icon.
  6. When complete click  OK  and your data will be modified and shown in the  Data Sets  section of ColorAnt. Save your new data with  File/Save as  to be used for other tasks, for example, creation of ICC profiles with ColorLogic  CoPrA.
  7. To check the exchange of primaries, use the  Compare  tool to verify the data.

Exchange of paper/substrate

  1. Load the test chart measurement data and load the secondary file containing information of the measured paper white into ColorAnt.
  2. Select the measurement data of a test chart for editing and click  Edit Primary.
  3. Click on the eyedropper icon of the  Substrate/Paper white  and select the new paper white from an other data set loaded in ColorAnt. Click on the name of the data set to import the data.
  4. Alternatively, if there is no measurement file of the new paper white available, you may enter the new Lab values into the number array. Of course, this is not as precise as working with spectral data.
  5. After you are done click  OK  and your data set will be modified. ColorAnt will calculate modified measurement data which can be found under  Data Sets. Save this file under  File/ Save as  for further usage, e.g. creation of ICC printer profiles with  CoPrA.

Adding channels

Note:  To add channels a  ColorAnt L  license is required.

  1. Load the test chart measurement data and load the secondary file with the measured primaries, gradation and overprint information into ColorAnt.
  2. Select the measurement data of a test chart for editing and click  Edit Primary.
  3. Click on  Add Channel. A new channel with some default gray Lab values and the channel name  Auto  is added.
  4. Note: The  Auto entry will pick the channel name from the other data set.
  5. Click on the eyedropper icon of the new channel and select the new primary from another data set loaded in ColorAnt. Click on the channel to import the data.
  6. In our screenshot shown, is an example where a 5th color Orange has been added to an original CMYK data set.
  7. In case you wish to rename the channel you may click on the pencil icon and enter the desired name in the upcoming dialog  Edit Primary Name.
  8. Click OK and the new 5 inks data set will be generated. ColorAnt will calculate modified measurement data which can be found under  Data Sets. Save this file under File/ Save as  for further usage, e.g. creation of ICC printer profiles with CoPrA.
  9. To examine the new 5 color data set, use the View  tool and select the tabs 2D, 3D, SpiderWeb, TVI to check that all colors including overprints have been added to be able to build a 5 channel printer profile with CoPrA. If you wish, you can modify the TVI curves of the 5th channel further by using the  Tone value tool.

Removing channels

Note:  To remove channels a  ColorAnt L license is required.

  1. Load and select the measurement data of a test chart and click  Edit Primary.
  2. Disable the checkboxes in front of the channels that need to be deleted and click  OK. The information area in the Edit Primary dialog below displays the channels the resulting data set will contain.
  3. The new data set will be reduced to the channels that have been enabled. Please be aware that this is a multicolor file and may only be used in ColorLogic  CoPrA  if a multicolor license is loaded.

Note: Another feature of Edit Primaries is to use this tool to extract the primary ramps of one channel. Simply disable all checkboxes except the one channel you wish to retain.

Export Chart

The Export Chart tool allows to create test charts based on device color values, which can be stored as TIFF or PSD files to be printed on a printer.

Procedure

  1. First select the reference file with the required device color values and load this information into  Measurement Data. Available reference data for different color spaces are stored under Data/ Predefined data. Own reference data can be created with the  Custom Chart tool.
  2. Afterwards open the tool  Export Chart  to define the proper settings to create a test chart for the applicable measurement device.
    Note: The tool is optimized to work with most of the instruments our measuring tool supported in UPPCT:
    • Barbieri Spectro LFP
    • Barbieri Spectropad
    • Datacolor Sypder3Print SR/ 1005
    • Konica-Minolta FD-7/ FD-5
    • Techkon SpectroDens (Windows only)
    • Techkon SpectroJet (Windows only)
    • X-Rite i1Pro 2 /i1Pro 1
      Other, not supported instruments may need tools from their vendor for generating test chart from our reference data. Read  this article about using our reference data in other programs such as X-Rite i1Profiler to generate test charts for the X-Rite i1iO and iSis.
  3. If you want to generate test charts for A4/US Letter format or A3, you may select a corresponding setting in the DropDown menu  Preset.
  4. For own paper size simply edit one of those two presets. Your edited version will be market as  Custom and ColorAnt will remember your settings for any further creation of test charts.
  5. After you defined your settings (more details in the next section) ColorAnt will show you, how many pages the test chart will require.   A larger  Chart height allows more patches per page and reduces the number of pages needed.
  6. Simply click on the  Start button and the test chart will be exported. In the  Save dialog you can define file name and Format (TIFF or PSD).
  7. ColorAnt generates the required test charts and a new reference data fitting the layout you have previously defined. Please use this newly generated reference data and not the one loaded under point 1 for measuring the patches and profile creation.

Setting details

Measuring instruments may have specific needs regarding patch sizes, the gap between different patches and probably regarding the size of the overall chart. In addition you may respect the requirements of your print process and eventually reduce the  Ink Limit  (TAC).

In the lower area you may define Patch width and Patch height of each color patch. In addition you may chose in the Drop Down menu if a Patch delimiter is required. Use  Auto as a default or None if no gaps between patches are needed. For further information consult the documentation for the instrument.

The Patch distribution  gives the user the option to either print the patches as defined (Normal) or Randomize  the patches (better for press profiling). The setting  Sorted will arrange the color patches from light to dark. This might be helpful to modify a random chart into a well sorted layout or if you may export a color wedge of one single color.

In the upper part you should define image size and TAC of each individual test chart. Enter the desired Chart width and height to limit the space that might be used for the color patches (minus the space requires for labeling the patches). Do not mix this with the paper size – it is similar to the image size. The exported test charts can be positioned on the required paper size afterwards and then be printed.

Note: Please consider the documentation of your measurement device. Some measurement devices allow measurement rows of patches by swiping over the rows. Those types of devices use rulers that can measure up to a certain width which need to be taken into consideration when the Chart width  is defined, if a patch delimiter is required and will inform you about the minimum patch size.

The Ink Limit is a specific feature in Export Chart  and allows to limit the TAC for the exported test chart. Typically each of ColorLogic’s CMYK and multicolor test charts have patches with a maximum of 400% ink. If a 400% ink limit is too high for the press or the user would like to define an other ink limit he can enter the desired Ink Limit. ColorAnt uses a sophisticated ink limiting algorithm that does not simply clip values.
Note: Use the exported reference file for measuring and profiling so that reference values and test chart fit to each other. Please note that the reference file will not be ink limited too, otherwise profiling would be leading to incorrect ICC profiles but it might be that third party profiling applications can’t handle this. In addition, when building the ICC profile either use the same or a lower ink limit (called Max.Ink  in ColorLogic CoPrA) than defined in the test chart. In most cases an ink limit is not necessary for test chart creation.

Custom Chart

To define a custom test chart for profiling a reference file containing the device data for the color space is required. The Custom Chart tool is designed for creating the reference files for test chart generation.  Custom Chart allows you to generate reference files for the following color spaces:

  • Gray, RGB, CMYK
  • 1CLR, 2CLR, 3CLR, 4CLR, 5CLR, 6CLR, 7CLR (with multicolor license – ColorAnt3 L)

Afterwards create a pixel file, either in TIFF or PSD format, from the reference file by using the Export Chart tool to be printed on your device and Measure the test chart with a spectrophotometer.

The following description will show you how to generate a reference file by using the Custom Chart  tool. Depending on the color space different options are available. To generate multicolor reference files an additional multicolor license is required.

Generation of reference file for Gray, RGB and CMYK

  1. You may choose between generation of reference file with or without linearizing the primaries.
    Note: A linearization is always helpful if the printing system tends to print unexpected, e.g. colors are far too dark due to strong tone value increase. A linearization helps to distribute color patches in the best possible way for that printing system. In addition, ColorAnt generates a very smooth and homogenous linearization, to avoid bumps in the distribution color patches in a test chart.
  2. If you like to work without linearization, simply open Custom Chart and select the Color Space  in the DropDown menu.
    Note: You should work without linearization if your RIP did already calibrated your printing system or if a dedicated CtP curve is used or if your printing system doesn’t show any irregularities in the output.
  3. If you like to work with additional linearization you will need measurement data from a linearization test chart which you output on your printing system and measured with a spectrophotometer. Load the measurement data in ColorAnt before opening the  Custom Chart tool.
    Note: You may use for a CMYK system for example the file  Linearization-CMYK-v1.txt  (also check screenshot), provided from ColorAnt under File/Open Predefined  or for a 5 color CMYK+X printing system the file  Linearization-5CLR-v1.txt.
  4. Select the previous loaded measurement file in the DropDown menu Color Space. ColorAnt automatically recognizes the color space and visualizes the channel names. In addition an information message regarding linearization will be shown.
  5. Define the Number of patches. This will effect how precisely the device color space will be filled with color patches. Please take into consideration, the available space on your output, required accuracy of the characterization data or characteristic of your printer. Our tool is programmed in a way that even with only a few patches, the color space is covered in the best possible way to allow proper profile creation.
    Note: You may use the following table as a recommendation for the required number of patches.
  6. As soon as you click the  Start  button, the reference file will be calculated and shown under Data Sets. Device color space and number of patches are included into the file name.
  7. Save the reference data under File/Save as  if you may reuse it in other programs for test chart generation. Use Export Chart  in ColorAnt to create the test chart image.
    Note: Read  this article about using our reference data in other programs such as X-Rite i1Profiler to generate test charts for the X-Rite i1iO and iSis.

Generation of reference file for multicolor

Note: A ColorAnt3 L license is required to do this.

  1. Similar to the standard color spaces Gray, RGB or CMYK you may choose also in the case of multicolor between generation of reference file with or without linearizing the primaries. The required steps are the same – see the description above.
  2. If you like to work without linearization, simply open  Custom Chart  and select the Color Space in the DropDown menu, e.g. 7CLR.
  3. ColorAnt uses pre-defined colors for the channels, which you may modify as you like. By using the eyedropper tool you can change colors and order of colors. For example, if you like to switch the color  Red with Green (see screenshot), click on the red pipette and chose in the context menu under Colors the color you like, in this case Green.
    Note: If you previously opened other measurement data in ColorAnt you will also see in the context menu under  Color the channel names of those measurement files. Simply chose the required color here.
  4. To adjust the channel name of a color use the pencil tool on the right side of the dialog box and change the channel name as you like.
  5. As soon as you click the  Start  button, the reference file will be calculated and shown under Data Sets. Device color space and number of patches are included into the file name.
  6. Save the reference data under  File/Save as if you may reuse it in other programs for test chart generation. Use Export Chart in ColorAnt to create the test chart image.

To generate a generic multicolor test chart decide on the number of channels and their names (with or without CMYK), so that it is as close as possible to the used colors on your printing machine. It is not necessary to define the channel colors in the reference data exactly. Just make sure that you are close to the kind of color so that the correct color combinations will be generated. For example, if you want to print a violet, you may chose blue as the channel color, but not green or red or cyan.

Note: In ColorLogic CoPrA multicolor profile creation three chromatic colors + optional black + a maximum of three gamut expanding colors are supported. Some examples for possible combinations are: CMYK+Orange, CMY+Green+Blue, CM+Orange+K, CMYK+Red+Green+Violet etc. Other colors positioned within the CMYK color gamut may lead to problems in profile creation. Use the Spider Web  in the View dialog to check for problematical color combinations in your measurement data.

CIE Conversion

The CIE Conversion tool allows changes to the  Observer from a standard 2 Degrees  to a  10 Degrees observer and changes the Illumination  from the standard D50  light source.
Note: The CIE Conversion  tool can only be used with spectral data.

The Illumination drop-down menu contains several options. Printer profiles are typically created for the D50 viewing condition. However, if it is required to set up photos in a gallery illuminated by the light of incandescent lamps (corresponding roughly to light source  A), or displays at an exhibition where the lighting conditions might be challenging (e.g. fluorescent light), you can take the lighting conditions into account. You can either select one of the three predefined viewing conditions, or enter the measured viewing condition manually in the form of a  Kelvin or an XYZ value. ColorLogic has added the Emission option as a powerful new tool to customize illuminations. The  Emission option allows the user to select spectral emissions readings of a specific light source by either loading a CxF3 or text file. To simplify it even more, you may drag-n-drop a measurement file with the measured light onto the value field, where upon ColorAnt extracts the white point from the file and displays the value.

Note: If there are multiple readings of the same light source ColorLogic recommends averaging the measurements by using the Redundancies tool first, save the data and then load the emission reading in the  CIE Conversion  tool.

Applying the  CIE Conversion  tool by clicking the OK  button will result in a measurement file containing only Lab values. There fore your spectral data will be converted to Lab data using the observer and illumination of your choice. Use this data to build your printer profile in ColorLogic CoPrA.

Note: Always apply the  CIE Conversion tool as the final step due to the conversion to Lab data.

New version of UPPCT 2.3

The newest installers of the ColorLogic products contain a new version of the measurement software  UPPCT version 2.3.

  • The Windows Version of UPPCT adds the Techkon instruments SpectroDens and SpectroJet.
  • If a user defined wedge with some syntax errors has been manually added to the UPPCT wedges folder UPPCT will ignore those files. In earlier versions the software could not be used any more until the file has been removed.
  • The transmitting of measurement data between the ColorLogic products and UPPCT has been improved, so that file names with special characters are handled now, too.
  • The  measurement test functionality  added in the previous version of UPPCT has been improved.
  • The outdated instrument Pulse/DTP20 has been removed from the list of supported instruments.

Testimonials

From prototyping to final prints – Impresiones y Prototipos, s.l. trust ColorLogic for all their color management needs

Alberto Gómez, CEO

To satisfy the ever changing requirements of the printing industry you need flexible and yet still specialized solutions to address those needs in the best possible way. We spoke with Mr. Alberto Gómez, CEO of the printing company Impresiones y Prototipos, s.l. in Barcelona, Spain, who is mainly responsible for the strategic development of the whole company. He focuses on quality improvements, solutions to fulfill specific customer requirements while looking for new opportunities to expand the activities of his company.

Mr. Gómez, could you please describe your company with a few words…

Our company Impresiones y Prototipos, s.l., is a printing company located in Barcelona (Spain) with over 30 years experience in the printing industry. Three years ago we created a new division “Zeta Prototypes” which specializes in prototype packaging. Our main clients here are located in the high-end sector of perfumery. Due to the high quality of our prototypes and the great success we have achieved here in Spain, we just started our international expansion prototypes packaging division. Our goal for 2015 is to establish this international business.

Please tell us a bit how you  became aware of the ColorLogic products and which ones you are using…

We use CoPrA and ColorAnt to optimize our measurement data and create ICC and DeviceLink profiles. Afterwards we process files by using the color server ZePrA. After we  validated how this powerful color management engine helped us to improve our print data, we also have included the ZePrA module for Spot Color conversion, which is very important for us. We also just started using the Reprofiler, which we think is a very interesting solution for handling slight changes in the print process without the need to regularly create completely new profiles.

A while ago we had some color issues in our production. I was looking for better ways to achieve color fidelity and shorter make-ready times. Someone recommended Daniel López from ID-Soft to us. He helped us to evaluate the right solutions and then integrated the ColorLogic products for us. Daniel is an excellent color consultant. He is very knowledgable and probably one of the best technicians for colorimetry in Spain. He also introduced us to the ColorLogic products.

This sounds very enthusiastic. So which are the biggest advantages you see in working with ColorLogic solutions…

We tried many other color management solutions, but we were never able to achieve our goal with them.  Our goals are to create high-quality prototypes and ensure the same colors in the final print. It is also important to know that theses prototypes serve as samples for all further printing processes. With the ColorLogic solutions, we saw from the beginning that we could achieve this goal, because they are very powerful and versatile. Before we changed our production, we had to perform many tests to get a color fidelity prototype. Since we began using  ColorLogic technology these tests have been drastically reduced  while also giving us a substantial increase in production  without comprising the print quality. Additionally, due to ColorLogic’s products we can manage color in all material we work with: Polyester, Folding, Leather, PVC, PET, etc, knowing that we will always obtain the best result of reproduction.

Anything else, you like to highlight…

Each prototype we do is a unique work. Our customers rely on our quality and with our optimized production we have have been able to achieve for our prototyping a 95% realism in comparison to the final industrial production. Today we are the 1st company in Spain which is certified by the best companies. So, now that we have such an extensive experience in conducting professional prototypes, we begin our international expansion by offering prototyping to other countries.

This is a great step and we wish you good luck for this exciting expansion. One last question: What do you think about the price – value ratio of ColorLogic products?

It is not a cheap solution, but I think it is complex to define what is cheap or expensive… Of course, it depends heavily on the objectives that are achieved. In our case, although it looked like a major investment in the beginning, we believe this was worth the money spent. Meanwhile we improved production tremendously and added value based on the professional knowledge of Daniel López. And if we ever see new requirements we can always discuss those with him. So for sure, I would do the investment again.

Thank you very much, Mr. Gómez and good luck for all your exciting activities.

The new ZePrA 4 is “running” at the German alprinta GmbH

Jan Lukat, Prepress Manager

The latest version 4 of the high-performance color server ZePrA, developed by the German ColorLogic GmbH, has successfully passed its test period at alprinta GmbH.  For some time now, alprinta GmbH has used Colorlogic‘s products ZePrA, CoPrA, Reprofiler and ColorAnt for their daily color management tasks. Ever changing print conditions in digital and screen printing, along with the special needs regarding exact reproduction of spot colors, calls for high-end color management solutions as one of the key success factors for alprinta.

Alprinta‘s prepress manager Jan Lukat tested ZePrA 4 before its official release:

“I really like to test new products for our production. The printing industry is changing constantly and only by adopting your production process to these changing requirements, allows you to maintain and optimize it. I also appreciate the quick response of the development teams responsible for the products we use here at alprinta. In addition, it enables me to share  feedback and ideas regarding future development which may benefit all users.“

Lukat explains how the ZePrA color server is used at alprintas‘ production in combination with ColorLogics‘ CoPrA (ICC profiling): “Instead of repeating the general advantages of the ColorLogic products, I like to focus on new features in ZePrA 4 / CoPrA 3 which are so beneficial for our daily print business:”

SmartLink

Until now the standard process was to generate printer and DeviceLink profile with CoPrA and re-profile with Reprofiler, each combination of printer, material and printing speed. The resulting DeviceLink profiles, were used for color conversion in ZePrA. Dealing with ten different print materials, three printers with three different speed settings ends easily in handling of 180 profiles (90 ICC and 90 DeviceLink profiles). The printing results are outstanding, but whenever something changes: material, settings, etc. all profiles need to be redone to maintain the quality. With the new SmartLink module in ZePrA 4 it is now possible to share DeviceLink settings between CoPrA 3 and ZePrA 4 and cuts with one “click“ the amount of profiles in half. ZePrA calculates automatically the required DeviceLink profile based on the related output profile. There are also pre-defined settings available for SmartLink.

Gamut warning

This new feature is one of my favorites. Especially in large format printing with its different kind of materials and reproduction capabilities. All clients require perfect reproduction of their CI colors and spot colors. Therefore, it is essential to know if those colors may be reproduced with the chosen settings. With ZePrA it is possible to define a variable for DeltaE2000 (deltaE2000 fits nicely to human color prediction) to track if the color shift is good enough to continue with the print or not. This goes very well together with the new rendering intent Minimal Compression in CoPrA 3 which allows the best possible nearly absolute colorimetric reproduction. Who can ask for more!

Transparency reduction

With the new Flattening options it is possible to reduce transparencies quickly either on single jobs or whole plates and ensure the best possible reproduction without running into problems with transparencies or spot colors. Daily print production has proven that reduction of transparency is required. Even working in a PDF-X/4-Workflow can lead to those unpredictable problem which can be solved now.

Report function

All  job settings may be stored manually in ZePrA by using the report function – in ZePrA 4 it is now possible to do this automatically and store it in a folder. I believe that this is essential to guarantee future reproduction and archive customer data. Thank you, ColorLogic, for realizing this customer request!

SaveInk

Finally, the most important point for all decision makers: Even if all topics mentioned are already more than helpful in daily reproduction work, you will enjoy the SaveInk module in ZePrA 4 and CoPrA 3 on top of it. I was able to realize approximately 20% ink reduction in 1000 print job without any loss of quality. Especially in large format printing where ink costs define the print costs – this could make the difference.  This function pays off from your first print job on. Additionally, with the different SaveInk levels you are able to define quality and rentability.

About alprinta

The German alprinta GmbH located in Leverkusen has been successfully working in print and display production for more than 30 years. Their core competence lies in digital and screen printing as well as advertisement, displays and UV offset. Alprinta is one of the market leaders in the area of display advertisement. This success is based on over 50 motivated and highly experienced employees.

Measurement data preparation using ColorAnt at Appel Grafik

Ulf Wittenberg

“My sincerest thanks to ColorLogic for the new ColorAnt tool for measurement data preparation!” writes Ulf Wittenberg from Appel Grafik, who as a long-standing customer was involved in the beta testing of CoPrA 2 and ColorAnt in 2011. The report from Ulf Wittenberg at Appel Grafik on his experiences shows why…

Appel Grafik is a media service company based in Germany with sites in Berlin, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Munich and Stuttgart. The Appel Grafik sites have been using the DeviceLink profiles created by ColorLogic CoPrA for many years for high quality and standardized color conversion of PDF files and pixel images. Ulf Wittenberg, Color Manager at Appel Color department creates, tests and optimizes the DeviceLink and ICC profiles centrally for the Appel Group, enabling him to ensure consistent color quality throughout the company.

Ulf Wittenberg continues:
“At last with ColorAnt there is software for MacOS and Windows for applying corrections such as measurements smoothing or compensation of optical brighteners to the measurement data – and as a CoPrA 2 purchaser it is free of charge, too. ColorLogic has also integrated even more extremely useful functions with the help of its outstanding and highly customer-oriented team.

The measurement data correction and smoothing are extremely helpful in our everyday work, particularly in calculating output profiles for color laser printers that despite careful calibration often still have notable irregularities. In addition, papers with a significant amount of optical brighteners are often used in production that in turn generate problems of a different kind when their effects cannot be corrected. Using ColorAnt, the necessary corrections can be included in the measurement data and their effect checked in advance of the profile calculation. The corrected data are then reflected in the CoPrA profile as well.

The other tools in ColorAnt are also fantastic – some outstanding examples include:

  • Extraction of the color fields for Ugra/Fogra media wedge V3 – saves time-consuming additional work on manual spreadsheet edits in many cases when reference values have to be created for the media wedge evaluation for in-house proof conditions.
  • Visual displays of the measurement data – nicely implemented functions for thoroughly examining the submitted corrections for their appropriateness.

The whole package is rounded off by a comparative function with statistical evaluation and a PDF report. This provides a really comprehensive overview of the quality of the printers measured.

This combination of advanced color management tools was previously only possible using several different programs from various manufacturers – to have all this in just one program that is really easy to use makes us really happy!

In summary: ColorAnt easily exceeds our expectations and feature requests and has become an indispensable tool in our workflow.”

Red remains red and green remains green – SKN counts on ColorLogic‘s color server ZePrA

Tielko de Groot, Prepress Manager

The German SKN printing and publishing group has a long tradition which dates back to the last century. SKN currently employs approximately 450 employees.  The publishing area covers over 30 different telephone books, the monthly magazine “Ostfriesland Magazine” and also publishes books. With its daily newspapers “Ostfriesischer Kurier”, the “Norderneyer Badezeitung” and two additional weekly newspapers, the SKN is also well known in the German newspaper publishing.

Beside these activities, the SKN is one of the largest industrial printers for high volume printing in Germany. According to their motto, “SKN – Competence in printing and publishing“, the SKN delivers high quality on a good price-quality-level. Besides highly educated and motivated employees, it‘s essential for the development of such multifaceted company to use the right technology and to have a close contact to all clients. Therefore, it is very important for the SKN to take special care about job printing and close customer relation. In other words, to present itself as a competent and reliable partner with whom it is easy to work with.

Tielko de Groot is the Manager of Prepress at SKN and, in addition, responsible for training and internal complaints department. Several years ago, a print consultant introduced him to the products from the color experts ColorLogic. The possibility to handle all print related data in the correct color space convinced Tielko de Groot to ColorLogic was the obvious solution. Due to the importance of using InkSave in SKNs production, they decided to work with ColorLogic ZePrA and the ColorLogic DeviceLink profiles.

ZePrA controls the colors

Tielko reports: “Working with a reliable and fast color server, which can be configured in an easy and understandable way, is really great. ZePrA is responsible for most of our color conversions and ink saving calculation of print data for sheet-fed and web-fed offset printing. For example, to adjust color data to the different Fogra characteristics of several paper types is an easy and fast task. Furthermore, by using an automation software like Enfocus Switch, the automation process in production can be additionally increased”.

Regarding the DeviceLink profiles, Tielko says: “At first, I like to highlight the fact that the DeviceLinkSet profiles have proven its usability during several print tests with Fogra certified color consultants. That main advantage is that it enables proprietary systems to deliver the same results as ZePrA. Therefore, we are using those profiles especially in newspaper production with Kodak Prinergy to apply SaveInk directly before printing. Before deciding on this production method, we tested a competitive product, which produced several errors. The generated print data were useless for production. However, the ColorLogic products are very reliable and need more or less no support at all. The few questions which have been raised so far, have always been answered fast and sufficient by ColorLogic and Karsten Schwarze from our dealer Impressed.”

Another advantage regarding the correct output in production rests, based on Tielko de Groot statement, in the fact “that the color server can be set to only adopt the images inside the PDF (or image files itself) and does not rip the complete PDF files or creates a complete new one or does any additional modification. This leads to a higher performance, too.  And it keeps me independent from any PDF library settings …” He went on to say, “I believe investing into a color server only happens once – and therefore you should better proof that it lasts. With ZePrA return on investment is ensured. By the way – we are also using ZePrA in our subsidiary OPD.”

Support

Video tutorial - Using ColorAnt’s Edit Primaries for packaging production

ColorAnt’s Edit Primaries tool is a perfect fit for extended gamut packaging printers. Learn how to adjust the primaries of one 7-color characterisation data set to create variants of data sets for different color needs without having to print additional test charts.


Video tutorial - Edit Primaries and Paper white with ColorAnt 3.0

Take variances in press condition into account for example in case press run is slightly deficient in solid ink density or hue on one or more colors and the paper white has changed. See how to compensate this with ColorLogic ColorAnt 3.0.


Webinar - ColorAnt 3.0 introduction

Learn about ColorLogic's ColorAnt measurement data and optimization software. ColorAnt corrects for common errors that occur when measuring test charts, including patch...

Webinar - Messing with color: colorful applications

This webinar covers several color related topics: ICC Profiles, DeviceLink profiles and the difference between both. Using ICC Profiles and...

Webinar - Spot Color Conversion With ZePrA Color Server

Introduction on spot color conversion using ZePrA Color Server from ColorLogic. The summary includes an example of a poor quality spot color conversion using the alternate color space versus the...

Webinar - ZePrA Color Management Server Spot Color Conversion

Learn how to implement ColorLogic's ZePrA Color Management Server software, how to convert alternative color spaces from PDFs generated from Adobe's Indesign and Illustrator (from CS 6 forward) to...

Webinar - ColorAnt and CoPrA Software for High End Color Management

ColorLogic and CrossXColor present our software solutions ColorAnt and CoPrA Software for High End Color Management including: Optimizing bad measurement data with ColorAnt...

Webinar - ColorLogic Use Cases (part 2)

David van Driessche, CTO at Four Pees, held two webinars on ColorLogic Use Cases. In the second webinar, he covered the following use cases: TAC...

Webinar - ColorLogic Use Cases (part 1)

David van Driessche, CTO at Four Pees, held two ColorLogic webinars. The first webinar covered the following ColorLogic Use...

Webinar - ColorLogic introduction

This webinar gives you an introduction to the ColorLogic products.

Webinar - ColorAnt 3.0 introduction

Learn about ColorLogic's ColorAnt measurement data and optimization software. ColorAnt corrects for common errors that occur when measuring test charts, including patch correction, optical brightener correction. ColorAnt can also generate custom charts for different color spaces, including multicolor test charts.


Webinar - Messing with color: colorful applications

This webinar covers several color related topics:

  • ICC Profiles, DeviceLink profiles and the difference between both.
  • Using ICC Profiles and DeviceLink profiles for color conversion in pdfToolbox Desktop and Server
  • Using CoPrA and ZePrA to build and use ICC Profiles and DeviceLink profiles
  • Using profile creation applications or pre-built sets? Options and discussion


Webinar - Spot Color Conversion With ZePrA Color Server

Introduction on spot color conversion using ZePrA Color Server from ColorLogic. The summary includes an example of a poor quality spot color conversion using the alternate color space versus the high quality conversion using ZePrA Color Server.


Webinar - ZePrA Color Management Server Spot Color Conversion

Learn how to implement ColorLogic's ZePrA Color Management Server software, how to convert alternative color spaces from PDFs generated from Adobe's Indesign and Illustrator (from CS 6 forward) to get a high-quality match, not only for proofing, but also for CMYK and multicolor print production.


Webinar - ColorAnt and CoPrA Software for High End Color Management

ColorLogic and CrossXColor present our software solutions ColorAnt and CoPrA Software for High End Color Management including:

  • Optimizing bad measurement data with ColorAnt including evaluation.
  • Creating CMYK and RGB printer profiles with CoPrA.
  • Special features of CoPrA.
  •  Perceptual rendering options.
  • Black generation and black point options.
  • How to check and evaluate ICC profiles.
  • Tools and methods to make this critical step fast and easy.
  • Converting images with the CoPrA file conversion feature.
  • Evaluation of test images with Photoshop.
  • Comparing profiles with poor quality measurement data vs. optimized data 
and demonstrating the relevance of ColorAnt.


Webinar - ColorLogic Use Cases (part 2)

David van Driessche, CTO at Four Pees, held two webinars on ColorLogic Use Cases.

In the second webinar, he covered the following use cases:

  • TAC Reduction
  • Ink Saving
  • Improving an existing system
  • Working with PDF/X-4


Webinar - ColorLogic Use Cases (part 1)

David van Driessche, CTO at Four Pees, held two ColorLogic webinars.

The first webinar covered the following ColorLogic Use Cases:

  • Proofing
  • Full Gamut Printing
  • Color Preflight & Standardization
  • Advanced Color Workflows


Webinar - ColorLogic introduction

This webinar gives you an introduction to the ColorLogic products.


How to upload large files to support?

Background

When sending problems to support or asking questions about a specific functionality, it is always helpful if you supply as much information as possible:

  • Profiles or Process Plans when working with pdfToolbox or pdfaPilot
  • Example documents 'before' and 'after' to explain the problem or question
  • Screenshots explaining the specific problem

When such files are over 2MB it is more reliable and quicker to send them to us through FTP. This article describes how to do so.

 Instructions

  1. First of all, please give your documents a unique name. If you already have a case ID (a 5-digit number), please include this case ID in the name of the file(s) you are going to send to us.
  2. Use FTP software to connect to the following FTP server
    • Server: ftp.fourpees.com  
    • User name: supportftp
    • Password: support  
  3. Upload your file(s) to the root folder (the location you arrive in when you log-on to the above server).

This FTP server is configured in such a way that you will be able to upload files to it, but you will not be able to delete files from it. We will remove files from the folder as soon as we see they are there.


Do you have a complete price list in Euro / USD?

Yes, the latest price list is available via distributor Four Pees. To access the Reseller Guide, go to https://www.fourpees.com. Once you have registered as reseller, and your account has been approved, you will be granted access to the reseller guide containing full pricing information for all products in Euro and USD. With any questions regarding exact pricing for specific customers, bundles etc... please contact orders@fourpees.com.

Are the ColorLogic products competition to X and Y?

Likely :-) ColorLogic offers a very comprehensive color workflow solution and more than likely it overlaps in functionality with some of the other tools in the market that you know. The important thing to remember is that we believe that the ColorLogic solutions have a number of key differentiators and advantages:

  • The quality of the tools is superb.
  • These are probably the best color tools out there today. 
  • They offer a very nice balance between ease-of-use and configuration and have a large array of features and possibilities. 
  • Their price / quality ratio is excellent, much more than comparable solutions.

Can I create my own test targets?

There is no built-in test chart creation tool. However, besides the built-in charts, ColorAnt and CoPrA support any measurement file that has the reference and measurement data specified in the CGATS prescribed way. A number of the free test chart creators from other companies (such as the MeasureTool from X-Rite or the ColorPort utility) can be used as well.

Does ColorLogic support the measurement data from device X?

The UPPTC measurement tool already supports a number of devices directly. If you have another device it will be supported if it can save data according to the CGATS specification. To try simply save measurement data and import them in ColorAnt; verify that it looks correct to make sure the format is correct and supported.

System requirements

Four Pees