CoPrA, supplied by ColorLogic, is the control center for any profiling task, delivering high-quality profiles with just a few clicks using simple easy-to-use tools.
DeviceLink Linearization optimizes the tone values of primary gradation ramps for any printer and color combination. The goal of Linearization is for adequate differences from white to 100% of primary inks, smoothing of gradation curves and adjustment of primary colors to a defined, reproducible condition.
CoPrA includes the most advanced colorimetric technologies that are not readily available at the RIP level. ColorLogic’s Default calibration method and ISO 20654 (also known as Spot Color Tone Value, SCTV) are supported for Multicolor printing. CoPrA 5’s Linearization also features G7 calibration and the Protect Lights slider for Flexo printing and calibrating on difficult media and printers.
Calculation Modes can be used for CMYK and Multicolor printing with additional options for G7 for CMYK channels of Multicolor printer and ISO 20654 (SCTV) for spot colors.
Print primary ramps on an uncalibrated printer without any color management. There are two ways to get the necessary measurement data for the creation of a Linearization DeviceLink profile:
Measure the test chart and optimize the measurement data using software, such as ColorLogic’s ColorAnt and open the measurement data in CoPrA; or measure data by using CoPrA’s Measure Tool.
Settings can be customized and the curves can be checked directly before creating a DeviceLink. This DeviceLink profile can be used in any workflow for any type of printing process. For example, when printing a profiling test chart on an uncalibrated printer.
ColorLogic ZePrA supports the use of Linearization DeviceLinks as gradation curves. By using this method, linearization can be applied in the workflow like corrections curves in a RIP. When applying corrections in the RIP other curves must be disabled to avoid double corrections.
A new feature in the Printer and the DeviceLink module allows adjustment of the Gray Balance. Users can choose between a cooler and warmer gray balance. This is a nice feature when visual adjustments based on personal color preferences are desired even though perfect colorimetric profiles exist. The effects of changed slider settings are shown in the program in the adjacent graphic.
Note: The Gray Balance setting works independently from the Perceptual Rendering making it a perfect fine tuning tool for any chosen ColorLogic rendering. It will only be used for the perceptual rendering of a printer profile. However for DeviceLink profiling it can be used for any rendering including the four standard ICC rendering intents.
This new expert feature allows packaging professionals to define the channels (including Multicolor channels) of a printer or DeviceLink profile to be used when separating data. For example, if a brown chocolate artwork is intended to be printed in CMYK without using any Cyan in the separation, a CMYK printer profile can be created which only uses MYK. These types of profiles avoid unwanted Cyan dots in the separation and the converted artwork would appear visually close to a conversion with a complete CMYK profile. The new feature can be found in the Color Generation tab of the Printer and DeviceLink profiling modules. This function is particularly intelligent for Multicolor profiles as it searches for replacement colors in the Multicolor channels when excluding a channel (e.g. Cyan) which can compensate for the missing channel in the gray balance. The alternatively calculated Multicolor channels are displayed grayed out in the panel Black Point and TAC.
The Printer Profiling module includes a new feature to visualize the effects of the selected color separation and Black Point settings. The Gamut view available in the tab Color Generation visualizes changes of the gamut shape immediately when altering settings and provides a real time preview of the profile gamut to be expected. The user can immediately see how changes in the settings affect the gamut, for example, how a reduction of the Black Width slider or a very late Black Start reduces the ability of a profile to render dark colors. The Gamut Volume is calculated and displayed in Lab volume units allowing the user to easily find the settings that produce the largest gamut (highest number).
The Black Point and TAC of a profile are important settings as they define the maximum contrast and depth a profile is able to produce when separating data. We have changed the graphical display of the black point and added number fields for each channel with a colored icon in front of each number field. Editing will be faster, especially if non-standard color combinations are used in Multicolor printing with non-CMYK inks. The colored icons are a guide to the channels used to build the Black TAC. Depending on the selected Black Calculation setting the number fields are either disabled or enabled.Selecting Auto automatically uses all channels to calculate the black point and therefore individual editing of channels is disabled. The Auto mode will not use any Multicolor channels beside CMYK or in general the first four channels for the Black TAC.The mode Balance CMY allows editing of the black channel (or in general the fourth channel) and additional Multicolor channels. Entered Multicolor color values are fixed – like the Max.Black value – and CMY values will be calculated accordingly.
The mode Custom allows editing of all channels.
Note: For Multicolor profiles with more than four channels you can use the extra Multicolor channels for the black generation besides the first four channels (typically CMYK). However, the total area coverage (TAC) cannot exceed 400%. Values for the Multicolor channels can be entered manually when using the settings Balance CMY or Auto and these values will then be used to calculate the Black TAC. Usually it is not necessary to use those channels but sometimes a dark Multicolor channel adds desired contrast and definition. This can easily be checked by viewing the Lab values below the Custom fields. If the addition of a certain Multicolor channel decreases L* while a*b* values are not significantly altered, using this channel can be considered. However, the gray balance will use additional channels as well.
The user interface of the SaveInk module has been streamlined and the save ink Methods have been simplified. Now there are only two methods – Easy and Advanced. The Easy method reduces the settings a user needs to define to a minimum but still achieves economical high quality profiles. Only three settings have to be adjusted in the Easy method: the Total Amount of Color, the Ink Saving slider and the exception Preserve 0% Black.
In the Advanced method all settings are enabled making this the preferred method for advanced users. It introduces a new dE-Tolerance slider which allows tremendous ink savings when set to a high tolerance. dE-Tolerance increases the maximum deltaE between the original profile and the SaveInk DeviceLink profile which results in greater ink savings. In contrast, the predefined Settings SaveNeutral, SaveStrong and Maximum use a low tolerance setting of 0.5 deltaE ensuring a very high color and visual accuracy of the profile. However if greater ink savings are desired it can only be done by reducing the visual accuracy, hence a higher dE-Tolerance setting is required. The new Extreme ink saving preset uses a high dE-tolerance.
Note: Users can save on ink even more by using a higher dE-tolerance setting. We recommend to test ink saving profiles with high tolerance settings closely before using them in production.
Everybody working with lots of ICC profiles on their system knows how hard it can get to find a specific ICC profile in a crowded drop down menu. In CoPrA 5, all profile drop down menus now function as a search field. Simply type in some letters of the desired profile and only those profiles containing these letters will be shown in the drop down menu. This is a feature power users will love. ESC deletes entries on the Mac and the previously selected profile reappears in the list. Under Windows it is sufficient to click elsewhere to delete entries.
The principle of ColorLogic’s Multicolor profiling works as follows:
The standard Multicolor case
If a standard Multicolor color space with CMYK parts is used, the additional inks Green, Orange and Violet extend the gamut in each section of the three primary colors. In between each section of the primary colors one gamut extending color is used making it a color space with 7 colors.
The advanced case
Some new inkjet printers use a Red and an Orange ink in addition to the standard CMYK inks. CoPrA is able to profile such a 6 color printer since Orange and Red are two gamut extending colors of the main primary color section Yellow and Magenta.
Note: Special test charts must be used when working with two gamut extending colors. Currently ColorAnt isn’t able to create such test charts. We have added new Multicolor test charts for those advanced cases which use two additional channels. The test charts are available via the Tools menu (Open Testcharts folder > Testcharts > Multicolor).
The Printer Profiling and DeviceLink modules have an extended Rendering option to change the overall Chroma, Lightness or Saturation of the profile with a slider. The Chroma option was available in former versions but the new Saturation option is even more favorable in situations where a more saturated color outcome is required. As with the Chroma option, the gray balance is not effected from the slider setting. It is recommended to use the Saturation option for large color spaces such as gamut extending Multicolor in order to let colors pop up more.
Note: The effect of each of the options is visualized in the gamut graph on the right side. As Saturation is calculated with chroma versus lightness, more saturation will darken colors slightly and thus will make them appear more vibrant. More Chroma will lead to high chroma colors being out-of-gamut and thus not will not be able to be rendered with the given profile.
An additional Rendering option has been added to the DeviceLink module. The new option Minimum White Compression is similar to the Minimum Compression. Both rendering options compress the white point so that no paper simulation appears. Additional differences are listed below.
Minimum Compression: is rather a perceptual rendering that additionally compresses the black point so maximum dynamic range is utilized without loss of detail in the shadow area (vs Minimum White Compression).
Minimum White Compression: Compresses the white point but not the black point, so a close match between source and target color spaces can be achieved. This can be beneficial for cross media color appearance, color matching or printing on slightly different media. It can be regarded as close to absolute colorimetric rendering.
Reprofiling is a term we have introduced in our product DocBees-Repofiler to describe an innovative profiling approach that does not require to print a large test chart and to define each and every profile settings from scratch. Instead the reprofiling approach uses only little information (measurements from a small color wedge) and an existing profile to update that given profile. The goal is the creation of an updated profile for changed printing conditions in an easy and fast way.
Based on the updated profile it is possible to build a Correction DeviceLink profile with special settings which allows to take the deviations into account to be able to re-print colors as close as possible the same way as before the deviations. This is a very helpful feature in order to minimize color appearance changes in the print run during production despite print changes. To a certain extend even paper color and bigger ink changes can be compensated for.
The reprofiling technology is now include as an additional printer profile module called Update Profile in CoPrA 4. There are a nice improvements associated with this move:
The Update Profile functionality will optimize and maintain the quality of your daily print production with updated printer profiles. But you might have a bunch of DeviceLinks using your original profile already that would need to be rebuild with the updated profile. This could be a time consuming work. The new module Recalculate that is located in the DeviceLink section will make this fast and easy. You simply tell the software to rebuild all existing DeviceLinks using a certain profile with your updated profile. CoPrA will then lists all those DeviceLinks and you can decide which of them shall be rebuild and if you want to keep the original or overwrite it or if you want to rename something. After that you simply click to build the profiles and all of them will be calculated automatically using the same settings of the original DeviceLinks.
Under Black Point and TAC you can define the overall Total Area Coverage (TAC) and the TAC for the black point (Black TAC). The Black TAC is the darkest color in the profile which in most cases is identical to the overall TAC.
Modern printing systems allow printing of a dark black point by using a low amount of ink. Sometimes only pure black is required to print the darkest black which means 100% black is already sufficient enough. Obviously such a low TAC will not work for other color areas – an example would be a pure red with this TAC.
Therefore we separated the Black TAC from the general TAC in the Printer and DeviceLink Profiling. This allows the best black point calculation without any unwanted influence on the overall color space.
In addition to the calculated Lab value, CoPrA 3.3 and higher also shows the percentage value of the generated Black TAC (red frame in the screenshots below). The sliders don’t adjust the calculated values as in previous versions of CoPrA – which enables you to maintain the predefined values.
Note: Separate TAC and black point settings may be required in certain new generation printing equipment including large format and digital printing systems to ensure proper gray balance with high contrast, while maintaing highly saturated colors.
The options for the Black Calculation are explained in this article.
The following example of a digital printer shows the advantage of the two different TAC settings. By utilizing the optionsAutomatic or Neutral CMY for Black Calculation and would start from a Black TAC of 400%, CoPrA will calculate the most likely best black point TAC. The calculated black TAC will be displayed like in the screen shot below. In this example aBlack TAC and the general TAC of 275% will be calculated. The black point is very neutral (a* and b* are both set to 0) but the L* is only set to 16.6 which might be a bit too light.
Reducing the Black TAC to the for digital printing systems typical use of pure black as the darkest printing color, the Black TAC will be set to 100% and the black point has a L* value of 11.9 – so much darker. Therefore a much better contrast can be reached with this setting than with a Black TAC of 275%. Setting in a general TAC to 300%, also enable printing of highly saturated colors. Without these two separate settings it is not possible to won’t be able to achieve quality results.
ColorLogic CoPrA 3.3 and ColorAnt 3.01 include a feature to streamline administrating and loading license files for multiple users on the same computer.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
“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:”
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
“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:
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.”
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.
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.”
Using CoPrA you are able to create printer profiles for your presses.
In this tutorial I create a 7 color printer profile (CMYKOGV) for my digital Indigo press. The measurement data is already obtained in ColorAnt, where I measured the printed test charts en modified the measurement data.
The multicolor printer profile "Indigo5600_CMYKOGV_TAC300.icc" is successful created in the ColorLogic shared folder (Users/Shared/ColorLogic).
The profile report from the created printer profile opens automatic in your default PDF reader. The report contains colorants info, profile statistic tests, gamut curves, gamut volume table, gray balance curves, sample images, RGB conversion tests, hue samples, linearity curves and dot gain curves. The report is saved in the CoPrA "Reports" folder (User/Documents/CoPrA/Reports).
This webinar covers several color related topics:
ColorLogic and CrossXColor present our software solutions ColorAnt and CoPrA Software for High End Color Management including:
When sending problems to support or asking questions about a specific functionality, it is always helpful if you supply as much information as possible:
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.
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.
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:
Advanced packaging products can re-separate files using a flexible number of spot colors. The answer ColorLogic has for such workflows depends on its unique ability to work with MultiColor DeviceLink profiles in CoPrA and ZePrA. Using Photoshop and the edit module in CoPrA, a customer can create custom spot color orders and build those into a DeviceLink profile that can then be used by ZePrA to separate incoming CMYK files. An upcoming ZePrA version will add a much more advanced spot color conversion module for such workflows as well.
In such environments it will be very important to understand the needs of your customer and their project very well before suggesting a ColorLogic product. In case of doubt simply email email@example.com and we will be happy to help you qualify opportunities.