Edit Primaries

The Edit Primaries tool allows users to add, remove, and exchange primaries or the paper/substrate in an existing measurement data. In typical print production, adding or swapping ink(s) requires the expense of printing a complete, full size test chart. The Edit Primaries tool simply requires the spectral data of the new ink(s) to be added or exchanged. Edit Primaries not only exchanges inks but also recalculates all overprints based on intelligent spectral color models. One of the major features of the Edit Primaries tool is 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.

Items that will improve: the exchange of gradations of the primary color, overprint information, e.g the primary combined with black, spectral data in general, providing the printing sequence information.

This allows creation of new ICC profiles for new color combinations quickly.

Scenarios for efficiency gains with the Edit Primaries tool in production:

  • Variance in press condition: The characterization press run is slightly deficient in solid ink density or hue on one or more colors. This video demonstrates the procedure with ColorAnt
  • Exchange of paper/substrate: The inks are the same but a slightly different paper is used in production or a specific job.

Exchanging inks in packaging print production:

Create a new set of characterization data that swaps in e.g. Blue for a Cyan or a Rhodamine Red for Magenta.

  • Adjusting the Printing Sequence: allows improved overprint calculations.
  • 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 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, print and select the profile with the least amount of channels.
  • Increasing CMYK gamut: Adding a 5th, 6th or 7th color to a CMYK printing process.
  • Modify channel names: Reorder channel names without modifying data

Exchange a Primary Color
  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.
  2. Note: A sample of a reference file for CMYK plus one spot color is included with ColorAnt 3 L. The wedge Spotcolor-CMYK+X-v1.txt (shown as Red spot color in the screenshot) is located under File/Open Predefined. Use the tool Export Chart to generate a printable wedge.
  3. Select the measurement data of a test chart measurement file for editing and click Edit PrimariesExchanging a primary: Click on the eyedropper icon of the color to be exchanged (see screenshot demonstrating an exchange of Magenta).
  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 another 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 the star will be highlighted.
  5. Note: The most powerful function related to Edit Primaries during import of measurement data happens in the background. Edit Primaries 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 there is only one full tone patch, ColorAnt will assume a certain printing behavior based on the original data.
  6. If no measurement data of the new primary is available, there is the option to 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.
  7. When complete click Start 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 CoPrANote: The most powerful function related to Edit Primaries during import of measurement data happens in the background. Edit Primaries 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 there is only one full tone patch, ColorAnt will assume a certain printing behavior based on the original data.
  8. If no measurement data of your new primary is available (such as Pantone Libraries which can be opened as a CxF file), there is the option to 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.
  9. When complete click Start 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.
  10. To check the exchange of primaries, use the Compare tool to verify the data.

Note: If a solid color is used to replace a primary color but does not contain any gradation values, ColorAnt takes the gradation behavior of the original primary color

Exchange Paper or Substrate

The workflow below can be used in cases where changes in the paper are not large and have no influence on the primaries when using the Edit Primaries tool. When larger substrate changes are required ColorLogic recommends using the White/Black Correction tool.

  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 another 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 Start 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.
Changing the Printing Sequence

The Printing Sequence is the order of the inks printed on top of each other. Defining the original printing sequence allows testing if a changed sequence would increase the gamut or it allows to calculate the overprints in the correct order when exchanging or adding primaries. Example: it is a difference in color appearance if a red ink is printed on top of a yellow ink or if it is vise versa. Users can define the printed ink sequence independent from the channel order, so that the channel order can be retained for example as CMYK even if the printing sequence was KCMY.

  1. The initial printing sequence shown as Original Sequence of a loaded data set will be that of the channel order. Change the Original Sequence color order by simply clicking on a colored icon and moving it to the desired position. For example in Flexo printing, colors will be printed mostly from dark to light colors whereas the channel order might imply a different order.
    Note: If a data set prepared with Edit Primaries will be reopened again the Original Sequence reflects what has been done and saved the last time.
  2. Under Edited Sequence define the order of the inks you wish to change.
    Note: If there is no change required regarding the printing sequence make sure that the Edited Sequence uses the same color order as defined under Original Sequence.

After you are done click Start 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

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 Primaries.
  3. Click on Add Channel. A new channel with default gray Lab values and the channel name Auto is added. Note: The Auto entry will pick the channel name from the other data set.
  4. 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.
  5. In the screenshot shows an example of a 5th color (Orange) being added to an original CMYK data set.
  6. To rename the channel you may click on the pencil icon and enter the desired name in the upcoming dialog Edit Primary Name.
  7. Important: define the Original Printing Sequence and the Edited Sequence. This is especially important if a new ink is added. It might be that the ink is added as the last ink when printing then there is no change required but if the ink will be placed in between other primaries when printing this should be reflected in the Edited Sequence section.
  8. Click Start 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.

To examine the new color data set (in our example using 5 inks), 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 and/or apply other tools like Smoothing.

Removing Channels

To remove channels a ColorAnt L license is required.

  1. Load and select the measurement data of a test chart and click Edit Primaries.
  2. Disable the checkboxes in front of the channels that need to be deleted and click Start. The information area in the Edit Primaries 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 that is required.

Reordering Channels

A helpful feature is 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 eyedropper 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 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.

Creating new characterization data on existing wedges

The Edit Primaries tool allows 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.