ZePrA | Interface

User Interface

Operation and Special Features

Sidebar

ZePrA’s sidebar allows quick access to all main workflow functions. Simply move the mouse over the Home button on the left and click on the required module.

The colored bar below the title bar shows the tool you are currently using.

Start

Auto Setup

Create workflows with ZePrA’s Auto Setup Wizard

Main Setup and Overview

Overview 

Access ZePrA’s overview screen to view queues, pending jobs and processed jobs

Configurations 

View and customize processing settings

Queues 

Manage print jobs

Tools

Spot Color Report 

Check the accuracy of spot color conversions prior to printing

SaveInk Report 

Generate an overall ink saving report

Extract ICC Profile 

Extract ICC profiles from images and PDF files

Global Settings

Spot Color Libraries 

Manage libraries and edit spot colors

Gradations

Manage and create tone value correction curves

Profile Assignments 

Use existing or dynamically created DeviceLinks for file conversions

Menu Bar

Navigation

Use the shortcuts in the menu to navigate easily and conveniently through all ZePrA modules.

Access the most important modules via shortcuts

Tools

Auto Setup
Calls the Auto Setup Wizard.

Importing and Exporting Configurations
For saving complete configurations containing settings for hotfolders and used ICC profiles. This allows all settings to be transferred to another system (e.g. in case of a technical malfunction on the current system). In addition, configurations can be exchanged and transferred between different locations.

When exporting and importing configurations, the association of the configuration with a queue is also considered. If a configuration assigned to a queue that already exists is imported, the new configuration is linked to the existing queue.

ZePrA’s Tools menu

Export Configurations: Opens the Export Environment window.
Select the configuration(s) you want to export by activating the corresponding checkbox(es).

Exporting selected Configurations

Export All Configurations: Exports all configurations including the ICC devices and DeviceLink profiles used. Activate the respective checkboxes to Export Profile Assignments and to Export Spot Color Libraries.

Export all configurations. Profile assignments and spot color libraries can be exported along with the configuration.

Export ICC Profiles: Exports all ICC device profiles and DeviceLink profiles used in the selected configuration(s).

Export Profile Assignments: Exports all settings including the profile table created under Profile Assignments, however this does not export the DeviceLink profiles created in SmartLink.

Export Spot Color Libraries: If individual configurations are selected, only those libraries which are used in the selected configurations will be exported, if Export all Configurations is selected, all libraries will be exported.

Click OK, enter a filename and Save the *.CCF file including the configurations and ICC profiles. Subsequently, the window Information provides information about license terms regarding the import and export of ICC and DeviceLink profiles.

License agreement notes

Importing Configurations

  1. Select a previously exported or otherwise provided *.CCF file. The Import Configurations window opens.

    Choosing configurations to import

  2. Select the Desired Base Folder which is where the hot folder should be created when importing configurations.
  3. Click on OK and the configuration is immediately available.

Imported configurations are inactive until activated in the Overview window.

Activating the checkbox Use Paths from imported File preserves the original hotfolder paths of each configuration.

Configurations that already exist in the import system are marked with an asterisk (*). Disable the checkbox to prevent these configurations from being imported and overwriting existing configurations.

Extract ICC Profile
Extracts the embedded profile from images and the output intent from PDF/X files. The extracted profile can then be saved to any location.

Install DeviceLink Profiles
Opens the DLS Manager. The DLS Manager is used to install and update DeviceLink sets (DLS). License keys for the required sets can be purchased from your ColorLogic dealer. With a demo installation, all or individual sets can be installed and tested. Please note, however, that demo profiles installed during a demo can no longer be used on a permanent license for ZePrA. The DeviceLink sets will be available for further use after they are purchased.

SaveInk Report
The SaveInk report provides a detailed overview of the color savings of all SaveInk queues and processed jobs.

Spot Color Report
The Spot Color Report shows which results are achieved with a spot color conversion in respect to deltaE00, deltaE76 and separation into the process colors. This allows to verify the accuracy of the spot color conversion before printing and to determine in advance how spot colors (e.g. Pantone® colors) of specific PDF and image files will be converted by ZePrA.

Spot Color Iteration
Deviations from the theoretically achievable minimal color differences are caused by printing, material and color variations  during production.
Deviations can be minimized in ZePrA using Spot Color Iteration. This feature is primarily for particularly high demands of accuracy and reproduction of spot colors, for example for digital printing or proofing, which require the  conversion of spot colors to process colors.
The Spot Color Iteration tool provides a step-by-step guide starting from the selection of the spot colors being iterated, preparation and printing of measurement of test charts and finally, optimization of  the conversion, including the creation of reports.

Help

What’s New
Opens the website that shows new features and bug fixes in ZePrA (requires an Internet connection).

Online Help
Goes directly to the online help (requires an Internet connection).

ZePrA’s Help menu

Quick Start Guide
Opens the download page of the Quick Start Guide (requires an internet connection).

readme.txt
Contains the Release Notes with brief information about the latest changes.

CLI Manual
Opens the Command Line Interface manual (in PDF format).

Save Support Data
Creates a compressed text file that contains important support information. Send this support data to your ColorLogic reseller for expert assistance. The data required includes information about the used operating system, the ZePrA log file, general preferences, and settings at the time of the problem.

Event Log
Shows the events that occurred when using ZePrA. Some of the events take place in the background (for performance reasons and to improve the user experience) and are invisible to the user. The event log contains such and other information with the exact time of occurrence.

Examples:

  • Configurations or spot color libraries exchanged with the Automatic Import feature are automatically updated or added without notice
  • Added or updated SmartLink presets are loaded in the background
  • Automatic stopping or starting of queues, in case hotfolders are temporarily not available due to network problems or other issues
  • Messages and information regarding PantoneLIVE, e.g. login errors and updates
  • The starting and stopping of the program itself

Automatic Update Check
Checks whether a new program version is available (requires an Internet connection).

Enable automatic update check: If activated, ZePrA checks whether a new version is available for download at program startup or once a day.
If a new version is found, it can be downloaded via the download links given in the window (for macOS or MS Windows).
The most important new features are briefly described in the window, a detailed description of the new features can be found in the linked “What’s new in ZePrA?

Register
Here you can load and activate your licenses, request a demo license, or view further information about your licenses.

Special Features

Profile search in drop-down menus
All profile drop-down menus function like search fields. Simply type in some letters of the desired profile and only those profiles containing these letters will be shown in the list. To select a profile simply click on it. Alternatively you may open the drop-down menu with the arrow on the right and select a profile from the full list as usual.

Context menus
A right click on an entry in a table opens a context menu with useful tools specific to the respective table.

Troubleshooting
ZePrA automatically checks all settings for errors and inconsistencies, such as missing profiles or incorrectly set rendering intents. In the lower part of the window, a warning message appears that briefly describes the problem and offers a solution. You can then decide whether to ignore the error or have ZePrA fix it automatically.

Softproofing
Shows a real color display of your files on the monitor. Also overprinting elements and transparency effects are taken into account. More information about the integrated softproofing can be found in the tutorial Softproofing PDF image files.

ColorAnt | Quick Start Guide

Quick Start Guide

Get started with ColorAnt

What Is ColorAnt?

ColorAnt is an easy-to-use tool that corrects and optimizes measurement data. The features include the ability to edit primary colors, substrate color and recalculate measurement data with the use of full sized test charts.

Click to download a PDF version of the Quick Start Guide

Main Window

 

View 

Display of measurement data in various views

Compare 

Comparison of different data sets

Automatic Correction

Auto 

Correct measurement data automatically

Data Import/Export

Custom Chart 

Create custom reference files for test chart creation

Export Chart 

Create printable test charts from custom reference files

Measure 

Measuring printed test charts with the Measure Tool

Report 

Detailed analysis of measurement data as PDF or XML file

Embed CxF/X-4

Embed spectral color information in PDF files

Editing

Redundancies 

Remove redundant color patches

Correction 

Correct erroneous and inconsistent measurement data

Smoothing 

Smooth and correct measurement data

White/Black Correction 

Adjust the black and white of measurement files

Brightener

Remove optical brightener from measurement data

Tone Value 

Adjust dot gain curves

Rescale 

Scale measurement files to create required test chart layouts

Edit Primaries 

Add, remove or exchange primaries and paper white in existing measurement data

Edit Color 

Optimize color patches and (spot) colors

Merging and Conversion

Averaging 

Average measured values from multiple similar test chart prints

Link 

Combine measurements from several test charts into a new measurement file

ICC Transformation 

Comparisons and profile tests with printer and DeviceLink profiles

CIE Conversion 

Change the observer and illumination

Working With ColorAnt

ColorAnt’s main window is divided into 3 sections. All tools are located and grouped by function on the left side, measurement data is shown in the Data Set section on the right hand side upper window of the application window. Measurement data can be loaded or saved via the File menu or by dragging & dropping data to the Data Sets window. Tools applied to the measurement data show are shown in the lower right hand side History window. Clicking on an action item in the History window (above or below the current status) gives the user control over individual corrective tasks.

When viewing measurement data, the View Options in the 2D and tabs have been updated with additional color channel check boxes for the primary colors available in the loaded data set. The color channel check boxes can be combined with the above color filters so that only the Multicolor Primaries or Secondaries can be shown. This greatly facilitates finding and viewing patches. The removed viewing options, Duplex and Triplex known from previous versions of ColorAnt, can be compensated by selecting appropriate color channels individually (e.g. Cyan + Black shows duplex combinations and Cyan + Magenta + Black shows triplex combinations). Both options were removed to gain space in the user interface. In addition, the filters work in combination with the color channels. If, for example, the check box Secondaries is enabled, the check boxes Primaries and White are automatically enabled. They can be disabled if only two color combinations (Secondaries) are to be highlighted. The TVI tab allows users to switch between the typical density based dot gain curves according to Murray Davies or the modern colorimetric dot gain curves according to ISO 20654 (SCTV). Linear dot gain curves according to ISO 20654 would show a straight horizontal line.

Data Sets and History

The Data Sets section of the main window will display pertinent information about the measurement data including: number of color patches, color model (Lab, CMYK, RGB, Multicolor), measurement value type (colorimetric = Lab – spectral = Remission)

History

The tools applied to the measurement data show in the lower right hand side History window. Clicking on an action item in the History window (either above or below the current status) gives the user control over individual corrective tasks.

Save History Log and Averaging Report

Save History Log is available at the bottom right of the main dialog. This saves all modifications applied to all files in a detailed PDF document. When double-clicking an single entry in the History section, a dialog pops up showing the settings applied to the data at a specific step. The single step can be saved with Save Log.

Averaging Features

The averaging log contains detailed reporting with sample colors (similar to the Report feature) comparing the averaged data and providing process control statistics. Standard deviations (sigma) for Density, dE and dH/dL. This allows users to easily see colors with large deviations which would not be obvious by visually verifying values.

Data Sets and History

Select the data set (or sets) to process. The Data Sets section of the main window displays pertinent information about the measurement data including: number of color patches, color model (Lab, CMYK, RGB, Multicolor), measurement value type (colorimetric = Lab – spectral = Remission).

History

The tools applied to the measurement data are shown in the lower right side History window. Clicking on an action item in the History window (either above or below the current state) gives the user control over individual corrective tasks.

View and Comparing Tools

Advanced viewing options for ColorAnt’s tools located at the bottom of the main window that can be enabled for both viewing measurement data (View) and comparing pre and post comparison of measurement data (Compare).Absolute or Relative Density can be set in ColorAnt’s Preferences

2D highlight with Color Filter

The Color Filter highlights selected colors in 2D and 3D views. View by full primaries, limits, selected channels, primaries, secondaries, paper white or black. Other custom settings are also available.

3D viewing options

The Color Filter highlights selected colors in 3D views. Zoom and rotate the model by using the sliders. Click the Compare ICC profile to compare the two in the window. The same filter options are available in the 2D view.

TVI View options

Analyze tone value variation curves (TVI). The tone value curve works in conjunction with the curve view or any other correction which will effect the TVI. Choose either Murray-Davies or ISO 20654 (SCTV) methods

Spiderweb

The top view of the color space in a a*-b* diagram. The measured or optimized color patches are arranged in a spider web configuration. Verify changes in the View dialog by moving forward or backward in the History list.

Curves

View the linearity curves from white to all 100% primary colors, (including multicolor data). Visualizes data and assists with analyzing non-smooth gradation curves. Choose from ColorLogic Default, ISO 20654 (SCTV) or Tone Value.

System Requirements

macOS®

  • macOS® or macOS® Server Version 10.9 and higher

Windows®

  • Microsoft® Windows® 10, Home or Pro
  • Microsoft® Windows® 8, Home or Pro
  • Microsoft® Windows® 7, Home, Pro, Ultimate or Business
  • Microsoft® Windows® XP SP3, Home or Pro
  • Microsoft® Windows® Server 2016
  • Microsoft® Windows® Server 2012
  • Microsoft® Windows® Server 2012 R2
  • Microsoft® Windows® Server 2008
  • Microsoft® Windows® Server 2008 R2
  • Microsoft® Windows® Server 2003, Standard or Enterprise

Recommended Hardware

  • Minimum Dual Core Processor (Quad Core or more recommended)
  • Minimum 2 GB RAM (4 GB or more recommended)
  • Minimum 1024 × 768 resolution (1280 × 1024 or higher recommended)

Specifics

  • macOS: CoPrA, ColorAnt and ZePrA are running in 64 Bit mode, with Measure Tool running in 32 Bit mode
  • Windows: ZePrA is running in 64 Bit mode, CoPrA, ColorAnt and Measure Tool are running in 32 Bit mode
  • CoPrA needs very little RAM for profile calculations
Installation

Installers for the respective platform install the application by default either in the folder Applications  (macOS) or Programs (Windows). Begin installation by double clicking on the installation package.

After accepting the Software License Agreement, select the destination volume and choose between a Standard Installation or a Custom Installation. Standard Installation installs all components (e.g. the Measure Tool in CoPrA or the DLS-Manager as described below).

ColorAnt: The integration of ColorAnt (or ColorAnt’s Measure Tool with CoPrA Basic) allows to measure test charts for profile creation from within CoPrA.

DLS-Manager: Allows installation of DeviceLink Sets. DeviceLink sets are standard DeviceLinks that will perform a variety of standard color management tasks. A complete list of sets and profiles can be found in the online help.


Product Package

What’s included:

  • CoPrA software
  • Additional software: Profile Manager (integrated into CoPrA) and ColorAnt or ColorAnt’s Measure Tool
  • ColorAnt M is included in CoPrA M to XL.
  • CoPrA XXL includes ColorAnt L
  • CoPrA Basic includes ColorAnt’s Measure Tool.
  • USB stick (dongle) or computer based license
  • Editable test charts to use with the DeviceLink tool Editing (in the folder EditTargets after installation)
  • Test charts and reference files including Multicolor charts for creating printer profiles 
(in the folder Testcharts after installation)
  • Printed Quick Start Guide
  • Access to Online Help

Note:

The folder EditTargets can be found under:
Windows: C:\Program Files (x86)\CoPrA5\EditTargets
macOS: Applications\CoPrA5\EditTargets

The folders Testcharts can be found under:
Windows: C:\Program Files (x86)\CoPrA5\Testcharts
macOS: Applications\CoPrA5\Testcharts

These folders can also be accessed by using the entries Open EditTargets folder and Open Testchart folder in the menu Tools.

The context sensitive Online Help opens up in a web browser after clicking the question mark icon of the respective program window, the F1 key or using the Help menu entry Online Help. An active internet connection is required.

Activation

Installing a Permanent License

A permanent license will be provided by your dealer after purchasing the application. Permanent licenses are available as computer-based or dongle licenses.

Computer-based licenses are always tied to the computer on which the software (CoPrA, ZePrA or ColorAnt) is installed. This is useful for temporary test purposes. Computer-based licenses are also required if the computer lacks an USB port or space for an USB dongle, i.e. a rack server.

USB dongle licenses are serialized to the dongle. The USB dongle communicates with the appropriate software license and enables the software to be used on different computers. To assign the license to the USB dongle, it must be connected to the computer before starting the software.

After purchasing the software, a permanent license file (*.lic) will be sent via email.


Activating a License

Load the license file in the tab License details under Registration to activate the application.

After installing the permanent license file, the licensed modules are displayed under License details.


Using One License File on Multi-User Systems

macOS

Copy the license files of ColorLogic applications into the following folder:

/Users/Shared/ColorLogic/LicenseInstall.

  • Create the folder if it does not exist.
  • Check the folder permissions.
  • When the application is launched, it will check the specified folder by default.

Windows

Copy the license files of ColorLogic applications into the following folder: C:\Users\Public\Documents\ColorLogic\LicenseInstall.

  • Create the folder if it does not exist.
  • Check the folder permission.
  • When the application is launched, it will check the specified folder by default.

License Details

License status: The expiry date for time limited versions of the software (for example, NFR or demo licenses) is shown at the bottom right of the software window. No expiry date is displayed for full versions.

Available Features: Shows the activated modules and add-ons.

Complete instructions on how to download and install ColorLogic applications and how to request and activate a demo license can be found here.

Working With ColorAnt

Working with ColorAnt

ColorAnt’s main window is divided into 3 sections. All tools are located and grouped by (Fig 3.1) function on the left side, measurement data is shown in the Data Set section on the right-hand side upper window of the application window. Measurement data can be loaded or saved via the File menu or by dragging & dropping data to the Data Sets window. Tools applied to the measurement data show are shown in the lower right-hand side History window. Clicking on an action item in the History window (above or below the current status) gives the user control over individual corrective tasks.

Automatically correct and smooth measurement files

Load the measurement data file. Click on the Auto button and on the OK button. Each tool that is applied is displayed in the History section. ColorLogic recommends completing this process running by a Report for detailed results and further recommendations for your measurement data.

Recommended manual working method

Opening or Importing data

Measurement data can be loaded or imported through a variety of ways in ColorAnt. Simply open the data file (File>Open) or Drag and Drop to the Data Sets window. Predefined data sets and recently opened files are also available via the File menu.

Acquiring data by measuring

Measurement data is acquired with the Measure tool and transferred to ColorAnt. Measurement data files Measure tool are stored in the Users/Documents/ColorAnt/MeasurementData folder.

The Data Sets section of the main window will display pertinent information about the measurement data including number of color patches, color model (Lab, CMYK, RGB, Multicolor), measurement value type (colorimetric = Lab – spectral = Remission).

Tools located on the left will be highlighted when applicable to the measurement data, tools not accessible are grayed out. Access the tools by first highlighting the data (or multiple files e.g. linking or merging several data sets together) and right click. When multiple data sets are present and no set is selected, corrections are applied to all measurement files.

To add reference files for additional or custom profiling test charts and color wedges accessible using the File/Open predefined or the Rescale tool – add the CGATS 1.7 compatible TXT file to Users/Documents/ColorAnt/Wedges folder.

Viewing and Comparing Data

Advanced viewing options for ColorAnt include tools located at the bottom of the main window that can be enabled for both viewing measurement data (View) and comparing the original and post comparison of measurement data (Compare).

The View window includes options for 2D, 3D, Spider Web and TVI curve options to facilitate comprehensive measurement data analysis.

Color Comparison allows the user to view measurement data (Fig 3.2) before and after optimization. The comparison window also allows the user to view the actions taken to achieve the optimized data (e.g. File Name Correction, File Name Smoothing). The Mark from and Mark to slider displays various levels of DeltaE deviations.

Saving or exporting measurement data

Once a tool or tools have been used to correct or optimize data, the name of the data will be appended with the tool(s) that have been applied (e.g Data_smoothed_corrected).

Save the optimized measurement data by going to File and choose Save as. Additional export options allowing conversion of spectral data to Lab or Density only. Other save as options include CGATS compatible TXT file, CGATS XML, Named Color ICC profile, CxF compatible CXF file format, Photoshop ACO, color table, Adobe ASE or as GMG CSC file.

Generate Reports

ColorLogic recommends using the Report tool both on the initial data import and after the measurement data has been optimized.

Data Import and Export

Custom Chart

The Custom Chart tool is designed for creating reference files for test chart generation. To define a custom test chart for profiling, a reference file containing the device data for the color space is required. Important: Creating multicolor charts requires a ColorAnt L license.

Depending on the selection of color space, the Custom Chart dialog provides several options:

Gray, RGB and CMYK: Define the Number of Patches and click OK. Select the desired Color Space from the chooser.

CMYK: Choose the linearisation from another measurement data set or from another print run as a starting point. To use the linearisation feature, load the appropriate measurement file in ColorAnt before opening the Custom Chart tool and select the file in the Color Space chooser.

Multicolor Charts

Modifying settings:

Select the desired Color Space, for example to create a 6 color profiling chart, ColorAnt will display a predefined color order, in this example: CMYK+Pantone Red and Green. The Eyedropper function allows reordering the inks. To exchange the 5 channel which is Red with Green, similar to fig 4.1 click on the Red Eyedropper Icon and from the Colors section select Green by clicking on it.

Mode:

Choose one of the presets based on the purpose of the test chart: Profiling, Flexo profiling, Profile updating, Linearization.

Choosing the number of patches

Choose from any of the four predefined settings, Small, Medium or Large. For a specific number of patches choose Custom and enter a number in the box.

Changing or defining the channel names

To change channel names, click the Pencil icon, e.g., click the green channel and type in the new name as shown in fig 4.2.

Define the channel name of each channel, (including or excluding CMYK) enter the name in the text field or click on the eyedropper icon and select a color from the pop up dialog that matches closest.

Linearization

ColorAnt provides intelligent settings that provides users a starting point for typical use cases such as creating linearization test charts, profiling test charts, special profiling test charts for Flexo printing and updating of profiles. Number of Patches chooses the optimal number of patches for specific profiling situations. More information on this topic can be found in the Online Help.

Note: This option is useful with difficult print processes that are challenging to profile without linearization or having very high dot gain. ColorAnt uses a very smooth linearization to avoid inconsistencies in the curves.

Once the color space, channel names and the Number of Patches are defined, click OK and calculate the reference file. The reference file will appear in the Data Sets section. Save the file if necessary for other chart generation tools. To create a test chart within ColorAnt, select the reference file and click Export Chart.

Export Chart

Export Chart allows creation of test charts as TIFF, PSD or PDF files.

At the top a Preset changing all the settings can be selected, manual presets can be created, saved or deleted. The largest section covers options for Chart Dimensions, Patch Sizes and additional Options. The section on the bottom provides information of how many files will be created with the chosen Preset, settings and buttons to Cancel or create (Start) the test charts. The tool is optimized to work with most of the instruments supported in the Measure Tool. The Custom Chart tool fills the full chart width with patches minus margins for the numbering. Instruments that do not have width limitation (no ruler required) can benefit from this feature.

The Ink Limit option allows the user to take into account special printing processes that can’t handle 400% ink on paper/substrate. 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 another ink limit, the user can enter the desired Ink Limit. The resulting chart will have ink limit integrated. Use the exported reference file for measuring and profiling.

Quick Start Procedure

Step one: Select the reference file that was created with the Custom Chart tool or a reference file from another source.

Step two: Choose either one of the presets, or define a custom size and patch width.

Step three: Define the number of patches to be produced.

Measuring test charts

The ColorAnt Measure tool directly measures test charts for profile creation.

Productivity Feature: When measurement data is loaded into the Data Sets window and Measure is selected, the previous chart and measurement device by default are automatically loaded into the Measure tool.

Quick Start Procedure

To Measure:

Step one: From the ColorAnt Data Import/Export module, click Measure. Step two: Connect to your device, and double click the first patch to begin measuring (may vary by instrument). To select a different chart for measurement, select the Chart from the dialog. For custom charts including ColorLogic’s test charts, click Load and the select the desired chart from the pull down menu.

3. Select the measurement device under Selection and select the measuring mode (M1, M0 or M2 if applicable). or task.

4. Select the method of scanning: by Line by Line, Patches Column by column, Scan Rows or Scan Columns.  5. Begin measuring: As you begin measuring with the options chosen, grayed out patches are replaced by measurement data. Continue measuring until completed.

6. Transmit Data: When measuring is completed, press Transmit to copy the data into ColorAnt.

Report

ColorAnt offers detailed reporting for measurement data analysis and provides the user with corrective recommendations for measurement data. Users can customize the logo and report title. Reports can be generated as pdf files or .xml data.

Features of ColorAnt’s Report tool include Tone Value increase chart and the option of utilizing a layered PDF to view combinations of channels.

ColorAnt will report the presence of optical brightener the deltaE variance and the corrective action needed to improve the measurement data.

Other features in ColorAnt are available via ColorLogic’s Online Help.

Embed CxF/X-4

Embeds CxF/X-4 compliant spectral data into PDF files. Embed CxF/X-4 is only available if the data selected in the Data Sets window contains spectral data that is compliant with the following standards:

CxF/X-4b single patch characterization (full tone only)

CxF/X-4a single background characterization (full tone and gradient on white)

CxF/X-4 full characterization (full tone and gradient on white and black)

Quick Start Procedure

The tool will list all the spot colors in the PDF file vs the names that match the CxF/X-4 data (Fig 4.5). A warning message is displayed when conflicts occur.

When the spot colors match up, press Start.

Editing

Redundancies

Corrects color patches by averaging the redundant patches and replacing with the same value.

Correction

The Correction tool detects faulty measurements or inconsistent measured values and replaces the data with expected measurement values. Use the Protect Lights feature to exempt Flexo data bumps.

Smoothing

Corrects inhomogeneous measurement data and non-smooth curves by interpolating existing smoothed data. The Auto correction uses the maximum slider setting. Use the Protect Lights feature to exempt Flexo data bumps for being unintentionally smoothed.

White/Black Correction

Apply manual corrections to the most white and darkest color patches, typically the paper or other substrates. The White/Black Correction tool is designed to be used only on a single measurement file.

Brightener

Step one: Analysis

Brightener correction analyzes the remission curve of the paper white to ascertain whether the paper contains optical brighteners or blue-colored paper.

Step two: Correction

Correction will be applied if optical brightener has been detected. The correction can be adjusted via a slider control and at 100% setting, a similar result will be achieved as if the paper were measured with a UV cut filter.

Tone Value

The Tone Value tool corrects measurement data to a specific set of curves. Data is corrected with a “what if” the data was printed to (e.g. G7, ISO 20654 SCTV) specific conditions.

The Protect Lights slider can be adjusted to accommodate the highlights of flexo data.

Tone Value Dialog

Three options are available:

Correct according to a given profile:

Specify a profile and measured values are adjusted to achieve the same tone value increase curves as those with the standard profile that was chosen.

Correction according to:

Tone value curves are calculated to match the requirements of G7 Gray Balance, ISO 20654 (SCTV), G7 and ISO 20654 (SCTV) or ISO 20654 (SCTV) multicolor.

Correction according to TVI targets

Manual editing of each channel allows the user to predefine the tone value increases that should be incorporated in the measurement data.

Rescale

ColorAnt can calculate large test charts that can be used for profiling from small chart measurement files. Some printing processes, (e.g. flexo printing on uneven materials) pose challenges to an artifact-free printing ECI2002 test chart. An effective approach to measuring large charts would be to place several small test charts, e.g. ColorLogic Profile Updating strips on one page, measuring the test strips and, averaging them in ColorAnt and then scaling up to a large ECI2002 test chart with the Rescale tool.

Rescale a chart

Edit Primaries

The Edit Primaries tool (Fig 5.3) 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 Primary 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 are: the exchange of gradations of the primary color, overprint information, e.g the primary combined with black. If the data that was chosen contains overprints, such as secondary colors, the Adapt Secondaries feature will take the additional data into account.

Scenarios for potential efficiency gain with the Edit Primaries tool in production :

Modify channel names: Reorder channel names without modifying data

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 are the same but a slightly different paper shall be used.

Exchanging inks in a print packaging production environment:

Create a new profile that swaps in e.g. Blue for a Cyan or a Rhodamine Red for Magenta.

Adjusting the print sequence: Allows improved overprint calculations.

Flexibility for the packaging manufacturer: Create different color variants from a full size 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 ensure the press is stable and depending on the color needs of the job(s), and print select the profile with the least amount of channels.

Increasing CMYK gamut: Adding a 5th, 6th or 7th color to the CMYK printing process.

Using Edit Primaries

ColorLogic’s suggested workflow: Load another data set with the measured new primaries, gradations of the primaries and overprint information.

Select the measurement data of a test chart measurement file for editing and click Edit Primary.

Exchanging a primary: Click on the eyedropper icon of the color to be exchanged. Select the new primary from another data set loaded in ColorAnt. Click on the channel to be imported to the primary. The screenshot shown (Fig 5.4) with a new Cyan ink that is slightly different. Selecting ink from other channels is also possible.

Click OK and the data set will be modified.

Important: Using Lab values will not produce the highest quality results. ColorLogic recommends using spectral data. When a data set is present, enter a new Lab value for the selected color or select another channel from the same measurement data set to change the printing order.

To check the exchange of primaries, use the Compare tool to verify the data.

Exchange paper/substrate

Load the test chart measurement data and load the secondary file containing information of the measured paper white into ColorAnt.

Select the measurement data of a test chart for editing and click Edit Primaries.

Click on the eyedropper icon of the Substrate/White and select the new paper white from another data set loaded in ColorAnt (Fig 5.5) Click on the name of the data set to import the data. The second option is to manually enter the new Lab values in the text field.

Click OK and the data set will be modified.

For large differences in substrates, use the White/Black correction tool.

Adding channels

Load the test chart measurement data and load the secondary information with the measured primaries, gradation and overprint information into ColorAnt.

Select the measurement data of a test chart for editing and click Edit Primaries.

Quick Start Procedure

Step one: Click on Add Channel. A new channel with default gray Lab values and the channel name Auto is added.

Step two: 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.

The screenshot shows an example where a 5th Orange color (Fig 5.6)has been added to an original CMYK data set.

To rename the channel click on the pencil icon and enter the new channel name.

Step three: Click OK to generate the new data set.

To view the new data set, use the View tool and select the tabs 2D, 3D, SpiderWeb, TVI to verify all colors including overprints have been added. Additional edits can be made to the curves using the Tone value tool.

Removing channels

Load and select the measurement data of a test chart and click Edit Primary.

Disable the check boxes in front of the channels that need to be deleted and click OK.

The new data set will be reduced to the channels that were selected.

Color Editor

Used to edit color patches and to process color conversions of spot colors.

Quick Start Procedure

Color Editor allows the user to:

Edit patch names, (Fig 5.7) Lab values or device color values (DCS).

Convert and optimize a complete spot color library to a target profile for RGB, CMYK or Multicolor.

To convert spot colors to a desired target profile, first load the spot colors into the ColorAnt Data Sets section, e.g. a Pantone spot color library (or any supported file format such as CxF), then click on Color Editor. The window contains a table on the left showing all spot colors of the file and the editing options on the right. Select an ICC Profile from the drop down list and a calculation Mode.

Three modes are available:

Precise Match – Proofing

Visual Match – Utilize More Channels

Use the Least Amount of Channels

The preset dE Limit highlights colors that exceed the defined threshold. If a color is selected from the table, the device color values for each channel of the selected profile are shown under Optimize Destination Values. As a default, the device values calculated via the ICC profile are shown without any optimization.
By clicking on dE76 or dE00 the deltaE can be minimized (Fig 5.8) for each color.
Clicking on Automatic applies the selected calculation Mode which typically results in a reduced amount of channels for better print-ability. Users can optimize each individual color and can even enter device values manually.

By clicking on Start, the entire list of colors is generated in the Data Sets section including the calculated and possibly optimized device color values. The values can be saved for further usage in other applications in any format supported by ColorAnt (CGATS TXT and XML, CXF3, Photoshop ASE and ACO, named color ICC profile or GMG CSC).

Merging and Conversion

Averaging

Average several measurement files (e.g. press runs) of the same test chart.

Link

Average multiple test charts into one large measurement file. The Link tool should be used in conjunction with the Redundancies tool.

ICC Transformation

Use both ICC device and DeviceLink profiles on reference data (device data like CMYK or RGB) to test the impact of an ICC color conversion with up to three profiles.

CIE Conversion

The CIE Conversion tool converts spectral remission data with a different Illuminant and Observer angles (e.g. D50, D65). CIE Conversion also supports ambient light measurements from supported instruments via the Measure Tool. The readings can be saved separately for later use.

ColorAnt Packages

R

ColorAnt M


STANDARD FEATURES


Viewing, Comparing, Reports


Measure Tool

Measure all type of charts, ambient light and color spaces.


Full range of editing tools

Correction, Smoothing, Averaging, White and Black Correction, Brightener, Rescale, Tone Value, Link


Edit Primaries

Edit Primaries for CMYK


Custom Chart Generation

Supported color spaces: Gray, RGB, CMYK


Color Editor

Edit CMYK color patches


CIE Conversion

Edit the illumination and the standard observer


R

ColorAnt L


ALL FEATURES OF ColorAnt M


Full range of editing tools

Correction, Smoothing, Averaging, White and Black Correction, Brightener, Rescale, Tone Value, Link


Multicolor Custom Chart Generation

Color spaces supported: Gray, RGB, CMYK, Multicolor


Edit Primaries Multicolor Support

Edit Primaries for Multicolor


Merge Multicolor Charts

Combine charts by channel name


Color Editor

Edit colors in CMYK or Multicolor


Embed CxF/X-4

Embed spectral spot colors in PDF files

ZePrA | Applying Correction DeviceLinks

Apply Correction DeviceLink profiles

Apply Correction DeviceLink Profile

The more reliable the color behavior of your printing machine is and the more accurately the corresponding ICC profile maps the printing process, the better the color conversion via ZePrA will be. In practice, however, it is often very different. Variations between the batches of paper, other dot gains or fresh inks that differ from the last series used can result in tonal shifts and deviations in the distribution of tonal values.

CoPrA SP* and the Update Profile module is integrated in the SmartLink module of ZePrA in order to compensate for these variations and deviations. Instead of having to generate a completely new printing machine profile and DeviceLink profiles for such deviations, the Update Profile makes the required adjustments. To ensure your printing machine prints the same color appearance as before, just a few details are required, such as the spectral measurements of dot gain strips or better still, the Reprofiler measuring strips that we provide with CoPrA.

The Correction DeviceLink profile will be applied after the color conversion defined in your configuration. So, you can continue to use your tried and tested DeviceLink profiles without having to replace them because of a change in the target color space of your printing machine.

Note: *SP = Serialized Profiles. The profiles created with CoPrA SP are encoded with the serial no. of the ZePrA color server and can only be used there.

Preparations for using the Updating Profile function

CoPrA’s Update Profile tool allows adjustments of an existing profile with just a few color measurements quickly and easily. Optionally a Correction DeviceLink profile to be applied in ZePrA can be created. Note that such profiles can only be used in ZePrA versions 4.6.2 and higher.

  1. Two types of Reprofiler control strips for different measuring instruments are included in the scope of delivery for both CMYK and RGB-based printing systems. For other color spaces use ColorAnt to create Reprofiler control strips.
    • The small control strip is available as a one-row and a two-row strip. The one-row strip can easily be integrated in the trim area of your printing machine.The two-row strip is more suitable for digital printing or inkjet systems.
    • The same applies for the large control strip, which contains significantly more color patches and is thus more suitable for optimizing relatively large color deviations.

      Note: In principle, you can not only print and measure the ColorLogic control strips, but also other measuring strips, such as Ugra/Fogra, IDEAlliance Media Wedge, ECI GrayControl Strip, ECI bvdm TVI or UGRA UDKS Wedge, are supported too. Alternatively, you can use an existing measurement file that reproduces your current printing conditions.

  2. Once you have printed a control strip, measure it using a spectrophotometer.
  3. Make sure the color management settings are deactivated upon output of the control strip, i.e. without simulation of a printing condition for example. This is especially the case for digital printing systems.
  4. The Update Profile in CoPrA optimizes the ICC profile of your output profile (= printer profile that was selected in ZePrA as the Target Color Space).

Procedure in ZePrA

  1. In Configuration, Document/Target click the checkbox Apply correction DeviceLink profile. If there are no correction DeviceLink profiles, the option for Correction is completely grayed out.
  2. Click Settings to open the Correction DeviceLink Profile dialog and select a correction DeviceLink that has previously been created with CoPrA.
  3. We recommend that you not only select the Correction DeviceLink profile, but that you also embed the associated updated target profile into the converted files (Embed updated Target Profile instead of the Target Profile). When this option is enabled, this profile becomes the new output intent of a converted PDF file. The updated target profile is shown below.

    Note: ZePrA checks whether there are corresponding correction DeviceLink profiles and updated printer profiles for the selected Target Color Space. These profiles will be shown and can be selected once the Apply correction DeviceLink profile has been enabled.

ZePrA | Working with Transparencies

Working with Transparencies

Transparency Flattening and Sharpening

Many users often think of only photographic images when sharpening PDF data.  However, when flattening transparencies, vectors and texts can also be converted into pixel-based images. These pixel-based images are treated like photos when the Sharpening option is activated This can lead to adverse results. A difference in sharpness between adjacent objects in the form of a vector or text can cause visual issues and inconsistencies. For production, sharpening effects should always be tested in advance.

Use caution when flattening transparencies with ZePrA. Sharpening takes place before conversion and flattening. In contrast, sharpening without transparency reduction in ZePrA takes place after conversion.

Depending on the composition of the elements in the layout software on the one hand, and the parameters for flattening the transparencies and sharpening in ZePrA on the other, extreme sharpening can produce visually undesirable effects.

The negative effects only become apparent at the most extreme sharpening Amount with a Threshold of 0. Since JPEG artifacts usually show minimal color differences, a high Threshold is the most important factor to avoid unwanted effects.

The following example shows the effects of different sharpening levels. In this case, the graphic designer has placed an object with drop shadow over a gradient.

When flattening the transparencies, the flattened elements were compressed using the JPEG format. With an extreme sharpening setting, the artifacts part of the gradient underneath the drop shadow, which is usually invisible, become intensified when converted into a JPEG image. The following sharpness settings were used from top to bottom:

  • No Sharpening
  • Radius 0.35 points, Amount 80, Threshold 8
  • Radius 0.35 points, Amount 300, Threshold 4
  • Radius 0.35 points, Amount 500, Threshold 0

 

Converting PDF files containing transparencies

When converting PDF files with transparencies, the transparencies can either be preserved or flattened using Transparency Flattening.

During conversion, each object – with or without transparency – is converted separately, preserving the structure of the PDF document.

Unfortunately, there are so many variations in the blending of transparencies and the stacking order of semi transparent objects that there is no simple rule as to when transparencies ought to be flattened or not.

Flattening requires the resolution of the platesetter to be specified; therefore, it is best to perform transparency reduction as late as possible in the workflow.

ColorLogic recommends performing the conversion in ZePrA first without transparency flattening and then to check the converted file with a transparency-compatible PDF viewer (e.g. Adobe Acrobat Pro or Callas PDF Toolbox). If the converted file is visually correct and the desired total amount of coverage is maintained, continue working with the file.

If the file contains artifacts after conversion, uncheck the Convert all transparent Elements in PDF Files checkbox under Configurations/PDF and convert the file again.

This changing this setting often helps to preserve the impression of the original file (see figure below), since ZePrA excludes certain transparency modes from the conversion.

The checkbox Convert all transparent Elements in PDF Files is active by default.

However, if there are still artifacts after deactivating this function, use Transparency Flattening.

Note: Transparency Flattening is based on the Callas SDK, which in turn uses Adobe’s PDF engine for transparency flattening. Therefore, the results achieved with ZePrA’s Transparency Flattening are identical to those achieved with the current versions of Callas pdfToolbox.

Converting Spot Colors containing Transparencies

For transparency flattening of PDF files containing transparent objects composed of process and spot colors, Adobe’s transparency flattening preserves spot colors to preserve the impression of the original but sets them to “Overprint”. Transparency-reduced PDF files should therefore always be viewed with “Overprint preview” enabled in the PDF viewer (e.g. Adobe Acrobat Pro). Simple PDF viewers, such as the Preview in macOS, or many apps on tablets, display such files incorrectly due to the missing overprint feature.

If ZePrA is to be used for high-quality spot color conversions instead of the PDF preflight program or the RIP, activate the checkbox Convert Spot Colors under Configurations/Spot Colors and spot colors are converted to process colors in the best possible way.

Note: Spot colors that are converted will be set to “Overprint” due to the transparency reduction and can mix with process colors. This can lead to unwanted results and the disappearance of converted spot color objects. If this happens, select Transparency Flattening and either Dissolve Overprinting or use the extreme method Rasterize Document.

Transparency Flattening, Image Quality, and File Size

When reducing transparencies, the resulting rasterized objects are created with lossless ZIP compression. This guarantees the best quality but also results in larger files compared to JPEG compression. Even PDF files with JPEG-compressed images will have ZIP-compressed images due to transparency flattening. If the file size is to be reduced, and a reduced quality is acceptable, change the Compression Method to JPEG (in the Image Quality panel under Configurations/Options).

Note: The Compression Method is only considered by ZePrA when performing a conversion. When performing a Transparency Flattening without conversion, no compression change is made, and rasterized objects are ZIP-compressed.

Sharpening for in-house RGB workflows

Sharpening

(For example, in-house RGB workflows)

Sharpening Images

Optimal sharpening refers to the scaled final format of an image in the print data. The following section assumes that editing high-resolution RGB images, placing these images in the layout program, creating the PDF data, and processing the data with ZePrA are connected workflows within an application suite. The summary of these steps is referred to here as an in-house RGB workflow.

With in-house RGB workflows it is possible to work with high-resolution originals of the RGB images in the layout program and then generate a PDF/X-3 or PDF/X-4 file that also contains high-resolution RGB images. Finally, ZePrA handles the color management, the downsampling to the final resolution, and the sharpening. 

After the RGB images have been reduced to the final resolution and color converted to CMYK, a stronger sharpening than is usual for pre-sharpened CMYK images should be applied in ZePrA. To do so, select Strong Sharpening of RGB and Gray Images in ZePrA under Configurations/Options/Sharpening/Preset.

For documents that contain RGB images and already sharpened CMYK images it is recommended to limit sharpening in ZePrA to RGB images.

Note: If transparencies are used in the layout program, it is essential to ensure that there is no  transparency reduction, as RGB data is inevitably converted to CMYK if the RGB image is affected by transparent objects. Transparency reduction is mandatory when creating PDF/X-3 files, whereas transparency is explicitly allowed in PDF/X-4 files. If all RGB images are sharpened in ZePrA, the transparency reduction, should also take place in ZePrA.

Softproofing and PDF images

Softproofing PDF image files

Softproofing in ZePrA offers a true color presentation of jobs on the monitor, with overprinting elements and transparency effects also displayed correctly.

Creating a softproof:

  1. Go to the Navigation Panel and open Overview/Jobs and Queues Overview.
  2. Right-click on a job in Pending Jobs or Processed Jobs to open the context menu.
  3. Select the option Screen Preview. The file is displayed in a window.

Activate the Softproof Color Management Settings via the colored icon in the title bar of the window.

Simulation Profile: The colors will be rendered through the selected Simulation Profile to the monitor profile. As a default, the output intent that ZePrA has embedded in the processed file will be used and shown in brackets. The setting is similar to the Output Preview in Adobe Acrobat

Note: The Default Profiles on top of the dialog and the Prefer embedded Profiles checkbox are only relevant in the case that the simulation profile differs from the color spaces in the file itself.

Rendering Intent: A color conversion method (rendering intent) must be selected for calculation. Typically, only rendering intent directly from the Simulation Profile chooser needs to be selected. The rendering intents include not only the normal ICC intents and relative + Black Compensation, but also include three special ColorLogic intents:

Relative+ and Absolute+: have an impact if the black point information contained in a relative matrix monitor profile indicates that the black point is lighter than L* = 0. The softproof becomes a little darker as a result of this, which usually leads to a visually better match with a reference proof.

Relative Lightness: Based on the absolute colorimetric intent with paper color simulation. The lightness of the paper color simulation is scaled to the maximum displayable lightness of the monitor, the color of the paper color simulation and the gray balance of the softproof as a whole being preserved. This setting makes sense if the absolute colorimetric softproof is visually too dark, as is often the case in newspaper printing for example.

If there is no Simulation Profile available in the file (no profile shown in the brackets), select the desired profile from the drop down list. For rendering intent, we recommend relative or absolute colorimetric or ColorLogic rendering intents.

For monitor presentation, the monitor profile stored in system is automatically selected.

Click Apply to visually display the settings and Save to save the window with the settings and then close it. Next time the window is opened the settings will be retained.

Note: In order to select the correct softproof intent, it is generally advisable to use not only the monitor, but also a dimmable standardized light box with a reference proof for visual comparison.