ZePrA | Troubleshooting

Troubleshooting

Detect and resolve errors

Overview

To prevent errors and problems when processing files, ZePrA checks configurations and hot folders as well as settings and licenses.

If errors or problems are detected, an error message appears in the lower left of the ZePrA window.

If you click on this message, the error is displayed. If several errors are detected, a list of all errors is displayed.

Another click on the corresponding message opens the Troubleshooting dialog, which lists possible solutions to the problem found, which can then be applied to resolve the error.

Causes of errors

Errors can occur, for example, if certain profiles (or spot color libraries) are used in a configuration without embedding them in the configuration, and this configuration is then transferred to a computer on which these profiles (or spot color libraries) are not available. It is then not possible to process files with this configuration.

But certain combinations in the settings can also cause problems.

ZePrA therefore checks:

  • Configurations
  • Settings
  • Hotfolder (all required folders must be available)
  • Profiles (all required profiles must be available on the computer)
  • Gradation curves (all required gradation curves must be available on the computer)
  • Licenses (all required licenses must be available on the computer, depending on the job this can be SmartLink, Multicolor, spot color or SaveInk licenses)
  • Spot color libraries (all required spot color libraries must be available on the computer)

Troubleshooting

In the Troubleshooting dialog, the identified problem is described and options for solving the problem are suggested.

Some problems can occur in multiple configurations and can be solved immediately for all affected configurations, for example, when using the Perceptual Rendering intent in combination with SmartLink.

Click on the message to open the Troubleshooting dialog. Here, by selecting the Solve the issue automatically checkbox, you can switch all affected configurations to Standard Compression without having to change each configuration individually.

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.

Tag Management
All existing tags are listed in a table under Tag Management. It can be opened via the Tools menu and is especially useful if tags are to be edited or removed from several configurations. The Used in column indicates how many configurations use a tag. With the buttons on the right New tags can be entered and existing tags can be removed (affects all configurations) or renamed (also affects all configurations).

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.

Forward and backward icons
The two buttons with forward and backward icons at the bottom left allow switching between all opened dialogs similar to the forward and backward buttons of a browser.

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.

For detailed information visit Troubleshooting.

Screen Preview
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

Quick Start Guide

Introduction

Thank you for choosing ColorLogic’s ColorAnt. Reaching higher quality in production environments has never been easier.

ColorAnt, the ultimate color management solution
ColorAnt is the ultimate color management tool to manipulate, analyze and optimize measurement data including RGB, CMYK and Multicolor.

Use ColorAnt to create special measurement charts, measure color patches, and to check measurement data prior to profiling to avoid issues such as mis-measurements or inhomogeneous data. ColorAnt can be used to average several measurements together when required before creating a profile.

The quality of ICC profiles depends strongly on the quality of the measurement data used to create them. By adding analysis and optimization of measurement data, profile quality will improve which also leads to higher production safety.

ColorAnt’s Online Help
The question mark ? (bottom right in all program windows) opens the Online Help. This is context-sensitive, so if you click ? in the Redundancies tool, the Redundancies online help page opens. The online help contains more detailed information about the various functions of this application.

Automatic Updates
ColorAnt can automatically search for new versions of the application at program start. Activate or deactivate the automatic update check under Help > Check for Update.

Enjoy analyzing and optimizing your measurement data!

Your ColorLogic Team

Click here to download a PDF version of the Quick Start Guide.

01 INSTALLATION

System Requirements

macOS®

  • macOS® 10.15 Catalina
  • macOS® or macOS® Server Version 10.9 and higher

Windows®

  • Microsoft® Windows® 10
  • Microsoft® Windows® XP SP3 and higher

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

  • macOSColorAnt, Measure Tool, CoPrA and ZePrA are running in 64 Bit mode
  • WindowsColorAnt, CoPrA and ZePrA are running in 64 Bit mode, the Measure Tool is running in 32 Bit mode
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.

ColorAnt - Available Packages

02 MAIN WINDOW

Sidebar

ColorAnt’s Sidebar allows quick access to all tools from a central, easy-to-use location.

Automatic Correction

Auto
Correct measurement data automatically


Data Import/Export

Custom Chart
Create custom test charts

Export Chart
Export custom charts for printing and measuring

Measure
Measure printed charts or ambient light

Report
Create detailed reports on measurement data

Embed CxF/X-4
Embed CxF/X-4 spectral data in PDF files


Editing

Redundancies
Correct redundant patches in measurement data

Correction
Corrects and detects faulty measurements and inconsistent data

Smoothing
Smooth and correct uneven curves

White/Black Correction
Apply manual corrections to white and black areas

Brightener
Correct data for optical brighteners

Tone Value
Correct measurement data to a specific set of curves

Rescale
Recalculate data to a different color chart

Edit Primaries
Add, remove, or exchange primaries and recalculate measurement data

Color Editor
Edit colors to match a reference file

Averaging
Average several data sets into one data set

Link
Combine multiple charts into one measurement file

ICC Transformation
Use ICC device and DeviceLink profiles to test impact on data

CIE Conversion
Change the standard observer illumination of data sets


Registration
Activate ColorAnt and manage licences

Preferences
Preferences – Customize various ColorAnt settings

Data Sets and History

Data Sets
Displays relevant information about the measurement data: Number of Patches, DCS (color model: Lab, CMYK, RGB, Multicolor) and measurement type CIE (colorimetric = Lab, spectral = Remission).

History
Shows the tools and corrections applied to the measurement data of each editing step and allows switching between different editing states of a file. By clicking on an entry in the History window (either above or below the current status) an individual processing step can be accessed and checked, for example, in the View window.

Save History Log and Averaging Report
Save History Log is available at the bottom right of the main dialog (Fig 2.3).  It saves all modifications applied to all files in a detailed PDF document. When double-clicking a 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 recognize colors with large deviations which would not be obvious by visually confirming values.

View and Compare Data
Advanced viewing options for ColorAnt’s tools are located at the bottom of the main window enabling both the inspection of measurement data (View) and the pre- and post-comparison of measurement data (Compare).

To view measurement data, select the data in the Data Sets area and open the View window. Five different options allow for a quick overview of all color patches in the measurement file: the 2D view shows the reference and the corresponding Lab values for each patch, 3D shows a rotating view of the color space, TVI displays the curves for each channel, Spider Web for a top down view, and Curves for various gradations and various curves of gradations.

Color filters: Using the checkboxes, colors can be selectively displayed in 2D and 3D view. All other color patches are then hidden. This allows you to immediately find selected colors in the test chart layout of the 2D view.

The 3D view displays the color body defined by the color filters. This way, the Full Primaries, Limits, Primaries, Secondaries, White or Black can be viewed separately. With Multicolor data, it is easy to recognize in which areas the additional colors extend the color body compared to CMY or CMYK.

There are some dependencies between the color filters, so selecting a certain color filter may automatically activate another color filter (or even several others). For example, if the Secondaries checkbox is activated, the Primaries and White color filters are also automatically activated. They can be deactivated if only two color combinations (Secondaries) are to be highlighted.

Color channels: By selecting color channels, either all color patches or only the color patches of the selected color channels can be displayed. Color channels can be combined with color filters so that, for example, only the Multicolor Primaries or Secondaries can be displayed. Duplex and triplex colors can be displayed by individual selection of suitable color channels (for example, Cyan + Black shows duplex colors and Cyan + Magenta + Black shows triplex colors).

2D View
Color filters highlight selected colors. View full primaries, limits, selected channels, primaries, secondaries, paper white or black. Individual color patches can be edited or deleted by selecting the patch and right-clicking to open a context menu.

3D View
Turn the color patches into the desired direction by clicking and dragging. By dragging the gamut, the color space is rotated in that direction. Increase or decrease the view by using the right side Zoom slider. Enlarge or minimize the color patches by using the Point Size slider.

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

Spider Web
The Spider Web provides a top view of the color space in an 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.

03 USING COLORANT

Automatic Correction

The Auto feature optimizes measurement data by applying the following tools in the specified order:

Redundancies: Clean up redundant color patches

Correction: Correcting faulty measurement values

Smoothing:  50% slider setting with no protection of highlights

Each tool that is applied is displayed in the History section. ColorLogic recommends to create a Report for detailed results and further recommendations on your measurement data.

 Procedure

  1. Load measurement data by drag-and-drop onto the Data Sets area or via File > Open.
  2. Click Auto and then Start. The corrections applied to the data are displayed under History.
  3. Save the optimized measurement data as a new file via File > Save as. Use the optimized measurement data in profiling software such as ColorLogic’s CoPrA to create high quality ICC printer profiles.
Measure

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

Sidebar tools will be highlighted when applicable to the measurement data, tools which are not applicable are grayed out. Use the tools by first highlighting the data (multiple files can be selected, e.g., by 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.

View and Compare Data

View
The View window provides plenty of features that facilitate the evaluation of measurement data. Filters allow the combining of individual channels. Combinations of 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6 channels, as well as one and two channels in combination with black, can be faded in and out. These filters are available in 2D and 3D view.

The number of displayed color patches is shown on the left, i.e., if one or more filters are selected, the number of affected color patches as well as the total number of patches is shown on the left.

Compare
The Color Comparison window shows measurement data (Fig 3.2) before and after optimization. It can also be used to view the actions taken to optimize the data (e.g., File Name Correction, File Name Smoothing). Filters allow the combination of individual channels which are to be compared. 

The Mark from and Mark to slider displays various levels of DeltaE deviations.

Save or export measurement data
The name of every tool applied to correct or optimize data is appended to the name of the data set (e.g., Data_smoothed_corrected). Save the optimized measurement data with File > Save As. Additional export options allow 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.

04 DATA IMPORT & EXPORT

Custom Chart

The Custom Chart tool is designed to create reference files for test chart generation. A custom test chart for profiling requires a reference file containing the device data for the color space.

Note: 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 drop-down menu.

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

Multicolor Charts
Modifying settings: Select the desired Color Space. For example, to create a 6 color profiling chart, ColorAnt will display a pre-defined color order, in this example: CMYK+Pantone Red and Green. The Eyedropper function allows reordering the channels. To exchange the 5th 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: Select one of the presets based on the purpose of the test chart: Profiling, Flexo Profiling, Profile Updating, Linearization or CxF/X-4 Wedge.

Number of patches: Affects how precisely the device color space will be filled with color patches. Please consider the available space on your output, the required accuracy of the characterization data and the capabilities of your printer. Available choices are Large, Medium and Small test charts and a Custom option which allows entering a specific number of patches (the Custom option is not available for CxF/X-4).

Note: The Custom Chart tool works even with only a few patches. The color space is covered in the best possible way to allow proper profile creation.

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.

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 provide a starting point for typical use cases to create Linearization test charts, Profiling test charts, special profiling test charts for Flexo printing and Profile Updating. The Number of Patches feature chooses the optimal number of patches for specific profiling situations.

Note: This option is useful for difficult print processes that are challenging to profile. 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 creates test charts based on device color values (e.g., RGB, CMYK, 7 Color etc.), which can be stored as PDF, TIFF or PSD files.

At the top a Preset covering all settings can be selected and 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 on the number of files to 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.

Ink Limit takes into account 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.

Procedure

Step one: Select the reference file with the required device color values.

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

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

Measure

ColorAnt’s Measure Tool is used to measure test charts for profile creation.

Measuring test charts

  1. Select Measure from the sidebar.
  2. Select the measurement device under Selection and the measuring mode (M0, M1, M2 or M3).
  3. Connect your device and open the test chart. Charts can be opened via the File menu via the Recently used files and Predefined Charts entries. Your own charts can be added to the list by placing them in the ColorAnt Wedges folder (User\Documents\ColorAnt\Wedges). Alternatively, simply load a reference file or drag-and-drop it onto the window.
  4. Select the Direction of scanning: Patches – Line by line, Patches – Column by column, Scan Rows or Scan Columns.
  5. Begin measuring: Follow the instructions of your measurement device. For the virtual device, double click the first patch to start the measurement.
  6. Transmit Data: When measuring is completed, click the Transmit icon to transfer the data into ColorAnt’s Data Sets section.
Report

A Report offers detailed information for measurement data analysis and provides recommendations for measurement data corrections. It can be used to verify and graphically display the data, and is therefore a powerful feature to document which types of corrections are necessary for the measurement data.

The various report pages provide an insight into the Tonal Value Increase Curves, the gamut representation (Spider Web) as well as the results of the test on the matching of redundant color patches (Quality Evaluation section), measurement or printing errors and the smoothness of the measurement file.

Embed CxF/X-4

Allows to embed spectral measurement data of spot colors (compliant with CxF/X-4) in a PDF file so that other CxF/X-4 compatible tools (e.g., ZePrA) are able to extract or use this data.

Procedure

Open the PDF/X file. The tool lists all spot colors of the PDF file, checks for spot color names that fit those of the CxF/X-4 measurement data and warns in case of conflicts. The data will only be embedded if the spot color names of the PDF file fit those of the CxF/X-4 file (Fig 4.5). When the spot colors match up, click on Start.

05 EDITING

Editing

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

Correction
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 corrects and analyzes the remission curve of the paper white to determine whether the paper contains optical brighteners or is merely a blue-colored paper.
Step two: Correction
Correction will be applied when 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
Corrects measurement data to a specific set of curves. Data is corrected according to specific conditions (e.g., G7, ISO 20654 SCTV). The Protect Lights slider can be adjusted to protect the highlights of flexo data. Correction curves can be exported as Photoshop gradation curves (ACV) and as XML according to ISO 18620 to be used in either Adobe Photoshop or any external RIP software that supports the ISO 18620 standard.

Three options are available:

Correction according to a given profile:
Specify a profile and the measured values are adjusted to achieve the same tone value increase curves as those of the selected profile.

Correction according to:
Tone value curves are calculated to match the requirements of G7 Gray Balance, ISO 20654 (SCTV), G7 + ISO 20654 (SCTV) or ISO 20654 (MultiColor).

Correction according to TVI targets:
Manual editing of each channel (Fig 5.1) allows predefining the increases in tone value to be incorporated in the measurement data

Rescale
ColorAnt can calculate a large test chart based on several measurement files from small test charts. In some printing processes, (e.g., flexo printing on uneven materials) it can be challenging to achieve artifact-free printing of a large test chart. An effective approach to measuring large charts is to place several small test strips on a single page, measure, average and scale up the test strips to a large ECI2002 test chart using the Rescale tool.

 Averaging
Average several measurement files (e.g., press runs) of the same test chart and combine them to form a data set.

 Link
Combine multiple data sets into a single large data set. We recommend to verify the obtained data using the View tool and to optimize the data with either the Auto function or the Redundancies tool.

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

CIE Conversion
Convert spectral measurement data into another viewing condition. The spectral data are converted to Lab during CIE conversion with the set illumination and the selected observer.

Edit Primaries
Add, remove, and exchange primaries or the paper/substrate in existing measurement data (Fig 5.2).

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. It also recalculates all overprints based on intelligent spectral color models. One of the major features is its ability to dynamically choose the best patches from the data provided. The more complete the provided data, the more accurate the results. This improves the exchange of gradations of the primary color and overprint information, e.g., the primary combined with black. If the selected data 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 colors, e.g., Blue for Cyan or 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), 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
We suggest loading 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. Fig 5.2 shows 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.

Verify the exchange of primaries with the Compare tool.

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/Paper white and select the new paper white from another data set loaded in ColorAnt (Fig 5.3). 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

  1. Load the test chart measurement data and load the secondary information with the measured primaries, gradation and overprint information into ColorAnt.
  2. Select the measurement data you would like to edit and click Edit Primaries.
  3. Click on Add Channel. A new channel with default gray Lab values and the channel name Auto is added.
  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. Fig 5.4 shows an example where a 5th Orange color has been added to an original CMYK data set. To rename the channel click on the Pencil icon and enter the new channel name. The new channel can be linearized according to the ISO 20654 (SCTV) standard by selecting the checkbox.
  5. Click OK to generate the new data set. To view the new data set, use the View tool and select the tabs 2D, 3D, Spider Web and 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 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 selected channels.

Color Editor
Edit color patches and process color conversions of spot colors. 

Procedure
The Color Editor allows the user to edit patch names (Fig 5.5), 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 editing options on the right.

Select an ICC Profile from the drop-down list and a calculation Mode.

Six modes are available:

  1. Precise Match – Proofing
  2. Visual Match – Utilize More Channels
  3. Use the Least Amount of Channels
  4. Use one Output Channel only
  5. Use a Maximum of two Channels
  6. Use a Maximum of three 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 5.6) for each color.

Clicking on Automatic applies the selected calculation Mode which typically results in a reduced amount of channels for better printability.

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).

ZePrA | Applying Correction DeviceLinks

Correction DeviceLinks

Modify target profiles with updated profiles or correction DeviceLinks

Apply Correction DeviceLink Profile

The more reliable the color behavior of your press and the more accurate the associated ICC profile for the printing process, the better the color conversion with ZePrA. In practice, however, things often look different. Fluctuations between paper batches, varying tonal value increases or fresh printing inks deviate from the ink series last used, which leads to color deviations and differences in the tonal value distribution.

To compensate for these fluctuations and deviations, CoPrA SP* with its Update Profile module is part of ZePrA’s SmartLink module. Instead of generating a completely new press profile and DeviceLink profile in case of deviations, a correction DeviceLink profile can be used to adapt to the changed conditions.
Very little information, such as the spectral measurement values of dot gain strips or, even better, of the Reprofiler measuring strip provided by CoPrA SP*, will ensure that your press produces the same color impression as before the deviation.

The Correction DeviceLink profile will be applied after the color conversion defined in your configuration. So you can continue to use your tested and proven DeviceLink profiles and do not have to replace them due to a change in the target color space of your press.

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.

Update/correct the target profile in CoPrA

CoPrA’s Update Profile module allows existing ICC profiles to be updated with a few measurements. Correction DeviceLink profiles based on updated profiles can optionally be created for application on print data. These profiles can be selected in ZePrA under Configurations in the Document/Target tab by activating the Apply Correction DeviceLink Profile checkbox in the Target Color Space control panel. ZePrA versions prior to 4.6.2 do not support this profile type.

Procedure

  1. Select a measuring strip. CoPrA contains two Reprofiler measuring strips for different measuring devices for CMYK and RGB-based printing systems. For other color spaces, ColorAnt can be used to create suitable measuring strips.
    (1) The Reprofiler measuring strip small is available in a one-row and a two-row version. The one-row version can be placed more easily in the trim area of a printing press. The two-row strip is more suitable for digital printing or inkjet systems.
    (2) The Reprofiler measuring strip large contains considerably more color patches and is therefore better suited for optimizing larger color variations, as well as in digital and inkjet printing.
    Note:Besides the included ColorLogic measuring strips, other measuring strips can also be used, for example Ugra/Fogra Media Wedge, IDEAlliance Media Wedge, ECI GrayControl Strip, ECI bvdm TVI or UGRA UDKS Wedge. Alternatively, you can use an existing measurement file that reflects your current printing conditions.
  2. Print the measuring strip. To do this, deactivate the color management settings, i.e. no simulation of a printing condition will take place. This is especially true for digital printing systems.
  3. Measure the measuring strip with a spectrophotometer.
  4. The Update Profile tool in CoPrA optimizes the ICC profile of your target profile (= printer profile selected as Target Color Space in ZePrA).
    Note: If you use the Apply Correction DeviceLink Profile function, you do not need to replace the profile set as the target color space because this is done elsewhere – see below. 

Applying the correction DeviceLink profile in ZePrA

  1. In Configuration, Document/Target click the checkbox Apply Correction DeviceLink Profile. If there are no correction DeviceLink profiles, the option is grayed out.
  2. Click Settings to open the Correction DeviceLink Profile dialog and select a correction DeviceLink that has previously been created by CoPrA.
  3. The corresponding optimized target profile should also be embedded in the converted file (Embed updated Target Profile instead of the Target Profile). This will make this profile the new Output Intent of the converted PDF file. The updated target profile is shown below.
    Note: ZePrA checks whether suitable Correction DeviceLink profiles and optimized printer profiles exist for the selected Target Color Space. Only corrected or optimized profiles are shown and can be selected after activating the Apply Correction DeviceLink Profile checkbox. If there are no Correction DeviceLink profiles, the checkbox is grayed out.

ZePrA | Working with Transparencies

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.

ZePrA | Sharpening

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.