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

View and Compare

View 

Correct measurement data automatically

Compare 

Correct measurement data automatically

Automatic Correction

Auto 

Correct measurement data automatically

Data Import/Export

Custom Chart 

Correct measurement data automatically

Export Chart 

Export custom chart for printing

Measure 

Remove optical brightener from measurement data

Report 

Correct measurement data automatically

Editing

Redundancies 

Correct measurement data automatically

Correction 

Export custom chart for printing

Smoothing 

Remove optical brightener from measurement data

White-Black Correction 

Apply manual correction to white and black areas

Brightener

Remove optical brightener from measurement data

Tone Value 

Correct measurements as if they were printed to a specific reference

Rescale 

Recalculate data to a different test chart

Edit Primaries 

Add remove or exchnge primaries or the paper substrate into an existing measured chart

Merging and Conversion

Averaging 

Correct measurement data automatically

Link 

Export custom chart for printing

ICC Transformation 

Remove optical brightener from measurement data

CIE Conversion 

Change the standard observer illumination from D50

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.

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.

Viewing and Comparing Options

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

2D highlight with the Color Filter

The Color Filter highlights selected colors in 2D and 3D views. View by full primaries, limits, 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.

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.

System Requirements
macOSX®

10.7.5 or later – (Intel only)

Windows®

Windows® 10, Home, Pro or Enterprise
Windows® 8, Home, Pro or Enterprise
Windows® 7, Home (Basic or Premium), Professional, Ultimate or Enterprise
Windows® XP SP3, Home or Enterprise
Windows® Server 2016
Windows® Server 2012
Windows® Server 2012 R2
Windows® Server 2008
Windows® Server 2008 R2
Windows® Server 2003, Standard, Enterprise or Datacenter

 

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 x 1024 or higher recommended)

Other Information


  • Macintosh –  CoPrA, ColorAnt and ZePrA run in 64 Bit mode. The Measure Tool runs in 32 Bit mode
  • Windows –  ZePrA runs in 64 Bit mode. CoPrA, ColorAnt and Measure Tool runs in 32 Bit mode
Installation

Installing ColorAnt

Installers for the respective platform installs the program by default in either the Applications folder (Macintosh) or the Programs folder (Windows). Begin installation by double-clicking on the ColorAnt installation package.

After accepting the Software License Agreement, select the destination volume and click Install.

Computer vs USB dongle license

Computer based ColorAnt licenses always refers to a the specific computer on which ColorAnt was installed and can be requested for temporary test purposes. Computer licenses are also advantageous if the computer has no USB ports or no space for a USB dongle, i.e. a rack server.

USB dongle licenses are serialized to the USB dongle. The USB dongle is shipped with the permanent license and permits use of ColorAnt on different computers. To be able to assign the license to the USB dongle, the dongle must be connected before starting ColorAnt.

Demo license request

ColorAnt allows users to automatically request a 14 day demo license to evaluate ColorAnt.

To request a demo license follow the steps below:

1. Click the registration button located on the lower left-hand corner of the Main Navigation Panel.

2. Click on the Demo license request tab.

3. Enter all required information.

4. When your location is chosen, ColorAnt will show the available dealers for your region. Select a dealer and click send direct request. A demo license will be automatically sent to the email address supplied in the contact form.

5. Save the license file contained in the email (indicated by the ending *.lic) to your system.

6. Under License details in the Registration window and select the .lic file.

After installing the demo license file, the expiration date of the demo license is shown below the License details.

Restrictions with Demo licenses and ColorAnt

ColorAnt demo license gives users a 14 day evaluation period to try all the functions of ColorAnt within the application. The demo license permits saving and exporting of data.

Purchasing ColorAnt

ColorAnt is available in 2 packages, M or L. Click on Buy ColorLogic products under License details or Demo license request in the Registration window.

A list of ColorLogic resellers will open in your browser, then locate the appropriate dealer for your country or region.

Installing a permanent license

A permanent license provided by the individual dealer will be supplied after purchasing ColorAnt. The permanent license is available in the form of a computer-based license or a dongle license (see previous section).

After purchasing the software, a permanent license file (.lic) will be sent via email license. Load the license file under License details in the Registration window.

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

Working With ColorAnt

Automatically correct and smooth measurement files

Load the measurement data file. Click on the Auto button and on OK. Each tool that is applied is displayed in the History section. ColorLogic recommends completing this process running a Report for detailed results and further recommendations for 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 through 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 the Rescale tool – add the CGATS 1.7 compatible TXT file to Users/Documents/ColorAnt/Wedges folder.

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, Named Color ICC profile, CxF compatible CXF file format, Photoshop ACO color table or as GMG CSC file.

Generate a Report

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 linearization 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.

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 under Custom Chart.

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 covering 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 a 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.

Reporting

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 (as shown). 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.

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.

Smoothing

Corrects inhomogeneous measurement data and non-smooth curves by interpolating existing smoothed data. The Auto correction uses the maximum slider setting.

White/Black Correction

Apply manual corrections to the most white and darkest color patches, typically the paper or other substrate. 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 is specifically designed to correct measurement data to a specific set of curves. Data will be corrected with a “what if” the data was printed to (e.g. G7) specific conditions.

ColorAnt’s Tone value tool can optimize measurement data according to either a desired tone value increase property or gray balance property.

Three options and methods are available:

Correct according to a given profile

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

Correction according to… Tone value curves are calculated to match the requirements of the G7 calibration process, ISO 20654 or G7 and ISO 20654.

Correction according to TVI targets

Manual editing of each channel (Fig 5.1) 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 test chart measurement files. Some printing processes, (e.g. flexo printing on uneven materials) pose challenges to an artifact-free printing ECI2002 test chart. The 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.

Edit Primaries

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

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 an other 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 an other 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.

Merging and Conversion

Averaging

Average several measurement files 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

Change the standard observer, illumination from standard D50.

ColorAnt Packages

R

ColorAnt M


STANDARD FEATURES


Viewing, Comparing, Reporting

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


Edit Primaries

Edit Primaries for CMYK


Custom Chart Generation

Color spaces supported: Gray, RGB, CMYK


CIE Conversion

Edit the Standard Observer

R

ColorAnt L


ALL FEATURES OF ColorAnt M


Includes all features of  ColorAnt M

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


Edit Primaries

Edit Primaries for Multicolor


Multicolor Custom Chart Generation

Color spaces supported: Gray, RGB, CMYK, Multicolor


Merge Multicolor Charts

Combine charts by channel name