CoPrA | DeviceLink Iterate

Iterate

Improve DeviceLink profiles

Iterate

Overview

An existing DeviceLink profile can be optimized based on measured color values by using a test chart of your choice (can be created with ColorAnt/Custom Chart, see video turorial below). The iteration​test chart needs to be converted from source to target profile using the original DeviceLink profile and printed on the target printer. The measured color values of the printed test chart are then used to improve the conversion in order to achieve lower color differences and a more accurate reproduction of the source color space. Based on the measured values, it is automatically determined whether the target values are reached (which are determined by the source and target profiles) and a correction is made for deviations. Iteration is therefore particularly useful in proofing situations with absolute or relative colorimetric rendering intents. Perceptive rendering intents can also be used as a special feature of DeviceLink iteration in CoPrA. The iteration calculates a new DeviceLink profile based on the original DeviceLink profile and the measured values. The new profile can be reinserted for iteration until the desired result is achieved.

Iteration for Proofing and Production Printing

Iteration is a great method to get the best possible match for proofing. Proofing uses absolute colorimetric rendering without color exceptions. However, in digital production printing, perceptual rendering methods and color exceptions are used to keep colors pure. Nevertheless, there might be an interest to optimize the colors by iteration measurements (Note: It is not always recommended to do so, especially as out-of-gamut colors cannot be optimized).

Using the Iterate tool, it is possible to iterate data for production printing while retaining exceptions during the iteration process. CoPrA recognizes exceptions and rendering settings from the selected reference DeviceLink profile and retains them (only if the selected DeviceLink is a ColorLogic profile). A checkbox is shown when exceptions are used. By default, the checkbox is enabled. 

Notes

  • Iterate requires a DeviceLink license.
  • The test chart must match the color space of the source profile. 
  • Out-of-gamut colors of the original color space can only be improved to a limited extent. 
  • In proofing situations, the gamut of the target color space ought to be larger than that of the source color space, which makes iteration particularly interesting for DeviceLink profiles in proofing applications.
  • Iterations cannot be repeated arbitrarily due to fluctuations in print output, print material and the reproducibility of measuring instruments. More than 2-3 iterations are usually not necessary and not recommended.
  • Only DeviceLink profiles whose source and target profiles are available and referenced in the DeviceLink profile can be iterated. A warning is issued if the required source and target profiles are missing.
  • Third-party DeviceLinks that reference the used source and target profiles can also be iterated.
  • DeviceLinks that use color Exceptions and perceptual rendering options (such as conversion and separation profiles) can be iterated as well, but it should be done with care and it can only be done for ColorLogic DeviceLink profiles.
    Iteration allows the target values to be reached more accurately, which can result in a loss of channel purity if no exception settings are retained. Perceptive rendering intents require an interpretation of the measurement data, which can lead to slight shifts during iteration.
  • With a DeviceLink and a Multicolor license Multicolor DeviceLinks can be iterated, too.

Procedure

Procedure

Procedure

  1. Select Iterate in the sidebar or DeviceLink Iteration in the Navigation menu.
  2. Select the DeviceLink profile that you would like to iterate from the drop-down menu. Make sure that both the source and target profiles used in the DeviceLink are available in the ICC profile folder of your operating system, as CoPrA needs those to calculate the iterated profile. 
  3. Convert the test chart to be used for iteration with the DeviceLink profile and print it on the printer using the same settings as for the profiling test chart for this printer. The test chart can be converted using CoPrA’s Image Conversion tool.
    
Note: Use a test chart that contains the colors you would like to optimize. Typically, test charts with few color patches will suffice, but those patches must reflect the colors to be optimized. Therefore, using large profiling test charts is not required. Instead of using large test charts, use charts that can also be used to update profiles (see ColorAnt/Custom Chart tool). The color space of the test chart must correspond to the color space of the source profile of the DeviceLink.
  4. Measure the printed test chart in ColorAnt, save the measurement data and open it in CoPrA’s Iterate tool, either via drag-and-drop or via the Load button. Alternatively, click Measure and measure the test chart with CoPrA’s integrated Measure Tool.
  5. Depending on the selected DeviceLink profile and its settings, the checkbox Use same Settings from DeviceLink including exceptions will be activated or grayed out. It is activated for ColorLogic DeviceLink profiles that use Exceptions. If the DeviceLink is not a CoPrA profile or if it does not use exceptions, – which should be the default setting for proofing, – the checkbox is grayed out.
    Note: If the checkbox Use same Settings from DeviceLink including exceptions is deactivated, then all Exceptions are deactivated in the iterated DeviceLink profile.
  6. If you disable the checkbox Use same Settings from DeviceLink including exceptions,  then all exceptions are disabled in the iterated DeviceLink profile.
  7. Click Next to get to the Save dialog Format, Size and Further processing.
    Notes:
    a) The Default Template uses an option to add the iteration count number to each iterated DeviceLink.
    b) Size: It is recommended to select Auto because size matters for iteration. The Auto feature ensures that the highest precision is always used when creating the iterated DeviceLink.
    c) The newly created DeviceLink will have a more accurate color rendering for most in-gamut colors compared to the original DeviceLink profile. You can now use it in exactly the same way as the original one or use it for further iterations..
  8. If you would like to further optimize the DeviceLink, proceed as described above. However, select the previously iterated DeviceLink instead of the original one. Now convert the original test chart with the iterated DeviceLink (do not take the already converted test chart from point 3!) and use the measurement data of this printout to calculate a further optimized DeviceLink profile.

Format, Size and Further Processing

In the last step of profile creation, assign a Name and choose the Format and Size of the profile (see screenshot).

Name: Type in a Name for the profile.

Templates: Allows to select and combine name components from a list of options and save them as custom templates. The last selected template is used when creating new profiles, so the naming of profiles is automated.
Available naming options depend on the current profile type and include Date, Date/Time, Measurement data file name, Source and Target profiles, Name of the current preset and others. Each name component can be added at a user-defined position under Template (the position is selected with the mouse pointer). The Example section below shows the resulting name. Additionally, user defined text can be added at any position within the Template field.

Format: Define the Format of your profile. An ICC format in accordance with specification v2 is recommended as a basic setting, however, the newer format ICC v4 can also be chosen. In this case, please ensure that your programs support this format.
Note: ColorLogic products handle and use ICC v4 profiles consistently and correctly.

Size: The setting Large is recommended. The size specifies the number of grid points in the profile and determines the amount of disk space required for the generated profile. Small profiles should only be used for test purposes. Very Large profiles can slow down further processing in subsequent programs. Additionally, some programs are not able to handle very large profiles.

Further processing

Create Profile Report (PDF): Recommended to activate. The PDF report provides an overview of the quality of the profile based on statistics, diagrams of gray balances, gradients and gamut representations as well as evaluation results and details of the DeviceLink iteration.

Save Preview Profile: Is only available in Multicolor printer profiling. By activating this checkbox an ICC preview profile will be created in addition to the printer profile. It can be used as a soft proof profile in Adobe Photoshop.
Notes: Preview profiles are only suitable for proofing purposes. Either a preview profile or a CMYK profile can be created in one profiling step, but not both.

Embed profiles: Physically incorporates the used source and target profiles into the DeviceLink. This function is tricky and only recommended if the DeviceLink has to be transferred to a computer which does not have the required source and target profiles. It was implemented mainly for use with certain RIPs which only accept DeviceLinks with embedded source and target profiles.

Save: Creates the printer profile and saves it in the folder Profiles (macOS) or Color (Windows), (macOS: /Users/Username/Library/ColorSync/Profiles, Windows: C:/Windows/System32/spool/drivers/color). Demo and encrypted profiles will be saved in a different location only relevant for ColorLogic applications.

Note: CoPrA-SP profiles are stored in the ColorLogic subfolder Licensed-Profiles.

Profile Reports

Profile reports can be created for Printer or DeviceLink profiles. To do so, activate the checkbox Create Profile Report in the last step of the profiling or, when updating profiles, the checkbox Create Profile Comparison Report.

Depending on the type of profile the report contains various statistical data, such as statistics about profile precision (Integrity, Precision, Black Point, White Point etc.), graphic representations of curves and gamuts (Gray Balance, Gradients etc.), conversions of test images, separations and color patches to evaluate the smoothness or the purity of colors. All this facilitates the detection of artifacts that may be present.

Profile reports can be created at any time in Batch Overview or in Profile Manager which, by the way, is not restricted to ColorLogic profiles.

Under Preferences you can define some basic settings for the creation of the profile report, such as the file location, the report format (PDF or XML) or the DeltaE method (dE76 or dE2000).

Note: If a profile comparison report is created when updating a profile, the measurement data obtained from the update test chart will be compared to the data of the original profile (reference profile).

If the checkboxes Brightener Compensation or Measurement Correction have been activated, the data of the original profile will not be compared to the measurement data from the update test chart but to the data modified by these options.

Verifying the optimization

Verifying the optimization

ColorAnt can be used to verify a successful optimization. First create a “Lab Reference” to compare the measured values of the printouts to the values of the DeviceLinks. Use the ICC Transformation tool to create the Lab reference values by using the device values of the original test chart and the source profile and rendering intent of the DeviceLink. These Lab reference values now serve as comparison values after each application of the iterated DeviceLinks on your test chart. Compare the measurements of the iteration with the “Lab Reference” using the Compare tool in ColorAnt. 

You will notice that in-gamut colors of the iterated DeviceLink are closer to the Lab reference than those of the original DeviceLink.

Video Tutorial: How to create a test chart for iteration

Video Tutorial: How to iterate

CoPrA | Preferences

Preferences

Define basic settings

Preferences

View
Choose the tool that opens at startup. Allows quick access to the preferred tool. By activating the checkbox Do not display informational popups graphical information about tools of the Sidebar will no longer be displayed. However, tool tips for features will still be shown.

Profiles
Profiles: Select the location for your profiles. By default profiles are stored in the system profile folder (except for CoPrA SP licences). To store your profiles in a different location, for example a network folder, simply activate the checkbox Custom profile folder and specify the storage path.
Subfolders for the various profile classes and color spaces are created automatically.

Note: Profiles which are not stored in the system profile folder may not be available for other programs.
For Mac users: Create a subfolder in the ColorSync profile folder to store all profiles created by CoPrA in one place. These profiles will still be accessible for all programs using ICC profiles.

 

Overwrite existing preview profiles automatically: Preview profiles can be created when creating DeviceLinks or Multicolor profiles but they can also be created in Batch Overview or Profile Manager. By activating the checkbox Overwrite existing preview profiles automatically existing preview profiles will be overwritten without warning.

Share with ZePrA

Due to the close linkage of CoPrA and ZePrA, DeviceLink profiling settings specified in CoPrA can be used by ZePrA to create profiles required for the conversion of PDF files on-the-fly.

With CoPrA 6 and higher the settings are accessible via a shared folder which has the advantage that CoPrA and ZePrA do not need to be installed on the same computer. The shared folder must simply be accessible by both ZePrA and CoPrA, either over the network, a shared local folder or the cloud.

Share CoPrA Settings with ZePrA Auto Import Folder: Enable the checkbox to share CoPrA’s settings with ZePrA and select ZePrA’s Auto Import folder.

Note: If the checkbox is enabled and the Preferences dialog closed with OK an information message will appear repeatedly asking the user if all shared presets should now be copied to the defined Auto-Import Folder.

ZePrA’s Auto Import Folder
Files (such as ICC profiles, configurations, spot color libraries, gradations or SmartLink settings) that are moved or copied into the
Auto Import folder are transferred to ZePrA’s internal dataset and can then be used by ZePrA.
When the file in the Auto Import folder is replaced by a newer version, it will be updated in ZePrA’s internal datasets as well.
Note: If a file in the Auto Import folder is deleted, it is not deleted in ZePrA’s internal dataset. For example if a SmartLink setting has been deleted in the Auto Import folder, it is still available in ZePrA’s internal dataset and if this setting is deleted in ZePrA’s dataset, it is still available in the Auto Import folder.

Report Creation
Default save path: Defines the location for the Profile Report.

Default report format: Specify whether to create a PDF report with sample images or an XML report with pure data.

Default DeltaE Method: Determines the DeltaE method to calculate color differences for profile reports (dE76 or dE2000).

Open profile reports automatically with default viewer: If enabled, the profile report will be opened and displayed by the default PDF or XML viewer immediately after its creation.

Report Customization
Here you can enter a subtitle or add your own company Logo to the profile report. By default CoPrA’s icon is used.

Protected Mode
The Protected Mode allows to lock and protect all custom settings. If activated – with or without a password – changing a selected profiling setting is denied. This feature proves to be practical if multiple operators in an organization are creating profiles and only a defined set of settings should be used instead of every operator using his own settings. Once the protected mode is activated, options in the Preferences are disabled and importing and exporting of settings is denied.

If you need stricter permissions, the Protected Mode can be used with a password.

Set Password: Enter a secure password and confirm by entering it a second time. If a password has been set, it must be entered each time the protected mode is to be deactivated. To remove or change the password, click Reset Password.

Note: Remember your password well or keep it in a safe place!

CoPrA | User Interface

Main Window

Access CoPrA’s functions from one central location

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. Right-clicking on the arrow displays the most recently created ICC profiles available for selection from the list.

Loading data files
Load opens and displays existing measurement data files.
A right click on Load opens a list with recently used files. Selecting an entry in the recently used files list while pressing the CMD key takes you to the folder containing the file.
Alternatively, drag and drop the data into the window to extract and view the data.

Context menus
A right-click on an entry in a list or table opens a context menu with useful tools specific to the respective table or list content. This is especially true for the Profile Manager, where the context menu contains many interesting features.

Next and Back buttons
The two buttons Next and Back at the bottom of most windows allow navigating within tools.

Notifications
CoPrA contains a notification message service (similar to ZePrA’s Troubleshooting) that allows multiple messages to be displayed at the bottom of the window. If more than one notification or warning is available, this is shown in the icons with the number of warnings. When clicking on the icon or the warning text, all warnings are shown.

Sidebar

Sidebar

The controls to configure and use CoPrA can be found in the Sidebar. Clicking on the Home icon at the left of the window opens the Sidebar which allows a quick selection of the desired tools.

To launch a specific module, click on the corresponding button of the Sidebar. The colored bar of the upper left corner under Color Profiling Application indicates the active module.

Printer Profiling

New Printer Profile

Create printer profiles 

Update Profile

Update profiles using optimized measurement data

DeviceLink Profiling

DeviceLink

Create DeviceLink profiles from standard ICC profiles

Editing

Create DeviceLinks using individually modified test charts

SaveInk

Create ink saving DeviceLink profiles

Iterate

Improve DeviceLink profiles

Linearization

Optimize primary color gradations

Recalculate

Recalculate DeviceLink profiles with a different profile

Tools

Image Conversion

Convert image files for profile evaluations

Profile Manager

Manage profiles in one convenient place

Batch Overview

Monitor and manage profiling jobs or reports

Menu Bar

CoPrA

CoPrA (macOS only): Allows access to the dialogue About (see below), Preferences and Services and quits CoPrA.

Preferences: Define CoPrAs settings, such as the preferred starting page, overwriting of preview profiles or report settings.

Detailed Information can be found here.

Navigation

Navigation (Windows only): In this menu, change the Preferences and select CoPrA’s various modules (the modules can also be accessed via the sidebar). The menu also shows the shortcuts for the individual modules.

Navigation (macOS only): Select CoPrA’s various modules (the modules can also be accessed via the sidebar). The menu also shows the shortcuts for the individual modules.

Tools

Import Settings: Import CoPrA settings to the preset menu

Export Settings: Export CoPrA’s settings for backup or to load in another system

Cleanup Settings: All settings found under the entry [EDITED] will be deleted automatically when using the command Cleanup settings from the Tools menu.

Open EditTargets folder: Opens the EditTargets folder:

Windows: C:\Program Files(x86)\CoPrA7\EditTargets

macOS: Applications\CoPrA7\EditTargets

Open Testcharts folder: Opens the Testcharts folder:

Windows: C:\Program Files(x86)\CoPrA7\Testcharts

macOS: Applications\CoPrA7\Testcharts

Help

Online Help: Opens CoPrA’s Online Help (internet connection required).

Quick Start Guide: Opens the online help page for the Quick Start Guide (internet connection required).

What’s New: Links to the online help page with the new features and bug fixes in CoPrA (internet connection required).

readme.txt: Contains the release notes with short information about the latest changes.

Registration: Load and activate licenses, request a demo license or get more information about the licenses.

Check for update: Checks whether a new program version is available (internet connection required).

Save Support Data: Creates a compressed and encrypted text file that contains important support information.

About: Opens the registration dialog. Contains information about the version and build number.

CoPrA | DeviceLink Editing

Editing

Edit DeviceLinks using a reference chart

DeviceLink Editing

Overview

One of the most powerful features of CoPrA is the ability to create customized DeviceLink profiles based on individually adapted test charts (EditTargets). This smart way to create DeviceLink profiles opens up a multitude of possibilities.

Use this tool for recurring retouching work on similar image data, convert RGB data to CMYK or Multicolor data in a controlled way, factor in required gradation changes automatically into your data – the possibilities are almost unlimited.

These profiles can be used to automate color processing with software such as ZePrA.

Each EditTarget contains color patches for the color spaces RGB, CMYK, Gray or Lab in the upper left corner and includes the gray axis, primaries and secondary colors. These color patches are mandatory for the calculation of the DeviceLink profile and included in the calculation.

Open one of the provided EditTargets (for CMYK, RGB, Grayscale or Lab) in an image editing program (like Adobe Photoshop) and perform all desired color corrections. Additionally, other images may be added to the chart to fully adapt it to your requirements. Corrections, filters, masks and effects must include the test patch in the upper left corner to create a DeviceLink from the EditTarget.
Note: When editing Lab EditTargets an abstract profile will be generated.

Edit Targets included with CoPrA

About Edit Targets

The motifs of a test image play a central role in the creation, control and optimization of DeviceLink profiles. They should cover all areas that are significant for the application of the DeviceLink profile. Each color space which is used in conversions requires its own relevant test image, i.e. the color spaces Gray, RGB, CMYK and possibly Lab. Test images for these color spaces are provided by CoPrA (shown below).

Compilation of Photographic Motifs
The chosen photographic motifs should cover various areas such as skin tones, neutral tones, shadows, highlights and saturated colors. It is advisable to use test images which are applied industry-wide, such as the Roman16 test images of the ECI or the BVDM or images of the ISO (if available). Some of these images are included in the EditTargets provided by CoPrA (for example CLEditCMYK_Large_v31_144dpi.tif). Additional images from your production enhance the significance of the test images.

Gradients
Gradients are generally a critical factor in color conversions, both when using traditional ICC device profiles for source and target or when using DeviceLink profiles. The Homann Smoothness Inspection gradient test form is intended for the assessment of possible breaks or artifacts. It is included in the test file CLEditCMYK_Large_v31_144dpi.tif.

Pure CMY Colors
The test image should also have pure colors in various shades, particularly for CMYK-to-CMYK conversions. They should be positioned at the edge of the test image and should be large enough to allow direct comparison and measurement before and after conversion. This is important on proofs, for the use of colorimeters or the eyedropper tool in Photoshop.

How to create DeviceLink profiles with edited charts

Select your editing workflow
The DeviceLink Editing process begins with the selection of one of the three available editing workflows. These workflows are used to create new DeviceLinks, modify existing DeviceLinks or to create DeviceLinks from edited images.

For the first two workflows it is not necessary to select the required EditTarget manually. Simply Select the editing software of your choice and click Edit. This will automatically open the appropriate EditTarget (EditTargets are provided with CoPrA for CMYK, RGB, Grayscale or Lab) in your editing software (e.g. Photoshop).

Now any desired color corrections can be applied and the edited EditTarget can be saved. CoPrA automatically recognizes the saved EditTarget.

To start the DeviceLink Editing process, choose one of the following editing workflows:

  • Create new DeviceLink
  • Modify existing DeviceLink
  • Create DeviceLink from edited image

Create new DeviceLink

Use this workflow to build a new DeviceLink from scratch.

  1. Choose the appropriate color space (the source color space from which the color conversion will be performed).
  2. Select an image editing application (e.g. Adobe Photoshop) to modify the image.
  3. Click on the Edit button and apply your edits. Make sure that you save the edited image without renaming or changing the file format. If this is necessary, please continue with the workflow option Create DeviceLink from edited image and open the edited image there.
  4. Click on Next.

Modify existing DeviceLink

Here you can select an existing DeviceLink profile which you would like to optimize.

  1. Select the DeviceLink you would like to modify.
  2. Select an image editing application (e.g. Adobe Photoshop) to modify the image.
  3. Click on the Edit button and apply your edits. Make sure that you save the edited image without renaming or changing the file format. If this is necessary, please continue with the workflow option Create DeviceLink from edited image and open the edited image there.
    Note: The EditTarget will automatically be converted with the selected DeviceLink from step 1.
  4. Click on Next.

Create DeviceLink from edited image

  1. Select and open the already edited image, e.g. one of the ColorLogic EditTargets supplied with CoPrA .
  2. Click on Next.

This is the area where you determine the settings of the DeviceLink Profile.

If a profile is embedded in the opened EditTarget, it will automatically be selected as target color space. The Source Profile has to be selected manually. If there is no embedded profile, the source and the target profile can be assigned manually. Assigning profiles is useful as color patches will then be displayed with true colors in CoPrA as well. A further advantage of edited DeviceLinks with assigned source and target profiles is that these profile information are stored in the PSID tag of the created DeviceLink profile, so it can be used by intelligent workflow solutions like ColorLogic’s smart color server ZePrA to automatically create configurations.
Note: For the created DeviceLink profile the source and target profiles are of no importance. 

Patch Information
When moving the mouse over the patches on the right you can now assess the modifications for each color patch. Here, the original unedited EditTarget is used as a reference. The reference value of each color patch is located in the upper left half of the diagonally split color patch, the edited value is in the right lower half. If you move the mouse pointer over the chart, the color patches are displayed along with other color information including a difference display (color space, TAC value and DeltaE2000 differences).

Note: The DCS values shown under Original Target Color Space and Target Color Space will only be different if the Expert options to purify unwanted color contaminations have been enabled.

Information
Shows the color space values of the White and the Black point and information/warnings about the selected exceptions.

Expert options to purify unwanted color contaminations
In contrast to the exceptions when creating DeviceLink profiles from ICC profiles, the exceptions under Expert options to purify unwanted color contaminations in the Editing tool ensure that any contamination caused by manual editing of the EditTargets is removed. Among other things, these exception rules define how pure colors, secondaries, gray, duplex and triplex colors are structured in the DeviceLink. The selection of these rules considerably determines the quality of your DeviceLink profile.

All color patches that are handled by the selected exception are highlighted in the graphical representation by an orange border. Color patches that are affected by the selected exception are highlighted in red.

In addition under Patch Information/Target Color Space the color space and TAC value are updated and the DeltaE2000 value with or without exception is shown. Typically, exceptions are not applied as this would change the edit, but sometimes unwanted changes occur during manual edits, which can then be removed using the exceptions.

When moving the mouse pointer over a color patch, it is highlighted by a black or white frame and the source and target color space values are displayed. By pressing the ‘Alt’ key on the keyboard the color patch is captured allowing to quickly and easily check whether and to what extent it is affected by an exception. Exceptions which are not available are grayed out. This may be the case when a dependency between exceptions exists, or when exceptions are not relevant for a specific color space.

100% Black: Protects 100% black, so 100% K remains 100% K and will not be supplemented with or replaced by CMY. Additional color portions will be deleted. For a conversion of an RGB source profile into a CMYK target color space 100% Black ensures that an RGB value of 0, 0, 0 is converted to 100% black. For example, it prevents pure black RGB text from being composed of four colors in the CMYK profile after the conversion.

100% C,M,Y: Protects cyan, magenta and yellow. The 100% values of C, M and Y are retained after the color conversion at 100%. Additional color portions will be deleted. The slider Range specifies how far adjacent color patches are included.

100% R,G,B: Protects pure red, green and blue. The 100% key values of red, green and blue are retained after the color conversion at 100%. The slider Range specifies how far adjacent color patches are included.

Gray: Protects the single color structure of black from 0 to 100%. Additional color portions will be deleted.

White: Protects the paper white. This is especially useful when you would like to achieve an absolute colorimetric simulation for proofs without a simulation of the paper color (e.g. for aesthetic reasons). 

Primaries: Protects the single color structure of primary colors.

Secondaries: Protects the two color structures of secondaries.

Duplex (a primary color plus black): Prevents color contaminations of duplex colors. If editing of the test chart causes contaminations of duplex colors by adding primary colors, these impurities will be removed.

Triplex (two primary colors plus black): Prevents color contaminations of triplex colors. If editing of the test chart causes contaminations of triplex colors by adding primary colors, these impurities will be removed.

Range: The slider Range allows to specify how far adjacent color patches will be included. All color patches that are affected by the selected exception are highlighted in the graphical representation by a red border showing the color areas which are affected immediately after moving the slider. Move the slider to a high value to avoid hard edges, move it to a low value to increase color accuracy.

Finally, click Next to proceed to the profile creation dialog to complete the process and create the custom DeviceLink.

Profile Processing

Format, Size and Further Processing

Name: Type in a Name for the profile.

Templates: Allows to select and combine name components from a list of options and save them as custom templates. The last selected template is used when creating new profiles, so the naming of profiles is automated. 

Available naming options depend on the current profile type and include Date, Date/Time, Measurement data file name, Source and Target profiles, Name of the current preset and others. Each name component can be added at a user-defined position under Template (the position is selected with the mouse pointer). The Example section below shows the resulting name. Additionally, user defined text can be added at any position within the Template field.

Format: Define the Format of your profile. An ICC format in accordance with specification v2 is recommended as basic setting however, the newer format ICC v4 can also be chosen. In this case, please ensure that your programs support this format correctly.
Note: ColorLogic products handle and use ICC v4 profiles consistently and correctly.

Size: The setting Large is recommended. The size specifies the number of grid points in the profile and determines the amount of disk space required for the generated profile. Small profiles should only be used for test purposes. Very Large profiles can slow down further processing in subsequent programs. Additionally, some programs are not able to handle very large profiles.

Further processing

Create Profile Report (PDF): Recommended to activate. The PDF report provides an overview of the quality of the profile based on statistics, diagrams of gray balances, gradients and gamut representations as well as color separations of converted test files.

Save Preview Profile: Is only available in Multicolor printer profiling. By activating this checkbox an ICC preview profile will be created in addition to the printer profile. It can be used as soft proof profile in Adobe Photoshop.
Notes: Preview profiles are only suitable for proofing purposes. Either a preview profile or a CMYK profile can be created in one profiling step, but not both.

Embed profiles: Physically incorporates the used source and target profiles into the DeviceLink. This function is tricky and only recommended if the DeviceLink has to be transferred to a computer which does not have the required source and target profiles. It was implemented mainly for use with certain RIPs which only accept DeviceLinks with embedded source and target profiles.

Save: Creates the printer profile and saves it in the folder Profiles (macOS) or Color (Windows), (macOS: /Users/Username/Library/ColorSync/Profiles, Windows: C:\Windows\System32\spool\drivers\color). Demo and encrypted profiles will be saved in a different location only relevant for ColorLogic applications.

Note: CoPrA-SP profiles are stored in the ColorLogic subfolder Licensed-Profiles.

Preview Profiles

Introduction: Using Preview Profiles for Soft Proofs

Preview profiles allow soft proofing of image files in DeviceLink profiling and Multicolor printer profiling, without converting a file. Multicolor preview profiles provide a true color representation of images to be converted into the Multicolor color space in order to review the achievable result prior to the actual Multicolor conversion (More information can be found further down in the text). The same applies to DeviceLink conversions. Here, too, the DeviceLink preview profile can be used in Photoshop with the original data to visually review how the result of such a conversion would look like.

Preview profiles can be created together with DeviceLink or Multicolor printer profiles by activating the checkbox Save Preview Profile (see screenshots). Preview profiles have the suffix ‘preview‘ and are saved in the folder Profiles (macOS) or color (Windows), (macOS: /Users/Username/Library/ColorSync/Profiles, Windows: C:\Windows\System32\spool\drivers\color). Right clicking on the preview profile and selecting the menu entry Show file in the context menu will take you directly to the location of the selected profile.

Creating preview profiles in Multicolor printer profiling.

Creating preview profiles in DeviceLink profiling.

A preview profile is a printer profile with the same color space as the source profile of the DeviceLink. It can be used as soft proof profile, for example in Adobe Photoshop. Preview profiles can be created for the following DeviceLink combinations:
RGB-to-CMYK, CMYK-to-CMYK, RGB-to-Multicolor and CMYK-to-Multicolor

Note: The creation of preview profiles is not available for DeviceLink profiles using more than four channels in the source color space since only preview profiles of the color spaces Gray, RGB or CMYK can be used in Photoshop. Multicolor printer profiles are not affected as their preview profiles are always RGB profiles which can be used in Photoshop.

Example: To adapt your RGB image data in RGB mode to the desired CMYK printing condition, use the preview profile of your RGB-to-CMYK DeviceLink as soft proof profile in Adobe Photoshop to check how the image would look like after the conversion. This allows specific RGB adjustments without the need to convert the RGB file early on. A preview profile is a very useful feature, particularly in view of storing RGB image data in media-neutral workflows.

Preview profiles can also be created for Multicolor printer profiles which allows a true color simulation of the color representation prior to application of the Multicolor profile. Although Adobe Photoshop CS4 or higher is able to convert image data using Multicolor profiles, the display of multichannel files is not a true color representation in Photoshop. So far, a true color representation of multichannel files is only possible using additional plug-ins and causes an increased workload. The preview profile function generates an RGB printer profile which features the same color visualization as the original Multicolor profile. Use this preview profile on an original image data for soft proofing.

Note: Preview profiles are only intended for soft proofs and should never be used for the actual conversion. A preview profile provides an excellent visual preview of the expected result of a DeviceLink conversion. However, the special features of the DeviceLink, such as preserving color purity, cannot be 100% emulated.

Using Preview Profiles for DeviceLinks in Adobe Photoshop

  1. Open the original image data to be converted using a DeviceLink profile in Adobe Photoshop.
  2. Either assign the Preview profile from CoPrA to this image file, or select the Preview profile in the dialog Customize Proof Condition as Device to Simulate (see screenshot).
    Note: The color space of the preview profile is based on the color space of the DeviceLink’s source profile. It is an RGB preview profile for RGB-to-CMYK DeviceLinks and a CMYK preview profile for CMYK-to-CMYK DeviceLinks.
  3. Click Preserve CMYK Numbers to get a virtually exact preview of the expected color representation for the DeviceLink conversion.
    Note: Pipette values do not correspond to the final DeviceLink conversion. Only the color representation in the soft proof does.

Using Multicolor Preview Profiles in Photoshop

  1. Open the original image data to be converted using a Multicolor printer profile in Adobe Photoshop (for example an RGB image).
  2. Select the Preview profile from CoPrA in the dialog Customize Proof Condition as Device to Simulate. Find the profile in the list of RGB profiles. The naming is based on the Multicolor profile name: Profile name_preview.icc
  3. Select the desired Rendering Intent and disable the checkbox Preserve RGB/CMYK Numbers.
    Note: Eyedropper values do not correspond to the final DeviceLink conversion. This is only for a soft proof.
Profile Reports

Profile reports can be created for Printer or DeviceLink profiles. To do so, activate the checkbox Create Profile Report in the last step of the profiling or, when updating profiles, the checkbox Create Profile Comparison Report.

Depending on the type of profile the report contains various statistical data, such as statistics about profile precision (Integrity, Precision, Black Point, White Point etc.), graphic representations of curves and gamuts (Gray Balance, Gradients etc.), conversions of test images, separations and color patches to evaluate the smoothness or the purity of colors. All this facilitates the detection of artifacts that may be present.

Profile reports can be created at any time in Batch Overview or in Profile Manager which, by the way, is not restricted to ColorLogic profiles.

Under Preferences you can define some basic settings for the creation of the profile report, such as the file location, the report format (PDF or XML) or the DeltaE method (dE76 or dE2000).

Note: If a profile comparison report is created when updating a profile, the measurement data obtained from the update test chart will be compared to the data of the original profile (reference profile).

If the checkboxes Brightener Compensation or Measurement Correction have been activated, the data of the original profile will not be compared to the measurement data from the update test chart but to the data modified by these options.

CoPrA | New Printer Profile

New Printer Profile

Create printer profiles

Creating a Printer Profile

Every printer profiling requires a test chart containing various color patches of the corresponding color space as a basis. There are two ways to get measurement data for the creation of a printer-specific ICC profile:

  1. Measure and optimize the test chart and measurement data using appropriate software, such as ColorAnt, then open the measurement data in CoPrA, or
  2. Measure the data in CoPrA directly using the Measure Tool.

Adding ColorAnt for measurement data processing is advantageous, to eliminate measurement errors, printing errors and other artifacts (for example inhomogeneities). Analyzing and optimizing the measurement data results in an increased profile quality which then results in improved reliability in production.

Note: For CMYK printing processes it is recommended to use the test chart IT8.7/4. For RGB printers, use test charts with many test patches (900 and more). For Multicolor profiling, either use the test charts provided by CoPrA or create test charts using ColorAnt.

Load or Measure Data

Load or Measure

Load: Opens and displays existing measurement data files.
Note: A right click on Load opens a list with recently used files. Selecting an entry in the recently used files list while pressing the CMD key takes you to the folder containing the file.
Alternatively, drag and drop the data into the
Printer Profiling window to extract and view the data. CoPrA supports a variety of device manufacturer formats. Measurement and reference data can be processed three different ways:

  1. Use reference data provided by organizations such as FOGRA, ECI or IDEAlliance.
  2. Use data from a profile. Many manufacturers of profiling software save the measurement and reference files used for profiling within an ICC profile. Simply drag and drop the ICC profile to the Printer Profiling window and the data will be extracted and displayed. Alternatively, the profile can be opened and extracted using the button Load. If an error message pops up, the ICC profile does not contain measurement data.
  3. Measure test charts using ColorAnt or measuring tools from other instrument manufacturers, save the data and open in CoPrA.

Measurement data for printer profiling

Measure: As an alternative to working with pre-existing measurement data, test charts can also be measured using CoPrA’s Measure Tool. Open Measure Tool by clicking Measure and measure with a supported device. Further information on the measurement of test charts can be found here.

Setting: Select the applied printing method. CoPrA contains a large number of standard settings for common printing methods (e.g. digital and inkjet printing).

Customize: In order to achieve the best possible profile quality, further settings can be adjusted under Customize, such as settings for Color Generation or the specification of the first printed tone.

Fit to Width: By activating this checkbox the color patches of a row will be fit to the window width. Especially for large test charts with many color patches and many rows, the color patches will be displayed larger.

Show reference data: The device values such as CMYK or RGB and measurement data (i.e. Lab or spectral values) are shown on a split color patch. The data can be quickly compared for incorrect or faulty data.

Patch
Patch: Information is available for the selected color patch, such as the number of the patch, the total number of color patches, the color space and composition of the color and the Lab value.
Working with Profile Settings

Import, Export or Cleanup of Profile Settings

Profile settings for Printer, DeviceLink and SaveInk profiling can be selected in the drop-down menu Setting.

The package CoPrA Basic allows selection of default predefined settings. The package CoPrA M and higher provides access to all the parameters of the profile which can be customized.

To adjust these profile parameters, select Customize. Custom settings can be saved, imported and exported which provides the ability to exchange personal profiling settings easily with other CoPrA users or make them available for support purposes.

Import setting: Settings can either be imported as configuration file via the Tools menu using the entry Import setting or by dragging an ICC profile with the desired settings on the drop-down menu Setting. The name of imported profiles receives the suffix (imported). If an inappropriate profile (for example an RGB profile for CMYK profiling) is dragged on the drop-down menu Setting, an error message appears.

Export setting: Customized profile settings can be selected in the drop-down menu Setting and exported as configuration file by using the entry Export setting from the Tools menu.

However, CoPrA's default settings cannot be exported. Standard settings are listed in the drop-down menu Setting under the entry [PREDEFINED] and can be customized, but they cannot be overwritten. After customizing any setting the name receives the suffix (edited). It is now a custom setting which is listed under the entry [EDITED] and thus can be exported. Edited settings can be saved under any name. Saved settings will be removed from [EDITED] and listed under [SAVED]. Saved and edited settings can be deleted manually.

Cleanup settings: All settings found under the entry [EDITED] will be deleted.

Presets

Default: Start with this preset if none of the other presets match your requirements. Then adapt to your needs.

Digital Printer: Standard presetting, which provides a good starting point for adaptations to special requirements.

Gravure TAC360: Automatically selects appropriate Black Generation (GCR), GCR Amount, Black Start and Black Width settings for gravure printing. Limits the total area coverage to 360% in the printer profile.

InkJet: Standard presetting, which provides a good starting point for adaptations to special requirements.

Newspaper TAC240: For newspaper printing. Automatically selects appropriate Black Generation (GCR), GCR Amount, Black Start and Black Width settings. Limits the total area coverage to 240% in the printer profile.

No Black Separation: Creates a printer profile without black separation. Black Generation (GCR), GCR Amount, Black Start and Black Width settings are automatically selected and grayed out.

Offset coated TAC330: For offset printing. Automatically selects appropriate Black Generation (GCR), GCR Amount, Black Start and Black Width settings. Sets the Black Calculation to Balance CMY and limits the total area coverage to 330% in the printer profile.

Offset uncoated TAC280: For offset printing. Automatically selects appropriate Black Generation (GCR), GCR Amount, Black Start and Black Width settings. Sets the Black Calculation to Balance CMY and limits the total area coverage to 280% in the printer profile.

Default – Multicolor: Standard presetting, which provides a good starting point for adaptations to special requirements.

Digital Printer – Multicolor: Automatically selects the Multicolor Mode (Smooth) and appropriate Black Generation (MaxK), GCR Amount, Black Width and Black Start settings. Limits the total area coverage to 330% in the printer profile.

Industrial Printing and Packaging: Presetting for packaging printing.

White ink + 4 Primary Colors – Printing on Black: For color managed color prints on black substrates, such as textiles, white ink must be used first and colors must be applied on top of the white ink to obtain colorful graphics. This preset uses White for the separation. It automatically selects the appropriate Multicolor Mode  – either CMY+White_on_Black or CMYK+White_on_Black – while all other Color Generation controls are disabled.
Note: To create profiles with White, special test charts are required, which can be found in the test charts subfolder Special for the two cases CMY+White_on_Black and CMYK+White_on_Black.

General

Perceptual Rendering

Compared to the ICC framework, which only supports perceptual rendering in applications, ColorLogic provides a choice of Perceptual Rendering options when creating profiles. In order to use a ColorLogic profile created with one of the special Perceptual Rendering options, the perceptual rendering intent must be set in the target application.

Note: All Perceptual Rendering options in the drop-down menu, including the Advanced Perceptual Rendering Options (such as Saturation, Chroma, Lightness, Gray Balance), are also applied to the Saturation Rendering Intent.

CoPrA offers the following methods in relation to perceptual rendering:

Standard Compression: ColorLogic’s standard method, which is well suited for most applications. Neutral tones are converted using a relative colorimetric approach. If the paper white of the used printing medium is significantly more yellow than the reference, the gray axis will look more yellow as well. The contrast range will be adapted for small color gamuts to preserve image definition.

Black Point CompensationUse Black Point Compensation to achieve the same results with a perceptive conversion as with "Relative Colorimetric with Black Point Compensation". When converting from a large to a small color space, the image definition is preserved in the highlights and shadows, unlike with a pure Relative Colorimetric conversion. Neutral tones are converted using the Relative Colorimetric intend. Out-of-gamut colors are cut off.

Absolute Compression: This method is based on the absolute colorimetric intent but with some differences. The contrast range in the highlights and shadows is adapted to avoid any loss of image definition. The rendering of neutral colors is based on absolute colorimetry without paper color simulation in the highlights. If the paper white of the used printing medium is significantly more yellow than the reference, the gray axis will look neutral despite the yellowish paper white.

Minimum Compression (Paper Absolute): This method is largely similar to the absolute colorimetric intent and only compensates close to the black and the white point.
In addition, the white point of the source color space is not simulated, but scaled to the white point of the target color space, thus ensuring a pure paper white.
Use this rendering intent to achieve a close reproduction, for example when using print standards such as ISO Coated V2 or GRACoL2006 Coated1v2 on a digital printer.
Note: As for the absolute colorimetric rendering intent, ensure that the target color space is larger or has at least a similar size to avoid any loss of image definition. For color conversions from larger to smaller color spaces use Absolute Compression to maintain the gray balance of the source color space.

Minimum Compression (Paper Relative): This method is largely similar to the relative colorimetric intent and only compensates close to the black and the white point. It is similar to Minimal Compression (Paper Absolute) but uses relative colorimetric instead.

Advanced Perceptual Rendering Options: The drop down menu allows changes to the overall Chroma, Lightness or Saturation of the profile using a slider. Chroma can be used to reduce or increase the chroma of highly saturated colors in the range between -20 and +20. Saturation can be used when highly saturated colors are required. As with the setting Chroma, the gray balance is not affected when moving the slider. Saturation can be used especially for large color spaces such as gamut extending Multicolor in order to achieve more brilliant colors.


Notes: ColorLogic intentionally keeps the chroma effect moderate. However, when increasing the chroma, ensure that the setting neither causes a loss of image definition in highly saturated colors, nor adversely affects colors such as skin tones.

The effect of each of these settings is shown in the gamut graph on the right. Increasing the saturation results in higher chroma and lower lightness, so more saturation will slightly darken the colors and they will appear more vibrant. In contrast, more chroma can result in high chroma colors being out-of-gamut and these colors would not be rendered by the given profile.

Gray Balance: Allows adjustment of the gray balance to create a cooler or warmer gray axis. cooler shifts the gray balance towards more bluish colors (negative b* values), warmer shifts it towards yellowish colors (positive b* values). The effect of the slider setting is visualized in the graphic.

Note: The setting Gray Balance works independently from the selected Perceptual Rendering method which has already an effect on the gray balance and allows visual adjustments based on personal color preferences.

Particularities of RGB printer profiles

Pure Black: Sets absolute Lab Black to the RGB value 0/0/0.

Pure Gray: For RGB printer profiles, Pure Gray builds up the gray balance with equal amounts of color. This option can be useful for printer drivers that are driven by RGB if the printing system already prints mostly neutral in the gray axis and slight fluctuations with equally proportional RGB gray values are to be prevented.

Note: The options can change and even cancel the black calculation and the perceptual rendering. These two options should therefore only be used in justified exceptional cases.

Black Calculation: Three different settings can be selected for black point calculation:

Auto: Sets the black point of the profile to the well-defined value of RGB=0/0/0.

Neutral: Calculates a neutral black point with a*=b*=0 taking the measured data into account. With non-neutral measured values, this can lead to the RGB values no longer being RGB=0/0/0 and possibly losing contrast.

Darkest: Calculates the darkest possible black point, which can also be colored depending on the measurement data. In many cases this option results in the same RGB black point as Auto.

CoPrA displays the calculated Lab value based on the values you entered for the Black Calculation. This enables you to immediately understand the color effect on the black point resulting from the option you have selected.

Gamut plot

The gamut plot illustrates two typical gamuts of a profile when converting from device color space to Lab. These plots show the gamuts for the two different rendering intents Absolute colorimetric (the blueish part) and Perceptual (the greenish part). Typically the perceptual gamut is larger because it is scaled from absolute white (Lab = 100/0/0) to absolute dark (Lab = 0/0/0) and the absolute colorimetric gamut is smaller as it represents the gamut based on the measurement data.

Note: The gamut plot is a graphical visualization based on virtual data, to show the effects of the ColorLogic Perceptual Rendering methods on the perceptual gamut. The gamut plot is not based on your actual loaded measurement data.

The plot of the absolute gamut does not change but the perceptive gamut plot changes depending on the chosen perceptual method. Besides the different sizes and shapes of the gamut, the gray balance is shown in the plot, too. For the absolute intent, the gray balance is shown as a red line and it is positioned in the yellowish part of the color space since the white point of this virtual data is also rather yellowish. The dotted line represents the gray balance of the perceptual gamut and depends on the selected perceptual method. Therefore, the perceptual gamut plot changes depending on the selected perceptual method.

If the perceptual method is rather paper relative, such as Standard Compression, Blackpoint Compensation or Minimum Compression (Paper relative), the dotted line remains in a neutral position, which means it does not take the yellowish-gray balance into account. If the perceptual method is rather paper absolute, e.g. taking the yellowish-gray balance into account, the dotted line converges to the red line of the absolute gamut. Paper absolute perceptual methods include Absolute Compression and Minimum Compression (Paper absolute).

Changes in the Advanced Perceptual Rendering Options such as Saturation, Chroma, Lightness or the Gray Balance are also visible in the perceptual gamut plot. More saturation results in a larger and slightly darker perceptual gamut and a warmer Gray Balance causes the dotted line to shift to the left to be more yellowish.

Measurement Processing

When creating or updating printer profiles it may be necessary to optimize the measurement data. The Measurement Processing in CoPrA includes the optical Brightener Compensation, the Measurement Correction and the specification of a Viewing Condition.

Brightener Compensation: Recommended for bright white papers that contain optical brighteners. This correction weakens the effect of optical brighteners, which are evaluated differently by a measuring device compared to the human eye, and prevents negative accompanying effects such as a yellowish color reproduction.

Recommendation: Work with spectral measurement data whenever possible. When working with spectral measurement data, the function Brightener Compensation can achieve an optimum correction. The correction will only be executed,in contrast to colorimetric measurement data (Lab measurement data), if CoPrA recognizes the paper color as an optical brightener. However, it will not be carried out if CoPrA does not recognize the paper color as optical brightener, which, for example, is true for a blue-colored paper.

As a result of the viewing condition changes according to ISO 3664:2009, The updated standard makes it easier to spot the effects of optical brighteners (OBAs). So a minor correction is needed for devices using the M0 measuring method.

As a result of the viewing condition changes according to ISO 3664:2009, optical brighteners in papers are more strongly excited, a small correction is therefore also necessary for measuring instruments using the M0 measuring method.

Selecting Brightener Compensation and Measurement Correction

Note: To specifically correct the effects of optical brighteners, use ColorAnt's Brightener tool before profile creation in CoPrA and disable the corresponding checkbox in CoPrA to avoid double compensation.

Measurement Correction: Identifies and resolves measurement errors without changing the printing behavior. Redundant measurement values, which occur in typical test charts such as ECI2002 or IT8.7/4, are taken into consideration for detecting consistent printing properties and will be intelligently included in the correction. Further corrections, like the removal of redundant measurement values or Smoothing, can be done in the separate measurement data processing program ColorAnt.
Recommendation: For your own measurement data select Measurement Correction as the default setting. However, this correction should be disabled for measurement values that have already been smoothed (such as FOGRA measurement values) or for measurement values that have already been processed with ColorAnt. If you have already made a correction in ColorAnt, CoPrA warns you of unnecessary double correction when activating the measurement data correction and/or brightener correction.

Viewing Condition

Viewing Condition: Typically, printer profiles are optimized for D50 viewing conditions and 2 degrees standard observer, however, for different tasks, e.g. textile printing with D65 and 10 degrees observer, photos in a gallery under incandescent light (roughly corresponds to viewing condition A) or presentation displays under a trade fair lighting with suboptimal lighting conditions (e.g. fluorescent light), the lighting conditions can be considered when creating the profile.

To do so, select one of the four predefined viewing conditions or manually enter the measured viewing condition as Kelvin value or as XYZ value and change the standard Observer if required.

Alternatively use the Emission option. To apply a spectral emission light measurement select the entry Emission in the drop-down menu Viewing Condition and then select your measurement data file in the subsequent dialog (TXT, CXF or CSV file) or just drag and drop your measurement data file onto the value field. CoPrA extracts the white point from the file and displays the value.

If spectral data are available, CoPrA uses this information to calculate a printer profile that makes your prints (with the selected viewing condition) appear as if they had been profiled with D50 and viewed under the standard viewing condition D50.

When using spectral measurement data of a test chart and spectral data of a viewing condition (e.g. the options D50, D65, A, Equal Energy Spectrum, Kelvin or Emission), CoPrA will use a spectral color model to convert to Lab. If no spectral data is available a chromatic adaptation model according to CIECAM02 will be used, which in terms of quality is not the preferred method.

Changing the Observer is only possible for spectral data, so if the Observer options are disabled, this is an indication that spectral data is not available.

Note: CoPrA remembers the last used settings including the selected Viewing Condition. When creating new profiles, please check whether the selected viewing condition is in accordance with the purpose of the profile. If no specific viewing condition is required, always select the default D50 and 2 Degrees Observer.

Highlights

In flexo printing, the first printed tone is often subject to a rather high tone value increase. Additionally, in some flexo printing processes there is no transfer of tone values below a certain percentage in the highlight areas. However, the simulation of those process properties is particularly important for proofing applications to truly simulate the final print result in the highlights. It may also be necessary to increase the tone values in the highlights when using the profile for production or separation.

For that reason, we integrated four different settings in CoPrA to adjust the Highlights.

Highlights settings

Default: Results in 'normal' profiling behavior in highlight areas. Use this setting for all printing processes that don't require any adjustment of the first printed tone.

First Printed Tone (Preserve White): Defines when the first printed tone of the profile will be considered and appear in the proof (hard copy or soft proof). When the profile is used for separation, the paper white is maintained and small tonal values are immediately increased to the set tonal value resulting in a strong slope.

First Printed Tone (Minimal Tone): Defines when the first printed tone of the profile will be considered and appear in the proof (hard copy or soft proof). When the profile is used for separation, a tonal value corresponding to the set percentage is already printed in the white of all channels.

Printed Tone at 1 % (Proof): This setting defines the tone value to be achieved at 1% in proof direction of the profile. In separation direction of the profile, the setting Default is used (in contrast to other highlight settings).

Based on data: If the loaded measurement data contains enough data points in the highlights, CoPrA also provides information about the start of the first printed tone (see screenshot). This information may be used as a guide to assess the value that should be entered in the input field to the right.

Note: The information Based on data will only be displayed when one of the Highlight settings is selected from the drop-down menu and the data allows a different recognition of the first printed tone compared to the Default setting. Before using the value for profiling, we suggest analyzing the data in ColorAnt.

Color Generation

Color Generation

Multicolor Mode: Determines how colors will be built up in individual separations. Is only available when Multicolor measurement data has been loaded. A Multicolor license is required to use Multicolor features.

Note: Multicolor modes that are not recommended for the loaded measurement data are marked red in the drop-down menu.

In some cases a warning or information message is shown below at the bottom of the window in case the loaded data may require a different mode than the selected one.

In CoPrA, the first three channels represent primary colors (usually CMY). They should form a sound color space (gamut) and should also be able to create a gray axis. The fourth channel should be black if a separation with UCR/GCR is desired. If black is absent in the Multicolor measurement data while automatic Black Calculation is selected, it will be recognized by CoPrA and the separation will not be generated. Black separation is disabled if the value for Max. Black in the Black Point and TAC setting is 0%. Additional spot color channels (e.g. Orange, Green or Violet in a CMYK-OGV 7 color data set) are regarded as color space expanding colors. The Multicolor Mode determines how color space expanding colors are factored in together with primary colors.

Strong: As much spot color as possible will be applied. Accordingly, less primaries will be used in the highly saturated color areas. This results in a greater use of color space expanding spot colors and therefore in highly saturated colors in the printout.

Smooth: Use this method when more CMY is required and if a particularly smooth and harmonious separation with the extended colors is needed.

Note: The two Multicolor modes Smooth and Strong are similar but Smooth uses less color space expanding spot color channels.

Generate separations with sparse inks: Is of interest for the packaging market as color separations are created in such a way that a certain hue uses as much as possible of a related spot color and very little or no primary colors. For example, in order to create a red hue as much as possible of a reddish spot color is used but very little to no magenta or yellow. A maximum of two or three colors are used for each color segment and, therefore, this Multicolor mode is practical to save process colors. However, black generation cannot be controlled and is based on the (separation) mode MaxK.

Note: In contrast to the Multicolor modes Smooth, Strong and Use CMYK only, the Multicolor mode Generate separations with sparse inks does not allow regulation of the Black Generation. Accordingly, these settings are grayed out.

Use CMYK only: Selecting this method results in a Multicolor printer profile that creates the desired number of channels (e.g. 7 channels) but is only composed of CMYK. The color space expanding spot color channels are not used for the separation but are used for the simulation of colors.

Notes:

  1. In package printing, there is sometimes a request for images and vectors composed of CMYK to be generated with only minimal changes to CMYK values and without spot colors - despite conversion into a Multicolor space. In this case, only spot colors, like Pantone colors, which are present as DeviceN in the PDF should be converted into the large Multicolor space. Such a workflow is possible in two easy steps:
    (1) Creation of a separation-preserving CMYK-to-Multicolor DeviceLink profile in CoPrA using the Multicolor method Use CMYK only.
    (2) Spot color conversion of the PDF using ColorLogic's color server ZePrA.
  2. In CoPrA all settings of Color Generation (i.e. the entire tab) depend on black being present in the measurement data. Therefore, black must be present in the measurement data or ICC profiles as fourth channel.
    If black is not present in the measurement data as the fourth channel, this channel will be treated as if it were the black channel. As an example, if blue is present as the fourth channel, then all settings in the tab Color Generation will still treat the fourth - now blue - channel as a black channel. In this situation, spot colors can be used for the calculation of the gray balance and the black point.

CMY+White: If the measurement data includes White as a color channel in addition to 3 primary colors, this Multicolor Mode must be selected. CMY refers to any 3 primary colors that form a sound color space and include a gray balance. This mode predefines the separation settings to use the color of the background (e.g. the black substrate) and the white ink within the separation. It automatically selects the optimal settings, therefore, all other Color Generation controls are disabled, only the overall TAC can be adjusted under Black Point and TAC.

Please be aware that the resulting ICC profile is a Multicolor profile (4CLR profile).

CMYK+White: If the measurement data includes White as a color channel in addition to Black and 3 primary colors, this Multicolor Mode must be selected. CMY refers to any 3 primary colors that form a sound color space and include a gray balance. This mode predefines the separation settings to use the color of the background (e.g. the black substrate) and the white ink within the separation. It automatically selects the optimal settings, therefore, all other Color Generation controls are disabled, only the overall TAC can be adjusted under Black Point and TAC. The assumed black point, e.g. the darkest color, uses a predefined combination of 100% Black printed on the back substrate.

Please be aware that the resulting ICC profile is a Multicolor profile (5CLR profile).

Background: For color managed color prints on black substrates, such as textiles, white ink must be used first and colors must be applied on top of the white ink to obtain colorful graphics.

Note: To create profiles with White, special test charts are required, which can be found in the test charts subfolder Special for the two cases CMY+White_on_Black and CMYK+White_on_Black.

Black Generation: Defines the method for the generation of black in the target color space and therefore influences the separation comprehensively.

The following modes are available in the drop-down menu:

Auto: Uses a medium GCR amount which is based on the measurement data.

UCR: Allows adjustment of the settings Black Start and Black Width.

GCR: Additionally allows the adjustment of the setting GCR Amount.

MinK: Uses only a minimal amount of black and generates a separation using the maximum amount of CMY.

MaxK: Uses a maximal amount of black and generates a separation using the minimum amount of CMY.

The methods UCR, GCR, MinK and MaxK generate a new separation, regardless of the separation of the target profile.

GCR Amount: Defines the amount of CMY that is replaced by black. At 0 only a low GCR amount is used which mainly impacts the shadows whereas at 100 a very strong GCR is used which effects the shadows and the highlights.

Black Start: Defines the starting point for the black generation. Black will be used if the minimum amount of CMY exceeds this limit.

Black Width: Defines the range in which black is generated outside the color-neutral area. The lower the value, the less black will be generated outside the color-neutral area.

100% Black: Prevents a pure black RGB text from being printed in four colors after conversion into a CMYK profile which would result in a blurred looking text. This is often the case with Office documents. Enabling 100% Black converts an RGB value of 0-0-0 to CMYK 0-0-0-100 (i.e. 100% black).

Pure Gray: Enabling this checkbox in a CMYK printer profile results in a gray balance which is composed of black ink only. However, this only makes sense if the printing system features a very neutral black from shadows to highlights.

Enabling Pure Gray in an RGB printer profile results in a gray balance which is composed of equal amounts of RGB values. This proves to be useful in RGB controlled (inkjet) print drivers.

Used Channels: Defines the channels to be used in a profile and offers a quick and easy way to select or exclude channels when separating data. The effect of selecting or excluding colors on Curves and the Gamut is immediately visualized in the graphic and the Black Point value.

By default all colors of the profile are enabled. To exclude a color click on the appropriate colored box. Multiple colors can be excluded. Excluded colors will be grayed out and marked with an X. To enable an excluded color simply click on it again.

Note: This function is particularly intelligent for Multicolor profiles, as it searches for replacement colors in the Multicolor channels when excluding a channel (e.g. Cyan), which can compensate for the missing channel in the gray balance. The alternatively calculated Multicolor channels are displayed grayed out in the panel Black Point and TAC (further information can be found in the toggle Black Point and TAC).

Example: If a brown chocolate artwork is intended to be printed in CMYK without using any Cyan in the separation, a CMYK printer profile can be created which only uses MYK. These types of profiles avoid unwanted Cyan dots in the separation and the converted artwork would appear visually close to a conversion with a complete CMYK profile. Obviously such a profile should not be used if the artwork contains Cyan based color combinations, such as cyan tones and blue or violet colors.

Combinable: ​​Specifies the Multicolor channels which are to be combined to expand the color gamut (only available for Multicolor data).
Auto: This checkbox is enabled by default on all Multicolor presets. If enabled CoPrA automatically calculates and selects the ink combinations with the largest gamut and indicates the combined channels. The combined channels are displayed below the preview for Curves and Gamut. In the Gamut preview CoPrA shows the impact of the combined colors by the Gamut Volume number.
If the Auto checkbox is disabled, the channels can be defined manually. Click on the combinable channels to enable or disable them. If you do not want to combine the additional inks with the 4 standard inks, you can disable the channels of the additional inks.

Disabled channels are marked with an X.

Background: The Combinable channels option is intended for creating Multicolor printer and DeviceLink profiles used in industrial applications such as ceramic printing, glass or metal decoration or textile printing, with Multicolor inks.
In these industries, special inks different from CMYK are often used in order to increase the color gamut in the shadows and some colorful areas, or to reduce costs.
For example, a dark Red ink can be combined with a Magenta ink of similar hue to extend the color gamut in the dark areas of the ceramic print. Similarly, a light Gray can be used in combination with the Black channel in Flexo printing to create a smoother gradient from light to dark grays.

CoPrA 8 and higher automatically detects if additional inks are either typical gamut-extending colors or special inks and will use them accordingly. For example, two inks with a similar hue but different chroma or lightness can be combined in a single channel.

Example: If the Auto checkbox is activated, CoPrA calculates for the 6 color inks of the example data set (see screenshot) that the second channel (Magenta) can be combined with the 5th channel (a dark Red ink) to increase the gamut in the dark areas.

The Curves show that Magenta is used for lighter colors, while more of the dark Red channel is used for darker colors with the Magenta channel being reduced to a minimum.
On the other hand, the 6th channel (Orange) is a typical gamut-extending color and as such is automatically used by the selected Multicolor Mode in the Magenta-Yellow range of the color space.
The Auto function determines the best combination of additional inks and their combination with the 4 standard inks to achieve the largest color Gamut Volume.

Note: Typical gamut-extending colors used in ECG printing such as Orange, Green or Violet can not be combined with the 4 standard inks (CMYK). 

In industrial printing, it may be necessary to use combinations other than those recommended by the Auto function. By deactivating the Auto checkbox you can select custom channel combinations, provided that a combination of inks is applicable.
Regarding the example in the screenshot, when the Auto checkbox is deactivated and channels can be combined, Magenta and dark Red are combined, and Yellow and Orange are combined, resulting in two channels under Combinable.
If the dark Red channel is disabled under Combinable, only the Yellow and Orange inks are combined. Switching to the Gamut view allows comparing the impact of the combinable channels on the Gamut Volume number.

Note: The Combinable channels differ from the Used Channels! Channels that are disabled under Used Channels are not used in the separation. Usually it is recommended to use all channels and not to disable any channel if you want to combine channels.

Avoid Dot-on-Dot: Prevents Black and Violet/Blue color combinations that could produce dot-on-dot effects in AM printing. Replaces some of the Black by CMY, therefore avoiding dot-on-dot effects.

Background: When using gamut extending process colors in traditional AM screening, such as CMYK+Orange+Green+Violet/Blue, the process colors Violet or Blue are often on the same screening angle as Black which can cause dot-on-dot issues leading to color and lightness variances. However, avoiding Black and Violet/Blue color combinations in separations would reduce the available gamut considerably and would also prevent dark bluish spot colors from being reproduced faithfully. By activating this feature the separation uses more of the CMY colors instead of Black thereby preventing dot-on-dot effects. For this function to work best, use a late Black Start and a rather weak GCR or even a UCR Black Generation setting.

Note: Other color combinations using the same AM screening angles such as Cyan and Orange or Magenta and Green are not affected by this feature as those combinations are rarely used in separations anyway.

Curves and Gamut: Visualize the effects of the selected color separation and Black Point settings. The Gamut view shows changes of the gamut shape immediately when altering settings and provides a real time preview of the loaded measurement data. In addition, the Gamut Volume is calculated and expressed in Lab units using absolute colorimetric rendering intent which allows finding the settings that produce the largest gamut (highest number) easily.

Example: The gamut view allows you to observe how a low Black Width setting or a very late Black Start reduces the ability of a profile to render dark colors.

Graphical representation of the gamut

Black Point and TAC

Under Black Point and TAC the overall Total Area Coverage (TAC) and the TAC for the black point (Black TAC) can be defined. The black TAC represents the darkest color value of the profile which is usually identical with the maximum TAC.

The graphical display of each color contains a number field showing the amount of ink used in the profile. Depending on the selected Black Calculation the number fields are either enabled or disabled.

Note: The default window size sometimes truncates the input fields for Multicolor channels. Enlarge the window to display the input fields for all colors.

Customize TAC settings

Black Calculation: Four different settings available for Printer Profiling (see screenshot below).

Black Calculation settings

Auto: The calculation of the optimal black point (dark and neutral) is based on the measurement data. The values entered for Black TAC and Max.Black define limits which must not be exceeded, but may be lower if technically possible.
All channels are used to generate the black point (Black TAC), therefore individual channel editing is disabled. This mode will not use any Multicolor channels beside the first four channels (usually CMYK).
Note: If you do not have a default value for the Black TAC it is recommended to use 400% for the Black TAC as a starting point for the calculation.

Balance CMY: This setting adapts the CMY values to a pre-defined Max.Black value and generates a neutral black point. Define the Black TAC and TAC in accordance with the printing conditions. Max.Black should be set to the ideal value for the selected substrate. Similar to the setting Auto those values are regarded as maximum values which may be underrun if a neutral black point is not achievable.
Allows customization of the black channel (or in general the 4th channel) and the addition of Multicolor channels. Entered Multicolor color values are fixed - like the Max.Black value - and CMY values will be adjusted accordingly.

Note on excluding channels:

Basically Balance CMY allows editing of the black channel (or in general the fourth channel) and the Multicolor channels. The CMY channels are grayed out (see screenshot).

However, if a channel is excluded, the Multicolor channels are searched for a replacement color that can compensate for the missing channel in the gray balance. The replacement Multicolor channel is grayed out in the control panel Black Point and TAC (see screenshot).

Darkest: Calculates the darkest possible black point with maximum density/lowest L*. Allows generation of a black point without neutral a* and b* values and darker L* if available.

The values entered for Black TAC and Max.Black define limits which are not exceeded but may be lower if technically possible. Darkest uses the first 4 channels, usually CMYK. Possible Multicolor channels are added, but cannot be changed manually. If this is required, the Custom option must be selected.


Custom
: Allows definition of the black point in the input boxes. The Black TAC value will then be recalculated. Allows editing of all channels.

Notes:

  • CoPrA calculates the Lab values based on the entered custom values. When changing custom values the resulting effects can be seen immediately. If you prefer CoPrA's recommendations, select the settings Balance CMY or Auto.
  • For Multicolor profiles with more than four channels you can use the extra Multicolor channels for the black generation besides the first four channels (typically CMYK). However, the total area coverage (TAC) cannot exceed 400%. Values for the Multicolor channels can be entered manually when using the settings  Balance CMY or Auto and these values will then be used to calculate the Black TAC. Usually it is not necessary to use those channels but sometimes a dark Multicolor channel adds desired contrast and definition. This can easily be checked by viewing the Lab values below the Custom fields. If the addition of a certain Multicolor channel decreases L* while a*b* values are not significantly altered, using this channel can be considered. However, the gray balance will use additional channels as well.

How CoPrA calculates Lab values

Note: With the settings Auto or Balance CMY CoPrA tries to use neutral a* and b* values for the Black Calculation. In contrast, selecting the setting Custom allows generation of a black point without neutral a* and b* values. Keep in mind that this can lead to a colored black point, which you can recognize by the a* and b* values.

TAC: The value for the maximum total area coverage can be entered in the input box TAC (value range: 0 to 400%). This value must not be exceeded. This also applies to Multicolor profiles. The TAC can also be set for 2 or 3 channel profiles.

Black TAC: The Black TAC is the sum of all color values. The value for the black point (Black TAC), which results from your settings, will be displayed after a short calculation time below the text box Custom (outlined in red in the screenshot below).
Note: The sliders limit each other, so the TAC can never be lower than the Black TAC (but it can be higher).

Max.Black: Here you specify the maximum amount of black ink to be used by the separation (value range: 0 to 100%). Note that the entered value always refers to the fourth channel which, in Multicolor cases, may not be black but a chromatic color. Furthermore, the fourth channel of the Black TAC is always used for the darkest point of the profile, the black point.

Black Point and TAC

The Total Area Coverage (TAC) and the TAC for the black point (Black TAC) can be defined by Black Point and TAC. The Black TAC represents the darkest color value of the profile which is usually identical to the maximum TAC.

Many modern printing systems allow a black point that is generated by using a low amount of ink. Sometimes the darkest color (Black TAC) can be printed using pure black which means that in extreme cases a black point of 100% K may be sufficient. Obviously, such a low TAC does not work for other color areas – it would not even be possible to print a true red, green or blue! Therefore we separated the Black TAC from the general TAC. This allows using the best setting for Black Calculation without restricting the color space.

Adjusting the Black TAC value

The Lab value is particularly handy for assessing the effect on the black point when changing the TAC or Black TAC. The smaller the L* value, the deeper the black and the higher the contrast. 

TAC and Black TAC can be adjusted separately in CoPrA
The total area coverage (TAC) - defined by the separation - and the Black TAC are identical in traditional printing systems. However, industrial printing applications and many digital printing systems show that the black point can be selected much lower than the total area coverage. To achieve a sound gray balance with a high contrast while maintaining highly saturated colors it is necessary to separate these two settings.

Advantages of a separate Black TAC
We would like to demonstrate how important it is to adjust the Black TAC independently from the total area coverage (TAC) using a digital printing system. Let's assume the Black TAC and TAC could not be set separately and we had to use identical values for both of them. If you selected the setting Auto to calculate the black point and set a TAC of 300% (and therefore a Black TAC of 300% as well), CoPrA would calculate the best black point for this case. The result would be a total area coverage of 275% with a neutral black point (a* and b* are 0 respectively), but with a very light L* of 22.0 (outlined in red in the screenshot).

CoPrA allows the setting of the Black TAC separately from the total area coverage (TAC). As pure black is used in some digital printing systems as darkest printing color, the Black TAC can be reduced to 100% which results in a black point with a significantly darker (lower) L* value of 9.8. Using a separate setting for the Black TAC achieves a significantly higher and better contrast than a TAC which is linked to a Black TAC of 275%. Additionally, a total area coverage (TAC) of 300% ensures highly saturated colors. These precise settings are only possible with separate TAC values.

Profile Processing

Format, Size and Further Processing

In the last step of the profile creation, assign a Name and choose the Format and Size of the profile (see screenshot).

Name: Type in a Name for the profile.

Templates: Allows to select and combine name components from a list of options and save them as custom templates. The last selected template is used when creating new profiles, so the naming of profiles is automated. 

Available naming options depend on the current profile type and include Date, Date/Time, Measurement data file name, Source and Target profiles, Name of the current preset and others. Each name component can be added at a user-defined position under Template (the position is selected with the mouse pointer). The Example section below shows the resulting name. Additionally, user defined text can be added at any position within the Template field.

Format: Define the Format of your profile. An ICC format in accordance with specification v2 is recommended as basic setting however, the newer format ICC v4 can also be chosen. In this case, please ensure that your programs support this format correctly.
Note: ColorLogic products handle and use ICC v4 profiles consistently and correctly.

Size: The setting Large is recommended. The size specifies the number of grid points in the profile and determines the amount of disk space required for the generated profile. Small profiles should only be used for test purposes. Very Large profiles can slow down further processing in subsequent programs. Additionally, some programs are not able to handle very large profiles.

Further processing

Create Profile Report (PDF): Recommended to activate. The PDF report provides an overview of the quality of the profile based on statistics, diagrams of gray balances, gradients and gamut representations as well as color separations of converted test files.

Calculate CMYK Profile: Only available when creating Multicolor printer profiles. Uses only the CMYK part of Multicolor data to create a CMYK profile. For example, this can be useful for Multicolor PDF files to enable the display of the CMYK part of a conversion in PDF viewers without Multicolor support.

Save Preview Profile: Is only available in Multicolor printer profiling. By activating this checkbox an ICC preview profile will be created in addition to the printer profile. It can be used as soft proof profile in Adobe Photoshop.

Notes: Preview profiles are only suitable for proofing purposes. Either a preview profile or a CMYK profile can be created in one profiling step, but not both.

Save: Creates the printer profile and saves it in the folder Profiles (macOS) or Color (Windows), (macOS: /Users/Username/Library/ColorSync/Profiles, Windows: C:\Windows\System32\spool\drivers\color). Demo and encrypted profiles will be saved in a different location only relevant for ColorLogic applications.

Note: CoPrA-SP profiles are stored in the ColorLogic subfolder Licensed-Profiles.

Preview Profiles

Introduction: Using Preview Profiles for Soft Proofs

Preview profiles allow soft proofing of image files in DeviceLink profiling and Multicolor printer profiling, without converting a file. Multicolor preview profiles provide a true color representation of images to be converted into the Multicolor color space in order to review the achievable result prior to the actual Multicolor conversion (More information can be found further down in the text). The same applies to DeviceLink conversions. Here, too, the DeviceLink preview profile can be used in Photoshop with the original data to visually review how the result of such a conversion would look like.

Preview profiles can be created together with DeviceLink or Multicolor printer profiles by activating the checkbox Save Preview Profile (see screenshots). Preview profiles have the suffix ‘preview‘ and are saved in the folder Profiles (macOS) or color (Windows), (macOS: /Users/Username/Library/ColorSync/Profiles, Windows: C:\Windows\System32\spool\drivers\color). Right clicking on the preview profile and selecting the menu entry Show file in the context menu will take you directly to the location of the selected profile.

Creating preview profiles in Multicolor printer profiling.

Creating preview profiles in DeviceLink profiling.

A preview profile is a printer profile with the same color space as the source profile of the DeviceLink. It can be used as soft proof profile, for example in Adobe Photoshop. Preview profiles can be created for the following DeviceLink combinations:
RGB-to-CMYK, CMYK-to-CMYK, RGB-to-Multicolor and CMYK-to-Multicolor

Note: The creation of preview profiles is not available for DeviceLink profiles using more than four channels in the source color space since only preview profiles of the color spaces Gray, RGB or CMYK can be used in Photoshop. Multicolor printer profiles are not affected as their preview profiles are always RGB profiles which can be used in Photoshop.

Example: To adapt your RGB image data in RGB mode to the desired CMYK printing condition, use the preview profile of your RGB-to-CMYK DeviceLink as soft proof profile in Adobe Photoshop to check how the image would look like after the conversion. This allows specific RGB adjustments without the need to convert the RGB file early on. A preview profile is a very useful feature, particularly in view of storing RGB image data in media-neutral workflows.

Preview profiles can also be created for Multicolor printer profiles which allows a true color simulation of the color representation prior to application of the Multicolor profile. Although Adobe Photoshop CS4 or higher is able to convert image data using Multicolor profiles, the display of multichannel files is not a true color representation in Photoshop. So far, a true color representation of multichannel files is only possible using additional plug-ins and causes an increased workload. The preview profile function generates an RGB printer profile which features the same color visualization as the original Multicolor profile. Use this preview profile on an original image data for soft proofing.

Note: Preview profiles are only intended for soft proofs and should never be used for the actual conversion. A preview profile provides an excellent visual preview of the expected result of a DeviceLink conversion. However, the special features of the DeviceLink, such as preserving color purity, cannot be 100% emulated.

Using Preview Profiles for DeviceLinks in Adobe Photoshop

  1. Open the original image data to be converted using a DeviceLink profile in Adobe Photoshop.
  2. Either assign the Preview profile from CoPrA to this image file, or select the Preview profile in the dialog Customize Proof Condition as Device to Simulate (see screenshot).
    Note: The color space of the preview profile is based on the color space of the DeviceLink’s source profile. It is an RGB preview profile for RGB-to-CMYK DeviceLinks and a CMYK preview profile for CMYK-to-CMYK DeviceLinks.
  3. Click Preserve CMYK Numbers to get a virtually exact preview of the expected color representation for the DeviceLink conversion.
    Note: Pipette values do not correspond to the final DeviceLink conversion. Only the color representation in the soft proof does.

Using Multicolor Preview Profiles in Photoshop

  1. Open the original image data to be converted using a Multicolor printer profile in Adobe Photoshop (for example an RGB image).
  2. Select the Preview profile from CoPrA in the dialog Customize Proof Condition as Device to Simulate. Find the profile in the list of RGB profiles. The naming is based on the Multicolor profile name: Profile name_preview.icc
  3. Select the desired Rendering Intent and disable the checkbox Preserve RGB/CMYK Numbers.
    Note: Eyedropper values do not correspond to the final DeviceLink conversion. This is only for a soft proof.
Profile Reports

Profile reports can be created for Printer or DeviceLink profiles. To do so, activate the checkbox Create Profile Report in the last step of the profiling or, when updating profiles, the checkbox Create Profile Comparison Report.

Depending on the type of profile the report contains various statistical data, such as statistics about profile precision (Integrity, Precision, Black Point, White Point etc.), graphic representations of curves and gamuts (Gray Balance, Gradients etc.), conversions of test images, separations and color patches to evaluate the smoothness or the purity of colors. All this facilitates the detection of artifacts that may be present.

Profile reports can be created at any time in Batch Overview or in Profile Manager which, by the way, is not restricted to ColorLogic profiles.

Under Preferences you can define some basic settings for the creation of the profile report, such as the file location, the report format (PDF or XML) or the DeltaE method (dE76 or dE2000).

Note: If a profile comparison report is created when updating a profile, the measurement data obtained from the update test chart will be compared to the data of the original profile (reference profile).

If the checkboxes Brightener Compensation or Measurement Correction have been activated, the data of the original profile will not be compared to the measurement data from the update test chart but to the data modified by these options.

Multicolor Profiling and Chart Creation

Generating Multicolor Profiles in CoPrA

General Information

CoPrA supports three main chromatic primary colors which should span a suitably large gamut encompassing the gray balance. Typically this is CMY but it can be any other appropriate chromatic color combination.

Black can be added optionally as a 4th channel. If black is used it must be the fourth channel.

Up to two gamut extending colors can be used in between each section of the main primary colors.

Note: Following this approach, printer profiles of up to 10 channels can theoretically be created by CoPrA 5 and higher. However, it is not recommendable to use printer profiles with more than 8 channels in production as every additional channel increases the profile size exponentially so that either a very low grid size or an exorbitantly large profile had to be used.

Examples

Typical Multicolor Application
When using a typical Multicolor color space with CMYK parts, the additional inks Green, Orange and Violet extend the gamut in each section of the three primary colors. In between each section, a single gamut extending color is used creating a color space with 7 colors.

Advanced Multicolor Application
Some inkjet printers use Red and Orange in addition to the standard CMYK inks. CoPrA is able to profile such a 6 color printer since Orange and Red are two gamut extending colors of the main primary color sections Yellow and Magenta.

Note: When working with two gamut extending colors, special test charts must be used. CoPrA provides appropriate Multicolor test charts which are available via Tools > Open Testcharts folder > Multicolor.

Special Inks
In industrial printing, such as ceramic printing, the main colors are often supplemented by additional light (e.g. Pink) or dark (e.g. Brown) inks. Another example is Flexo printing, where a Gray ink supplements the Black ink to better render lighter grays in the artwork. These colors are what we call special inks, and they can be used with the special Multicolor Modes in CoPrA.

Supported Color Systems

CoPrA allows to create printer and DeviceLink profiles for all types of color spaces Gray, RGB, CMYK and Multicolor. Cross color space profiles are also supported, such as RGB to CMYK, CMYK to Grayscale or RGB/CMYK to Multicolor.

The following color systems are supported:

  • 2- and 3-color systems
  • 4-color systems with CMYK
  • 4-color systems with CMY + either Red or Green or Blue, without Black
  • 5-color systems: CMYK + either Red or Green or Blue
  • 5-colour systems: CMY + either Red+Green, Red+Blue or Green+Blue, without black
  • 6-colour systems: CMYK + either Red+Green, Red+Blue or Green+Blue
  • 6-colour systems: CMY + Red+Green+Blue, without Black
  • 7-colour systems: CMYK + Red+Green+Blue
  • 8-color systems: CMYK + Red+Orange+Green+Blue
  • 9-color systems: CMYK + Red+Orange+Green+Blue+Violet
  • Special ink combinations such as CMYK+Gray, CMYK+Pink+Brown, etc.
  • The CMY channels can even be exchanged for other similar colors, e.g. Magenta for another reddish color or Yellow for Beige and so on.
  • Creation of DeviceLinks with up to 9 channels
Using Multicolor Test Charts

To create Multicolor profiles various test charts (multichannel Photoshop PSD files) with associated reference files are available for measuring with ColorAnt (or any suitable measuring software). These Multicolor test charts can be found in the folder Testcharts (in CoPrA's installation folder). The folder can be opened directly in CoPrA (menu Tools > Open test chart folder). The contained Multicolor test charts are specifically optimized for the algorithms used by CoPrA. Alternatively, you can create your own test charts for your multicolor process using ColorAnt/Custom Chart.

Selection of the correct test charts for your printing process is facilitated by the naming. Therefore, please note the following naming conventions:

  • The name of the test chart contains the number of channels, the color combination and the number of color patches.  The test chart name CL-CMYKB-2140 reflects that it is a 5-channel test chart with the color combination CMYK+Blue and 2140 color patches.
  • However, by 'Blue' we mean a fairly broad color range of reddish to greenish blue. For example, it contains violet as well.
  • The following color abbreviations are used in folder and file names: R = Red, G = Green, B= Blue, V= Violet, O = Orange, Yg= Yellow-Green.
  • For a Hexachrome printing process with CMYK+Orange+Green, use the corresponding test chart, CL-CMYKRG. Here, CMYKRG stands for CMYK+Red+Green, whereby red includes orange.
  • For 7-color printing use the test chart CL-CMYKRGB. In addition to the colors CMYK it also contains the additional colors Red+Green+Blue.
  • Nine special test charts for 6C and 7C color combinations have been available for two Gamut-extending colors (e.g. CMYK+Red+Orange). They can be found in the folder Special.
  • The layout of the supplied test charts is designed to fit on A4 or US letter size and is optimized for the hand-held measuring devices supported by the Measure Tool. As all patches cannot go on one page the Multicolor charts are split in multiple pages which need to be measured in corresponding sequence (1_6 means it is the first of six pages).

Important Notes

  • The total area coverage (TAC) of 400% is not exceeded in any of the test charts, not even in Multicolor test charts.
  • Please make sure that the RIP or the output system of the printer supports Photoshop multichannel PSD files. If this is not the case please open the test charts in Photoshop (or another suitable image editing program) and save them as DCS2 files.
  • The test charts are optimized for the X-Rite i1Pro measuring device, but can also be measured with other any single color measuring devices.
  • For measurements with the X-Rite i1iO, Barbieri Spectro LFP and Konica-Minolta FD-9, we recommend creating a customized test chart file based on the corresponding reference file using ColorAnt’s Export Chart tool.
  • To use a measuring device that is not supported by ColorAnt MeasureTool, it is necessary to create a test chart which is suitable for that measuring device and the intended printing process. Make sure to select the reference file matching the color system. We recommend creating the corresponding reference files with ColorAnt/Custom Chart. Please note that our reference files use a maximum total area coverage of up to 400%, even for 7 channel color systems.
  • For Multicolor profiling - in contrast to CMYK Profiling - the test charts has to be adapted to the calculation algorithms in order to minimize color patches, otherwise, test charts would be exceptionally large.
    Note: Multicolor profiling differs from manufacturer to manufacturer. If you would like to use measured Multicolor test charts from other manufacturers in CoPrA, please note that these test charts may not achieve optimal results in CoPrA.
  • If it is not possible to reprint CoPrA's test charts and use existing measurement data from Multicolor test charts of other manufacturers, it is recommended to optimize these measurement data using ColorAnt before creating profiles in CoPrA. The Rescale tool allows adaption the measurement and reference values in ColorAnt according to suitable CoPrA test charts. Any missing measurement values will be interpolated which may result in inaccuracies if alternative test charts of other manufacturers reveal many gaps.
  • Special test charts, such as CMY test charts for printing systems that do not use black, are also available in the Testcharts/Multicolor folder.

For example, when working with CMY+Blue, use the appropriate test chart from the folder CMY+B.

Note: Previously, many users worked with standard CMYK test charts, such as ECI2002 or IT8/7-4, for color combinations without black, replacing the K channel with blue, e.g. CMY+Blue. Although this approach seems practicable at first glance, it is not recommended, because the process color black plays an entirely different role to a gamut extending color blue in CMYK test charts. Accordingly, many color combinations in the CMYK test charts are unnecessary, or even missing for a blue process color. It is preferable to use CoPrA in combination with CMY+X test charts in order to obtain the best possible profile quality.

CoPrA | Registration

Registration

Register and activate CoPrA

Registration

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.

Demo Licenses


ColorLogic offers 14-day trial licenses for the applications CoPrA, ZePrA and ColorAnt allowing the user to evaluate the software features and performance.


Restrictions with Demo Licenses

All profiles created with a demo license in CoPrA can only be used correctly in ColorLogic applications.

A ZePrA demo license gives users a 14-day evaluation period to try all the functions of ZePrA within the application. All files converted with a demo license in ZePrA are watermark protected. If it becomes necessary to test ZePrA within a workflow without the watermark during the test period, contact your dealer for instructions.


Requesting a Demo License

  1. Click on Registration in the lower left corner of the sidebar.
  2. Click on the tab Demo license request.
  3. Enter all required information.
  4. After selecting the country, the software shows a list of available dealers in that region. Select a dealer and click on Send direct request. The relevant demo license will be send to the specified email address within a few minutes.
  5. Save the license file (*.lic) contained in the email on the computer being used.
  6. Load the license file in the tab License details under Registration to activate the respective application.

The expiration date of demo licenses is shown under License details right after activation.

FAQ


Does the license file have to be saved on the USB dongle for USB dongle-based licenses?
No, the license file does not have to be saved on the USB dongle. However, it is recommended if the application is to be used on several computers, as the required license file is then always available.

Why does my software not work anymore?
Please make sure that the USB dongle is plugged in and that the serial number of the license file matches the serial number under Registration.

What is the correct order to start the application with USB dongle based licenses?
First plug the USB dongle into your computer, then start the software and load the license under Registration.

What if the application with a computer-based license is to be used on another computer (e.g. if the old computer is broken)?
In this case, please contact the dealer from whom you purchased the software. He will provide you with a document (License Transfer Agreement) for you to sign, in which you agree to delete the old license file and not to use the software on the old computer anymore. You will then receive a new license file for the new computer.

Important: If a computer-based license is to be used, the application must be installed on exactly the computer on which you want to work permanently. You should also make sure that no USB sticks etc. are present before you start the software and open the Registration dialog.

Tip: If you send the serial number to the dealer, it is best to copy and paste the serial number from the Registration dialog (this is easier than writing it down or sending a screenshot). The permanent license file runs only and exclusively on this computer. If you have a computer-based license, you cannot use the software on another computer.

Registering and Downloading ColorLogic Software