CoPrA and ColorAnt used in production at Scancolor

ColorLogic GmbH

17 March 2017

The dream of a pre-press expert

Scancolor Reprostudio GmbH was founded 25 years ago in Leipzig, Germany and employs 10 people. The company focuses on images, reproduction from slides, originals sometimes larger than 6 feet, digitalization of copy dot prints, photo retouches, ICC profiling, photo laboratory, and large-format digital prints. These are all aimed towards fine tuning.

The reproduction of high-quality images for a book, an exhibition, arts market or even for a museum is complex. The amount of different, sometimes even exotic, kinds of output devices requires color management to ensure consistent and reliable quality. This know-how is used internally at Scancolor but also as an external consultant. Ralf Lenk is the Managing Director of Scancolor and simply loves the reproduction work. Many of his visions have been made into reality with his company, but not all… not yet.

What is the pre-press expert’s dream?

I still hear the motivational coach’s platitudes while I drift off to sleep after a long day. “Get rid of your boundaries. Try something big, something special.” Spread the colors into the world.

Compressed into far too small color spaces the whole day, I start to mix the images in my dream and they become more colorful. I jump through a color space full of joy. I get rid of the Uncoated and then the Coated color gamut and I feel the new spirit of the enlarged color space. While I slowly wake up again, I add some more fantasies about tools that allow me to edit the images any time I want to. Ping! This wonderful dream is interrupted by a new incoming email. An advertisement from my software dealer Impressed with news from ColorLogic. Déjà-vu.

If it is really true what is written in this email, then they have the product I have been dreaming of.

Previous color management software

A demo license ensures that it is not only a nice description of a possible solution, but that it is in fact exactly what I have been looking for – I am absolutely excited.

To be honest, a multicolor separation is nothing really new. There was this software from Hell capable of scanning CMYK and RGB and printing the result in 7 colors. Another solution was from Colorblind in the beginning of the 90’s, followed by Logo ProfileMaker, X-Rite i1 Publish etc. Special-color also offered some possibilities. These options had limitations and it was required to print large test charts for every color. The alternative was to define each and every setting, but without any measurement data.

Color management solution by ColorLogic

I am able to combine the measurement data from my CMYK plus the spot colors, directly in ColorAnt. What is even better, is the ability to modify it in any possible way. Whenever I print a spot color, I am able to consider that other spot colors may have the same characteristic, with only minor deviations. Every color can easily be changed by modifying the LAB (spectral) values. Additionally, you can add and modify it using the tone curve values. Especially with facsimiles, where several spot colors are not unusual, which speeds up the workflow.

The CMYK values can be modified should it be to adopt to a different color batch or to reproduce CMYK images even with some exotic color combinations or to standardize your workflow by using a defined 7-color set for all different spot color combinations, and so forth….The possibilities are endless…

Benefits of using ColorLogic software

The design of the software is very straight forward and self-explanatory, which is amazing! There are unlimited possibilities to adjust the measurement data. I can decide to optimize measurement data automatically or define each and every different adjustment individually. Due to the visualization which is possible for most of the adjustments it is really easy to control the modifications.

If I don’t want to dive into the different settings, I can simply choose one of the presets and it will optimize my result or I can tweak each setting however I like. It’s all about the “little things”. Who has the time to print a test chart repeatedly until it is really perfect? In ColorAnt, there is the possibility of using tone values to render a chart which is not yet as perfect as if it could be. With those optimized data you can generate an error-free, perfect ICC profile without the risk of some minor errors in the measurement data ruining the entire profile. The software, developed from experts, in very well thought out and is a solution which covers all your wishes.

ColorAnt + CoPrA = Complete Package

The combination of CoPrA and ColorAnt is a “complete” package:

  • You may generate charts and measure them inside the application
  • Measurement data can be edited and optimized
  • Several measurement chart can be averaged and everything can be visualized

In CoPrA, an ICC profile may be created based on this measurement data. Again, this can be edited and also inside the application applied to an image. Everything inside one solution which avoids possible errors during transmitting data. All of that is available for B/W, RGB, CMYK and spot colors which means it is applicable for any output scenario, should it be a photographical process, inkjet without a RIP, or any kind of printing process, such as offset, screen printing, flexo or gravure.

The possibility inside CoPrA to generate DeviceLink profiles is simply outstanding. Secure transformation from one color space into another while respecting the characteristics and requirements of the final output. Black generation, Exceptions, SaveInk and so forth are impressive and again, with the possibility to fine tune any kind of setting if necessary. The more exotic the task is, the more important are those exceptions.

Production Scenario

We process images photographically, which means we have to handle colors of a photographical coating. They are completely out-of-gamut of common printing colors. The yellow has a very high density, but has a kind of reddish color. “Normal” color management will change it into a lighter color and add some cyan to it. This is methodically correct. However, the result misses the density. Therefore, the picture no longer has contrast. In CoPrA, we are able to define the right exceptions which results in the correct calculation of the image. In addition, the primaries and secondaries are calculated with the maximum density.

Benefits of Devicelink Profiles

Besides those special scenarios DeviceLink profiles simplify and optimize all of your daily work. Adjust coated to uncoated – generate a DeviceLink profile and everything is fine.

  • Convert SWOP data received from the US to ISO coated V2 or FOGRA 51
  • Re-separate incorrect separated data
  • TAC is to high in the file
  • Exact adjustment of data for the printer
  • Adjust data for exotic printing material
  • Calculate existing data for different printing methods
  • Change coated data to other print standards

There is almost nothing which can’t be achieved with those “little magical tools”.

More than an application

Software is much more than only the application itself. Consulting and support are also important topics and our dealer IMPRESSED and ColorLogic are simply outstanding in this area. Within a very short time frame all questions were answered on a top-notch level in a almost familiar and very friendly manner. If I could think of anything “beyond expectation,” it is with this software.

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