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KeraArt allow the creation of new ceramic products and the adaptation of a graphic to a specific production process in a simple fast, repeatable and intuitive way

Macs Tech offers a suite of products called Keracromia®, a new and revolutionary automated tile making process, whether they are reproductions of previous products, natural materials or even creative design.

Inside the suite KeraArt® is a module dedicated for creating new tiles designed also for not-expert users in image processing.

KeraArt Main Benefits

KeraArt® was designed with the aim of reproducing a ceramic image in two phases:

  • The first is the mathematical construction of the printing process model
  • The second is the creation of a print preview (soft proofing) and printing tooling

Therefore, KeraArt® allows to:

  • Find a real producible solution on each production process
  • Create the optimum graphics for the destination process
  • Automatically generate tone variants
  • Print on paper the proof to check the conformity of the final product with the original one
  • Ensure the reproducibility of a graphic on multiple different production processes
  • Deliver images usable for catalogs

Let’s view each characteristic and functionalities one by one.

Soft Proofing

The Proof is a preview of the product as it will be produced, providing a very useful tool to verify the final look before coming to the real production of the product. Production will no longer have to happen through a succession of attempts and consequently production waste of time, because the result is objectively measured and evaluated.

KeraArt® allows the user to work with the widest flexibility. In fact is possible to reproduce many different originals image with that same model process or reproduce one image with different processes model

Figure 1: Original and Proof at Delta E 0

Original - proof comparison

KeraArt® offers the feature to show a quantitative and visual comparison with respect to the original image through the mask tool.

The difference mask is useful to overlap it with the original image, thus verifying if and where the areas of the original Lab image have been changed to fit into the gamut of the printing device. The mask is the zone over a threshold, representing the measurement of the perceived colorimetric difference as evaluated by the human eye.

Figure 2: Original and Proof at DeltaE 2

Figure 3: Original and Proof at Delta E 4

The quality of the results

At the end of the creation process, the user can perform accurate controls on numerical and, above all, objective indicators. The proof, resulting from the creation process, is displayed on the monitor side by side with the original.
According to the selected image portion (Image or ROI) it is possible to have the following information:

  1. Detailed Information (Delta-E Pixels by Pixels, or Groups of them) on the perceptual color differences between the original and the proof.
  2. Display out-of-tolerance zones over a threshold that can be set in Delta E, that is the value representing the measurement of the perceived colorimetric difference as evaluated by the human eye.
  3. Linearity, Ink Limit and Target analysis, useful tools to characterize the printing process and to create the process model.

Figure 4: Linearity Graph

Support to decisions

The user has all the information and tools to support the decisions and action to be taken in every situation, for example:

  1. Raise or lower the Delta E threshold set to better analyze the result
  2. Change process model because the result is not acceptable
  3. Produce a print test on paper to compare it with the original
  4. Change the original image with the help of “automatic tone variants generation”, “best fit” or “Gamut Editor” tool
  5. proceed with the creation of production equipment

In the case of deciding to proceed with proof printing, KeraArt® user already has all the information to produce it, i.e. the different color planes to form the final image.

Automatic generation of tone variants

If the image likeness is unacceptable on the selected process model, the user may decide to change image to reproduce or take as the starting point the processed image.
In this case, the user can use the variant wizard in automatic or manual mode taking as reference the original image and a second one a reference tone.

Figure 5: Original, Reference and variant result

Best Fit

When the user wants to use the ceramic image only as an inspiration and therefore does not aim to have an exact copy of the original image, the Best Fit tool is very useful. This tool can be used as well when the process model does not produce an acceptable result from the original image and the user wants to analyze what could be the best result that can be obtained using the process model to reproduce such an original image.

The function produces a new Lab image, named variant, that, compared to the original one, has been modified to fit into the model's gamut with a higher percentage of similarity and can be separated as if it was an original image.

Gamut Editor

The Gamut Editor can be used for a double purpose: the first to create color variations of a product already made from the original image, the other to look for a solution to the problem of " out of gamut ".
The user acting on the basic colorimetric parameters of brightness, tint, and saturation, can improve the fitting between the image and the gamut of the printing process.
The changes applied to the image are real-time and the user can view the effects being able to memorize and/or freeze and/or cancel them.
When the image is considered sufficient using the real time qualitative estimation of the similarity, the user can proceed to separate, save and print with the usual methods.

Figure 6: Gamut, Colorimetric parameters and Proof before the editing

Figure 7: Gamut, Colorimetric parameters and Proof after the editing

Virtual Processes Model

The tool aims to take the common characteristics of each process model and create the “virtual Model”, it is not a real model hence the name.
The user can operate on the original image and when the virtual model will be able to reproduce KeraArt® will faithfully reproduce such an image on every factory.

Printing on paper

KeraArt® printing on paper functionality gives the opportunity not only to use the proof as a validation of the results but can be used also to build commercial tiles catalog.
In fact the proof does not need further processing to be printed, since it is a Lab image that will be not affected by the printing device profile.