Separation Studio NXT is powerfully smart software driven by our legendary Spot Process™ color separation engine. It will make easy work of your most challenging separation needs.
NXT auto detects a file format then properly separates that file into either Sim Process or raster Spot Color separations. It’s the only software of its kind.
RGB .tif, .png, and .jpg separate into Sim Process seps, while RGB or CMYK vector .pdf or .ai formats are properly separated into high quality raster spot color seps.
Create award winning sim process separations or instantly convert unwanted or overlooked process colors into useful spot color seps.
NEW to NXT is a full compliment of editing and adjustment tools for PDF spot color separations making this the most powerful version of Separation Studio to date.
Now you can erase, saturate or desaturate specific areas or ranges of color using sponge and droplet tools or globally adjust a range of tone using the high and low saturation adjustment slider. Isolate areas, choke and spread, save files with press marks, load and edit ink and textile sets… for both Spot Process and Spot Color separations!
Some features are specialized to Spot Process™ separations while others are unique to PDF spot color separations. These features will be dimmed (unavailable) depending on the style of separations opened.
Unique to PDF spot color separations is the ability to “spread” separations.
Unique to Spot Process is the ability to generate 3 levels of custom tonal black separations, Auto Adjust, and ColorCrunch™ the quick 6 color sim process separations reducer that instantly makes a 9 color separation into a 6 color print. Along with Enhance Red/Orange, Generate Brown, and the features Merge Purple, Turquoise, and Gray. All these features are needed only when handling Spot Process™ tonal sim process separations.
With more powerful programming, a simple, clean and efficient NEW user interface there’s low to no learning curve. You’ll be up and running in seconds.
Taking advantage of AccuRIP™ Emerald, Ruby, Black Pearl or any other RIP software to handle printing in a nucleus RIP print workflow adds power, flexibility and value you’ll appreciate.
Open, Close Window, Close Document, Close All Documents, Save, Save As…, Export, Print, Quit/Exit.
Open raster RGB tif, png, jpg images for separating with Spot Process. Transparency values are honored. Open vector RGB or CMYK PDF files from Illustration programs such a as Illustrator or CorelDRAW.
This program Saves files using a .psd format that retains transparency values honored when imported into other programs. The .psd format preview adds CMYK values to the file that should be excluded when printing separations.
Files Exported are saved using the DCS2.eps format. This format does not support transparency. Unlike the .psd format its preview does not add CMYK values to the file making it a good choice for those using a DTS printer or looking for a streamlined workflow that does not require the need for transparency support.
Print sends files directly to AccuRIP™ Emerald. For those not using AccuRIP Emerald, Save or Export files to be processed through other workflows.
Undo, Redo, Deselect, Inverse Selection, Delete.
Undo limit default is 10. Limit can be increased in the Preferences window.
Deselect, Inverse Selection affect selection tools (freeform, polygon, area).
Delete affects the area within a selected area.
Auto Adjust, Black Generation, Enhance Red Orange, Generate Brown, Merge Gray, Merge Purple, Merge Turquoise, Create Base, Spread.
Auto Adjust is available for Spot Process™ separations. This feature auto sets brightness and hue of separations. Clicking this feature more than once will intensify the result. It is recommended to click this feature once, evaluate the separations, then make adjustments to individual separations as desired.
Black Generation offers three levels of a black separation. Skeletal is a minimal black with most attention to the darkest areas, Detailed expands on Skeletal delivering more data into the mid-tone ranges, while Sharper delivers the most data delivering a full range of data delivering the most sharp image. Choose a level, click OK then locate the same file opened initially. File selected must be the same file originally separated.
Enhance Red Orange smooths red to orange color transitions.
Generate Brown develops a separation when printing specific brown is desired.
Merge Gray* merges the gray into the Top White separation
Merge Purple* splits and combines the purple sep into the red and blue separations. The secondary color result is a more blue than red purple. Print the primary purple as often as possible.
Merge Turquoise* merges the gray into the blue separation.
* These features are available for Spot Process™ separations. Features are available as long as necessary separations exists. All features become unavailable after the feature ColorCrunch™ has been applied.
Create Base opens the Base Properties window.
Spread opens the Spread Properties window. This feature is available for PDF file separations. Spreading separations creates and overlapping of edges to help with on press registration.
Displays all available separations and their current view state.
Hide All Separations hides all separations.
Show All Separations shows all separations.
* The Proof Positive menu can also be accessed through a right click in the main image window displaying a contextual menu.
Zoom in, Zoom Out, Zoom Fill Window, Fit On Screen, Actual Pixels, Match Zoom, Match Location, Show Textile Color, Adjust Separation.
Zoom In and Zoom Out change the view magnification. Drag select an area for a fast zoom. Hold the Alt/Option key to zoom out.
Zoom Fill Window scales the image to fit the current window size.
Fit on Screen sizes an image to fit the current window size.
Actual Pixels displays the image at actual size based on the file resolution and dimension.
Match Zoom matches to zoom magnification when multiple windows are open within a single file.
Match Location syncs the viewing location when multiple windows are open within a single file.
Separations, Buttons, Tools, Activate Separations, Textiles, Inks, Cascade, Tile, New Window.
Each of the components in this software are called Windows. From the Window menu you can show or hide any of these windows. All open files are displayed at the bottom of this menu. Choosing a file brings it to the foreground.
Separations are the separation previews at the bottom of the main Sep Studio user interface (ui).
Buttons are the buttons locates at the top of the ui.
Tools are the tools displayed to the left in the ui.
Active Separations control the separations affected by selection, saturation, desaturation and eraser tools.
Click the Textile icon to open and close the Textile window.
Click the Ink icon to open and close the Ink window.
Cascade arranges all open image windows in a cascade formation.
Tile arranges all open windows on screen in a tile formation.
New Window open a second window within a file based on a selected separation.
Preferences, User Guide, Technical Support, About.
Preferences: opens the preferences window displaying options to change the theme color, switch between inches and mm, set the default view mode for separations preview and the limit for undo steps, set RIP print software, setup RIP software Hot Folder…
* Increasing the Undo Limit requires the use of more system memory. The amount of memory used is based on file resolution, dimension and the amount of separations in a file.
User Guide opens the current online user guide https://solutionsforscreenprinters.com/sep-studio-nxt-guide/#Guide
Technical Support opens Freehand’s main technical support page https://solutionsforscreenprinters.com/freehand-fanatical-support/
About Separation Studio opens the About window displaying the software version number, development credits…
Buttons offer quick access to many of the most commonly used features reducing the need to search menus improving workflow.
Some buttons are not available for both Spot Process and PDF separations.
Opens finder window to locate files.
Closes an open file.
Saves a file using the .psd format. The .psd format supports background transparency helping Import/Place a separated file into design layouts within programs such as Adobe™ Illustrator, Corel™ Draw and other programs that support transparency workflows. The improved preview of the .psd format introduces CMYK separations that should not be printed with any other separations. These CMYK separations are generated by the advanced image preview used for placement only (FPO). All spot color separations are contained within the .psd file.
Exports a file using the DCS2.eps format. A DCS2.eps (Desktop Color Separation version 2 Encapsulated PostScript™) file is the best format for handling only separations to be printed from another program. Import/Place a separated file into design layouts within programs such as Adobe™ Illustrator, Corel™ Draw and other programs workflows. DCS2.eps preview does NOT introduce any added separations to the the workflow. The image preview is for placement only (FPO). All spot color separations are contained within the .eps file. Great for a drag and drop print process workflow used with external RIP and DTS printers as well as those not needing to use the separations in an advanced design workflow.
PressFit™ contains three main windows.
1. Screens window shows and configures different size presses. Change press configuration from 2 screens up to 16.
2. Separations window displays and manages separations. This feature has the option of organizing separations by print order, hue, list, or swatches. When the hue icon is not selected separations are displayed in the order they appear in the Sep Studio NXT main interface. Separations can be displayed by list or swatches in either mode. Click then drag to select multiple colors in the Separations window. Command or Control click to add or remove individual separations to or from a set of selections.
3. Proof Positive™ displays a preview of an individual separation or a composite of a single screen or the total of all screens. Attached to this window is a vertical palette displaying and controlling the separation(s) displayed. Hover over each separation in the vertical color palette to display the color name. Click a separation to preview that separation. Click into the free space of the palette to display a composite preview. Drag and drop separations back the Separations window or to another screen on press.
Toggle between a neutral gray or color textile preview background. Textile color will be the color set in the main interface of NXT.
Apply button saves changes and closes PressFit™.
Cancel button closes PressFit™ without saving or applying changes.
Separations left in the Separations window after clicking Apply will be displayed in the main interface after all separations added to screens. Separations can be turned off or deleted as desired.
Opens the Print window. The print window can also be opened by simultaneously pressing the Command/Control P keys.
Opens the “Base Properties” window. Controls the creation and modification of a base separation. Base window can be reopened to adjust the separation. Right click the base separation preview to choose “update Base” to also open this window.
Combine icon toggle includes or remove all separation from the base. Toggles allow for all or individual on/off control.
Apply to All allows all separations to use the same Choke and Style settings or customize each separation.
Set Choke value up to 2pt to improve on press registration. 1pt equals 1/72 of an inch, 72 points equals 1 inch.
Set Style to honor both solid and halftone values (mixed solid and halftone icon) or force all values to 100% solid (solid icon).
Opens the Spread properties window. This feature in not needed or available for Spot Process™ separations.
Off/On icon toggle turns all separations Off or On. Toggles allow for all or individual Off/On control.
Apply to All allows all separations to use the same Spread setting or customize each separation.
Set Spread value up to 2pt to improve on press registration. 1pt equals 1/72 of an inch, 72 points equals 1 inch. Spread creates and overlap of separation edges.
Auto Adjust improves the color and contrast to Spot Process™ Sim Process separations. It is recommended to click this feature only once. Additional use of this feature will saturate separations. This feature is not needed or available for PDF file separations. Auto Adjust is exclusive to tonal raster Spot Process™ separations.
ColorCrunch™ will auto merge Gray, Purple and Turquoise separations instantly reducing a full 9 color Spot Process™ separation down to 6 colors. Feature is available when all three separations are present. Gray, Purple and Turquoise separations must be present for this feature to be available. This feature is not needed or available for PDF file separations. ColorCrunch™ is exclusive to tonal raster Spot Process™ separations.
Opens a window displaying three optional levels of black separation generation. Select the level of black separation needed then select the same file opened to generate the original separations.
All three separations may be added and or removed from a single file.
Black separation is generated and properly placed into the print order just after the base separation. It is advised to print black early allowing it to properly affect the other color separations without dominating the print result. Move the black to the end of the print order to see how it would negatively affect the print on press in that position. This is not a “trap screen” used with hard edge graphics like cartoons. This is an important separation to create proper tonality on press when printing halftones wet on wet. Black is an aggressive ink, properly print it early in the print rotation.
A black separation is not needed with printing on black surface (textile).
Skeletal produces a minimal separation used for dark surface printing (navy, brown…).
Detailed produces a separation with more mid range data than the Skeletal black. Used when printing on medium range colored surfaces (royal, gray…).
Sharper produces a separation with the most surface area detail. Used on lighter surface areas (white, tan…).
Tools displaying a triangle in the upper right corner have added options. Long click or right click each tool to expose options.
When not in Fit to Window mode this tool moves the image view area.
Drag option “drag all windows” drags all open windows within a single file.
Click or Click and Drag and area to zoom in. Control click to zoom out.
Zoom options are “Fit To Window” and “zoom all windows”. Fit to screen scales the image to fit the current window size. Zoom All Windows syncs the zoom factor for all open windows within a single file.
Select Area, Saturation and Eraser tools will affect separation selected in the Active Separations window.
Lasso: Is a freeform area selection tool.
Polygon: Creates a selected area using straight lines connecting click points.
Select: Creates a selected area.
Options Explained: All selection tools have modifier keys to add to or take away from an existing selected area. Hold the SHIFT ket to add to a selection, hold the CONTROL key to take away from a selected area. Click once the mouse outside a selected area to deselect.
Feather option adds a softened edge to a selection. Maximum range is 99 pixels. Feather setting can be changed before or after a selection is made.
Click the tool icon to close the options window.
Click hold and rub the image to darken pixels brightening colors allowing for greater ink flow on press.
Options Explained: Saturation has options for Diameter and Hardness. Diameter sets the size of the area effected by the tool, while hardness affects the edge effect. A Hardness setting of zero is softest, while 100 is hardest.
Saturation has an added option for Range. Setting the option to Low, Medium, or High affects only pixels within that range.
Click hold and rub the image to lighten pixels dulling colors reducing ink flow on press.
Options Explained: Desaturation has options for Diameter and Hardness. Diameter sets the size of the area effected by the tool, while hardness affects the edge effect. A Hardness setting of zero is softest, while 100 is hardest.
Desaturation has an added option for Range. Setting the option to Low, Medium or High affects only pixels within that range.
Click hold and rub the image to remove/delete pixel data.
Options Explained: Eraser has options for Diameter and Hardness. Diameter sets the size of the area effected by the tool, while hardness affects the edge effect. A Hardness setting of zero is softest, while 100 is hardest.
Click to show or hide the Textile window.
Click to show or hide the Ink window.