December 21, 2017
In January 2018 we are releasing a major upgrade to our software, AVA 5!
Last June we released 4.16 which was the 16th feature packed upgrade to AVA 4.
So why do we think the next release is worthy to become AVA 5 instead of simply 4.17?
AVA 4.0 was created in an Apple application framework called ‘Cocoa’. Cocoa allows us to develop the software more quickly. This was approximately 7 years after we wrote AVA 3 which was the first version of AVA which was capable of running on MacOS X.
Historically we make major upgrades when the underlying technology changes and this is typically every 7 years. However with AVA 5 it’s the features and concepts which span the entire software which make the difference!
Revolutionary new Custom Palettes
You can create your own Custom Palettes. Each Palette is a floating document and you can drag settings from almost anywhere within the software to create a ‘Button’. Each Button can contain multiple settings which can be activated (restored) with a simple click.
- Create new tools restoring combinations of patterns, brushes, filters, tracking with a single button.
- Restore preferences, colour matching, overprint, page setup and CMS settings.
- Easily create new documents in your standard sizes at the touch of a button.
- Configure menus windows and tools with one click.
- Restore Layouts, rulers and templates.
- Share separation settings between documents.
- Download new palettes with continual updates.
While the concept and use of Custom Palettes are simple, we think it is significant and unique addition to the software. There are thousands of other uses for this technology and every day we think of something new to do with them. We think they will revolutionise your workflows and we can’t wait to see what you will create..
The Palettes can be easily shared within your company by email or fileserver and can be synchronised automatically between workstations using the AVA Productivity Manager.
New Help buttons allow direct links from practically every window to provide instant information on the relevant topic. As part of our ‘Life Long Learning’ initiative, we place great importance on Assist and have kept it bang up to date.
You can read the latest tips and tricks on a particular area or simply watch one of the many movies. Totally integrated help allows you to explore the software – enabling you to get more out of it. The great news for users who prefer a language other than English is that AVA Assist now uses built in Google translation technology too.
We are really excited about this technology as yet another part of our ‘Life Long Learning’ initiative.
A new ‘AVA TV’ menu item is located within AVA’s Help menu. From here you will see a list of upcoming events/sessions and you can simply click on an item to watch it.
AVA TV sessions are easy to access and may be on subjects such as Advanced Separation Techniques or Materialize Basics. They are available in many languages and back events are also stored for you to watch at any time. It shouldn’t be long before we have an extensive library of these which will help keep you and your staff fully informed. Please feel free to request subjects that you would like to see which aren’t listed..
AVA can now be used in an all new ‘Pro’ Appearance. We think it looks super new and up to date and some users find the stealth black look less of a distraction. It’s optional so you can choose to use it or not. You can also customise the backgrounds to the Layers Palette and your design surrounds. Care must be taken when setting background colours but setting the background to your substrate colour can actually improve your colour perception. There is a new ‘AVA Assist Help’ button located adjacent to the colour preferences which takes you directly to an article describing this.
Colour Correction Layers
They say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder.. Have you ever needed to slightly nudge the colours of a design? In the past we sometimes had to make complex colour adjustments using our custom overprint technology. Now it’s easy to apply a correction using correction layers. These layers are non-destructive and are also ideal for Digital Print. They can be easily recorded and applied using our new Custom Palettes technology and are also useful for simulating lamination effects.
Every slider in AVA now uses our ‘geared slider’ technology. Since many AVA features have sliders to control settings, you can make more subtle/precise changes in almost every window.
We have invested in rewriting AVA ColourSys. It is now 64-bit and has Retina graphics and improved performance. It’s been re-written using the latest frameworks and technology which pave the way for further rapid feature development.
We are so excited about this that we are showcasing ColourSys now as part of our AVA 5 platform. It will be released later this year.
Many other features and improvements
As you’d expect from any AVA release, there are countless other features, optimisations and improvements including our new Productivity Manager and Structure Simulation modules. Be sure to request a demonstration or view in AVA TV! We are pretty excited about AVA 5 and can’t wait to hear what you think.
We think AVA 5 represents the start of a new era and hope you will agree!
Simon Whomsley December 2017
Director of Research & Development