TAC7 Total Appearance Capture Ecosystem


The TAC™ Ecosystem is an award-winning appearance solution that enables an unmatched level of realism and efficiency in digital material capture and 3D design. It accurately and consistently shares material appearance information across every step of the product development process to reduce design approval cycles and accelerate time to market.

Measuring a material’s appearance characteristics is critical to improving quality and accelerating time to market. By accurately measuring the appearance characteristics of physical samples, the TAC7 Scanner produces highly accurate digital material files that can easily be communicated and shared across the design to production workflow.


  • Capture the exact physical appearance properties such as colour, texture, gloss, translucency and transparency in a digital format that makes it easy to experience unmatched realism in the virtual world
  • Simplify the maintenance and upkeep of samples by utilising digital material libraries
  • Eliminate ambiguities with precise accuracy to improve product quality and communication with stakeholders to reduce design approval cycles and accelerate time to market
  • Reduce the amount of time spent manually adjusting and correcting scanned materials
  • Experience more accurate renderings and improved product quality
  • Visualise designs with unmatched accuracy, consistency and realism

The TAC Ecosystem, with the TAC7 Scanner at its core, enables designers to capture reality in a physically precise way. From special effects pigments to synthetic fabrics, it is now possible to capture and communicate physical appearance properties, such as colour, gloss, and texture, digitally to experience unmatched realism in 3D designs.

AxF is the foundational component of X-Rite’s Total Appearance Capture (TAC™) Ecosystem. AxF files are used to capture, store, edit, and communicate complex material characteristics throughout the digital design workflow.

The Challenge
Capturing material appearance data in a single, editable, portable file format is an obstacle in the virtualisation of products, especially when different formats are used in parallel. This poses an issue when consistency in appearance must be achieved. AxF is the first format designed for system-independent communication of digital appearance.

The Solution
AxF delivers a standardised format for communicating material appearance data. It is used with a variety of CAD, PLM, and 3D rendering solutions. AxF is used in product design, development, manufacturing, sales and marketing. It is an industry first, and is helping brands reduce cycle time, control cost and ensure consistency in colour and appearance.

Appearance Exchange Format (AxF)
AxF™ is a standard way to digitally store and share a material’s appearance across PLM, CAD and rendering applications Integration of real world materials has always been the missing link in virtual product design. Traditionally, design teams have approximated the physical (optical) behaviour of materials in digital tools through tedious and time-consuming manual recreation and editing. These “hand-made” virtual representations are neither accurate nor able to be shared across the numerous design and rendering tools used at various stages of the workflow, creating significant challenges for designers.

AxF helps address these challenges by providing a vendor-neutral file format to convey all appearance attributes digitally. AxF enables the creation of full-scale digital mock-ups featuring even sophisticated materials such as special effects paints, leather, plastics, fabrics, wood, and brushed metals. AxF accelerates time to market by reducing design time and approval cycles. And, by solving interoperability issues across PLM, CAD, and rendering software applications, AxF ensures that design and marketing teams achieve a consistent look and feel from digital prototyping  to showroom and point-of-sale environments.

Featured Colour Management Solutions

TAC7 is the physical material scanner for X-Rite’s Total Appearance Capture (TAC) Ecosystem, scanning physical material samples to produce highly accurate digital material definitions.

PANTORA™ Material Hub
The X-Rite Pantora Material Hub is a controlling hub for X-Rite Total Appearance Capture (TAC) Ecosystem components, connecting digital material input sources with output destinations.

Virtual Light Booth
Perfect for automotive industries, the Virtual Light Booth is an immersive 3D visualisation environment that presents materials with a high degree of realism.


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