New PPML Release Adds Transparency Effects Support

ROCHESTER, NY—April 21, 2010—PODi, the Digital Printing Initiative, announces a new release of PPML, the interoperability standard for variable data print production. PPML3.0 and its Graphic Arts conformance subset (PPML/GA3.0) support in-RIP transparency flattening, dramatically increasing digital print speeds for VDP direct mail marketing campaigns.

PPML3.0 is a significant enhancement to the highly successful PPML/GA2.2 spec. In addition to supporting transparency within the PDF layer, PPML3.0 supports transparency between layers. This means that it is now possible to have variable layers, like drop-shadow postscript type and soft-edge TIFF masks, that overlay a reusable JPEG image, and they will be “flattened” within the DFE (Digital Front End) when printed. The flattening process precisely supports the PDF model, so the printed result will be the same as if the flattening was done within Adobe’s Creative Suite & distiller. The difference is in PPML’s dynamic assembly of reusable elements and variable layers within the printing process to increase productivity.

“Marketers have specifically requested transparency for more realism and dimension in their marketing materials,” says Rab Govil, President of PODi. “But transparency effects added prep time and reduced VDP (variable data publishing) RIP speeds far too much. With millions of recipients in some campaigns, it was just not practical to use transparency before. PPML3.0 opens up a world of exciting possibilities.

With the release of PPML3.0, PODi adds transparency effects to the most popular VDP production language, reproducing the same effects a designer can create within InDesign or Quark, while enabling highly productive VDP print workflows. Additional enhancements include an updated PPML Certification Test Suite that is used for certifying PPML compliant printing devices, and an improved CheckPPML tool for viewing, proofing and error checking of both PPML2.2 and 3.0 files.

PPML3.0 is generally available to the marketplace. It can be downloaded at PODi also provides the CheckPPML and CheckPPML_Pro tools to provide proofing, error-tracking and viewing of PDF files. PODi supports standards-based interoperability and workflows that advance production printing like PPML, JDF, and the upcoming PDF/VT ISO standard.

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