Open Enrollment | Subscribe to Printing Impressions HERE
Follow us on

Servers--Beyond the Bitmap

September 1999
The challenge within publishing is how to maximize the usage of existing network and server resources, yet maintain a viable workflow. How do you keep up with the increasing number and volume of files? New technologies are compressing, scaling and reinventing ways to manipulate digital content—signaling the dawn of resolution-independent digital prepress and more effective images.


Future serving. The conversion from an environment where photographic images are described as pixels to a more purely mathematical representation of images will result in fundamental changes in serving processes.

Dennis Aubrey, president at Burbank, CA-based Altamira Group, is intimately familiar with this reality. Altamira Group is a privately held corporation that develops and markets digital imaging solutions. Its mission: Solve fundamental problems facing the digital imaging community and provide solutions that create opportunities for their clients and partners to compete on higher levels.

For Aubrey, this means marketing solutions such as Genuine Fractals, which transforms photographic images into resolution-independent assets by eliminating the relationship between pixels and resolution.

Images are optimized in Adobe Photoshop as usual, establishing how the final image will appear. Any image refinements created in Photoshop are locked in, and the image is encoded using Genuine Fractals proprietary mathematical algorithms.

The end result: The pixels of the final image are replaced with a new structure that stores the entire image, without any pixels. Altamira Group's flagship products, Genuine Fractals PrintPro and PagePro XT, bring resolution-independent imaging to prepress, graphics and printing professionals.

Aubrey explains the creative madness behind this method—and the benefits it has on server performance.

"Currently, we are in the world of file servers. In dealing with raster assets, a server now functions as a device that stores and serves pixel versions of these assets on-demand for use in different parts of the workflow," Aubrey states.

"A single, 24x36˝ lithographic poster could result in a single file of 250MB; this is the size of the asset that must be stored, served and transmitted," he continues. "If the same image is being used as an 8x10˝ cover of an annual report, then an additional version of that image must also be stored at output size and resolution. In this case, more than 300MB worth of data are being used to store a single image asset."

However, Aubrey contends that in a world where photographic images are treated as scalable, vector-like mathematical structures, the model changes considerably. A single image asset can be rendered to any reasonable output size and resolution for output, at the time of output.


Click here to leave a comment...
Comment *
Most Recent Comments: