Focus on Digital Front Ends
The key words in DFE development, Scott states, are combine and simplify. Combine as many tasks as possible within the RIP and simplify the user interface, giving users the freedom to select a plethora of output vehicles, or at least let them push data through to a variety of digital proofers.
Heidelberg Prepress will be broadening its workflow product offerings throughout 1999, as well as introducing significant improvements on its Delta Technology. It has been Adobe PostScript 3-based since August and utilizes the popular NT Server OS. The company also plans to build upon its strengths in ROOM workflow with its color management, color proofing, trapping and forms-proofing technologies.
The marketplace can expect advances in trapping, with multiple, off-line Mac and PC-based solutions, as well as improved interconnectabilty with high-end screened color proofers, such as the Kodak Approval, Creo Proofsetter and the Heidelberg Creo Spectrum. Heidelberg will also focus on Delta connectivity to the Heidelberg Quickmaster DI and the Speedmaster 74 DI direct imaging presses.
"Heidelberg plans to move aggressively in the direction of PDF processing and Adobe Job Ticket support. In 1999, the market can expect to see Job Ticket support on Delta," reports Dennis Ryan, Heidelberg Prepress product marketing manager.
"There will be other workflow-related developments, including an increase in the number and variety of input and export formats supported," Ryan continues. "We anticipate a high-end PDF editing workstation solution from DaVinci based on the SGI graphic workstation, which is being extended to provide PostScript 3 and PDF 1.3 import and export support."
At Kodak Polychrome Graphics, a complete DFE solution based on the Harlequin RIP delivers an open front-end approach to the new Kodak Approval XP system, which can take a screened bitmap file from other dot generators, allowing for inconsistencies between proofs and both film and plate output.