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More vendors adopt or emulate OPI.

The trend to utilize the Open Prepress Interface or network image handling models that simulate its function continued at ANPA/TEC 92 this month in Atlanta.

Acknowledging the contributions of Macintoshes and software such as PostScript and QuarkXPress to color imaging and pagination solutions, vendors from all segments of the market now offer ways to work more efficiently with large image files.

Once the Mac was admitted to the System Integrators Inc. fold, use of XPress page assembly and PostScript imaging was a given. A company spokesman termed SII's latest work "a recognition of reality."

For at least some customers and some pages or sections, applications such as Aldus PageMaker and QuarkXPress will be an alternative to SII's PageSpeed Mac-based pagination product. Acceptance of PostScript and development of an OPI server are natural follow-ons to the new System/55XR that SII created for midsized customers (who will paginate on Macs instead of in Interactive News Layout).

QuarkXPress editorial pagination will exploit SII's Mac55 Macintoshto-Tandem interface. Complementing these developments is SII's announcement that it will resell Managing Editor Software Inc.'s Ad Director ad dummying software and the Page Director program to manage the pagination process in XPress.

Whether called SNAPP or SCOOP, using OPI or similar built-in capability, Scitex Corp., System Integrators Inc., Dewar Information Systems Corp., and Linotype-Hell Co. all now offer servers that retain high-resolution image files while users work with low-resolution versions of the same image files. Information International Inc.'s new Total System Manager also includes OPI capability (E&P, June 13).

SII and Dewar, vendors whose publishing systems evolved from textprocessing, adopted the OPI standard created by Aldus Corp. Those originating on the imaging side of the business -- Scitex and Linotype-Hell -- created their own procedures.

The idea is to keep the larger files off the network and close to the raster image processor for output. The smaller so-called view files called by users speed work by reducing network traffic. They can be placed into page layouts, with comments pertaining to fit (e.g., cropping and rotation). When a completed page is returned to the server, the comments are applied to the high-resolution version just prior to output, when the high-resolution image file is substituted for the lowresolution version.

When SII joined Digital Technology's multivendor strategic partnership, it embraced the Mac as one of several publishing platforms. Its development of the Mac/55 link to the System/55 Tandem database solved only half the problem. Macs could access text on the Tandem, but where would the PostScript images reside?

Not content to configure a Mac as a server for graphics and photos, SII is working toward September beta testing of SCOOP, an OPI server running on a RISC-based Sparc 2 from Sun Microsystems. The Unix-based server will be accessible from lessexpensive X-Windows terminals, so larger installations will not require Sun workstations for all users. By New Year's, said SII's Tim Desrochers, SII's product may be ready for release.

SCOOP (standardized, centralized, optimized output for PostScript) centralizes control of and monitors output to RIPs.

The company said its "repository for high-resolution graphics" will be tightly integrated with the System/55, sitting between the Tandem and the RIP(s). The Tandem system will handle only the low-resolution versions created by SCOOP.

To assist the process in speeding throughput, SCOOP will accept compressed images from Macs, apply JPEG compression to images and send compressed data to PostScript Level 2 RIPs.

SCOOP is designed to automate graphic handling management. Its control window provides a graphical user interface to monitor and manage RIPping and recording. Desrochers said SII is working with output systems vendors to gain control of recorders and RIPs. Output queues can be viewed and resequenced.

Once SCOOP is available to compress the time an operator must spend on the front end of image handling, SII will investigate preprocessing 0h the RIP or other procedures to speed the back end of page output, according to Desrochers.

At its ANPA/TEC booth, Dewar Information Systems Corp. showed Dewarview, an upmarket, strictly PostScript front-end and pagination product. In his latest product, Steuart Dewar demonstrated QuarkXPress for Windows and talked about a future Mac version of Dewarview.

The change to a PostScript environment and recognition of customers' requirements for quality ad and editorial four-color work led to the creation of the Dewar Color Separations Server.

Accessible to Macs and PCs, the server runs on a 33MHz 486 PC connected via 16-bit Ethernet. On-line storage can be expanded to 1.2 gigabytes.

An OPI server, it will, for example, automatically generate lowresolution versions of wirephotos dumped from an AP-Leaf system.

The server integrates third-party graphics and color separation software.

According to Dewar, the system deals with the problem of Quark's inability to separate PostScript files. Color separation is performed on the server -- by Publishers Prism at the TEC show, although alternative thirdparty packages can be integrated. DISC supplied the database management, which automatically tracks and compiles all activity, and the required integration.

The product keeps high-resolution images off the network and the task of separation off the workstation.

The server will separate full pages of photos, graphics, and text. It offers controls for undercolor removal, gray component replacement, dot gain adjustment and screen angles.

Larger installations can opt for a separate subnet that keeps graphics off the main network.

DISC's Dewarview and LinotypeHell's Linopress systems will be covered in a later article from ANPA/ TEC. Though a Mac-based system for text and color imaging, Linopress relies on neither Quark nor OPI for page assembly and network image handling.

In SNAPP, Scitex has integrated PostScript-compatible scanners, design and assembly workstations, and output devices. Echoing the remarks of his counterpart at SII, a Scitex spokesman at ANPA/TEC said, "It takes for granted that there will be Macs on site."

Scitex designed and priced (under $250,000) SNAPP to handle all pages. Calling it cost-effective enough "to plot your black-and-white pages," the spokesman said the system is aimed at color users who would not be traditional Scitex customers and for those without heavy color use who want the color quality associated with Scitex.

SNAPP (Scitex Newspaper and PostScript Publishing) can be implemented as a total solution or integrated with a customer's existing equipment. The customer need not be a newspaper. Scitex is also targeting magazine and book publishers and commercial shops.

The modular system allows the user to add other PostScript-compatible production tools while interfacing directly to Scitex system components.

Input options include the Leafscan 35 and 45 film scanners and the Smartscanner PS and SmarTwo PS flatbed scanners, which offer scaling, rotation, sharpening, UCR and GCR.

Scitex software moves a low-resolution version of the scanned image to the user's Macintosh design workstation.

High-resolution files reside on a Scitex Star PS page assembly station. Star PS incorporates an Adobe PostScript interpreter (with standard Adobe fonts) running on an IBM PS/2 machine and presenting much the same user interface as the Scitex Assembler.

Prior to RIPping, the high-resolution file is swapped for the low-resolution image used for design and placement. Output is to the Dolev 400 PS internal drum recorder.

The Dolev 400 PS helium neon laser images an area up to 19.68"x25.37"at resolutions ranging from 1524 to 3556 lpi for plotting line screens as high as 250 lpi.
COPYRIGHT 1992 Duncan McIntosh Company, Inc.
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Title Annotation:American Newspaper Publishers Institute Technical Exposition and Congress; Open Prepress Interface
Author:Rosenberg, Jim
Publication:Editor & Publisher
Date:Jun 20, 1992
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