Many people are amazed to learn that digital images can be as large as several hundred megabytes each. These people, however, don’t work for Linjepunkt Repro.
Wrestling daily with scores of multi-gigabyte images, the digital asset management needs of this firm go far beyond merely finding files. Linjepunkt Repro needed a system that could create the lower-resolution proxy images needed for approvals and layout placement, while keeping everything in sync with file updates made directly on its Mac-based HELIOS volumes.
Canto Cumulus offered Linjepunkt Repro seamless control over the state-of-theart HELIOS OPI system it needed to manage its massive images. Helping seal the deal was easy Web distribution that could provide self-service to customers worldwide, while also offering the potential to increase revenue.
For each photo you see in a fashion magazine or catalog, there can be hundreds of alternates that didn’t make the cut. But even the “rejects” are considered, judged and potentially retouched before final decisions are made.
This is where Linjepunkt Repro shines. Fashion giants like Gant rely on Linjepunkt to help sift through the dizzying array of images taken during shoots with leading fashion photographers. From acquiring the images, through retouching, proof sheets, approvals and distribution, Linjepunkt does it all.
And at the center of their workflow is Cumulus.
The high-resolution RAW-format images Linjepunkt initially receives are big enough, but once Photoshop artists start adding layers, “big” gets redefined.
This is why the OPI services provided by HELIOS are essential—you can’t email a 3GB image for approval, and you certainly don’t want it passed across your network more than needed, as Linjepunkt Repro technical manager, Pär-Anders Björklund, explains.
“Images keep getting bigger and bigger, so HELIOS OPI remains essential for us. And Cumulus offers the best HELIOS integration.”
Canto’s HELIOS Companion enables users to edit files right where they’re stored, without having to check-out the files, copy them locally, and later check them in again. HELIOS Companion keeps the Cumulus catalog in sync with everything that happens on the file server.
Cumulus also uses the HELIOS ImageServer to create the high-quality proxy “layout images” that are later replaced by the full-resolution versions for final output.
After Linjepunkt’s artists have worked their magic, proof sheets are printed right from Cumulus. Cumulus add-ons developed for Linjepunkt Repro by Canto partner Sunstone enable the user to choose how many images are placed on a page. Positioning and metadata addition is handled automatically, which saves time. Once the images are deemed perfect, additional Sunstone add-ons also handle the archiving.
It’s tough for Björklund to site individual benefits of switching to Cumulus from the company’s previous DAM system.
“The overall improvement after getting Cumulus was so huge, I’ve never needed to measure any specific values.”
The company’s previous DAM system served a basic purpose, but it was expensive, slow and it required a server platform Linjepunkt didn’t want to use—but that wasn’t even the worst of it.
“So few copies of our old system were ever sold, that each was a custom installation. With no product standardization, updates were very rare.”
Björklund figured it was safer to go with a product that’s been updated regularly for 20 years.
“With so many Cumulus systems in use, we knew we weren’t buying into another dead end.”
Cumulus now offers capabilities that will enable Linjepunkt to get even more from its system. Björklund sees value in Cumulus Sites features such as sharing files to social media, and Cumulus-Direct URLs, which will enable him to pepper throughout the Internet “live” links to shared files.
Also under consideration is a Cumulus-based offering through which Linjepunkt will maintain customer file archives for a fee.
“We originally chose Cumulus for its HELIOS support, but it really does so much more for us.”