New Features in HELIOS ImageServer 2.5

Script Server

HELIOS ImageServer 2.5 includes a Script Server service which implements a hot folder mechanism. You simply drop files into the hot folder. The idea of a hot folder is that, when files are dropped into this folder, a process is automatically started converting the files according to a given script.
Major benefits of the Script Server are:
  • It is event-driven instead of folder polling
  • Concurrent executed scripts are serialized to avoid overloading the server system
  • A central Script Server configuration and log file can easily be configured in EtherShare Admin
  • Fail safety of the Script Server is provided by the HELIOS Base Service Controller
  • Custom scripts can be kept short. A few lines of a UNIX shell script or Perl script are sufficient to automate server processing tasks, e.g. converting all input images to a color-matched TIFF format which is tagged with ICC profiles

PNG (including transparent clipping path) and BMP image support

ImageServer 2.5 also supports the PNG and BMP image file formats for layout generation and OPI image replacement. For PNG files, transparent clipping paths can be defined which are resolved during the high-res image replacement process on the ImageServer.

ICC-rendering intent settings (EtherShare Admin)

This new feature offers different “strategies” for rendering an image file from one color space to another. There are 5 given settings which are freely selectable:
  • Automatic
  • Perceptual
  • Relative Colorimetric
  • Saturation
  • Absolute Colorimetric 
EtherShare Admin “ICC Intents” dialog

Application clipping path (EtherShare Admin)

A bitmap image file that is already tagged with clipping path information, when tagged again in a layout program, will cause interferences and lead to unwanted results. EtherShare Admin offers a new option (see checkbox Ignore mask for bitmap images in figure below) that makes the server ignore existing masks for bitmap images so clipping paths can be defined from within the application (e.g. Quark XPress, InDesign, etc.). This option can also be set for individual folders via folder naming syntax.
EtherShare Admin “OPI Server Settings” dialog

Additional channel support (EtherShare Admin)

Sometimes a bitmap image file incorporates additional channels, e.g. alpha channels for help purposes, which would seriously affect the result of OPI image replacement. A new option is available in EtherShare Admin's “OPI Server Settings” dialog window (see checkbox Ignore additional channels for bitmap images in figure above) in order to make the OPI server ignore those channels. This option can also be set for individual folders via folder naming syntax.

OPI file changed event notifications

File changed events will be reported to custom applications via the OPI server TCP/IP connection. Additional remove file and directory name events are reported in the new version release.
These file changed events will be used by third-party applications. e.g:
  • Cumulus (Canto)
  • MediaBeacon (Brightech) 

64-bit file offset support

The ImageServer 2.5 now allows file sizes up to 8.3 million TB (64-bit). The old 32-bit support can only handle files no larger than 2 GB. This is important because PostScript image files sometimes exceed 2 GB.

TIFF image support

HELIOS ImageServer supports TIFF image files even of the following kind:
  • ZIP compressed TIFF
  • JPEG compressed TIFF
  • Multiple channels TIFF 

Windows “touch.exe” program

“touch.exe” is a Windows tool which is meant to help generate new layouts. This might be necessary either if you want to replace layouts that have been generated with an earlier ImageServer version (then called EtherShare OPI) and thus make them fully compatible with the program version 2.5, or if you have changed any OPI settings (using the EtherShare Admin program) and now want to refresh your existing layout files accordingly.

OPI Printing to Windows printers (via SMB/CIFS)

The advantage of the HELIOS Windows desktop printer support is that OPI will do the OPI processing on-the-fly during output, e.g.:
  • Image replacement
  • ColorSync/ICC separation/proof
  • Scaling/Cropping
  • Output optimization 
(This feature requires PCShare 3.1)
EtherShare Admin “Printers” (Windows Printer) dialog

New layout batch image conversion features

  • Image cropping
  • Image rotating 90°, 180°, 270°
  • Image flipping 

“HELIOS OPI Tune Up” XTension for XPress 5

Colorized background pictures in Quark XPress 5 by “HELIOS OPI Tune Up” extension for Mac and Windows.

Custom Color Tinting for in-RIP separation

Quark XPress converts colorized images, containing spot colors, into CMYK process colors during composite output (the spot gets definitely lost!). ImageServer 2.5 image replacement will produce a PostScript Level 2 output which preserves the spot color for in-RIP separation or PDF generation.

Web icons support

The “layout” command now allows to create images/icons specified in x/y-pixels, optimized for web browsers.

Mac OS 9 and Mac OS X native

The OPI tools “touch” and “Tagger” which reside in the “OPI Tools” folder of the “HELIOS Applications” volume are now native for both Mac OS 9 and Mac OS X:
  • File/folder “touch”
    The “touch” program is a Mac tool which is meant to help the user generate new layouts. This might become necessary, e.g. if any OPI settings have been changed with EtherShare Admin and the existing layout files have to be “refreshed” accordingly. Or, if you want to replace layouts you have generated with an earlier EtherShare OPI version and thus make them fully compatible to this 2.5 program version 
  • ICC-Profiles “Tagger”
    This tool is used to manually tag image files with ICC-Profiles, e.g. “Euro 2.6 UCR-370” for printing. A wide range of standard profiles is installed during the software installation to the “ICC-Profiles” volume on the server