Image Processing

Fast, accurate, versatile
  • Image format conversion
  • Meta data export/import
  • Image and document previews
  • ICC-based color transforms
  • OPI image repurposing
  • Hot Folder automation
  • Image preflight
  • Image < > PDF conversion

For photographers, designers, ad agencies, prepress, and print production, images are digital assets that not only communicate ideas, but also have an intrinsic value that should be optimized and preserved.

HELIOS server-based image processing helps meet this objective. Over two decades of HELIOS dedication and development yield the highest quality results, and best performance available. This is demonstrated e.g. by their innovative support for 16 bit-per-channel images throughout a production workflow.

As a general purpose and very powerful image conversion engine, a HELIOS server solution can convert file format, resolution, color space, and compression. Over 100 conversion options handle spot colors, alpha channels, clipping masks, transparencies, ICC profiles, XMP meta data, etc. Down- and upsampling, cropping, rotating, and flipping are supported as well. It can even convert vector EPS and PDF files to raster image formats.

Meta data, such as paths, clipping path, resolution, and IPTC and XMP meta data, is preserved during such conversions, and can be extracted or inserted as well. This allows e.g., for a digital asset management (DAM) system to update XMP meta data. Or for one party to produce clipping paths, while another does retouching, with the final clipping paths then imported into the retouched images.

HELIOS image processing is also ideal for automatically generating web-optimized PNG images, for use in web pages, DAM systems, or remote previewing over the Internet (as in WebShare). These true color web previews can be in any specified dimension, with their clipping mask applied as a transparency. HELIOS plug-ins for InDesign and QuarkXPress save multi-page document previews which can be viewed via WebShare, or in DAM systems.

Image attributes such as resolution, color space, and file format, as well as embedded ICC profiles and XMP metadata, often need to be optimized for a specific output intent. It is now common to produce a “digital master”, and then generate various renditions as needed. This image processing can be performed automatically by HELIOS solutions at any stage of a workflow.

For example, ICC color matching can be applied when converting images, or on-the-fly during the final job output to PostScript or PDF. This allows image repurposing without creating additional copies, and is fulfilled via OPI image replacement.

Automating these and other capabilities is accomplished using Script Server hot folders. Script Server can access all image information, so automated processes can test for conditions and proceed accordingly. This makes automated preflighting of images straightforward. Other automated uses include normalizing uploaded images to a standard format, for web-to-print operations, or applying sharpening via Tool Server.

What does the future hold? Look to HELIOS today, with extensive support for PDF as an image format. PDFs are known as a versatile and standard format for documents. Those same qualities make PDF ideal as a format for images:

  • Free previewing – Acrobat, Mac OS X “Preview”
  • All compressions are supported – CCITT, LZW, ZIP, JPEG, JPEG2000
  • All color spaces are supported – Linework, Gray, RGB, Lab, CMYK, Spot, ICC profiles, 8-/16-/32-bits per channel
  • Vector and raster content supported
  • Excellent for long-term archiving – ISO Standard

HELIOS servers can convert all image formats to PDF images, and convert PDF images back to any other image format.

HELIOS image processing offers fast, accurate, versatile options for today's production, and tomorrow's advances.