Today, one of the key challenges for printers is to control costs without compromising print quality or speed of operations. This is definitely not easy when images come in with large variations in quality and consistency, such as in the newspaper production environment.
In most newspaper houses across the Indian sub-continent, the source of input images varies from pictures scanned from old archives to photos shot with low-end digital cameras and mobile phones. As a result, the quality of images available for newspapers is generally below average, at best. Further, all kinds of formats are used. This makes it extremely difficult to maintain consistency in the images featured.
Arkitex Enhance IntelliTune is an intelligent, production-minded software solution aimed at newspaper printers that use large quantities of different quality images, arriving from a variety of sources. It is unique to the newspaper market as a preferred tool that quickly improves images in an automated process. The results on the press are high-quality images with a consistent look and feel throughout the whole publication.
The software specialises in making pictures even more eye-catching by automatically applying corrections for each of the channels. IntelliTune works with web, print and mobile, by analysing the tone, colour and spatial characteristics of the images.
TechNova Imaging Systems represents IntelliTune in India. Amit Khurana of TechNova says, “It improves contrast and removes noise. It sharpens details, makes skin tones more realistic and improves general clarity. Most importantly, it does this not by applying a one-size-fits-all technique, but by analysing each and every image individually, quickly and easily.”
Newspapers traditionally have a team of people, dedicated to the time consuming and tedious task of scanning and correcting images. By using Arkitex IntelliTune, newspaper houses can instantly automate the entire image scanning and correction process, making it faster and less labour intensive, resulting in improved productivity and efficiency.
IntelliTune comes in two variants, one that works on a Mac and the other that works on a PC. Both the Mac as well as Windows versions have identical image processing capability, and customers can select either version depending on their IT infrastructure and platform preferences.
In India, TechNova has been working with customers with specific requirements and helping them evaluate ArkitexIntellitune within their printing conditions and environments. According to Khurana, the results have been very encouraging. Khurana adds that the Indian newspapers have the need for stunning visuals on every page each day, as an element of differentiation. Arkitex Enhance IntelliTune, fulfils this need perfectly.
According to Khurana, Arkitex IntelliTune offers newspaper printers distinct advantages: It quickly and automatically converts low-quality images to acceptable print resolution, ensuring consistent look and feel of images, irrespective of the original image source. Moreover, due to the automated image correction process, a much smaller team is now required in the colour correction department, resulting in improved efficiency.”
Automatic image enhancement
Improved contrast and highlight control without altering overall tonal and colour balance
Advanced sharpening intelligently compensates for previously applied sharpening tools and maintains integrity of tones
Improved noise removal corrects artefacts, typical in digital camera files and mobile devices
Automatic colour and artefact corrections, intelligent sharpening, smoothing, noise reduction and interactive editing capabilities make it an easy-to-learn, and easy-to-use software. In fact, it almost eliminates the need to switch to Photoshop for standard and repetitive image editing.
Khurana says, “Adaptive Contrast Enhance-ment (ACE) gives results that put Arkitex Enhance IntelliTune way ahead of its competitors. It processes images with details in both highlight and shadow areas, and preserves the details in both. ACE also brings out the details, even better than USM. Images look sharper and clearer than ever before.”
In most cases, the need for image sharpening is dependent on the source file. The same level of sharpening is not needed on a photo clicked by a journalist, as compared to a photo clicked on a mobile phone camera. IntelliTune applies the sharpening, smoothing and noise reduction, taking into consideration the resolution of the original image. This ensures that a range of images from different sources share the same look and feel, independent of how these images were captured.
IntelliTune offers a large scope of interfacing possibilities, including tight integration with Arkitex Production workflows. It has an easily scalable configuration facility which enables a wide range of workflows to be constructed.
Intelligent Image Processing
The secret of IntelliTune’s success is Multi-Dimensional Processing (MDP). MDP brings together years of Agfa’s experience in analogue and digital image capture, photographic and raster image processing, screening technology, colour management and image output. MDP analyses spatial quality and geometry, as well as tonal characteristics and colour values. This helps it to identify where sharpening was previously applied, to prevent excessive sharpening.
Khurana says, “IntelliTune features Selective Colour Correction, which applies automated memory colour corrections. Presets including Nature, Landscapes and Architecture can be applied to generate the appropriate look and feel for special images. Users can even select a source and target colour, to be defined for upto eight different colours.”
Traditionally, the image files in the newspaper production houses come from a variety of sources. As a result, there is no consistency in the quality as well as the image formats used. Arkitex Enhance IntelliTune’s PDF processing option enables script-based processing of RGB, CMYK and Greyscale PDF files. Embedded ICC Profiles can be used, ignored or overwritten. Arkitex Enhance IntelliTune also supports JPEG, JPEG encoded EPS, TIFF, EPS, PICT, PSD, BMP, and DCS 2.0 single file formats.
Automated PDF Processing
Arkitex Enhance IntelliTune can enhance images in PDF files
Enhancing flattened images: IntelliTune automatically recognises flattened images and intelligently recreates the original unflattened images to ensure flawless and full enhancement.
Intelligent Similarity Correction: Some PDF creation software superimposes a cropped version on top of the original image. This can give rise to a spurious discontinuity. Arkitex Enhance IntelliTune recognises such instances and ensures both images are given identical correction.