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Topic: Variable images (High-end photos) - who is doing these?  (Read 719 times) previous topic - next topic

Variable images (High-end photos) - who is doing these?

I'm looking for some experienced folks working with variable images of high end photography...  photos need to be of people, not just product.
I need some advice of what types of alterations can be made to the photos prior to releasing to print to help get a better result on the digital presses.

The products looking to be printed are booklets, not just postcards - and in higher quantities.. so roll to roll digital printing not sheet-fed... (preferably in-line) so bindery isn't done offline potentially screwing up mailing sort order.

anyone - have experiences they want to share? 

PS. sorry if this covered somewhere already - I didn't scour the archives.
People will notice the change in your attitude towards them, but won't notice their behavior that made you change.  -Bob Marley

Re: Variable images (High-end photos) - who is doing these?

Reply #1
Probably NOT what you're looking for, or of help, but we recently just finished a large order of several hundred thousand sheet fed digital print postcards for a client who had variable images on both sides and each postcard was 100% unique - NO repeating images - and the images were not stored locally - they were called back from a hosted website somewhere else. About the only thing I can tell you is that to speed up the process have all images saved so that when placed they are 100% at the proper desired resolution, because compiling without ppml takes F-O-R-E-V-E-R if each image has to be resized by the application as you're writing the print file. We did ours 2-up in runs of 500 and it took about 20-30 minutes to write each final print file. That's a lot of time when you're doing several hundred thousand, and you make a mistake.

We did this without XMPie or FusionPro. It was some other third party plug-in for InDesign called Easy Catalog.
"I'm not addicted to cocaine. I just like the way it smells."
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― Ernest Hemingway

Re: Variable images (High-end photos) - who is doing these?

Reply #2
if you are looking for variable data printing software that can easily integrate with your current work flow then you must choose designnbuy varibale data printing software or visit her directly, https://www.designnbuy.com/business-card-design-tool.html
Design'N'Buy - Enabling Print Business on the Web

Re: Variable images (High-end photos) - who is doing these?

Reply #3
I can tell you, we use FusionPro, and it too will take quite a bit of time to process photos. Especially if it has to place and resize. Although, we do not have the server version.
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Re: Variable images (High-end photos) - who is doing these?

Reply #4
We just use InDesign's native variable data. Exporting takes quite a bit of time, but if you make the photo field header in your CSV file named something like @Images as long as you have an @ symbol, InDesign will know its an image. We do variable coupons which each coupon set is a PDF, and for about 3,000 - 5,000 records can take upwards of 30-45 minutes to export.

For locating the file for the @Images field, the format is like this:

Volume:Folder1:Folder2 (so on an so forth):FileName.pdf

You can also use Concatenate if you have the image file name already set in another field in which case it would look like:

=CONCATENATE("Volume:Folder1:Folder2:",CELL,".pdf") where CELL is the cell you are grabbing the name of the file such as J2 or something. If you already have the extension in the cell you can omit that part. You can also use most file extensions for the image as well, I know JPEG, TIF and PDF are supported. I have not tried PSD files however.

Either way, it can take quite a while to export.

Re: Variable images (High-end photos) - who is doing these?

Reply #5
For my original post - I'm looking more for digital presses that can mimic (as close as possible) offset printing with regards to photo quality... as well as if there were any "tricks of the trade" to "enhance" the photo image in photoshop (possibly even by a script) that could be implemented into a workflow prior to shipping files off to the printer.

I will say that my boss hasn't brought this back up, but it's only a matter of time before she does.

I'm less worried about the software to do the variable image merging... I know there are viable options already available.

Our VPs and up, have been less than impressed with the photo quality of current digital printing presses.  (i.e.. everything looks grainy compared to offset)
People will notice the change in your attitude towards them, but won't notice their behavior that made you change.  -Bob Marley