StealthColor’s© ground-breaking color management software, Color Beyond Human©, designed for wide-format digital presses mainly for dye sublimation printing, has been helping printers print beautiful color successfully for years, but the StealthColor© development team knew a move from using TIFF to PDF files would enhance its customers’ productivity and turn its great product into a fantastic product.
The development team comments: “Color Beyond Human© was already easy to use and fast, but we knew our customers would benefit greatly from a change from using TIFF files to PDF: TIFF files are large and slow down the raster image processor (RIP). We knew that PDF would solve this problem. The challenge for us was finding a PDF library that we were confident wouldn’t slow down the RIP and affect our product negatively. We didn’t want to take that risk.”
Mike Ruff, StealthColor’s© VP of sales and marketing explains further: “We have to work with other companies’ RIPs and turn the color management off. It’s important that our color management is faster and more accurate than the color management software already in the RIP because we’re using our unique Color Management Module to manage that color – so we can’t fail. When looking for a PDF library we had some important boxes to check in terms of functionality: as well as being fast and accurate, we wanted to include the dieline in the PDF, which wide-format printing separates. It was also important that our development team were comfortable using the solution we chose.”
“We had been looking for a PDF engine for over six years. We looked at open-source libraries and found them inadequate and not well supported. We also looked at other PDF engines, but they were expensive,” continues Mike.
StealthColor© then discovered Mako Core™, the software development kit for print industry developers. It uses an intelligent Document Object Model to RIP several Page Description Language documents including PDF at speed and high quality.
“We spoke to a lot of people about Mako and every report was positive and convinced us we should investigate it further. It was clear when speaking with the Global Graphics Software team that they understood our unique needs and that gave us confidence to go ahead with the project.”
David Stevenson, product manager for Mako Core comments: “We were able to create some sample code very quickly for Jesse to get him started. His team embraced Mako and got to grips with the API incredibly quickly. The engagement with StealthColor© was a pleasure from the start.”
With Mako, StealthColor© developers were able to solve a particular issue very quickly concerning PDFs with a vector contour intended to drive a cutting machine (a dieline). While they knew how to render the content without the dieline’s spot color, it was important to retain the dieline as a vector for downstream processing. Using Mako, they were able to do reconstruct a PDF page with the color-corrected raster produced by StealthColor© and restore the saved vector dieline in exactly the right position.
Mike says: “Mako delivered what we wanted as a perfect workflow: it solved our problems and for us the greatest benefit is enhanced performance - Color Beyond Human© is now even faster and better. We’ve received great feedback from our customers.”
Global Graphics Software develops intelligent software components for digital print. An expert in PDF since the early days of the format, Global Graphics has always taken an active role in industry standards setting bodies and associations and for many years our former distinguished technologist, Martin Bailey, played a key role,…Read more