Creating a Lean, Mean Ad Machine
Altamira brought an interesting solution to the table—Genuine Fractals Pro, which, with Iterated's STiNG technology as its backbone, allows images to be compressed to manageable file sizes and repurposed individually, according to output. STiNG technology, with fractal mathematics at its core, allows images to be stored as resolution-independent assets. A STiNG file may be used for a variety of outputs, without the need for rescanning or multiple version storage.
Deleo and his colleagues were admittedly skeptical. "The proof was going to be in the pudding as to whether it was going to do what they said it was going to do," notes Deleo. But O&M took the leap of faith and began testing the desktop plug-in on several projects, including a U.S. Open bus wrap that required a 12 dpi output resolution. The image, recalls Deleo, was not resolute enough to output on O&M's large-format devices, so the file was "STuNG" and swelled to produce enough fractal for output. The result was encouraging.
From skepticism to adoption
"Like any other in-house studio, we're trying to produce high-quality work efficiently, while remaining profitable," explains Mitchell Geller, an O&M technology consultant, "and integrating a new piece of technology into an existing workflow requires time. We'd prefer spending that time on technology that is viable and adds value.
"Once we looked at the results," Geller continues, "we thought there was some real promise (in STiNG). Then, (this particular advertising campaign) showed up, and we were looking at files that were potentially a gigabyte!"
"And, if you've ever tried to work with a gigabyte file on the desktop," John Kinsella, retouching manager, adds with a laugh, "it is ridiculously time consuming. I don't pay the retouchers to watch the progress bar; I pay them to retouch."
The O&M team began to strategize and established the following workflow: "We'd get the images scanned, and then Digital Artist Franco Casas would work on the silhouetting. We had to give all these images some sort of conformity and silhouette them out of their (original) backgrounds, because they were all going to be (placed) into a new background."