A Case Study

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Leveraging TWIST in conjunction with Filemaker Pro, Gloss Studio has completely revamped its proofing and file management workflow, automating redundant tasks, operating more efficiently, and generating cost and time savings.

The Challenge

New York-based Gloss Studio offers creative retouching to Internationally renowned photographers and the fashion industry. The highend commercial retouching studio, which also provides fine art printing, prepress, and image capture services catapulted from four employees to a staff of 30 in four short years.

“The people who run our business have an amazing eye for what photographers and creative directors look for,” says Paul Foley, director of operations. “Unlike other retouchers, we collaborate closely with the photographer and creative director. We will help select and suggest looks and styles to the photographer before the shoot. We are very proactive, providing a conceptual look for editorial and advertising campaigns.”

The workload is busy: Twenty plus retouchers can generate hundreds of proofs daily, outputting to 3 Epson proofers driven by GMG servers running continuously from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m.

“Before I joined,” explains Foley, who has been with Gloss inside of a year, “the retouchers saved a version of the file, manually converting it to 4-Color space (from RGB to CMYK), putting the image into a design document and then manually creating a slug with the correct info (photographer’s name, job, etc.). The proof was saved in InDesign, and a PDF file was created and sent to a proofing workflow.”

The Solution

IO Integration took Foley’s vision of what he wanted to accomplish, and helped develop the solution now in effect.

“By doing everything automatically, this four-to-five step process that used to take operators up to 5 minutes each now takes a few seconds,””

-Paul Foley director of operations

Foley had his mission: to create a workflow that automated the processes of file management and proofing handshaking with its existing job ticketing, scheduling and database software. He looked to an old colleague: DALIM’s TWIST, which he knew intimately from previous assignments.

IO Integration took Foley’s vision of what he wanted to accomplish, and helped develop the solution now in effect.

For every retouching job there can be 50 images (and thus, proofs) and as many as 2-4 versions of each of those 50. That means there can be up to 300 images per job. In this scenario, TWIST is like the traffic cop, ensuring the newest version of the proof is brought into the work structure and placed in the job folder, and the older version moved to an archive folder.

“This is all done automatically -nothing manual about it anymore,” says Foley.

Every time a file is dropped into the TWIST workflow, a new thumbnail is written to our Filemaker database creating or updating the visual database. Each file is assigned a six-digit Filemaker code. TWIST reads the code and mines from Filemaker Pro the info to put into the proof, such as size, slug, etc. Hundreds of variables are available for tagging to each proof–not only proofing size, and slug but color space, the client logo, quantity and filename.

TWIST not only reads from Filemaker; it also records the number of proofs with a date and time stamps which are noted in the database.

One of TWIST’s most powerful tools is its ability to automatically batch process image files, saving Gloss 45 minutes per retoucher per day. With 24 retouchers, that’s 18 hours of work time saved daily.

The Benefits

Retouching capacity has doubled
over the last 6 months

The new workflow proved itself early on. “Our Retouching capacity has doubled over the last 6 months with only a retoucher increase of 30-40%,” says Foley. “TWIST has made the process so quick removing the manual process’ and standardizing file management and proofing.”

Gloss is also using TWIST for its premedia applications, generating publication releases for print ads from master rgb files to a multitude of profile and print work-flow options again managed by Filemaker.

“TWIST has consistently delivered on turning my ideas into reality and it is very robust, creative and productive workflow tool,” says Foley. “ It is incredibly reliable — along with the company’s support team who remain consistent and responsive.”

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