The German software developer OneVision, which is best known for its prepress tools, is updating three of its main programs – Workspace, Asura and Amendo – which are all due to be updated to v18.1.
The programs all use a separate code base but OneVision generally seems to synchronise their development so that new versions for all three come out simultaneously. This is because if you buy either Asura or Amendo, then you’ll automatically get Workspace as well, since this provides the workflow automation features such as hot folder management that the other two programs also rely on.
For this latest version, Workspace gains a new statistics section for pulling together detailed reports showing things like how many jobs were processed per day, week or month, as well as how many jobs were handled by the individual modules, such as Preflight or Flatten Transparencies.
It also gains some new XML-based Database Connections for Adobe InDesign, Photoshop and Illustrator files alongside the existing Microsoft Office connectors. These connectors mean that Workspace can accept orders from third-party systems such as MIS or web to print systems and can also report back on their status.
Asura started off life as a preflight program but has evolved into more of a prepress automation tool. This now gains a new Record to CSV module that automatically calculates in advance the amount of ink required for a job file. This in turn means that if printers need an unusual spot colour for a particular job then they can work out how much to order for a given printer. It works by analyzing the files down to the pixel level.
There’s a new Commercial Print plug-in for Asura that can be used to extract spot colors from PDF files. This plug-in also allows cut lines or white masks to be removed for printing. It can create separate files with just the spot colours that can be used in other processes such as cutting.
Asura can also optimize variable data files to reduce their file sizes, even if they run into several thousand pages. This is a useful feature as anything that reduces the load on the RIP can help to speed up the overall printing.
Amendo, which is mainly used for image optimization for newspapers and magazines, has been improved with an increase in image quality. There are less artifacts generated when saving images with high JPG compression. There are several new options for scaling, which can simplify and speed up further processing if images are stored in the same format in a database. The dimension and resolution are now adjusted automatically while maintaining the number of pixels. It can also process images in PDF 2.0 documents.
You can find further details of all of these programs on the onevision.com website.