London-based imaging software manufacturer Shiraz Software has announced that it will be launching an updated version of its Shiraz Focus package at the forthcoming Photokina show in Cologne, Germany, which is running from September 21st to 26th. The company will be demonstrating the versatility of its raster image processing (RIP) software for wide-format photographic and fine art output with OEM partners Fujifilm, Innova and Permajet, as well as on the HP stand (hall 04.1, stand J045) in association with key distributor Kisters AG.
"Photokina is an invaluable platform for imaging professionals and enthusiasts alike to encounter new products, discuss emergent trends within the photographic market and address the manner in which innovation can be driven forward," enthuses Ramin Shahbazi, business development director at Shiraz Software. "We're looking forward to introducing Focus to a new audience. It's such a unique product because whilst it meets photographers' needs for refinement and precision it also harnesses the power expected of wide-format RIP software."
The latest update to Shiraz Focus provides a raft of image control and production options for photographic and fine art output. A new component has been added and provides pre-print editing, such as adjustments, filters or effects, while the main application now enables users to save and recall jobs, add a variety of frame and crop marks and apply changes across batches. The reliability of Shiraz Focus v3's colour profiling tool also ensures that any images viewed on a monitor will simulate the printed output perfectly. Users with any level of print expertise can operate Shiraz Focus v3 in a variety of working environments, using either Macintosh or Windows up to their latest versions.
Photographers can also take advantage of Shiraz Focus's print management facilities to keep their costs down and reduce production times. Recognising the expense incurred through purchasing both inks and substrates, the software features improvements to the nesting tool, whereby images can be automatically positioned with minimal gaps to reduce media waste. This works in conjunction with precision ink allocation to diminish print costs. A queuing function boosts efficiency as it enables operator-free printing across large job clusters, necessitating less manpower and increasing production speeds.
"Shiraz Software understands that rich and striking results are paramount to photographers. Consequently, Focus is designed to allow users to create high calibre, exhibition quality images through an accessible user interface," explains Shahbazi. "The faithfulness between the image viewed on the monitor and the printed product is a key to the success of Shiraz Focus and vital for any photographic output. Users can rest assured that the software will help produce images consistent with their expectations, thanks to fully integrated precision colour management."
Shiraz Focus v3 adds powerful functionality for photographers and fine artists with a new variable data printing facility. A text box can be placed anywhere within the file and filled with user text or metadata from an external source, meaning that images can be numbered in sequence or printed with EXIF data. Frames and borders can also be added and there are several options for canvas wrapping, including the automatic mirroring of edges, and precise fitting.
"With Shiraz Focus v3, we have combined our rigorous approach to research and development with an understanding of the quality and functionality needed by photographers," continues Shahbazi. "We have incorporated industry feedback, as well as our independent knowledge of the technical evolutions and new demands within the digital imaging market and have built a product which addresses and supports these requirements with intuitive, user-friendly software suitable for even the most challenging of creative undertakings."
In addition to Focus v3, Shiraz Software also creates Shiraz RIP Server, currently at version 6.7, a powerful and robust option for sizeable production environments which operate multiple devices, with a demanding workflow, and Shiraz Signature v7.5, an accessible package aimed at companies with single-device workflows. Shiraz Focus v3 and all previous versions can be upgraded to either of these packages according to the user's requirements and new drivers and resources are available through the website, as is an online, remote support package.
"Photokina is a wonderful opportunity for Shiraz Software to acquaint a new audience with the full range of benefits offered by the Focus v3 package," asserts Tom Mooney, business development manager. "The company already has an extensive global customer base, with distribution agreements in operation throughout many territories. However, we recognise the opportunity to fortify and extend our international business channels and would be open to discussing these possibilities with interested parties at the show."