SilverFast 8: WorkflowPilot

SilverFast 8′s new WorkflowPilot guides inexperienced or consumer-level users through the necessary processing steps in the right order. For experienced users, WorkflowPilot can be customised, and can then be used to streamline the scanning workflow.

In essence, WorkflowPilot is a script that takes the user from one step to the next. It always starts with a Prescan and ends with the final scan, but in-between these two elementary steps, a user can:

  • Run a preset workflow and follow the factory set steps
  • Clone a preset, change its steps and save it under a different name
  • Create a new preset from scratch.

Each of the modules (control panels) for processing the scanned image can be included in a WorkflowPilot preset. Some modules can be predefined in order to automate the workflow. All of them can be set to the “default” value, which will enforce user intervention (manually implementing a correction).

The major benefit of the WorkflowPilot lies in its adaptability. Experienced scanner operators will probably not need the WorkflowPilot’s order enforcement. They should know in which order a scanned image should be corrected and processed to obtain predictable results.

The WorkflowPilot step-by-step.

However, SilverFast 8 is not only intended for experienced scanner operators, but also (and perhaps foremost) for photographers, graphic designers, and image archiving personnel. These classes of user are not necessarily extremely knowledgeable when it comes to managing an image processing workflow (photographers may be an exception).

For them, WorkflowPilot offers an environment that is strict with regards to the order in which corrections and optimisations are executed, but flexible enough to optimise the speed and efficiency of the process for each particular output medium.

An example: when scanning an image for display on a web page at 640 x 480 pixels, descreening or fine grain removal doesn’t show as the size of the end-result will be too small to see the difference between a carefully fine-tuned image and one that has been processed with less refinement. For such images, a WorkflowPilot preset can be created that runs the image through the most essential corrections and optimisations. Not surprisingly, one of the presets that are standard included with SilverFast 8 is a web output preset, but there are many others, including archive and print output presets. Meanwhile, the web preset is one of those that come with unique features.

The Web output preset allows users to choose the size of the resulting web image in one of the workflow steps — so far nothing special. However, a user can preview what is meant by “small” or “medium” size in his/her browser by clicking a preview button, after which a default image appears in the selected size. This gives a good idea of how big the resulting scan will look. It’s this attention to detail that makes SilverFast 8 stand out.

Next: Control Panels.

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