Presentation on theme: "M-Photo Album Maker v6.0 Technical Training November 2008."— Presentation transcript:
M-Photo Album Maker v6.0 Technical Training November 2008
Hardware / software pre-requisites Hardware No special requirements: the standard configuration of any new computer is enough. Disk space: depends on the expected volume and required backup period. Dual processor: should boost running a few albums simultaneously. Software Lab side: XP Professional or Window 2003 server. End-customer: (Win2000 – old and not recommended), XP, Vista Currently not supported: Windows 64 bit, Mac FTP server: hosting / internal WEB site: integration
Infrastructure.Net 2.0 Microsoft SQLServer (up to version 5.5 it was MySql database). HASP key. Extensive use of file system and text files.
Installation System setup (Version 6.0) Dont insert the HASP before the system asks to insert it. Select Xerox default machine. Leave all other selections to default, unless the disk is remote or a different drive than C. Run latest Service pack. LabAdmin – fill in the parameters of: Lab name ZIP password Content packages Backgrounds and album types – run HebrewContent.exe Album Maker - load sample albums
Verify that the system works Create a new album. Perform some basic editing (frames, masks, backgrounds). Print -> PDF Xerox Machine - create a virtual folder for the inner pages and cover. Album Maker - set the virtual folder name in the define album configuration dialog.
Color corrections (Optional) Start the MPR500 Pro 5 Open an album order Color correct the images Save and exit => Print the album
Possible problems C: drive must exist. Different languages – might be problematic, work in English (lab side) if possible. Client-server installations: Sharing, permissions and internal firewall problems. HASP inserted before the system installation: try again, or manually install the driver. Not enough disk space (usually on demo computers…) Default Non-Unicode language – jpg files or folders with different language characters (Hebrew…) will not be printed correctly.
Configuration – Album types (1) Double-sided printing: Portrait albums – book, double editing. Landscape albums – book, single editing. Greeting cards – single page, double editing. Single-sided printing: Albums to be printed on mini-labs – photo book. Calendars, Screw covers Posters, postcards – single page, single editing
Configuration – Album types (2) Page size and margins: 1. Define the full page size, including margins. 2. Define the margins size. 3. Define what to print on the margins. 4. Define the cut-marks. 5. Check the Full bleed checkbox of desired (make sure that margins are defined in all sides and margins >= full bleed setting)
Configuration – Album types (3) Non-printable cover – define a list of covers (material, color, sample image). Printable screw cover – define the cover size, margin and margin text. Book cover – define the cover size, spine size (minimum and page thickness), margin and margin text.
Configuration – Album types (4) Page templates: Different templates for covers, first/last pages and middle pages. Embed backgrounds in cover layouts but not in middle pages. Lock elements for peephole picture, barcodes and Logo.
Designed content Backgrounds: Create as jpeg file (preferably with Photoshop). Per subject (baby, travel) Per album proportion (landscape / rectangle) Sample albums: Create like regular album, then mark as sample. Masks, Frames, Effects, Clip-arts: The defaults are enough, but this is the place where creativity can make a big difference. Masks – Create as PNG files. Frames – Created with Template maker, based on JPEG files Effects – created with MPR500 Pro Clip-arts – Create as PNG or JPEG files.
Recommended Product Types (1) Portrait double-editing book, double-sided print, with printable book cover or external cover (regular/ peephole). Landscape single-editing book, double-sided print, with external cover (no peephole). Landscape single-editing screw, single-sided print, with external cover (regular/peephole). Calendar (vertical flipping), single-editing, single-sided print, with external cover (regular/peephole). Posters, greeting cards (double/single editing/print).
Recommended Product Types (2) Note: editing printable covers for landscape albums may look small on standard non-wide screens. Note: peepholes covers require locking the element in the first page, and it is supported in double-editing books or single-editing single-side print screw albums only.
Common Problems/Mistakes Define album size in mm instead of cm. Create page layouts based on other album type with different proportions. Backgrounds dont fit well for albums with different proportions. Full bleed: stretch the page and not only the background.
Backup the configuration ! After each significant change make backups with the ExportImport.exe utility. The utility is found under C:\program files\m-photo\mpr500 pro 5. The backup is kept in a ZIP file. Sample albums should be backed up manually (by copying the album folder).
Better end customer experience Choose smartly single/double editing (album type definition) Margin warning (album type definition) Quality warning (MP-LabAdmin, photolab) Hide advanced mode (AlbumMaker.ini file…) Designed backgrounds and sample albums
End-Customer Cycle End-customer computer: Install. Create an album. Finish: CD workflow Upload workflow Lab server: Download (Optionally – if uploaded). Load. Print. Note: Download, Load and Print may be automatic or manual.
Differentiation from other Album Maker users Different album types (product types): More backgrounds, masks, frames, sample albums. Desktop icon, splash screen, welcome screen. Company and product name (Add/remove programs and start menu). Setup screens colors.
Distributing installations Web site: Single executable. No.Net2.0 (auto download on install). Size considerations: MB with default content, bigger as content is added (page layouts, frames, masks, backgrounds). => Content packages. CD Single executable or unzipped folder The unzipped folder Includes.NET2.0.
Updates Content update: Done using FTP folder Auto check in end-customer version. Add to existing content Replaces the existing content Auto software update
End-Customer – creating an album New album wizard: Select pictures, album type and initial design. Editing: page level – layouts, backgrounds, add/remove/reorder pages. Image level – fill-in, frame, effect, mask. Texts Clip-arts Ordering wizard: Preview order, select cover and copies, select shipment method, select how to send the order and pay.
Send album order CD (disk on key,..) – the Album Maker creates a single zip file that the user should burn/copy to the device to bring to the store for printing. Internet – the Album Maker uploads through FTP the album order. The FTP client is separate from the Album Maker application and appears as a taskbar icon.
End-customer – common problems Installation problems:.NET2.0 setup fails. Languages (default non unicode language). Monitor DPI (should be 96). Finish order problems: Payment (usually a communication problem) FTP upload (bad network, FTP server configuration).
Order format The order is kept in a folder named under the albums base folder. In the lab, it is also registered in the database. Folder structure:.aorder – text file, describes the order. \ - folder for each page/double-page in the album. Each folder contains a page view named SampleImage.jpg. \Pictures – folder that contains the high-res pictures. \Pictures\Lowres – folder that contains the low-res pictures. AlbumReport.html – contains the order report preview (only for loaded orders). User.ini – contains the customer details (only for loaded orders).
Submitted order format CD – a single ZIP file that contains the order folder except for the low-res files and preview images. FTP – a folder that contains the following: \Pictures (folder) - high-res (resized) pictures, and SaveNames.txt that contains the real image names. \PreviewPictures sub folder Folders.zip – pages folders +.aorder file. CRC for all files. Finished.txt
Load order Download from FTP Manual Automatic (only client-server installation). Wait for Finished.txt File | Load order or Load order button. The order is displayed and may be viewed and edited before printing.
Color correction Done from MPR500 Pro module. After the album is loaded, it appears in the Open order menu. When finished correcting the pictures and changes are saved, they are reflected in the Album Maker and in the resulting PDF file. Currently the end-customer cannot choose if he wants to color correct or not (future). Business decision: results in higher quality albums, but not WYSIWYG and not automatic. Common in the mini-lab market.
Print order (Print = Prepare PDF) Album Maker – open album + print. Jobs list – select one or more jobs + print. Jobs list - reports Automatic loader (only client-server architecture) – may be configured to load and print immediately.
Common problems Load album fails: CRC check failed. Manual zipping. Content change (old album type). Print/View album problems: Pictures missing (problematic file names). Fonts missing (end-customer used his own fonts). Content change (old frames). Low-res background (lab renamed background files).
Price model Price model: for each album type Basic price for X pages. Additional price for each Y pages (over X). Additional price per cover. Additional price for shipment. Prices are set from the configuration screen, Prices button. Update prices: Define another FTP folder. Áuto-check updates in end-customer version.
Customer groups Each customer groups can have its own prices. The end-customer will have to enter a group code after the setup (the code will be given to him externally, for example, when he downloads the setup). When this customer submits an order, the order file contains the group code for that customer. Groups are defined using MP-LabAdmin, Customers tab: Add a group (My group). Add a customer (fill in code and first name) and map it to the group. The customer code is the group code that the end-customer should enter.
Payment Phone (external to the system). Online (web integration): Workflow – before upload Integration is done using another FTP folder and txt files. External management.
Client-Server system Automatic workflows: FTP download Auto load with/without auto print. Extensible – many clients using the same database.
Installation of Client-Server system Must be connected to the LAN before the installation. Shared folders: if the server is not part of the domain, it must enable simple file sharing in some other way. Database: if there is a firewall it must be enabled for the clients database connection.
Server Automatic Workflow Lab configuration in the Album maker Configuration. Configure the FTP Downloader in the Automatic workflow tab. Configure the Order loading (Hot Folder) in the Automatic workflow tab. Configure the configuration. Apply also to non-server installations.
GUI customization Different skins Design new buttons Other skins colors Backgrounds for Show album preview Promotion area Management of GUI customization setups (Future)
From installation to a working product [1 day] Installation + basic training [2-4 weeks] Customer should define the products and customized content and experiment with the printing and cover making [3-4 weeks] Customer should prepare an end-customer setup and distribute it to small number of customers [2-4 weeks – may be during the previous stage] Customer should prepare web site for online-payment, and FTP hosting for orders upload and updates. => System is ready for distributing real end customer setups.
Make it easier First stage: Focus on 2-3 products Use the default content (backgrounds, masks, frames, etc) No album upload (bring CD with the order) No online payment (phone payment) Business decisions: outsource cover making, focus on specific market segment. Second stage: More products, FTP upload, online payment
Future Order status tracking Workflow tracking for lab operator Internet based End-customer experience Sharing albums and reordering Internet based Affiliate management Configuration Revenue sharing Tracking
M-Photo Support Web site: allows to send tickets, search for information (knowledgebase) and download files (requires registration)www.m-photo.com FTP: ftp://support.m-photo.com, username: partnerf, password: partner – specific information in partners folderftp://support.m-photo.com Call-in numbers: Office: