With Claro Premedia, envision always has a second image enhancement opinion | Thomas Holm | Pixl Aps

With Claro Premedia, envision always has a second image enhancement opinion


When it comes to processing large volumes of images, how can you enhance each individual image, without involving more people and spending extra time? That was the number one question of envision when looking at enhancing their overall image quality. Logically, a fully automated imaging workflow solution would be key to achieving this, but envision also wanted to involve their image designers to keep control over the enhancement process. When coming across Elpical Claro Premedia, they instinctively knew they had a winner on their hands. 

Established in 1988, envision is one of the largest Danish advertising agencies. Spread over two facilities in Aarhus and Copenhagen, the company employs approximately 120 people. Being a full service advertising agency, they cover all aspects of the communication process, from concepts and strategies, to media planning and execution. To support the creative department, the company also has its own in-house production unit.

High workload

The production of a weekly promotional flyer for Danish Supermarket, one of envisions biggest customers, triggered the idea to look for an automated image enhancement solution. With thousands of images per year, the need for automatic image enhancement became a necessity. Chris Mikkelsen, premediachef at envision explains: “With many different photographers working for the company, we receive a lot of images that need to be processed and enhanced. Before using Claro Premedia, all image adjustments were done manually, and getting a good quality was very time consuming. You can imagine the very high pressure on the shoulders of our image designers. So it was quite obvious we had to do something to lighten the workload and improve efficiency at the same time.” 

TIFF with LZW compression support

When looking for a suitable solution, envision talked to Thomas Holm from Pixl. As a well known Danish color management consultant, he advised envision taking a closer look at Claro. A demo version of the software was installed. Chris Mikkelsen: “At first, Claro did not fit the bill perfectly. Internally, we only work with TIFF images, but processing TIFF images with LZW compression was initially not possible. So, we made a temporary workaround converting images using a Switch solution. But with too many intermediate steps, the solution was not fast enough for the high number of images we wanted to process.” When a new version, supporting TIFF images with LZW compression, was presented at drupa 2008, Chris began using Claro Premedia for all images.

Getting a second opinion

When correcting images manually, forgetting to apply a necessary enhancement like sharpness can happen to even the most experienced image designer, not Claro. Corrections are always performed to the same standard, over and over again. Standards you can configure and change depending on the output requirements. Chris Mikkelsen comments: “Claro is a wonderful application: it’s like getting a second opinion on every image. Instead of applying the enhancements directly on to the image, we use Claro’s ability to work with a processed layer on top of the original image. This way, our designers can accept the proposed corrections completely or just partially by changing the layers opacity. We can change the layer mode, so Claro enhances for instance only sharpness and contrast in one image, and colors in another. In most cases we can leave the corrections in the hands of Claro, but for the exceptional case, our designers still have the ability to intervene.”

After having worked with Claro Premedia for almost a year now, envision is not only very pleased with the solution, but also the cooperation with Elpical has been excellent. Chris Mikkelsen concludes: “By using Claro, the average image quality improved dramatically, especially sharpness is a lot better than what you get in Photoshop®. Our image designers love Claro, because now, they can spend more time enhancing delicate fashion images, while the rest of the images are adjusted automatically. Thanks to Claro, we deliver a better quality, and handle more images in the same amount of time, without having to invest in extra manpower.”