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Kyle Kolbe from Playboy talks about their need for Powerswitch

Published on December 7, 2010

Kyle Kolbe is back picking right up from yesterday's conversation. Today Kyle talks about Playboy's installation of Enfocus Powerswitch and how its implementation has helped production workflow.

Cary Sherburne:  Hi, I’m Cary Sherburne, Senior Editor of WhatTheyThink.com, and I’m back with Kyle Kolbe, who is the Senior Manager of Graphics Technology at Playboy Enterprises.  Welcome back.  I understand that you’ve taken advantage of Infocus Switch, Full Switch. Right?  Or Power Switch. 

Kyle Kolbe:  Power Switch, yes. 

Cary Sherburne:  Power Switch.  To help automate.  Maybe you could talk a little bit about before you had Power Switch; how long have you had it?

Kyle Kolbe:  Oh –

Cary Sherburne:  Like three years or something? 

Kyle Kolbe:  Yeah, probably. 

Cary Sherburne:  Yeah. 

Kyle Kolbe:  Around that, yes. 

Cary Sherburne:  And so, like how it worked before and with relation to those moving parts and holding them together versus how Power Switch has helped you make it much more efficient. 

Kyle Kolbe:  Right.  Our need to automate mostly came from, we were getting – with the advent of digital photography and we – some in our Photo Department were a little bit wary of digital photography at first and then really took up on it quickly, really over a period of six months we pretty much fully adopted it.  So all of a sudden, we had – instead of going from film to scanner and very, pretty much small photo shots that were edited down before they ever hit the computer, we were dealing with suddenly, you know, photo shoots full of 2,000-3,000 photos.  And dealing with that volume on the desktop just took a lot of people and a lot of effort and the desktop software to deal with them was just slow for that process.  And so the photo editors that were wanting stuff yesterday were getting very frustrated.  And we also needed to get them into our digital asset management system, you know, so they could be redistributed to different groups and kept track of.  You know that was another thing –

Cary Sherburne:  Metadata and –

Kyle Kolbe:  Yeah, all the metadata you know that we were used to keeping in physical catalogues, you know, like pretty much file folders with slides in them, you know, translating all of that on the computer was a big process we went through.  And so, we – our first plan was that our digital asset management system was going to help us out and it shipped with a Adobe Graphics server and we found out that was going to be able to do a lot of the help, but Adobe abandoned that product a while ago or kind of at that time.  And we were kind of left in the dark on what to do.  Like, I feel like you know, Adobe has kind of left open a big –

Cary Sherburne:  Gap. 

Kyle Kolbe:  Kind of server automation thing.  I mean, they made up some ground recently with you know, their in design server, that’s like – I wish they would have a Photoshop server too.  But, the – so we were always looking to automate things; we did as much as we could with you know, some Java Script and Photoshop actions you know to deal with all of this, but then I think probably just with Googling, I found Power Switch and you know, cause I was constantly searching for something that would do this.. you know, I found Power Switch and saw that it could do a lot of things that I needed to do, you know, and the first thing that I always look for is pretty much mirroring directory.  So you have many, many subfolders full of images and you need that on the input and the output.  And you know, that’s something it can do all day long.  And in most all the other products, it would automate out there like it just didn’t have that feature. 

So that’s what first attracted me to it.  I went to In Focus/Adobe event, I think, a couple of years ago and saw how the product was used and you know, really fell in love with it.  And pretty much was self-taught on how to use it.  It’s very intuitive, it’s just a drag and drop interface and you’re relating folders and its interface to folders on your drive.  Either you know real ones that images are in or kind of logical ones throughout the workflow, and then actions. 

Cary Sherburne:  Thank you very much for sharing with us.  It was great to have you Kyle. 

Kyle Kobe:  All right, no problem. 

Cary Sherburne:  Thanks. 

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