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Kyle Kolbe details automated workflow at Playboy

Published on December 8, 2010

Kyls Kolbe, Playboy's Senior Manager of Corporate Graphics Technologies wraps up his conversation with Cary about the implementation of Enfocus Powerswitch.

Cary Sherburne:  Hi, I’m Cary Sherburne, Senior Editor at WhatTheyThink.com and I’m back with Kyle Kolbe, who is the Senior Manager of Corporate Graphics Technologies at Playboy Enterprises.  Welcome back.  We’ve been talking about how you use – how you’ve worked with Enfocus Power Switch.  I just remember light switch, powerful switch, power switch – to automate some of your processes.  So it might do things like resizing your images, converting from RGB to CMYK, throwing it in the database, I mean, just all those different things that would be manual processes before and now you can just have them run through automatically. 

Kyle Kolbe:  Yeah, and we ran into – like I thought I was a genius and I really – I started to use command line processes, that’s another great thing that it added and I started to use Apple's and native – we were doing all these things with Macs.  We was using Apple’s Native Graphic Process or at the command line, and so it was just speedy fast and going through all these images.  But then we found that because many of the sources were from raw photography, that there was some color issues.  As when Apple processes versus like Adobe Photoshop processing it.  So, then I felt very defeated and came up with a new plan of distributing the work.  At first we were doing everything on the same server, like we had a big X-serve, mini core serve that it took advantage of.  And so I shifted all – since I knew how to use Photoshop and Photoshop is slow because it has all the overhead of the desktop.  I sat up kind of a hive of Photoshop -- headless Photoshop machines that it would parse out all the images to.  So it’s, you can do – I have five going right now, I could add to that if I wanted and then so it does the – so it’s five times as fast as one Photoshop would be.  So that really helped out. 

Cary Sherburne:  And Switch manages all of that. 

Kyle Kolbe:  Yeah, Switch is kind of the brain, or you know, what’s – you know, moving it down the river, right.  So it’ll send it out, it’ll take it back, you know, and it’s doing that just through it’s hot folder structure and you know, it’s handling all the renaming.  You know, we do a lot of renaming throughout the process.  It’s pulling information out of the metadata, you know, we do a lot of sorting.  You know, simple sorting of just you know, whether something’s a portrait or landscape photo and then how to crop it so it can pull that out.  And anything that’s not raw photography that we work on, I’ll try and use it – I will still try and use a command line thing, like an Open Source project called the Image Magic. 

Cary Sherburne:  Okay. 

Kyle Kolbe: And just because it’s so much faster than anything else.  And I’ll just do that all locally on those things. 

Cary Sherburne:  So you know, it sounds like you’ve really taken full advantage of this product.  I’ve been following the product for a long time, I don’t remember exactly when I first came out, but it just seemed to me to be like, why isn’t everyone using this? 

Kyle Kolbe: Right. 

Cary Sherburne:  You know, this is such a no-brainer because, you know, because of its ability to connect directly into the applications and not have to launch the application to, you know, like Photoshop, you could just reach in there and do it without launching the application, and it’s just brilliant.  So I’m glad that Playboy, which is probably one of the more popular publications in the U.S. and around the world, has been able to benefit from this.  Thanks for sharing your story. 

Kyle Kolbe:  All right.  Great.  Thank you. 

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