Posts in Software
Atkins Shoot Tool - a photographers' tool
 

Atkins has developed it's own software; Shoot Tool, to assist photographers in taking orders at events and organising naming on group photos. The software runs on an iPad, and can customised for each application.

The software has been used successfully in these situations:

  • School photography
  • Santa photos
  • Photo Booths at conferences

Shoot Tool will save you hours of post processing and entering of orders. We customise the application for your need including your branding, the packages you want printed etc. The workflow might look like this:

The software is used to organise the order of people in group photos and siblings and individuals and manage the orders made for photos and communicate that and the chosen images to production. The software will produce a the group photo layouts with logos etc allowing for customised pre-arranged designs. It runs on the midsized iPad which you’d need to supply.

The forward was developed by Paul Atkins and it continually being updated. Paul is not a professional software developer, but it has been used for many years now by several photographers successfully in small to midsize schools and teams and recently, a large private school has been photographed using it running in four separate shoot booths and four ipads.

The intention of the design is to make the back end mess of group photography easy for operators.

This is the workflow roughly explained:

  1. The photographer and Atkins agree on packages and designs of layouts and pricing etc.
  2. Each group/team/school may need new designs. that is fine, we have a new layout fee.
  3. Within a few days of the shoot you provide us with a spreadsheet formatted with the relevant data in the columns we need them in. The accuracy of the data is pretty critical, it can be edited after, but clean in is clean out.
  4. We provide the data file back in the software
  5. You enter orders pre or post shoot
  6. You sync the software counter with your camera counter.
  7. You use the application by finding the particular group in the software, set up the group of people in front of you to look visually appealing, then either before you shoot, or using an assistant during the shoot or using a jpeg after the shoot you tap on the names that go in back middle and front row (or whatever) to set the order.
  8. You tap on the counter button to record as you go how many frames were taken on each set up.
  9. During the day you can edit the data if needed, take notes etc
  10. Post shoot you choose the jpegs using whatever software you use.
  11. You use our software to mark which jpeg number is the chosen one for whatever photo. This is a critical step, jpeg number must match in software to jpeg files for it all to work.
  12. You make any changes to the data/orders/whatever
  13. You hit the transmit button in the software, you then also send in the jpegs via ftp/dropbox/whatever
  14. We put the data on a server for you to continue tweaking as needed remotely, and when you are content it is all as accurate as possible, you let us know.
  15. We sync it all up, do final colour corrections, send group proofs as jpegs for checking
  16. With the ok, we print the orders as agreed
  17. Pack to whatever level you wish us to, from individual bags with labels per order to piles of photos in order (with back printing), or even post directly to the end client.
  18. Rinse and repeat.

Shoot Tool is free for events where the more than $500 worth of prints will be printed from the event. For smaller events, an fee will be apply.

To enquire, click here.

 
Mac OSX 10.8 and JAVA problems with our @tkins online

We have just produced a document that will help you upgrade our software to match the JAVA upgrade that just came out. It involves clearing out the program and reloading it. Please give it a go and call if you are struggling. Thank you and sorry for the inconvenience, but to Apple and JAVA we are small fish. Click on this link to read the PDF instructions: @tkins_online _MacOSX10.8_java

@tkins online and Mac users

if you use an Apple computer and have been experiencing difficulties with out ordering software, it seems as though Apple's change in security is the reason. please read on for an explanation. Apple Java Security Changes Q & A

As we arrive into day 2 of the Apple security changes regarding Java, we wanted to cover a number of items more in depth as customers contact you with issues.

What happened? Simply, Apple decided that Java 6 was a security risk and disabled it via their built-in malware facility, which updates regularly/at startup. Since 10.7 and 10.8 support Java 7 from Oracle, the primary victims of this change are OS X 10.6 system owners, which only runs the Java 6 provided by Apple (some 10.7 systems may also still be running Java 6 update 35, and should update to 10.8 as well). Java 6 also has its' end of public updates scheduled for this month, mid-February 2013, per Oracle's life-cycle chart at http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/java/eol-135779.html.

Is this just an @tkins online problem? No - Apple Community discussion boards are alive with bank employees who cannot update databases, teachers who cannot use grading applications, games that have stopped working, and an article from the Associated Press that mentions how their photo department was left unable to function made the news - all Java applications or applets that stopped working after Apple forced this update to all. Needless to say, there are MANY unhappy Mac users, not just ROES users.

What can our customers seeing this issue do? The best bet is to go to OS X 10.8. It is not expected that Apple will re-enable Java 6, since they would need to be the ones to write an update for it (and the end of life is slated for a few weeks from now anyway). OS X 10.8 is their latest operating system and ideally Apple wants everyone on it. Updating to 10.8 is fairly simple (though some older systems may not qualify, see Apple's tech specs on supported models at http://www.apple.com/osx/how-to-upgrade/), and can be done via the App Store for $19.99. After the update to 10.8, visiting www.java.com to get Java 7 from Oracle will complete the needed updating (best to delete existing ROES shortcuts from the desktop and launch from web site URL to restore).

Any caveats customers need to watch out for? Yes, there are several:

1) Old desktop shortucts should just be deleted as they likely will be looking for Java 6, and these will fail. After updating, ROES should be started from the lab web site link (all preferences and saved info get retained). If you have had us set a .png file for your desktop icons, Java 7 in OS X will show an error creating the desktop shortcut at first launch (there is generally no longer a prompt to create one, a carry-over bug from Java 6 and 7 in Windows). Using a .jpg or .gif works better, and the next update to Java, either 12 or 13, should resolve this creation issue (and does for Windows 8 icons as well). Please contact us if you wish to change your icon to a .jpg or .gif at this time.

2) The biggest drawback to Java 7 in OS X 10.8 is the delays in folder browsing. This has 2 major area of the ROES it affects - adding images in the thumbnails pane for both normal ordering and Records use, and saving of files such as orders or templates files in Template Tool. The easiest workaround for normal ordering is to simply use Finder as the image source, and drag images from there directly into products in the crop area (Note: This works in Windows too!). For Records and Save dialogs in ROES and Template Tool, to navigate through/around the delay, clicking off the desired folder onto another folder, then back to the desired one, usually displays the contents of the desired one immediately.

3) After installing Java 7 there will no longer be a Java Preferences.app in the Utilities folder under Applications. To get to the Java Control Panel go to System Preferences under the Apple drop down at top left. Click the Java icon. An interim window stating that the Java Control Panel will open in a separate window will be displayed prior to the Java Control Panel. Once the Java Control Panel is displayed the form and function is the same as in Windows.

4) In Java 7 on OS X the calls were changed to open a browser window, such as from a splashtip window or informational product. This may also cause an issue in opening the Client-side order preview report. The upcoming ROES 8 (@tkins online) resolves this issue.

Additional information will be forthcoming, please keep an eye out here or contact us.

Open House - June

Open House for June. John Clarke will lead attendees through monitor profiling using Xrite’s latest software.

Xrite purchased Gretag MacBeth several years ago and they have just released their new software that is a result of the merging of the two great colour science companies. John is one of our colour specialists and spends a few hours each week assisting people with monitor profiling.

When: Jone 29th, 4-5.30pm Where: AtkinsTechnicolour Cost: Free

Custom iPhone/iPad app album for every photographer...
Who doesn't want that?

Well the crew at Sticky Albums have the product that will allow you to carry your portfolio or pass on a product to your clients that used to cost thousands to make.

All you need to do is sign up for a plan (from $US21 per month), upload your images, and give the client the link to install the album on their mobile device. Currently it is optimised for iOS (iPhone, iPad), but it will work on Android.

The albums work using HTML5, so users will need a internet connection for the install, and if it is a big album, it may need wifi. The end result looks pretty and runs well, StickyAlbums makes it hard to steal the images (but not impossible), and the album can be password protected.

Do remember, there is no cost-effective easy way to archive digital files aside from printing. This is a great 'sneak peak' or 'highlights' tool.

Link to Stickyalbums.