Tukaiz is a family owned and operated supplier of quality marketing communication products and services. Founded in 1963, Tukaiz has always been a leader in its innovative approach to media development. Today the company with humble beginnings in prepress manufacturing is an international leader in Digital Imaging, Specialty Print and Interactive Media.
With over 100,000 square feet, Tukaiz employs over 100 artists and craftsmen, along with the finest hardware and software solutions to execute a range of services, including complete media flexibility, from design and capture to print and internet.
What’s in a Name?
Tukaiz (two-kays) was the name of the company that was purchased by Frank Defino, Sr., Chairman and CEO of Tukaiz. That small company was, prior to Defino’s 1963 purchase, run by a father and son whose last name was Kirchner - hence the “2 K’s” for Kirchner and Kirchner - only spelled out as “Tukaiz”.
An Easier to Use, More Cost-Effective Answer to 3D for Lenticular.
Matt Giandonato, Tukaiz Prepress Manager, has been with the company for 10 years. He is an expert in prepress, including lenticular processes, and can tell you just how time-consuming and cost-prohibitive lenticular can be.
The company previously outsourced 3D, but escalating costs led to an audit of the accounting and time constraints, and the outcome was that Matt and his colleagues agreed it would be prudent to move the operation in-house.
After in-depth research that included live demonstrations of HumanEyes’ capabilities, Tukaiz brought the technology in-house. Giandonato says HumanEyes stood out as something more unique and different than he had ever seen, and so Tukaiz felt comfortable bringing the research to a close. The timing was perfect, as Tukaiz had just installed an HP s2000 press.
“When we saw the capabilities of HumanEyes’ new Producer3D, we were sold,” says Giandonato. “We had been researching how to bring 3D and lenticular capabilities in-house and when we saw Producer3D, we were struck by its many features. Being able to view animations on screen, for example, is great because we are now able to offer clients proofs in-house, before going to press.”
“HumanEyes’ technology is an excellent example of how far lenticular has come. We always look for ways to offer our clients tomorrow’s technology today; which makes HumanEyes a perfect addition to our portfolio,” Giandonato adds.
Tukaiz installed HumanEyes’ original PrintPro software version and, at the announcement of the HumanEyes Producer3D version, upgraded immediately. The company is already working on live projects with the new version, installed only very recently.
Giandonato says his team greatly appreciates the new features in Producer3D, including the ability to view animations on-screen. This alone is a huge time-saver for the company.
Having the ability to do 3D in-house makes it easier and faster for Tukaiz to be able to run proofs for customers. For example, Giandonato says that many customers aren’t exactly sure what they want a project to look like, nor do they realize its potential once HumanEyes software becomes utilized.
For instance, Giandonato recently worked with a customer who was unsure exactly as to what they wanted. With HumanEyes’ capabilities, he could now show five different versions of a litho print that would eventually be a large run on HP’s s2000 press. He was able to obtain customer approval and go to press within a day. This was a huge difference from using a third party to do the interlacing for the 3D effect. Just obtaining a single version for proofing took 24 hours, was comparably very costly, and perhaps most importantly, was not of the quality caliber that HumanEyes could bring to the table.
Giandonato says, “It was hard to tell customers that the final images would look better than the proofs they were looking at. With HumanEyes’ Producer3D, we can proof right on press and move quickly through the process, from the original idea to final product.”
Another new feature that Giandonato is especially impressed with is the 2D to 3D conversion feature. HumanEyes Producer3D’s 2D to 3D allows users to convert flat 2D images without layers into 3D using a special technique. In the past, to fill-in the background of the 2D image, once it was converted to 3D, users would have to outline each element of the image, clone in the background and then run through software. Now, with Producer3D, users can fill-in that background gap using the fill feature, which takes sample pixels and fills that remaining hole left from the 2D to 3D conversion automatically.
Giandonato began experimenting with the software as soon as he received it and was running tests “in no time”; saying it was especially easy to use given his lenticular background. In addition, because of the software’s ease of use, Giandonato could train his other operators to use it, whether they understood the underlying technology or not. This meant that jobs could proceed with or without Giandonato on-site.
It was also important to move the process in-house to save time and money as well as give us the flexibility to meet to our clients needs. “Given our current usage rate, we expect the technology to pay for itself within 18 months,” Giandonato says. “That is how cost-effective the technology is with our constant usage.”
“HumanEyes technology is running very smoothly for us. The technical support is awesome and the training offered by HumanEyes is extremely thorough,” Giandonato says.
Tukaiz has now completed about a dozen jobs using HumanEyes technology, and because the technology is now in-house, affordable and accessible, the new jobs include a complete self-promotion campaign for Tukaiz.
Giandonato is currently working on a 2007 calendar that is sent out to customers using a variable image for each month that displays the client’s name . He is working on the cover right now for 2007 and did all of the photography for the calendar in-house, using HumanEyes for some portions of the calendar. The holiday calendar incorporates a fireplace mantle with greenery, and “Tukaiz” spelled out in chrome candleholders. The calendar is expected to be a huge success for Tukaiz and customers alike.
What Customers Have to Say.
“Our customers are all very happy with the results that they have seen from HumanEyes’ technology,” Giandonato says. “We get a huge response from potential customers receiving the lenticular mailings. They are very impressed with these capabilities, and we get new business as well as more business from existing customers, as a result.”
“HumanEyes Producer3D is truly a great tool to be able to offer clients. It is a technology that has solidified its position in the marketplace and simply works.”