Retouching Workflow Development
If you are looking for a technical retouching agency that offers a very professional service with clear processes, technical specs and tools for the customer, Pixelz is the right partner to work with.
Marc O’Polo is a premium brand with a 50 year history, 2000 employees, and a presence in over 30 countries. As one of the world’s leading premium casual brands, Marc O’Polo places the utmost importance on a modern infrastructure, technical innovations and a healthy working environment.
What was your post-production process like before Pixelz?
We were a newly built in-house photo studio. We reviewed different agencies, but from the technical side and processes and tools, no one is doing it like Pixelz. Today we are very happy to have a reliable partner for our retouching processes.
We had to start from scratch. Everything was new for us: We had a new photo studio with a new team, who had to produce up to 120,000 photos a year. There was no time to start softly.
We are very happy to have a reliable partner for our retouching processes.
What challenges are you trying to overcome?
The main challenge is to create a high volume of images in a consistent way that’s brilliantly edited and fits into our process. That’s why we’re happy to work with Pixelz: The onboarding team is very professional and the quality of production is constantly improving.
From the technical side and processes and tools, no one is doing it like Pixelz.
How does Pixelz fit into your workflow?
Pixelz is essential to our workflow! We had no retouching process when our photo studio started, so we developed the workflow and process together with Pixelz. That’s why it’s a really good connection between us: Pixelz was there right from the beginning.
Pixelz is essential to our workflow!
How does the day-to-day process work?
Normally we shoot each day for our online shop. We shoot stills and model shots, and each of these images is pre-produced before we send the images to Pixelz. For example, the still images always get a final color correction in-house, just to have a reference for the whole retouching process of the article at Pixelz.
The process is very simple. We send model images to Pixelz and our photo development apps automatically add the color reference to the same folder as the model images. This way Pixelz knows exactly how to retouch each image.
The day after shooting, we prep all images and send them to the FTP server of Pixelz via our development apps and that’s it! Pixelz takes care of the rest.
From the beginning of our process with Pixelz until the end of the quality check, we are in control of the edit.
Does the web interface factor into your workflow?
Normally we upload and download only via FTP (due to reasons of speed and naming). But for quality checks and rejections we use the S.A.W.™ panel and the image viewer. You don’t need special training because it’s so easy to use. You just open it, and really anyone that opens it should be able to work with it.
We use the S.A.W.™ panel and the image viewer. You don’t need special training because it’s so easy to use. You just open it, and really anyone that opens it should be able to work with it.
What has been the biggest value-add for Marc O’Polo?
For us in retouching, the biggest value-add is that we are now on schedule for our online shop and all departments involved. In the past, we were as much as two months over deadline; now we’re so good on time we have a buffer. We don’t have to worry about images not being ready, which makes work very comfortable.
So that’s the biggest value for us: Reliability in meeting deadlines.
That’s the biggest value for us: Reliability in meeting deadlines.
Does the retouching quality meet your standards?
Definitely. The people at QA and production do an excellent job. In the past we changed our retouching template every four weeks, which made it hard to maintain consistency. But Pixelz easily adapted to our different needs.
Is communicating style changes an easy process?
If it’s not a big change request, like altering the background, it’s totally easy. We can call our Pixelz manager anytime, and if we want to change something, it’s done normally within the next day and then we can start testing. We can work very flexibly and normally there are no problems.
We’re very happy that Pixelz is flexible enough to say, “Okay, let’s develop something for our clients.”
Has feature development been important for you?
That has been a very big thing for us. We’re very happy that Pixelz is flexible enough to say, “Okay, let’s develop something for our clients.”
Pixelz doesn’t know how long we will do something: If we’re doing it for the next 6 months or the next 18 months, it’s hard to say. Maybe it won’t be a part of our art direction within the next month and then a feature is not necessary anymore.
But they’re doing it anyway, and that’s what we really like about Pixelz. They are not asking us to commit, they just do it.
Do you feel like you’re in control of your retouching?
From the beginning of our process with Pixelz until the end of the quality check, we are in control of the edit. For example, if there is a mistake in an image which is already in production, we can contact Pixelz any time and ask for its deletion. The quality check tool is very helpful in such cases, but we also have the possibility to communicate via email, phone, or Skype. We can step in whenever we need to, so we definitely feel like we’re in control of the retouching.
What does Pixelz’ company culture seem like to you?
Pixelz seems to be very transparent and to take on responsibility. Right at the beginning of our collaboration our onboarding rep showed us images of their office in Vietnam and invited us to visit it. That openness is very important to us. Because MARC O’POLO is committed to the principle of sustainability. We assume responsibility for both our employees and our environment and we expect our partners to share our values.
The people at Pixelz have a very professional attitude, high quality standards, and are very flexible. They really work for you and they really want to help you.
Would you recommend Pixelz?
Definitely, we recommend Pixelz. If you are looking for a technical retouching agency that offers a very professional service with clear processes, technical specs and tools for the customer, Pixelz is the right partner to work with.
For example, the S.A.W. Image Viewer makes the workflow very simple. With other agencies you have to do retouching marks on a second layer in Photoshop and send it to them, but that’s outdated. We can upload images to Pixelz and do full pre-production work in the portal, including comments.
But not only the technical processes are excellent. The people at Pixelz have a very professional attitude, high quality standards, and are very flexible. They really work for you and they really want to help you.