The majority of the contents in this guide apply to both StudioPlus Spectra AND myStratus Desktop.
In most cases, instructions referring to "Spectra" also apply to myStratus Desktop.


Home > Digital Workflow > Workflow How To's > Setting up Digital Workflow
Setting up Digital Workflow

Step 1 - Setting up your Company Preferences

Begin setting up your digital workflow by opening Maintenance > Preferences > Company (Studio) Preferences. Choose your settings on the Digital and Slideshow tabs:

Digital Tab

Open the Digital tab in Company (Studio) Preferences. See also: Company (Studio) Preferences - Digital

  • Image Numbers - Decide how you want the software to assign image numbers based on the filename. See the following chart for examples:

 Option File Name Image Number
Use First "3" Characters
Use Last "3" Characters
Use Ending Characters Starting at Position Number "8"
Use Entire Filename
  • Default Preview Images - Enter the maximum size, DPI, and quality for your preview images. We recommend a maximum size of 1000-1200, DPI of 72, and quality of 90-100.

  • Options - Decide if detail notes should be included when printing a client's Image Detail Sheet. You can also decide when the software should create the session image folders, either when a new session is created, when a session is saved, or never. We recommend including the detail notes on printouts and using the software to automatically create the session image folders.

  • Image Paths - Define the following image folder paths:

    • Raw - This folder will store the raw files from your camera.

    • Hi-Res - This folder will store the untouched hi-res (JPG or TIFF) files, either from your camera or converted from your raw files.

    • Previews - This folder will store the low-res preview files that the software creates for presentations, for printing on contact/image detail sheets, and for upload to

    • Retouched - This folder will be used to store the retouched JPG or TIFF files. When you open an image for editing (in Photoshop) from Spectra/myStratus Desktop, the software will create a copy of the hi-res image and then save the edited image in the retouched folder.

    • Rendered - This folder will be used to store any rendered images that will be used for proofing or production.

Think through how you store your image files. Here’s what we recommend:

  1. First, select a shared drive that all your workstations have access to – we'll call it the ‘S’ drive.

  2. Next, create a folder for your images and label it "Images." For each session, the software will automatically create a folder (named with the session number) within the "Images" folder. For example:


  3. Next, the software will create subfolders for each session—one for Raw files, one for Hi-Res image files, one for image Previews, one for Retouched images, and finally, one for any Rendered images. You can create additional subfolders, if needed. For each session, here’s an example of the subfolder structure:


If you follow this recommendation, your preferences should be set up as follows:

 Raw Image Path
 Raw Image Subfolder
 Hi-Res Path
 Hi-Res Subfolder
 Preview Path
 Preview Subfolder
 Retouched Path
 Retouched Subfolder
 Rendered Path
 Rendered Subfolder
  • Watermark Options - Enter text or choose a graphic to use as a watermark for uploaded images, proof sheet print outs, and proof rendering. You can adjust the opacity of the watermark. If you also want to watermark images in the sales presentation module, check the box for that option. To determine what size the image for your watermark should be, take the average size of your images and divide the number by 3. For instance, if your images are usually 3000 pixels wide, 3000/3= 1000 pixels wide for your watermark.

  • Invoice Image Options - Set up the software to check the number of images selected for a package against the minimum and maximum number allowed for the package in your price list. The software can also check for blank image numbers. See also: Creating a Package

  • Sales Presentation Background Color - Set the background color for the sales presentation. See also: Sales Presentation

  • Retouch Options - As you work with images in the software, you may make some adjustments with the tools on the Adjustments panel or by auto-rotating the images. Check the following options to have any adjustments automatically applied to your images before they are opened in your editing software for retouch or prepared for High School Senior Workflow.

    • Auto-Apply Image Adjustments - This would apply any adjustments made with the Adjustments panel, including Perfectly Clear, exposure, levels, hue, brightness, contrast, etc.  See also: Adjusting Images in Spectra and myStratus
    • Auto-Rotate - This would apply any auto-rotation that was used during image import.

  • Stratus Drive Purge Settings - Your Stratus Drive is your online storage that can be used to store image files and zip files (for electronic delivery). Decide how long images and zip files should remain on your Stratus Drive before being purged. See also: Syncing Images to Stratus Drive and Electronic Delivery
  • Image Groups - This option is used to automatically create specific Image Groups for all sessions. For instance, if all of your sessions receive a CD that includes their top 10 images, you can have Spectra/myStratus automatically create a an Image Group for you to place the images. When entering the Image Groups that you want created, type the name of the group and press the Enter key to separate each Image Group.

Slideshow Tab

Now click the Slideshow tab in Company (Studio) Preferences to set up your default slideshow options. See also: Company (Studio) Preferences - Slideshow

  • Set a specific transition length or choose to have the software automatically adjust the transitions based on the length of the music.

  • Add any title slides you want to show at the beginning or end of your slideshows. The slides need to be JPGs, can be any size, and should have a black background. You can have up to four title slides at the beginning and up to two slides at the end.

  • Add music, either a track from a CD that you have in the CD drive or an MP3 or WAV file you have on the computer.

The settings you select on this tab will be the default settings for every slideshow. You can change and customize the slideshow settings for individual slideshows.

Click OK to save and close the Company (Studio) Preferences window.

Step 2 - Setting up Session Statuses

In order to effectively track your digital workflow in Spectra/myStratus, you'll be using session statuses to move sessions from one workflow stage to the next.

Open Maintenance > Session > Session Statuses. Make sure each session status you want included in the digital workflow is associated with a Digital Workflow stage. See also: Session Statuses

Here's one example of how session statuses can be associated with the software's digital workflow stages: 

Session Status
Associated Workflow Stage
Session Pending
Capture Images
Capture Images Pending
Capture Images
Sales Presentation Pending
Sales Presentation
Retouch Pending
Retouch Images
Produce Images Pending Produce Images
Upload Images to Web Pending Upload Images
Archive Session Pending Archive Images
Delete Images Pending Delete Images
Session Closed - none - 

Step 3 - Setting up Production Statuses (optional)

NOTE: This feature is available in the Professional and Enterprise versions of both Spectra and myStratus Desktop.

If you're tracking production orders through Spectra/myStratus, then set up your production statuses to coordinate with your workflow stages as well.

Go to Maintenance > Production > Production Statuses. Make sure each production status you want included in the digital workflow is associated with one of the Digital Workflow production stages – Retouch Images or Produce Images. See also: Production Statuses

Step 4 - Setting up Image Sizes (optional)

The software can be used to project actual image sizes during your sales presentations. If you will be using this feature, set up the following:

Image Sizes

Go to Maintenance > Digital > Image Sizes to set up the image sizes you will use. For more information on how to set up these shortcuts, see Image Sizes.

Calibrate Your Projector

  • With a tape measure handy, set up the computer and projector in your presentation room.

  • With Spectra/myStratus projected on the wall screen, select Maintenance > Preferences > Workstation Preferences. See also: Workstation Preferences - Digital

  • Open the Digital tab and click Calibrate Projector.

  • Measure the projected black box and enter the corresponding measurements in the proper boxes in the software. If you used inches when setting up your image sizes, then enter inches for these measurements. Likewise, if you used centimeters for your image sizes, use centimeters here as well.

See also

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