Slidemaker Instructions

Version: 3.02, 11-APR-2000
Source: http://saf.bio.caltech.edu//slidemaker.html
Signup for time: http://saf.bio.caltech.edu/cgi-bin/caltech/calendar/slidemakerreserv.pl

This document contains the full set of instructions for using the slidemaker. Unless you really need all this detail, please refer to the shorter platform specific versions for



Quick start

Film information

Preparing the images on your machine

Making slides on the slidemaker from BLL files

General Information



Quick start
These quick start instructions provide a bare overview of the slidemaking process. If you need more details, look elsewhere in this document. These quick instructions assume that you are generating BLL files on a Macintosh for final rendering on the slidemaker using Ektachrome Elite II.

1. Let your film start warming up to room temperature. Reserve some time on the slidemaker using the Web based calendar system.

Then on your Macintosh...

2. Prepare your slides using Canvas, PowerPoint, Photoshop, etc. Avoid patterns, use only the supported fonts. If geometry can be set in your program, use a slide geometry (most programs default to an 8.5 x 11 inch page geometry.)

3. Start MacRascol Queue builder. Create a queue or open an existing one. Add your slides to that queue. Apply the appropriate preferences to your slides (the two most important attributes in the preferences are, film recorder = "Personal LFR Plus" and film type = "Ektachrome Elite II"). If so desired, manually crop your slides, otherwise, go with the default. Then process your slides to BLL files, which should only take a few seconds per slide. Quit MacRascol Queue Builder.

4. Start up Fetch, login to slidemaker.bio.caltech.edu as Anonymous, no password needed. Create a folder for yourself, or open an existing one. Set Fetch to binary mode, if you are prompted, select "raw data" for the type of binary transfer, and transfer all of your BLL files to the slidemaker. Quit Fetch.

5. Move to 158 Braun and sit down at the slidemaker console. You may have to log in as "slidemaker". The WinRascol application should already be started, if not, look under "Start" (lower left corner) to turn it on. Do not delete or close the current queue - everybody uses the same one. Click on the plus icon and add all of your BLL files. Load your film. Click on the green "go" icon. The slidemaker will begin imaging your files. When it is finished, select all of your images in the queue, delete them with the "scissors" icon. Remove your film by holding down the rewind button for 5 seconds. Leave WinRascol running, do not log out of the slidemaker account. Later, after you verify that your slides are ok, delete the files from your folder on this machine.

6. Enter the number of slides you took on the sign up sheet near the slidemaker computer.



Types of Film to Use

For best results, use only films which have their own "film type" setting, for instance Kodak Ektachrome Elite 100. Let the film warm up to room temperature before use!

Do not use the 200 or 400 ASA variant of a film when the film type is set for the 100 ASA speed. If you absolutely have no choice, kick yourself for not planning better, than compensate for the speed change by adjusting all three color balance settings. For instance, set R,G,B to 50% if you have a 100 ASA film type setting, but the 200 ASA variant of the same film.

Ektachrome Elite II

Kodak Gold Plus 100

Polachrome HC (High Contrast)


Where to Buy Film

You may purchase both Ektachrome 100 and Polachrome film at:


Getting Film Developed



Why you must use BLL files


Downloading and installing BLL software

Previously installed BLL software

How to move BLL files to the slidemaker



Generating BLL files on a Macintosh

All of this work should be performed on your own Macintosh after you have loaded the BLL driver and the MacRascol Queue Builder application.

Macintosh BLL driver instructions

MacRascol Queue builder should be your first choice for preparing BLL files on a Macintosh. Go directly through the BLL driver only if you have an application where you can print, but cannot export into any format that MacRascol Queue Builder can import.

MacRascol Queue Builder instructions


Macintosh options

MacRascol Queue Builder is a very logical program that is organized somewhat like a spreadsheet with styles. In the preference window it lists all sets of predefined setting preferences which have names. In the queue window it shows all images which are queued, the preference for each, and it also allows you to override one or more settings for a given preference. For instance, you might queue two images which should be rendered as white text on a blue background, landscape orientation, and then three images which should be rendered as black text on a white background, in portrait orientation. If the matching preferences have been predefined, you need only set them in the preferences colum in the queue window - as opposed to manually setting all properties for each image. If you override any preference specified property in the queue window, the preference field will be cleared, but the previously specified preference will still supply all nonmodified properties (ie, if you change copy number, it will not change the film type.)

You can cut and paste rows in either window. In the queue window that will delete or duplicate an existing image, and in the preference window it will delete or create a preference (you will be prompted for a name.) The properties which can be set in a preference, or on an image by image basis, are:


Image Type


Status


Preferences


Copies


Film Recorder


Film Type


Color


Contrast


Resolution


AntiAliasing


Minimum Exposure Time


Color Balance and Gamma


Patterns


Black and White


Character Spacing


Background


Orientation


Cropping


Font Substitution


Pen Thickness


Plotter Model


Pen Colors


Raster Scale


Generating BLL files on a Windows machine

Making slides on a Windows machine is similar to doing so on a Macintosh machine, except that on Windows there is no application resembling the MacRascol Queue Builder only a BLL driver - you only have access to the BLL printer driver. You must set all of the options for BLL files either in the printers control panel, or in the "printer setup" menu of the application you are using to print the file through the BLL printer driver.

Windows BLL driver instructions



Windows options

The options in WinRascol or the BLL printer driver are generally equivalent.


Image Type


Status


Preferences


Copies


Film Recorder


Film Type


Color


Contrast


Resolution


Minimum Exposure Time


Color Balance and Gamma


Background


Orientation


Raster Scale


Making slides on the slidemaker from BLL files



General Information


Monitor calibration


File Formats


Default Cropping


Landscape vs. Portrait


Time per slide


Cost and signups


Reserving time on the slidemaker


Known problems


BLL files from PowerPoint 98 on Macs truncate image, leave text ok