RasterBlaster is a Xitron software system for managing and imaging bitmaps. The system is powered by the flexible Navigator Server system.  RasterBlaster accepts screened black and white TIFF files in 1-bit/multiple strips, 2-bit/multiple strips, 1-bit/single strip formats, as well as several compression schemes including: CCITT Group3, CCITT Group4, LZW, and JPEG compressions.

RasterBlaster 4 features a simple touchscreen compatible user interface that is accessible from any modern web browser on the local network.

System Components

The RasterBlaster system is made up of four main components described below.  

RasterBlaster Image Processor

The Raster Image Processor accepts image data and converts it to a format necessary for output to the imaging device. RasterBlaster has a variety of Output Plugins that allow it to, in combination with Xitron interface hardware, interface with a wide-variety of devices. 

In the RasterBlaster Image Processor, you can:

  • Install and configure output plugins.
  • Adjust parameters like imaging resolution, rotation and positive and negative imaging.
  • Adjust device settings like exposure mode, Cassette / Virtual Magazine, and more.

Navigator Server

The Navigator Server is the backbone of RasterBlaster system. The server manages data about the jobs in the system and links the Navigator Client and Browser Interface to the RasterBlaster Image Processor.

In the Navigator Server you can:

  • Manage user permissions and passwords
  • Setup naming templates that group your incoming bitmap files into job groups.
  • Configure a “plate device” that RasterBlaster uses to identify plate types.
  • Configure the web server.

Navigator Client

The Navigator Client is a desktop application used to manage and configure workflows in the system. It can optionally be used as an alternative to the browser client to manage jobs. Both a Windows and Mac OS X version of the client are available.

In the Navigator Client, you can:

  • Configure job input workflows (queues). Determine hot folder paths.
  • Configure the Overlay feature to add barcodes to incoming raster files.
  • Release or delete jobs
  • View a detailed onscreen preview of a separation.

Browser Client

The browser Client is the main interface into the RasterBlaster system used to view, manage, and release print jobs for imaging. In the browser client, you can:

  • Filter and view jobs in the system.
  • View on screen thumbnail preview of individual separation or a composite of image data in a job.
  • Release jobs for imaging.
  • View the status of jobs currently being imaged.
  • Enable or disable the output of plates by plate type.
  • Modify the output order of separations queued for imaging.
  • View a log file of imaged data. Export the log file to a CSV for further analysis.

Configuration checklist

To configure a new system, follow the steps below.

  1. Configure IP address of the interface.
  2. Configure RasterBlaster Image Processor
    1. Page Setups
    2. Output Plug-ins
  3. Configure Server Settings
    1. Plate Devices
    2. Web Server
    3. File Name Templates
  4. Configure Navigator Client
    1. Configure Setup Workflows / Hot Folders
    2. Configure Overlay Action