Creator was set up to be a modular system, tailored to the specific needs of each "shop" or user. The base for version 7.0 for example was the "CT-Brix" software library (colour selection, basic compositing, selection, transformation, shapes, basic colour correction, densitometer, layers etc.), also featured in other Barco Graphics CT (continuous tone) products, e.g. ColorTone. On top of this Creator added the "Creative functions" libraries (special effect filters; mosaic, emboss, b/w, warp etc.), "basic brush" module (size, thickness, shapes, styles, pressure sensitivity), "advanced brush" module (brush profiles, textures), "basic colour correction" module (gradation correction, pick mixer, plane mixer, colour mixer), "advanced colour correction" module (chain all of the basic correction tools, batch corrections, instant preview) and finally the "auto mask" module.
Optional software modules included "PrintView" (preview a given CMYK printing process), "BlackSmith" (modify CMYK files to reduce ink usage, better print quality) and "InkSwitch" (convert CMYK into special ink separations for packaging printing).
Barco ColorTone adds an "Image quality estimator" module (evaluate if an image is printable according to certain quality parameters), but lacks several of the other Creator modules.
Using the "Brix Organizer" software it was possible to group CT-Brix modules into "sessions" customised for the current workflow. One could for example disable both colour correction and the creative functions/filters, giving the operator an interface more focused on painting.
Creator originally ran on Silicon Graphics Power Series computers with one or more processors. By 1993 "Personal Creator" was available for the Indigo, while the "full" Power Creator ran on a Crimson. Later releases were available for the Indy, Indigo2, 02 and Octane computers. It is unknown if Creator will run on the later Octane2, Fuel and Tezro workstations with VPro graphics.
Due to its high end focus Barco developed several dedicated hardware options to speed up Creator.
For the Power Series and Crimson Barco originally supplied a "Colcom/VME" colour computer board. This was replaced in early 1993 with the more powerful "Chameleon" board, featuring a custom ASIC for real-time colour transformations. Its main purpose was displaying CMYK colours on the (RGB) monitor quickly, not speeding up the final colour conversion operation itself. After version 7.0 the Chameleon was also used for accelerating certain colour correction operations.
For the release of Creator 6 Barco also added a Brush-accelerator board that made retouching with large brushes on files of several hundred megabytes possible.
Input was usually from high-end scanners, i.e. the Itek 310-I. From the Indigo/Crimson versions the Howtek D4000 (4000dpi) drum scanner was usually offered as an option. Version 7 supported both the D4000 and the D7500 (5000dpi) scanner.
|Version||Hardware||O/S||Release date||Price||Significant changes (selected)|
|Creator "1.0"||?||IRIX 3.X?||Fall 1988||?|
|Creator CD, SP, SPX and MP||Personal Iris (CD)?, Power Series (SP, SPX and MP)?||IRIX 3.X?||1990||?|
|Repro Creator||Power Series, later Crimson||IRIX 4.X?||1992||$155.000 incl Crimson|
|Personal Creator||Indigo, 64MB RAM||IRIX 5.X?||1993||$25.000|
|Power Creator||Crimson, 128MB RAM||IRIX 5.X?||1993||?|
|Creator 6.0||?||IRIX 5.X?||January 1995||?|
|Creator 7.0||Indy and Indigo2, except R8000||IRIX 5.3||28/06/96 (CD1375C), 09/07/96 (CD1377C)||?|
|Creator 7.1||Indigo2 R10000, O2, Octane||IRIX 5.3, 6.2, 6.3, 6.4||15/12/97 (CD1488C)||?|
|Creator 7.2||Octane||IRIX 6.5||08/04/99 (CD1546C)||?||?|