Adobe’s AlterCast is attracting some attention from the CMS community:

AlterCast is imaging server software designed to integrate with existing content management systems and help maintain the ocean of graphics used in e-commerce sites like Amazon.com and Outpost.com. It automates the creation and repurposing of pictures and eliminates the repetitive nature of tweaking and reformatting them for various needs.

AlterCast is installed on a server (Sun Solaris or Windows NT/2000) and scripts are created by developers so that key layers of Photoshop documents can be edited dynamically from within the user interface. Scripts can be developed to handle almost any need. A single image can be repurposed for high resolution print, Web optimization, and even wireless devices. Creative scripting can weasel its way in too. A script could be created so that after someone has visited a product three times on a site, a special starburst appears over the image that says, “Now 52 percent less!” just to close the deal.

It would, of course, be a piece of piss to write a WebMake plugin which uses the Gimp’s perl bindings to do this.

Also worth noting is that Roxen supports this out-of-the-box with the <gtext> and <gh> tags.

All Adobe have added is some commercial polish (always welcome though) and bindings to the PSD doc format. Presumably they’ll probably add some built-in support in Photoshop, too.

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