The Windows-to-SCODL Interface
Aldus Persuasion Version
(c) 1991 by the Idaho Research Foundation, Inc.
All Rights Reserved
The Stingray SCODL driver is a Windows device driver developed by
the Idaho Research Foundation. This version of the driver is
only licensed for Aldus Persuasion and will not operate with any
other products. SCODL is a popular slide imaging language used
by the Agfa MVP Star and MVP Star-16 rasterizers to drive the
Matrix line of film recorders, as well as popular laser printers,
color printers, and display controllers.
Aldus Persuasion is the first graphics program to include the
Stingray SCODL driver. This version of Stingray will only work
with Persuasion. Future versions of Stingray that ship with
other applications will remain backwardly compatible with
You need only the Stingray SCODL driver and a system running
Aldus Persuasion to create SCODL files.
To image files created by the Stingray driver to film, your MVP
imaging workstation must be equipped with the following or later
versions of Agfa MVP software:
* MVP V4.1 SCODL
* MVP Conductor V1.1
NOTE: The Stingray SCODL driver is only compatible with Agfa MVP
hardware and software.
INSTALLATION AND SETUP INSTRUCTIONS
1. Insert the diskette containing the Stingray SCODL driver into
a disk drive and bring up the Windows CONTROL PANEL.
2. Select PRINTERS, and then ADD PRINTER. Scroll down to the
"Unlisted" printer selection, which should be last in the
list. Highlight "Unlisted" and press INSTALL.
3. Highlight the drive letter in the Directories list for the
disk containing the Stingray driver and press OK. Select
SR_SCODL.DRV in the Driver Files list and press OK.
The driver will be copied to your Windows system directory.
4. If you are running Windows 3.0 (not 3.0a), you must now press
OK to return to the main CONTROL PANEL window, exit
the CONTROL PANEL and then restart it and return to the
5. In the PRINTERS dialog, highlight "Stingray SCODL Driver"
and press the CONFIGURE button. This will take you to the
6. Set the Port to FILE or another port you are not using on
your computer (possibly COM2 or COM3). This just allows you
to keep Stingray "Active". Stingray will always output to a
7. Press the SETUP button. This will take you to the Stingray
driver setup dialog.
8. Select the desired device, media size and resolution. It is
likely you will want the default Film Recorder, 35mm, 2k
settings. You must have access to an Agfa Forte if you want
to use the 8K resolution option. Press OK when done.
9. Be sure to set the driver to ACTIVE before leaving the
CONTROL PANEL, PRINTERS menu.
ALDUS PERSUASION SETUP
Before running Persuasion with Stingray, you must add an entry to
your ALDUS.INI file. This should be found in the \ALDUS\USENGLSH
1. MAKE A BACKUP COPY OF YOUR ALDUS.INI USING THE FILE MANAGER,
THE DOS COPY COMMAND, OR ANOTHER UTILITY.
2. Start NOTEPAD, probably in the Accessories group, or another
3. Open your ALDUS.INI file. Again, this should be found in the
4. Go to the end of the file and add the following two lines.
[Stingray SCODL Driver]
You can cut and paste them from this file, if desired.
4. Save aldus.ini and exit NOTEPAD.
To configure a presentation for SCODL in Persuasion, please do
1. Select FILE/SLIDE SETUP.
2. Select Target Device: "Stingray SCODL Driver".
3. Select the Slide: "35mm" setting for 35mm slide output.
For 4 x 5 inch or 8 x 10 inch media you should select
Slide: "Custom" and enter Slide dimensions: "11" x "8.25".
This will give you the correct 4 x 3 aspect ratio.
4. Select Orientation: "Wide". Press OK.
1. Select FILE/PRINT, configure the desired options, and press
The confirmation window will display the current Stingray
settings and allow modifications of the target SCODL filename
and Destination Directory.
2. Verify that you have selected the desired Device, Media, and
Resolution. If this is incorrect, press CANCEL and change
the settings from the FILE/SLIDE SETUP or FILE/PRINT dialog.
3. Verify the output filename.
Stingray will automatically take the filename from your
presentation, truncate it to 5 characters, add "001", and a
".scd" extension. For example, if your presentation is named
"saleshow.pr2", Stingray will give you "sales001.scd". You
can rename this file or start the sequence at a higher number.
A separate file will be created for each slide. The sequence
number will increase by one for each slide. All files will be
given a .SCD extension except for those containing 24-bit
bitmaps which will receive a .BIN extension. Stingray will
warn if you are going to overwrite an existing file and allow
you to CONTINUE, CANCEL, or answer NO. The driver will
automatically increment to the next available sequence number
if you respond NO.
HINTS AND SUGGESTIONS
* If you want to use graduated background fills in your
presentation, it is preferable that you use a top to bottom
fill style, rather than one that goes from left to right or
diagonally. Top to bottom graduated background fills are much
more efficient in the way they can be transformed into a SCODL
file, resulting in significantly smaller file sizes and shorter
* Be sure to have plenty of disk space for your SCODL files,
particularly if you are working with 24-bit placed bitmaps.
2k files containing large 24-bit bitmaps can be 1Mb or larger.
Similar 4k files can be 4Mb or larger. Stingray requires
additional working file space equivalent to the largest file
you are generating. For example, if you are generating 1Mb
files, you need an additional 1Mb available.
The Stingray SCODL driver requires Adobe Type Manager (ATM) to
output text. ATM provides extremely high quality text for
display and slide output. Directions for installing ATM are
available in the ATM User Guide provided with Aldus Persuasion.
WORKING WITH 24-BIT COLOR BITMAPS
TIFF files are the primary source of 24-bit color bitmaps. TIFF
files may also be 1-bit or 8-bit which are fully supported by
Stingray and not discussed here. 24-bit TIFF files are
frequently large (500k+).
SCODL breaks all objects into two classes, 8-bit data and 24-bit
data. Only 24-bit color bitmaps fall into the 24-bit class. All
other data such as text, lines, and other bitmaps fall into the
8-bit class. Each class is handled separately until final output
to the film recorder at which time the two layers are stacked in
one of two combinations.
Top: 8-bit layer or 24-bit layer
Bottom: 24-bit layer 8-bit layer
The stacking order is determined by whatever is first sent to the
Stingray driver. Therefore, to get 24-bit bitmaps on the bottom,
they must be the first thing output to the Stingray driver.
Persuasion outputs the Background master, followed by the slide
master and finally the slide. The 24-bit bitmap must be placed
on the bottom-most master used and SENT TO BACK. In most cases
this will be the Background Master. The master background Fill
must be set to "None" or you must disable the Print Background
option when printing. This will allow you to use a 24-bit bitmap
for a background, but you cannot combine it with a solid color or
If the first item (bottom-most object) output to the Stingray
driver is 8-bit data, such as text, lines, and rectangles, all
8-bit data will appear on the bottom layer of the slide and all
24-bit bitmaps will print on the top layer. Similarly, if the
first item output to the Stingray driver is a 24-bit bitmap, all
24-bit data will print on the bottom and all 8-bit data will be
on top. The 8-bit and 24-bit layers cannot be interleaved. This
is due to a current limitation of SCODL.
For easy identification, SCODL files containing 24-bit bitmaps
are given a .BIN file name extension instead of the regular .SCD
If you are imaging the slides on a Matrix film recorder yourself
and using the background mode of MVP, make sure that your system
has sufficient LIM EMS 4.0 memory when rasterizing slides that
contain 24-bit data. Please refer to your MVP 4.1 (or later)
documentation for more information on implementing EMS memory.
Testing has shown that Stingray will average about 15-30 seconds
per slide to generate a SCODL file for most standard slides
(graduated background, text, clipart, and 8-bit bitmaps). Times
will be somewhat longer with 24-bit bitmaps. The speed of SCODL
file generation will also vary depending upon the speed of your
computer, hard disk, and available RAM (especially for 24-bit
Every effort has been made to keep Stingray as fast as possible
without sacrificing WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get)
results. We think that you will find the output from Stingray to
be excellent, especially with the ATM fonts and raster bitmaps.
For imaging to a film recorder, rasterization times are about 30
seconds to one minute, on average. Using the new MVP Star-16 and
LIM EMS memory in your PC can reduce total processing time.
SCODL FILE SIZE
Stingray creates very high quality SCODL files which average
about 70k at 2k resolution. Files with 24-bit bitmaps can range
substantially larger. Despite the file size, MVP users will
notice that the files process much faster than large SCODL files
from other programs.
MVP CONDUCTOR IMAGING NOTES
* You must use MVP Conductor V1.1 or later.
* Be sure to select the same Output Device and Resolution
settings that were used for Stingray. The SCODL files created
by Stingray are device and resolution dependent. You cannot
image a 2k file at 4k and vice-versa. This version of Stingray
only supports film recorders and EGA or VGA screen preview.
* For screen preview, you must create the files using Stingray's
EGA or VGA Device setting.
* Select Generic or Stingray (if available) as the Software
* Imaging of .BIN files which contain 24-bit bitmaps is not
recommended at this time. Use the foreground MVP processor.
* Always use RLC Storage mode selectable from the FILE/MVP
SETTINGS dialog box. Do not use Anti-Aliasing.
MVP FOREGROUND MODE IMAGING NOTES
* You must use MVP V4.1 SCODL or later.
* Be sure to select the same Output Device/Resolution settings
that were used in Stingray. The SCODL files created by
Stingray are device and resolution dependent. You cannot image
a 2k file at 4k and vice-versa. This version of Stingray only
supports film recorders and screen preview.
* Do not preload fonts. All text is pre-imaged by Stingray and
Adobe Type Manager.
* Always use RLC Storage mode as set by UTIL\RLCON.SCD
* Use UTIL\MRGxxxn.SCD files prior to imaging .BIN files
containing 24-bit bitmaps. For example, use UTIL\MRGEKT2.SCD
for Ektachrome film at 2k. This is necessary to get the
correct color compensation. Reload a standard compensation
file such as UTIL\COMPEKT2.SCD prior to .SCD files.
* Imaging large .BIN files containing 24-bit bitmaps may require
a large amount of free disk space (5Mb+). If you get error
"? 21", you either need to make more space available or disable
* If you get error "? 23", make sure you are using MVP V4.1 SCODL
or later and are using RLCON.SCD.
Here is an example batch file:
When using Stingray with Persuasion, there are a few limitations
you should be aware of, due to features not yet supported by
* Slides can only contain 256 colors from a palette of 16.7
When Stingray receives the 257+ color, it will map that color
back to the closest color in the palette. Please note that
24-bit bitmaps do not have this 256 color restriction.
* Files must be output for a specific SCODL device and
resolution (e.g. Film Recorder/2k or EGA/640 x 350).
Stingray must pre-scale bitmap components of an image when
used with SCODL 4.1 or 4.11 (you must use SCODL 4.1 or later
from Agfa with Stingray). This creates larger, device specific
SCODL files that cannot be fully previewed with MVP Conductor
or Impresario. When it is released by Agfa, SCODL 4.2 will
overcome this limitation.
This also applies to text. Stingray uses ATM to pre-rasterize
Adobe Type 1 format fonts to the resolution that you have
selected. MVP Conductor and Impresario users will not be able
to correctly preview these ATM fonts until the release of
SCODL 4.2, unless a set of separate preview files are
generated using Stingray's EGA/VGA output device settings.
* There is no support for the "winding-fill" type of polygon
that can be imported from certain Windows drawing packages.
* Patterns are converted to solid fills that use a color
interpolated, in proportion, from the foreground and
* Only landscape orientation is currently supported. However,
you may output a tall image onto a landscape slide.
* Only film recorder and screen display output devices are
currently supported. The SCODL files created by Stingray
cannot be output to printers.
* SCODL has limited clipping/cropping support for vector
graphics. Drawing of lines, rectangles, arcs, and other
vector objects that extend off the edge of the slide is not
recommended. File sizes may grow significantly and some
objects may disappear. This also applies to using the cropping
tool on placed vector graphics files such as CGM. This does
not apply to raster bitmaps or text.
Agfa is working on new versions of its SCODL rasterizer to
provide enhanced features and performance. We suggest that you
contact Agfa at (508) 658-5600, extension 2913, or (800)
288-4039, to be put on their Graphix newsletter mailing list for
information on new MVP/SCODL features as they become available.
Stingray may report one of the following messages:
* This application has not been licensed for use with Stingray.
This version of the Stingray SCODL driver has only been
licensed by the IRF for use with Aldus Persuasion.
* Insufficient disk space to complete image.
There is not enough disk space to output SCODL files in the
destination directory. Either free up more space or choose
another destination. Files containing 24-bit bitmaps can
require many megabytes of space.
* Insufficient memory to complete image.
There is not enough RAM available to output the SCODL file.
Persuasion and Stingray require at least 2Mb of memory in the
system. If you are using memory for other Windows applications
or stay-resident DOS programs, you may need to disable them.
* All device palette entries for this slide have been filled.
Further requests for 24-bit colors will be mapped onto existing
The SCODL language is currently limited to 256 colors per
slide. If your image exceeds this, the Stingray driver will
find the closest color available for those exceeding the limit.
Stingray pre-defines 16 basic colors to help give a reasonable
match. Note, this does not apply to placed 24-bit bitmaps.
Agfa and its worldwide network of dealers provide technical
support for the Matrix line of film recorders. You can contact
your dealer or Agfa Technical Support directly for assistance, if
necessary, with SCODL, MVP, Conductor, and film recorder related
You may call either Agfa or Aldus Technical Support for
assistance with the Stingray SCODL driver.
If you would like more information on acquiring a Matrix film
recorder, you can contact Agfa's telemarketing department at
(508) 658-5600, extension 2913, or (800) 288-4039.
All efforts have been made to ensure the proper operation of
Stingray in the generation of SCODL files. However, it should be
noted that Stingray is provided as is, without warranty of any
kind or guarantee of suitability for a particular purpose.