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Posts posted by Lagarto

  1. 53 minutes ago, Jens Krebs said:

    In my opinion, the best solution for this would be to have PDF pass-through in Publisher and render PDFs for editing when opening them with Designer or using the Designer Persona in Publisher – this gives the user a choice and also makes for a good distinction between the two applications.

    The ideal solution would be though implementing pass-through via File > Place and opening via File > Open. The latter feature is very valuable as it can help recomposing complex multi-page complete pdf files in correct format, with style, color definitions, etc. in a way no other application currently can do. But passthrough is of course a must-have feature. 

  2. 15 hours ago, msmarketa said:

    'm transferring from Adobe and I was wondering how would I do such effect in Affinity Designer: https://makeitcg.com/mosaic-effect-illustrator/5040/

    I've tried to create vector halftones with Designer but have not found a means to do it. As for free tools, you can do these kinds of things using Inkscape (Edit > Clone > Create Tiled Clones > Trace). You can use vector shapes or bitmaps for tracing (as well as for the halftone pattern). 

    After having created the "halftone", you can Edit > Clone > Unlink Clone and copy paste the objects to Designer for further editing, or to be included as part of your Affinity document (this can be a vector shape halftone, as below, that can be freely scaled and modified without loss of quality):


    There are many tutorials showing the technique, e.g. here:


    You can use the same technique to create a vector shape halftone of a continuous tone image (e.g. a grayscale photograph), in which case the image would be created of halftone patterns in different sizes according to the gray shades of the image. 


  3. 3 hours ago, AFY7 said:

    Just to confirm, if I want to check the color profile of the images in my PDF, I can open the PDF in publisher, making sure that in opening it I choose CMYK. Is this correct?

    Yes, assuming that you exported using print settings (I'd recommend using PDF/X-1a if your printer has not suggested some other method), meaning that the PDF is in CMYK mode. That would keep the color values of the source PDF when you open it in Publisher and then you can check how images are rendered (as K only or CMYK) by using the toolbar "K only" method described above. Note that Publisher would not show any color information for embedded files in the Resource Manager. But you can drag the Eyedropper of the Color panel on top of any element in the opened PDF and examine the color values pixelwise.

    3 hours ago, AFY7 said:

    I think another strategy for achieving my goal (having both CMYK JPGs and grayscale JPGs) is to convert the images I want in CMYK to CMYK before inserting them into the document.

    Do you mean that grayscales would still be imported as grayscales, and do this just to not need to perform any color conversions at export time? Yes, this would work but then your screen PDFs would also have CMYK images converted to sRGB (and accordingly unnecessarily dullened color space). Working with RGB photos allows you to create for both the web and for the print without losing the quality.

    Btw, I just tested what happens if grayscales are converted to K100 and that would work also even if Publisher is using RGB color space. The method would be duplicating the grayscale image, then emptying all CMYK channels, and copy pasting the grayscale content to K channel, assigning a CMYK profile (the same that is specified as the default CMYK profile in Publisher) and exporting as TIFF. It would probably be possible to use a script to serialize this kind of task (at least in Photoshop) but I am not aware of any other method of doing this kind of conversion. 

  4. On a PC (when free tools need to be used), I'd use Inkscape and convert text to symbols (which can be unlinked if curve editing is needed), or GIMP if it is ok to have everything rasterized (it also lets you specify the resolution similarly as Photoshop). The latter is a safer method to be sure that everything gets rendered, but it really depends on what needs to be converted. Note though that GIMP would convert to RGB, and Inkscape would not retain e.g. mere K definitions.

    The only reliable method I know would be Photoshop, as that allows you to choose the correct color profile when rendering, and would keep mere K definitions of the original.

    EDIT: Just found another method to convert PDF with embedded (and unavailable, uninstalled) fonts: PDF24 (free, but available just for PC, but limited features available also as online tools) would allow converting a PDF to a number of different formats, not just PS, and EPS if you need to keep fonts as vectors, but also to diverse bitmap formats, including Photoshop in CMYK format. It keeps K color definitions as mere K whether converting to vectors or CMYK bitmaps. I think that this is one of the most powerful tools available on any platform to do these kinds of conversions...

  5. What is your document color space (File > Document Setup > Color Format)? If it is currently RGB based, grayscales will be converted to CMYK (that is, all grays will be rendered with four component colors CMYK). But if it is CMYK based, they will not be converted if the color profile in export is the same as your document color profile (which is the default value; if it differs, they would be converted to CMYK), meaning that only RGB elements would be converted (and CMYK elements with deviating color profiles). 

    If your current document color space is RGB, I have not found an easy way to fix the situation, other than changing the document color space to CMYK via Document Setup > Color Format) and using the print profile recommended by the printer. After such conversion, you would still need to re-import all images (no matter if CMYK, RGB or grayscales) and check that text elements that were specified with mere K values (this is perfectly possible also in RGB mode, and the values would be retained when creating the print pdfs) have not changed to CMYK values.

    If you do not have Adobe Acrobat Pro or similar for checking color spaces of exported pdfs, you can always open them in Publisher (and using CMYK color space when opening). The grayscale images, when selected, would have "K only" button on the context toolbar in selected state, while CMYK converted grayscale images would not (and pressing "K only" would show only the content in the K plate).

    So when intending to print grayscales (and wanting to keep everything in K plate), it is very important to choose the correct target color space and profile right from the beginning (when you create your Publisher document).

  6. 2 hours ago, SrPx said:

    Actually you can work in CMYK mode in the pro version.

    Ok, based on your description it does not appear that Pro actually differs from EX in terms of color handling in anything else (just the PSD layer support). CSP (EX) is nothing like Affinity Photo or Publisher in areas of color handling and creating a publication for commercial printing, so there is no point in upgrading because of these features if one already owns Affinity Publisher.

  7. 7 minutes ago, pamchao said:

    I tried the oversampling method and it looked better. Let me know if this is somewhat correct:

    Ah, sorry, I actually just meant that from your original art (which was in vector format and already had a good-quality image of violin for the texture), you'd just first create a larger bitmap without compression, e.g. in PNG format (at least 5,120 x 2,880) but could well be over 10,000 px wide, and then open that PNG image (preferrably in Photo) and downsample it to the final size bitmap (in JPG format if you definitely need to have compact file size but otherwise in PNG format, since JPG compression is basically bad for gradients or subtle shift of tones / transparencies). 

    That resolves the problem with the vectorized letter edges becoming so sharp and jagged when producing the bitmap directly in final dimensions. Resampling down with bicubic method smooths (antialiases) the edges. If it becomes too smooth, you could apply a bit unsharp mask sharpening and finally check the levels (the most recent screenshot might be a bit too dark or contrasted, but looks generally just brilliant)! How large will the final art be (I assume it will be used only as web graphics, or are you going to print this, too)?

    I think you'd need to have Photo (or some other app for bitmap manipulation) for sharpening. But if you do not have it, it is not a big deal, the image looks jst fine as it is. Just compare the final image in PNG and JPG format and see if compression has (clearly discernible) negative effect, and use PNG if possible (considering the filesize).

  8. If you instead need to create web graphics of this, and keep file size reasonable, I'd use JPG at 85% quality setting. It would produce as 2560x1440 at 777KB, and would tolerate moderate zooming in:


    That would alleviate the problem of vector edges getting rasterized without antialiasing. They would be jaggy in any resolution when zoomed in beyond 100%, and I do not know if it can be avoided somehow. 

  9. Note though that the TIFF image used as the source of the texture for the "violin" building text, while itself a large enough bitmap, would get rendered at as low as 36ppi resolution if using a setting that allows resampling down of bitmaps (default when using 300dpi export setting would be placed graphics that exceeds 450 ppi).

    That is because the same image is used (it seems) three times as the texture of vector masks, and in some instances its placed resolution might exceed 450ppi, while in other instances not. If such an image gets scaled down because of a single instance, it would result in rendering warnings in instances where bigger resolution of the image is needed.

    Therefore there might be point in not allowing resampling down when exporting the final PDF for the printer. I tested exporting with the PDF/X-1a, which also converts the violin bitmap to CMYK, using the default resolution of 300dpi, and it produced a fine PDF that did not cause any resolution warnings, so I'd use this export format when delivering the job.

    PS. Nice constuction you have here! Did you create it right from the start in Designer?

  10. One thing worth noting is that if your document actually has imported lineart, then all Affinity apps would typically convert a 1-bit (monochrome) lineart to RGB format resampled at 300dpi (which can subsequently be converted to grayscale by choosing "K Only" button on the toolbar), so if the lineart initially has 1200dpi it would normally have 300dpi when exported (but should look just good, even if not razorsharp but rather a bit antialiased ACTUALLY the image would be resampled but not antialiased so it would look jaggy). Photoshop EPS format monochrome bitmap however would be imported at 600dpi but converted to grayscale. Pure monochrome lineart is not supported in Affinity apps

    UPDATE: Correction: For imported Photoshop EPS format monocrome bitmaps, the Resource Manager shows both nominal and placed DPI incorrectly as 600 dpi but what actually happens is that a monochrome bitmap is converted to grayscale but not resampled so e.g. a 1200 dpi monochrome image would practically retain its outlook and sharpness yet be converted to a grayscale image). 

    This is good to know if you expect to be able to use 1200dpi lineart. You can import (and export) bitmaps practically with any resolution you wish (e.g. photos, grayscale and lineart) but Affinity apps treat them all as min. 8-bit graphics so anything exceeding 600 dpi (and for most images: anything that exceeds 300dp) is practically not needed for creating a good printer halftone (as long as the sharp edges are handled by antialiasing them). 

    Because lineart is not in practice supported, there is also no separate downsample dpi value for lineart, similarly as there is e.g. in InDesign. That means that if you have a 600dpi export resolution set, and you have large enough photos placed in your document to be exported at this dpi value, you would get ALL images of your document exported at least 600dpi. That would make a big export PDF file, but unless you create page speific exceptional PDFs for just certain pages, Affinity Publisher cannot create/retain selectively high DPI images based on the kind of image (RGB/CMYK, grayscale, monochrome), but the setting would apply to all images in the document.

    Conversely, because there is not separate setting for "lineart" (or even "grayscale"), there is not point in placing e.g. 1200 dpi or 600 dpi bitmaps that contain lineart kind of pixel art, and expecting that they get exported at resolution higher than e.g. photos. The dpi setting chosen will be used for all placed bitmap image content (and when rasterizing vector art and effects), so when in InDesign you could export at 300dpi and still get 600 dpi grayscale or 1200 dpi lineart, this is not possible in Affinity Publisher.

    In practise if bitmap format lineart is needed, it is a good idea to downsample it at 400 dpi or so and use the exact size that is needed for output, and use antialiasation, since an alternative method (using standard 300 dpi exporting anything else, and a higher dpi for the lineart) is not readily available and requires a manual export workflow.


    5 hours ago, AFY7 said:

    However, you can manually enter 600. In this case, does Publisher really export the PDF at 600 DPI?

    Yes, it would, but note that it would not resample e.g. images that have a resolution lower than 600dpi (ppi). You can see the resolution of imported images on the toolbar at the top of the document whenever an image is selected, or selecting Document > Resource Manager.

    What else gets rasterized, depends on the "Rasterize" export setting (shown when you click "More..." in the Export dialog box). Normally only features "unsupported" by the export format will be rasterized, e.g. fonts would not be rasterized but drow shadow effects would. 

    See below how PDF Preflight tool warns against using "too high" ppi resolution for two images: the flower in small size, and the shadow of the star: Both have a 600ppi resolution created by Publisher. The larger version of the photo of the flower (the image itself containing 1984 x 188 pixels), has been exported with its maximum resolution, 354ppi at its placed size, and is not resampled (that would be bad idea in the first place so Publisher behaves just right in not touching the resolution). However, the smaller version, which at its placed size has a resolution of 1126ppi, is correctly downsampled to 600ppi by Publisher, according to default export setting that tells to downsample images "Above DPI" value of 900 when creating the PDF (the value is scaled based on the defined document DPI by 150% and would accordingly be 450dpi for the 300dpi setting and 900dpi for the 600dpi setting).


    So the answer is that yes, Publisher appears to be rasterizing the PDF in a way that is expected, but I have not tested the feature thoroughly (as there are infinite number of situations where rasterization is needed, or forced, that should be checked to ensure this). The important question is why your printer requires resolution as high as 600dpi, and is it actually required for all rasterized objects (photographs, e.g.), or just for some specific objects (e.g., line art, which at 300dpi would be too low, as lineart often needs to have 1200 dpi to not appear as jagged)? If 600 dpi is really required, you should check the resolutions ("Placed DPI" values, not the nominal or "original" DPI values of the image files which are irrelevant) of all your images by choosing Document > Resource Manager.


  12. On 11/10/2019 at 6:01 PM, APEGamer said:

    I tried importing a PDF created with InDesign, but it doesn't include the document bleed. Instead, I need to export from InDesign as JPEG files and open them separately in Affinity.

    First, please ensure that you have View > Show Bleed turned on in Publisher.

    Do you actually need to "import" (Document > Place) the PDF in a Publisher document you already have, or would you rather want to open the PDF (File > Open)?

    If you do the latter, you can specify the page range to be opened, and should have bleeds already correctly created (and possible inner breeds divided as separate object which can just be deleted if not needed, rather than needing to crop the art). After opening a PDF, you'd typically want to change the document units (File > Document) and ensure that the document has correct Facing pages setting. E.g., below a PDF with 3 mm bleed on all page edges has been opened, and the inner bleeds are separate objects (below the inner bleed objects has been selected, and the equivalent inner bleed of the next page is shown under the page).


    If you do the former, then you should have a toolbox shown below, whenever you select the PDF placed in the document, and the possible inner bleed (shown below as yellow area), needs to be cropped with the Crop tool, if not needed in the layout. By default PDFs are imported cropped by the trimbox, so you'd need to choose "Bleedbox" from the list, and then typicaly reselect from the Spread box the page to be shown, to have the bleeds shown correctly. You can show additional pages from the same PDF simply by copying the selected layer, placing it in another location (e.g. on another page), and then select the page to be shown.


    You can use the two InDesign created PDFs below to see the different bleed scenarios, and how bleeds are handled when you "Open" or "Place" these files in Publisher. Both PDFs have an A4 format, contain 4 pages, have 3 mm bleeds, and have initially been exported from a facing pages document.



  13. Here's a tritone version. As far as I can see only the black part can be controlled by a live curve. If a grayscale image has PMS assignment, adjustments will turn the images to CMYK at render time. So the additional grayscales need to be separate grayscale files and be flattened after their curves have been adjusted in Photo.

    (Someone who knows Affinity apps throughout may find a way to simulate PMS inks on screen and yet have all inks with live curves, but if the PMS color assignment is directly applied on an Image layer, any curve adjustments (even limited to Gray channel) will make it render in CMYK.)


    a) Black ink:


    b) Warm Gray 6C:


    c) Warm Gray 11C:


    AFPub file and the PDF:




  14. There seems to need to make a conceptual difference between "simulation (of production)" and "fake". The example given above was not a faked duotone in the meaning described by David Blatner, as it combined two grayscale screens, and not a uniform layer of a PMS tone under the black ink. The examples in the original post (referred in my first post in this thread) were indeed faked duotones where the uniform overlay method exactly was used (and also clearly shown), but in the same thread we also discussed the possibility of using multiple grayscales with adjustment curves to create true duotones. The example above is a “true” duotone, but as curve and ink control is very limited, it is better to call this “simulated duotone”, or something like that.

    Also, as mentioned in my post, the PMS part could well be taken to Photo and handled directly, without an adjustment, to control how the spot color part is distributed, to make it yet more "true".

    It is up to the skill of the user who applies the curves for the two inks they choose to use for the effect, whether the result looks like “piles of mud” on the paper, or something more sophisticated, but the technique is there, even if crippled. The image above was just a demo, but I guess most printers can produce more than mud of a pretty linear screen of PMS Warm gray accentuated with black.

    But this is of course a bit constrained way of producing  duotones, and I'd definitely stick with Photoshop and InDesign if I were to actually print anything in duotone.

    The screenshots below illustrate the difference of true and fake duotones, and a Publisher demo is included, as well, and a pdf.



    Inks combined:


    The PMS part:


    The black part:


  15. You can do something like this in lack of the real thing:




    That is, you can have black grayscale version with curves and levels (on gray channel) on top of the PMS version. I think that the PMS layer cannot have adjustments applied, at least when I tried it turned to CMYK (but you could of course process a grayscale directly on pixel level and save it as a separate image). 

    I do not quite understand the logic of this. Sometimes I think i need to turn PMS to K100 and back to PMS to keep it a spot color, and it seems that applying the gray curve on the black plate helps the top layer from converting to CMYK. 

    The PMS has overprint defined but it has no use here (as the spot color is the bottom layer). As the top layer has Multiply blend mode on the total effect can be approximated to some extent.

    Attached are an Affinity Publisher document and a PDF. (Note that the Publisher doc is created with latest beta so latest Photo beta is needed to open it.)



  16. 6 minutes ago, Fixx said:

    It might be possible to create two greyscale versions (with appropriate curves) of the plate and set them over each other and set upper one to print with Pantone and overprint. I though think this is too hard an exercise to be used in normal production.

    Yes, that's what is done in the referred post but as you mentioned, it is really just playing with curves without proper control.


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