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PDF passthrough overprint black/color management


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The pdf passthrough is a very good feature but till now it is not perfect.

I send you a publisher file with 3 placed pdfs.

in the background two logos with black that is only 100% black.

In the foreground one page of a publication. The main text again is 100% black. (only the monkey is not 100% black)

When I export to pdf x4 one of the logos (the star) becomes 4 coloured black. The other yellow logo is set to overprint black and the whole page text is NOT overprinted black

When exporting to ready for printstudio both logos blacks are 100% black, and the text is NOT overprinted black.

The long text stays 100% black, but is not overprinted black.

It makes no change if I choose transfer or interprete.

When I open the whole-page-pdf in the foreground and replace with this the primarily placed pdf the text is overprinted black with pdf x4 and not overprinted black with printstudio ready.

The logos do not change.

this is a very odd behaviour of Publisher, Indesign here does not make any problems.

 

afpubtransferproblems.zip

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In my impression you run into issues known with PDF export in Affinity. Some have been discussed quite a few times in various threads (e.g. 100 K, overprint, spot color) but I can't remember of a finally clearing response from a Serif member. One reason might be that most of us expect a result as known from ID while some features or PDF specs might not be standardized app-independently, e.g. embedding profiles / converting colors when using the Affinity export preset "for print".

On 1/23/2021 at 6:55 PM, peterfri said:

When I open the whole-page-pdf in the foreground and replace with this the primarily placed pdf the text is overprinted black with pdf x4 and not overprinted black with printstudio ready.

What do you mean with "the primarily placed pdf"? In my experience with your .afpub I can't manage to get the front most layer (~page size body text) overprinting with any export preset, neither PDF/X-4 nor PDF "(for print)". For the black in the Snake illu I get overprinting black with preset "(for print)" only, and only if I switch its default setting of embedding and converting. This workaround was mentioned a few times, e.g. here by @Lagarto . This setting can also help to maintain the desired profile by a differing viewing app, though it doesn't export PDF/X and doesn't set an output intent.

1082099505_exportforprintmodifiedtooverprint.jpg.ca5f2f98ed694e0d284f1cdea03a1726.jpg

macOS 10.14.6, Macbook Pro Retina 15" + Eizo 27" // Affinity preferred in Separated Mode + Merged Windows

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> When I open the whole-page-pdf in the foreground and replace with this the primarily placed

Ah, apparently I missed the "open" previously. So you don't simply place it once more but open & copy/paste it and bypass the "passthrough" this way?

macOS 10.14.6, Macbook Pro Retina 15" + Eizo 27" // Affinity preferred in Separated Mode + Merged Windows

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Based on the fact that this behavior still exists in the current release candidate 2 (1.9.0.902911) it seems that the 1.9 release version will only have very limited support for passthrough PDFs whenever there are PDF/X based methods involved either in the placed files (whether embedded or linked), or when trying to use PDF/X-basd methods at export time.

According to my experiments (not very thorough), when using PDF/X based export method, all PDFs without proper output intent will be rasterized, but in addition to that all color values, even for non-rasterized elements will be translated according to the target profile, even when output intent is given and there is no profile conflict. That means that K-only blacks will always become four-color-black, whenwhether rasterized or not, when the export PDF is based on a PDF/X standard. They seem to remain as they are (= genuinely passed through) only when producing non-PDF/X based PDFs from non-PDF/X based source PDFs.

The current preflight-warnings also seem to be all over the place and inaccurate, as when I tested this file, there are no forced rasterization problems placing PDF/X-based PDFs in the document (fonts were retained as fonts) even when producing with PDF/X-based methods (that's because the PDF files that initially contained fonts, the long text and yellow logo, both had an output intent).

passthrough_pdfxmethods_notsupported.jpg.16eb8e3d2a02c789f56e196b65d9031c.jpg

When producing a non PDF/X based export using "PDF (for press)" preset (using otherwise the default settings but just not embedding the target profile), MOST things seem to work as expected 

test_passthrough_pressready_non_embedded.pdf

What I see in the attached "PDF (press only)" export, related to behavior of black ink, is that the long text in the background is K100 but knocks out (e.g., at the red "MUNCHEN" text) while it is marked to be overprinted in the original (and does overprint if exported from InDesign). The black parts in other PDFs seem to work as in the source PDFs so the black text in the blue star is K100  and overprints while the monkey is four-color-black, the black text in the yellow logo has its blacks in K100 and overprinted so that the text, and inner half of the black outline, have M10 Y100 showing through from the background, while the outer edge of the outline is K100 (the outline being center aligned so the effect of the background is affecting only the inner half). 

[UPDATE: As a comparison, when the same file -- with all PDFs marked to be passed through  -- is exported using PDF/X-4 export method (unchanged), the black in the blue star will be translated to four-color black because the file does not have color intent -- even if it is DeviceCMYK -- and the long text remains as knocking out; otherwise the file seems to behave as expected and export similarly as when exported from InDesign.]

IMO, PDF passthrough is not ready for showtime in Affinity Publisher. As have been shown in other posts, export time color conversions will not be supported, either (they are in PDF/X-based exports, but then everything without color intent becomes rasterized, and all color values are also translated, whether there is need for that or not). If the feature works in the release version similarly as it does now in the beta, there will be lots of confused posts and need for technical support.

EDIT: I just repeated the same tests on macOS RC2 and the results were identical there.

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