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Several problems when exporting to PDF using CMYK


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Hello everybody!

This is the first time I participate in the forum, so forgive me if I make any mistake with the rules, please. I am not english native so my explanation or understanding of technical terms might be short or difficult.

Recently I´ve had issues in two situations which involve exporting to PDF using CMYK to send to a printing house.

I use Mac Os X Catalina and last version of Designer (1.10.4). Firs case, I tried to export a file that have been created in RGB to PDF and CMYK. The file doesn´t keep the shadows nor the brushes applied as an effect to a vector element. Behind the elements there were blank spaces that appeared in many areas of the canvas. This doesn´t happen when exporting to JPG in CMYK. I don´t know if the problem can happen because the combination of vector and pixels layers in the same file. (Please see file attached: Cover_FueElectrico.pdf).

In addition, with a larger file (280 mb), the computer is not able to export a PDF, also in CMYK. The computer doesn´t crash and in the process start to fill up the storage capacity when there was more than 100 gb of free space (the computer advised me to delete files, and the storage descended to 3 gb aproximately). So it was imposible to export the file, and had to copy paste the elements to Adobe Illustrator and export with no problems, only the extra task of redimensionate the elements and some fail conversions with text elements. I wonder if there is a problem with the last update of the program: in May I worked with similar file from which I have reused all the elements to the new I´ve been working during last days. In May I could export under the same conditions with no problems at all.

I am not sure if this is the place to comment this. And don´t know if is an issue caused by me because of my work process or some bug with the last program update. I would like to solve these issues as I am really happy using Affinity and want to continue using it.

Hope anybody could give me some recomendations to find a solution.

Thanks in advance.

Cover_FueElectrico.pdf

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we'd really need the source publisher files to be able to investigate - you can upload the larger one here.

Affinity can need a lot of disk space when redering/exporting especially if you have embedded large or high resolution images/files into the document

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6 hours ago, csendarrubias said:

I tried to export a file that have been created in RGB to PDF and CMYK. The file doesn´t keep the shadows nor the brushes applied as an effect to a vector element.

Without seeing how the file has been created it's difficult to know what is causing the problem you're experiencing... I did a very quick, rough and ready export of the back cover where I've simply applied a shadow to the cable using the Outer Shadow fx in Designer, exporting the RGB document to a CMYK pdf and all is working as expected. The second version of the pdf simply isolates the shadow and applys a slight Gausian Blur fx to the shadow.

Again, without seeing the Affinity Designer file itself or at least some screengrabs of your artwork it's difficult to understand how you've applied the brush effects and what they're designed to do... If you are able to upload the Affinity Designer file we can take a look but I appreciate this is a client job so that may not be an option for you...

With regards the larger (280Mb) file, again, if this is something you are able to upload we can take a look to see what may be causing the export issue, it may be something in the file itself or the way the file has been set up as @Pauls has mentioned...

BackCoverFueElectrico.thumb.jpg.b8b066f8984da8985f26ca0a182148c8.jpg

Back_Cover_FueElectrico_v1.pdf

Back_Cover_FueElectrico_v2.pdf

BackCoverFueElectrico.afdesign

 

 

 

 

Affinity Designer 2.0.0 (.52), Affinity Photo 2.0.0 (.307), Affinity Publisher 2.0.0 (.1604) | Affinity Designer 1.7.3, Affinity Photo 1.7.3 | Affinity Publisher 1.10.6
MacBook Pro 16GB, macOS Monterey 12.6.1

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Hi @csendarrubias and welcome to the forum!

An Apub file with layers would help, and also screen shots of your PDF export settings. Since with only a PDF, we can only guess at what cause the trouble.

 

Firefox failed to prompt about the other answers... and I didn't refreshed the page :S

Edited by Wosven
Oups, didn't see the other posts
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@Pauls and @Wosven, I'm curious, why the request for an Apub file? Maybe I'm missing something but isn't this is an AD issue posted in the AD bugs forum? The artwork for the first issue was created in AD 1.10.4 as an RGB file and exported as a PDF 1.7, CMYK file using the U.S. Web Coated (SWOP) v2 colour profile, though the exact settings tbc...

I'm assuming the 280Mb file is also AD related since the OP ended up copying and pasting into Illustrator?

Affinity Designer 2.0.0 (.52), Affinity Photo 2.0.0 (.307), Affinity Publisher 2.0.0 (.1604) | Affinity Designer 1.7.3, Affinity Photo 1.7.3 | Affinity Publisher 1.10.6
MacBook Pro 16GB, macOS Monterey 12.6.1

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Hi everybody. First of all, thanks a lot for your quick replies. Sorry, but I´ve been busy during the weekend to reply.

Here, I attach both files. One was created for my graphic desing studies (the one you could see on my previous post) and the other for a client. I prefer to share both in order to have more things to consider and solve my work process as I start to think that's where the fail is. I also upload the export settings for PDF, more or less.

The first one, have several effects applied, some with gaussian blur also. In the cover, for example, I applied some brushes in two layers in order to create the song´s titles as handwriting. I know this must happen because of my lack of knowledge in the form of how to apply the layer (normal, pass through, fade, multiply, etc), but after the export one layer appeared as white and the other black, when in RGB both were as black brushes. So I have had several problems.

With the second one (Cartel_FORUM), there were several desks (around 5) with different versions to compare. I have deleted the others and keep the final one only. Today when doing this, the program has freezed for around two minutes when closing the file...

With this file I was confused because I worked exactly the same as with one that didn´t cause any problems in may. This made me think that could be a program failure, besides when Illustrator didn´t show the same export failures. And more now when seeing the dificulty to close the file.

Surely, the problem must be in my work process, and want to learn how to proceed correctly to avoid all this mess. Hope not to feel stupid because of doing great wrongdoing.

Thanks again for you patience and recommendations.

Export_Settings.jpg

Cover_FueElectrico.afdesign Cartel_FORUM.afdesign

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6 hours ago, csendarrubias said:

The first one, have several effects applied, some with gaussian blur also. In the cover, for example, I applied some brushes in two layers in order to create the song´s titles as handwriting. I know this must happen because of my lack of knowledge in the form of how to apply the layer (normal, pass through, fade, multiply, etc), but after the export one layer appeared as white and the other black, when in RGB both were as black brushes. So I have had several problems.

I can't see anything wrong with how you've created the first file. The issue with all three artboards relates to bleed and makes absolutely no sense at all. When exported without bleed, the files are rendering incorrectly. Simply include bleed when exporting and all three artboards export correctly!

Remove the 3mm document bleed completely and the artboards all export correctly which contradicts the point above!

At this point I can only assume this is an artboard specific bug as the problem doesn't exist when exporting the same artwork from individual pages instead of artboards.

I initially thought the issue may relate to the Linear Grad fx but having replaced those completely it makes absolutely no difference. I also opened the file in APub and exported from there, exactly the same issue...

At this point in time I have to say I'm a little stumped as to the cause, other than it being a bug, maybe others have seen a similar issue or this is a known problem but it is a very bizarre one...

6 hours ago, csendarrubias said:

Surely, the problem must be in my work process, and want to learn how to proceed correctly to avoid all this mess. Hope not to feel stupid because of doing great wrongdoing.

The second file completely hung AD when attempting to export to a PDF, it ate over 21Gb of disk space on my SSD and subsequently crashed resulting in a hard reboot of my mac. There wasn't even any sign of the export progress bar, it felt like an instant crash...

I really can't see any issues with your work process so I don't believe that is at fault here but something very odd is going on with both your files and I've yet to figure out what. Hopefully others can take a look to see if they can spot anything unusual.

Affinity Designer 2.0.0 (.52), Affinity Photo 2.0.0 (.307), Affinity Publisher 2.0.0 (.1604) | Affinity Designer 1.7.3, Affinity Photo 1.7.3 | Affinity Publisher 1.10.6
MacBook Pro 16GB, macOS Monterey 12.6.1

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@csendarrubias As mentioned, the issue (with the first file at least) seems to be Artboard and Bleed specific. I took the content of each artboard and placed it on individual (non artboard) pages in AD and they export correctly with no problems at all, regardless of whether bleed is included or not, so I suspect this is a bug.

Hopefully someone will either recognise it as such or one of the moderators will jump in to confirm if the issue is already looged as a bug or is something that needs to be flagged as such.

Affinity Designer 2.0.0 (.52), Affinity Photo 2.0.0 (.307), Affinity Publisher 2.0.0 (.1604) | Affinity Designer 1.7.3, Affinity Photo 1.7.3 | Affinity Publisher 1.10.6
MacBook Pro 16GB, macOS Monterey 12.6.1

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@Hangman Thanks a lot.

The first file was the design for a vinyl box. So the last step was puting all together on one artboard which contained the cut and bleed lines above the design for the printing. As I said it was a work for my studies which asked to be made as a real final PDF. I suppose that if I tried to export the contents as individual pages as you suggest, after when joining all together the export failure would inevitably happen.

So, let´s see what others say.

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I think if you were to put all the elements together on a page rather than an artboard then add your cut and bleed lines to the page it will export correctly.

Affinity Designer 2.0.0 (.52), Affinity Photo 2.0.0 (.307), Affinity Publisher 2.0.0 (.1604) | Affinity Designer 1.7.3, Affinity Photo 1.7.3 | Affinity Publisher 1.10.6
MacBook Pro 16GB, macOS Monterey 12.6.1

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I don't have any problem with the 1st file, exporting with my usual setting that tend to rasterize to avoid transparency (those setting usually give good results). For info, ISO Coated v2 300% = Fogra 39).

2021-11-15_200732b.png.a20b83a18198211891adabc10c198445.png2021-11-15_200736b.png.15406ded3e22253f0ae96978b4f741fb.png

 

Problem can occur with effect or blend modes. Using a PDF preset that'll avoid them ensure usually to have no bad surprises.

The only problem with your file is the writing on the second page. Duplicating the layer don't help. To get a better result, the simplest was to duplicate, rasterise and set this new layer to Multiply.

Affinity use its own effects and blend modes. That's good when working, but at some point it should translate to PDF. Perhaps it's too difficult for the apps to be smart enough to rasterize and use Multiply mode or another setting that'll give visually the same result in a PDF and in a PNG, for example.

 

About the last one... Not sure how many time I need to wait, but it dosn't seems to progress :D

2021-11-15_221215.png.57fb2bb50b3b3a5b03adcb519a93ff96.png

 

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The only pre-set that is causing this particular issue is PDF (print), all the other presets work correctly as do all the presets that conform to the PDF 1.7 standard (Digital Small, Digital High Quality, For Export and Press Ready). What really makes no sense is that the PDF (print) preset is only failing to render transparency correctly when bleed is excluded from the export, which is the default setting for the preset, and only when using Artboards. It renders transparency correctly when bleed is checked which (to me) suggests a bug, either with the rendering engine or with artboards or a combination of the two.

Affinity Designer 2.0.0 (.52), Affinity Photo 2.0.0 (.307), Affinity Publisher 2.0.0 (.1604) | Affinity Designer 1.7.3, Affinity Photo 1.7.3 | Affinity Publisher 1.10.6
MacBook Pro 16GB, macOS Monterey 12.6.1

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27 minutes ago, Hangman said:

failing to render transparency correctly when bleed is excluded from the export

Just yesterday I was "fighting" similarly misrendered transparent layer effects on PDF export, eventually giving up on them and finishing the layout without them. That was by using PDF/X-4 preset.

Turns out that your observation is correct:
It's a bug.

(Paging @Pauls)

Today, after reading this thread, I have revisited my layout: Since I had Bleed set to 0 mm, the Bleed option was grayed out on export for all presets. So I changed Bleed to 0.01 mm which is literally invisible, reactivated my disabled layer effects, enabled Bleed on export … and voilà, all transparent layer effects rendered correctly!

For the record, it's an *.afpub document converted to artboards and edited with APu 1.10.4 (Mac, Serif Store version), switching between Publisher, Designer and Photo personae depending on the tools needed for editing.

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29 minutes ago, loukash said:

Just yesterday I was "fighting" similarly misrendered transparent layer effects on PDF export

@loukash Glad to hear that someone else is experiencing the same issue, well not glad, as in it's clearly a bug, but glad that you're experience backs up the problem we are seeing here. It's interesting you experienced it with the PDF/X-4 preset which uses the PDF 1.6 spec. I think this increasingly points towards an artboard issue since I had exactly the same issue opening the file @csendarrubias provided in APub after converting to artboards and then exporting to PDF using both the PDF (print) preset and any variation on that particular preset.

Glad this thread has actually helped to resolve your issues and hopefully the page to @Pauls will work and the issue can be investigated assuming it's not already a known bug.

As mentioned above, the issue is unique to artboards, the same file using pages doesn't exhibit the issue regardless of the PDF preset or PDF custom settings.

Affinity Designer 2.0.0 (.52), Affinity Photo 2.0.0 (.307), Affinity Publisher 2.0.0 (.1604) | Affinity Designer 1.7.3, Affinity Photo 1.7.3 | Affinity Publisher 1.10.6
MacBook Pro 16GB, macOS Monterey 12.6.1

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@csendarrubias The issue with your second file is 100% the photo, lots of strange things happen when attempting to export to PDF...

It very rapidly eats the entire space on my SSD (over 21Gb) and pops up with a message forcing a system reboot

disk-full.jpg.f3e05a3dc2897e8d1bd00985ee284833.jpg

I also get an apple photos message pop up every time I tried to export your original file.

photos.jpg.4c94a3385cd1fd491667b36d9c6ea537.jpg

Attempting to copy and paste the photo from your file into APhoto resulted in another message saying...

clipboard.jpg.81cea3c9e56bd34d3f076ce0a043c3b7.jpg

However, I finally managed to get a copy of the photo into APhoto and I simply resaved it and placed it back into your document and now all is good and it very easily and quickly exports to a PDF...

Out of interest, did the photo ever reside in Apple Photos, I'm curious as to why the message popped up...

Cartel_FORUM_New.afdesign

Cartel_FORUM_New.pdf

 

Affinity Designer 2.0.0 (.52), Affinity Photo 2.0.0 (.307), Affinity Publisher 2.0.0 (.1604) | Affinity Designer 1.7.3, Affinity Photo 1.7.3 | Affinity Publisher 1.10.6
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@Pauls Can you confirm whether or not the other issue mentioned in this post relating to bleed when used with artboards resulting in transparency not rendering correctly is a known issue or one that needs to be logged as a bug?

Affinity Designer 2.0.0 (.52), Affinity Photo 2.0.0 (.307), Affinity Publisher 2.0.0 (.1604) | Affinity Designer 1.7.3, Affinity Photo 1.7.3 | Affinity Publisher 1.10.6
MacBook Pro 16GB, macOS Monterey 12.6.1

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@Hangman Thanks a lot for all the trouble you have taken.

About the photo of the second file: as @Pauls said, the photo can be problematic or corrupt. How would I do to find that out? I say in case something similar happen again in the future. Should I just replace the picture, or is there any tool in AD which says that an element is failing?

In relation to the other file, I'll have in mind what you have discovered when exporting with the bleeds or not using artboards. I'll try myself what you have done and see if I can solve it correctly.

Thanks again to all.

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1 hour ago, csendarrubias said:

About the photo of the second file: as @Pauls said, the photo can be problematic or corrupt. How would I do to find that out? I say in case something similar happen again in the future. Should I just replace the picture, or is there any tool in AD which says that an element is failing?

I think the only way to really know if there is an issue with the photo is when unexpected things happen, such as failing to export to a pdf or hanging the app or your mac, to me those are all signs of a problematic file. There's no direct way to know since the AD file opened without issue but so many weird things were happening with the file on export that it is simply a case of excluding one layer at a time until you find the culprit and as I kind of assumed, it turned out to be the photo in this case which a simple resave fixed. No idea how it became corrupted or whether it had at any point been near Apple Photos and we'll likely never really know the cause.

As @Wosven pointed out in an earlier post, PDF/X-1a:2003 exports without issue so I tested every flavour of PDF and the only preset to have this error with your file was the PDF (print) preset, regardless of whether using default or custom settings and interestingly @loukash has discovered what sounds to be an identical issue when exporting using PDF/X-4 as well, so clearly something the Affinity team need to look into.

Affinity Designer 2.0.0 (.52), Affinity Photo 2.0.0 (.307), Affinity Publisher 2.0.0 (.1604) | Affinity Designer 1.7.3, Affinity Photo 1.7.3 | Affinity Publisher 1.10.6
MacBook Pro 16GB, macOS Monterey 12.6.1

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@Pauls The Outershadow fx also impacts the issue... a quick test removing all the Gradient Overlay fx's and results are still the same but removing all instances of the Outershadow fx in addition and the exported pdf is fine.

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13 hours ago, Hangman said:

I think the only way to really know if there is an issue with the photo is when unexpected things happen, such as failing to export to a pdf or hanging the app or your mac, to me those are all signs of a problematic file. There's no direct way to know since the AD file opened without issue but so many weird things were happening with the file on export that it is simply a case of excluding one layer at a time until you find the culprit and as I kind of assumed, it turned out to be the photo in this case which a simple resave fixed. No idea how it became corrupted or whether it had at any point been near Apple Photos and we'll likely never really know the cause.

As @Wosven pointed out in an earlier post, PDF/X-1a:2003 exports without issue so I tested every flavour of PDF and the only preset to have this error with your file was the PDF (print) preset, regardless of whether using default or custom settings and interestingly @loukash has discovered what sounds to be an identical issue when exporting using PDF/X-4 as well, so clearly something the Affinity team need to look into.

Sorry, but I´ve remembered this just now.

The file with the picture had two copies of the same picture. The first one and a copie to which I deleted the shirt´s buttons and resized. I kept the first in case I needed to come back to it. I think I deleted the buttons in APhoto with the corrector brush (J) moving between apps. After some tests in others artboards I pasted the photo in the final artboard. There was something curious that I didn´t understand then: the layers were called differently, the original "image" and the final and modificated "pixel" (see image attached). I wonder now if here is where the file have the issue. Layers.jpg.ee1e4fd7d44d691bb6454e78d36c6d68.jpg

Unfortunately I didn´t remember this nor thought that the issue could be caused for it, when giving you the info about the issue. So @Hangman when you resaved the image, you used the wrong one. Surely because the other didn´t let you to open it. I have discovered it when opening your file and seeing that the shirt´s buttons are still there.

The photos haven't been opened in Apple Photos.

I´m sorry for not remembering before.

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51 minutes ago, csendarrubias said:

So @Hangman when you resaved the image, you used the wrong one. Surely because the other didn´t let you to open it. I have discovered it when opening your file and seeing that the shirt´s buttons are still there.

I did indeed use the wrong image but that was simply because (as you say) at the time I was getting error messages left, right and centre, when trying to copy the correct one. My aim was really to narrow down the problem so I wasn't really too concerned about which of the two images I used to test the file. I just wanted to resave one of them to see if that fixed the export to pdf issue which it did, it just so happens that the only one I was able to resave at the time was the wrong one...

53 minutes ago, csendarrubias said:

There was something curious that I didn´t understand then: the layers were called differently, the original "image" and the final and modificated "pixel" (see image attached). I wonder now if here is where the file have the issue.

I don't believe this is the cause of the issue... to quote @MattP...

Quote

Any image you place onto the document (by drag/drop, File->Place or any other method) will be shown as an 'image' in the Layers panel. If you were to export your document as PDF, we would re-embed the original image data so you would know what's going into your PDF. To draw on an image, it needs to be a pixel layer. You achieved this by rasterising it. A pixel layer is a layer made up of pixels that you are free to manipulate - there is no association to the original image now. When you export the document as PDF you will get an image created in the PDF as per your export setup at the time, so you may end up compressing an image that already shows the compression artefacts of its last save, which is not always what you wanted.

I think it is simply that somehow, somewhere one of the images became corrupted but it is extremely difficult to point to the cause of the corruption... Strangely I can access both images today without any issues...

I am totally baffled as to why every time I tried to export your source file, the Apple Photos message popped up and it ate all my SSD space, that is very bizarre...

 

Affinity Designer 2.0.0 (.52), Affinity Photo 2.0.0 (.307), Affinity Publisher 2.0.0 (.1604) | Affinity Designer 1.7.3, Affinity Photo 1.7.3 | Affinity Publisher 1.10.6
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4 hours ago, Hangman said:

The Outershadow fx also impacts the issue... a quick test removing all the Gradient Overlay fx's and results are still the same but removing all instances of the Outershadow fx in addition and the exported pdf is fine.

In my case, it was the Outer Shadow and Outer Glow FX that have caused the corruption.

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