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A couple important shortcomings

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EDIT TO CLARIFY: Only the linear gradients hit AI that are editable due to the "unknown shading" with smooth shad circular gradients in a PDF from newer versions of XDP. It takes an older version if I recall--like version 8 or 7 and below--for the PDFs to come into AI that contain a circular gradient without the "unknown shading" error (though do note at least it is still a single vector object, i.e., not banded component parts like CD).

 

It was the EPS/AI file I had attached earlier that I was referring to where the gradients come in intact and with no clipping masks nor grouping.

 

Can you post a PDF from XDP that contain gradients that AI will support?  

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I have been a stock illustrator for quite a while as I said before.

 

​It used to be AI EPS 8 ONLY, no transparencies (must be flattened), no open paths (must be closed), no fonts, NO rasterization of any kind, Gradients OK.  Now, it's up to AI EPS 10, fonts are OK but must be converted to curves, all else is the same.

 

​The reason for having the older version as a standard for so many years is backward compatibility as edit ability is the core purpose of stock illustration.   These are designers who are purchasing these files, and they want the ability to retain the look of the illustration while having the ability to tweak it.  They don't care which program created it, as long as they can open it intact.

 

​It doesn't matter if you are doing illustration for print or web since in the end, it will all be flattened and rasterized.

 

​I know there are artists who are uploading to Getty/istockphoto EPS files with gradients from Inkscape and they are having files accepted.  But, I don't like Inkscape, I never liked the interface.  I like AD.  I also know stock artists who tried AD and abandoned it because of this limitation.

 

But Affinity does export EPS files with gradients, it's only transparency that is the problem without embedding an AI file that is impossible for us to do. Are you saying artists are using Inkscape to export gradients and transparencies successfully?

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I did stock art stuff some years ago... (not many years). And several important, key sites did not want transparency gradients or anything not fully opaque (it was a matter of flattening the gradients, but anyway there was a whole list of tasks to prepare the file for those depots, so, just was one more...). But even while they tend to be conservative and keeping always a very "safe" standard to even allow you to upload anything, things might have changed in 4 or 5 years... It was a pain in its day with one of them, as they even wanted to match certain very specific graphic style ! I agree that any improvement and fix to be able to export correctly and with gradients to stock sites is more than desirable (and probably, expected....)... In case that it is possible, of course.

 

I appreciate how important it is but the only format I know that will work is EPS10-AI files that only Adobe can create. I'm just not sure what we can do. 

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For the PDF, the updated version of PDFLib seems to now allow multiple stops in a PDF.

We've added our own code for this now. It will be in 1.6. Illustrator will still rasterise it, but the print quality is better.

 

(We're also looking at the newer PDFLib, because it has some DeviceN support which will help us handle spot colours better. It wasn't available in time for 1.5.)

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But Affinity does export EPS files with gradients, it's only transparency that is the problem without embedding an AI file that is impossible for us to do. Are you saying artists are using Inkscape to export gradients and transparencies successfully?

 

Tony,

 

Did you read the quote I supplied from Istockphoto's senior vector illustration manager's reponse when I sent her an AD EPS file with a simple linear gradient? (my previous post).  She said that the gradient was uneditable in AI.  It wasn't rasterized, the gradient info simply was not editable.  We are not talking about transparancies, we don't used them much because they are trouble, we are talking about simple gradients.  As you can see in my portfolio, they abound.

 

I will still use AD for flat illustrations.  It's just a hassle to go to my older AI, it's on my other computer.

 

I hope we can find a solution somehow for this.

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Tony,

 

Did you read the quote I supplied from Istockphoto's senior vector illustration manager's reponse when I sent her an AD EPS file with a simple linear gradient? (my previous post).  She said that the gradient was uneditable in AI.  It wasn't rasterized, the gradient info simply was not editable.  We are not talking about transparancies, we don't used them much because they are trouble, we are talking about simple gradients.  As you can see in my portfolio, they abound.

 

I will still use AD for flat illustrations.  It's just a hassle to go to my older AI, it's on my other computer.

 

I hope we can find a solution somehow for this.

 

 

Yes, sorry. We might be able to achieve it but only through an EPS V8-AI type file. The problem with all the solutions are that they aren't really EPS files but EPS files with AI content in them. V8-AI isn't documented just like V10-AI so is still very difficult to reverse engineer with V10-AI being practically impossible even with infinite resources.

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The attached is from another application, Illy 8 format, no masks. But I believe Serif knows this.

It's true that loads into Illustrator, but because it doesn't include the dictionaries that it uses, it won't load into anything else I've tried. Not Mac Preview, and not even other Adobe apps like InDesign, Photoshop or Acrobat Distiller. And not Affinity either, so if we used that approach we wouldn't be able to import our own EPS files. I imagine more apps would support it if it defined the dictionaries, but they are Adobe copyright so we can't ship them.

 

In addition, as Tony says, this approach does not help with transparency, so we still wouldn't have a viable solution for stock images.

 

In the end, I believe at least part of the blame--maybe most of it--belongs to the stock image companies.

Well, it's a shame that they insist on an Illustrator file wrapped in EPS. EPS is a horrible, archaic format. SVG or PDF would be better.

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Can you post a PDF from XDP that contain gradients that AI will support?  

 

Sure, it is attached. But as noted, the circular gradient is of an "unknown shading type" though vector.

 

But Affinity does export EPS files with gradients, it's only transparency that is the problem without embedding an AI file that is impossible for us to do. Are you saying artists are using Inkscape to export gradients and transparencies successfully?

 

Try the AD file in the ZIP. Both gradients are fine in the EPS, but AI sees them as raster.

 

Mike

1.zip

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It's true that loads into Illustrator, but because it doesn't include the dictionaries that it uses, it won't load into anything else I've tried. Not Mac Preview, and not even other Adobe apps like InDesign, Photoshop or Acrobat Distiller. And not Affinity either, so if we used that approach we wouldn't be able to import our own EPS files. I imagine more apps would support it if it defined the dictionaries, but they are Adobe copyright so we can't ship them.

 

In addition, as Tony says, this approach does not help with transparency, so we still wouldn't have a viable solution for stock images.

 

Well, it's a shame that they insist on an Illustrator file wrapped in EPS. EPS is a horrible, archaic format. SVG or PDF would be better.

 

Yes, it only references those dictionaries. AI can use references to dictionaries. I look at it sort of like XML referencing a schema. The schema doesn't have to actually be included.

 

While it is true there is no transparency in this method, it does work and there is a lot of non-transparency art on the stock sites.

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Sure, it is attached. But as noted, the circular gradient is of an "unknown shading type" though vector.

 

 

Try the AD file in the ZIP. Both gradients are fine in the EPS, but AI sees them as raster.

 

Mike

 

But can you produce a PDF file with just a linear gradient that does work. If so can you attach it here.

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In my own experience I want to add to OP's original mention of unclosed paths that sometimes Affinity Designer's snap isn't sufficient, or sometimes AD is too particular about where I click (I'm sure I can tweak the threshold, but I assume the defaults are substantial for 99% of work). There have been many times I thought I clicked on the endpoint to join/close the path shape and all it did was create another endpoint instead of a join.

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You're welcome, Tony.

 

Dave had a look at the file and it uses clips on fills instead of fills on paths. This seems to allow editing in AI. 

 

The only downside is the extra clipping introduced can cause extra complexity in other apps. I guess it's a tradeoff that most people will except.

 

The change will be available in 1.6

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Dave had a look at the file and it uses clips on fills instead of fills on paths. This seems to allow editing in AI. 

 

The only downside is the extra clipping introduced can cause extra complexity in other apps. I guess it's a tradeoff that most people will except.

 

The change will be available in 1.6

 

Is this a good result to Serif? Or a compromise for the lowest common denominator (AI)? I don't know whether to feel good or poorly!

 

Slight tongue in cheek aside, thank you. Moving work from one application to another is a common, everyday task for me as I have my preferred design application I'll use for as much work as is possible but then do need to move it into other applications for the return of files in a client's requested file format. So for me, anything that facilitates that transfer is a good thing.

 

Thanks to you and Dave.

 

Mike

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I think it's a good result. Previously we were sufficiently concerned about Illustrator that for the Export preset we rasterised even gradients that could have been vector. We'll stop doing that in 1.6. With the other changes we've made, PDF should get vector gradients for all except conical fills, for all the presets. If this does cause problems for anyone hopefully we'll find out during the beta. Thanks for your help.

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