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vjsouza

Some areas will be rasterized. Until when?

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The issues are in the attached documents. Open the .afdesign document and try to export to pdf yourself. Count the minutes. Open the rendered .pdf generated by Affinity. Compare it with the PDF generated by Illustrator. Quality and file sizes. Until when?

Moebius CMYK linear gradients (Affinity).pdf

Moebius CMYK linear gradients (Illustrator).pdf

Moebius CMYK linear gradients.afdesign

Moebius CMYK linear gradients.ai

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Yes, it is silly what the PDF export does.

 

And that is aside from the painful wait time for the dialog box to inform one that there are some areas that will be rasterized in the first place. Make a change to which profile to see if that will make a difference? Another wait.

 

One needs to rebuild the Mobius in order to get it out without rasterization, or even simply choose not to rasterize. There will be a change to the gradients (mainly the gold one's appearance), but then AD will export a decent file.

 

Nothing else I use has this limitation.


My computer is a nothing-special Toshiba laptop with unremarkable specs running Windows 10 64-bit.

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I opened both of your example files and have some questions for you. I don't know if this will help or not but here we go...

 

With the Illustrator file it shows a transparent background, in the affinity file it does not have the transparent background. When I look at the Illustrator file, the gradients for the curves of your Mobius look as I expect them to, but not so in the affinity file.

 

I guess I just don't understand how the curves and the gradients were put together. Do you have a gradient applied to a square in each instance and then have the curve act as a mask? Why? I was expecting to select the curves shape and then see the gradient widget but that wasn't the case. I was able to separate the square from the curve and copy the gradient positions/style of the square to the curve, I just don't understand why this masking needs to be done, what are the benefits of this approach?

 

I am just genuinely interested in why the Illustrator file was pretty straightforward but the Affinity file seems needlessly more complex?

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I was not aware that gradients were being exported as bitmaps, I've tested things a bit and seems like any gradient will be exported as either a bitmap or non-native art. An improvement to this situation is required indeed.

Thanks!

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I was not aware that gradients were being exported as bitmaps, I've tested things a bit and seems like any gradient will be exported as either a bitmap or non-native art. An improvement to this situation is required indeed.

Thanks!

 

It has to do with multiple stops. AD can only output as vector a gradient that has no mid-point stops. So if you choose to Rasterize Nothing, generally AD will strip the mid-point stops and it will output as vector.

 

Other applications (inluding AI) get around this be evaluating the stops and creating intermediary 50% stops in their gradients--something that will still cause AD to output a gradient as a bitmap if one creates multiple 50% stops.

 

And yes, Serif needs to rectify this silly limitation. 


My computer is a nothing-special Toshiba laptop with unremarkable specs running Windows 10 64-bit.

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Do you have a gradient applied to a square in each instance and then have the curve act as a mask? Why?

I think that's because OP created the file in Illustrator first and then imported it into Affinity. That will create these sort of masks and stuff. But the issue mentioned happens even with a plain square shape created natively in Affinity.

 

It has to do with multiple stops. AD can only output as vector a gradient that has no mid-point stops. So if you choose to Rasterize Nothing, generally AD will strip the mid-point stops and it will output as vector.

 

Other applications (inluding AI) get around this be evaluating the stops and creating intermediary 50% stops in their gradients--something that will still cause AD to output a gradient as a bitmap if one creates multiple 50% stops.

 

And yes, Serif needs to rectify this silly limitation. 

I'm getting the issue even with simple two point stops. :/

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It depends. I can usually make other people's designs work, and knowing the limitations, I haven't had issues.

 

But yes, the import of the AI PDF should have been a bit rebuilt. The attached PDF is all vector.

 

 

Moebius CMYK linear gradients MODIFIED.pdf


My computer is a nothing-special Toshiba laptop with unremarkable specs running Windows 10 64-bit.

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It depends. I can usually make other people's designs work, and knowing the limitations, I haven't had issues.

 

But yes, the import of the AI PDF should have been a bit rebuilt. The attached PDF is all vector.

It's vector, but not editable vectors. It's <Non-Native Art>, it should be a <Path> instead so it's anchors are editable.

Thanks!

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Yes, it should be the same path--it is still a path--as in AD. But like the EPS export, it has many more nodes added.


My computer is a nothing-special Toshiba laptop with unremarkable specs running Windows 10 64-bit.

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Okay, that makes sense now if the Illustrator file was brought into Affinity and not built/recreated from scratch within Designer.

 

But it does make for an important point. If we want to report bugs or issues with a file from Affinity, it should be a file natively created in  Affinity. I could probably take an Illustrator file and use Astute Graphics plugins and create a piece, and manage to get it into Affinity Designer. But then if I have problems arise in Designer how can I expect the Affinity team to troubleshoot it?

 

I did not know about the issues with the gradients and CMYK. Very informative thread all the way around.

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Clipped gradients should respond exactly like native built ones.

 

If and when this is ever fixed so multi-stop gradients work properly, the OP's file will also output fine.


My computer is a nothing-special Toshiba laptop with unremarkable specs running Windows 10 64-bit.

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I opened both of your example files and have some questions for you. I don't know if this will help or not but here we go...

 

With the Illustrator file it shows a transparent background, in the affinity file it does not have the transparent background. When I look at the Illustrator file, the gradients for the curves of your Mobius look as I expect them to, but not so in the affinity file.

 

I guess I just don't understand how the curves and the gradients were put together. Do you have a gradient applied to a square in each instance and then have the curve act as a mask? Why? I was expecting to select the curves shape and then see the gradient widget but that wasn't the case. I was able to separate the square from the curve and copy the gradient positions/style of the square to the curve, I just don't understand why this masking needs to be done, what are the benefits of this approach?

 

I am just genuinely interested in why the Illustrator file was pretty straightforward but the Affinity file seems needlessly more complex?

Illustrator exports the PDF in this way. The gradient does not lie in the object, but in a rectangle, and it uses the object as a mask.

 

It does not matter if the gradient is in the object or in a masked rectangle. Affinity will rasterize everything in bitmap!

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vjsouza,

 

As can be seen in my PDF example, there is a means of getting vector out. It is just that if you or another person is going to use AD for work involving gradients, one must use the software within its gradients limitations.

 

It sort of sucks this is the case and hopefully this issue and the number of nodes issue will be dealt with by Serif--both of which prevent me from using AD on a regular basis.

 

Mike


My computer is a nothing-special Toshiba laptop with unremarkable specs running Windows 10 64-bit.

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I think I know what's going on, when you export a PDF and open it in Adobe Reader it will say that it was created by PDFlib+PDI 9.0.5

 

I've searched online and that is a PDF output library sold by a German company. They do have a new version out, 9.1, and one of the new features is "Color gradients with an arbitrary number of stop colors for flexible color blends" and also "Color gradients between different spot colors, e.g. blends of Pantone colors". So, it seems like all Serif has to do it purchase the new version and we should be good to go?

 

The changelog includes other neat things too, have a look: https://www.pdflib.com/products/pdflib-family/new-features-in-pdflib-9/

 

P.S.: This means the rasterization of gradients it not Affinity's fault, but rather a limitation of the external PDF library used. Good to know.

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Yes, I have also requested that Serif (and another company that uses PDFLib) to keep more up to date. What I don't know is whether an update such as this also requires coding updates/changes.

 

The PDF library I used in a past programmer life was pretty much load & go to maintain prior coding. However, my coding needed altered and fleshed to take advantages of the new features in the library.


My computer is a nothing-special Toshiba laptop with unremarkable specs running Windows 10 64-bit.

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Thank you very much for this deep and informative thread ! I did  not know several details explained here. Did hit the 'follow' button with a passion.

 

Good to know though that if using no midpoint stops and setting to not rasterizing I'd be good to go for those projects that allow me so (those that are fine using simple gradients, which in my case, are a bunch)... Anyway, very good to know that is only a PDF export matter, other formats might work perfectly.

 

Yeah, in the software company I worked at (until some years ago, is almost recent), updating a library was sometimes only a matter of replacing some files and some config settings, in other cases, a world of issues. Also, dunno the pricing for commercial embedded distribution. In game companies (at which I also worked) things like that could be from free or cheap, till 10k $ or the issue : much more.  So, who knows 


Affinity Designer and Affinity Photo licenses, Windows 7, i7  860 (2009) 2.8 GHz,  8 GB RAM, GTX 1050 2 GB, HD 7200 RPM.  Wacom Intuos 4 XL.

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