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  • PDFs with transparent objects

    I'm hoping to gather some feedback regarding PDFs with transparent objects (i.e. not flattening during PDF process, and by this process I mean exporting to PDF with ID)

    Does your print shop accept PDFs with transparent objects? If so, do you flatten the objects (using Pitstop), or do you go straight to plates as is (if your RIP is capable)?


    Thanks in advance.

    Edited by: Gregg on Dec 6, 2007 8:54 AM

  • #2
    Re: PDFs with transparent objects

    Not only do I except PDF's with live transparency, I request them. Since we started to use the Rampage PDF Trap Engine my transparency issues have become a thing of the past.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: PDFs with transparent objects

      Like almaink, we request PDF files with live transparency. Our CtP rip is
      able to handle them just fine. Our digital rips have some issues, but I'd
      rather do the flattening here instead of relying on our clients to do it.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: PDFs with transparent objects

        I'm working on an old rip, so I don't request PDFs yet. Been waiting for some good reviews of rips with Adobe PDF Print Engine (looks like Rampage is a good one from what almaink has said). For now (until I upgrade), I let Adobe do the flattening either exporting PDF/X-1a from InDesign, saving a copy of the .ai as PDF/X-1a from Illustrator, or printing postscript from Quark and letting Adobe make the PDF/X-1a. Really looking forward to getting a totally-PDF solution so I can trap and archive my fully editable PDF that I will request from the customers. Any ideas for the best performing/best economic solution? Is Rampage it?

        Don

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: PDFs with transparent objects

          Oh yeah, I would be looking for a solution that would allo:
          1. Receiving PDFs over the internet into the workflow.
          2. Automatic trapping on an added top layer.
          3. Remote proofing (via screen that customer would have to calibrate on their end and the workflow send a trapped proof for the customer to view) and markup corrections for prepress to make changes to PDF we receive, or the customer can choose to fix and send again.
          4. After OK'd, would impose, and release proofs and/or plates from same workflow.

          I know, I ask for a lot don't I?

          Don

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          • #6
            Re: PDFs with transparent objects

            Rampage certainly *does not* use any Adobe technology and as such, does not and won't use the Adobe PDF Print Engine. Current CtP products with the Adobe PDF Print Engine include Kodak Prinergy 4, Agfa ApogeeX 4, Heidelberg Prinect MetaDimension 6.5, RipIT OpenRIP Symphony 2, and the FujiFilm Workflow XMF. The only DFE product +currently+ with the Adobe PDF Print Engine is the Kodak NexPress NexStation V.

            - Dov

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: PDFs with transparent objects

              Trapping with the Adobe PDF Print Engine should happen "in RIP" rather than
              up front due to the complexities of trapping w/live transparency.

              Leonard

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: PDFs with transparent objects

                Dov,

                When using a rip like Rampage (not a true Adobe PDF Print Engine), what differences in the actual final outcome be different than using an Adobe PDF Print Engine rip? Rasterized vs. rendered?

                Of the products mentioned in your post, which would you say would handle what I've stated I would need in my last post? It's been said that Heidelberg has the best trapping.

                Don

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: PDFs with transparent objects

                  Don, I honestly don't have the basis to compare the products. I know what the Adobe PDF Print Engine technology can do, but do not have Rampage RIPs to compare with.

                  - Dov

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: PDFs with transparent objects

                    There needs to be a place that users can compare the pros and cons of each workflow side-by-side. Am I supposed to pick a rip based on going to each vendors site, seeing what they say (or a salesman says, or a demo shows), and getting no feedback from users? We've been there. Done that. No thanks.

                    Why can't there be a site that makes the differences of each clearly evident by comparing them and giving user feedback for me to see?

                    Don

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: PDFs with transparent objects

                      Dov,
                      I was told both at the Chicago show and in Toronto that Screen's Trueflow now (and advertised as first to) includes the Adobe Print Engine. Was that marketing hype or did you just omit them?

                      Leonard,
                      I have no problem with in-rip trapping as long as; a. it works correctly and b. is locally editable after the fact when locally wrong. Haven't seen one yet that can do it especially within an image such as a Psd headline in a Psd image save and except for raster based trappers which are apparently passe. Can you comment?

                      Cheers,
                      John

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: PDFs with transparent objects

                        Certainly, there are types of processes (like your packaging workflows)
                        where in-RIP trapping may not be as comprehensive as your hand-crafted
                        version and you may need to forgo it on a job-by-job basis. However,
                        because of the architecture for in-RIP trapping, there isn't anything
                        provided by the RIP to be "hand-tuned".

                        As for your specific issue, I can't really say w/o seeing a specific
                        file example. Feel free to email me a sample that demonstrates the
                        issue.

                        Leonard

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: PDFs with transparent objects

                          Leonard,

                          Thank you for the offer. The sit file is on its way to you as I write this reply.

                          I also want to thank you for your candid comment about our packaging work and systems. I appreciate your direct answer. You may be starting to win me over because of it!

                          Best regards,
                          John

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: PDFs with transparent objects

                            The latest TrueFlow Workflow to use the APPE is "TrueFlow SE", in beta test at a few UK sites at the moment, and available (I'm lead to believe) sometime in February 2008.

                            I'm a current TrueFlow user and do not work for Screen, in case you were wondering.

                            What exactly does "live" transparency mean?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: PDFs with transparent objects

                              By +live transparency+ we mean content that is not 100% opaque. One can create objects that are translucent (have transparency) in most layout programs these days. Adobe Illustrator, InDesign, and Photoshop have the capability of exporting/saving PDF directly with such transparency maintained in the PDF file. That is +live transparency.+ If you print from these applications to PostScript or export/save PDF as PDF 1.3, neither format supporting objects that are not 100% opaque, i.e. objects with transparency, such transparency must be simulated via objects that are 100% opaque. The process of converting content with transparency to content that is 100% opaque is known as +transparency flattening+. The process of +transparency flattening+ requires knowledge of the final print resolution and color space as a number of conversions and rasterization operations may occur as part of flattening. Generally speaking, the most realiable PDF print publishing workflows are those in which transparency flattening and color conversions are done as part of the RIP operation.

                              - Dov

                              Comment

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