13 Replies Latest reply: Dec 7, 2012 9:45 AM by John Mensinger RSS

    Text Wrap Contour made from Alpha Channel too loose

    witkacy Community Member

      Hello!

      When using Alpha Channel Contour Option in Text Wrap, the resulting contour is much too loose - it eats into an image, the text wraps around the object showing too great differences of distance from the image borders (see image).

       

      Is there any preference or anything I can do for the contour to follow the image more closely - similar to Tolerance setting in Clipping Mask option - which is not the perfect workaround in itself.

       

      Currently the only workaround I know of is to make a path from selection made from transparency in Photoshop which, ideally, I would like to avoid.

       

      Thank you!

      m.wrap_distaster.jpg

        • 1. Re: Text Wrap Contour made from Alpha Channel too loose
          John Mensinger MVP

          It looks to me like the image subject and "Alpha 1" aren't in direct alignment. That's not a shortcoming of the feature, but rather a physical attribute of your image file. As such, there's really no need of a "workaround." To get a more accurate text wrap, try these options, (one or another might work better to your liking depending on other physical attributes of your image):

           

          1. Choose Transparency from the Contour Options Alpha menu.

          2. Choose Detect Edges from the Contour Options Type menu.

          3. Go back to Photoshop and make a transparency-based selection as the basis for a new, more accurate alpha channel.

          • 2. Re: Text Wrap Contour made from Alpha Channel too loose
            witkacy Community Member

            Thank you for answering. Unfortunately, that is not the case. The Alpha 1 was a direct copy of a transparency in Photoshop.

             

            The problem happens with any image and with both transparency or alpha channel. Without A LOT of fiddling with making a clipping path from transparency in InDesign (which never gives good results anyway, just a bit better) the only way for it to work for me is to make a path from selection in Photoshop. As I said, I am wondering, if I can avoid that.

             

            Just to illustrate again (notice how some text eats into an image):

            wrap_distaster2.jpg

            • 3. Re: Text Wrap Contour made from Alpha Channel too loose
              Peter Spier ACP/MVPs

              I have to say I think there's something hinky with your alpha channel, and I think it has to do with how the image was extracted and what's left behind. That sure looks like a shadow behind her arm and hand, but there's no shadow behind her head or dress...

               

              In Photoshop, if you select that channel and convert it to a path, does it really fall completely outside the figure?

              • 4. Re: Text Wrap Contour made from Alpha Channel too loose
                John Mensinger MVP

                I think there's something hinky with your alpha channel

                 

                I agree.

                 

                The Alpha 1 was a direct copy of a transparency in Photoshop.

                 

                That doesn't mean it offers a good basis for your text wrap. A Peter alludes, it depends on how effectively the transparency in the .PSD was achieved. There may be pixels that are more or less transpaent than they appear on screen.

                 

                The problem happens with any image...

                You may be jumping to a conclusion there. If that is indeed the case, there could be something unique wrong with your installation that isn't a widespread bug or other known issue that others can readily address. You show a good representation of the problem with this image. Can you show it with another...like one that contains only a solid-filled shape?

                 

                2. Choose Detect Edges from the Contour Options Type menu.

                 

                Did you try that? Just asking because you didn't mention it specifically.

                • 5. Re: Text Wrap Contour made from Alpha Channel too loose
                  witkacy Community Member

                  Thanks, Peter! I've done everything to rule out my mistake (although I can naver be 100% certain) before asking here. In Photoshop everything works as expected.

                   

                  Just for the sake of further testing, in the example below I made photoshop path with the tolerance of 1 pixel. Notice, how much more loose the automatic contour InDesign makes from transparency is compared to this path. Even if I use MAXIMUM tolerance of 10 pixels when making that path in Photoshop it still is much tighter than what InDesign does! Ah! And this time I ran Threshold command (in Photoshop) on the transparency channel, to make sure it does not contain any stray/gray pixels outside of the image edge.

                   

                  wrap_distaster3.jpg

                   

                  It seems to be more pronounced with smaller images. InDesign is just not very precise when calculating contour from transparency, that is why I was wondering if it's possible to control this precision - similarly to Threshold/Tolerance settings in Object>Clipping Path command.

                   

                  Thank you all for your help!

                  m.

                  • 6. Re: Text Wrap Contour made from Alpha Channel too loose
                    witkacy Community Member

                    John Mensinger wrote:

                     

                    I think there's something hinky with your alpha channel

                     

                    I agree.

                    and

                     

                    The Alpha 1 was a direct copy of a transparency in Photoshop.

                     

                    That doesn't mean it offers a good basis for your text wrap. A Peter alludes, it depends on how effectively the transparency in the .PSD was achieved. There may be pixels that are more or less transpaent than they appear on screen.

                    You are absolutely right, but I've tried everything to rule out some invisible small variations in alpha affecting the resulting contour (making channel 1bit, ensuring tehre are no stray pixels) - and the bottom line is - Photoshop path creation deals with it better in every instance and by a HUGE margin (maximum tolerance in Ps is still more precise than InDesign).

                    The problem happens with any image...

                    You may be jumping to a conclusion there. If that is indeed the case, there could be something unique wrong with your installation that isn't a widespread bug or other known issue that others can readily address.

                    I've just checked, and it happens in both CS3 and CS5.5 (different Mac machines), with three different images (some as big as 8cm high).

                     

                    As I understand Detect Edges should be used when there is no transparency in the image. My images are cutouts already. And anyway, it does not work any better  :-(

                     

                    Thanks again!

                     

                    Extra examples (the solid shape I've drawn in Photoshop with hardest brush on a new empty layer - that's it! - InDesign still draws the contour through the shape):

                     

                    wrap_distaster4.jpg

                    • 7. Re: Text Wrap Contour made from Alpha Channel too loose
                      witkacy Community Member

                      I'm terribly sorry for the formatting errors in my previous message!

                       

                      From the last example, though, it seems the problem has nothing to do with how the alpha was created (simple drawn shape on an empty layer) or how big the image is :-(

                      • 8. Re: Text Wrap Contour made from Alpha Channel too loose
                        Peter Spier ACP/MVPs

                        It may have to do with the settings in the Clipping Path, dialog, however. Can you show us those?

                        • 9. Re: Text Wrap Contour made from Alpha Channel too loose
                          witkacy Community Member

                          That was also my thinking, so I've checked and am pretty sure one cannot control contour made from alpha from within this dialog (although, with much fiddling, one can make a clipping path based on alpha that follows the image a bit more closely and use that as a basis for text wrap - but that is not the point and shouldn't be necessary).

                           

                          Anyway, it is set to what I think are the defaults with Type: None, Threshold: 25, Tolerance: 2, Inset frame: 0pt and only Use High Resolution Image checked.

                          • 10. Re: Text Wrap Contour made from Alpha Channel too loose
                            Peter Spier ACP/MVPs

                            OK, I decided I should try this at home, so to speak, since I have a couple of transparent images I've been working with near at hand.

                             

                            I'm getting similar results to yours, which is frightening. It seems not to matter, either, whether I use the transparency channel, or one I made specifically by selecting the tranparent area.  This is probably why I never use alpha channels for text wrap....

                            • 11. Re: Text Wrap Contour made from Alpha Channel too loose
                              witkacy Community Member

                              Thank you, Peter! I will wait for your results (if you decide to share them). Do you know if there is a place to file bugs in InDesign, so that someone from Adobe could see and assess this?

                              • 12. Re: Text Wrap Contour made from Alpha Channel too loose
                                Peter Spier ACP/MVPs

                                witkacy wrote:

                                 

                                Thank you, Peter! I will wait for your results (if you decide to share them).

                                Try this at home was a figure of speech. I did check it out, and my reults were the same as yours. I checked in CS6 and CS4, just for good measure, and the problem is not new. You can file a bug at Adobe - Feature Request/Bug Report Form but don't hold your breath waiting for the behavior to change. I have a feeling this is "as designed" and alpha channels just don't work very well.

                                • 13. Re: Text Wrap Contour made from Alpha Channel too loose
                                  John Mensinger MVP

                                  I'm getting similar results to yours, which is frightening.

                                   

                                  Now that I've tried it a few different ways, I've confirmed it as well. It's possible I never noticed it because as soon as I set the offset to just about anything greater than zero, (and I pretty much always do), the wrap boundary seems to "clean up" somewhat, and the offset alleviates the image encroachment, as one would expect.

                                   

                                  You may be jumping to a conclusion there. If that is indeed the case, there could be something unique wrong with your installation that isn't a widespread bug...

                                   

                                  Or maybe it was I who jumped.