11 Replies Latest reply on Sep 2, 2013 7:10 AM by Peter Spier

    Getting some line width variation after vector image manipulation

    TCarp Level 1

      I don't use ID nearly as much as I do AI so I have a couple pretty basic questions.

       

      Am I correct in assuming that resizing an AI vector graphic, placed in an ID document, will be a vector resize?  Specifically, i drag the placed graphic onto the ID canvas, resize the frame to align with text columns, fit the content to the frame, and then set text wrapping.

       

      On the screen, the vector image isn't poor quality but, when made into a PDF, it's good, although I did notice some very small line width variation on a couple of the rounded rectangles in the graphic.

       

      I haven't actually printed the PDF yet so the variation may be only when viewed on screen.

       

      Is my process OK?

       

      Tom

        • 1. Re: Getting some line width variation after vector image manipulation
          Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

          Fit content to frame does not preserve the aspect ratio, so you may be scaling unevenly which would account for a line weight variation (there are two opeions that do preserve aspect ratio: Fit to Frame Proportionately and Fill frame Proportionally). The frame shape does not match the art, one of those will leave white space in the frame, the other will crop the art.

           

          The other possibility is that you are seeing the effects on screen of the Enhance Thin Lines setting in Acrobat.

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          • 2. Re: Getting some line width variation after vector image manipulation
            JoaoCP Level 2

            Click the little triangle in the right end of InDesign's Control Panel to get access to some options. One of them is "Adjust Stroke Weight when Scaling". If it's enabled, the line widht will change whenever you scale your frame.

             

            Maybe that option is enabled (it is by default, IIRC) and, because of this, your line widhts are being increased proportionally when you resize the frames to align with the columns.

             

            Deactivating that menu option preserves the original line width of the frames. This way, a frame with a 1-point border will remain with 1 point even if you double or half (or make any other scaling to) the frame.

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            • 3. Re: Getting some line width variation after vector image manipulation
              TCarp Level 1

              Thanks

               

              And then, assuming I prefer not to crop, I can resize the frame to fit the content(?).  I'll have to rethink the text wrap but that's fine.

               

              The line variation is in the PDF.  The poor graphics display in ID is extensive.  I'll see if that improves when I preserve proportion.

              • 4. Re: Getting some line width variation after vector image manipulation
                TCarp Level 1

                What's the logic behind ID offering to adjust stroke weight?  Are there uses where one doesn't want to preserve the original vector attributes?

                 

                I'll disable and run another test.

                • 5. Re: Getting some line width variation after vector image manipulation
                  Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                  The adjust stroke weight applies to native elements, not placed art.

                   

                  Yes, you can fit frame to content, and poor display may be your Display Quality settings. By default it's Typical, a low res preview. Try changing it too High Quality Display.

                  • 6. Re: Getting some line width variation after vector image manipulation
                    TCarp Level 1

                    No, it has to do with resizing the graphics.  I suspect bad technique.

                     

                    I'm placing the AI graphic by simply clicking on the document (when the Place is showing the grapics at the cursor).  I need to resize the graphic and simply transform>scale it.  Even with the High Quality display setting, the display gets pretty grainy.

                     

                    Should I be creating a frame before placing the graphics?

                     

                    BTW, solved the slight line width issue.  I was mistakenly placing a FW file, not the AI original.  When I place the AI, the line variation in the PDF goes away.

                    • 7. Re: Getting some line width variation after vector image manipulation
                      Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                      You misunderstood, I think. The menu item for adjusting stroke weight when scaling applies only to natively drawn strokes. Stokes in mported artwork are always scaled with the art.

                       

                      Vector art should not get "grainy" with High Quality Display enabled. Make sure you don't have Typical set at the object level -- right-click the selected art.  Enlarging raster art, on the other hand....

                      • 8. Re: Getting some line width variation after vector image manipulation
                        TCarp Level 1

                        Thanks for being persistent.

                         

                        I think I understand the qualifier that stroke weight applies only to graphic created within the ID document.

                         

                        The display in the graphic is set to use the View setting.  The View setting is High Quality.

                         

                        The print tests are highly accurate to the original AI grapics.

                         

                        What else can cause this?  The distortion was introduced when the vector graphics was resized.

                         

                        It's not a big deal for this document since the output will be printed, but if the graphics can display with higher quality, I'd just as soon have that happen.

                        • 9. Re: Getting some line width variation after vector image manipulation
                          Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                          OK, let's see if this helps some more...

                           

                          The display quality can be set at both the document level (it may even be at the application level) in the prefs, and also, if your settings permit, at the object level, to allow you to use a higher or lower setting for specific objects to enhance editing or speed up rendering. High Quality Display can be a big drag on underpowered systems when you have a lot of complex imported art to redraw every time something on the screen moves. Newer systems with plenty of Video RAM should be able to handle HQD for just about anything.

                           

                          But that's only half the story for what you see onscreen in ID. All imported objects are rendered using a preview, not the actual vector data or pixels, so some amount of loss in fidelity is expected. Remember, ID is a layout app, and the .indd is not intended as the final viewable file on screen, so you are working with the relationships between objects, not trying to edit the details within the objects, and that detail becomes less critical while in ID.

                           

                          It IS critical for final output, however, and as long as your links are up-to-date so ID has access to the full data for each object all of the data, subject to compression and downsampling settings that you specify on output, will be used to produce your print or PDF, and that's really where you should be evaluating the quality of your art.

                           

                          So I suppose we might want to be sure the links are actually up to date in the links panel. Out of date links will use the preview data. And if your links use raster data, even embedded rasters or effects in an .ai file, that raster data is subject to the rules of scaling -- effective resolution is inversely proportional to the scale factor, so making things big can lower the quality if not pure vector (but should not affect the vector stroke widths in any odd way). If you scale placed art disproportionately, though, your stroke weights may also be scaling disproportionately -- you'd see that in differences between horizontal and vertical strokes that should be the same, and in any stroke that is sloped.

                           

                          The fastest way I know to check for disproportionate scaling is to select an object with the direct select tool (white arrow) and check the horizontal and vertical scale fields in the control panel to be sure they are identical.

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                          • 10. Re: Getting some line width variation after vector image manipulation
                            TCarp Level 1

                            I appreciate you taking the time to go over this.  I understand all your saying.

                             

                            What I'm finding as I experiment more is I can produce a very good rendering.  I appears the way I'm placing the object has something to do with good vs. bad graphics rendering.

                             

                            I ran across something that implies that things are different if the placement creates its own frame vs. placing inside a frame that already exists in the layout.

                             

                            When I use the former technique (let the place create the frame), I have to scale the grapic image and that's when I get the rendering distortion.

                             

                            If I place inside an existing box, ID scales the graphics to fit the box and the rendering is very good.

                             

                            Using the latter method also solves the problem of sizing the frame.

                             

                            The frame and graphics are roughly the same proportions.

                             

                            If this latter method is the "solution" I'll work on getting the frame as close to the graphic's proportions as possible.

                             

                            I found some good blog data to study on ID images.  It appears to be a fairly complex topic.

                            • 11. Re: Getting some line width variation after vector image manipulation
                              Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                              This is certainly news to me, and I've been an ID user for a looong time. Do you have some links to support the idea that differnt methods of placement result in different quality rendering?

                               

                               

                              If I place inside an existing box, ID scales the graphics to fit the box and the rendering is very good.

                               

                              OK that's just downright not what I would expect. What version of ID are you using?

                               

                              For many versions now dragging a frame as you place will scale the content proportionally and force the frame to maintain the aspect ratio. Placing into an existing frame should use the fitting options pre-set for the frame (but this isn't reliable for master frames in some versions) and much of the time you would end up with your art at 100% size in a frame too large or too small.