AI Export Problem Mac 3.0-Bug report?

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 From:  scott (SSHWARTS)
7209.1 
Michael:
The AI export feature doesn't seem to be working for me at least with this model (and others, if I remember). The resulting AI files report as being damaged and can't be opened (tried to open in a number of different programs). The file is attached. Let me know if you need the 3dm file as well.

PDF works ok.

Thanks,
Scott
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 From:  Finema
7209.2 In reply to 7209.1 
Hi,
I can open your ai file.
see the screenshot below >
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 From:  futagoza (STEFAN)
7209.3 In reply to 7209.2 
Hi,

i can open it too, in many 2D/3D apps, except Photoshop CC 2014.

Regards
Stefan
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 From:  Michael Gibson
7209.4 In reply to 7209.1 
Hi Scott - which specific programs are you having problems importing into?

I tested your posted file with several programs over here, and it loaded fine into all of: Rhino, MoI, Adobe Illustrator CS2, Cinema4D R10, Xara Xtreme 5, and ViaCAD v8. So as far as I can tell your file is fine.

If you can tell me which particular programs you are trying to open it with I may be able to give you some more information.

For example if you are trying to load it into Inkscape that won't work in the default Inkscape because it only supports AI v9 and higher file formats, while MoI writes an AI v8 type file. The structure of the AI file format changed a lot from v8 to v9 and starting with v9 it is the same as PDF with some additional undocumented extensions for AI-specific information. So for a program like Inkscape that only understands the newer PDF type AI files (AI v9 and higher only), you should instead use PDF format rather than AI format out from MoI.

Possibly whatever other program you are also trying to load it into is similar and only supports the AI v9 or higher type files. If that's the case then that program should most likely support PDF as well and so use PDF format instead of AI.

A lot of other programs especially 3D modeling programs only support the older AI v8 type file structure that MoI uses for the AI files it generates. It's also the last type of AI files that were fully documented by Adobe. Programs that load the AI v9 type files just using a PDF parsing mechanism will be able to get at the vectors but won't have some other AI-specific information like layer definitions.

- Michael
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 From:  scott (SSHWARTS)
7209.5 In reply to 7209.4 
Thanks for the response. It was indeed Inkscape but it was also the Preview application, part of the Mac OS. I often have problems with PDF in that the objects get clipped to what it thinks are document bounds unless I tell it to scale to document in which case I loose the ability to take that easily into my other software. AI doesn't seem to have that problem.
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 From:  Michael Gibson
7209.6 In reply to 7209.5 
Hi Scott - it's likely that the problem with Preview is the same thing as with Inkscape - it's actually mainly set up to deal with PDF format and so it can open up V9 and higher AI files sort of "for free" (but probably only if the option for "Make PDF compatible file" is enabled when saving out from Adobe Illustrator), but isn't able to make sense of AI v8 files.

Some confusion like this becomes inevitable when file formats go through some major restructuring between different versions. It would have probably been good if Adobe would have used some different file extension for the v9 type AI files since they are structured really differently than the v8 and earlier AI files...

Unfortunately it's not easy for applications other than Adobe Illustrator to make AI v9 or higher files with all the Illustrator specific information in them intact (like particularly layer information), because ever since AI v9 much of the Illustrator data is in a big chunk of additional private undocumented data nested inside the PDF structure.

It's only the AI v8 format which was actually documented by Adobe. So because of this it's not unusual for other programs that want to do 2D vectors transfer to primarily deal with AI v8 data when it comes to .ai format.

At any rate, since both Inkscape and Preview are really built to consume only PDF type data (either in regular PDF format or in AI v9 format with "Make PDF compatible file" enabled when saving from Illustrator) you will need to use PDF format out from MoI to make them understand the files rather than using AI v8 format.

Can you make an example file that exhibits the PDF clipping problem? If you can post an example of that I might be able to figure out what's going on there.

- Michael
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 From:  futagoza (STEFAN)
7209.7 In reply to 7209.6 
Hi Scott and Michael,

i remember long time ago i installed pstoedit and UniConvertor on my Mac and since then i have also .ai version 8 support in Inkscape. Maybe this will help others too.

Regards
Stefan
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 From:  scott (SSHWARTS)
7209.8 In reply to 7209.6 
Michael. unless I'm doing something fundamentally wrong, when I export as PDF, my selected curves (in this case) are constrained to a document size (generally 8.5x11). I would expect doc size to be adjusted to be a bounding box of the objects and also to be translated to 0,0 relative to the document.

Thanks for your time on this.
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 From:  Michael Gibson
7209.9 In reply to 7209.8 
Hi Scott - in your example file the curves exist outside the page, it's just the default page view in preview that won't show them.

In any actual editing environment you should be able to access the curves that are not within the current page boundaries.

For example if I open your posted file in Adobe Illustrator, I'm able to zoom out just a bit and select and work with your full curves, they are still there just sticking out a little bit past the page, it looks like this:



This should normally be the case in any 2d vector editing program that you would load it into - doesn't it work the same way in Inkscape too?

Yes, a preview specific app like Adobe Reader or OSX Preview will probably only display whatever is on the visible page portion of the data, that's because they are focused on just showing you what would be printed if you were to print the PDF, they are not really set up to display all the entire data like an editor program will.

But if you want all the exported vectors to fit within a regular page, there is an option you can set at export time from MoI to make that happen, it's the "Scale: Fit to page" setting which is located here:



When you set that option, all the vector output will be scaled and centered such that all the output will fit within the page boundaries and it should then be immediately visible even in preview specific apps.

Right now you are using the setting "Scale: Preserve units", rather than "Scale: Fit to page" - when you choose "Scale: Preserve units" the scaling is done in a more limited way such that specific units in the MoI model will transfer to specific unit sizes in the page coordinates. So you can do things like make 1 inch in MoI end up being 1 inch in the printed page as well. When you use this mode it can be good for controlling exact sizes for physical cutouts or things like that, but it will have a side effect of things easily going off the page like you have seen. If you don't care about preserving physical sizes of things and just want everything to fit within the page (which it sounds like you do), then the setting "Scale: Fit to page" (as shown above) should do exactly that for you.

Hope this helps!

- Michael

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 From:  Michael Gibson
7209.10 In reply to 7209.8 
Hi scott - just one more note on this, you wrote:

> I would expect doc size to be adjusted to be a bounding box of the objects and also
> to be translated to 0,0 relative to the document.

As far as I have been able to tell, PDF is kind of intended for the document size to be one of the standard physical printed paper sizes.

So because of that, the MoI PDF output does not try to set some custom page size that would have no relation to standard print sizes, it just makes the page size to be the 8.5 x 11 inch letter page size.

In the future I think I'd like to have some options to control that, maybe just with some different standard page sizes listed but for now it's just fixed at a 8.5 x 11 inch page size.

Then the way you can control it currently is if you want the output to fit entirely within that page, you can use that "Scale: Fit to page" option to make that happen.

If you care more about preserving specific unit sizes of your objects, then you would use the "Scale: Preserve units" option (which must be what you are using currently), which will still have the same page size but the output will be focused then on only doing some minimal processing of the curves so they remain as much as possible at the same coordinate locations and coordinate sizes as they were in MoI - this will often result in them being located somewhere off the page or sticking out past the page or things like that, unless you have controlled their placement within MoI to correspond to what you need. For "Scale: Preserve units" mode it can help if you make a rectangle object that will map from 0,0 to 8.5,11 inches in converted units so you know where you should put your objects so they will land on the output page.

But again if you just want things to fit inside the output page and you don't need to preserve some specific unit sizes, just set "Scale: Fit to page" and you will not need to worry about that type of stuff after that, at least that's what is intended.

- Michael
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 From:  scott (SSHWARTS)
7209.11 In reply to 7209.10 
Thanks Michael. Indeed I can open them in Inkscape, change the document size and then output them again as PDF before I pass it on. You're right that PDF assumes some sort of a physical paper size but it can be any size up to 38,100,000 cm^2 (if the library supports custom paper size). I would like someday some choice in paper size (or at the very least landscape vs portrait would help in some cases). It would be also nice to translate to document origin + margin without scaling, again this is mostly for communicating to someone. If I'm going to use them for cutting, I don't mind a step through another program.

Scott
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