Creo Prinergy

Thanks to David @ Creo Australia, I spent the afternoon yesterday with the new version of Creo Prinergy, 2.1. It will take an Adobe Acrobat 5.0 PDF (PDF1.4) and flatten the transparency out of InDesign 2.0 in the RIP. This means that as printers install 2.1, you can export Acrobat 5.0 PDFs from InDesign which is way faster and have the RIP do the hard flattening work. Oh yes, it also works with spot colours, too. In many workflows, the ability to late-stage edit a PDF is paramount. With all the transparency features in InDesign 2.0, the flattening does produce complex PDFs that are difficult to edit at a late stage. With Acrobat 5.0 PDFs, the ability to do editing is improved.

One of the new servers as announced yesterday, the Adobe Document Server 5.0, permits PDF to EPS generation on a server. You can feed CMYK high resolution PDFs to the server, and it can feed back CMYK EPSs for placement into QuarkXpress et al.

I recall speaking to an Adobe executive in 2000 about “getting in the server space”. Now we have many!.

PDF Generation

On holidays as of 5.30pm AEST. For the first time in 5 years, this holiday is going to be without connection to email and the mobile phone turned off. Now let’s see how long I can go without the laptop and connection to the ‘net.

Posted on Categories pdf

InDesign 2.0 Prepress Issue

Another interesting InDesign 2.0 discovery this week. I’ll write up a document about this once I get my head around the implications – and can create some relevant screen dumps.

Many RIPs (and not just older RIPs) have significant performance issues with images that are rotated, scaled (especially in different % in X and Y dimensions) and cropped into small clipping paths. RIPs have some intensive mathematical transformations to output these images to plates/film at very high resolution (2400dpi/133lpi) – taking inordinate amounts of time to generate separations. Normally, the workflow is to ensure that all images placed into your layout are pre-rotated and scaled. With InDesign, by forcing an early change such as this you are losing the benefits of flexible, late-stage editing workflow. However, how do you solve the RIP time issue?

What I (and Matt) found is another “side effect” of the transparency flattener. Prior to applying a transparency effect, it pre-rotates, scales and clips images at print/export PDF time. Therefore, we can use the special “set the frame to 99.9% Normal transparency” technique to force an image through the flattener without changing the underlying image. (ref: InDesign 2.0: Printing Output Choices and Flattener Tricks (including force Greyscale export!)) It is important to apply the transparency on the frame. Where this really works well is in extremely large images.

The end result is a smaller file, that RIPs extremely fast. Contrary to popular belief – transparency can significantly improve RIP time.

InDesign and InRIP Separation of PDFs

I stand corrected. At the recent InDesign for Prepress event with GASAA and Heidelberg, I said there were no RIPs in the marketplace that supported native transparency in PDFs. I was wrong.

I’ve just spent some time with Kim from the CPI Group – the sell the Fujifilm Celebrant Extreme RIP in Australia. From InDesign 2.0 I was able to export Acrobat 5.0 PDFs – where transparency isn’t flattened and have the RIP generate the correct separations/plates. This included spot colours, layer-masked Photoshop files, drop shadows and feathering. To say the least, I was impressed with the output.

The benefit of this style of native export as Acrobat 5.0 PDF is that exporting from InDesign 2.0 is extremely quick. Normally when making an Acrobat 4.0 PDF, printing or exporting EPS – InDesign invokes the transparency flattener to correctly create the transparent effects. As Acrobat 5.0 can hold these transparency settings in the PDF natively, there is no need to flatten. The Fujifilm RIP just ate these PDFs, and generate separations that looked just as good as the print Postscript (with flattening) into the RIP. This RIP implements the CPSI 3015.102 engine from Adobe. wow

From Kim stated, there are some customers in Australia with this level of RIP in production.

Over the next couple of months, I will try the same tests with other vendor’s RIPs and workflow to see where they are up to in comparison.


The 3DAP (PDF Guidelines for Magazine Advertising Delivery) (Digital Advertising Delivery for Australian Publications) has been updated.

Now this is way Cool.Online Lego. Now I’ll never get anything done at work. At least it won’t be as noisy as the real stuff.

And speaking of coolness in toys, The Propellerheads have announced an updated to Reason. For music makers, this has to be one of the greatest, simplest yet most powerful computer music creation around.