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Ongoing saga about faded model space objects on PDFs.

 I have been struggling with this issue, off and on, for nearly 2 years.

When I print to a PDF using a PDF print driver, or even if I save using the native PDF export feature, I often get objects in model space that are faded. This looks very similar to the Faded Xref issue, but Xreffade is set to 0. The problem also appears when there are no xrefs. I don't have any locked layers in the file I just tested, in case faded locked layers may be the issue.

And while setting a viewport to LEGACY HIDDEN can stop the problem, another problem presents itself.  The tessellation lines on curves on fillets are so dense, that the result is an extremely thick line.

I have corresponded with support on this, and most recently a week ago, without successful resolution. So, I am appealing to the minds here on the forum, in hopes you can resolve this.  Note that I am on ver 14.  I recall that a major reason for me to upgrade was in hopes of getting better quality PDF output, but this particular issue makes all that useless for many of my drawings.

     Fade issues-Hidden and Legacy Hidden.dwg and PDF
This drawing above shows both situations, with both render styles.  Also with the PDF printed to a PDF and also a version EXPORTED to a PDF.

     Hidden render is NOT faded.dwg and PDF
This drawing shows an example where the HIDDEN shade style does NOT produce the faded output.

Comments

  •  I had problems uploading all the files, even though the total file size does not exceed the 5mb limit.  Here are the final two files.

    I appreciate any suggestions.

    -Joe

    Hidden render is NOT faded.pdfHidden render is NOT faded.dwg

  • Joe,

    I don't pretend to understand, what you are experiencing as I don't work in 3D, but what I can tell you is you are comparing oranges with lemons.

    The two pdf's of Printed & Exported are constructed in different ways.

    The exported version has vectors for the bottom images and bitmaps for the top images.

    The printed version is all bitmaps apart from the text.

    The exported versions top two images are single bitmaps.

    The printed version is constructed from 9 separate bitmaps for the top left image and 4 separate bitmaps for the top right.

    I don't know why the bitmaps are constructed differently, but you will always see a difference between vectors and bitmaps, as lineweights apply to vectors and not bitmaps, so depending on the resolution of the bitmap they will look different.

    Bear in mind that exporting and printing to pdf are two different things, as one is done programmatically and the other as a virtual printer.

    Also depending on which virtual printer is being used (pdf creator, cutepdf etc.) the construction of the pdf will more than likely be different.

    If you have Inkscape (free) or Illustrator, Coreldraw etc. you can open the files and compare their construction once the elements in the drawing are ungrouped.

    I know it won't help your issue, but it may help you understand what has been created so you can discuss with Bricsys how or why the construction differs.

    Regards,
    David
  • The issue here is also that one of these files is size A1 900x600mm appr. The other one is A4 200x300mm The lines in the large file feels faded on screen but if you zoom in to the large file ( or print in full size) you will see that the lines are correct. The lines you feel are strong are actually  several lines rounding the fillet. (zoom and see). The small file has no rounded corners and no issues. I attached a small piece in the right corner and made a rounded edge. Zoom the file now and you will see the same issues here.

    File 2 is printed as displayed

    Good luck

    Hidden render is NOT faded p1 (2).pdfHidden render is NOT faded p1.pdf

  • ( both PDFs from 995) the difference is the hide setting of the window.
  • Now printed A4 fit to page ( as displayed)

    Fade1.pdf

  •  There have been problems with the forums again, so hopefully now it will permit me to post the message.

    I understand that the rendered options create bitmaps, and not vector output. So, perhaps those lines are faded because the resolution of the bitmap is too low. Then, the lines are not wide enough to fill an entire pixel, and so they are assigned a faded color. The other part of the equation, is all the rendered styles ignore the line weight settings of a layer. So, even setting the layer to the max lineweight permitted in BricsCAD does not help things.

    Unfortunately, that leaves me with the only solution being to use the LEGACY HIDDEN. It really not a good solution because the dense tesselation lines form an extremely thick line in areas like the curved edges of square tubing. I think there is a setting to control the density of the tessellation lines, but the number of tessellation lines is not based on the radius. It is assigned as a fixed number. So, setting it much lower will make problems with the round tubing, as it does not calculate a profile, and put edges on the profile.

    There are other problems as well with the PDF I generate from BricsCAD. The file size is enormous, because of all the bitmaps. I cannot use the native export version, because it crashes on me when I have a drawing this big. Using the PDF Creator print driver, I get 30meg for the 28 pages.

    To prevent this in a CAD program, the PDF output MUST be vector based. I know SpaceClaim has the option of putting vector lines in a PDF over a shaded view. So, I know this is possible. Though, I don't know how wide spread the practice is among CAD programs. I also really need a solution that can produce drawings that show hidden lines as dashed.

    Unfortunately, the bottom line is that I really, absolutely, must abandon BricsCAD for another CAD package the next time I am asked to design a mechanical assembly like this one. You are making strides in your 3D design packages, but still have barriers that make it a very poor choice for me.

    -Joe

  • @ Joe:
    Have you considered using the _ViewBase command to create your views? This command is available in V14 and it will enable 'vector' PDFs.
  •  Thank you for suggesting the Viewbase command. I knew I had investigated it some time ago, since it was a important part of my motivation for upgrading to ver 14 Pro.  But, I could not remember the details of why I abandoned it. I spent a while trying to find it, but alas I was unable to find any reference to it and could not recall the actual command.

    I just went over it again, and now see why I had decided against it;
    A) Color is an important method I use to help distinguish objects. For orthogonal views, everything is black.  Color is only permitted on the isometric view. 
    B) I can't figure out how to do dimensions efficiently.  The method only permits solids to be selected, so I cannot include model space dimensions.  If I dimension the object in paper space, the distance is the actual paper space dimension.  So, the only other option is a specially created dimension style that has a linear scale factor.  But, those are problematic, since it is easy to use the wrong scale, if you have several scales in the drawing.  And I didn't check their associativity, but I suspect they won't update if I update the model.
    C) I can't create my own view.  On many items, an actual isometric view is often not the best view to show everything clearly.
    D) It does not permit showing hidden edges as dashed lines on orthographic views. I am puzzled by this, as the help file shows an example with obscured lines as dashed. But, it does not have any settings for this option.  is this a bug?  Am I missing something?

    -joe
  • On "Hidden render is NOT faded" example, I concur with Patrik. This is a visual perception issue due to the large difference in papersizes. If you printed the drawings to paper they would look the same.

    to illustrate attach the drawing with the same view on Letter and Arch-D paper sizes. If you open the prints in a PDF view the Arch-D it looks faded when view at extents in comparison to letter. However when you set to view at the same scale (both at 100%) they display identically.

    Perhaps you could fix by purchasing an Arch-D size monitor :-)

    Regards,
    Jason Bourhill

    Hidden render is NOT faded-CCL Arch-D.pdfHidden render is NOT faded-CCL Letter.pdfHidden render is NOT faded-CCL.dwg

  • In regards to suggestions:
    1. Raising issues on an old version of BricsCAD isn't that useful or fair to Bricsys. You really need make comparison using the most recent release. Firstly, there may be resolutions (or at least improvements) to the issue your having, and example here is compression of images when using export to PDF. Secondly, if it is shown to be a bug, the fix will be applied to the latest release, it won't be retrospectively applied.
    2. With the drawings I would endeavour to stick with similar visual styles, which irrespective of any issue will at least make your drawings visually consistent. i.e. I wouldn't mix Legacy Hidden with Hidden. They are completely different beasts.
    3. Consider moving annotation to the paper space layout. This will make presentation of annotation consistent irrespective of the visual style of the viewport.
    4. System variables can impact on the display of your prints. An important one for Legacy Hidden is DISPSILH. Turning it ON will prevent the display of additional lines on curved surfaces i.e. it prevents the display of what appears to be thick lines on the edge of your model.
    5. Depending on your PDF printer, you can adjust the compression & dpi used with images. This will significantly reduce the size of the generated PDF.
    Attach some prints produced using V16 to illustrate the above, and how to configure compression in PDFCreator.

    If you look at the Export to PDF prints, you can see that value of DISPSILH is being ignored. This looks to be a bug. Hopefully this is fixed in an update, as Export to PDF generally produces very good results.

    Regards,
    Jason Bourhill

    imagePDFCreator-CompressionSettings.png

    BricsCAD-Export-to-PDF.pdfBricsCAD-PDFcreator.pdfFade issues-Hidden and Legacy Hidden-CCL(2).dwg

  • As always, thank you all for looking into this and replying.

    I do think it is fair to post problems with non-current releases. I paid for the upgrade to get certain features, that have turned out to not be workable for me. I really had high hopes for their upgraded 3D modeling capability, and things like the base view.  Even the PDF export has turned out to be non-functioning on these types of drawings, since it generates a PDF with a size of 0 bytes.  So, I do feel burned for that upgrade, which makes  me hesitant to invest again.

    In regards to the faint lines being a perception issue.  Unfortunately, they also print that way.  There is no way to make them wider or darker that I have found.  The line weight settings are ignored for solids.

    I would love to be able to use paper space dimensions.  But, those have not proven to be reliable.  They are sometimes associative and sometimes not. And while there are ways to find the non-associative ones, the task of hunting down and re-dimensioning every single non-associative dimension after every round of revisions, is just not a viable option on complex parts.  Though, I do use paper space dimensions on simpler parts and assemblies.

    Thanks for the idea of adjusting PDF image compression.  When the BricsCAD export proved to be unreliable, I investigated several PDF printers, but I didn't notice  the compression option on them. I have PDF X-change editor from Tracker software.  They do permit me to compress images in the editor.  I will re-look into a printer driver that has that option.

    Again, thanks for all the replies. They have helped me settle on how to proceed, even if the solution is not great.

    -Joe
  •  Roy Klein Gebbinck has just added a thread seeking strategies for using dimensions with Vbase views.  This reminded me that he wrote a routine to find non-associative dimensions.  The thread is here, https://forum.bricsys.com/discussion/27010

    Also, I should comment that I have been trying to avoid venting in this thread.  But, in the end, I felt that it was best to air my frustration.  I was also hoping that some of the issues I have raised had good solutions or work-around, or even solved in later releases. But, so far this does not seem to be the case. So, I will either sit on my v14, or go to another program if I need to do another project with 3D modeling, like the one I just went through. Though, perhaps BricsCAD will see another release by then, and perhaps some improvements.

    -Joe
  • @ Joe:
    Ad your post #9.B:
    This scaling issue is handled automatically. The dimensions will have an override for DIMLFAC depending on the scale of the viewports (tested on V14.2.17).
    Ad your post #9.D:
    In my test a special layer is created for hidden lines: BM_Ortho_Hidden. So IMO this works as shown in the Help (tested on V14.2.17).
  • Forgot to post this one printed A1 as displayed  with 995.  There is some minor difference in thickness of some lines but really nothing much.

    Also some zooms to 150% in your original pdf.

    imageScreen fullsize-2.jpg

    Fade issues-Hidden and Legacy Hidden Base.pdf

    imageScreen fullsize-1.jpg
  •  Thank you Roy for that explanation of the  Vbase command. The online help does not go into depth on some of these issues.  I see that the dimensions are the correct values, though any updates to the view will not be reflected in the dimensions.  And the hidden lines were there, it is just that the paperspace ltscale was not set at an appropriate value to show them.

    -Joe
  • Joe,
    I probably don't have a good understanding of this discussion, but I'm going to throw in my 2 cents anyway. Serious bugs have worked their way into the program over the past several major upgrades. I MUCH preferred the old commands to generate 2D views in model space. VIEWBASE sometimes gets confused about the scale of the objects. Dimensioning of paper space views is very problematic. The tools just aren't up to the task, particularly cross sectional views, and detailed views. This stuff is MUCH easier in model space.. I can't use Ordinate dimensioning on paper space objects with any consistency. The program gets fooled easily about where the origin is, I can't afford to have incorrect dimensions on my drawings. It would be a big advantage if the views updated when the 3D models changed, but that doesn't always happen, whether you use the UPDATE command or not.. Move a 3D model the slightest bit, and the 2D views immediately become disassociated.

    I have hundreds of 2D drawings where the views were created in model space. They no longer print well through a paper space viewport. My PDF's, whether generated by the EXPORT PDF command, or one of my installed PDF print drivers have thin lines, faint colors, and low resolution. Bumping the resolution setting up slows the export to a crawl, and often crashes the program. Colors have been effected too. I like to add a secondary viewport to my paper space template to show the 3D assembly. But the PDF export or printout of the assembly is often coal black. I have to keep playing around with colors to get it right. Sometimes going from #7 white to #255 white is the answer. Can someone explain that to me?

    Off topic, but at the same time these issues have worked their way into the program, I have encountered problems with assembly drawings. Sometimes components just "disappear" from view, leaving XREF paths on the screen. You can't reliably switch from a local assembly to an XREF assembly. I have returned to putting all my 3D objects in the same file.

  • Certain aspects of a CAD program are critical, and can potentially be VERY expensive if they don't work right. Dimensions are on the top of that list. Giving an incorrect value is probably the worst sin a CAD program can do.

    For the above reason, I never dimension in paper space, and am hesitant to do 3D modeling unless it is an absolute necessity. Many of the advanced features are just too much of a hassle, or create problems. I felt somewhat burned when I upgraded to the v14 that I have been quite hesitant to upgrade. Sometimes it is better to stick with a program version that you know very well, and know how to avoid the pitfalls of that version.

    But you seem to be having more difficulties than most. Have you sent some examples of the problem drawings to Bricsys? They have always been very good about looking into problems with drawings.

    -Joe

This discussion has been closed.
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