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Large placed files with layer transparency fail

New Here ,
May 17, 2023 May 17, 2023

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My department is migrating from intel MBPs to current M2 MBPs [2023 16-inch, M2 Max, 32GB ram].

 

We often use very large placed images, and often those images use transparency. Images over 30k px are common for certain clients - building wraps, etc. The long-time workflow for these has been placed TIFFs. It's always been slow, but reliable. Placing these images now no longer creates a preview and will outright fail under certain conditions, like relinking the high res from a placeholder (beach ball, then clear like it worked, but the link is unchanged; no error). Limited testing also shows that the placed file fails to output (as in, the image isn't there in operations like 'Save as PDF'). Lastly, files problematic in this way generate an error when saved/reopened, "An error occurred trying to read the linked file" <name>.

 

Today's file happens to be 27600x19727 px (~1.5GB on disk). Currently it's one layer (flattened from a source fully layered PSD) with alpha transparency, saved as TIFF (JPEG 12/IBM/RLE). I've also tested PSB and a variety of TIFF options to no avail. A photoshop PDF generated different behavior (an 'importing' progress block in the top left of the document and then the error popup "An unknown error is detected. To help us investigate..." etc, then a second error popup "Illustrator could not read the file <filename> Try replacing this with another valid link." The only option(s) that end up working are ones that flatten the file.

 

Several files are exhibiting this behavior.

 

I've tested about half of the above on my old MBP [2019 16-inch Intel/AMD/32GB ram] and they all worked - each time I'd get a "Generating Pixels" popup and I'd get an image in a few seconds. I don't that popup on the M2 MBP, but I don't know if I'm supposed to.

 

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Bug , Performance

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Adobe
Adobe Employee ,
May 19, 2023 May 19, 2023

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Hello @Mike Sans,

 

We understand that encountering technical issues can be frustrating. Would you mind trying to install the beta version of Illustrator (27.7) and checking if it helps? Steps are outlined here: (https://helpx.adobe.com/x-productkb/global/creative-cloud-beta.html).

 

Looking forward to hearing from you.

 

Thanks,

Anubhav

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New Here ,
May 22, 2023 May 22, 2023

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Additional testing showed AI 27.5.0 functions as expected using Rosetta. The "generating pixels" dialog that shows up on the Intel machine does NOT show up on the M2 machine unless AI uses Rosetta. It's great that it's working, but as an internal studio, I'm concerned about files leaving that vendors will struggle with.

 

I've installed Beta 27.7. Identical behavior to 27.5.0. 27.7 also succeeds in placing the file when using Rosetta.

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Adobe Employee ,
Jun 27, 2023 Jun 27, 2023

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Hello @Mike Sans,

 

Sorry for the delayed response, and thanks for sharing the details. I was unable to replicate this on my end. Would you mind sharing a sample file(s) you're having trouble (https://community.adobe.com/t5/illustrator-discussions/share-your-files-in-6-simple-steps/td-p/12967...) with so we can check this with the product team?

 

Looking forward to hearing from you.

 

Thanks,

Anubhav

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Mentor ,
May 20, 2023 May 20, 2023

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You mentioned RAM; but what about scratch disk space?  Just curious because a lot of the rendering and preview is relying on scratch rather then RAM which is used to operate the programs.  I would be interested to learn more about your workflow.  For instance, image resolution and color space.  I understand that it used to work on the previous hardware and now it does not.  Are you in 24 or 32bit?  It seems there is something hardware related that does not match your previous MacBook Pro.  And, perhaps the version of Illustrator.  If you can, see if the Illustrator Preferences of both machines match.  It may be something small that now does not match.  Because you are dealing with grand format files, often those files can be scaled down to make them more manageable.  For instance, scale to 25% with placed files at 300ppi ( final image res equals 75ppi, more than enough for large wraps, etc. ).  If you are using 300ppi image files at actual size ( 100% ), then things could go awry.

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New Here ,
May 22, 2023 May 22, 2023

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Thanks for the reply. Plenty of disk space free - 500+GB. 32 bit, for things over a haldful of feet in size we exclusively work at scale - 10%, 8.33% and 4.16% (1/2" = 1') are common. Goal resolution depends on content & view distance; in this case it's product, at eye level and very close view distance. It's around 85ppi final. I've got no qualms about 10ppi final when it's appropriate. The same image is being used in several placements at different sizes. This issue has replicated on several assets/scales/final ppis and multiple users now.

 

Additional testing showed AI functions as expected using Rosetta. The "generating pixels" dialog that shows up on the Intel machine does NOT show up on the M2 machine unless AI uses Rosetta. It's great that it's working, but as an internal studio, I'm concerned about files leaving that vendors will struggle with.

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