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Masked objects preview and print differently than objects to which the Minus Front has been applied.

Explorer ,
Nov 16, 2020

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This has bugged me since the early 90’s, and nothing has changed in the past 30 years.


When I apply the Minus Front Pathfinder tool to 2 overlapping objects the object appears to shrink in preview mode. It is worse when GPU Preview mode is on than when it is off, but it is still present regardless of the preview mode. This is equally true when making a compound path of two overlapping objects.

 

To make matters worse, the appearance of the resulting object when printed reflects the same issue.

 

When masked with a transparency mask instead of compounding or subtractions, the appearance is true, or what I would consider to be true to the way it should appear. It also prints in what I would consider to a true reproduction.

 

For further clarification, neither item has a stroke.

 

I have enclosed two images. One compares the on screen appearance of the masked object versus the object with Minus Front applied. The other compares the printed appearance (inkjet printer) of the masked object versus the object with Minus Front applied.

 

If I place the compounded image on a separate layer over top of the masked image, and view it in Outline mode, the paths line up exactly point for point.

 

A transparency mask reproduces great in many cases, but it also creates potential transparency related issues when using the file in print reproduction, and even in some PDFs.

 

Is there a way to create compound paths or objects with subtractions that will have the same on screen and print appearance as a masked object?

 

Thanks for your help!

 

   On Screen View.png

On Screen View.png

 

scan of print_300.png

scan of print_300.png

 



[ attachment inserted as inline image by moderator ]

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Masked objects preview and print differently than objects to which the Minus Front has been applied.

Explorer ,
Nov 16, 2020

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This has bugged me since the early 90’s, and nothing has changed in the past 30 years.


When I apply the Minus Front Pathfinder tool to 2 overlapping objects the object appears to shrink in preview mode. It is worse when GPU Preview mode is on than when it is off, but it is still present regardless of the preview mode. This is equally true when making a compound path of two overlapping objects.

 

To make matters worse, the appearance of the resulting object when printed reflects the same issue.

 

When masked with a transparency mask instead of compounding or subtractions, the appearance is true, or what I would consider to be true to the way it should appear. It also prints in what I would consider to a true reproduction.

 

For further clarification, neither item has a stroke.

 

I have enclosed two images. One compares the on screen appearance of the masked object versus the object with Minus Front applied. The other compares the printed appearance (inkjet printer) of the masked object versus the object with Minus Front applied.

 

If I place the compounded image on a separate layer over top of the masked image, and view it in Outline mode, the paths line up exactly point for point.

 

A transparency mask reproduces great in many cases, but it also creates potential transparency related issues when using the file in print reproduction, and even in some PDFs.

 

Is there a way to create compound paths or objects with subtractions that will have the same on screen and print appearance as a masked object?

 

Thanks for your help!

 

   On Screen View.png

On Screen View.png

 

scan of print_300.png

scan of print_300.png

 



[ attachment inserted as inline image by moderator ]

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Nov 16, 2020 0
Most Valuable Participant ,
Nov 16, 2020

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Only if I understand you right.

One question:

Could it be that the pathfinder object was printed in 100% black and the transparency object was printed in rich black (rastered CMYK) ?

 

Please take a look at the printouts under a magnifying glass.

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Explorer ,
Nov 16, 2020

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They were printed together, sided by side, at 100% black. There was no rich black.

Thanks.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 16, 2020

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You are right, objects with opacity masks* may render different when compared to objects with clipping masks. It depends on the application, Illustrator and Acrobat shows the difference, but an application like Apple Preview does not show them different, just like the preview on assets.adobe.com

An example:

https://shared-assets.adobe.com/link/d3815c0d-69eb-4258-7268-12ee891ae8eb

*opacity masks were introduced in 2000 with Illustrator 9

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JoePeg LATEST
Explorer ,
Nov 16, 2020

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Yes, Illustrator 7 and 8 did not have opacity masks. I don't remember for a certainty, but there may not have been a Pathfinder Tool until 9, either. But the "shrinking preview" issue for compound objects was the same then as now.

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