Editable pdf's

Hi everyone,

Can anyone, please, help us figure out the workflow for generating pdf’s that can be opened as vector files in Illustrator and have all the lines be manipulable - just like they are in Rhino? We have tried Adobe PDF, PDF 995, PDF Creator and PhantomPDF and none of these seem to be able to do it, yet we have pdf’s that somebody created (that we are having trouble getting in touch with) that are openable in Illustrator and manipulated as vectors.

Thank you.

only option is dwg, dxf

For making Vector PDF files in Rhino for Windows, I use BullZIP as an authoring tool.
I don’t use Illustrator.
You might try exporting as an AI file.

A lot of work has been done in this area in V6. You will need to try V6 to get editable Bezier curves in your PDF.

i would not mess with this, it lacks the ability to transfer picture frames, i mean for curves only yes sure. but dwg seems the only reasonable file output currently. are picture frames exported in a pdf in v6 @stevebaer ?

They should be and if they aren’t then it is a bug that needs to be fixed in the WIP

PictureFrame creates a surface with the image file attached as a color texture.
Off hand, I don’t know what export file formats support surfaces with color textures if any.

Yes, DWG export in V6 round-trips a surface with a color texture created with the Picture command

i dont have any access to a vip 6, so its vector plus pixel in one pdf? i would be happy, at the moment its only vector or pixel at least in the mac version.

dwg and dxf, but not surfaces only simple planes the ones picture frames produce.
for nurbs surfaces i did not find anything.

PDF export in the V6 WIP is a complete rewrite. All 3d curves are flattened to 2d and converted to cubic Beziers (when they aren’t already lines or polylines). Items such as picture frames should be represented as images in the PDF file.

1 Like

Hey guys
@stevebaer @John_Brock & @RichardZ . Thank you for your responses. Still not able to do it. I wonder if you be kind enough to watch this very short Screencast video and tell me what you think?

Thank you.

hi cosmas, since you have used v6 i believe the output should be quite usable at least i assume from all the talks about the improvement of the pdf output. what you might encounter is that text layered over lines may be grouped and create those blocks. you can keep ctrl pressed and click with the mouse repeatedly till you get to the files below.

i have no idea if the pdf output allows you to keep the initial layers, otherwise you may have to use dwg which you can open just the same in illustrator again which can also be exported as pdf again.

if you want to keep the pdf workflow which you showed for whatever reason you can also use the menu in illustrator select/object/all text objects which will select all text which you can throw into another layer which you hide or lock to have the lines more usable or lets say accessible.

That works-- Hold control down to access individual lines… even on pdf’s generated by V5.

Thank you!

That model is mostly made up of straight lines so your results in V5 should be fine for post process editing in Illustrator. I was referring more to “curvy” curves which end up as a dense polyline when output from V5 that is not very easy to edit.

Thank you for the clarification @stevebaer Steve. That’s perfect.

Hi all, very interesting thread. I’m curious about exporting layouts to illustrator. Is it possible to have the full functionality of layering, text, ect. with drawings and objects that are viewed/exported in layouts, as opposed too just vector information, which is easily attained by exporting the PDF of the layout and opening in illustrator. This is around the area of automating the production of construction drawings using layer states and template files. For example, an entire set of construction drawings could be generated as individual files .ai or .pdf for any given model. How about a rhino plugin that could have a live link between illustrator and rhino? See Doodlebug, Grasshopper fourm, but just in rhino? Any thoughs…

Hi Cosmas, Sorry, I posted my comment below before seeing your video here. Yes, I’m interested in the same exact thing. The grouping and edit-ability is very problematic when reading layouts into illustrator, and it would be good if it were just like exporting to .ai, but even that could be improved (ie sublayers). I have been doing this more in v5 than the WIP, but maybe v6 will be improved.

Hey Andrew,

We are still struggling with this here. We’ve tried V6 but there doesn’t seem to be much difference. Wondering if there is a workaround??

Yeah, its a pain in the butt, but could make workflow and collaboration a lot easier. People have mentioned various illustrator tricks, like selecting objects by certain properties and grouping those. I’m thinking of a way to run a script in illustrator, or just a series of recorded actions that you could play, that would re-layer a drawing based on the color of objects. All objects would have to be un grouped or un clipping masked then sorted into layers based on color. This could be possible in illustrator, but still a pain. Ideally, the process could be done all in rhino. I love the functionality of layouts for layer management and view options, but if the output stinks then it makes it much less useful. Another way around the post-processing issue in illustrator is to simply set-up the entire drawing set in rhino and avoid the need to use illustrator at all. In other words, dial in the output (line weights, ect) using available options in rhino. But again, its understandable that other designers need to use editable files in illustrator, so I don’t think that entirely solves the problem. I guess at its core is the issue of what a layout is and how that is translated to illustrator… if you haven’t already, doodlebug on the grasshopper forum is worth checking out, but it still has many issues.

There are still a lot of improvements that we can make with respect to exporting PDFs from Rhino (as you’ve already figured out.) Keep up the requests.

Thank you @stevebaer and @Andrew_Schiffer. I think you’ve articulated this well. As far as I’m concerned, Rhino’s functionality in the layout department is great, but in any large office you have people who use other programs like Illustrator and would like to grab our drawings and tweek them - or further develop them. That is the challenge here… to be compatible in a world of choices!