How to print from layout with transparency?

Hi, I would like to print a PDF/TIFF/PNG with transparent background from a layout window.

I use the layout to set the specific scale and size in real life units (centimeters) of my drawing. I would like to be able to directly export with transparent background instead of having to delete the background in Photoshop. Is this possible?

ViewCaptureToFile really does not suit me because I can’t control the PDF dimensions.

Did not get what you mean out here. Can you post a picture of the background or the image that you are trying to export?.


I have my layout measuring 22.5cm x 22.5cm, I want to export this image in rendered, but instead of white background, I want it to be transparent.

@brian Hi Brian, I think you can help this guy out. Take a look.

I think the best way would be to export to image and then use a tool to create pdf fron the image. Most advanced pdf viewers also have tool to transform images to pdf, where you control the margins. Alas, most ot them are paid.

Maybe another way would be to install virtual pdf printer and print the exported image.
These are free in most cases. Chrome has one integrated. Just open the image in the browser and hit ‘print’ and select ‘save to pdf’

Hi Ivelin, thank you for your reply. Do you mean to export an image with ViewCaptureToFile?

If so, I feel like my current method is simpler, just export desired size and delete background in Photoshop. I was trying to avoid this last step given that Rhino can export with transparency, it just doesn’t seem to be available within the layout, but in the end, the layout is just another viewport.

It is actually quite incoherent to support file formats like PNG and TIFF without offering the possibility of a transparent background. What is the point of being able to export PNG from layout then? :man_shrugging:

@ShynnSup can you describe your downstream process for me? What will you do with a properly sized PDF with a transparent raster image in it?

1 Like

Hi @brian. I need to overlap a couple of drawings in order to create some diagrams. I would like this drawing to be on top of everything, and I will add opacity to it in illustrator. Below this layer there would be other drawings from the same model… some vectorial and some raster.

In order for the overlap to be flawless all drawings must have same size and be taken from the same view with the same scale.

I understand. Thanks. I think bypassing PDF is probably your best bet, and instead figure out the pixel size you want for each screenshot. You can control the view, size, and aspect ratio - and you can get transparent backgrounds using ViewCaptureToFile.

If all your images are from the same view, with the same pixel resolution, you should have the same overlay quality as you are imagining with PDF. I think PDF makes things more complex for you.

Problem is, I need some layers of my diagram to be in vector output.

How about this:

  1. Create a rectangle at the furthest extents of your raster images, so that the very border of the raster images are this rectangle
  2. Export your raster and vector images from the same view
  3. Use the vector rectangle to scale the vector geometry to the same scale as the raster rectangle

This will get you within a pixel or two - which is probably as good as it gets with raster and vector.

Does that work?

Will it work if my vector images is a make2d of my model? Will try it, thanks for your suggestions Brain. Doing a very quick guess I still feel my current workflow + a small background delete in PS is faster and tidier, but I will try your suggestion just to be sure!

Your workflow may be faster. Sorry I don’t have a better option for you.