Pdf's with Vectors

Hello, there are pdf’s with drawings that can be opened in Illustrator and by going through a process of releasing clipping masks and saving out as an Illustrator EPS you can then import the EPS in to Rhino and have access to the curves. Some pdf’s do this and some don’t. I wonder if someone can explain to me what the reason is (that some do and some don’t) and what one can do to make sure that you’re getting a pdf that will do that?

Thank you.

You mean PDFs you get from people? To get the vectors they’d probably have to have been made actually using Adobe PDF, not some knockoff.

BullZIP is a free PDF authoring tool that makes vector based PDFs.
I’ve used it for years.

Adobe’s PDF authoring tools have been notoriously crash prone due to dodgy GPU drivers. They have been an ongoing support load problem.
That’s why we wrote our own RhinoPDF tool.

Yes-- I work on film projects and we are sometimes given pdf floor plans of locations that we are going to film in. Those pdf’s may have been generated by a designer working for the location’s owner or another film company that filmed there before us. If we are lucky we can open them in Illustrator and release the clipping masks and then import them in to Rhino and not have to draw up the floor plan from scratch… but if we are not lucky we have to save the pdf out as a jpg, picture frame it in to Rhino and trace over it. It’s a real time saver when we are able to grab the vectors.

Hi Cosmas -

Just like you can export PDFs from Rhino in either the bitmap or vector format, I’m sure other applications offer the same options. Of course, in some cases (when you need shaded surfaces), Rhino only offers the bitmap format.

So, the simple answer to the question is that you can’t do anything to make sure to get vector PDFs other than (a) requesting that from the sender, AND, (b) that the sender has an application that has that capability.

If the PDFs truly are in vector format, you don’t need to hop through these loops to get the curves into Rhino - at least not with a current Rhino 7 installation. That will just read the curves from the PDF.

Makes sense. Thanks, all.

@cosmas - I’m not sure how efficient this will be in your process, but this tool is pretty handy in converting bitmaps to vector, Vectorize | Food4Rhino.