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  1. #1

    Exports are low res & look different (Pro)

    Hi,

    I've just bought ND2 Pro (50).

    When I export a Fretboard I've created there are a number of issues:

    1 - With Export types jpg & png the output file is low resolution. If I zoom in it aliases badly. By comparison, Vector and PDF file types have perfect sharpness. Also when I only had the demo version of ND2 I took a screen grab to create a .jpg and that file is also far sharper.

    I'd say the jpgs/pngs are unusably blurry. Can I fix this with different settings?

    2 - In FD2 the note letters are not centred. They're a little too low in the box/circle. When I export, the note letters are too high.

    Why is this?

    3- I am using some Square (colour filled not outline) note boxes. They appear fine in ND2. But when I export there is a thin white outline/border inside what should just be the block colour square. It is similar, but not as thick as the effect created with the 'Draw outline around note' tick box.

    I've attached an example of what the note looks like on screen in ND2 (high res, no weird outline) and how it comes out in exports (low res, weird outline).

    To be honest, each type of export seems to exhibit a different combination of errors/inaccuracies. I haven't yet spent the time trying to note the exact combinations.

    Why is exporting (a key element of the software) so broken?
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2
    Hi KommanderKeen,

    Sorry to hear you're experiencing some issues. I'll try to answer your questions as best I can!

    1 - With Export types jpg & png the output file is low resolution. If I zoom in it aliases badly. By comparison, Vector and PDF file types have perfect sharpness. Also when I only had the demo version of ND2 I took a screen grab to create a .jpg and that file is also far sharper.

    I'd say the jpgs/pngs are unusably blurry. Can I fix this with different settings?
    Zooming in on a JPG/PNG type image will certainly look blurry/loose sharpness etc. These are not scalable image formats, unlike PDF & SVG.

    JPG/PNG are raster (or bitmap) graphics formats. You should only really use these formats at their output size (ie 100%) as zooming in or out will loose information. These formats store a colour value for each pixel, ie each position in the size "grid". So expanding an image will pixellate it - there's no more information in the file so when expanding a view will enlarge each pixel (1x1 square) according to how much you enlarge, eg at 200% each colour will then fill a 2x2 4-pixel square and of course will appear blurry.

    Scalable formats work differently as they store drawing/painting operations, for example move to 10,10 and draw a line 2px thick to 20,20. Scaling this up to 200% will then just double all these, so the example becomes a 4px line from 20,20 to 40,40.

    There's lots of info online, but this looks like a pretty clear guide with examples:

    - What Is the Difference Between a Vector and Raster Image? Back to Basics


    So, you need to choose the appropriate output format for your needs. You want to avoid scaling bitmap formats - so where they're used you should be showing them at their 'original' size.

    The Pro version of ND outputs bitmap formats at the standard resolution of 72 DPI, iirc. So if you need bigger raster images you could create bigger diagrams. If you're perhaps writing a book and need publishing quality output with as little hassle then you could upgrade to the Publisher license which provides enhances export functions, such as the ability to control the DPI output, so you can create giant 300 DPI, 600 DPI or more output.

    2 - In FD2 the note letters are not centred. They're a little too low in the box/circle. When I export, the note letters are too high.

    Why is this?
    The difference is likely an artefact of the third party PDF framework being used. If you can provide an example document (.fbd file) that would be helpful. Text has been a major pain in general! Especially on Windows where fonts don't even scale linearly (a 12 point font will not come out 20% taller than a 10 point one..)

    3- I am using some Square (colour filled not outline) note boxes. They appear fine in ND2. But when I export there is a thin white outline/border inside what should just be the block colour square. It is similar, but not as thick as the effect created with the 'Draw outline around note' tick box.

    I've attached an example of what the note looks like on screen in ND2 (high res, no weird outline) and how it comes out in exports (low res, weird outline).
    I've just tried this (on a Mac) and haven't been able to replicate this. Again, if you could provide a .fbd file that would help investigate.

    You can email files to: support [at] neckdiagrams.com if preferred.

    Best regards,
    Justin
    Author of Neck Diagrams

  3. #3
    Thanks for your reply.

    I'm on a 2020 Macbook Pro 10.15.7. The behaviours I've detailed happen equally in both the Mac's Preview function and also in Adobe Illustrator 2022 (official, non-pirated version).

    I do understand the behaviours of jpg/png. That's why I also mentioned how a screenshot .jpg of the same fretboard (taken at 100% vs a 'best quality' export .jpg at 100%) is far, far sharper. The screenshot jpg is sharp enough to do some minor resizing and still remain usable. It just seems odd that a .jpg screenshot is higher res than the best quality .jpg export in the Pro package.

    I've attached a side by side comparison. The left letter D is the screenshot. It's clearly sharper even under an extreme zoom. The screenshot jpg exhibits the white inner square issue. Whereas exported jpg/pngs are less sharp, but don't have the inner line issue. You can also see the letter D itself is centred differently in each.

    Thankfully I can get around the sharpness issue by using .eps files as I'm working in Illustrator.

    Unfortunately, whilst the .eps files are sharp they exhibit the inner line issue. Also the .eps letter D looks centred in the square, but that's not the case in circles (examples attached). It looks to me as though the Squares and Circles do not evenly dissect the horizontal string line and neither do the letters and the offset amount of these elements is not consistent across the board.

    I've uploaded the .fbd of the fretboards I'm getting these issues on.

    Thanks, Andy.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Attached Files Attached Files
    Last edited by KommanderKeen; 03-02-2022 at 09:36 PM.

  4. #4
    Sorry for the delayed reply! As mentioned via email lots going on with the v2.3 release, and team member in Ukraine..

    Re your screenshots, they're better than normal as your Macbook Pro benefits from a Retina display - which is effectively 2x normal resolution! (the "quality" setting on JPEG export is simply the level of compression in the file)

    I'll raise a dev ticket for the "inner box" thing, seems odd but hopefully fixable without enormous effort..

    Character drift could well be much trickier to nail though. Getting accurate text dimensions has proved a royal pain, especially on Windows where lots of fonts don't even scale reliably (text in 12pt won't be 20% taller/wider than 10pt!).

    Thanks for providing the file!
    Justin
    Author of Neck Diagrams

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