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Import PDF workflow going really really slow. Advice?

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I've imported a PDF. it is 11.6 MB. 4 pages, but I'm only taking in 3 of them.

I've un-grouped the PDF.

I've deleted the bitmap and a number of rouge rectangles.

I also found that AFTER i've un-grouped the PDF, i'm left with an additional, 'hidden' group inside that group.

I double click that group, and enter the group edit window. There, I have to manually pull the additional 'layers' from the PDF out to get to the line bits. Then I exit the group edit window and I have my layer of lines. in fact, I'm left with a really nice bunch of lines and polygons.

About 700,000 polygons.

I run a 'Compose' command on a bunch of them and that drops the number by almost 100,000.

I'm still left with a bunch of polygons that have a fill associated with them. I need that fill gone.

I've tried several things here, but the result is the same - It takes forever.

If I do a custom select, and only select polygons that have a fill associated with them, I get a more manageable number of like 58,744 polygons. I move to the format pallet and choose the 'no fill' option. I get a beachball spinning for a long time, and the fill state never changes, and I have to apple+option+delete out of Vectorworks. By a long time, I mean hours on hours.

If I do a smaller selection (like 15 - 20 polygons by tedious hand selection), or marquee select small sections of the drawing, I can change the fill state and it only takes minutes. Like 10 - 15 minutes. Still, to me, that seems like a really long time.

My questions are this:

Am I asking too much of the software?

Is this 'expected' behavior in real world applications?

Is there a better way to remove fills from polygons on a drawing?

Is there a good way to 'pre-prep' a PDF for import? This PDF has no layers, and isn't that big.

Working on my import PDF - turn it into a model workflow. So far, it's great. Except the underwhelming speed of the fill removal. The 'breaking apart' of the PDF takes a little bit of time, but not nearly the time that the fill removal does. Not by a long shot.

 

Repro steps - 

Set up new drawing

File-import PDF.

highlight PDF.

Apple+U to un-group

Delete the rectangle and the bitmap so I'm left with just a singe 'group' item.

Double click that group item. Enter the group editor.

delete the various rectangles that represent the 'pages' or white space in the PDF.

Exit editor.

you're left with several 'blobs' or groups of PDF parts. In my case, I imported 3 PDF pages.

Now I have three big groups of lines and Polys.

Click the group of lines and Polys.

Apple+A (yes, you are doing this a second time).

Now you have a bunch of lines and poly's on your layer.

Custom select:

type = Polygon

Fill = (solid black box in my case)

Check OIP, verify there are like 60,000 polys selected now.

click format pallet.

on fill pull-down, select 'No Fill'.

leave the office an literally come back in the morning. Might be done.

 

 

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UPDATE - 

to change the fill from from solid to 'no fill' on 58,744 items took about an hour. Does that seem right?

I'm honestly not complaining here, just trying to see if what i'm experiencing is expected. I know i'm on a laptop, but it's pretty beefy, and has an upgraded video card.

Is the time it takes based on my processor speed or the math that Vectorworks does to figure out what has a fill and what doesn't?

I dunno if I can send out the PDF or not at this point. Need to clear it with the owner first. screen shot attached. So one hour per "ship deck" approximately. Thats 12 hours just to get everything to 'no fill'.

Screen Shot 2018-10-25 at 5.43.13 PM.png

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That looks like a lot of 2d geometry which can be slow. The operation you're doing may be single core (anything to do with selections and redrawing selected objects definitely is). I would place each level on a separate layer so you can at least turn the other off as you work through the slow part. I would also switch off snapping while doing these operations as VW may be looking for thousands of snap points. Also try using Tools>Purge and using the options to remove "Coincident Duplicate Objects" beforehand. There are often lots of duplicate objects when you break down a PDF by ungrouping it.

 

Kevin

 

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oooo.

forgot about that one.

"Remove Coincident Duplicate Objects" - Quite possibly a pile of those.

And I did put everything on one layer. That is probably not doing me any favors.

With snap on. But, once you hit go, you can't turn snap off until it finishes, so i'll try the other decks a different way.

Also, VW Dev reached out to me directly, very quickly. I know 'slowness' has been a hot button lately, and the dev team certainly are taking anything resembling slow performance seriously.

So kudos to the dev team for that.

 

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11 hours ago, tekbench said:

oooo.

forgot about that one.

"Remove Coincident Duplicate Objects" - Quite possibly a pile of those.

And I did put everything on one layer. That is probably not doing me any favors.

With snap on. But, once you hit go, you can't turn snap off until it finishes, so i'll try the other decks a different way.

Also, VW Dev reached out to me directly, very quickly. I know 'slowness' has been a hot button lately, and the dev team certainly are taking anything resembling slow performance seriously.

So kudos to the dev team for that.

 

The other thing that can help with lots of geometry is turning off pre-selection highlighting. I tend to work with it off anyway but everyone has different workflow needs.

 

Kevin

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UPDATE - 

This morning I created 14 layers, and 14 storys. I put every Pont/Deck on it's own layer AND it's own story (cause why not. Story organization is pretty handy). Now it only takes 10 - 12 seconds to select everything on the layer and remove fill from everything selected (thousands of objects).

So I think I can pretty clearly point to the fact everything was on one design layer made the process unusually slow. In my workflow notes (i'm essentially building the workflow for other members of a team) I'm going to say we create our logical layers first, import each PDF page onto its own " disposable import design layer", ungroup them one page at a time, then assign them to their prospective layers BEFORE doing any actual geometry modifications.

I assume you could cut some corners if the PDF was small, but in my case, it appeared small at 11 meg and we had nothing but trouble on a single layer.

 

Last night I tried to select all, hit 'tools' and I got a beach ball for hours. I woke up this morning and unsurprisingly the tools window had finally opened. I tried to choose the "remove Coincident Duplicate Objects" but everything was so slow I couldn't wait any longer for it.

So the application isn't crashing. It's just churning on so much geometry it crawls to a slow stumble.

I feel like the whole import PDF is, in itself, worth the price of Vectorworks for a lot of people. It works, and it works well. It just feels like there are a few gotchas that i'd like to uncover before being under a deadline. 

Thanks again to Kevin and the Vectorworks Dev team. I don't know if there is a 'fix' or if this is just a case of knowing a best practice for importing.

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On 10/26/2018 at 10:10 AM, tekbench said:

UPDATE - 

This morning I created 14 layers, and 14 storys. I put every Pont/Deck on it's own layer AND it's own story (cause why not. Story organization is pretty handy). Now it only takes 10 - 12 seconds to select everything on the layer and remove fill from everything selected (thousands of objects).

So I think I can pretty clearly point to the fact everything was on one design layer made the process unusually slow. In my workflow notes (i'm essentially building the workflow for other members of a team) I'm going to say we create our logical layers first, import each PDF page onto its own " disposable import design layer", ungroup them one page at a time, then assign them to their prospective layers BEFORE doing any actual geometry modifications.

I assume you could cut some corners if the PDF was small, but in my case, it appeared small at 11 meg and we had nothing but trouble on a single layer.

 

Last night I tried to select all, hit 'tools' and I got a beach ball for hours. I woke up this morning and unsurprisingly the tools window had finally opened. I tried to choose the "remove Coincident Duplicate Objects" but everything was so slow I couldn't wait any longer for it.

So the application isn't crashing. It's just churning on so much geometry it crawls to a slow stumble.

I feel like the whole import PDF is, in itself, worth the price of Vectorworks for a lot of people. It works, and it works well. It just feels like there are a few gotchas that i'd like to uncover before being under a deadline. 

Thanks again to Kevin and the Vectorworks Dev team. I don't know if there is a 'fix' or if this is just a case of knowing a best practice for importing.

 

You may want to try selecting the PDF before ungrouping, and set the attributes with the color line you want, and no fill. Vector objects take the attributes from the PDF's attributes as they are set in VW, so this works for lineweight also.

Also, I always run purge to remove coincident objects within objects after the ungroup and usually remove 10s of thousands of objects.

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