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Jim Smith

Black & White Output in Open GL


Some building departments are getting very picky about electronic submissions being Black & White PDF files.

To ensure compliance, I have chosen the document preference of Black & White but a series of building sections rendered in open GL still produced  colour PDFs. This meant having to find every symbol that had the least amount of colour & edit these symbols to remove all colour.


Is there a different way to produce a B&W PDF? Additionally, is there a issue where Open GL & the setting for B&W don't play nice together? 

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I've seen and wondered about this, too.  Just never investigated very far.  Looked a bit just now.


Two drawing prefs to control color in design layers and viewports:
•View>Rendering>Open GL Options>Use Color (or disable)

•File>Document Settings>Document Preferences>Black and White Only
             Strangely, OGL rendered 3d objects retain their color unless OGL color pref is disabled

But, the above prefs can be set to the default (or custom) color options for convenience in Design Layer work and the colors can be controlled with Sheet Layer Viewport prefs.

Three places to defeat color lines and fills in Viewport OIP
• Background Render Settings>Open GL Options>Use Color (or disable)

• Advanced Properties>Black & White Only - but disable leaves color fill in some conditions

• Lighting Options >Ambient  &  Brightness controls

Then update the VPs


Either the General or the Viewport OIP settings produce pdf sheets (Publish or Print to PDF) with all color fills interpreted as white, but with shading on the 3d objects unless the Ambient brightness is turned up to 100%.


OGL can produce a Hidden Line looking vp if

• Lighting Options>Ambient Brightness =100


• Background Render Settings>OGL Options = Use Color is disabled





OGL Colors.png


Edited by Benson Shaw
Increase Ambient to defeat shading
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@EAlexander Good call


Image Effects and OGL prefs can provide very similar result.

• If shaded objects accepted, then advantage to the Image Effects, because no update required, but 2 sliders involved.

• If "Hidden Line" required, then about same either way, because update required whenever Lighting Options adjusted.


Cool thing is that Eye Dropper Tool can pickup and transfer these properties.

If orig VPs' conditions need to be saved without another update, then duplicate the sheet (and turn on VP Cache).




OGL vp 2.png

Edited by Benson Shaw
All Clear?
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Thanks, I suspect this may have been a case of unintended consequences.  In the olden days I just used the Document Preferences & that seem to give me what I wanted. 

Having said this, other Building department have been more accepting of a bit of stray colour as long as it's not material to the drawing, but this one seems to be picking at nits.  


Off topic but related:

I have been told by a retired official that as many building departments are not replacing staff, and budgets are being cut, in part due to departments being sold a shiny new electronic plans submittal system that's the opposite of user friendly (on both ends) that employ a windows 95-like interface. The result is overworked staff are finding any little thing they can find "wrong" after a quick review. Staff then kick the project out of the line-up. This takes pressure off as that project's legislative time line because a "mistake" stops the clock. In the bad old days, some of these questions would be solved by a phone call or an email. Redlines that might have been added to a drawing now have to be addressed rather than accepted or talked about. The result is projects are being delayed weeks and there is noting other than phoning & pestering that one can do to get the finger out. 



Edited by Jim Smith

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If we need to, we just convert the PDF drawing to greyscale using Adobe Acrobat. It's very quick and we don't have to worry about adjusting viewport settings etc.

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