[poppler] Radial shading in poppler

Albert Astals Cid aacid at kde.org
Mon Jan 17 11:13:37 PST 2011

A Dilluns, 17 de gener de 2011, Andrea Canciani va escriure:
> On Mon, Jan 17, 2011 at 11:33 AM, Thomas Freitag
> <Thomas.Freitag at kabelmail.de> wrote:
> > Hi,
> > 
> > It's once again me, this time without a patch :-). I just want to discuss
> > some open issues that come into my mind after sleeping one night over it,
> > and this don't really depends completely on radial shading in Splash,
> > therefore I open a new thread:
> > 
> > After digging really deep into radial shadings the last four weeks there
> > are still a few open issues left:
> > 
> > I. Gfx::doRadialShFill
> > There were three different problems /  bugs which causes me to spend that
> > enormous time implementing radial shading in Splash (probably wouldn't
> > have done it, if I could estimate that before :-) ):
> > a) Rendering artefacts because of overlapping circle clipping pathes in
> > http://www.acquerra.com.au/poppler/img_0.pdf
> > b) wrong calculation of extension range causing rendering regressions in
> > https://bugs.freedesktop.org/attachment.cgi?id=41506
> > c) wrong implementation of drawing larger extension circles causing
> > rendering regressions in the same PDF
> > These three problems cause rendering regression in each OutputDev which
> > hasn't implented radialShadedFill by its own or if in case it has
> > implemented it, it returns gFalse (this fits to CairoOutputDev, which
> > uses its implementation just to setup some datastructure but let the
> > rendering done by Gfx::doRadialShFill).
> > I myself encounter three main output devices:
> > 1. PSOutputDev implements radialShadedFill and therefore does not have
> > the problems ahead (of course could have some other problems with it,
> > but that's then a problem of its own implementation)
> > 2. SplashOutputDev implements radialShadedFill now by its own and will
> > not have these problems anymore after one of my patches will be
> > committed. 3. CairoOutputDev will still have these problems.
> > So have a quick look at CairoOutputDev. In my opinion there are two
> > possible solutions for solving that:
> > a) CairoOutputDev implements radialShadedFill by itself. I'm not deep
> > enough in cairo to determine if this could be a possible way, perhaps
> > with some hints from me and / or Andrea.
> I'd be happy to try and help here. I don't know poppler internals, but
> I should know cairo fairly well. I can already point out that cairo can
> draw PDF type 2 shadings, but it requires the color function to be
> piecewise linear.
> > But if this would be too heavy and / or the rendering regressions with
> > the first PDF (see here the wine glass) would be acceptable, I could
> > suggest another way:
> > b) I correct the bugs two and three in Gfx::doRadialShFill, the first one
> > is unfortunately not correctable in Gfx. The second bug is simply
> > correctable by a code fragment that already comes from cairo, which I
> > already use adapted successfully in my both patches for splash, for the
> > third bug I could adapt the different way of drawing larger extension
> > circles of my patch from saturday (therefore, once again, Albert, this
> > is an additional reason for regtest this older patch, too).

In my opinion, the upper we fix the bugs, the better so they can shared 
amonsgt multiple implementations.

> > 
> > II. Speed an quality using radial shading in Splash:
> > I uploaded last weekend two patches for it with two different
> > implementation methods. The patch from sunday has definitely a better
> > quality but in a very few cases sucks in rendering speed than the patch
> > from saturday, which on the other hand has a poorer quality. Perhaps we
> > can find somehow a threshold value on which we can decide, wether method
> > should be used. This could be an additional reason to regtest both
> > patches, but commit only the patch from sunday with the "undef"ed code
> > so that it would be easy to implement this new behaviour later on.
> I did some profiling and it looks like the problem is probably not in the
> implementation of the parameter computation, but in the conversion of
> the parameter to a color.
> I profiled pdftoppm on http://www.acquerra.com.au/poppler/img_0.pdf and
> found that about 37% of the time is spent in GfxAxialShading::getColor
> and about 45% in GfxRadialShading::getColor.
> I think that this can be improved by avoiding to fully evaluate the
> function for each parameter value. Instead the function could be modified
> to return a range in which a linear approximation is considered acceptable
> (for example because the error would be below a chosen tolerance) and
> getColor could cache this interval and avoid evaluating the function
> whenever the parameter value is in its range.
> A similar approach could be used to fix the Cairo backend (and to improve
> its quality, too), because if functions were able to provide piecewise
> linear approximations of their colors, the approximation could be directly
> fed into cairo in the form of color stops.
> Additional notes:
> It looks like axial has the same performance problem as radial. You did not
> have this performance problem with the bresenham rasterizer because
> it evaluates the color function less times than the backward rasterizer.
> In my profile, 70% of the time is spent in PostScriptFunction::transform.
> It looks like it tries to do some caching, but it looks like it is not
> doing it in an effective way (commenting the cache-related code in
> PostScriptFunction::transform without even removing the cache data
> structure and initialization elsewhere gives a small speed boost instead
> of causing a slowdown). Replacing this cache with an interval-based cache
> would probably be very effective in speeding up the Splash backend,
> but it would still require additional code for the linear approximation
> required by Cairo.
> > I need not necessarily do the work of I or II, but if the community means
> > that I should do that, I suggest we open a new bug with this two PDF. I
> > worked nearly every free minute on solving the problems in splash the
> > last four weeks, and the patch is still not committed and there could of
> > course be some work left (hopefully none or only a few), so I want to
> > take time out, and therefore a bug report is reasonable.
> I agree, I think that this is not actually the same bug but more of a
> performance
> glitch of Function (and/or of its usage).
> I can try to implement what I have proposed so far, but I might need
> some guidance. Are there any objections/suggestions/complaints
> regarding my plan?
> In particular, is something in poppler relying on PostScriptFunction
> being cached?

I have quite a few pdf where the caching of PostScriptFunction give (or at 
least gave when i introduced it) a substantial speed boost, so i'm quite 
hesitant to its complete removal (of course changing it for something better 
is cool :-))

But no, there's nothing depending on it being cached.


> Andrea
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