[poppler] Implementing overprint in Splash

Leonard Rosenthol lrosenth at adobe.com
Mon Mar 21 06:10:32 PDT 2011

First, let me say that having more PDF renderers support Overprint Preview (since it's really a simulation and not the real thing) will be GREAT!  Especially so in light of the "conforming reader" requirements in ISO 32000-2 that are forthcoming.

Now, that said, I think you may be simplifying things for #3 - the actual implementation.  It's not as simple as modifying the code that puts the CMYK "bits" down (based on the OP/OPM values) BECAUSE of the way that Poppler's colorspaces work.  You will actually need (IIRC) to do a bunch of work in there in order to handle the differences for Separation and DeviceN colorants (and DeviceN will be the most tricky to get correct).  

It's clearly doable, but it's not going to be trivial...

Also, I STRONGLY recommend that Poppler do the same thing that Adobe Acrobat/Reader does and which is now (partially) codified in the forthcoming ISO 32000-2....If you detect that the PDF claims compliance with one of the PDF/X standards, you should ALWAYS render with Overprint Preview enabled.


-----Original Message-----
From: poppler-bounces+leonardr=adobe.com at lists.freedesktop.org [mailto:poppler-bounces+leonardr=adobe.com at lists.freedesktop.org] On Behalf Of Thomas Freitag
Sent: Monday, March 21, 2011 1:59 AM
To: poppler at lists.freedesktop.org
Subject: [poppler] Implementing overprint in Splash

Hi all!

After being quite close with my last bigger poppler project I now think 
about implementing overprinting in Splash.

1. What is overprinting?
For those who don't know what is overprinting, please refer to 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Overprinting. This is just a poor 
description, what overprinting is. Who need to know more about it, 
please read 
chapter 8.6.7.

2. Actual state of overprinting in poppler.
Overprinting is implemented in Gfx, only missing the parameter overprint 
mode, but the only output device which supports it in the moment, is 
PSOutputDev. But even there probably the most people haven't encountered 
that really: If You render the PostScript produced with PSOutputDev with 
ghostscript, it is normally rendered in RGB, an additive colorspace. And 
because overprinting is normally specified only in subtractive 
colorspaces like CMYK, You have to specify a cmyk device like tiff32nc 
to see the effects of overprinting.

3. Implementing overprint in Splash
It is quite easy to implement overprinting in Splash. Splash supports 
CMYK output with the compiler switch SPLASH_CMYK. But as in PSOutputDev 
I fear, that only a few people use it. And the mainly used program 
pdftoppm doesn't support CMYK output. And now we are coming to the main 
point why I write this email:

4. Support of overprint in pdftoppm
To support overprint in pdftoppm we have to enable SPLASH_CMYK in 
pdftoppm and use it for rendering. But all output formats defined in 
pdftoppm uses RGB as output colorspace, and even the main output formats 
ppm and png do not support CMYK colorspace. Therefore we have to 
possibilities to support overprinting in pdftoppm:
a) The easiest way would be to specify a new output format like i.e. 
jpegcmyk and create a jpeg image in CMYK colorspace where overprinting 
will be supported.
b) The more interesting way is to add a new parameter -overprint, when 
set use splashCMYK8 as colorMode and when writing the output file 
convert it to RGB. The first implementation could use the poor 
colorspace conversion in Splash to convert the CMYK bitmap to RGB, but 
we should think of use little cms to do that work for us, which of 
course means that compiling pdftoppm will become more complex.

Any suggestions from the community to point 4?


poppler mailing list
poppler at lists.freedesktop.org

More information about the poppler mailing list