season 6 PDF image issues


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Greetings,
I run a lot of online games. Typically, I can copy the map images and paste them into Gimp2 to edit. Before season 6, this worked very well. Now , when I paste it into Gimp all the maps come out black. All three season 6 scenarios have this issue. 0-5 seasons do not do this. Any suggestions?


PrtScn button?

Shadow Lodge

PM'd you a solution. Sadly, it keeps some of the markings on it unlike previous products, specifically the secret doors.

Shadow Lodge

I am having the same problem. I have tried Photoshop, Irfanview and Nitro 3. None of them allow me to get at the map for 6-06 Hall of the Flesh Eaters. Being able to extract and print the unique maps at the correct size I find really useful when GMing as I am a relatively new GM.


bluedragon wrote:
I am having the same problem. I have tried Photoshop, Irfanview and Nitro 3. None of them allow me to get at the map for 6-06 Hall of the Flesh Eaters. Being able to extract and print the unique maps at the correct size I find really useful when GMing as I am a relatively new GM.

I just loaded Hall of the Flesh Eaters in Nitro PDF Reader 3 and extracted the map with no issue. Are you using the "Extract Images" button?

Shadow Lodge

That is what I tried but it comes up with the message "The PDF file could not be converted due to internal security preventing content extraction.".

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

We haven't changed our security settings—we still allow content extraction. Perhaps something changed in your software?

Scarab Sages

This isn't a season 6 problem. I've seen it off and on in previous seasons as well, and one or two season 6 scenarios. Basically, I've noticed that I'm able to copy n' paste the map out into Gimp (or any other software) about 85% of the time. The other 15% of the time it's black no matter what I do, and for every other image in the PDF. In those cases I do printscreen. I haven't noticed any rhyme or reason to it. For example, Silver Mount Collection had this problem for me, but the other season 6 one I ran the same week (I'm blanking on the name) didn't.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Ok, so there are two separate issues that have been brought up here... Not being able to extract images at all is one (see my response above on that); getting black images some or all of the time is another. And that's also not something under our control.

Many of the images in our PDFs include an alpha channel, which is (to oversimplify a bit) used to create transparency effects. How the alpha channel is displayed (and whether or not it is "flattened"—that is, permanently merged with the image as opposed to being kept on its own layer) is affected by some or all of the following: your operating system, the software you're using to extract the image, and the software you're using to view the image.

On Windows systems especially, it's very common for the alpha channel to be flattened into the image as a black background. It sounds like something in your setup is causing the alpha channel to be put in *front* of the image sometimes, which is certainly not very useful. Unfortunately, I have no idea how to solve the problem, other than trying different software.


Vic Wertz wrote:

Ok, so there are two separate issues that have been brought up here... Not being able to extract images at all is one (see my response above on that); getting black images some or all of the time is another. And that's also not something under our control.

Many of the images in our PDFs include an alpha channel, which is (to oversimplify a bit) used to create transparency effects. How the alpha channel is displayed (and whether or not it is "flattened"—that is, permanently merged with the image as opposed to being kept on its own layer) is affected by some or all of the following: your operating system, the software you're using to extract the image, and the software you're using to view the image.

On Windows systems especially, it's very common for the alpha channel to be flattened into the image as a black background. It sounds like something in your setup is causing the alpha channel to be put in *front* of the image sometimes, which is certainly not very useful. Unfortunately, I have no idea how to solve the problem, other than trying different software.

Everything you said is true...however, something changed in the way season 6 scenarios are authored. I can go open a season 5 in the software and cut and past maps, and the alpha layer is behind the maps. In season 6, it's always in front.

In any event, Nitro PDF's Extract Images functionality seems to default to a white background for transparency, rather than black, and has worked for every scenario I've tried it on.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

The version of Adobe Creative Suite we're using changed at pretty much the same time as we transitioned from Season 5 to Season 6, and it's certainly possible that Adobe changed the way they create PDFs with images that have alpha channels, but it wouldn't be anything we did deliberately, and it's unlikely to be anything we have any control over.

Paizo Glitterati Robot

bugleyman wrote:
Everything you said is true...however, something changed in the way season 6 scenarios are authored.

I can confirm that the export settings and process for our PDFs hasn't changed since mid-2011. We're still using all the same settings consistently for all PDF products. I agree with Vic's assertion that there's likely an underlying issue in the software used for generating them. However, many PDF readers (including between Adobe Reader on Mac vs PC) will have eccentricities with PDF display and image extraction. If there's a fix that we can determine on our end, we'd gladly apply it, but the source of these issues is pretty difficult to determine because of its inconsistency.


Chris Lambertz wrote:
bugleyman wrote:
Everything you said is true...however, something changed in the way season 6 scenarios are authored.
I can confirm that the export settings and process for our PDFs hasn't changed since mid-2011. We're still using all the same settings consistently for all PDF products. I agree with Vic's assertion that there's likely an underlying issue in the software used for generating them. However, many PDF readers (including between Adobe Reader on Mac vs PC) will have eccentricities with PDF display and image extraction. If there's a fix that we can determine on our end, we'd gladly apply it, but the source of these issues is pretty difficult to determine because of its inconsistency.

Oh, no doubt...the permutations are almost innumerable.

And I appreciate you taking the time to clarify that it wasn't a conscious change.


For what it's worth, you might want to try using Xpdf. I've been able to use it to extract images from the PDF successfully.

Liberty's Edge

Starfinder Superscriber

I also use Gimp, although I use other things as well, for preparing images for VTT games (as well as for printing out maps for in-person games).

Are you on Linux? Are you comfortable using command-line utilities? If so, there is a tool "pdfimages" that when run can extract all the images from a single page. I just tried it on 06-03 extracting all the images on a page with a map, and there are a lot of images on that page, much more so than previous season scenarios had. Most of them are either full-page blank white, or parts of the decoration around the sides-- i.e., not of particular interest to a GM extracting images. However, the map was one of the images, and it didn't have the annotations. Perfect for printing a battlemap (if you want to spend time cutting it into 8.5"x11" pages and pasting later, and can afford the ink for a map this large...!), or for a VTT.

On Ubuntu, pdfimages is part of the poppler-utils package.

It extracts the images in ppm format, which is an uncompressed standard interchange format. Gimp can certainly read them. I also use the netpbm command-line utilities to convert (combining ppmtopgm on the alpha channel image plus pnmtopng is able to recreate an image with alpha channel intact, in case you want to do that). And, ImageMagick is another very useful command line tool for this sort of thing.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Maps Subscriber

I've had success on windows using the unar utility for extracting all the images in the PDF at once.... But it doesn't like earlier season PDFs so much. (Dalsine vs. Flesh eaters).


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

used Nitro and it worked like a charm. Thanks for the help folks.

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