Are any of you using Composer and InDesign together to create supporting documentation that is printed, or interactive? I am trying to set up a few new processes and would like your feedback on best practises.
I use Composer and Indesign together for printed material. Not sure Indesign would be the appropriate software for Interactive. I use Composer and Premiere Pro for animations and interactive (don't do much interactive).
Right now I pretty much export eps files from Composer and insert them into Indesign for manuals, running procedures, etc.Anything specific you are looking to try and achieve with this combo?
Thanks so much for your response!
We have always photographed and then illustrated imagery to use in our supporting documentation for the products that we manufacture. Recently we acquired Composer, but since it is so new in SA, there aren't that many users here.
One of the main reasons we liked Composer is that if a part was updated in SW, it could carry those changes through to the Composer files. Being so new to this process, I'm trying to determine the best way to set up those links in the InDesign files.
I have been researching other ways to improve our documentation and recently discovered that interactive stuff is possible with InDesign.
Knowing that if I set these files up correctly from the start, depending on the use, I would like to know how you're setting up your files. Would you have anything that I could look at as an example perhaps? Our very first manual using images rendered straight from SolidWorks by one of our engineers is here http://www.centsys.co.za/upload/0_07_A_0206_-SUPAHELIX-Installation-Manual-21112013-BM-for-web.pdf
Our older stuff looks like this, but again - knowing the capabilities of the software, I would like to try and update all of our major products as other changes come through so that going forward, imagery is consistent throughout and saves us the hassle of illustrating
Any advice or feedback is most appreciated!
OK, I am familiar with the basic "animation, interaction" within Indesign but you have to keep in mind Indesign is a publishing software. While you may be able to do some decent simple actions as far as "animation" I would think to do anything really impressive would be better accomplished in other software's IMO.
Since I work in Engineering and Technical Documentation I do enjoy the ease of file links. I can update my Composer files using my Solidworks changes and in turn Indesign updates my links exported from Composer. This to me is the biggest selling point as far as Composer with Indesign. The best way I set up my links is every exported Image gets its own unique number that coincides with the document. So for instance L123, L124,L125 this makes it easy to track your images for updates, questions, etc.
My advice would be to play with the different technical illustration image options to see what you prefer. Obviously it may vary from project to project but gives an idea of capabilities of program.
Feel free to ask any questions along the way and I will help as much as i can. I am sure you will enjoy Composer.
You mentioned that you use .EPS files from Composer and use the images in InDesign. How did you fix the issue with the font changing in InDesign?
Right now I've been editing each image in Illustrator just to get the font I want on my BOM. Is there a setting or download that you did to fix it?
I have never encountered a font issue from Composer to InDesign. What font are you using? Can you attach a screenshot of an example of what it looks like in Composer and in InDesign so I can see? I don't use BOM in Composer for a number of reasons so I am going to guess it is specific to the BOM table and not all your fonts. Would this be correct? If you send me a screen shot or attach a file with a BOM you are having the issue with I can take a look.
That makes sense - all the graphics come in fine in InDesign, but it's just the font from the BOM and the callouts, and any other text from a Composer .eps file comes in with a "Typewriter" font. I would rather it be a regular font such as, Arial. Attached is a PDF example of what the font looks like.
I've heard that it's just InDesign that has a recognition issue with font when it comes to using .eps files. The work around that I've found so far is to right-click and edit using Adobe Illustrator to find the font and re-save it. But that extra step is very inefficient. I've also attached the .eps file itself if you would like to experiment.
Thank you for looking into this,
So are you saying your callouts come in wrong as well? I have never had this issue and almost all my images have callouts. All my fonts come in exactly as exported from Composer into InDesign. I was hoping this was just a BOM issue for you but it seems to be more from what you described. What you attached is helpful to see the after but what does it look like before? The BOM eps opened in typewriter font for me too but I think it may be Composer doing this so would need a actual file. Can you attach a actual smg file for me to see?
Yes - callouts are also coming through with typewriter font. I have tried multiple fonts within Composer and they all come through as the typewriter in InDesign.
Attached is the .smg file.
What version are you using? See the screenshot below. I only changed the font of the BOM to Arial. This is a screenshot of the eps I exported from Composer and inserted into Indesign, the font is Arial. It seems to be exporting fine on my end. Does the font in the eps change in every program you use or only InDesign? If in every program then you know the problem is in Composer export. If only Indesign then your problem is there. Might need to check your fonts available in Indesign to see if it's missing fonts. I am about to leave the office but will do some more research tomorrow. Just let me know what you find.
Ok thank you! The font seems to be fine in programs like Microsoft Word and Adobe Illustrator. So InDesign must be the issue. I am currently using Adobe InDesign CC 2014.
I've tried setting the font in Composer as Arial because I know that my version of InDesign has Arial font. But even then it still doesn't come through right.
Let me know what you find in your research tomorrow, I greatly appreciate your help.
It seems that InDesign CC does not come with many fonts and they need to be synced with Typekit (included with CC). I currently use CS6 so I don't have this issue. If you look at the first link below it shows you all available fonts you get without Typekit and there are not many. The second link will show you how to use Typekit to install fonts. Since you said your Indesign has Arial you may have already done this since it seems its not a listed font included in CC without Typekit. If this does not fix your issue I would recommend posting on the Adobe forum along with this one. Since all other programs open the Composer eps as it should you may get better advice from there. Please keep us informed of what you find.
Work with Typekit fonts in InDesign
I spoke with someone on the Adobe forum as suggested and here is what we concluded with thus far:
1. Try to edit with a simple text editor you have access to2. Test by placing the edited EPS in InDesign3. Export to PDF and test the exported PDF with Acrobat Pro
Acrobat Distiller is no option. At least I think so, because you cannot map a missing font with a different font when you try the font "embedding" functionality.
If the EPS file is edited, you could use Distiller's batch functionality to *embed* the font during the distilling process that converts an EPS to PDF. And place the PDF instead of the EPS in InDesign.
This workflow is for all versions of InDesign.
If you want to convert your eps to pdf just right click on the file and "convert to pdf". Of course I do have Adobe Acrobat Pro which could be why it lets me do this but you could check. Not to judge anyone form the Adobe forum as I am sure most know more about Adobe products then me but that doesn't make a lot of sense. I have Composer 2014 and Indesign CS6 and go direct from Composer to EPS to InDesign with none of these extra steps and I never have font issues. I would contact your Composer VAR and see if they can give you any advice before buying any programs that may not be needed. Since we are on different versions of programs it is possible they are correct but to me that would be moving backwards not forwards during updates so I just don't see that.
Actually, I just finished a project that combined Composer and InDesign. It was a product manual and I used Composer to generate SVG's.
Composer does a nice job on technical illustrations
I especially like the subtle shading fill that it added.in this particular case.
The SVG's are vector based, so you don't have to do multiple resolution passes in Illustrator.
One cautionary issue: when composer creates an SVG, it does a lousy job approximating vectors from raster images. Things like textures, decals and image panels that reference raster have breaks and fuzz through them.
In these cases, I would go ahead and make a high-resolution image.
Finally, Composer doesn't have anything close to SolidWorks capabilities when it comes to photorealistic rendering. For cover images and beauty shots, I wouldn't even bother with it.
Regarding interactive content, that's a much more difficult area to address.
Composer has basic link embedding capability for SVG files. You can for example, make an SVG where when you click on an parts graphics, it's record in the Bill of materials highlights. You can similarly use composer's SVG capabilities to create hyperlinks to other content in your web site but this is still basic 2D stuff.
The interactive 3D content is all based on the Composer player application, which runs inside a webpage or PDF as an ActiveX control. Unfortunately, that makes the interactive stuff limited to Windows computers running Internet Explorer. No tablets, no Google Chrome, No firefox.
Composer does support a number of export formats that work cross platform like U3D, collada and Obj, so if you can integrate those with a 3rd party app, it may be possible to get it to work in that pipeline.
"The interactive 3D content is all based on the Composer player application, which runs inside a webpage or PDF as an ActiveX control. Unfortunately, that makes the interactive stuff limited to Windows computers running Internet Explorer. No tablets, no Google Chrome, No firefox."
Is this still the case 2 years later or has any of this been updated?
Far as I know this is still the case.
It is still windows only. Although 2016 SP3 adds support via a plugin to firefox so long as the composer player is also installed. This again is windows only.
There is also 3dvia studio but this is limited and as far as i can see not been developed recently. We have been pushing for a cross paltform method but i have not heard any updates on that. Ideally this would be WebGL/ HTML5.
There is a Web GL version of eDrawings used by 3d content cental that works on various platforms now so there is hope that Composer will get some attention on this front too.
Ask your VAR to add you to SPR 833210 Ability to publish to WEBGL-HTML 5 format.
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