Step by step - Learn how to use callas productscallas pdfToolbox ShapesUse shapes to visualize small distances between objects or inside of outlined objects

Use shapes to visualize small distances between objects or inside of outlined objects

The shapes technology can be combined with a method used in image analysis to visualize areas where minimum distance requirements are not met.

Example of practical application 

Determining the minimum distance between two objects (or contour lines of an object) is important for films that are output on cutting plotters.

How does this image analysis work?

The algorithm first reduces the shape of the object by half of the minimum distance. Where the minimum distance is not kept that means that the shape will be completely removed. Then the shape is enlarged by the same value so that everything is restored - except those areas that have been removed in the first step.

This can best be demonstrated with an example. We have a PDF file in which the word "Test" has been placed twice with only a cut contour.

To check the critical distances, three Fixups must be performed in each of the two cases: Visualize the critical distances between objects and visualize the critical distances within objects.

Check minimum distance between contour lines within an object:

  1. Fixup: Fills all vector objects with Magenta.
  2. Fixup: Reduces the area by a specified value and fills it with Magenta as well.
  3. Fixup: Enlarges the area defined in Fixup 2 again by the previously specified value and fills it with gray. 

As a result, all areas where the filled objects become narrower than 2 mm are marked Magenta. Unproblematic areas are covered with gray color.

Check minimum distance between two or more objects:

  1. Fixup: Fills the page outside the vector objects with Cyan.
  2. Fixup: Reduces the area by a specified value and also fills it with Cyan.
  3. Fixup: Enlarges the area (defined in Fixup 2) again by the previously specified value and fills it with gray.

As a result, all areas where the minimum distance between the objects is less then 4 mm are marked Cyan. Unproblematic areas are covered with gray color.

Of course, these two analyses can be combined in one Process Plan. The Process Plan attached below visualizes both cases so that you can easily check all critical areas in your PDF. The Process Plan contains variables so that you can individually define the spot color name of your cut contour and the minimum distance (in mm).