View Full Version : Darwin VDP and Imposition

11-05-2010, 02:38 PM
How are people who use Darwin imposing their pages for variable data? Currently we use the Smart Stream plugin for Indesign to impose vdp jobs to send to the Indigo. Darwin doesn't appear to have anything built in for that purpose.


11-05-2010, 07:53 PM
I also use SmartStream for imposing my variable data jobs. Darwin we have used mostly for personalized jobs in Storefront. In that case we output PDF from Storefront into Prinergy. Then use a combo of RBA and Preps to create the impositions and we send an imposed PDF to the Indigo.

Twice I have exported PPML from Darwin and imposed at the Rip. To do this I created a layout in SmartStream exported it. Then Imported the layout to the rip on the press. Then I took the Darwin generated PPML that had already ripped and passed it through the imposition function at the press with the layout I had imported. It was an awkward workflow which is why I no longer use it. This workflow was done using a Indigo 5000 with the rip software built in to the press. I know that it would be some what different on my newer system, HP Production Pro Server and Indigo 7000.

11-07-2010, 03:16 PM
Yeha, imposition in Darwin is a significant miss. most other DFE / RIPs have built in imposition.

The logic is that inrip imposition should be far more efficient than pre rip imposition, but since Xobject caching, there was no need for in-rip imposition.

However, most rips, including the Indigo's didn't (and some still don't) support XObject caching in PDF's so they either have to bloat the file size to however many times up the imposition is, or they have to rip each element x times over.

There isn't a common standard across RIP manufacturers on how to handle imposition, caching and VDP. The sad reality is there probably will never be.

09-06-2011, 02:14 PM
The most efficient way to impose variable data is to use VPS and have a VPS capable server to do the imposition.

We do very complex variable data this way and it works fine.

If you try to use other architecture you will waste a huge amount of time processing. In a VPS data stream object are stored only one time and reference in all pages making a smaller file and enhancing/reducing the ripping process.

09-07-2011, 12:08 AM
So how do you handle transparency in a VPS workflow?

A simple drop shadow of a text element isn't even doable in VPS using Darwin. Postscript is way too limiting to modern design tools and elements.

Optimized PDF replaced VPS years ago with x-object caching support and soon PDF-VT will add additional support. VDX is a PDF based VDP standard that supports transparency via PDF Print Engines.

09-07-2011, 12:09 PM
Transparencies and gradients is a big unsolved issue. Flattening them is the only workaround. But the constrain is not on Darwin, is it on the capability of the Adobe print Engine to handle them. The new Adobe Print Engine is supposed to handle them, but I don't know if there is any server out there with that technology yet.

My experience with optimized pdf is not good. Ripping times are too long, almost as long as a regular pdf.

09-07-2011, 03:40 PM
Kodak Nexpress has handled Optimized PDF, VDX and PDF-VT for years.

We don't sweat transparency on Nexpress, gave up postscript workflows years ago and haven't looked back.

I wouldn't even consider a digital press that couldn't handle transparency effectively.

FYI, HP Indigo and their RIP (not Adobe based) also have been able to handle transparency in their VDP workflows, but not the best rip times, but they just cluster servers to crank through it.

The Creo Spire is showing its age, I had heard of a PDF Print Engine based Spire along time ago, but I guess it hasn't made it to market.