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Question: Motion no longer supporting pdf page views

Hello, I began a Motion project yesterday using a single 90+ page PDF along with a video. After placing a few PDF pages using Media > Properties, I notices a mistake and redid the PDF (using InDesign). That worked perfectly...all previous slides updated and page numbers were retained. But today I noticed another minor issue in the PDF and output again (using the exact same settings) and all my slides in Motion reverted to "Page Number" 1 with no way to change that value. I tried creating a new PDF removing all hidden layers as suggested by another user here but that didn't help.


The only solution I discovered works is manually dragging the PDF to replace all 90 slides in Motion.

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Mar 7, 2018 4:29 AM in response to waleedkc In response to waleedkc

It's been a very long time since I've used InDesign... I was a PageMaker "fan" — did not care much for the Adobe copycat. Adobe has this "thing" — you can create files that are optimized for other Adobe products (this is the default behavior), or you can make a choice for "Maximum Compatibility". Rather vague wording, but I'm fairly sure you need to make sure that option is selected when saving as a PDF (IF that is even an available option in InDesign — but it sure is in Photoshop, at least the last version I used [CS6]). If that option is not available, try opening the PDF in Preview and Export a copy to use in Motion (as this should make it more Mac compatible). Make sure what you see in Preview is what you need in Motion!


I'm also assuming that when you say you used Media > Properties > Page Number you really meant [pdf selected in *Layers List*] > Properties > Media > Page Number (because I don't think you are able to select a page number from within the Media tab.)


About your main question: I'm fairly sure that the internal file "storage" format for PDFs in Adobe products is proprietary and I will venture that guess that they are not linear (or, exactly as you visually lay out the document) and always subject to change. That is Adobe's "right". Historically, for many (*many*) years, PDFs were the sole domain of Adobe's. The first non-Adobe apps that could (merely) open PDFs were all hacks and not even remotely guaranteed to work correctly. So, it is a very difficult file format to parse. Adobe finally loosened its iron-clad hold on PDFs for better cross application (and web) compatibility (hence the appearance of the Maximize Compatibility option [check preferences]), but I wouldn't trust any PDF created in an Adobe app *optimized* for Adobe products to be useful anywhere else.


I am 99.99% sure the problem is NOT Motion.

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Mar 7, 2018 4:29 AM in response to waleedkc In response to waleedkc

… hmm, weird effect, and a pity for you …


Can not confirm, Motion does not support pg# selection, my lil' HowTo 'fan' a pdf uses exactly that …


But I'm aware (far from being a specialist!!), pdfs could be a bag of hurt … so for a start, I would open that wrong-numbered pdf with s own preview app, and export it again as pdf - in hope, some voodoo fixes the issue.-

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Mar 5, 2018 11:10 AM in response to waleedkc In response to waleedkc

Is this a User Tip? or is there a question here?


I haven't had any issues with multi-page PDFs. I've imported a multi-page PDF, set the display page to something other than 1, closed the project, quit Motion then reopened the project and the PDF was on the page I left it set at.


What value are you trying to change? I'm not clear on how this is not working!

Mar 5, 2018 11:10 AM

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Mar 5, 2018 11:58 AM in response to fox_m In response to fox_m

Thank you for your feedback. My question was as follows:

1. Yesterday I created a PDF from Indesign and used Media > Properties > Page Number in Motion to place various pages in a timeline

2. A few pages in I realized a mistake in the PDF, fixed it and created a new PDF from Indesign. All existing slides updated in Motion with the correct “Page Number” values used in previous pdf

3. This morning I realized one other small mistake in the PDF. But when I made this second revised PDF (using exact same Indesign PDF output settings and same # of pages), all Page Number values in Motion reverted to “1”. Motion wouldn’t allow me to change the values either by directly typing a number or using the slider in the Properties panel


After several attempts at flattening and removing layers from the PDF, the only way I finally got it to work was to manually drag the PDF file from my desktop into each slide layer in my timeline. So instead of working with one media file and changing page numbers, I now had around 90 files in my Media panel. It worked but it’s obviously time consuming. My question is, why did Motion no longer honor page numbers from identically made PDFs (esp. since it worked just the day before)? Is there something I missed or is this a bug?

Mar 5, 2018 11:58 AM

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Mar 7, 2018 4:29 AM in response to waleedkc In response to waleedkc

It's been a very long time since I've used InDesign... I was a PageMaker "fan" — did not care much for the Adobe copycat. Adobe has this "thing" — you can create files that are optimized for other Adobe products (this is the default behavior), or you can make a choice for "Maximum Compatibility". Rather vague wording, but I'm fairly sure you need to make sure that option is selected when saving as a PDF (IF that is even an available option in InDesign — but it sure is in Photoshop, at least the last version I used [CS6]). If that option is not available, try opening the PDF in Preview and Export a copy to use in Motion (as this should make it more Mac compatible). Make sure what you see in Preview is what you need in Motion!


I'm also assuming that when you say you used Media > Properties > Page Number you really meant [pdf selected in *Layers List*] > Properties > Media > Page Number (because I don't think you are able to select a page number from within the Media tab.)


About your main question: I'm fairly sure that the internal file "storage" format for PDFs in Adobe products is proprietary and I will venture that guess that they are not linear (or, exactly as you visually lay out the document) and always subject to change. That is Adobe's "right". Historically, for many (*many*) years, PDFs were the sole domain of Adobe's. The first non-Adobe apps that could (merely) open PDFs were all hacks and not even remotely guaranteed to work correctly. So, it is a very difficult file format to parse. Adobe finally loosened its iron-clad hold on PDFs for better cross application (and web) compatibility (hence the appearance of the Maximize Compatibility option [check preferences]), but I wouldn't trust any PDF created in an Adobe app *optimized* for Adobe products to be useful anywhere else.


I am 99.99% sure the problem is NOT Motion.

Mar 7, 2018 4:29 AM

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Mar 7, 2018 4:29 AM in response to waleedkc In response to waleedkc

… hmm, weird effect, and a pity for you …


Can not confirm, Motion does not support pg# selection, my lil' HowTo 'fan' a pdf uses exactly that …


But I'm aware (far from being a specialist!!), pdfs could be a bag of hurt … so for a start, I would open that wrong-numbered pdf with s own preview app, and export it again as pdf - in hope, some voodoo fixes the issue.-

Mar 7, 2018 4:29 AM

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Mar 7, 2018 4:29 AM in response to Karsten Schlüter In response to Karsten Schlüter

Thanks a lot for both your replies. I understand PDFs can be finicky but the same can be said of Motion sometimes--at least to non-experts like me.


As suggested, I re-exported the PDF in Preview (v10) and Acrobat (both X and DC)...no luck. Then I opened the original InDesign CS6 presentation in CC18 and made a new PDF...Motion was still not pleased. I'll file this under annoying. But the project's done and I've made my peace.

Mar 7, 2018 4:29 AM

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Question: Motion no longer supporting pdf page views