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Herbert123

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Everything posted by Herbert123

  1. I have been using Affinity Photo at work for a while now, and I have a couple of questions as to a non-destructive workflow. It is pretty good so far, although the overall workflow feels a tad destructive to me. I am used to both Photoshop and Photoline. 1) after developing a RAW file in the Developer Persona, the changes are applied to it destructively, correct? In Photoshop we have the smart object approach to keep things "live", and in Photoline the RAW file is inserted as a regular layer in the layer stack, with live adjustments and settings. Any way to work non-destructive so as to keep the RAW processing live? 2) similarly, is it possible to non-destructively use the liquify persona? In Photoshop we again have smart objects to accomplish this, and in Photoline the liquify tool adds a liquify layer which can be edited directly at all times (even possible to add as many liquify layers as you like, and stack those). 3) after typing text, or creating a vector shape, when I apply a mesh warp or perspective tool edit, the layer is converted to pixels, and I can no longer edit the text. Other effects and distortions also rasterize the text layers. Is there a way to avoid this, and keep the text live? 4) embedded and linked placeholder layers (PL) or smart objects (PH) are missing in Photo. Clipping layers can use smart objects in Photoshop, making it possible to re-use these masks (not very elegant, though). In Photoline and Krita it is possible to clone layers, and re-use them in the layer stack. I am wondering whether a similar feature (SOs and/or virtual layers) is planned at some point? Especially external linked placeholder layers are very useful - when used in combination with non-destructive tools. 5) no fill patterns in Photo yet? 6) I noticed it is possible to have masks within masks, and apply live effects to these masks. The trouble is, once these layer masks are dropped on a layer, the embedded masks and effect layers become inaccessible: the layer stack hides them, and seemingly there is no method to twirl down the contents. Is a setting available to gain access to these embedded layers? Thanks.
  2. In other applications it is possible to assign multiple fills and strokes to the same object. I searched for such an option in Designer, but I can't seem to find it. Is this possible (yet)? If not, is it on the road map?
  3. As far as I am able to ascertain, Designer lacks an option to fit a dashed stroke to the corners, which automatically adjusts when the object is resized. It would be an extremely useful feature to have. Like this:
  4. Herbert123

    Affinity Web?

    Indeed! Pretty excellent replacement for Dreamweaver. I use Pinegrow as a super-charged visual inspector, as well as for quick web setups. It supports the main front-end html/css frameworks as well (Foundation, Bootstrap, Google Material).
  5. It's difficult to answer: I process each image individually for web use. After processing I scale down with either Mitchell-Netravali or Catmull-Rom resampling algorithms. Catmull-Rom in particular keeps small details clear and sharp. I NEVER EVER use Bicubic, Lanczos 3 or 8 for downscaling images: Lanczos works well for upscaling, not so much for the other way around - especially when dealing with sharp-edged illustrative artwork. Read up on it here: https://pixinsight.com/doc/docs/InterpolationAlgorithms/InterpolationAlgorithms.html Scroll down for visual comparisons. Catmull-Rom and Mitchell-Netravali just result in better down-sampled images. I also found that scaling down sharp-edged artwork with Lanczos may introduce artefacting or halos between dark edges and light fills. In any case, Lanczos results in too soft a result - as if blurred a bit. Unfortunately Affinity Photo or Designer do not offer either Catmull-Rom or Mitchell-Netravali as a resample algorithm (yet?). That is a real shame, because it does make quite a difference. Anyway, you can always download ColorQuantizer, which is free, and does support these algorithms (and many more!). Then save the result as a lossless PNG, and open it in Photo for further processing. http://x128.ho.ua/color-quantizer.html If your content is illustrative sharp-edged artwork, PNG works best. For best final compression and quality control again ColorQuantizer bests every single other tool out there. I never rely on anything else at this point. Regarding final web output formats: for photos I never us PNG - instead I would suggest JPG at a higher quality (up until the time that we can finally say farewell to JPG and use WebP instead). If you prefer to keep using PNG as a final web output format for photos, I would advise you to do the final compression and optimization again in ColorQuantizer.
  6. Herbert123

    Affinity Web?

    Dreamweaver is a train wreck. It becomes worse with each new release, and the latest one (2017) is a real mess with that half-hearted Brackets integration. I left Dreamweaver years and years ago. Most coders did the same: DW does not even show up in any of the user statistics anymore (for example: http://stackoverflow.com/research/developer-survey-2016 Adobe should just bury it - leave it to Adobe to destroy good products (Freehand, Fireworks, Director, Dreamweaver). I work predominantly in Netbeans myself, with Notepad++ and Atom on the side for certain tasks. And PineGrow for a more visual environment that is still very code friendly. To replace Dreamweaver, have a look at the PineGrow <-> Atom combo: bidirectional real-time updates while you work. A much better workflow compared to DW. It's pretty awesome. https://pinegrow.com/
  7. That is too bad. I am used to non-destructive bitmap mask gradients.
  8. Cloning objects and layers is awesome. Competing software has it, and it allows for mirroring, cloning layer masks for re-use throughout the project (and the layer masks can be based on a clone of the original image), vector clones can be transformed and adjusted with live adjustment layers and effects... The workflow is brilliant. And real-time updates of the clones when the original is edited is truly useful as well. Once you get used to this, it is hard to work in Photo - it really limits the workflow. At least Affinity does offer symbols - but it is not quite the same.
  9. DaVinci Resolve is very hardware-hungry. If your hardware is well supported, then it flies, and runs stable. If not, well... That is indeed the disadvantage of Resolve - quite picky.
  10. I noticed bitmap layer masks with a gradients are destructive: create a layer mask and add a gradient with the gradient tool, and switch to a different layer. Then select the layer mask with the gradient again. Even with the gradient tool selected, the gradient widget is not displayed. Is this a bug?
  11. Motion and FCPX are fine when you are on a Mac. If you need cross-platform compatibility, DaVinci and Fusion are excellent alternatives. And Motion can't compare with Fusion when it comes down to compositing work.
  12. That isn't a new technique - I have been aware of it for years. I taught that in Photoshop classes myself (granted, with some variations). It is also quite handy to avoid sharpening those pesky JPG artifacts, and still improve the overall texture. The trouble in Photoshop is that layer masks cannot be cloned or used as a smart object, unless you resort to clunky clipping layers. And adjustment layers cannot be cloned or put in a smart object and still affect the main document. In Affinity Photo, as you state yourself, layers and masks cannot be cloned or instanced either, nor are smart objects available (yet?). Without the option in either application to virtually clone/instance layers and recycle those as layer masks, it is going to be impossible to create a non-destructive option - unless the developers implement a dedicated tool for this type of functionality - which is not the right path to be taking, in my opinion. Here's how you would do it in a competitor that does support cloned layers (fully non-destructive, and very controllable with the outline and gray mixer adjustment layers). Notice how the unsharp masking layer mask is an instance of the original photo layer. When the background is replaced with a different photo, the virtual copy that creates the mask updates automatically.
  13. Affinity would have to compete with the likes of DaVinci Resolve and Fusion - a tough nut to crack indeed. DaVinci Resolve is a brilliant non-linear video editor, and the industry standard colour grading tool. Fusion is a nodal compositor for visual effects - superior to After Effects for that type of work. Not as good for motion graphics, though. Both are used in feature film production. Can't get any better than this, because the great thing is: both are free to work with up to ultra HD footage! Get them here: https://www.blackmagicdesign.com/ca/products/davinciresolve https://www.blackmagicdesign.com/ca/products/fusion I would advice Serif to stay away from trying to compete in the professional video business. I would, however, very much welcome a Flash type competitor - but even in that segment the competition is quite tough: 2016 has been very interesting for animators: Moho, ClipStudio, and of course the open sourced OpenTOonz (which is getting better with every new release). Krita also includes animation now, and is finally Mac ready!
  14. Herbert123

    [AD] Isolation Mode

    @svicalifornia: Thanks for the clear explanation: the table grouping example is a good one. I am not against an isolation mode - I just do not like the way it is implemented in Illustrator. If the shortcut key could be modified (with an option to use a modifier key + single click), and the screen darken effect could be turned off as well, I would certainly welcome such an isolation mode.
  15. Herbert123

    [AP] Improvements of Curves Function

    Refer to the image below. Compared to other Curves implementations, I like these things: the ability to work directly in HSV and HIS mode. Super handy. A simple saturation curve is quite powerful and simple to apply. the option to open any curve in a scale-able window that can be resized to any size - as big as the screen, if needed. I just do not understand why most image editors will not allow the user to do this. Photoshop's curve palette is tiny, even in expanded mode! Curves are so important, and this is one of my pet peeves. thumbnails of curve presets. the option to apply curve presets to specific channels. various curve types: spline, langrange, bezier, line, text input, etc. a preview option with a split view of which the split can be move to the left and right the option to quickly create a stepped curve. the option to invert a curve. the option to move the entire curve left, right, up, and down. My main issue with Affinity Photo's curves is that it seems quite heavy on processing. On an older i5 Windows tablet (EPE121) the curves choke that machine, and adjusting the curves is almost impossible. I do not experience that issue with other image editors and curves adjustments are snappy and responsive. Anyway, I feel it is a good idea to compare the various curves implementations, and learn from them. I do like the alpha channel option in Photo.
  16. Herbert123

    [AP] Improvements of Curves Function

    One thing that bugs me in a lot of image editors (excepting one or two so far) is that the curves panel/palette/dialog cannot be scaled. Please allow for this.
  17. Herbert123

    Linux. Seriously now.

    In this case I am going to break my own rule (not to mention other competing applications here anymore) because this time the app in question will not compete directly with Affinity since Affinity will not run on Linux (or WINE). A professional alternative for photo editing for Windows that DOES work in WINE for Linux exists, and is even actively supported by the developers to run in WINE. PhotoLine works without any issues in WINE on Linux. A number of users work with Photoline in WINE for their work on a daily basis - and the developers even added a Linux compatible colour management system alternative (Little CMS) that can be activated in the preferences. PhotoLine also happily supports vector editing, and will link to InkScape and Krita for a round-trip editing workflow. Full CMYK and Lab support, mostly non-destructive workflow, non-destructive Raw editing, and 16 and 32bpc is supported. If you are working on Linux look no further for a great Adobe alternative. Perhaps in five years or so when more users will have made the switch to Linux (I expect to do this myself in a couple of years) Affinity will be made available on that platform as well.
  18. I have a couple of IxD related question for the Affinity developer team: Is an experienced Interaction/UX designer part of your team? Did you perform usability tests with test participants right from the start using prototypes? Do you currently perform usability tests? Just curious about your development workflow in regards to usability design - this is not meant in a negative manner. When I design GUIs, games, and sites I almost always perform usability tests with test participants. These may either be formal or informal, depending on the scope of the job at hand.
  19. Assign a shortcut key to FLIP HORIZONTAL I assigned the numpad forward slash key myself. <CMD/CTRL> A, / Hit it twice to flip back.
  20. What you are referring to is Adobe's version of "Tiff files". Adobe is saving a PSD file embedded in a Tiff - which is only fully compatible with Photoshop. And no other application (bar one exception) is capable of dealing with smart objects with external smart live effects anyway. Affinity Photo is not able (yet?) to do this either. Simple answer: No, it is not. Blame Adobe for mucking with standards and confusing everyone.
  21. Herbert123

    EXR files

    Multi-layered EXR files as well, I presume?
  22. Herbert123

    [AD] Isolation Mode

    I understand that. I am providing an alternative viewpoint that not all designers are in love with Illustrator's isolation mode. I am not the only one - visit Adobe forums, and a quick search will result in questions from users how they can turn off isolation mode. And I am not inherently opposed to an isolation mode - merely the way it is implemented in Illustrator. I do like opening a symbol or smart object in its own window when working on complex art and layouts. Having the rest of your design faded out - no, thank you. Various reasons. Under pressure from a deadline, and complex artwork tends to become laggy to work with. A secondary click may be interpreted as a double-click under circumstances. Besides, double-clicking is 1) frustrating when the user works with a Wacom, and 2) to be avoided in relation to repetitive strain injury. Third, if alternative methods exist, we ought to explore those as well, and see if we may improve on the Illustrator working methods. Ah, my mistake. It was late when I wrote that line. I meant that in that other application I can either hold down a modifier key or switch selection mode, and a single-click selects any object in a group or sub-group. No need for double-clicking at all to work with groups and sub-groups. Also, in that other application I can easily select objects 10 levels deep with one click. Then select another object in another group anywhere in the canvas with one click. Selecting is dependent on a mode switch - which means I can drag a selection marquee around objects within the active group that I am working in without accidentally selecting other objects or groups. ... The reason for my counter posting is really only to start up a discussion to explore alternative workflows to solve these workflow issues in Affinity Designer. I and others do NOT like the isolation mode as it is currently implemented in Illustrator. Double-clicking as a common GUI action has its drawbacks as well. So, let's explore various options, I say. Let's not be bound by what is standard in Illustrator, and perhaps we can discover a method of selecting, and working with, objects in groups that is an improvement over what Illustrator offers - because I feel Illustrator's workflow is a pain in the neck.
  23. Herbert123

    [AD] Isolation Mode

    I feel a dose of reality is warranted here. Freehand never had an isolation mode like the one in Illustrator. It was possible to convert groups of objects to symbols, and edit a symbol in a new window. Not comparable to Illustrator's isolation mode - similar to Flash and Photoshop's smart objects, though. But quite useless for editing within context. Freehand's layer palette is terrible. Other organization tools in Freehand are antiquated. The way many tools work in Freehand - frustrating. The GUI slow and cumbersome to work with in comparison with modern software. Let's avoid the "olden times were the best" syndrome. Freehand is a relic - granted, some nicely implemented base tools, but for the rest - blah. Frankly, I dislike Illustrator's isolation mode. Inadvertently double-clicking any group, and BAM! the rest of the design is faded out. This happened to me when working under the pressure of a deadlines all the time. Personally, I turned it off in the preferences. But then again, I really did not like working in Illustrator in the first place, and prefer other tools now. As mentioned, the layer panel is a mess. The workflow laggy and slow - unless expanded with plugins. IF the Affinity Designer developers ever decide to add an isolation mode like the one in Illustrator, PLEASE make sure it can be turned off. Not all of us are enamoured by Illustrator's implementation of this mode. I very much dislike the rest of my design faded out. In one of the vector/bitmap applications I use, working with groups is quite elegantly solved: two selection modes are available, and one of these allows for entering groups with two clicks. Selections occur within the group itself - dragging a selection marquee will only select the objects in the active group. And no need to fade out the rest of the design. Exiting a group in that application merely consists of a single click outside the group. It will then select the next parent level. No need for pointless double-clicks. Nor do I see any reason to fade out the rest of the design when editing a symbol. I'd like to see the actual effect and overall colour changes when editing symbols. If the need exists to focus on the contents of a symbol without being distracted by the design it is used in, opening the symbol in its own window works better anyway. And for complex designs it will provide a definite speed boost as well. Simple commands to enter and exit a group work just as well in my opinion. The same application I mentioned above allows for a smart object type workflow as well. Aside from symbols, I think smart objects would be far more useful to organize complex work with compared to an isolation mode. I do completely agree that Affinity Designer's current selection tools must be expanded, and allow us to work within groups only. I do not think Illustrator's isolation mode is the best approach. I believe Illustrator's isolation mode was conceived to deal with live paint mode in the first place? Let's not make the same mistakes Illustrator made. Isolation mode is a patch to deal with Illustator's less-then-ideal workflow and layers. The existing selection tools can be expanded easily with a group work mode. And add shortcut keys to enter and exit groups quickly with the keyboard.
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