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Bryan Rieger

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    Montréal, Canada 🇨🇦

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  1. Yeah @ilcalvelage, if you're coming from Adobe apps there's a number of maddening UI/UX decisions in Designer (as well as Photo and Publisher). Artboards in Designer aren't like artboards in Illustrator, they are more like a custom layer type in the Affinity apps. Also, there's no global layers across artboards which can be frustrating when it comes to managing assets across artboards in Designer (and Publisher). While it can be frustrating (especially at first), there are some really nice aspects to the Affinity apps, but they work a little differently to their Adobe counterparts. You'll likely find that the main annoyances/blocking issues are the long-standing bugs, feature requests (some going back almost a decade with Designer) and chronic UI/UX issues. I expect Serif to hear a lot about the many short-comings of their apps over the next few weeks/months as many folks attempt to migrate from Adobe.
  2. If you turn on the poorly named 'Rubber Band Mode(?!)' (the last icon on the right) you'll get a preview while using the pen tool.
  3. For me they’re not a replacement for other tools, but rather just another tool that I find useful.
  4. I've simply come to accept the Affinity apps as they are, bugs, warts, oddities and all. Designer fills a very specific niche for me, one where Macromedia Fireworks once was (the combination of vector and bitmap art in one app), but I don't really use Photo or Publisher much as I don't know all the bugs and workarounds required like I do with Designer (I've been using it for 9+ years now, since v1). I've also stopped hoping bugs are going to get fixed. I'm just happy if they don't add new ones that affect my existing workflows/tools whenever they push an update. Sadly, the last few releases have given me a few more headaches than I'd like (although I do appreciate the pencil tool improvements, but even that feature is 1/2 baked). I used to participate in a lot of beta programs (with other companies), but gave up a few years back when it became clear the beta testers were being used as free labour, and the release were still going out with lots of bugs and issues that had been reported during the beta periods. I've got better things to do with my time. Maybe one day things might change, but after close the 10 years using the Affinity apps I'm not going to hold my breath. The frustrating thing is that there are bits of Designer that I truly love, and they're what keep me using it, but every time I run into issues I keep wondering if it's time to simply let it go and move on.
  5. I wonder how many Adobe users have begun trialing/using Affinity in the past week and run into not only UX/UI issues, but also significant bugs? It's wonderful that so many people are now discovering the Affinity apps, but if their first impressions are one of bug-ridden confusion and stability issues, I can't imagine they'll stick around for long—if not write them off entirely. Acquiring new customers is hard. Getting them to take a second look is even harder. If Canva really bought Affinity with the intent to appeal to professional users, these long-standing issues aren't going to do much to help the cause. It would be a shame to lose them (potentially forever) due to a less than stellar user experience.
  6. Yeah, that's it. It was resized from 72dpi to 300dpi late yesterday afternoon to bring an icon into a print document in order to try to keep the stroke proportions the same. There does seem to be an issue with stroke (single and multiple strokes) proportions applied in pts to a curve when the DPI is changed, or objects are copy/pasted between documents of different DPI.
  7. Nope, no PDFs - but there is an embedded image. I've uploaded the file to your Dropbox. Also, I just opened the file again and EVERYTHING that had rounded corners (they were all 6pt) now has rounded corners of 0pt, and anything that had multiple strokes applied suddenly has the topmost stroke with a much thinner width (0.4pt - 0.5pt). You can somewhat see the changes by toggling the outlines layer (I'm in the process of moving/changing many of the icons, but you should get the idea). I changed nothing, but suddenly I now have to go back and change them all again. Not sure what's going on… I fear I may need to revert to 2.5.0/2.4.2 (or gasp 😱, grudgingly switch to Illustrator for the time being). I've worked in the file since the crash reported here (above) without problems. The problem of suddenly changing artwork within the file is new this morning.
  8. I most likely had been copying and pasting objects within the Affinity Designer doc, but hadn’t exported anything.
  9. Just had a crash (see attached crash.txt for the report) out of nowhere. I as using Safari at the time, Designer was in the background (with 1 document open) and suddenly was gone. macOS 14.5, Designer 2.5.2, MPB M1-Pro, 32GB crash.txt
  10. I ran across this video from OH no Type Co on Instagram today in which he talks about how he uses AI in his work. Rather than simply using AI to generate 'new' work from scratch, he uses it to enhance his own original work, which he uses as input. He then takes the output (feedback) from the AI and further refines it in his own designs. I think this is a great use of AI in that it provides the artist with the ability to rapidly explore multiple variations of their own work. This 'AI feedback' is in many ways not dissimilar to some of the feedback artists might routinely receive from peers, but it's immediate and doesn't pull them too far out of their workflow. This is a great example of AI as a tool to enable artists, rather than as a tool to replace artists. I've include the video itself below, but the comments in the original post https://www.instagram.com/p/C7pk-dKSGoH/ are definitely worth a read. Just some thoughts on how I use AI. I’m not an illustrator!.mp4
  11. The art is a concept here, which asks questions about the nature of art, of creativity, interpretation, etc by presenting the audience with a blank slate and asking them to imagine the work from the description. There's been a number of artists who have executed similar concepts over the years. Cy Twombly did this back in the late 50's, where he 'painted' works with alluring titles (such as 'Poems to the Sea'), using only a few pencil lines, brush strokes, and scribbled words to depict the subjects, compelling the audience "to read what is there, but not fully manifest in the artist’s scrawled script."
  12. I've run across a few art directors at various agencies that have been trialing 'AI artists' for some time, and have recently recommended that their agencies no longer commission AI generated (prompted) art. A couple of problems seem to come from 'artists' who only work with AI prompts. First, they often lack any proficiency with Photoshop that would enable them to tweak the generated images to meet the agency briefs, and instead the keep modifying their prompts in the hope that the AI will somehow magically incorporate any art direction supplied. Unfortunately, the continued prompting often makes things worse, which then causes the second problem. Because these 'artists' have no formal training in the arts, they've never been exposed to critique or art direction, which means very often they take any criticism or direction as a personal attack on themselves. Needless to say, this cause a lot of friction when working to an agency brief. We're in the gold rush (where the folks who make the shovels win) days of AI (ahem, Nvidia), and while there's LOTS of excitement, generative AI generally hasn't proven itself as a solution to any problem most folks actually have. Yes, it creates images based on a prompt, but the majority of the images have a definite 'AI smell' to them, which has recently been labelled as 'AI Boomer Art' by younger folks (I'll leave it to you to do a web search). It's also interesting that there's been a noticeable uptick in younger artists creating using analog materials (paint, charcoal, clay, etc). Personally, I think the prompter AI 'artists' are likely soon to go the way of all of the NFT artists from a few years back. If you can't make a living creating prompt generated AI art today given how cheap the services are (many companies currently view AI as a loss-leader), there's no chance you're going to pay the adjusted standard market rates when things cool.
  13. Warning: this post contains generative AI work for illustration purposes only. Not to dismiss the many talents of the Affinity staff, but typically you'd want an AI trained on a MUCH larger dataset in order to be able to generate anything meaningful. Anyway, you can do this already - check out Canva (you know, the folks who know own Serif/Affinity). Their 'Magic Media' and 'Magic Write' features are pretty impressive. For instance, I give you the following Canva Magic Write poem based on the prompt " a villanelle about a frog and toad", along with a Magic Media image generated using the following 5 word prompt 'frog toad pond moonlight friendship'. It's not great (although it does have that 'generative AI smell'), but it's also not terrible, and could easily provide a great starting point for your own illustration and villanelle about a frog and toad. I don't think a separate Affinity Generative AI app is needed (or a wise investment), just an SDK that enables others to add integrations to various AI services. Users can then opt to use, or not, any AI in whichever way they personally choose.
  14. So I'm gonna pipe in with what is very likely an unpopular opinion here to try and balance things out. Before the acquisition of Affinity by Canva my only experience with Canva was having to prepare assets for others to use, as well as provide a little art direction for folks from various disciplines; social media, marketing, community orgs, etc. Every time I logged into Canvas I cringed, and I made a point of spending as little time as possible there. After the acquisition I decided to dig a little deeper into Canva; the product, the company, and the community. I tried to approach it with an open mind, and without all the years of baggage I have of using 'professional' design tools. Here's my takeaways: The Product I decided to take Canva up on their offer of a free 30 day Pro trial, rather than just use the free version. This includes things such as custom fonts, branding kits, resizing and translation of designs, and the ability to schedule social content (among other goodies). The (old) interface took a little getting used to as it was very simple, BUT something about it reminded me of using Apple's Keynote (especially the new interface). I LOVE Keynote in that it doesn't overwhelm you with features, but it still enables you to achieve impressive results. And it's FUN to use. For me, Canva has this same feel. It's fun. It might not be packed with 'professional' features, but it is very easy to quickly create something that looks good—even without using the avalanche of available templates or elements. Will it replace Affinity (or Adobe) for me, no, but it is an app that I am definitely going to add to my toolkit. After using it for the past month I have to say I can see why it is so beloved by its community. I hope Canva can help bring some of this 'fun' user experience to the Affinity apps. Not dumbing them down, but rather adding those little touches that delight and engage. The Company Now I've developed a general distrust of all tech companies in recent years, and I approached Canva with the same trepidation. I watched the Canva Create Musical, and to be honest I've seen worse (recent Adobe and Apple events come to mind). The thing I liked about it was that it didn't take itself too seriously, and it was instilled with the same FUN that I've come to know in the app itself. I'm also really impressed by their philanthropy, environmental initiatives, and their commitment to provide Canva and Affinity for free to non-profits and education. The last one is HUGE, and so important. The Community So this is the bit that blew me away. Canva is LOVED by its community, and (judging by social media interactions) Canva loves its community. So many folks around the world have used Canva to help create and run their businesses, community projects, side-hustles, hobbies, and freelance projects. It has enabled these people like no other tool has, and there are entire cottage industries built around Canva to provide templates, training, tutorials, artwork, consulting, etc. The fact that it's gaining traction in the enterprise is no surprise as folks will often initially use the tools they already know personally long before corporate purchasing enters the picture (see Slack, GitHub, etc). For marketing, growth and social media departments Canva is a no-brainer, especially if you're working with a team. The Opportunity So, essentially I've come away from this experiment with a new app in my toolkit. One that is fun and easy to use. One that is developed by a company with values that I'm generally aligned with (the AI stuff, not so much - but EVERYBODY is doing it for the moment), and one with a massive community that is fanatical about the product. For me, I see this as a massive opportunity to find ways to work with orgs and enterprises using Canva, creating bespoke assets/illustrations, branding kits, and templates (using the Affinity apps), and providing design training and consulting/art direction. Anyway, if you've read all the way to here - thank you. I easily could have written pages and pages, but I hope these few paragraphs provide some insight into my experience and perspective of Canva since the acquisition. Change is hard, but it's also an opportunity.
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