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About JET_Affinity

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  1. Please forgive my admittedly passionate stance on this, but... Auto-tracing is far and away usually very bad practice which merely trades one kind of ugliness (raster pixilation) for another (jagged vector paths). The end result thereby negates the resolution-independence advantages of properly drawn scalable vector artwork. Although it has some legitimate last-resort uses, it is by far most commonly used as a cheesy workaround for avoiding properly drawing efficient and accurate paths. It is also very common and easily available elsewhere. You can even do it online for free. It does not need to appear in every drawing program. (Corel did it right by implementing it as a separate standalone utility.) As overwhelmingly implemented, all most auto-trace utilities do is try to draw paths around contiguous same- or similarly-colored pixels with a certain amount of "sensitivity" control. They have no shape recognition capability whatsoever. As a very simple example, they know neither that a cluster of dark pixels is supposed to represent the pupil of an eye, nor that a pupil is round. So you just end up with an ugly irregular path which looks no better when enlarged than the original raster. That's what I mean by simply trading one kind of resolution-dependent ugliness for another. Another far too typical use is by sign shops which auto-trace a customer's logo so they can cut it from sign vinyl. The resulting jagged shapes of the hugely enlarged paths is a dead giveaway of amateurish sub-standard work. So I, for one, have no interest whatsoever in seeing yet another "me, too" auto-trace feature cluttering up yet another vector drawing program. It's not just dead last on my wish list; it's not on the list at all. Its absence is a better indication that a program is being developed for serious commercial-quality work. Affinity still needs way too many serious vector drawing features to waste any development time on yet another junky auto-trace feature. JET
  2. Well, I've been at it at least as long digitally, and at least another decade before that. And I quite routinely move vector graphics to a raster program in all kinds of projects. I would. For just one example, it would simplify the process of creating "halos" in technical drawings, where it is often needed on open paths, and one has to tediously construct extra closed paths as a workaround. But there are countless other opportunities for its use, especially in programs supporting multiple strokes on paths. Gravit Designer, for another current upstart, provides for it (although buggy at the moment). There's no reason why offset strokes (determined by path direction) shouldn't be just as useful for open paths as for closed. (And frankly, there's no reason why live offset strokes shouldn't be integrated with offset path commands. Why should live stroke position be limited to just centered, inside, and outside? I, for one, am weary of seeing new competitors in the stagnant vector drawing arena merely playing "me, too" to the limitations of Illustrator. Exactly. Your experience doesn't set the desires, needs, or ingenuity of everyone else. JET
  3. Just want to add my voice to those asking for a true Hairline stroke weight. It's not just for vertical-market needs like cutting on NC devices. In the FreeHand days, Hairline was my default working stroke weight whenever drawing paths. It's absence in Illustrator is a pain in the neck to former FreeHand users, and I was delighted to find it in DrawPlus. It really needs to be added to Affinity Designer. For those not familiar, the Hairline stroke weight always renders the finest line possible on whatever the output device is (be it the monitor or a printer). This is different from simply setting a small stroke weight because a Hairline setting does not scale as you zoom. So when you are trying to draw paths precisely, the path you're working on is always displayed at the same minimal weight that can be displayed as you zoom in and out. It effectively enables you to work in what Illustrator treats as a separate "outline" view mode just on the path you're currently working on, without losing the reference of all the already existing artwork styling. I also routinely used it for special printer marks (fold marks, etc.) in the bleed areas. Hairline stroke weight is also excellent for use in illustrating step-by-step procedures with screen captures because it lets you use color-coded construction and demo paths while capturing at any zoom. This feature is yet another competitive opportunity to reveal to Illustrator-only users just how cumbersome that program has always been. JET
  4. I despise seeing mimicking of Adobe Illustrator interface elements as any kind of "standard" worthy of emulation. Illustrator's interface is hideously cumbersome throughout, and having to continually toggle an annoying "overlapped fill or stroke" icon is a prime example. Frankly, I prefer a straightforward separation of fill and stroke selection. As always, see FreeHand's Inspector-based interface, not Illustrator's scattered object attributes. JET
  5. Halftoning effectively blurs the edges of line art. A printer (imagesetter) has a fixed resolution. All it actually print is printer spots of the same size. Printer spots are the actual hardware resolution of the imagesetter (typically 3000 or more spots per inch). Halftone dots are made up of printer spots..Each dot in a halftone is a collection of printer spots, trying to simulate a circle..The number of different circle sizes possible is therefore determined by the number of printer spots available to simulate them. Divide the number of available printer spots (SPI) by the halftone ruling (LPI), and that's the theoretical number of different-size halftone dots (levels of grey) the device can print. That's why you always get more banding from, say, a 600 SPI laser printer than you do from a 3000 SPI imagesetter. Everything in a greyscale image gets halftoned. That means the raster is printed as halftone dots, at the line ruling of the halftone screen (typically 150 lines per inch). It also becomes effectively anti-aliased by the halftoning.process.That's why black text that is part of a raster image looks fuzzy compared to black vector text stacked in front of a raster image. 1 bit raster objects do not get halftoned at all. They are simply "filled in" with tiny printer spots. So it's common practice to, for example, create or scan line art (think of the inking of a comic book illustration) as 1-bit rasters at something like 1200 PPI, which overlay grayscale or full color raster images. The color artwork prints as 1/150th inch halftone dots. But the 1-bit raster actually prints as 1/1200th-inch squares, giving a crisp, sharp-edged, aliased (not anti-aliased) appearance. You can sort of think of 1-bit color depth as the "vector" version of raster imaging in that exactly what you've "drawn" simply gets "filled in" with the tiniest printer spots of the given output device. Take a look at this PDF: Zoom into it as far as you can. Tell me if you think it is raster image or a vector line. JET
  6. Agree. Fumbling through the Layers palette to name Artboards is time-wasting tedium. JET
  7. I agree with this, but don't see any reason for it to be a preference. Toggling the grid on or off should just show or hide it for all artboards. As it is, you have to either select an Artboard with the Artboard tool or select an object on an Artboard just to see its grid. Even selecting multiple Artboards or objects on multiple Artboards still only displays the grid on one Artboard. I'm presently working on documenting a series of step-by-step procedures to populate a book. Each step is a separate Artboard, and I take a screenshot of each. It's a tedious pain in the neck which also raises the following additional needs for improvement: • Printing the grid should be a user-defined setting. • Presently, changing the document resolution in Document Setup changes the grid spacing for all Artboards, but doesn't change the number of divisions. For example: 1. Set the document resolution to 300. 2. Set the grid to 1 inch spacing, with 16 divisions. 3. Open Document Setup and change resolution to 288 (three times 96, to accommodate 300% zoom in an on-screen application). 4. The grid spacing changes to .1111 on all artboards, yet divisions remains at 16. I see no reason for this behavior. I call it a bug. You can imagine how infuriating it is, having to go back and reset the grid for each Artboard on an 18-step procedure. JET
  8. Further regarding selection with the Node tool: 1. Pen tool: draw a path. 2. Ellipse tool: draw an ellipse. 3. Click the Convert to Pie button. 4. Deselect. 5. Node tool: Click the Pie object. It is selected as a Pie Object (as it should be). So its bounding box is dispayed and its Pie attributes are available. 6. Deselect. 7. Node tool: Drag a marquee selection around both the Pie object and the path. Both objects display their nodes. But the nodes of the Pie object are not editable, because it's a pie object. What justifies this inconsistency between a Pie object being selected by itself as opposed to its being selected with another object, when both selections are made by the Node tool? JET
  9. Drawing with the Pen is still too cumbersome, because of the Adobe-esque insistence on an interface dependent upon separate selection tools for whole paths versus subparts of paths (so-called "Selection" and "Direct Selection" in Illustrator). It's actually worse than Illustrator in that: In Illustrator, while using the Pen, pressing the momentary keyboard modifier invokes the most recently used of the two selection pointers. In Affinity, pressing Ctrl always invokes the Node tool. That is problematic when the object one needs to select is a special object (a Pie, for example): Ellipse tool: Draw an ellipse. Click the Convert To Pie button. Pen tool: Draw a path. Press and hold Ctrl. The Node tool is momentarily invoked. Click the Pie object. Because the Node tool is invoked, the Pie object is selected as if in node-editing mode, not as a Pie object. So you can't, for example, change either of its Start or End angles, because those fields are not displayed. The behavior is also rather pointless in that, being a Pie object, even though the nodes are displayed while holding Ctrl, the nodes are neither selectable nor moveable. I know that at this point in the game, there is no going back on the grievous decision to emulate Illustrator's cumbersome two-selectors interface. But given that, one needs to at least be able to momentarily invoke the appropriate selection tool for what one needs to do with it. Perhaps make pressing Ctrl and Alt momentarily invoke the Selection tool when using the Pen. At the very least, momentarily invoking the Node Tool should cause it to select special live objects (like Pie objects) in their higher special object state. After all, that's what happens when you are using the Node tool (as opposed to momentarily invoking it) and click a Pie object. (By the way: When writing this post, I applied Numbered List to the steps described above. The step numbers and indenting display in the editor, but when submitted, they disappear.) JET
  10. The list of changes incudes: Align to key items (first/last selected). Where is this implemented? I don't see any preference setting for it, and alignments seem to occur the same way, regardless of the order in which I select the objects. JET
  11. It's like deja vu all over again. The ability to perform alignments on sub-selections of nodes is one of many things in Illustrator that lagged years behind its historic rival, FreeHand, and even then was an inferior implementation. JET
  12. Again, Illustrator is not the program to emulate. Illustrator's treatment for locking and unlocking of objects is one of its many competitive weaknesses compared to its historic rival, FreeHand: Locked objects should not be unselectable. Making locked objects unselectable is the problem which then requires adding such ill-conceived command as "Lock All" and "Unlock All." Locked objects should be selectable. That way, whatever is currently selected can be either locked or unlocked by those two straightforward commands. That way, the two commands work in conjunction with Select All. And making locked objects selectable also serves as an intuitive mechanism by which to specify the so-called "key object" for alignment and distribution commands (yet another goofy interface problem with Illustrator). Why anyone would want to always have to unlock everything that is locked, just to manipulate a single locked object is beyond me. In FreeHand and other programs, a locked object can still be selected; it just can't be moved or manipulated until it is unlocked. So you can simply select the object of interest, and if it's locked, unlock just it. No digging through a ridiculously long objects list in a so-called Layers palette. (In FreeHand, the Layers palette was a list of (...wait for it...) layers.) ​All that's needed is a subtle modification of the way the selection handles of a locked object are displayed. (They can be grayed, or changed to Xs instead of squares, etc.) ​Countless newcomers to Adobe Illustrator have struggled with such goofball elements of its needlessly cumbersome and confused interface for decades. Other programs conforming to it, just because of its market position, is one of the ways Illustrator has effectively kept vector drawing development in the doldrums. JET
  13. Even without a set of dimensioning tools, length and area of a selected path should be provided in the interface of any serious drawing program. JET
  14. You can set up the axonometric grids (more tedious than in DrawPlus), and use them as snapping guides, but as yet there is no object-level association with the "3D Plane" grids like in DrawPlus. Quite a pity, too. JET
  15. If you rasterize the whole document, raster images already contained in it will be re-rasterized according to the same settings. JET