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JET_Affinity

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  1. JET_Affinity

    [AD] Isolation Mode

    My point is what I said, Luis: A bit of perspective. I'm not attacking your feature request. I am saying that its "essential" claims are grossly over-stated. Practically everyone with a wished-for feature claims that theirs is "so basic to drawing programs that Affinity Designer is rendered useless without it." Yet I dare say most never even heard of "Isolation Mode" until Adobe called it that in 2007. You've received replies from Serif on this. There's no need to "pile on" about it. If that were all it is, it would just be an email direct to Serif. It's not just where we ask for features; It's where users of varying experience also discuss the merits of those features. JET
  2. JET_Affinity

    [AD] Isolation Mode

    For perspective: Illustrator's "isolation mode" did not appear until CS3 (2007). If it's such a 'deal breaking, bedrock essential basic' feature (just like everyone's pet feature request is), how did anyone use Adobe Illustrator for the two prior decades? I paid $50 for Affinity Designer. You know how much money I spent on Adobe Illustrator prior to 2007? My use of Illustrator's Isolation Mode is only occasional. And I certainly don't judge any program that doesn't have something like it "unusable." JET
  3. Correct. Proper logo designs of all things should be created with the most painstakingly efficient and elegant paths. The more vector-appropriate the artwork, the less excuse for auto-tracing. Else, you lose the resolution independence advantage that vector-based graphics exist for in the first place. Certainly anyone claiming to do commercial quality vector illustration (i.e., charging money for it) should be proficient in drawing optimal paths with the appropriate tools. And that's where anyone learning to create commercial-quality work should expend energy; not in tweaking a bunch of tolerance settings in an auto-trace feature. The more vector-appropriate the artwork, the fewer and cleaner the paths should be, so the less "time consuming" it is anyway, for someone who knows how to do it right. So when it comes down to it, the only few-and-far-between excuse for resorting to auto-tracing is for things that are just too complex for drawing with deliberate and intelligent discernment. And even in those cases, one should always ask oneself if auto-tracing is going to yield any technical advantage anyway. See the self-cancelling cycle? It's not the beginning users' fault. The software vendors grossly over-glorify the "automagic" of auto-tracing features with claims like "Instantly convert raster images into resolution independent vector graphics!" That's the myth perpetrated among hobbyists. There is no "conversion" to it. Raster-to-vector is not some kind of unambiguous code translation, like converting a TIFF file to a PNG file. The only lossless 1:1 "conversion" from a raster image to a vector graphic would be literally tracing a square path around each and every pixel. And that would have absolutely zero resolution-independence advantage over simply using the original raster image. That technically "perfect" auto-trace would also be perfectly useless. No, there's just re-drawing the subject. And auto-tracing doesn't even make any attempt to re-draw the subject, because it has no idea what the subject or its purpose is. It merely tries to draw paths around contiguous clusters of similarly-colored pixels, utterly regardless of shape or meaning. So you either re-draw the subject with meaningful (and hopefully aesthetic) human discernment, or you entrust it to a completely dumb algorithm that has (as of current standards) absolutely none. JET
  4. I don't know what that has to do with this thread (which is just a repeat of existing auto-trace threads). But if you want to see, say, a thoroughly well-done Javascript implementation in Affinity, I'd be right there with you. I've said as much in existing feature wish threads. (I'm not really interested in coding—or buying—plug-ins.) But now may not be the time since the feature set (and therefore, I assume, the object model) of Affinity Designer is still very much under development. JET
  5. No. Just slightly more convenient. For other examples in addition to the scanning utility already mentioned: I use the Windows Calculator utility quite often, every day, while working in most every program I use. Same thing goes for the screen capture utility, TechSmith SnagIt, and the standalone Bitstream Font Manager that comes bundled with CorelDraw. Launching any of them is, at worst, a single click on the TaskBar. (SnagIt is invoked by a keyboard shortcut.) I find that no more arduous than clicking a tool button or making a menu selection in order to invoke yet another auto-trace feature to twiddle with yet another UI, just to get pretty much the same result. I use multiple programs all day. I also use multiple vector drawing programs. I don't need a differently-branded UI corresponding to each different drawing program for every calculation, screenshot, scan, or auto-trace. I actually prefer using the same familiar interface for scans and screenshots and font management, regardless of what graphics program I'm using. It's actually more efficient that way. Auto-tracing is just as appropriate for that kind of "standalone" use. It doesn't need to be re-invented in every drawing program. There are decent auto-trace solutions (at least as defined by the current state of it) available to everyone for free, even. Unless and until Serif (or anyone else) has some kind of game-changing functionality to make it more than what it currently is (generally bad practice anyway), it's not even on my "missing features" wish list. For example: I have yet to see any auto-trace program (targeted to mainstream general graphics users) that knows what a child knows: that when it's scanning the pupil of my puppy's eye, the resulting path should be an ellipse. So yeah, if and when the Affinity team happens to have in its secret closet an auto-trace feature with sufficient artificial intelligence for at least basic shape recognition, that might be something worth introducing. JET
  6. Yes, Illustrator has an auto-trace feature, as do most similar programs. Not that it matters. What many don't know is that Illustrator was very late to the whole auto-tracing thing, as it was in many other features. All three of its main competitors (FreeHand, Draw, Canvas) had full auto-trace features, while Illustrator (up 'till around version 9, as I recall) had only a crude trace command that only traced one color at a time. Nowadays, auto-trace features are very common both as built in features and as online services, and there are even free implementations of both. Tourmaline mentioned Inkscape and you yourself mentioned Vector Magic. And although their user interfaces differ in terms of eye candy, they all do pretty much the same thing, and results are all pretty much alike: "Garbage in, garbage out" very much applies. So as for "why," consider that in context of Tourmaline's first reply in this thread, in which he paraphrased Serif's replies (which you can read if you do a quick search for the already-existing threads on this commonly-requested feature). Unless and until Serif has something game-changing to bring to the auto-trace table, there are more valuable things for its dev team to focus on which constitute real opportunity for long overdue innovation in the vector-based drawing arena. I am among those who see no need for yet another "me, too" auto-tracing feature in Affinity. It's no more onerous to switch to another program for this very single-purpose function than it is to, for example, launch the scanning utility of my scanner. Even Corel long delivered its auto-trace solution as a separate standalone utility that was simply bundled with Draw. Moreover, when it comes down to it, auto-tracing is a bad practice that usually just swaps one kind of resolution-dependent ugliness (bitmap pixelation) for another (poorly-drawn vector paths). JET
  7. Hear hear! It's been demonstrated that a lot of nice things can be done with the brushes in Designer, but calling them "vector" brushes just because the raster images they contain follow a spline path, is entirely misleading. Actual vector brushes (in which the brush's base artwork is vector paths) enable you to do an entire world of more powerful things: For example, A single "Pattern Brush" in AI can be built to enable creation of a mechanically correct hex bolt of any length and diameter. As always, Illustrator's implementation could be easily exceeded in power and versatility, and that's what I want to see in Affinity Designer. Hopefully, that's what the eventual goal is (perhaps after sorting out the problems associated with the present sub-par expanded stroke results). But it is disconcerting that the current brushes are called "vector" brushes. That doesn't suggest that what you (and I) would call "real" vector brushes are on the unpublished road map. This is also why I am so very disappointed in the merely "me, too" treatment of arrowheads. I am convinced that a truly innovative implementation of what I call path stokes and path ends that could be combined into user-defined path styles could yield both a much more powerful "arrowheads" feature and a vector-brush feature more powerful, versatile, intuitive, and elegant than Adobe's treatment. It would be a true game-changer even for long-time AI users who have never really discovered the kind of brush-based applications I'm talking about, just because Adobe's treatment is too "standalone" as opposed to being truly integrated with its own preexisting features of the program. That is what I see as the core of potential advantages over Illustrator: The fact that it is a decades-old stack of newer features merely "bundled with" a bunch of outdated basic features. I see that opportunity diminish whenever I see a feature implemented in a mere "me, too" fashion, as is arrowheads. JET
  8. It's called applying pressure. It's called the silly belief that if you merely scream the loudest and most repetitively ask "When? When? When?" and make ridiculous claims that the program is absolutely useless without your pet feature, then you will somehow win out over every other person who employs the very same tactic about their pet feature. JET
  9. Butting in? This is a public forum. I'm here because I do not find Affinity "useless" just because it doesn't yet have every feature it eventually will. Your questions have been answered. Serif is not going to tell you "when." I wouldn't expect them to. JET
  10. Then "some other people" are lucky enough to be like me. What do you people expect to get from demands like this?: User: "WHEN IS [my pet feature] GOING TO BE PROVIDED?" Serif: "December 25th, 9:15 AM." ? JET
  11. There are plenty of programs I have no use for. So I don't use them. And I don't waste my own time repeatedly asking their makers "WHEN is such-and-such going to occur?!" JET
  12. You obviously have no idea how long it took Illustrator to acquire its meager Select Same... commands—and many other things people here call "must have deal breakers." JET
  13. va2m, I am on topic. As I said: That's not to say that the willy-nilly kind of informal converging perspective is "illegitimate" as an illustrative style. It's not. Grossly exaggerated perspective is commonly used just to add overstated drama in everything from Marvel's super hero comic books to the Marketing Department's rendition of the corporate trade show booth. My point is that "vanishing point perspective" is a broad subject encompassing methods and purposes that range from rigorous to whimsical. So a "good" software implementation of it is an ill-defined target. Again: The familiar kind of 2D "vanishing point" perspective drawing as taught in general art classes and as usually practiced, it is not a consistent, specific geometrically-derived construction discipline. It is done differently by different people for stylistic reasons. And there's nothing "wrong" with that. I'm saying because it is more style-driven than geometry-driven it is rather ambiguous; there is not a single clear-cut, well-defined, consistent construction method for it that embraces all that arbitrary stylistic freedom. 3D modeling software does indeed emulate what a lens sees. But that's an entirely different thing from just setting up one or two or three 2D converging grids in a 2D drawing program based on a few arbitrarily placed "vanishing points." Okay, so now you're more specifically saying you want something like Illustrator's (i.e., FreeHand's) feature. Frankly, I don't. It is stylistically limiting. You can't, for example rotate its horizon. It's always assumed to be horizontal. Again, look at comic books. The common bird's-eye-view perspective of a super hero soaring above NY sky scrapers often has non-horizontal "horizons" just as do views from the perspective of inside an airplane cockpit. And why just three vanishing points? "Vanishing points" are not based on any three universal "locations in space", they are really just based on lines that an illustrator extends from parallel lines in whatever objects he is drawing. That works fine for cliché' rows of boxy objects like tall buildings conveniently oriented parallel to each other on streets that all conveniently intersect at right-angles. Depending on what you're drawing, you could need any number of "vanishing points." Said another way, there is only one "real" vanishing point; the one corresponding to your line-of-sight, located at the center of your field of vision. So how do you emulate that as guides in 2D drawing software? You'd need to provide as many arbitrary focal points as the illustrator wants to place on the page, and somehow make the all their envelope distortions interdependent relative to a center-of-vision. Which requirements? The ability to freely add and remove drawn shapes to and from the "planes"? No, LNP does not do that, because LNP is just providing you guides on your screen, not creating actual envelopes in your drawing program. That's what FreeHand's / Illustrator's Perspective Grid feature is: a set of envelopes. Affinity doesn't yet have an envelopes feature, but mesh and warp envelopes are on the planned feature list. Depending on how innovatively implemented that is, as far as we know, it could serve for "vanishing point" perspective among the other things for which envelopes are employed. JET
  14. Convincing 2D converging perspective is not that simple. If it were, we wouldn't need any special features for it. We can already just draw arbitrary horizon lines and perspective rays like we do on paper. Nor do I assume it's that simple to implement in software. Have you tried the Perspective Grid feature in Adobe Illustrator (which it copied from FreeHand)? Many users no doubt think it must be rigorous just because it's in software. But it's easy to catch it committing the common error in which foreground grid "squares" become less foreshortened vertically than horizontally and therefore look like elongated rectangles instead of squares (not at all how the eye would see it). Here's the thing: The kind of casual "vanishing point" perspective typically taught in basic art classes is actually not very rigorous. Students get exposed to so-called "one-point", "two-point", and "three-point" perspective and are led to assume that three-point perspective is some kind of end-all of ultimate realism just because the subjects we draw reside in 3D space. It's not. A view of 3D objects in 3D space can have an infinite number of "vanishing points." (Think of tossing your toddler's collection of building blocks upward into the air and taking a photo.) Yet just watch a few of the many amateur YouTube videos on the subject and listen to how many times you hear the demonstrators use phrases like "There you have it; a perfect perspective of [this or that]!" Also note that they typically just place their vanishing points at any random locations relative to each other, without any kind of actual geometric basis. Rigorous converging perspective must be based on the geometry of optics; of conic vision. Grid squares don't merely shrink toward the distance, they change in shape. (I wonder how many graphic designers and even illustrators understand that if you take a photo with a "normal lens," crop it down to a distant part of the subject, and then enlarge it, the resulting image looks like it was taken with a more "telephoto" lens.) There are more formalized methods of constructing converging perspective. For example, before computers architects used a more elaborate construction method which did a better job of constraining things to realistic proportions. Technical illustrators had special equipment like Klok Perspective Boards and Tables and their graduated ruler scales. That's not to say that the willy-nilly kind of informal converging perspective is "illegitimate" as an illustrative style. It's not. Grossly exaggerated perspective is commonly used just to add overstated drama in everything from Marvel's super hero comic books to the Marketing Department's rendition of the corporate trade show booth. My point is that "vanishing point perspective" is a broad subject encompassing methods and purposes that range from rigorous to whimsical. So a "good" software implementation of it is an ill-defined target. Axonometric drawing, by comparison, is not like that at all. There's nothing ambiguous or arbitrary about it. It is either geometrically correct or it is not, in fact, axonometric. Again, the Lazy Nezumi Pro approach to interactive drawing aids causes me to re-think the need for program-native features for converging perspective. For example, one of the demo video clips on the LNP site demonstrates its Fisheye perspective variant. How often have you ever seen that kind of 2D perspective convincingly executed by the traditional "vanishing point" methods? That novel implementation alone represents a lot of potential. In my previous post, I mentioned that the applicability of LNP to vector-based drawing is largely dependent upon the number and quality of Bezier path drawing tools that are used by dragging along the onscreen guides. It may be more advantageous for Affinity development to simply focus on optimized Bezier path tools that are of superior quality in terms of functional economy and editing elegance; i.e., the number and placement of nodes and handles automatically generated when the tool is dragged. JET
  15. Meanwhile, as Frozen mentioned, to those who haven't yet, it really is worth looking at Lazy Nezumi Pro. LPN's claim-to-fame is that it is not an "add-on" for any particular graphics program. It sort of gives your computer some drawing smarts, instead of just a particular graphics program. The drawing or painting program you're using doesn't even know it's there. You just launch it and then click the application window that you want to work within. It works by affecting cursor movement at the system level, "smoothing" your pointing device movements to constrain to the on-screen guides that it effectively "overlays" within that window. It's the closest thing I've seen to software actually emulating the use of physical drawing aids like rotatable rulers and ellipse templates. The way it works gives it these huge advantages: Although it has a quite sophisticated collection of setup options, it's worth the learning curve because you learn it once and it works the same way regardless of what drawing or painting program you're using at the moment. Although originally presented as a drawing aid for raster-based drawing, it's not just for raster imaging. It's just as applicable in windows of vector-drawing applications; it just depends on your having selected an appropriate drawing tool. Yeah, it works with path drawing tools you think of as "freehand" (pencil, brush, etc.), but it's just as useful for a line tool (or Affinity's Pen Tool in Line Mode). It's basically appropriate for any tool you drag along the desired direction because that's what it does; it affects the smoothness or straightness of your drag inputs. Its perspective features include configurations for constructing both converging perspective and parallel perspective. Contrary to common misconception, it is not just for using a stylus (which I very seldom use). On desktops or laptops, it doesn't know or care what you are using for a pointing device. (I can't speak to the matter of finger gestures on cell phones because I quit finger painting before kindergarten. So LNP is not something that competes with Affinity, it just serves as a drawing enhancement for it or whatever graphics program(s) you are using. I think you can download it as a demo to try it out in whatever program(s) you have in mind. JET
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