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Everything posted by JET_Affinity

  1. I'm not saying modal dialogs are desirable if they are better avoided. I'm saying that Illustrator is replete with archaic modal dialogs, but even in spite of that, its transform tools still provide the greater functionality described and presents it more concisely. JET
  2. For decades, there was a common comeback whenever FreeHand users complained about Illustrator's cumbersome two separate selection tools (and their associated problems): Many, if not most, longtime AI users (including at least one of its developers) would claim to "never use the black pointer", but to always use the so-called "Direct Select Tool," as if doing that were some kind of indication of "greater expertise" with the program. I would always counter by pointing out that, in Illustrator, that would mean they never used the bounding boxes, which I would further demonstrate are useful for such things as scaling an ellipse by its major or minor diameters (assuming the BB remembers its original orientation). So again: Yes, there are many who eschew bounding boxes, and no, I am of course not opposed to a program having bounding boxes. I am opposed to on-page transformations being dependent upon them. The transform anchor can be set anywhere. With a transform tool, it can be set by merely clicking where you want it, without having to find an icon to click in a control bar to display it, and then dragging it to where you want it. And a typical rotate tool effectively provides you with a "rotation handle" located anywhere. How is that less convenient (let alone less powerful) than having to used one of five hot spots that aren't even located on what you usually want to snap to something else anyway? I mean any detail of any selection. Suppose that on the page you have a raster image of Orion, the cat, and a path with an arrowhead, which is already where it needs to be. You want to rotate the raster image by mousing down on the center of the jewel hanging from Orion's belt (the detail of interest) and dragging it such that the arrowhead would be pointing at the jewel. You can do that with a typical rotate tool in one move, and the bounding box of the raster image (and its various rotation hot spots) is completely immaterial to the desired move. So by "detail of the selection", I'm not just talking about the snap-sensitive subparts of vector paths, like nodes, although that is certainly one of the most obvious applications. I acknowledge and applaud that. But there's more. As I've said many time, I'll never consider Illustrator the default program to emulate. But with its fairly customary transform tools you can: Click to set a transformation center. Then mousedown and drag anywhere to perform the transformation. The tool is snap-sensitive. So if you mousedown on a node, you can drag the selection by that node and snap it to any snapping candidate, including candidates beyond the reach of the selection (thereby "aiming" the node you are dragging at that remote snapping candidate). The same transformation tool can be used exactly the same way on any current selection, be it whole paths, partial paths, raster images, symbols, clipping masks, text, or any other kind of construct. This is pretty much what the Affinity beta Point Transformation Tool does, except that in Illustrator, All of the various transformation tools (Scale, Rotate, Skew, Reflect) work the same way. So although there are several transform tools, that in itself is intuitive, and there is consistency in the interface. DoubleClick any of the transform tools opens a dialog for numeric entry of values appropriate to that tool, including the option to transform one or more duplicates of the selection instead of the original. (FreeHand was even better at this, because it did not disjoint a path at its unselected nodes during so-called "power duplication" of sub-selections. This empowered certain reiteritive transforms which Illustrator cannot do.) So yes, there are four icons in the toolbar, and I'm as opposed to "tool glut" as anyone. But this is more concise and tidier than having to select a tool, then traverse to an options bar to put it in some other "mode", click a series of other icons to set its other behavior details, and then finally mousedown and drag on the page. All that comprises more "tool glut" than four grouped transform icons in the primary toolbox. And there's more: I'm also not entirely crazy about modal dialogs. But in this case, they have the advantage of storing their respective last-used settings. This is powerfully useful for many things, and not just in conjunction with the Transform Again command; the last-used transformation performed by each tool can be recalled no matter how many other things you've done since, including changing the current selection. Just doubleClick the pertinent tool and tap Enter. If you can accommodate all that for all of the usual common types of transformations into a single transform tool, my hat's off to you (as it always is anyway). But in terms of intuitive, powerful, and easily discoverable interface design, there may be good reason why mainstream drawing programs have gravitated toward toolbox tools for performing tactile transformations. JET
  3. Oh, c'mon, guys. "Having" bounding boxes is not the problem. I fully understand their utility. The problem is having on-page transformations dependent upon them, in lieu of proper (and cleanly implemented) transform tools. That is substandard. The core problem is very simple: You can put any number of superfluous "handles" or "hot spots" along or near the edges of a bounding box and they all still have the same problem: They are not located on the details you are manipulating. To use them for transformations, you mouse down somewhere else. That fails to clarify what you actually want to drag and snap to something else. Users struggled with this and couched their complaints in terms of needing to transform sub-selections. So the awkward Transform Mode of the Node Tool (already an unintuitive interface approach) was added. But alarmingly, that committed the very same core fallacy. It also is dependent upon silly bounding box handles for transformations of sub-path elements. To ostensibly provide "direct" and "accurate" manipulation of details of paths, you again require dragging something other than what you are actually manipulating?! What other program does that? So next, the awkwardly named Point Transform Tool is added. It has a few subtle innovative behaviors which I like. But it has the same problem that gave rise to the demand for the Transform Mode of the Node tool; inability to manipulate sub-selections. I'm as opposed to unnecessary "tool glut" as anyone. But now, evidently in order to avoid adding conventional transform tools, we have two awkward and rather unintuitive feature sets which, combined, still fall short of the functionality more directly and economically provided by (much as it pains me to say it) the conventional transform tools in Adobe Illustrator. As it stand right now, we have less functionality with more interface clutter, requiring more clicks. And I'm still waiting for someone to explain why one needs five rotation handles on every bounding box. JET
  4. And, unless I'm missing something, doesn't work on a subselection of nodes. Typical transform tools work the same way on current selections of any kind. Why do we need both a special "Point Selection Tool" and the separate and cumbersome Transform Mode of the Node Tool? I'm sorry, but this is not interface elegance. It feels like afterthought scattered functionality just to stay married to the infernal bounding box fixation. JET
  5. Bah, it is merely visual clutter. If I'm going to rotate a tiny object by dragging it, I'm going to zoom in, so I can see what I'm doing with at least some measure of accuracy. Dragging a handle that isn't even located anywhere on the object nor even on its bounding box is superfluous junk. I've got along fine without it for about 35 years. I think it's a mere accommodation to finger painting on a mobile touchscreen with one's blunt thumbs and digits; an inappropriate interface and something I do not want when doing serious illustration on a proper desktop. A well-implemented rotation tool, on the other hand, lets you mousedown literally anywhere to rotate a selection about its transformation center–which it can also set anywhere–without switching tools, while abiding by all snaps both upon mousedown and during drag, and regardless of zoom. I know how the BB handles work, RC-R. There are four other rotation handles on the BB. JET
  6. I have big problems with any program that requires dragging stupid bounding box handles for all its on-page transformations. Like you, I have no use for the countless situations in which the default bounding box doesn't even reflect the actual bounds or dimensions of the paths. (And while I'm at it, I despise the current fad for those stupid rotation lollypops. Why does one need four, let alone five handles for rotating a bounding box?) Example: Draw a square. Draw a circle inscribed in the square. Rotate the circle 45 degrees. Group the two paths. Rotate the Group 45 degrees. The resulting bounding box and its dimensions are utterly useless, reflecting the bounds of the corners of the rotated circle's bounding box, and enclosing a bunch of white space. Cycling the bounding box, the unwanted bounding box is still displayed and looks like an object that isn't even there. That's a hideous interface treatment. But let's not throw out the baby with the bath water. The ability to retain and recall a bounding box that has undergone some rotations can be quite useful, as in the common case of needing to scale a rotated ellipse by its major or minor diameter. It's not that object's being able to remember and recall their rotations "makes no sense." That ability is one of the historic advantages of, for example, Deneba Canvas. And it is also potentially advantageous over Adobe Illustrator, which often "loses" that information when you need it. It's just that the current treatment in Affinity's interface needs some serious work. Yes, making a reset of the bounding box permanent should be possible (and not require a goofy workaround), but optional. JET
  7. Just by way of explanation… Have you ever wondered why isometric drawing can be done with a single grid, but any other orientation (dimetric or trimetric) requires three grids? That's because, by definition, all three axes in isometric are equally foreshortened. The same measuring scale works for all three. So in effect, "all three grids" and their increments are superimposed precisely on top of each other in an isometric orientation…but not in any other. That's one of the problems inherent to grids-based approaches to axonometric drawing. In your example, you've drawn a square on one grid. The other two perpendicular grids don't know which corner of that square you currently consider "the origin." Continually moving the artwork as in your screen clip is, of course, unacceptable. So using grids, you have to be able to continually "reset" the origin to whatever point of the drawing you at the moment consider the "origin" of your next measure. Doing that needs to be as fluid and instant and natural as possible. Since emulating pre-computer physical media is usually the goal of user interface design, It needs to be at least as fluid and instant and natural as it was before computers. But it's not. In the pre-computer days of productive isometric drawing "on the board," there were no "grids" on our drafting tables. There were (appropriately) just axes. (It's not called axonometric drawing for nothing.) The "axes" were the ruler scale(s) attached to the head of the track drafter, which you held in the palm of your left hand (if you were right-handed), and thereby fluidly glided to any point of interest in the drawing while maintaining the same angle. The illustrator effectively and intuitively "zeroed" the origin of the appropriate axis each time he started a new measure, pretty much without even thinking about it. Grids just don't emulate that very well. For flat graphic page design, a designer cares about the orientation of a spacing grid relative to some corner of the page. But for illustration, an illustrator doesn't care one whit about the "origin" of a grid relative to some corner of the page; his measures are made along the angles represented by the grids, but must be zeroed at any current point of interest in the drawing. (I don't have Affinity installed on this machine, so I'll leave it to someone else to tell you how to do that.) JET
  8. Agree. EVERY vector based drawing program should provide for user-defined ruler scales. There is no need for any CAD related "apologies." User-defined drawing scale is just as basic to general-purpose illustration for print, signage design, whatever. I've been saying this for decades. And it's yet another no-brainer, low-hanging-fruit opportunity to exceed the archaic functionality of Adobe Illustrator. JET
  9. Believe me, I understand the need and the concept. But let's not set our sights too low. As far as programmatic selection features, I will never be satisfied until I see something at least match the elegance and power of Macromedia FreeHand's Graphic Find & Replace palette, which did far more than Illustrator's anemic Select Same commands and far more than you describe. It could find user-specified combinations of attributes and, when appropriate, within user-defined ranges. And not just styling attributes. The list of combined possibilities would be very long to list, so by just one example: Beyond finding mere stroke weight, it could select path lengths within a user-specified range. Much of the time and tedium I spent writing Javascripts for Illustrator was to make poor-man's substitutes for some of the functions for which I most often employed FreeHand's GF&R. But frankly, I think "global swatches" is the more appropriate way to do this. Again, I'll refer to FreeHand. To users first accustomed to FreeHand, Illustrator's whole "Global Swatch" thing was just one of many needless stumbling blocks. In FreeHand, every Color Swatch which the user took the time to store in the Swatch Palette was functionally "global." And why wouldn't it be? Why would I ever want to define and name a Swatch that I could not use to programmatically update objects to which it is already applied? FreeHand's treatment of this gently but effectively enforced a much needed measure of organizational discipline as the user worked. Knowing that Swatch edits updated objects to which it was applied, intuitively trains the users to define a differently named Swatch (even if it was of the same color values as other Swatches) for objects which should, for any reason, be treated separately in terms of color. That's a simple matter of duplicating a Swatch and changing its name. This largely prevented the common beginners' bad practice of just applying colors willy-nilly, and then wishing they hadn't later. JET
  10. You would just create the offsets by sequentially specifying strokes of those weights, aligning the strokes to the appropriate sides of the path (or just leave them centered and use twice the width). Cut and delete the portions not needed. Clean up the necessary joins at the corners. You'd similarly have to do multiple offset commands, even in other drawing programs like Illustrator. Typical offset path commands don't let you specify distances from a single path on a per-side basis, because the original path could be of any shape, so a "side" is a matter of interpretation. Illustrator has a feature that lets you set different "stroke widths" wherever you want along a path, but that's more intended for a variable "brushstroke" effect than for something that would maintain, for example, a continuous width along a portion of a curve. Affinity provides similar "brushstroke" functionality in the Pressure dialog, not directly on-the-path. JET
  11. I won't. And I doubt that Serif is offended by my saying that, because... Serif is changing the 2D graphics game in many ways, a large part of which is cost and value. That in itself is a long overdue aspect of innovation in this software segment. I've long held that the historic "big four" of the 2D vector graphics world (Illustrator, CorelDRAW, Canvas, FreeHand) are grossly overpriced for what they are. Their vendors desperately cling to an outdated pricing model that stems from the heady days when it was all a major paradigm shift. But that was almost four decades ago. I see Adobe's take-it-or-leave-it subscription licensing scheme as a manifestation of that desperation. Many product categories enjoy "they'll pay anything" pricing when new technology disrupts whole industries. But fervor settles as the new way become the new standard. I remember paying $650 for the first HP color inkjet DeskWriter. That's CMY. No K. Competition is what gets prices back in line, and 2D graphics, much as we love it, is not rocket science anymore. Goliaths do fall when they can't conform to the times. Serif seems to know what it's doing in more than just coding very promising software. JET
  12. Not sure I'm understanding the seam allowances, but I suspect that's addressable by keeping in mind: You can set the stroke's alignment to centered, inside, or outside before expanding it. So that should be useful for specifying an offset distance on either side of the base path. After expanding the stroke and releasing the compound as mentioned above, you now have two separate paths. So you can repeat the process for either of those paths: Give either of them a thick stroke Set it to centered, inside, or outside Expand the Stroke Divide Using Expand Stroke for this is, of course, what I'm confident will be just a temporary workaround until Affinity acquires a proper Offset Path or Contour feature or a more fully-featured implementation of vector Brushes. It's just an educated guess, but I rather suspect that one reason such features have not yet been added is because the developers are aware of the problem that an inelegant number of nodes are created whenever paths are expanded and Brush paths are converted to outlines. (A problem I've seen in early releases of other programs, too.) I assume they are closely related functions. That's what I sometimes refer to as multiple similar features probably sharing the same functional "foundation" when impatient users complain about what seems an obvious feature "omission." I'm confident the Affinity devs intend to get the underlying foundations optimized before building a bunch of features onto them, and applaud them for that. By the same token, for example, I'm confident the devs are aware that the result of Expand Stroke on a closed path results in a compound path, and therefore the Release Compound command should work on them instead of using the Divide Boolean button. But presently, Release Compound is grayed out after using Expand Stroke on a closed path. Affinity Designer is still very much a work-in-progress. But it's a game-changing bargain for what it already delivers and so far, we're not being charged for significant improvements between integer updates, such as those presently being developed toward the 1.7 release. For the price of the Affinity apps, we're getting a lot of value. So I have no problem cutting the development program some slack as the applications continue toward a more full-featured state. JET
  13. AffinityBrah, After Expand Stroke and flipping the Fill and Stroke: Select the black pointer. Click the Divide button in the control panel. This releases the compounding of the two paths. Now you have two individual parallel paths that you can style as desired. JET
  14. Especially when trying to develop something innovative as opposed to just more "me, too; same ol' same ol'", solid foundations have to be laid for what users consider "basic things." I have plenty of "me, too" programs. I don't need another one. If all I were seeing in Affinity were just another "me, too" approach, I'd just yawn. Who's not "letting" you? Fact is, B13eL's post that started this thread was just a useless, unproductive rant. It doesn't even mention any capabilities he's (she's?) so upset about. And your "fanboy" nonsense is just a childish insult to fellow users who don't agree with you. No one "prevented" either. And no one is prevented from disagreeing with them. Resorting to ad hominem insult is a dead giveaway of weak argument; and a sure way to lose respect. JET
  15. Paul, It sounds like you are looking for what is usually called an "offset path" command or a "contour" command or tool for vector paths, to create paths that are offset from existing paths, but parallel to them. Does that sound right? JET
  16. JET_Affinity

    Isometric Studio?

    Exactly. And that's the misconception that is so pervasive nowadays; that isometric drawing is nothing more than just distorting a plan view into "30° angles" and extruding it into blocky shapes. I blame that largely on two things: The misappropriation of the "isometric" term by those creating old-style aliased computer game artwork using a 1:2 rise-to-run pixel grid (which is neither isometric nor dimetric; it's just an arbitrary oblique). The nearly complete absence of features in the vast majority of mainstream vector-based drawing programs expressly supporting axonometric drawing, ever since the advent of the "desktop revolution" in the mid-80s. The latter is an ironic and tragic pity, because: Axonometric drawing is, by definition, a 2D drawing discipline; and one every bit as venerable as the 2D converging "vanishing point" perspective still universally taught in common art classes. Axonometric drawing is applicable to all styles of commercial illustration. It is not just apropos to the purview of mechanical engineering departments. 2D axonometric drawing is no more "obsoleted" by 3D CAD than 2D "vanishing point perspective" is "obsoleted" by 3D artwork modeling programs. Mainstream Bezier-based drawing programs are 2D drawing programs used for all kinds of commercial illustration. Mainstream Bezier-based drawing programs do, in fact, provide the geometry necessary for axonometric drawing; their interface design just tends to hide it. The result is three and a half decades of neglect of one of the most important 2D drawing disciplines by most of the largest vendors of ostensibly "wide based" commercial illustration software. That's three and a half decades of software advancement and users' potential for skill-broadening fun and profit already lost. JET
  17. And anonymous childishly insulting forum participants will be insulting. I never made apologies for being a fan of things worthy before "fanboy" became a cliché internet insult, and I still don't. So for the record: I'm an unashamed, outspoken, T-shirt wearing "fanboy" of KTM motorcycles because they're great motorcycles. That neither means I don't have my pet peeves about them, nor that I don't wish KTM would hurry up and develop what I know would be a "perfect" bike. I'm an unashamed, outspoken "fanboy" of Serif for what it's doing in plain sight with the Affinity line. That neither means I don't wish it would do some things in ways I know would be better, nor that I wouldn't love to have it all done today. The accusation of this thread was that Serif is "not developing the product." I make no apology for calling that utter nonsense. The proof is openly visible to anyone who actually bothers to investigate the progress before posting rants and insults. By the way, Affinity Dev Team, where do I get the T-shirt? (Take all the time you need. You know; 10...15 minutes.) JET
  18. Yeah, you nod off so often, I can hear you snoring from all the way across the pond. JET
  19. JET_Affinity

    Isometric Studio?

    Iamscotty, There's no "secret" here. Many users of AI and other drawing programs have devised their own macros "("Actions" in Illustrator parlance) for doing this for many years. Examples of them are found in the user forums of the various drawing programs. Actually, skewing is unnecessary, and by understanding the underlying principles, the "rules" at play make more sense, the numbers do not seem so arbitrary, and the rationale is easier to visualize and thereby remember. As an illustrator from the days of drawing "on the board," you are surely familiar with the angle that is imprinted on every isometric ellipse template: 35°16" (35 degrees, 16 minutes). Just as with any regular drafting ellipse template, the ellipses are an orthographic projection of a circle viewed at a particular angle relative to the view's line-of-sight. In other words, the ellipse cutouts of a 25 degree drafting ellipse template are projections of a circle that is tilted 25 degrees from being viewed "edge-on." The geometry of orthographic projection dictates that the minor diameter of that ellipse is scaled by the sine of that angle. It's exactly the same with isometric ellipse templates. The minor diameter of the ellipses are scaled by the sine of 35°16". Orthographic projection also dictates that object edges perpendicular to the plane of such an ellipse (i.e., the axis which "pierces" the ellipse) is foreshortened by the cosine of the ellipse's "angle." In other words, measures along the axis about which a 25 degree ellipse "orbits" would be scaled by the cosine of 25 degrees. Again, it's the same with isometric ellipses: Measures perpendicular to the isometric ellipse are scaled by the cosine of 35°16". So to distort a 1" square into the "top" surface of an isometric view, all you need to do is: Rotate it 45 degrees. Scale it vertically 57.74% (sine of 35°, 16", expressed as a percentage rounded to two decimal places). After doing that, measure any of the sides of the path. You will find that its length is .8165 (cosine of 35°16" rounded to four decimal places). Since all three visible sides of cube in isometric orientation make the same angle with the line of sight, creating the other two sides is just a matter of rotating copies of the "top" 120° and 240°. Thus, measures along all three axes in isometric projection are foreshortened by 81.65%. All ellipses (which represent circles laying on any of the three iso planes) have minor diameters 57.74% of their major diameters. Of course these transformations work for any artwork drawn "in the flat," not just squares. Any plan view (which can include paths of any shape, text, or whatever) can be distorted into an isometric "top" view (or "floor" if you will) by those two moves. You just have to think about which direction you rotate the drawing 45 degrees, and follow the vertical scaling step by rotating either 60 degrees or -60 degrees. If the kind of drawings you do are like that (basically distorting a plan view into an isometric "floor" and then drawing verticals from that), then you can ensure correct proportion by simply multiplying your vertical height measures by .8165 (or in Affinity, keying "* sin(35.26" into the height field). But here's the thing: The whole reason for the existence of axonometric methods is to avoid all that tedium by enabling an illustrator to draw directly into the desired perspective without having to first draw multiple object sides "in the flat" and then "project" them into an auxiliary view, as is done in multi-view drafting. The reason is in the name; it's all about drawing by measuring along axes. It's not mine, either. In fact, in the 45 years or so that I've been doing axonometric drawing professionally, I've never met a fellow mechanical technical illustrator who was dependent on grids. Before computers, we used scales attached to the heads of track machines, with angular click-stops at the axes. So instead of grids, our axes (and measure origin) effectively just fluidly moved along with our hand holding the pen. I have yet to see an interface in a 2D vector drawing application that comes close to that kind of fluidity. (Certain functions of the screen overlay utility, Lazy Nezumi Pro, comes as close as I've seen.) Nonetheless, the axonometric grids feature of Affinity Designer is certainly more powerful than having to do scale, skew, rotate routines. It is well on its way toward exceeding the similar feature in much more expensive Corel Technical Designer. Moreover, we have to remember that programs like Affinity are not just for technical drawing. These are general-purpose illustration and design programs, many users of which derive a sense of "security" from page-spanning grids as they make their initial forays into isometric drawing. Fact is, isometric drawing is about much more than the relatively trivial drawing of boxy shapes extruded vertically. One doesn't engage in serious axonometric drawing long before encountering subjects which are not so conveniently boxy in shape and arranged parallel to the drawing axes or to each other. Drawing Legos is one thing. Drawing Tinker Toys is quite another. Think of an exploded parts diagram of a bicycle wheel; hub, brake caliper, spokes and nipples, chain, sprockets, rim, all in their various as-installed orientations, all to correct proportion and fit. Think of a phantom cutaway in axonometric perspective showing the inner workings of a V-twin engine. Such drawings for commercial applications are not just the domain of 3D modeling programs. Axonometric drawing is by definition a 2D drawing discipline. And it's done every day in mainstream 2D vector drawing programs, despite their usual dearth of features expressly supporting it. Off-axis object edges abound in most manufactured products. So do whole objects which are not aligned to the axes and parallel to the planes. All those measures have to be drawn in correct proportion, too, even though the drawing is done by isometric method. Fasteners, for example, are commonly positioned in all kinds of orientations in exploded isometric drawings. So providing reasonably intuitive and productive solutions for proportionally correct rotation about the axes is also of key importance. Even though its interface approach is not perfectly in line with what would be my ideal, among affordable mainstream 2D drawing programs, Affinity is presently leading the way toward (at long last) awakening more illustrators to the fun and rewarding world of axonometric drawing. And trust me, the functionality is still more direct and powerful than mere scale, skew, rotate routines. JET
  20. JET_Affinity


    I see no reason why it wouldn't / couldn't be. If an axonometric grid is active when the Shape Tool is employed, the grid plane would correspond to the Tilt value and the perpendicular planes would correspond to the scale factor for the Extrude value. JET
  21. JET_Affinity


    The kind of "extrude" tools depicted in maxmax's post are not 3D modeling tools. They are straightforward 2D drawing tools. However, nor are the specific examples shown "isometric," because the original squares to which they have been applied are drawn "in-the-flat." In any axonometric orientation (of which isometric is just a special case), if the face of the extrusion were viewed "straight on", no perpendicular extrusion of that face would be visible. So those two screenshots are just arbitrary obliques. Those extrude tools can be used to help draw objects in an isometric (or other axonometric) orientation, but to do so you would first draw the shape being extruded as if it were already parallel to one of the iso planes. In other words, you would have to do other transformations and calculations in order to correctly call the result "isometric." Affinity Designer does not as yet have such an "extrusion tool." But constructing such an extrusion is fairly trivial. Just draw any shape on one of the iso grid planes, duplicate it, move it along the perpendicular axis the correctly proportional distance, use the Pen Tool in Line Mode to draw the edges of the extrusion, and delete the "hidden" edges. I quite agree that an Extrude Tool would reduce that tedium. But as always, I don't want to see Affinity merely mimic the functionally trite tools of other programs. I already have those programs. I'm frankly tired of the same old kindergarten stuff. I want to see innovatively better implementations. In this specific context, what I would envision is an enhancement to Affinity's Shape Tools. First, a little explanation: Consider that most familiar example of an "isometric" cube. The reason why the perimeter of that cube forms a hexagon is simple 2D geometry. The cube is drawn as if oriented such that the diagonal between its nearest and farthest corners is parallel to your line-of-sight. Therefore, each side of the cube makes the same angle with your line-of sight. That angle is the specific angle imprinted on every isometric drawing template: 35°16" (thirty-five degrees, sixteen minutes). Each of the three visible sides of the cube are foreshortened (scaled in one direction) by the sine of that angle. Each of the visible edges of the cube are foreshortened by the cosine of that same angle. That simple "sine and cosine" proportional principle applies not just to isometric, but to any orientation in any axonometric drawing method. The existing Shapes palette already provides a plethora of common shapes, each with special handles by which to adjust their own appropriate parameters. Corresponding numeric input fields also appear in the Control Bar for numerically specifying those parameters. Now imagine this: Suppose all of the Shape Tools simply had two additional parameters, labeled "Tilt" and "Extrude." So, for example, you use the Cog Shape Tool to draw a cog. You adjust its various parameters (inner and outer radius, number of teeth, etc.) It works as it always has for drawing a "cog" viewed "straight on." But now, in the Control Bar are the two added parameter fields. Entering an angle (or expression that yields an angle) into the Tilt field scales the shape vertically by the sine of that angle. Entering a length (or expression) into the Extrude field offsets a copy of that scaled shape and moves it vertically by the value entered multiplied by the cosine of the Tilt angle, and draws the connecting "extrusion" lines between the two. In other words, it does the same thing as those ordinary "extrude" tools in other programs, but does it in correct geometric proportion for any 3D orientation. And it does it in concert with the power of all the already existing shape-specific adjustable parameters of the Shape Tools. That's an example of adding functional elegance to a program in which a small addition compounds the functional power of existing features. That would blow the doors off any 2D Extrude Tool in any of the existing mainstream 2D drawing programs. Now imagine further that, over time, other Shape Tools were added. With the Tilt and Extrude parameters in place, imagine a Spiral Shape Tool which didn't simply "extrude" the shape along the Extrude value, but repeated the shape along the extrusion length. That could equate to a more powerful and more versatile drawing tool than the tool in Corel Technical Designer for drawing threads and threaded holes. It would be far more intuitive and less tedious than the little-known technique of using Illustrator's under-appreciated Reshape Tool for the same purposes. Imagine further that, over time, functionality were provided for something called a Shape Group; a means by which to combine two Shape Tools which could share given parameters. A Hex Bolt Shape Group would include an instance of the Hexagon Shape Tool and an instance of the Spiral Shape Tool, and the result would be the ability to instantly create correctly-proportioned hex bolts of any diameter, head size, and length—at any visual orientation. JET
  22. I'll second Aammppaa's response. If you actually think nothing is happening toward development of the Affinity applications, you need look no further than the Beta processes that are openly shared on this very site. This is a different world from old-school beta development programs of many monolithic software companies, in which only a select few users were privileged to know what is going on after signing a non-disclosure agreement. Go to the beta sub-forums. See the things being worked on, tested by users, and refined before release. The particular "must have" feature you have in mind may be being worked on. If not, that's what the Feature Requests sub-forum is for. Search there and find a discussion on it. The developers do review feature requests. That's where many things being developed come from. JET
  23. JET_Affinity

    bug in transform each

    It would be worth it. First, it would be a functional advantage over Illustrator's Transform Each dialog. There have been user requests about this and similar omissions for years on Illustrator's user forum. One of the annoying things about Illustrator is that some of its modal dialogs provide percentages, but not fixed values; others vice-versa. Some of these are obviously due to a feature being added, without updating a similar long-preexisting feature. Second, it would makes further use of Affinity's superiority in using math expressions in value fields. JET
  24. Not to engage in playground bravado, but I've been making my living full-time with graphics software (primarily mainstream vector drawing programs) since its early days in the mid-80s. I may be drawing a freeform irregular shape surrounding or in relation to other objects for any of countless reasons. I may be drawing a "background" shape which I intend to send to the rear of a collection of other paths and apply a fill to it after. I may be simply drawing a path that I will compound with a pre-existing path in order to make a hole in it. I may be drawing a path to use as a clipping path. I may be drawing a path to use in a Boolean punch operation. I may be drawing a cut line for a vinyl cutter. I may be drawing in outline mode. I may be drawing a temporary construction path. OR, I may have simply switched to the Pencil tool to scribble out a path for any reason whatsoever, when the current stroke and fill just happens to be set to none or white. I still expect the tool to behave the same, by previewing the expected bitmap breadcrumb trail as I drag it. I can apply a stroke to it after mouseup, if I want to. It would be rather annoying for the program to "slap my hand" by simply refusing to preview the path I'm scribing, just because I haven't applied a stroke yet. Take a look at the corresponding tools in any of the mainstream drawing programs, Gerry. Let me put it to you this way: What is it going to hurt for the Pencil's interface to simply behave consistently, regardless of the current stroke and fill settings? I rather expect this "invisible drawing" behavior is just a bug, not a "feature." JET
  25. It's hard to blame it on particular authoring programs. PDFs are notorious in general for containing unexpected clipping paths, even when exported and imported using Adobe apps. As constructs native to the authoring program get "deconstructed" down to more basic objects, anything from grad fills (beyond the basic linear and radial) to mere page bounds can result in clipping paths—even multiple nested ones—when exported to PDF. It's one of the reasons why Illustrator has its specific Select>Object>Clipping Masks command. All the dubious hype about "Illustrator's native format is now PDF!" lead users to think that's true in a conventional sense. So they use Illustrator to "open" PDFs from any willy-nilly source (not just the ones created by Illustrator with its "Maintain editability..." option turned on), and encounter all those clipping paths, too. So it's common practice in Illustrator to just select that command and hit delete, in order to figure out what you're actually dealing with. JET