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JET_Affinity

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Everything posted by JET_Affinity

  1. Those of us familiar with FreeHand's as-yet still unmatched Graphics Find And Replace palette are writhing in our seats. o This is one of countless similar things that, in my opinion, are better accomplished with a Javascript implementation than with a 'same for everyone' command. You would want to control multiple variables for such a feature. For example, should all instances of the object-replacing Symbol be the same size, or should each be scaled to the size of the corresponding object it's replacing? Should each instance be rotated to the same orientation as the replaced object? Should each instance take on the color of the replaced object? What about nested objects? Would the replace-with-symbol command 'dig into' groups, or replace the whole group? There are use-cases in which I would answer 'yes' or 'no' to each of those--and other--questions. I say this from experience, having written my own 'features' in Illustrator for years, the details of which can be customized (or optioned) to work exactly the way I want it to. For example, with my own Illustrator Replace With Symbol Javascript, I can simply replace selected objects as you describe for things like icons in maps. But I can also: Create entirely vector-based faux halftones in which each halftone dot becomes a Symbol sized according to the greyscale value of the dot. or... Draw lines of random lengths radiating from a single point at random angles. Then position a Symbol at the endpoint of each line, each scaled and rotated according to the direction and length of the individual lines, thereby creating 'explosions' or 'swarms' radiating from a center. One-size-fits-all behaviors tend to leave as many users dissatisfied as satisfied, resulting in the "close, but if only..." frustration. JET
  2. Not to butt-in on Lagarto's generous attempts to help, but it seems that a very common general misconception about the basics of working with Spot inks may be at play in this thread. So please forgive my attempt to re-phrase part of what has already been explained: I emphasize inks instead of saying Spot colors because software users confuse 'swatches', 'colors', and such with inks, and thereby think working with Spot inks is more complicated than it is. Even when talking about CMYK process, color-separations for prepress production are not imaged in colors; they are imaged to film or directly onto the press plates as grayscale or bitmap images. The 'color' is all about what inks are loaded into the press. When you define a 'Spot color' in software, all you're really doing is telling the software to specify that an additional grayscale separation be generated and labeled by that name. Any objects in the file to which that same label is applied (by selecting the defined Spot color swatch named by that label), get sent to that extra grayscale separation. It really has nothing whatsoever to do with selecting a Spot ink from a 'library'. The Spot 'libraries' are nothing but a convenience for selecting the ink manufacturer's recommendations for how to approximate their inks' colors on an RGB monitor. Functionally, it's literally "all in the name." What color gets printed is entirely just a matter of what physical ink the pressman loads into the inkwell of the press. As Largato explained in other terms, you can specify how a 'Spot color' or a 'Spot swatch' appears on-screen any way you want: by selecting it from a pre-defined 'Spot color library' or by just coloring it with literally any mix of RGB or CMYK values you want. Either way, so long as it's defined as a Spot swatch, it's not going to affect its printed color. Objects assigned that color are simply going to be associated with the additional grayscale color-separation by that name. Consider the context of a Spot metallic ink: No combination of RGB values are going to enable your monitor to look anything even close to a translucent physical ink that has reflective metallic powder in it. That, in fact, is one of the main reasons Spot Inks even exist. But that doesn't matter one whit. You can select 'Pantone Metallic 8007' from a 'library' list in the software, or you can just set a new swatch that you've set as Spot and then 'mix' your own on-screen display of it. No matter how you try, you're not going to make it look like the actual copper-ish metallic ink that the pressman loads. All that matters is that the 'swatch' is defined as Spot, and is named 'Pantone Metallic 8007', so that's how the associated grayscale film or plate will be labeled when printed as color-separations. This is why I (and no doubt countless others) routinely simply define a commonly-used Pantone spot ink (e.g.; PMS 185) using my own display values (100y 100m), instead of Pantone's library recommendations. It doesn't make one bit of difference in the printed results. The pressman is simply going to load Pantone 185 ink into the inkwell because that's the name of the color-separation plate. When working for print--and especially when working with Spot colors--much confusion is avoided by always thinking in terms of inks, instead of 'colors.' JET
  3. This is competitive low-hanging fruit if there ever was such. Obviously, transformations (scale, rotate, skew, translate) should of course be relative to the artwork in-progress. But we've been so conditioned to the tyrannical vertical-horizontal fixation of nearly every feature of this genre of drawing programs that the obvious is overlooked, even by the users. Think about it: It's almost as if drawing software UI developers think 2D doesn't stand for "two dimensions", but merely 'two directions.' A precious few 'escapes' --features such as snap-to angled guides and rotated grids--have appeared over the decades. Some attempts are better than others. But they all fall short. I've been at this vector-based illustration thing since FreeHand 1. Believe me, I know what the cumbersome workarounds are. Thus the feature request. Exactly. That's the problem. And the low-hanging fruit. As I pointed out, Affinity does at least provide what Canvas has for decades: it can 'remember' the rotation of a selection. But unlike FreeHand and Illustrator, Affinity does not provide transform tools. It only provides its tactile (i.e., dragged-on-the-drawing) transform features as bounding-box handles. Well, any illustrator who doesn't just draw boxes needs to be able to perform translations in any direction relative to the artwork, not just to a rectangular bounding box. Illustrator provides both transform tools and bounding box transform handles. And it, too, rotates an object's bounding box when the object is rotated. Inkscape doesn't even do that. Inkscape's bounding box stays parallel to the page edges even when an object is rotated. FreeHand avoided continually cluttering the interface with bounding boxes. What most Illustrator users don't know is that FreeHand's transform tools were better than Illustrators in that they worked better (more powerfully and more controllable) when dragging at arbitrary angles. Again: Affinity provides a ridiculous five rotation handles on its bounding boxes, all of which do exactly the same thing. Honestly, who needs that? Meanwhile, try this: Select something. Show the Transform Anchor. Drag it to somewhere other than the selection's center. Now drag one of the scale handles. The Transform Anchor is ignored when scaling. To make drag-scaling act at least similar to what Illustrator's Scale Tool can do, you need to temporarily draw something else to serve as the 'transform anchor' and add it to the selection. Don't try to tell me Affinity's selection/transform interface doesn't still need work. But as always, Illustrator is hardly anything to which to aspire. like Affinity, its rotated bounding boxes also cannot be rotated about its selection in order to orient the transform handles to the direction in which the selection needs to be scaled. In fact, I don't know of any program in this competitive genre that empowers the user to re-orient the bounding box relative to the selection. It's time one did! It would 'transform' Affinity's scale handles from sub-par to superior in one elegant, unobtrusive functional enhancement. I don't want Affinity to be a cheap 'me, too' clone of Illustrator. I want it to become something better. Low hanging fruit. JET
  4. Fde, Please go back and re-read my post carefully. I'm well-aware of the Cycle Selection Box. I even pointed out that feature when I said: "Like Canvas, it does let you switch a rotated bounding box back to its as-created pagewise (vertical / horizontal) orientation" What I'm talking about is the ability to rotate the bounding box relative to the selection so as to thereby orient the bounding box's scale handles in a direction pertinent to the actual artwork. The point is to be able to scale a selection that is already rotated as needed in the direction that it needs to be scaled. JET
  5. Unlike some mainstream drawing programs (FreeHand, Illustrator), Affinity doesn't provide Tools (i.e., icons in the Toolbox) for tactile (dragging) common transformations (scale, rotate, skew). Instead, it only provides bounding box handles. Here's a triangular path: It's been arbitrarily rotated from its original orientation. Unlike Inkscape, Affinity's bounding box 'remembers' a selection's rotation: Like Canvas, it does let you switch a rotated bounding box back to its as-created pagewise (vertical / horizontal) orientation: The bounding box provides no less than five rotation handles: We can change the object's 'remembered' rotation by rotating it again and invoking the Reset Rotation command. Thereafter, clicking the Cycle Selection Box button switches between horizontal-vertical and the new 'remembered' rotation: But what if I want to scale the object in some direction other than the sides of the often entirely irrelevant bounding box? For example, in the direction perpendicular to the rightmost side of this triangle?: Why can't at least ONE of those ridiculously redundant five rotation handles (the 'lollypop' one) be used (even if by means of pressing a keyboard modifier) to rotate the bounding box itself, relative to the selection, and thereby have that become the 'remembered' bounding box orientation? To illustrate, I've just used a simple triangle. But this ability would be a boon to all kinds of selections with any number of objects in any number of orientations. In technical drawings, for example, 'tilting' objects drawn on a plane, is a matter of scaling them in the direction of their 'thrust line' (a line perpendicular to their plane). But this is just as applicable to countless situations even in freeform 'eyeballed' drawing. JET (I intended to post this as a Feature Request. Moderator, please feel free to move it there.)
  6. Macro, unlikely. Too many variables. Although Windows applications tend to refer to Visual Basic scripts as 'macros', generally speaking, a macro is just a recording of a sequence of individual performed operations or commands provided in the standard interface, like so-called Actions in Adobe apps. The sequence would likely be different for every piece of artwork, thereby negating the advantage. Scripting, on the other hand, maybe. But that's far more ambitious. A good scripting implementation provides for variables and conditional logic. But the operative phrase here is "good implementation". I've resorted to writing Javascript to create a substantial collection of 'missing features' in Illustrator, and yes, I am one of those who dearly wants to see Affinity provide a complete and well-documented Javascript object model as soon as its feature set is more fully fleshed-out and stabilized. But even so, it was the continual frustration of scripting AI that I had to resort to it for no-brainer missing functionality like, for just one example, a simple reverse path command. (And no, no one need trot out clicking an endNode with the Pen Tool.) But it comes immediately to mind in this context that Illustrator's Javascript (as of CS6, after which I abandoned it because I will not enslave myself nor have my business-critical files held hostage to a software vendor) provides no method for collision detection between paths (something I asked for throughout the years of writing AI scripting). So one might be able to devise into the script a repetitive loop of 'tests' to determine which paths actually overlap. But I'd be gritting my teeth doing that just because the functionality should be in the standard interface. The use case I described (vinyl cutting) is one in which something akin to Illustrator's Merge command quickly becomes indispensable. But its utility is certainly not limited to that. It's one of the kind of features that a user may not immediately recognize the 'need' for, but will quite likely find many uses for once it is provided. Adding a button and a slider to a Boolean palette would not constitute excessive gratuitous tool-glut. If one thinks it through, it becomes evident that the so-called Merge Pathfinder is doing essentially much the same thing that the much later so-called Live Paint and Shape Builder features are doing. They're just doing it as a 'live effect' with an elaborate tool interface, instead of by a simple command. Much of Illustrator's tool glut boils down to 're-packaging' of existing functionality with more elaborate interfaces. Of course it did. And I dare say, like many other things, it probably appeared before Illustrator's trapping functions. But FreeHand did not have a command akin to the one specified in this thread. The Merge command was one of the precious few positives in having to segue to AI after Adobe bought and killed FreeHand. I'd have to fire up the old bulbous pinstripe Mac G4 relic to verify, but something in my own vague recollection suggests that FreeHand's Boolean path operations could be made to incorporate manually-built traps. All this is why I continually argue that we need to think beyond Illustrator. Illustrator is just one of the old 'Big Four" (FreeHand, Illustrator, CorelDRAW, Canvas). A lot of redundant clutter lingers from the ad-hoc development since those days and elegance is lost when new offerings just 'copy what [historically] sells.' Elegance is achieved by providing fully thought-through and integrated functional power just beneath a clean, minimalist, but intuitive interface. The clutter of the older apps is nowadays nothing to emulate. My favorite example of the 'everybody now does it, so it must be right' fallacy is the now omnipresent confused, always-shifting, schizophrenic 'Bar' that can't decided whether it's a Tools Option Bar or a Commands Bar. Every graphics software developer should be required to understand and experience the advantage of FreeHand's incomparable Inspector Palette. (Closest thing to it in any program I use is in the Layout Mode of FileMaker Pro; a database program, of all things.) JET
  7. As I've suggested in similar contexts: Commands should be provided to convert any path to either a cutting path or a marquee selection (with a Boolean option for 'contact' as opposed to 'surround'). JET
  8. For those not familiar: Illustrator's awkwardly named Merge performs two basic Boolean operations in one move, based on their color: It Unions touching (abutting or overlapping) fills of the same color. It Punches (subtracts) overlapping fills of different colors. (Frontmost punches others). So it results in the minimal individual paths around visually contiguous regions of the same color. One common real-world use case for this is when preparing a design for cutting from sign vinyl. In that common workflow, you don't want any cuts across same-colored regions, because as the vinyl shrinks over time, void slivers appear. So the Merge command saves a lot of time and tedium. However, it addresses just half of that use case: When different colors of a sign vinyl design need to appear to abut, one actually does need a small amount of overlap for the very same reason: It's very difficult to physically perfectly abut different-colored pieces of vinyl when applying it, and even if you could, the eventual shrinkage would again cause slivers between them. The practical fix is analogous to that of color trapping (chokes, spreads, and overprinting) in print. So this is yet another opportunity to improve upon an Illustrator feature by addressing its shortcomings instead of just mimicking it in 'me, too' fashion: Such a command should incorporate an Overlap setting that would default to zero, but could be set by the user whenever a trap (parallel to the shapes) is needed. That would address the tedium of having to manually apply Offset Path (in AI) or Contour (in Affinity) to the results of a Merge operation. In other words, the suggested new feature function should incorporate three basic operations (union, subtract, and offset), not just two (union and subtract). Illustrator could have long since addressed this by providing a checkbox in its Merge command: Respect Manual Traps or Respect Overprinting Strokes. But it doesn't. And its 'Pathfinders' generally ignore strokes anyway. Expand Appearance 'sees' manual traps built in Illustrator, but treats them as 'third' colors instead of as the same color as the spread or choked color. Another low-hanging-fruit opportunity to surpass Illustrator's functionality by avoiding its endemic characteristic of too many grab-bag standalone features being 'unaware' of each other. JET
  9. For clarity, I certainly hope no one is asking for this to be a default behavior. I do not want an endNode of a path to auto-join to another path just because I drag it to within pick distance of another path's end. There are countless situations in illustration in which one draws coincident paths that should not be joined. Look no further than paths of different weights, color, or other style attributes that nonetheless need to have coincident ends. What about when more than two endNodes are coincident? How is the program supposed to know which path I would want it to auto-join to? The auto-joining behavior of Adobe Illustrator's Pen, for example, is one of its most infuriatingly intrusive stumbling blocks. To avoid its infernal insistence on auto-joining to other deselected paths when drawing, you actually have to invoke this ridiculous override: Mousedown somewhere that you don't want the next node to be Press and hold the spacebar Drag to where you do want it the node to be Mouseup Release the spacebar A path drawing tool is not a selection tool, and should not act like one. It has no business affecting unselected paths just because you need to place a node within pick distance of another path's endnode. Nor should it occur when just dragging an endNode. At most, any such behavior should have to be invoked by a keyboard shortcut. It should not be default behavior. The task of cleaning up DXF files is an oft-cited use case, and one with which I am quite familiar, having been doing technical illustration since well before personal computers. But it's still a specifically vertical use case; nothing that should be cited to justify a default behavior. Other programs accommodate it with separate, explicitly-invoked menu commands. You select the paths you want to be affected and then invoke the joining command (with whatever parameters offered in a dialog). If that's what you're recommending, I'm fine with it. But auto-joining as default behavior is bad. JET
  10. There is a lot of functionality in a dedicated standalone cutting application, too. As for steps 2 and 3; no. That's what enables me to use the single familiar cutting / driving application with all the vector-based drawing program I have, and to use files provided by others outside my shop. But again, the primary advantage is avoiding mission-critical dependency upon a single drawing software 'host' for the plug-in. JET
  11. This is why you're really better off using a separate standalone cutting software to drive your cutter, rather than using a plug-in that traps you into dependency upon a single general-purpose drawing program. My cutters are Rowland. But if your hardware is Graphtec, have you not looked into one of the Graphtec Studio applications? With a separate cutting-prep application, you can use whatever drawing software you want, so long as it can export to a common vector file format that the cutting application can import. In the case of Affinity, that would be SVG, which is indicated on Graphtec's site as one of the formats supported by Graphtec Studio. You would: Do the drawing in Affinity Export as SVG Import the SVG into Graphtec Studio Set whatever device-specific options or features the software provides Send from Graphtec Studio to the cutter Typically, what actually drives cutters is just ordinary simple pen-up, move-to, pen-down HPGL instructions. So even when you use your Graphtec plug-in for Illustrator, what's really going on is, the plug-in is converting the Bezier curves to plotter language and then sending it to the cutter's driver. JET
  12. twopointoh, The development of Affinity applications is being openly shared with the user community in the Beta section of this forum. If you download the current beta, you will find that an offset offset path function is among the things under current development. JET
  13. Live Text On A Path cannot actually be saved in a PDF. When you save a file as a PDF from Illustrator, you have the option to Preserve Illustrator Editing Capabilities. If you have that option turned on, Illustrator stores a full native copy of the content, stashed away in a 'cordoned off' area of the PDF file. That's why 'PDFs' saved that way from Illustrator are so much larger than if they are saved without that option on. If you then re-open that 'PDF' in Illustrator, Illustrator doesn't open the PDF content; it opens the stashed-away native copy. That's why the Text On Path object is still editable. When you save a file as a PDF from Illustrator with that option turned off, and then 're-open' that PDF in Illustrator, you will find that there is no live editable Text On Path. Affinity Designer does not 'open' native Illustrator files, just as Illustrator does not 'open' native Affinity Designer files. Both can export and open PDFs. Illustrator does the inverse with its 'native' .AI format: When you save a .AI file from Illustrator, you have the option to Make PDF Compatible. If you have that option turned on, Illustrator stores a PDF copy of the content, stashed away in a 'cordoned off' area of the .AI file. If you then open that '.AI' file with Affinity, Affinity doesn't open the native AI content; it opens the stashed-away PDF copy. That's why the Text On Path object is not editable. JET
  14. Michael, This thread is about an envelope warping feature. If you search for "Extrude", you'll find other threads pertaining to what you describe. Those threads are about 3D features. An extrude feature to "make a 3D view", for which Michael is relating to the Isometric Grids feature (2D construction), is not about a 3D modeling feature. Extrude features like in CorelDRAW and other programs are 2D constructs and therefore not ruled out by the Affinity team's responses that Affinity will not have 3D features. JET
  15. Since this is the "General Query" thread: Does anyone know when the extra batteries for my DeWalt chainsaw will be shipping? Thanks in advance. JET
  16. Feature requests need pro and con discussion and clear behavior description. Someone says "Please add a Live Paint Bucket Tool!" because the only other drawing program they're familiar with is Adobe Illustrator and they seem to think "Live Paint Bucket" is some kind of universally understood generic industry standard 'feature in a box' that a development team can just pick off a shelf somewhere and plug it in, when it's just Adobe's proprietary name for its own particular implementation of what is generically known as a flood-fill feature. So would the voting 'ballot' list four (or more) 'party' candidates?: Live Paint Bucket Tool, identical to Illustrator's Fill Bounded Areas Tool, identical to Inkscape's Smart Fill Tool, identical to CorelDRAW's Smart Vector Fill Tool, identical to Canvas's 'Voting' features in an open public discussion forum are as silly as the user-created 'Poll' feature in a motorcycling forum I frequent. There's nothing scientific about them. Are we going to register to vote? What stops me from having a dozen login accounts so I can vote 12 times? What if 60% of the most experienced users are introverts who are simply disinclined to participate in such 'elections'? What if the majority actually making a living using the software are just too busy, or are not allowed to participate by their employers? What if the vast majority of users have never touched a 'Blob Brush Tool' because they can't afford Captive Customer fees and therefore they all vote "No"? What if the majority of the users have only ever used Adobe Illustrator and don't understand that things can be better than that? You really want the priorities of an application's development to be driven by mob rule? Building an innovative product that wins in the marketplace is not driven by simple democracy. Systematic development requires discernment about which functions comprise the most fruitful foundations upon which later higher-level features will depend. The best features are those which are cleanly integrated with each other so that the combined functionality is more elegantly powerful than just a collection of standalone functions. The feature that ends up truly 'putting an application on the map' and empowering its users the most may be something no one has ever dreamed of before. The 'voting' mechanism is already there: You can click the reaction buttons. Yeah, they could be re-named with terms less ambiguous. But the 'mob' can't even follow the most common-sense procedures: Search for an existing feature discussion topic before starting yet another one. You're very unlikely to be the first person to ask for a 'Shape Builder Tool.' Don't post 'personalized' lists of your pet features. If the topics don't already exist, start individual topics, so they can be sensibly discussed. No one is doing a search for a topic called "Joe Blow's wishlist" just because Joe Blow thinks he's someone special. No one is going to tediously dissect individual features from Joe Blow's wishlist post and move them to their appropriate subject threads. Joe Blow may have the most valuable contribution that no one else has ever thought of on a topic, but it will be forever lost because it's merits are stirred and shaken somewhere inside an unnavigable grab bag. JET
  17. Illustrator, for example, has always been awash in old fashioned modal dialogs. Correct. Interpreting the referenced article as 'putting an interface in modes is bad practice' is too broad a generalization. Working with Affinity's axonometric grids feature effectively puts all the tools in a different 'mode.' That's certainly not a bad thing. FileMaker Pro's interface has four modes: Browse, Find, Layout, and Preview. In Browse Mode, data is worked with in either Form, List, or Table views. One of its claims to fame is that its UI is arguably the most approachable in the database world. I'm not saying that Affinity's interface doesn't have some problems. I can say that any of its competitors' interfaces do, too, if I have an axe to grind. The biggest problem I have with Affinity in this regard is that its faux 'pages' are really just contiguous groupings within the object stack, like layers. Affinity is not the only program to do this, CorelDRAW being the obvious example. The problem is one of function; page-specific layers are really little more than another hierarchical level of groups, and nowhere near as versatile as they should be. But the frustration and confusion it causes is mostly due to Affinity's mixing of two metaphors; those of 'page stacking' versus 'page spreading'. Functionally, it's similar to CorelDRAW. But CorelDRAW's treatment inspires less frustration because it—wait for it—opens a modal window in order to view pages in a 'page-spreading' mode. I don't really have any problem with Affinity's Persona views. I've seen more users applaud it here than dislike it. At this stage, I certainly don't think it's going away, and I expect it will be further exploited to help minimize UI clutter as more features are added or fleshed-out. Perhaps then it will feel more 'necessary' (justified). JET
  18. Two results encountered when moving a node close to another: Using its demo Pen Tool, I drew this by dragging out three 'nodes': Of course, you can't get that shape from three conventional nodes (2 segments). Look closely and notice that the solid and dotted handles of the green node are not parallel. The solid handle is not tangent to the segment that one assumes it controls; the dotted handle is. I understand; this is intended to be a new and innovative interface. But is it intuitive? Tracing over it, try to draw it in Affinity (or most any other mainstream drawing program) by placing three nodes and their curve handles as indicated above, and you get this (blue path): The stated use-case is ensuring curve smoothness when drawing font glyphs. That's all good and noble, but the auto-constraints advantageous in that context are not necessarily also desirable in general illustration. It seems to me that a more general implementation of this would need the auto behaviors to be momentarily switchable while in the process of drawing a path; not always active. How cleanly that could be implemented without increasing overall UI complexity and confusion is yet to be seen. Consider, for example, Inkscape's Spiro Mode feature. It, too, was designed to 'ensure smooth [circular] curves' as you draw with it. You put the Pen Tool into a distinct 'mode' to use it: As you use it, the interface makes it look like this path has two nodes. But clearly, that shape cannot be drawn with a single cubic Bezier curve (one segment). DoubleClick it while still in Spiro Mode and you see this: Now we see what looks like 5 nodes. But look at their direction handles. This isn't very intuitive either, is it? The user has no idea where those nodes are actually being created while drawing the original two nodes. Convert it to a regular path, and you get this: Now we see that it's 17 conventional Bezier curves (segments). Not anything particularly elegant and supple to work with if I need to modify it. Again, I'm not dismissing it, and yes, I understand it's a work-in-progress. But just based on what I can discern from the demo as-is, I don't see anything particularly ground-breaking here. Dinking around with its Pen tool, though, hindrances are imposed on moves that I commonly make for purpose. In general, I don't like features that try to 'read my mind' in anticipation of my intention; they tend to get it wrong more often than right. It's kind of like auto-tracing in that regard. It's an algorithm placing the actual nodes, not me. But wait! Isn't it an algorithm that's plotting the curves that I specify by placing nodes in the conventional Bezier interface? Yes, but consider: Someone uses this interface in designing font glyphs (it's stated target). Using the resulting font, I set some type in any mainstream Bezier-based drawing program, and then convert it to paths, intending to modify the outlines for a logotype. Whatever is going on 'behind the curtain' of this interface, the curves have to be interpreted to curves possible in my drawing program. If you've ever done that with TrueType fonts (which use quadratic Beziers) instead of Type 1 fonts (which use cubic Beziers just like your drawing program), then you know what kind of a mess I'm talking about; far more segments than one should have to deal with for elegant and tidy curve modifications. My guess is, this would be worse. FontLab expended serious effort toward Bezier interface innovation prior to release of its current version. It probably has the highest stake in the stated context. But the type designer using it is still looking at the nodes, handles, and curves that I'm going to get when I set some type and convert it to paths. I consider that a necessity. JET
  19. I hope someone noticed the motorcycle chain and tire tread in my two-decades-old Trials font. You know our shared disappointment of Affinity Designer's 'Vector Brushes' not really being what everyone expects vector-based brushes to be? Do you see the at least partial functional correlation between Illustrator's Pattern Brushes and what can be done with a custom dingbat font (which is entirely vector-based) when applied to text bound to a path? JET
  20. I'm a life-long motorcycle guy. One of the things I've always admired about Honda is the way it has historically created its own demand for the things it builds. Another little company known for that is Apple. Suppose I create an identity package for Acme Coyote Co. It includes a logotype and several stylistically matching related dingbat graphics such as explosion bursts, dust devils, a road-runner's footprint, etc. In CorelDRAW I do not "still have to create fonts separately outside of the logo design." I can export those individual graphics directly from CorelDRAW into specific character slots in a font file that I name "AcmeFont". I can include that font file on the CD that contains all the other images, documents, graphics that comprise the project. The client can load that font on his or his secretary's computer and they can 'type' a logo with one keystroke anywhere they want in any office application they are using. I don't have to buy or use a separate font creation application for doing that. Here's an example. The glyphs were drawn in FreeHand and pasted into key slots in Fontographer. But the whole thing could have been drawn in CorelDRAW and directly exported as a ready-to-use font file because there's no need for kerning pairs or other esoteric settings that would be needed for, say, body text fonts: There's a lot of things worth implementing in mainstream drawing programs that conventional wisdom does not presently consider 'high demand'. Not to hijack this thread from its topic, but just by way of example: Currently, my foremost desire for Affinity Designer is the ability to rotate a bounding box relative to its content. Why? Because Affinity designer is one of those programs determined to make on-page transformations dependent upon infernal bounding boxes instead of providing transform tools. Why the assumption that if I need to disproportionately scale a selection, I only need to do that in the two perpendicular directions of its bounding box? I very often need to scale a selection while in its current rotational orientation in a diagonal direction that does not correspond to the bounding box handles. So why can't at least one of the ridiculously redundant five rotation handles on its bounding box (the silly lollypop handle being the obvious candidate) allow me, with the press a modifier key, to freely rotate the bounding box about its content in order to thereby orient the scale handles to the direction in which I need to scale the selection? I've never heard anyone else ask for that, either. That doesn't mean countless others wouldn't find it invaluable, too, once delivered. JET
  21. It's still there. Type 1 format, too. Screenshot of CorelDRAW 2020's export dialog: Even though Fontographer 1.0 was actually my very first exposure to Bezier-based drawing, I've always applauded Corel's inclusion of this. It can be a wonderful thing to have in a drawing program; not necessarily for full-blown typographic fonts, but for monospaced 'clipart' fonts. It's always been quite common for the actual glyphs of fonts to be drawn in mainstream Bezier-based drawing programs, even when the font file itself is built in a full-blown font program. So, like Corel, why not provide bare-bones basic exports for a couple of formats? Like Alfred, I wouldn't make it a priority for Affinity, with so many other far more immediately important things still under development. But having said that, the fact that actual typographic font design is quite involved does not render it inappropriate for a mainstream general-purpose Bezier drawing program to provide a couple of basic font file format exports. (One thing that comes to mind is that it could be a boon to embroidery hobbyists.) It can still be a very handy way to provide a company with cross-platform, accurate, scalable vector graphics requiring no real learning curve to empower office workers to insert identity marks into internal and external documents or databases. Many of the identity packages I've built for clients have included custom standalone fonts or modified copies of their style guide font with their logos (when appropriate)—and often additional secondary elements designed to go along with them (custom bullets, etc.)—for just that purpose. One of my very first vector-drawing projects was the creation of a PostScript font that served to automate the creation of data-driven diagrams in a Hypercard stack for configuring the body sections and seating plans for school buses. The live profile drawing of the bus was actually alpha-numeric characters of a calculation performed on entered variables, merely displayed in the special font. The drawing auto-updated as the myriad of order parameters were entered. On the one hand, one can argue that open SVG makes vector spot graphics more available to office applications, database programs, etc. On the other hand, that's still more tedious for an office worker than simply typing a particular character in the font that the Marketing department has specified as the company's standard. We're still waiting for SVG fonts to become mainstream and for a font format to support open paths (so-called 'single stroke' fonts). So exporting font formats is still arguably as appropriate for Bezier-based drawing programs as even before. So, no, I'm not saying drawing programs should be full-blown font creation applications. Quality font creation, and the applications built to facilitate it, continue due to a relatively tiny community of dedicated and highly skilled typographers who are worthy of support from professional illustrators and designers. One of the nice things about having a copy of Fontographer or FontLab is that you don't find it time to upgrade every few months. Another is that FontLab now has some of the most innovative ideas in vector path interface design. Any serious vector-based illustrator can derive a lot of delightfully 'new wrinkle' thinking from just dinking around in it. Any illustrator or designer particularly interested in typography should consider it a matter of professionalism to at least have a working knowledge of such things as kerning and why font glyphs are sized by measures relative to their em squares, not by the numbers you key into the illustration or design program. Font design programs enable you to 'see and touch' such principles, even if you have only infrequent need to build or modify fonts. Altsys Fontographer was part of the deal when Macromedia acquired Aldus. Fontographer became one of the applications bundled with FreeHand Graphics Studio. When Adobe acquired Macromedia, Fontographer was saved by its being acquired by FontLab. Fontographer 5 is still sold by FontLab today for $259. JET
  22. Simply providing the measure of straight segments would be already sub-standard. No, it's not as simple as the Pythagorean Theorem, but we're one-fifth into the 21st century. Length (and area, frankly) should be shown for any path, as it is in competing software. JET
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