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Bryan has left the forum.

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  1. Breaking my self-imposed silence and exile from Adobe-land[1] for a bit: Ahem, three different platforms… macOS, Windows and iPadOS. I know folks have been wanting a DAM from Affinity for ages, but for me personally I hope they delay any new products for a time, and instead choose to focus on their existing applications—all of which could really use some TLC. There are so many feature requests and workarounds littering these forums—some going back over five years—that just starting to address even a few of these requests, per application, per platform will require a massive investment from Serif. Personally, I would rather have 'fewer, nicer things' than lots of mediocre things that require elaborate workarounds and endless compromises. I hope Serif chooses to invest wisely, I know I will. [1] I recently gave up on all the constant workarounds and inconsistencies of the Affinity range and had to return to Illustrator and InDesign to get some actual work done.
  2. This does my head in ALL the time. It’s almost as if the folks who ‘designed’ this ‘experience’ had never seen—let alone used—any other vector drawing application.
  3. I'm working on a vector composition in Designer and I needed to adjust the colours of a number of elements and thought I'd attempt to use adjustment layers before I began the painstaking task of editing all of the objects individually. I was secretly hoping that adjustment layers within Affinity Designer might work in a manner similar to Phantasm by Astute Graphics—applying the colour adjustments while retaining the vector shapes and properties even when exported to vector formats such as EPS, SVG and PDF. Sadly Designer rasterizes ANY vector artwork that has adjustment layers (or effects) applied to it. I understand from the numerous forum threads on the matter that plug-in support (ie: support for Astute Graphics plug-ins) is not on the horizon for Affinity products. If this is indeed the case I'd like to request that the product folks behind Affinity Designer seriously consider adding the ability to work with vectors (including filters, adjustments, brushes, etc) end-to-end (import, creation and export) within their vector editing application. As it stands now I find myself having to return to Illustrator far more than I'd like for vector graphic work, and for me it really calls into question why bother with Affinity in the first place?
  4. You can do these any number of ways (using a combination of 2D blends, offsets, skews, unions, node clean-up, etc — or as you mentioned using vector 3D extrude functionality), but neither (let alone other more interesting vector shadow fx variations) is currently possible in Affinity Designer.
  5. While I love being able to easily mix bitmaps and vectors in Affinity apps I often find that there are times where I NEED hard, crisp shadows that can be rendered/exported as solely as vector graphics (SVG, PDF) without having to rasterize the effect. Simple outer/inner shadows are easy enough to accomplish by duplicating, offsetting, scaling and setting a darker colours/gradients for the curves, but isometric and long/block shadows are entirely different beasts and often leave me with no alternative but to return to Illustrator to perform blends/offsets, use the Astute Graphics and 3D/isometric plug-ins, and simplify (reduce the node count in) the geometry. Being able to create these effects (with a REASONABLE NODE COUNT) in Affinity Designer would be really helpful.
  6. I really like drawing with the pencil tool in Affinity Designer (especially on the iPad), but there are a few features requests that would make it that much nicer. The ability to continue a line by starting to draw from the end of an existing selected line. The ability to reshape a selected line by drawing over existing segments and replacing the shape of the line with the newly drawn shape. The ability to automatically close or connect a path by terminating the line on an existing node of the selected path(s). A way to minimize the number of nodes created by the pencil tool (smoothing settings, clean-up/minimize commands, etc). I often find that after I draw I line I have to go back and remove LOTS of additional nodes (and connect nodes/lines) in order to not end up with a big mess of unnecessary geometry as the composition grows in complexity. It's a very zen-like activity, but it tends to take A LOT of time and breaks me out of the flow of drawing. I know many of these have been requested in various places in the past, just bumping them up again.
  7. I use Abbyy FineReader https://pdf.abbyy.com (Mac/Win) within DevonThink Pro which converts PDFs (including embedded images) into rtf, Word, etc. The results are pretty good, and typically require minimal clean-up depending on the quality of the embedded images.
  8. All the apps are very slow to load on first launch (15+ seconds), but subsequent launch times are more in-line with what you would expect (2-3 seconds). Running macOS 10.15.7 (2020 MPB, 32GB RAM) and using the Affinity store (not Apple App Store) current release (1.8.6) versions.
  9. After becoming utterly frustrated with the Layers palette the other day’d I thought I put together some idea(s) as to how it might be improved. While many folks (myself included) often lament the need for separate artboards and layers, many apps (Sketch, Figma, OmniGraffle, etc) do seem to have gone with this concept of unifying artboards, layers and objects. While I'd love separate palettes for artboards and layers, I realize my main issue is with the lack of differentiation between the various elements contained within the Layers palette. Everything looks the same, and you have to read the grey threaded text to the side of the layer/object name to ascertain what type of element you're dealing with; artboards, layers, images, pixel layers, groups, curves, shapes, etc. Also, as many of these elements have different behaviours when other elements are dragged onto them (layers contain and stack elements, curves/shapes/etc mask elements, etc) it's not always clear (without reading the grey text) how each element will react with other elements. We're used to quickly scanning icons (just look at the various toolbars and panels) for context. Replacing the text with clear, recognizable visual icons representing the types of elements would go along way in helping folks immediately recognize and better understand the structure and relations between the various elements contained in the layers palette. It would also free up space for longer visible layer/object names (ie: Introduction (Spanish), or Hero Image (Asia Pacific), +UK_InfectionRateGraph_2020) that could be used in various ways in our product workflows. Also, adding decreasing tints of colours for children of layers and objects can help to further visually communicate the structure. Also reflecting the layers users specific colour in the thin gradient bar at the bottom would better help to relate the two. I've never been 100% sure what blue gradient is meant to signify. Also doing something similar on the left side reflecting the artboard and its children could be really useful in showing the extent of the elements contained within that one artboard in context of the entire layers panel. Being able to 'solo' artboards (or layers, groups, etc - essentially hide everything else except for what you've requested to be solo'd) would also be really helpful when working with large, complex documents, and needing to focus on only one aspect for a time.
  10. This article How To Split PDF Documents Into Single Pages Using Mac OS X from this post Export PDF as separate pages the other day might be of some help.
  11. So, I wouldn't exactly equate 'enterprise' with 'professional', but hey—if that's your experience then that's your experience. To me enterprise is either having to use the same stuff I used twenty years ago because everybody is afraid of change (although Google Docs, Slack, Salesforce, etc have caused many orgs to question their reliance on those annual Microsoft service agreements), or having something (often unsuitable) foisted upon the entire company because some muppet in the c-suite went golfing with the wrong person. In my experience 'pros' will meticulously look for tools that meet (or exceed) their needs, or enable them to accomplish things in completely new and novel ways, while 'enterprise' has always been about enforcing standardization and efficiency. I actually agree that we don't agree!
  12. Um, there are so many things wrong with this statement I don't know where to begin. Putting aside the dismissive, sexist, and condescending tone—I think you really need to look at how the 'pro' market has changed in the past decade. A software suite that used to costs thousands of dollars roughly every 18 months, can now be had for roughly $600/year, with alternatives costing a fraction of that providing viable alternatives for many. iPhones are increasingly used to shoot professional photos (and video), and iPads (and Microsoft Surfaces) are making a serious dent in much of Wacom's business—especially with tools such as Procreate being exclusive to iOS. DaVinci Resolve (free) is replacing Avid, Premiere and Final Cut Pro in many production studios, and Blender (free and open) is increasingly being adopted by gaming and animation studios looking to eventually replace Maya, Max, etc in their production pipelines. The same features pros paid thousands for a decade ago, are now often to be found in inexpensive, accessible consumer technology—and with better GPUs, machine learning, and new technologies these alternatives often offer vast improvements on the original 'pro' inspirations. Anyway, the point I'm trying to make is that much of what was 'pro' before is now widely available in consumer tech, and in many cases the consumer tech is replacing (or surpassing) the legacy 'pro' gear. If you want to pay more (or have very specific requirements) you can of course find someone to cater to your needs, but the the democratization of 'pro' tools within consumer packages doesn't lessen their value—it simply removes the barriers to entry and enables more folks to participate in an endeavour that was largely the domain of a small, and privileged few.
  13. I've been noticing lately when I go to create a new document (CMD+N) that quite often (more than 50% of the time) the presents gallery is empty (see image). If I switch tabs (say from Web to Photo) the presets will display as expected, and the issue appears to be related to the initial display of the dialogue (each time it's used). I'm using Affinity Designer 1.8.6 for macOS.
  14. The only problem with this approach is often you don't want the width of the line (created using expand stroke) reflected when you perform the divide. It's currently impossible to divide a shape using just a line, and dividing a shape with a line that has no width does nothing.
  15. Yeah, ideally when you release a beta to users it's to garner feedback on the new features, as well as bug fixes and overall stability of the release. The best betas I've been on (oddly, Macromedia/Adobe used to be very good with their betas) are often accompanied with well written documentation (including rough drafts of tutorials, images, videos, etc. - this was a time when the initial documentation was often written in tandem with feature development) describing any new features, changes, known issues, as well as info on any upcoming features that have yet to be implemented but the designers and developers want to get feedback on before committing resources to implementing them. It's always easier to change a design/implementation 'on paper' than it is in code. A release with a download link and a few notes often doesn't provide enough context for many users to understand the implications and usage of any new features, with the result being they are often overlooked, with little to no meaningful feedback (from a large enough sample). I remember a video (I can't find it now) from one of the developers showing an early implementation of the contour tool that was brilliant in providing an early illustration of how Serif envisioned the tool working, and how it might be used. I seem to recall it generated a fair amount of discussion and feedback (as well as anticipation). I'd love to see more design/development 'sneaks' like this, but possibly easier to find and more organized towards recording the discussion around the feature, how folks envision using it, and what their expectations are.
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