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dave2017

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  1. dave2017

    Absolute dimensions in AP and/or AD

    Ouch - just noticed that the heading has the "word" - "dimentions" - not the correct spelling "dimensions". If someone could fix that I'd be grateful. Maybe there's some auto correct feature which is doing this, as it just happened again! Re Sketch-up and LibreCAD - I certainly didn't know about the latter, and I probably used the former when Google called it something else. I agree that most people won't want added technical features, but today I just wanted to send some quick designs off to friend who is contemplating some new developments/extensions to his house, and while I was doing it I thought "surely I can do this more accurately ....". Some of the rounding or non rounding features of AD seemed a bit of a pain too. Is it possible to constrain it for example to mm, so that when working in metres and one is trying to get a length of 0.85 metres, one doesn't keep getting 0.8492 or 0.8523 - i.e values which are unwanted? I did discover how to get measurements accurate (or seemingly so) and OK at the resolution levels involved it really doesn't matter, but it just didn't feel right. Saying that there are other tools, or that AD wasn't really designed for this is all very well, but it can nearly do this, so why not make it work? It's a better proposition than trying to do 3D surely, which was one of my other suggestions before I realised that there's no point and tools like Blender can do that already.
  2. dave2017

    Absolute dimensions in AP and/or AD

    Thanks again. I wonder what the resolution is. I had suspected that DPI might interact. The assumption that users would only want to work with smallish numbers of modest units which may suit many users can fail. What about city planners who might want to deal with kilometres or miles - say 30 miles by 45 miles - with a 5 x 5 miles core? Road designers also. Obviously it could be done by "mental effort" use scaled values, but I was hoping that AD and AP could cope even with quite large units and fairly large numbers. I believe that city planners do this kind of thing, though the software they use might have auto scaling built in. I'm not sure what the limits are in Adobe Acrobat Reader, though I know some planners who use that for houses, and they use loupe tools for fine detail. Presumably they also use Acrobat or some other tools to create the planning documents. Most of us "lesser" mortals probably don't have such extreme needs.
  3. dave2017

    Absolute dimensions in AP and/or AD

    Thanks. That was helpful though I'm still finding my way with this approach. I just tried to make a very large artboard for a garden design, and I couldn't enter a figure of 100 metres for one of the dimensions. The largest number I seemed to be able to put in was just over 90. I have been assuming that everything would be scaled so very large values should be possible, without having to effectively design and think in scaled up or down units. I also find that using the drawing tools the dimensions may not be quite right by drawing/dragging - or is there a way of fixing that in the interface? I can force things to the dimensions I want by getting them approximately right, then doing fine tuning for each object, but is there a quicker way to just get some of the dimensions right first time? One other thing I wanted to do was to truncate the corner off a rectangle to model a shower tray. I did this by creating another rectangle and trying to rotate it by 45 degrees, and then overlaying the rectangles and subtracting one from the other. Almost worked, but I didn't quite get 45 degrees for the rotation angle. I know that as a multiple of 15 degrees that should be possible easily, but what if I'd wanted exactly 42.45 degrees? Is there a way of doing that without having to do a lot of fiddling about? Still, definite progress - so thanks again.
  4. Although I've been using AP and AD for some time now, I haven't really got to grips with absolute dimensions. I assume they are "in" there somwhere, but I haven't really found them, or how to control them. Today I wanted to share a few bathroom designs with a friend, and I knocked up a few using AD, and emailed them to him. However I had to guess the dimensions for my images. What I really wanted to do was to specify units (e.g. metres - today) and then to be able to put in absolute values for lengths in metres. What I got was OK, but it would have been better if I could have linked to units. Also some people might want to work in cm or mm, or even feet and inches. Maybe this is possible, but a search for "absolute dimensions in Affinity Designer" revealed a quite interesting video about how to use the pen and pencil tools in ways I did not know before, but did not address the dimension issue I was trying to find out about. Perhaps this information is in the Workbook(s) for AP and AD.
  5. I'm not sure if this is a feature which is already provided in Affinity software. Sometimes it might be helpful to password protect documents, either whole or in part. For example, it is now becoming more common for documents to be sent via email, and then parts have to be signed and returned to the sender. This could be done by regular mail, but that is slow. If it's done via email, then this exposes both the original document, plus the signer(s)' signatures to the world at large. One way round this is to encrypt the signed output file, and notify the original sender of the password by another channel. For photographs, some may have commercial value, and again it might be helpful if the files could be encrypted so that only a small group could access the photos. It is possible to send some documents with encryption using various tools. For example, PDF files can be encrypted, so AP or AD could be used in conjunction with a PDF viewer (Adobe Acrobat or Apple Preview) to encrypt files, and thus provide a more secure format for data exchange. For the iPad version of AP, output files can usually be read by iOS Pages, which also supports a form of encryption. However, these workarounds are a bit clunky, and I wonder if it would be possible and/or desirable to embed appropriate encryption within the Affinity progams.
  6. I sometimes have a group of photos to process. Each one doesn't necessarily take long, but the whole sequence of operations might. I may use other tools as well in the process, and eventually bundle the results off by email to an interested party. As an example, today I was asked to take close up photos of a table top. I took a bunch of photos - then I wanted to upload them all to AP. Then I wanted to select a few, and make some changes, such as blurring out the background, and finally I wanted to save them somewhere unique, and then send them off. I don't know how big a problem this is with other photo editing tools - it may actually not be any easier - but as I have already written, each small step adds up and in the end the process becomes tedious. A more streamlined process would help.
  7. I have recently become a fan of the Inpainting tool. However, it doesn't seem to work if the image is one which is imported from the clipboard. Images loaded in from files work generally, but not ones from the clipboard.
  8. I noticed today when trying to download and save a photo that I had an option of HEIF format - which may be going to become a new "standard". Out of curiosity I created one, and then tried to open it with Affinity Photo. It seems that AP doesn't handle this format - yet. This may become more important in the future.
  9. dave2017

    Focus Merge for Panasonic TZ100

    I am gradually finding a work flow with those MP4 files which works for me. It's a bit tedious, but does "the job", providing the job is simply getting the "best" image from the MP4 sequence. It does not improve the focus over the whole imaage. Looking at the MP4 files in Quicktime it is quite surprising that often some of them are completely out of focus. Some are indeed, as one migh hope, capturing different parts of the images in sharp focus. I don't know what algorithms Panasonic use inside the camera to sharpen the focus - that does generally seem to work quite well, though I think it's only supposed to sharpen the focus on user selected parts of the whole image, which again is not quite the same as focus stacking. My current solution is to view the image sequence in Quicktime, and scan through to find an image which looks the best for the intended purpose. Then put QT into full screen mode, and wait until the forward/reverse markers disappear. Then use the key combination cmd-shift-3 to save the screen shot. The resulting file can then be adjusted further using AP. If one wanted to do more work on the whole it might be possible to extract several frames with slightly different focus by this method, and to use a focus merge stack in AP. I don't do that at present, but I do often "optimise" the image by adjusting the levels, using a curves adjustment to get a further perceptual improvement, and possibly applying an amount of sharpening. Sometimes, to my surprise, blend modes give a pleasant result, though this is quite often a trial and error process. While this seems to be a somewhat clunky process, it does work quite well for images taken in landscape mode. Portrait mode is slightly more difficult, as AP might not do the 90 degree rotation so well - truncating part of the image - so if that happens I use other tools, such as Preview to get the rotation done. I do also use crop to get horizontal (or vertical) lines into the clossst approximation to the "correct" position with the straighten option.
  10. dave2017

    Focus Merge for Panasonic TZ100

    Trying to redo this with Blender is surprisingly non-trivial. It's not that the software can't or won't do the job, but rather that the interface has so many different features it's hard to get it right every time. Practice makes perfect they say, but one shouldn't have to work at things this hard so often. It's also hard to see the Blender workspace on smallish laptop screen, compared to a much larger desk top screen. It really would have been great if Panasonic had provided decent software to deal with this outside the camera. Failing that maybe Affinity could address the issue of importing short video files in a format such as mp4. The paramaters required would seem to be: Video format (PAL/NTSC) Video dimensions Frame rate Number of frames required for stack. There shouldn't be any need for AP to do any more than handle short clips, as video files can be trimmed using other tools. Perhaps given the constraints on ease of use, the simplest solution would be to copy the SDHC card onto a dupicate/working space card,then use the in-camera editing to extract the required files. Some people might find that less painful than using software outside the camera. I would perhaps also have written that it is best not to use 4k modes, or Post Focus modes with the TZ100, but recent experimentation suggests that it is better to use those modes to capture acceptable shots, rather than to use high resolution/RAW shots which should ideally be well in focus, but in practice often aren't. In theory it should be possible to get better shots using the highest resolution and RAW mode with the camera, but high resolution shots which are out of focus are actually worse than lower resolution ones, with at least some parts of each image in focus. So I'm reverting to the view that 4k and Post Focus shots may have advantages with the TZ100 camera. Users will have to experiment and find what's best for them.
  11. retrograde and gabriel Thanks for the suggestions. I had already found Vectary, and also wings 3d, as well as a number of Blender tutorial videos. I do now think that it makes more sense to leave 3d to the Blender people. There are some features of 3d design which present significant problems. Solid modelling isn't too bad, though there needs to be good modelling of surface textures. Things get worse if transparency (e.g. windows) is included, and even worse if the transparent (or perhaps translucent) materials have refracting (e.g.lens) properties. This can be done, but is probably in many cases "fake". For example, consider a beer glass with an engraving on the outside. Inside the beer glass the engraving will appear reversed. That plus the effects of looking through one or more layers of glass present difficult problems for modelling. Magnifying glasses and clock faces may also present problems, though there are some Blender models which give a reasonable effect. Another difficult area would be for optical devices, such as prisms. White light will be split into coloured components if passed through a prism. I doubt that many optical modelling systems go this far, so producing an effect to make it look as though a prism is splitting light into coloured parts will again have to be simulated - or perhaps a section of video of a real prism used as a layer.
  12. It's interesting to read about Blender here. I didn't realise there were so many tutorials, and indeed I haven't found too many yet – but maybe I've not been looking in the right places. I do, however, now agree that there's no point in Affinity Designer trying to do 3D in competition with an established program with many years of development. I only bought AD because I thought it would be good, and also useful, having bought AP and also the iPad version of AP. I have used it, but really only to annotate photos, rather than anything tricky or creative. The notion of the 3D came after I tried to make an example using isometric layouts. Obviously it's possible to do isometric models in Blender, but with the merit of being able to rotate and manipulate the models in more sophisticated ways. However Blender can be (IMO) a bit confusing at first, and the interface and features take some while to get to know. I haven't managed that yet! I am probably not alone in coming to AD via this route, though obviously others come from a creative arts background, and have experience in graphics art or animation. I have many years of experience of computing and software, but virtually no experience of graphics, illustration or animation. I did get involved in video recording and editing a few years ago – more or less by accident, as I was asked to record a concert. I was happy to record audio, but whilst negotiating I was asked “how will you do the video?” - which rather threw me. In the end I did that, though it wasn't perfect, but I did produce a DVD as well as audio CDs. In doing that I ended up learning how to use video tools, including Quicktime, iMovie, Premiere Elements, followed by FCPX which is now (sometimes) my preferred tool. I also checked out a few others, such as Lightworks, Da Vinci Resolve and Blender. I found Blender was good for specific tasks such as splitting and joining sequences of images – and that has been useful for one of my cameras which generates MP4 files in some modes, rather than groups of jpegs or raw files. I suspect that there will be quite a market for AD for users like me, who have limited advanced experience of graphics art and tools. One helpful tutorial/video I found used AD with Motion and FCPX. If users realise that it's helpful to use a toolbox of different tools, and exchange data between them to get a desired effect, that could be very helpful, rather than expecting to do all the work in AD. I think there are a number of other helpful videos showing how to use AD with other tools, including Blender.
  13. I'm not sure that animation is ruled out. How would you do that? For a one off still image the approach you suggested would probably work, though there might be iterative steps if things didn't work out the first time - i.e. backtracking and repeating the export-import step until things looked OK. I think you are suggesting that "static" scenes would be best/easiest to do in a 2D package, then 3D objects could move relative to that scene/background - and to do that in a 3D program. That'd work as long as lighting and viewpoints didn't change. For a cartoon like character "object" - person or animal, wouldn't that be better done in the 3D package? One problem I foresee is that texture might not be handled so well in a 3D package, so exporting back to 2D packages might permit improvements there. For video (animation) one might hope that the use of keyframes would reduce the amount of work needed to get acceptable effects.
  14. Thanks for that. That'll work for some images, but it doesn't look as though it'll work for all. I was thinking of generating models in Blender, then putting texture on them - possibly photos (AP or other) or 2D from Affinity Designer and then being able to manipulate the 3D textured object in Blender, then to output a 2D version which could be tidied up in another 2D package. If the output from Blender could be scalable (SVG) and textured that'd be great, otherwise I guess that raster images would have to be used. Depends what one wants to do I suppose. It might be possible to do almost everything within Blender, but personally I'm still finding that rather a hard system to get to grips with. A great thing about the Affinity packages, particularly Photo, is that there are so many tutorials (video or text) to show how to get things done. There are some for Blender, and the ones I've seen are good, but I'm not sure - having only sampled a few - whether they are comprehensive enough to cover most ot the things which are possible, or which one might want to try to do. As you say you "have to know how to get around in Blender".
  15. I have looked into this, and it now appears to me that it makes much more sense to use Blender, which is now at least relatively mature, and does handle the 3D side of things quite well. It also has had the benefit of many years of work. There would be merits in exporting some 2D files to Blender, then doing some work in 3D within that, and then if needed exporting 2D renderings of work back to either APhoto or ADesigner for futher work. For animation work there may be other usable possibilities - maybe Motion but it's not the only tool. Some people might want to just work in Blender, while others might be happy use several tools and have files exchanged between them to get a (possibly) better result.
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