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Michael Sheaver

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About Michael Sheaver

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  • Birthday 06/25/1961

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    Alexandria, VA, USA

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  1. I just learned a new trick! Many thanks! I was able to get a good crop, as you see here: Now, I am stuck with what to do with the corners. I know I cannot use the Erase paper white, so how can I remove only the white in the corners and nothing else?
  2. Yes, I agree, this is way, WAY better; my initial google search turned up 99..999% rubbish and most were very low res. After scrolling through a couple thousand images, I just took the best of what I could find. Did you use any special search tricks? (probably not, but HAD to ask).
  3. Let me preface this up front with the admission that although I consider myself fairly proficient in Designer, over the past couple days I have learned that I absolutely suck in Photo. With that formality and implicit apology out of the way, let my share what I am attempting to do. I am helping my wife put together a presentation for her marketing class where they are comparing several products in a visual format. I need to extract images from their background so I can place them in a graphic. I begin with an image like this: I first try to use the Erase white paper filter, and got the following: I know that I cannot use the crop tool by itself, for there is a white gradient all around the image that must be dealt with: I am pretty sure that a mask needs to be applied at some point, but I do not know how to use masks in this context. After unsuccessfully wrestling with this for a couple of days, I appeal to your help. These are the questions that are on my mind: What is the best workflow for this type editing? Can I replace the white in the edges with a transparent fill so that the color of the new background comes through with a gradient effect? How can I fill in the white (circle below) with the appropriate colors? I tried using the Healing brush and the Clone brush for this, and the results were abysmal at best. Is there a brush or tool where I can nudge or push the colors around, kinda like our childhood finger painting? Can or should I fill in the upper corners (arrows below) to give it more definition? Should I apply the High pass or Clarity filter at the end, to try and remove some of the pixelation from the low-res image? I need to do this whole process for several images, so any help would be MOST appreciated!
  4. Wow, wow, WOW! This is an unexpected surprise indeed! @firstdefence, that lightbulb pop was definitely a flash of inspiration! The crazy thing is that I had tried the conical gradient in the beginning, but because I never did understand how it works, could not get it to work. So I looked for ways to do a gradient on a path and happened upon this post. Thank you for sharing your example work with the history with me! You might think I'm nuts, but I used it as my personalized tutorial and followed along with my own empty project. And man, I did learn a lot of cool things, including: Using the polygon-turned-triangle to get perfect spacing and proportions for the three curved arrows. Why you chose the polygon instead of the triangle tool for this, for it the alignment of the points with the outer circumference was perfect with the polygon tool. Aligning the center points of the arrow head (triangle) to be perpendicular to the center circle (I had eyeballed it before ). Using the erase blend mode for the overlap; I had never used. that one before. As an aside, I did set horizontal and vertical guides at the center of the circle to give me more precise placement of the focal points before transforming the duplicated arrows. I had a TON of fun with this little exercise. @>|<, as soon as I saw your screenshot with the conical gradient, everything clicked for me, and it now makes perfect sense to me! I honestly don't think I could have understood the work of @firstdefence had you not posted that shot! am so glad you did, and thank you deeply for that! I also like your use of the compound shape versus the union operation, and will definitely use it next time. And yes, I have used symbols quite a bit, and love them! Here is the result of my exercise: I do see that I need to be more careful of where to place the center guide circle, for the arrowheads look a bit off. Now that I have a good grasp of this, it should be no problem for me to redo it again. I just say that I absolutely LOVE the greater flexibility and control that this approach gives me! Again, my deepest heart-felt thanks to both of you!
  5. Hi folks, I found Lynn's tips to be absolutely helpful. As you can see by this shot below, I got the result I was looking for - almost: A wrestled with this all afternoon, but no matter what I do, the borders between the pie slices just do not want to blend nicely. When I tried to apply gaussian blur to the individual slices like Lynn did, the results were really horrendous, with yellow bands at the shape borders. The best I could manage was to apply gaussian blur to the group and crank the value all the way up, but it still not presentable. Can someone look at the attached project file Circular Curved Arrows.afdesign and see what I might be doing wrong?
  6. When the Designer for iPad was released back in July, I read the post on Affinity Spotlight showing the works of artists who had used the beta version (https://affinityspotlight.com/article/affinity-designer-for-ipad-a-special-beta/), and I was immediately captivated by the work by Ilya Shapko titled "Mystic Beast": I am trying to produce these same effects in my own works, and not sure I nailed it yet. I did find and download the color palette for this work from Dribbble: (https://dribbble.com/shots/4821906-Mystic-Beast), but it appears that he used some effects that I am as yet unaware of. Does anyone here know what tricks (bright/contrast adjustment, etc.) he used to produce these stunningly eye-popping effects, which layers/elements he applied them to, and how he applied them? I checked his website a while back, and someone else had already asked him to produce a tutorial showing how he did this, but I don't think is he inclined to do so. I did do two projects from the Affinity Designer Workbook (which is itself an exquisite work of art and beauty) titled "The Panther" and "Reflected Skyline", both of which are colorful works with dark backgrounds. However, neither of them really discuss how to make the colors pop like Ilya is able to do. If anyone knows of other places where I can go to learn this, please do share.
  7. Searching for a doable workflow I am trying to develop a workflow in which I can create assets in AD (macOS or iOS), export them as SVG, and import them into Blender for animation. I have discovered, after quite a few failed attempts over the course of many months, that this is not as straight-forward as one would imagine. Breakthrough Yesterday, I stumbled across an old post that turned out to be a breakthrough for me. Apparently, while exporting the assets out of AD, a specific setting must be unchecked, as shared by @Dave Harris here: After playing around with the different settings, I settled upon the following combo that seems to work relatively well: This did indeed allow me to get them into Blender, colors and all. However, I did discover another problem. A New Challenge Here is an admittedly silly little project that I created in AD a while, just for fun: And this is what I got when I import it into Blender (after rearranging the layers for visibility): As soon as I saw this, my response was, "Ah yes, it did exactly what I told it to do, even if it was not what I had expected. Duhhh..." What I want to do What I would like to do is to get each of the letters of our names into Blender so I can extrude them into 3D objects and animate them - that is simple enough. But I also want the colors of each letter to go along with them - not so simple. Is there a way that this can be done? It seems that I will need to flatten out or convert the layer masks to something else before exporting them to SVG. This is where I am stumped. Finally... Kudos for the iPad app! I purchased the iPad app the very moment I received the email. The dev team really outdid themselves with this, big time! I truly enjoy using the Mac app for working, but I am actually LOVING it!
  8. I have a photo that I am trying to do three things to: Crop an advertising poster out Fix the extreme perspective skew Fill in the missing part of one corner I know that AP can do all of these things, but I cannot seem to get past step 1. I did succeed in the first step using the selection brush. I know that the perspective tool is supposed to help in the second step, but I must be doing something wrong. The project file is attached; I hope someone can help. Thanks! Sign up.afphoto
  9. Michael Sheaver

    Affinity Publisher - Sneak Preview

    WWDC is just around the corner (next week), and I wonder... Shhh..... If Designer for the iPad might be announced?
  10. Michael Sheaver

    Affinity Publisher - Sneak Preview

    Hey everyone, if you didn't see it, take a look at what I posted in the Questions forum: This is really amazing news!
  11. Spoiler: This is not a question, but something MUCH better! I was in the Mac App Store to check for updates, and I was very pleased to see which apps are ranked #3 and #9 top grossing apps: It is so good to see this, that I could not NOT share it here. Congratulations!
  12. Michael Sheaver

    Affinity Publisher - Sneak Preview

    Spoiler: This is not in the least iota related to APub, so yes, it is unapologetically off-topic. But I, for one, and I will guess most of the folks who read these musings, enjoy them immensely. It is these side trips that add character and color to this forum. Speaking of assembly code, I recently learned that another incredible software project for artists, FL Studio by Image Line. uses assembly language and Delphi for most of their graphics processing (https://support.image-line.com/action/knowledgebase?ans=114). Having the ability to bypass the usual high-level APIs gives them the ability to precisely control the operation and feedback of even the tiniest user interactions. Because of that, the responsiveness and fluidity of the app is legendary in the DAW community; it also accounts for why their porting of FL Studio to Mac has taken an excruciatingly long time; does this sound familiar, anyone? The Affinity suite of products has the most fluid and responsive experiences I have ever seen, and this makes me wonder if they are using the same approach in their codebase. It would go a long way toward explaining both the level of performance, as well as the time it takes for development. EDIT: Here is another wonderful review of this software: https://machow2.com/fl-studio-for-mac-review/. It is SO refreshing to see companies like Serif and Image Line who actually care about the user experience of their masterpieces.
  13. I just came across this wonderful article today, and could not keep it to myself! https://www.cultofmac.com/542177/the-best-apple-pencil-apps-that-arent-for-drawing/
  14. Michael Sheaver

    Affinity Publisher - Sneak Preview

    Yes, yes, no, and YES!!! I searched for years for a suitable replacement for Illustrator and InDesign, as the whole CS6 suite became less and less usable on macOS, and when I finally stumbled upon Affinity Designer about a year ago, I honestly thought I had died and gone to heaven! I have used Designer for many multiple-page publications for print, and it is a powerhouse! The level of control it gives me is simply astounding, and the Export to PDF function helps you tailor it to exactly what your print shop needs for the final output, right down to the print marks and color samples. Other than the text flow handling, Designer has already got most of what you need for producing top-notch print documents. If you have any doubts about that, just buy the Affinity Designer Workbook, and you will see what it is capable of doing. But the best part about Designer is how intuitive and easy to use it is; it does not have many of those quirky "gotchas" that InDesign and Illustrator are infamously known for. In retrospect, it is ironically hilarious that there is a whole cottage industry built around discovering and mastering those quirks. As a poignant example, I remember how I absolutely hated using the Pen tool in the Adobe suite, but now, in Designer, it is one of my favorite go-to tools! The Affinity team really does care about making their applications work and work well, and they have restored for me the absolute joy of creativity. And when I first saw the video preview for Publisher, the way that the multipage text blocks fluidly adapted to the changes, well THAT blew me away! So once again, let me reiterate: yes, yes, no, and most assuredly YES
  15. Michael Sheaver

    AD Export: PNG Different from JPG

    Now that’s odd; I will try to replicate this when I get home tonight. I will also make sure to do a video capture and show what is happening. I did do it twice on Sunday and got the same results both times.