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Mark Oehlschlager

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  1. I don't think the linear nature of book design and an application designed for laying out long documents (books and magazines) is the best match for someone whose job it is to prototype the hierarchical and interactive tree structure of a hyperlinked website or a phone app. For sure, it may be nice to be able export individual pages from a successful book design in the form of AF Designer artboards as starting points for the purpose of prototyping interactive screen designs for web or for mobile apps, but AF Publisher (IMHO) is not the tool for interactive design prototyping, rather AF Designer is better suited, assuming that Affinity does not plan to develop a separate dedicated prototyping tool. If AF Designer were to incorporate an Interactive Prototyping Persona, then they might extend the app to be able to wire up the artboards to reflect page hierarchy and linking behavior. Otherwise, they should develop a fourth, dedicated app in the existing suite of apps.
  2. As part of a test to learn about the behavior of spot colors in Publisher, I just tried to use the Gradient Map adjustment layer to recolor a Greyscale image in Publisher, and then to export a press-ready PDF. I uncovered a number of issues that need immediate attention: Pantone spot colors do not display accurately in a CMYK Publisher document. Appearance seems to be fine in either CIE Lab space or in RGB spaces. Working with the Swatches Panel is a very tedious and fiddly experience. The number of clicks required to add a spot color to one's document palette should be reduced. Although I applied Pantone 173 to my Greyscale image, Pantone 021 got added to my document palette. Spot colors added to the document palette are identified generically as "Global Colour x" rather than by their proper name. When one highlights the generically named spot color in the swatches palette and then selects the Pantone swatch book from which the color came, the color chip is not highlighted or identified in any way among the thousands of other Pantone color chips. The only indication of the spot colors actual name comes if/when one switches to the Colour Panel. There doesn't appear to be a Channels Panel or a Separation Preview Panel that would enable one to check color separations prior to exporting to a press-ready PDF. And FINALLY, I exported my test document (wherein I applied a spot color to a Gradient Map to recolor a greyscale image) as a press-ready PDF, opened the PDF in Adobe Acrobat, used Acrobat's tools to inspect the color separations and found that an empty frame filled with Pantone 021 separated onto a spot color plate for Pantone 021, but the spot color applied to the greyscale image using the Gradient Map adjustment got separated into the four process color plates, CMYK. All of this needs immediate attention prior to the official release of Publisher. Please rethink the behavior of the Swatches Panel in terms of efficient workflows, accurate spot color labels, highlighting selected document spot color swatches within corresponding spot color swatch book. Correct the display of the spot colors on screen, regardless of the color space of the document. Make sure that spot colors separate to a corresponding spot color color plate. Give the designer the means to determine within the document swatch palette whether or not a used spot color should be preserved as a spot upon color separation or should be converted to 4-color process plates. Please provide a set of print preview tools within a Print Preview Panel that would allow a designer to check things like color separations prior to sending press-ready PDFs to a professional offset printer. Please ensure that spot colors applied to greyscale images using the Gradient Map adjustment separate properly onto the corresponding spot color plates. Thank you. Spot Seperations.mov
  3. I haven't tested this, but, if one applies a Pantone color to one of the stops in the Gradient Map adjustment layer applied to a greyscale image, does the art get separated out onto a single Pantone color plate, or does Publisher separate the image onto the four process color plates? EDIT: I just tried to use the Gradient Map adjustment layer to recolor a Greyscale image in Publisher. Uncovered a number of issues: Pantone spot colors do not display accurately in a CMYK Publisher document. Appearance seems to be fine in either CIE Lab space or in RGB spaces. Working with the Swatches Panel is a very tedious and fiddly experience. The number of clicks required to add a spot color to one's document palette should be reduced. Although I applied Pantone 173 to my Greyscale image, Pantone 021 got added to my document palette. Spot colors added to the document palette are identified generically as "Global Colour x" rather than by their proper name. When one highlights the generically named spot color in the swatches palette and then selects the Pantone swatch book from which the color came, the color chip is not highlighted or identified in any way among the thousands of other Pantone color chips. The only indication of the spot colors actual name comes if/when one switches to the Colour Panel. There doesn't appear to be a Channels Panel or a Separation Preview Panel that would enable one to check color separations prior to exporting to a press-ready PDF. And FINALLY, I exported my test document (wherein I applied a spot color to a Gradient Map to recolor a greyscale image) as a press-ready PDF, opened the PDF in Adobe Acrobat, used Acrobat's tools to inspect the color separations and found that an empty frame filled with Pantone 021 separated onto a spot color plate for Pantone 021, but the spot color applied to the greyscale image using the Gradient Map adjustment got separated into the four process color plates, CMYK. These issues needs immediate attention. I think I'll repost this as a separate discussion thread item. Spot Seperations.mov
  4. @bbwd @dominik The only solution I can find is to do the following: Place your Greyscale JPG or TIFF into the Publisher document. Select the placed image in your layers panel. Apply a Gradient Map effect from the Layer Adjustment button at the bottom of the Layers panel. Edit the gradient within the dialogue box for the Gradient Map so that it has two stops: color in place of black, and white for white. Apparently applying a color directly to the image itself just fills the image frame with a solid color.
  5. Mark Oehlschlager

    Displacement Filter Results are not Smooth

    @Chris B I would characterize the current Affinity “displacement” filter as more of a noise filter. Rather than bending, pinching, and bloating, the Affinity filter seems to primarily eat away at the edges of the target art layer. Perhaps the current Affinity “Displacement” filter should be renamed to more accurately describe the dithered, frayed, eaten-away-edges effect that it produces. Then a new Affinity displacement filter be designed to warp, pinch and bloat the target art layer according to the luminance or greyscale values of the Displacement Map art. There is an interesting tutorial video on the use of Adobe Photoshop’s displacement filter here: https://youtu.be/OlQj-EyyDhg In the first nine minutes of that video, the host attempts to explain in layman’s terms how the Adobe filter makes use of the greyscale channel information from the Displacement Map art to bend and warp the target art. You may find this of interest. I conducted another displacement filter comparison between Adobe and Affinity using a flag superimposed over a rock face. The source files and comparative screenshots are attached below. For each degree of intensity I applied to the Adobe filter, I tried to match the intensity in the Affinity filter (though the two filters seem to use different scales/units). Generally, I would say that the Adobe filter does a better job of bending and warping the target art layer (the flag) according to the tonal map of the Displacement Map art (derived from the background image of the rock face). You can see from the screenshots that the Affinity filter behaves more like a noise filter. Below find the following: source art (rock face, and flag) Greyscale displacement map art (B/W version of the background image with 1px Gaussian Blur) a series of side-by-side comparisons of the Adobe and Affinity filters at comparable levels of intensity
  6. Mark Oehlschlager

    Displacement Filter Results are not Smooth

    Here is another example, showing the mapping of a logo onto a t-shirt – first in Adobe Photoshop, and then in Affinity Photo. You'll notice the noise effect that is produced by the Affinity filter. T-shirt_PSD.mov T-shirt_AF_Photo.mov
  7. Mark Oehlschlager

    Displacement Filter Results are not Smooth

    @Chris B Chris, I've attached two movies to illustrate what I'm seeing. In the first movie, I'm using Affinity Photo's displacement filter to access a displacement map layer below. As I push the displacement filter slider to the left or to the right, what I get on the target art layer is a dithered effect – a kind of digital noise. In the second movie, I'm recreating the displacement effect in Adobe Photoshop. Notice that the Adobe Photoshop filter uses the radial displacement map to smoothly warp the target art layer. This is the effect I expected from the Affinity Photo filter. So, questions follow: • Is the Affinity displacement filter designed to behave differently than the Adobe displacement filter, or is there a flaw in the Affinity filter? • Am I using the Affinity filter incorrectly? What I'm expecting from the displacement filter is to be able to warp target art layers to follow the contours of a greyscale tonal map. AFPHOTO.mov PSD.mov
  8. I've just tried using the Affinity Photo displacement filter and was surprised/disappointed to find that the displacement results are not smooth. Where a spherical black-to-white gradient should produce a smooth pinching distortion to the target image layer, instead I get dithered distortion that bears no resemblance the expected warping of the image. Am I missing something about how to use the displacement filter, or does this filter need to be redesigned?
  9. Mark Oehlschlager

    Swatches

    See the movie below for accessing the application color palette that's built in. Consult the help files for how to create your own custom palettes – either as document or application palettes. Chosing the Colors Palette.mov
  10. Yes. This would be very nice to have. Though to punctuate the final paragraph in a long story, as you've illustrated above, it might be just as easy to apply a character style. Nevertheless, for short, repetitively structured paragraphs like one regularly sees in product catalogs, dictionary entries, contract terms, etc., being able to program nested character styles with associated start/stop characters within a single paragraph style would be a great time-saving device for those typesetting documents with short, repetitively structured paragraphs. It would save the time required to select words/characters and then apply character styles manually for hundreds of paragraph entries. Let me also take this opportunity to reiterate my request that the "Initial Words" feature within paragraph styles dialogue box (and throw in the proposed "Last Words" feature) be able to apply a sequence of nested character styles, as one can do in InDesign. It's not uncommon for catalog entries, for example, to begin with a bold entry, followed by an italicized phrase, followed by a sentence or two set in roman, and then punctuated by a bold price. See the screenshot below illustrating the way Adobe accommodates multiple nested character styles within a single paragraph style. One adds nested character styles in a sequenced list, then via pop-up selectors and fields indicates the parameters of the nested style. (BTW, they also accommodate nested line styles, which could be useful for regular chapter opening paragraphs where the designer specifies that the opening x lines be set in small caps, for example.)
  11. @mac_heibu I understand the utility of Document-wide Layers to be the organization of alternate logical groupings of content or layout elements that can be toggled on or off across the entire document (e.g., toggling off an English text layer, and toggling on a French text layer; or toggling off a blue themed background treatment, and toggling on a green themed background treatment). In the case of alternate languages for a document, the texts would be placed on their respective document-wide layers in the body of the document. In the case of alternate background theme treatments, a set of master pages would be set up for typical page layouts within the publication (TOC, Chapter Title, etc.), but the alternate color theme treatments for the set of master pages would be set up on their respective document-wide layers (e.g., Blue Theme layer, Green Theme layer). Do you see it differently? If so, how so?
  12. Here's what I've just done: Created a 4-page document with facing pages. Double-clicked on the default Master-A master page spread. Invoked the Guides Manager from the View > Guides Manager ... menu item. Used the Guides Manager dialog box to set up 1-inch page margins and 4-column column guides (shown in light grey). Double-clicked on page 1 (which has Master A applied by default) and drew out a text frame, which snapped to the 4-column grid. Try that out and see if it works.
  13. @fde101 So, likely that this won't happen in the first release, but let me point out that the use case for this is in preparing books and magazines for professional offset printing. The trim size of the book/magazine and the dimensions of either foldout pages or narrow half-pages would be described in the AF Publisher file, and not determined by a desktop printer driver. Also, if you imagine a right-facing page (recto) folding out to the right (when open, two panels facing, two panels on the reverse side), then you can see that this impacts two spreads: Spread 1: a single left-facing page/panel to the left of the spine; and two right-facing panels to the right of the spine representing one side of the foldout. Spread 2: two left-facing panels to the left of the spine, representing the reverse side of the foldout; and a single right-facing page/panel to the right of the spine. Currently, setting this up is not possible. But this is the feature that I am requesting. I would just add that currently Publisher will allow one to modify the dimensions of a specific spread, but it always assumes a perfectly symmetrical spread. That doesn't work for the asymmetry that occurs when shifting from two-panel leaves to four-panel leaves and then back to two-panel leaves. Hope to hear from the Affinity team on this, and I do look forward to the first official release of the application.
  14. I don't see a features roadmap for Publisher on the forum, so I don't know whether or not this specific request has been acknowledged, but it would be highly desirable for Publisher to be able to account for custom page sizes that deviate from the standard trim size for a publication. For example, a book or magazine may include a four-panel fold-out, or an eight-panel gate-fold for a special map or illustration. For another example, a book or magazine may occasionally include a half-page insert for an advertisement or a special overlay. I realize that this may not get rolled into the very next version of Publisher, but I would appreciate knowing that the Affinity team is aware that this is a requested feature, and that there appears somewhere a published roadmap of planned features for Publisher. Thanks.
  15. @Fixx @melriksdesign Yep. That's the solution to those two problems. And the Text Frame panel is accessed from the View > Studio > Text Frame menu item.
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