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Mark Oehlschlager

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Everything posted by Mark Oehlschlager

  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. @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.
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. 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
  8. 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.)
  9. @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?
  10. Mark Oehlschlager

    Perspective Transforms?

    I understand that AF Designer's node Transform Mode allows one to select the bottom two nodes of a simple rectangle and distort the shape to suggest 1-point perspective (see illustration below), but this does not appear to work for circles and other complex shapes. In Adobe Illustrator, one can use the Transform tool plus keyboard modifiers to transform any shape and related nodes into 1-point perspective. (See the video below, and note how the left and right nodes of the circle and their control handles are repositioned and redirected to achieve correct perspective for the shape.) Am I missing something in AF Designer? Is it actually possible to transform any vector shape in perspective? Perspective Transform.mov
  11. Mark Oehlschlager

    publication column guides

    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.
  12. @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.
  13. @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.
  14. Mark Oehlschlager

    Text wrap Failure

    Roger, If this is with regard to your large Geman language textbook project, I wonder whether or not Publisher is choking on the large file size, and whether or not breaking up your book into individual Publisher files for each chapter or section might help. I don't think Publisher yet has the Book Files feature of InDesign, but perhaps that's not too big of a stumbling block. You can use the Section Manager in Publisher to start pagination in each subsection of your book at the proper page number. Just a thought.
  15. @Roger terry Hey, Roger. Thanks so much for your feedback. It's very encouraging to hear stories like yours, and I'm hopeful that the Affinity team can bring all this home for a big win – for them and for us. My biggest worries are not so much with delivering files to printers, but in being able to exchange working files back and forth with clients and collaborators who are invested in the Adobe suite. Affinity Photo is in the best position to roundtrip Photo/Photoshop files. Designer can import Illustrator files, but can only output PDF files in return, and then the layer structure is lost. I'm hoping that Publisher will be able to import and export InDesign IDML files. Best of luck with your big book. Alles gute!
  16. Suppose one has a complicated illustration with scores of small objects that share a common fill — or perhaps a common stroke color. Is it possible to select one object (say a circle filled with blue) and then issue a command to select all objects in the document that also share the same blue fill? Equally, is it possible to select one object (say with a purple stroke) and then issue a command to select all objects in the document that also share the same purple stroke? This would be a very helpful feature to have in Affinity designer. It would save the user from hunting and pecking around.
  17. Suppose you're working on a complicated AF Designer file with scores of layers. Suppose that you have an object buried in a sub-layer with 30 other objects, and you want to move it out of that sub-layer and into the sub-layer of a different parent layer. Is there a way to move objects within a large layer structure without having to go through the cumbersome process of drag-scrolling the object through 30+ object layers? In Adobe Illustrator, a selected object will reveal a colored dot on it's layer as well as on it's parent layer in the Layer Panel. This colored dot can then be dragged into a different parent layer in the layer stack, and thus move the object within the layer stack. That's Adobe's solution to the problem. Can Affinity add a similar feature? Is there a better solution to the problem?
  18. Mark Oehlschlager

    Selecting Multiple Objects by a Common Property?

    Here's an illustration of how one can select objects that share common properties in Adobe Illustrator: 1) Select a model object. 2) From the Select menu, choose the command to select other objects in the document with a shared property.
  19. Here are a few illustrations from the Adobe method described above: 1) Green circle is selected on artboard. 2) Corresponding colored dot occurs on the object's layer and it's parent layer in the Layers Panel 3) Dot can be dragged from one parent layer to another.
  20. Mark Oehlschlager

    New Icons Too Similar

    Certainly, the old triangular shape differentiated the Affinity apps from the Adobe apps at a glance, but the triangular shape is also very limiting as a canvass for icon art when you begin to think about coming up with art for a suite of related apps beyond two or three. Perhaps the cutout motifs for each icon could be redrawn a bit to make the designs a little bolder. Perhaps the color scheme for each icon could be enlivened a bit with a broader range of values (dark to light) like the older icons. But I'm okay with the square canvass and the unique cutout motifs for the icon art.
  21. @melriksdesign @Steps I'm one of those who have stuck with Adobe CS6 all these years to avoid the trap of the Adobe CC subscription model (the threat of an arbitrary rise in monthly fee; threat of losing access to one's own work if one ever ends subscription). It's Apple's move to an all 64 bit OS X that has really motivated me to take a serious look at the Affinity suite to replace Illustrator, Photoshop and InDesign. The Adobe CS6 software is 32 bit only. The Affinity software is already built as 64 bit software. So far, I'm favorably impressed by the Affinity tools. It seems that the Affinity suite may be my way out of the Adobe subscription trap. The only nagging thought I have is whether or not I'll be able to use the Affinity suite exclusively in my own practice. A lot depends upon Affinity's ability to import and export the Adobe file formats, since clients and collaborators often assume the ability to exchange Adobe files back and forth in a collaborative workflow. If one can work within a bubble and control the entire workflow in-house, moving over to Affinity is a no-brainer. But I don't work within a production bubble, and so I'm afraid I may have to finally succumb to subscribing to the Adobe CC suite and build the monthly fee into my pricing. How are you guys planning to manage this problem? Better yet, how is Affinity planning to help the design community get beyond the file exchange problem? If they can solve that problem, designers will abandon Adobe in droves.
  22. Mark Oehlschlager

    nested styles

    In the Paragraph Style dialog box used to define a paragraph style, there is a panel titled, "Initial Words". (See illustration below.) There you can program a "nested character style" that you've defined to be applied to the first X number of words (or characters up to a termination character), but at the moment Affinity Publisher does not allow for more than one "nested character style" within a paragraph style. I'm hoping that the development team will add the ability to program multiple nested character styles within paragraph styles by official launch. There are certain applications where this would be very useful (e.g., product catalogs, where product photos are captioned with a short paragraph of key attributes: a short description, a color availability, a SKU number, a price, etc.). Applying a single paragraph style with multiple nested character styles would make short work of formatting these repetitive items. Affinity Team, here's my plea for the capability to program multiple nested character styles within a single paragraph style in the "Initial Words" tab of the Paragraphs Style dialog box. Perhaps consider renaming that tab to "Nested Styles". Thanks.
  23. Working with Affinity Photo Beta 1.7.0.106. When one applies layer effects to a layer, the fact that effects have been applied to a layer is signified by an "fx" symbol on the layer name within the Layers Panel. However, when one makes adjustments to the Blend Options for a layer via the cog icon in the Layers Panel, there is no corresponding symbol on the layer name to signify that a Blend Option has been applied. It seems that this is a UI oversight. It would be helpful, in particular for multi-layered documents, for there to be a cog symbol on any layer within the Layer Panel for which Blend Options have been applied. Is this a UI behavior that could be added to the next shipping version of Affinity Photo?
  24. I've just watched a video introducing the feature of using mathematical equations to design custom Macro operations. Very intriguing. However, I have no idea what variables and expressions are valid. Is there comprehensive documentation somewhere that a newbie could access to learn all there is to know about creating valid expressions?
  25. @fde101 The default of flat curves means they have no effect on the layer blending. No change is the default behavior. Semantically the same thing as having no Blend Options applied. What I'm looking for is an indication that a particular layer's advanced Blending Options have been intentionally changed/manipulated for effect. Let's have the Affinity team weigh in here.
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