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My first illustration using Designer

Ash Eldritch

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Hi, I've been using the forum for a while now and recently have commented on a few peoples work so thought it only fair I should have something to show for myself. So this is my first attempt using Designer. It's very incomplete. There are more characters being worked on (I've switched their visibility off) and a lot of things haven't been finished like the house, tree, grass and the cloud splash where the rainbow fish is meant to be entering the cloud. Pretty much most things are unfinished :4_joy: but it's taking time as my Mac is struggling to cope with the scale of the image now. It's for a children's book I'm working on. It's entirely done with vector, no brushes, no pixels. And also completely done using a mouse as trying to draw anything with my Wacom tablet results in the line taking about a minute to catch up with what I've drawn. Also It's only a portion of the image, the original extends both up and down. As it's so large I've added some sections of the image as well. Apologies for the essay. :P





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Thanks both. @GarryP Yes, It's basically my first piece although it's changed a lot throughout the process. Originally the tree was a cherry blossom but I found a way to improve the design process (thanks to the forum), and thought this tree suited the image better, so it's been moved out to be worked upon for another page. Same with other pieces. I used to use illustrator just to do outlines then export to photoshop where I'd use raster brushes. I purchased both Designer and Photo with the intent of doing the same procedure but during my first attempt at using Designer something just clicked. I felt far more comfortable using the tools and I instantly gelled with it. I decided to try a full on vector piece instead, something I'd never done before and with lots of experimentation... well, the result is above.

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Very good job. I'm a realist but I appreciate high skill in other styles. This is something I'd do in raster, but if you enjoy more using vectors, totally fine. I handle Designer a lot less than Affinity Photo... Do we have in Designer a way to instantiate, make instances (~copies) for stuff like the grass, so that the memory and resources used are a lot less? Looking at the grass (and the flowers, and etc) , that could make a canvas like this a ton lighter for the app processing, I suspect. I believe I have read some sort of trick/optimization like that that provides with better performance. I think it was in the way of copying the fibers. I hope that someone who remembers it would throw the tip here...

I know in 3D, in 3DS Max and Blender, I used (and use) instances a lot, to make a scene lighter (also for the modify one property->affect all, or extra flexibility for that, it is fun and allows crazy scenes).

AD, AP and APub. V1.10.6 and V2.0.3 Windows 10 and Windows 11.  Both are regular Windows,  I'm not in the Windows Insider program.
Ryzen 9 3900X, 32 GB RAM,  RTX 3060 12GB, Wacom Intuos XL, Wacom L. Eizo ColorEdge CS 2420 monitor. Windows 10 Pro.
HP Omen 16-b1010ns 12700H, 32GB DDR5 (corsair), nVidia RTX 3060 6GB + Huion Kamvas 22 drawing screen, Windows 11 Pro.



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@SrPx Thank you. As I said earlier this is my first foray into full on vector art. I used to do raster but my one dislike of raster has always been you're governed by the processing power of your machine. ie. If you don't have a top end computer the size of your work is constrained by that. Small computer equals low resolution and then never able to upscale without the old jaggies. (I'm using an old Mac mini 2014) With vector that's not an issue. I used to do photo realism back in the old days when photoshop was young (though actually I used xRes and Freehand), and whilst I still admire someone's dedication to do it there's always the stigma of "well you just traced that". As for copies... therein lies my problem. This piece is taking a loooong time. I could just copy and paste but I think that's noticeable. Every flower, mushroom etc in the piece is different. But if you wanted to yes you could copy and paste all of the elements. As for the grass, being new to vector I probably approached it differently to most vector artists. I have no clue about vector art so did it as I would a proper painting, building it up in levels. So hopefully someone else can answer your question as my approach probably took more time than doing it with raster. I'm not sure what I've done, in some ways, is that much less memory intensive. Especially when it comes to blending. That seems to be the real killer. The fish with all its rainbow/glitter effect has really caused some issues. but the way I get around that is to create raster versions of objects for previewing and then switch back to vector for export. If file sizes help, my vector file size is 170mb as opposed to, if I export to raster PNG, 340mb. I'd hate to think what the working size for a raster image that size would be. Either way I'd certainly say Designer is an app worth exploring more. I think I'm going to explore brushes at some point. I bought a few packs but haven't tried them yet for the reasons explained above. I need to buy a new Mac at some point but I'm very impressed with what Designer can do. Hope this helps a bit but there are probably a lot of people who have done this a lot longer and know a hell of a lot of time saving tips and tricks that would serve you better.

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@DavidMalcolm lol Not even a 2015. It's a late 2014 Mac mini 2.6 GHz Core i5 with 8GB of RAM. The only change I've made to it is adding an SSD externally as I don't think you can change the internal drive. And no, I didn't use brushes of any kind. My Mac can't cope with brushes. If I draw a small line using a brush it takes about a minute for the drawn line to be rendered. But I don't have any slow down issues drawing curves with a mouse. So that's how it's all been done. Plus I think brushes tend to have a look of repitition that you can't really get away from. So every blade of grass is an individual curve that I can move around if needed. Ideal for when I want grass appearing in front of objects. There's still work to do on the grass but until I have added all the other elements it's staying as is.

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