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JeffreyDriver

Curves Disappearing After Selection

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After creating a path and then creating a selection from it, the path then disappears from the layers panel. I'd really like to keep my paths. A workaround is to duplicate each path but as I'm working with a dozen paths for hundreds of images, it's just really slowing me down. Am I missing something?

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Which Affinity application are you using (and on which OS)?
Which method are you using to create your paths?
Which method are you using to create a selection from your path?
Also, what is it that you are trying to do by “working with a dozen paths for hundreds of images”? There may be an easier way to do what you want.

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Affinity Photo 1.7.3, OSX Catalina 10.15.1 (19B88)

Using the pen tool to create a path, then using the 'selection' option from the context menu.

I'm isolating a load of product photos and keeping the curves is kinda important.

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Thanks for the extra information.
In which context menu are you getting the “Selection” option?
I can’t see a “Selection” option when right-clicking the curve, and right-clicking the layer for the curve gives me “Expand Selection” and “Collapse Selection” but no “Selection”.

There may be better ways to keep items for isolating many identical objects but I’d like to get this selection issue out of the way first, if that’s okay.

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I can see exactly what you mean @JeffreyDriver, and this doesn't solve your problem entirely, but...

The pen tool in Affinity Photo is, as I understand it, geared towards drawing vector shapes or "Curves", not "Paths" à la Adobe Photoshop. The help page for the Pen tool explicitly states that the Selection button "converts the shape into a selection" - that's the way it's meant to work. 

 I can think of a workaround but it's probably not ideal for you. Give the Curve a fill (I think it has to be a solid colour), drag the Curve layer below the image layer, then Cmd-Click (Mac) on the Curve thumbnail in the Layers panel. This will create a selection from the pixels in the curve, while leaving the curve intact. But admittedly it doesn't save a lot of time.

 

ADD...

Affinity Photo is, I think, more geared to using direct selection methods to isolate image elements from backgrounds. If you use the direct selection tools as opposed to the pen, you can save any number of different selections as spare channels, and reload them as required.

Edited by h_d
Add...

Affinity Photo 1.7.3, Affinity Designer 1.7.3, Affinity Publisher 1.7.3

macOS 10.15

MacBook Pro

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(Windows) I find that you don't have to drag the layer. Just fill path (one click on icon next to colour picker on Colour Panel), then Ctrl click on path (curve) layer icon to get selection while retaining the path. Any quicker than right click on path layer duplicate and then selection button? The selection can then be saved to a spare channel for futher use if required, as h_d suggests.
 

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8 minutes ago, Wasp11b said:

I find that you don't have to drag the layer.

You don't have to on Mac - but if you don't, you're left with a coloured vector shape on top of your image. As an alternative, you could hide the Curve layer after creating the selection.


Affinity Photo 1.7.3, Affinity Designer 1.7.3, Affinity Publisher 1.7.3

macOS 10.15

MacBook Pro

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Ah, the context toolbar, no wonder I couldn’t find it in the menus.

As h_d said above, the Selection button on the context toolbar immediately converts the curve to a selection which isn’t what you want.

Since you seem happy and comfortable using curves to isolate images, one simple technique is to:
* draw your curve over your image;
* adjust it to get it just right;
* using the Layers Panel, drag the image layer into the curve layer.
See my very-quickly-and-crudely created GIF for a demonstration.
This technique eliminates the need for filling curves or hiding layers or creating masks.

Once you have a curve you can add it to your Assets and drag a copy out whenever you need the same ‘clipping path’.

There are other methods but recommendations would depend on the exact image you’re isolating.

Does anything said above help or are you still needing more help?

clipping-path.gif

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Thanks all.

27 minutes ago, GarryP said:

Ah, the context toolbar, no wonder I couldn’t find it in the menus.

As h_d said above, the Selection button on the context toolbar immediately converts the curve to a selection which isn’t what you want.

Since you seem happy and comfortable using curves to isolate images, one simple technique is to:
* draw your curve over your image;
* adjust it to get it just right;
* using the Layers Panel, drag the image layer into the curve layer.
See my very-quickly-and-crudely created GIF for a demonstration.
This technique eliminates the need for filling curves or hiding layers or creating masks.

Once you have a curve you can add it to your Assets and drag a copy out whenever you need the same ‘clipping path’.

There are other methods but recommendations would depend on the exact image you’re isolating.

Does anything said above help or are you still needing more help?

Yes, I've tried that and it's somewhat suitable but doesn't seem to play well with more complex shapes where I need to isolate other areas.

Screenshot 2019-11-27 at 13.02.27.jpg

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Hi JeffreyDriver,
Click/enable Add New Curve To Selected Curves Object - the two circles/rings icon before the Convert section/label in the context toolbar (with the Pen Tool selected) to keep adding more paths to the existing one while working with the Pen Tool. If the path is a "hole" as i your screenshot it will be "subtracted" from the shape (hiding the corresponding area).

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8 minutes ago, MEB said:

Hi JeffreyDriver,
Click/enable Add New Curve To Selected Curves Object - the two circles/rings icon before the Convert section/label in the context toolbar (with the Pen Tool selected) to keep adding more paths to the existing one while working with the Pen Tool. If the path is a "hole" as i your screenshot it will be "subtracted" from the shape (hiding the corresponding area).

Thanks

7 minutes ago, GarryP said:

Do you also have a copy of Designer? What MEB said above should do it. (I didn't notice they had posted just before I did.)

Yes, I do. I'm still interested to know what you were going to add.

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All I was going to say was that if you had a copy of Designer then you could use the Geometry Tools to create separate curves and then combine them; in this case, Subtract one from the other. What you would end up with is the same result as you get using the technique that MEB gave.

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Hi Garry,
Just one note to add that Affinity Photo is also able to perform boolean operations (see menu Layer > Geometry). Although there's no icons for them in the main toolbar as in Designer by default, you can add them there as well right-clicking the main toolbar and selecting Customise Toolbar.... Scroll down a little (the panel doesn't show all icons and groups available/is scrollable) and you should find the Geometry group.

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That was my first thought but I didn’t notice them all the way down near the bottom of the menu, which is why I mentioned Designer. (I didn’t even check to see if I could add them to the Toolbar.)
So, the same thing can be done in Photo and you don’t need Designer for this although I don’t think that Photo has the Compound objects that Designer has (which might not be a big issue here).

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MEB: You’re absolutely correct; Photo does indeed have compound objects. I looked in the Help but found nothing and thought I tried it anyway but I could easily have just had the wrong modifier key pressed down. (Yesterday was ‘one of those days’.) However, on Windows, I can only get them to work from the ‘hidden’ toolbar buttons. On Windows, when you have a menu open and press Alt the menu disappears as Alt is the “activate/deactivate menu” key.

I think compound objects need to be documented in the Help for Photo. Also, there should be a note telling users that – on Windows at least – they will have to drag the button to the toolbar first. Otherwise the functionality is totally hidden from people who don’t know about it.

Also, in this specific case, it doesn’t look like compound objects will work nicely for clipping as the image becomes part of the compound object and only the shape is taken into account. At least, I’ve tried it a few ways and can’t get it working, but I could be having another ‘one of those days’.

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Hi GarryP,
I will pass this to the documentation team (compound objects missing from Photo's help). Thanks. Regarding pressing alt over the menu commands i already suspected it wouldn't work on Windows and i'm not sure it's even possible to implement it the same way as on macOS.

Compound objects aren't really suited for this. You can try the opposite - drag the compound over the image's thumbnails to use it as a vector mask but even in this case due to the current limitations of the Layers panel you will lose access to the original vector objects/layers for editing while the compound is nested to the image layer as it doesn't display said objects (you have to un-nest the compound to be able to access the original objects again) so it's not practical either.

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Thanks for passing it onto the documentation team MEB. It would be a shame if people miss out on the functionality.

Yeah, compound objects aren’t the right way to go for this. Best to stick to ‘normal’ curves I’d say.

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