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I  use vector drawing very occasionally to draw simple shapes as black and white line art. I used illustrator for 20 years. Every time I pull up Affinity Designer I am unable to execute even the most simple shapes. I watch and re-watch the tutorials and they don't help. I have so far been unable to find a simple application with commands and functions similar to the Adobe pen tool and path editing commands. Wondering if anyone here knows of a simple Mac program that would be an easier transition for an illustrator user?


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No need to find another Mac program, Affinity Designer is the answer despite your difficulty with it. Isabel Aracama has a very good Skillshare class about the pen tool. You can find a skinned version on YouTube too. The Skillshare class goes in great detail. If you finish that class, I am sure you are a pen tool expert and can draw all shapes. Also, check her other courses too. She is a very skilled and inspiring teacher

Don't give up too easily, I was once where you are now. Despite my very limited drawing talents, I succeeded. If I can make it, you surely can.


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Thank you for the encouraging words. I was hoping to find something where tool behaviors are very similar to illustrator so I could just jump right in. I do not have time or patience for taking a class considering the limited amount of use I put the program too. If I can't find anything that's an easy transition I will just forgo the computer and draw on paper but it would be nice to have a digital record of the designs.

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4 hours ago, V Silly said:

Every time I pull up Affinity Designer I am unable to execute even the most simple shapes.

It would help to know what you mean by "simple shapes" & what tool you are trying to use to create them. AD has 19 built-in so-called 'quick shapes,' most of which have multiple settings available on the context toolbar plus modifier key options to constrain their aspect ratios capable of creating a wide variety of simple (& not so simple) shapes.

All 3 1.10.6, & all 3 V21.1 Mac apps; 2020 iMac 27"; 3.8GHz i7, Radeon Pro 5700, 32GB RAM; macOS 10.15.7
Affinity Photo 
1.10.6; Affinity Designer 1.10.6; & all 3 V2 apps for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iPadOS 15.7

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I am building guitars and need to draw outlines of shapes from which to create templates. The problem I am having is that the drawing tools are not at all intuitive for me. They don't do what I expect when I go to add points move points edit points etc. Affinity products do not seem at all intuitive to me coming from Adobe products.

I just tried a program called Amadine after some hunting around following my first post. On the first try I was able to easily draw and edit shapes, so this may be the solution for me.

I realize I have extremely low patience for the learning curve. Since I use the program only occasionally, anything I learn is long forgotten by the next time I need to draw a template. Thanks to everyone for your answers, I do appreciate your attempts to help :-) 

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Working with Bezier tools (like the Pen Tool) does take some practice. But I think it works about the same way in Affinity as in other applications that use Bezier tools.

You might find the Pencil tool more appropriate. Or, if you're drawing but don't need to edit the shape to change it, the Vector Brush Tool, with a small diameter brush.

-- Walt

Desktop:  Windows 11 Pro, version 22H2, 64GB memory, AMD Ryzen 9 5900 12-Core @ 3.00 GHz, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 
Laptop:  Windows 11 Pro, version 22H2, 32GB memory, Intel Core i7-10750H @ 2.60GHz, Intel UHD Graphics Comet Lake GT2 and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPU.
        Affinity Photo 1.10.6 (.1665) and 2.1.0 and 2.1.0. beta/ Affinity Designer 1.10.6 (.1665)  and 2.1.0  and 2.1.0 beta / Affinity Publisher 1.10.6 (.1665)  and 2.1.0  and 2.1.0beta
iPad Pro M1, 12.9", iPadOS 16.6.1, Apple Pencil 2, Magic Keyboard

      Affinity Photo 1.10.7 and 2.1.0 and 2.1.0 beta/ Affinity Designer 1.10.7 and 2.1.0 and 2.1.0 beta/ Affinity Publisher 2.1.0 and 2.1.0 beta

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I too come from the Adobe world after 25+ years. I found that after a short time with Designer to be much more intuitive at drawing strokes, arboards, combining shapes and more. I actually got the book and went through the tutorials included and that was a tremendous day of learning. Pretty much one Saturday. It can also be helpful if you are drawing these items in "3d" to use the isometric plane tool - though confusing after first.

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