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Free Transform, Perspective & Warp Tools


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It's been several months since I +1ed this topic and I want to +1 it again, because the fact is that CorelDraw 2021.5 does this, has done it for a long time, and it makes things like this very very easy and fast.  It is literally the only thing stopping me from buying Affinity. 

In this example, the artboard is a deep red, and there are two inner rectangles, one of which is a PowerClip.  The photo is in the background and both inner rectangles have transparency and fill effects.  The font is "Impact" with a subtle vector pattern fill, adjusted colors, and a white outline, converted to curves.  

Then I use the "Smear" tool and the "Envelope" tool on the lettering, which perfectly alters the vector shape but maintains the fill.  

Finally, I apply a mild Perspective effect to the lettering.  It's not very apparent but it's there.

I know it's a rough example but it took literally 5 minutes.  This image is a take-off on one of Corel's free tutorials on transparency.

Exported as a CMYK PDF and a CMYK JPEG 300 dpi.

Affinity Designer needs these tools.

 

 

ENVELOPE_AND_TRANSPARENCY_EXAMPLE.pdf

TRANSPARENCY_EXAMPLE.jpg

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4 hours ago, AKSturb01 said:

Affinity Designer needs these tools.

Affinity Designer costs less than half of what the cheapest Corel Draw costs..

While I want this functionality too it is not exactly fair to compare them one on one.

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31 minutes ago, Xzenor said:

Affinity Designer costs less than half of what the cheapest Corel Draw costs..

While I want this functionality too it is not exactly fair to compare them one on one.

That's a good point but CorelDraw had the Envelope Tool back in version X10 - 2001.  I realize that Affinity Designer is priced to be a bargain but Affinity is not marketing this as a "stripped down vector graphics program" and if they can't match some of the most important features of a 10 year old product, it's disappointing because there are so many other areas in which AD excels.  

Let's put it this way:  if they added the tools, I would pay more for the product.  Say $75?  Done.  Tomorrow.  I'll buy it and write a review of it.

You have to look at the expense vs. the power of the tool, and transforms and envelopes and so forth are part of my workflow.  I've used them for years and I can't work without them.  Converting things into bitmaps is not a solution for me.  

 

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On 10/7/2021 at 8:18 PM, Xzenor said:

Affinity Designer costs less than half of what the cheapest Corel Draw costs..

While I want this functionality too it is not exactly fair to compare them one on one.

You can buy a licence for a dated Corel version, which was released within the last 10-15 years, for less than Affiiniy's costs and you'll get the feature for a comparable price.

So, the price argument is a bit wonky.

»A designer's job is to improve the general quality of life. In fact, it's the only reason for our existence.«
Paul Rand (1914-1996)

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2 hours ago, Andy05 said:

You can buy a licence for a dated Corel version, which was released within the last 10-15 years, for less than Affiiniy's costs and you'll get the feature for a comparable price.

So, the price argument is a bit wonky.

Ah, but will the dated version work on the latest Windows and or Mac operating systems?

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Affinity Designer 1.10.5 | Affinity Photo 1.10.5 | Affinity Publisher 1.10.5 | Beta versions as they appear.

I have never mastered color management, period, so I cannot help with that.

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I would like to clarify something:  I didn't mean to suggest that people further complicate their lives and workflows by attempting to run an old, obsolete version of CorelDraw to access to features like this.  I merely wanted to point out that Affinity Designer is being marketed as:  "...setting the new industry standard in the world of design.  Best in class for creating concept art, print projects, logos, icons, UI designs, mock-ups and more, it's already the top choice of thousands of professional[s]."

In my opinion, it's a matter of no inconsiderable amount of chutzpah to market the product that way when it is missing a feature that was available to people using CorelDraw on Windows XP back in 2010.  AD is indeed a relative bargain when compared to Illustrator and the latest versions of CD.  It's a powerful tool and a good deal with all of the other wonderful things it can do, and I like it!  However, the marketing speak above is simply not persuasive to me and many others with these features missing. 

As I've said, I'm willing to pay extra money if they add them.  I'll make the difference back on the first project, so I hope they consider it.  Thanks for everyone's additional input.  I also don't mean to imply any disrespect for what Affinity has been able to accomplish.  Going up against Adobe and Corel on their "home turf" so to speak, is no trivial thing, and I applaud them for doing it.  If I had been in the first meeting discussing it, I would have said:  "It's a bit like Luxembourg simultaneously declaring war on the United States and Canada, isn't it?"  Well, they're punching way above their weight class, so I don't mean to bum them out or anything.    

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In reference to using dated versions of CorelDraw on current machines, Windows anyway, it's not that simple. I have versions dating back to CDGS 9. Those simply will not install. However my main point here is I have version X4. It will run if I could install it. I tried about 5 yrs ago, but the validation had expired according to Corel. I telephoned them and they refused to issue a new validation since the version was no longer supported. Even though I had purchased it directly from them, it shows, still to this day, under my account with them. Then here's the kicker that really got under my skin.... I was an administrator for their Digital Web Board, for video and photography editing software. Didn't matter to them. That's ok, being an Admin I had contact info for personnel, like the developers of the Digital media, and raised a concern with them. They rectified by providing me the current at the time, program. 

I understand the effort to thwart piracy, but that is pure nonsense. So that said, the validation  part of the installation will probably fail, and they're not very willing to help or provide you with that validation code. The program will not work without it.

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23 hours ago, Old Bruce said:

Ah, but will the dated version work on the latest Windows and or Mac operating systems?

On mac OS rather not. On Windows you will quite surly get it working. Even Freehand MX works with Windows 10.

Edit: OK, didn't read Ron's comment before posting. Maybe the validation will not work.

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On 10/9/2021 at 11:58 PM, Old Bruce said:

Ah, but will the dated version work on the latest Windows and or Mac operating systems?

Maybe not the oldest versions. But you can find a valid CorelDraw license (from a trustworthy seller, not some random Russian or private seller) with a 50ish Euro price tag on it, which will work with the current version of Windows 10 (not sure about 11, neither about Mac operating systems, can't make any statement about this).

»A designer's job is to improve the general quality of life. In fact, it's the only reason for our existence.«
Paul Rand (1914-1996)

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  • 1 month later...

+1

I love affinity products, I love the UI, speed, reliability, non destructive workflows and integration of the 3 apps.


But it needs some features which are pretty basic. It’s not a matter of wether you can do something that looks good on Designer as is. The main question here is can you rely on Designer as your only graphic design tooI in 2021. I think this is a clear NO from any professional designer.

I want affinity apps to catch up with the basic functionality that is available in other apps not because they are cheap, but because I love working with them. If the problem is mainly that Serif needs to hire more developers and that requires an extra investment, given that these basic feature requests date back to 2014 I think they should do whatever it takes to make it happen even if that means increasing the price or paying for an update otherwise the future of these apps beyond the amateur market is unclear.

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10 hours ago, DGee said:

I want affinity apps to catch up with the basic functionality that is available in other apps not because it is cheap, but because I love working with these apps. If the problem is mainly that Serif needs to hire more developers and that requires an extra investment, given that these basic feature requests date back to 2014 I think they should do whatever it takes to make it happen even if that means increasing the price or paying for an update otherwise the future of these apps beyond the amateur market is unclear.

I too love working in Affinity, especially StudioLink (which I've probably been waffling on about earlier in this post) but find for about 80% of the time, I need other apps to perform functions that where originally on the road map years ago. My goto recommendation for All types of vector distortions, vector pattern fills, vector blends and REAL vector brushes is VectorStyler which is developed by Csaba Raduly-Baka - 1 Developer - so I don't necessarily think getting more developers on board is gonna speed things up, and may even be counter productive? My guess is they probably have most of these missing functions working but have been fine-tuning them for the past few years, imagine the outcry from users if they'd have rushed these functions to release and all you had was hangs, bombs and corruptions? Now that some of us are using VectorStyler as a stop gap, at least you can crack on and just get stuff done without too much moaning.

Also Vector Q - developed by Luis Rivas (1 developer) is a really simple vector app and new addition to my workflow, which does some cool stuff, including vector perspective distortions and stylised raster to vector conversions, although, RGB and no external clipboard.

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On 10/10/2021 at 12:14 AM, AKSturb01 said:

In my opinion, it's a matter of no inconsiderable amount of chutzpah to market the product that way when it is missing a feature that was available to people using CorelDraw on Windows XP back in 2010

Actually, as I mentioned, some tolls like mesh gradients, extrusion, free shadows, some transformations (roughen, smooth, simple blending) were there at least from version Corel DRAW 9 back in 2001 (I remember that really well because as a kid I've got... ekhm... "a borrowed" copy from my friend's dad :P I know, I know... but that's how the things looked two decades ago (especially) here in Poland)

Yeah, AD is EXTREMELY CHEAP and I don't like it to be as expensive as recent Corel versions. But a few years ago Corel DRAW Essential had far more tools and was also quite cheap (two times more expensive than Affinity, but something about 100£ or 150€ is still reasonable, Office Home and Student Box version costs the same price!)

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On 12/9/2021 at 7:41 AM, Dazmondo77 said:

Now that some of us are using VectorStyler as a stop gap, at least you can crack on and just get stuff done without too much moaning.

Absolutely! I still have a copy of CS6 around on my backup computer for "emergencies" but I do almost everything now with Affinity and Vectorstyler. I have a few vector based apps that do niche things I need that no other main program offers - Vectormagic for tracing, Vectoraster for true vector halftones, Vector Q for some unique vector trace results.
I agree that I don't think the issue is Affinity needing to add more developers. Affinity likes to test everything in-house and only releases betas toward the end of the development process. It's nice not to have too many bugs or issues with each release, but the timing in between releases is painfully slow. I agree that all signs point to a massive update being planned- I hope at some point in 2022. Even when this major update does come, I don't think Affinity Designer will ever be an extensive vector program; It may eventually do the basic tasks some currently use Vectorstyler or Corel or another vector app as a stop-gap for. Basically, I don't see Affinity becoming an Illustrator, or Corel, or Vectorstyler anytime soon, if ever. I've written about it before, but to me, Affinity Designer is marketed and developed as a piece of the Affinity trinity. It will eventually have all the basic standard vector tools the average user would want and offer them in an efficient and simple manner. Not too busy or cluttered with options and variables. The niche power of Affinity is not in having a ton of control and options in a massive collection of tools, but rather it's simplicity, low bar of entry and it's integration with raster design and all-in-one publication. 

Affinity seems geared toward non-destructive design with few options for permanent concrete final edits. For example, I can't truly flatten or "merge down" a collection of vector fills and shapes for final output. In illustrator, I can import a vector from elsewhere or make a layered vector graphic and then when I am ready to send to a client, I can make a copy of that layered graphic - expand it all and then merge it all down into one flat final version. 
When I go to expand overlapping strokes in Affinity Designer - there are usually a lot of "dirty nodes" - especially if I use the divide boolean operation first to separate overlapped lines I want to remove and then try to re-merge the parts again afterward. 
In this area, it surprises me that there has not been more attention given to improving the boolean operations 

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2 hours ago, Boldlinedesign said:

In this area, it surprises me that there has not been more attention given to improving the boolean operations 

Absolutely! That's why most vector boolean results in Affinity are not usable for creating CNC/laser engraving templates as the boolean functions create simply an incredible amount of unnecessary nodes most of the times.

»A designer's job is to improve the general quality of life. In fact, it's the only reason for our existence.«
Paul Rand (1914-1996)

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7 hours ago, Boldlinedesign said:

Absolutely! I still have a copy of CS6 around on my backup computer for "emergencies" but I do almost everything now with Affinity and Vectorstyler. I have a few vector based apps that do niche things I need that no other main program offers - Vectormagic for tracing, Vectoraster for true vector halftones, Vector Q for some unique vector trace results.
I agree that I don't think the issue is Affinity needing to add more developers. Affinity likes to test everything in-house and only releases betas toward the end of the development process. It's nice not to have too many bugs or issues with each release, but the timing in between releases is painfully slow. I agree that all signs point to a massive update being planned- I hope at some point in 2022. Even when this major update does come, I don't think Affinity Designer will ever be an extensive vector program; It may eventually do the basic tasks some currently use Vectorstyler or Corel or another vector app as a stop-gap for. Basically, I don't see Affinity becoming an Illustrator, or Corel, or Vectorstyler anytime soon, if ever. I've written about it before, but to me, Affinity Designer is marketed and developed as a piece of the Affinity trinity. It will eventually have all the basic standard vector tools the average user would want and offer them in an efficient and simple manner. Not too busy or cluttered with options and variables. The niche power of Affinity is not in having a ton of control and options in a massive collection of tools, but rather it's simplicity, low bar of entry and it's integration with raster design and all-in-one publication. 

Affinity seems geared toward non-destructive design with few options for permanent concrete final edits. For example, I can't truly flatten or "merge down" a collection of vector fills and shapes for final output. In illustrator, I can import a vector from elsewhere or make a layered vector graphic and then when I am ready to send to a client, I can make a copy of that layered graphic - expand it all and then merge it all down into one flat final version. 
When I go to expand overlapping strokes in Affinity Designer - there are usually a lot of "dirty nodes" - especially if I use the divide boolean operation first to separate overlapped lines I want to remove and then try to re-merge the parts again afterward. 
In this area, it surprises me that there has not been more attention given to improving the boolean operations 

Vectorstyler seems to have every feature I need and I’d like to try it but there are a few things that put me off… First the price, the thing is a bit expensive at 95$. Second the interface, every screenshot I’ve seen shows dozens of swatches and color palettes surrounding the canvas… Hope that is something that can be hidden because otherwise that would be too distracting. Lastly can you exchange files containing layers between AFD and VS?

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4 hours ago, DGee said:

The thing is VS is expensive at 95$, I personally hate the interface (dozens of swatches surrounding the canvas… are you serious? Hope that is something that can be hid via menus) and lastly can you exchange layered fileds between AFD and VS? 

I guess it depends on what your definition of "expensive" is. Adobe is $600 a year for the suite or around $300 a year for a smaller package, CorelDraw is almost $300 per year for a subscription or $500 dollars for a one time purchase... Affinity Designer at full price is around $55 dollars but lacks a large number of "standard" tools" and  has offered minimal feature upgrades over the last seven years. Vectorstyler is $95 (though it's been on sale recently for $29) just one app that does everything vector related very well and fills in every missing piece from the limitations of Affinity Designer's offerings. Unlike Affinity, Vectorstyler is continuously improving week by week with improved builds. 
Vectorstyler's interface can be modified - there's a lot of UI customization that can be controlled in the preferences - everything from light or dark mode to flat design or not, etc. I'm not sure what you mean about "dozens of swatches surrounding the canvas" - there's a row of colors at the very bottom only. The interface reminds me a lot of Illustrator's UI. It's not as simplistic as Designer for sure...but it's not horrible. If Designer offered the number of tools and options as Vectorstyler, it'd be a lot busier.

There's not a way to move multiple layers at the same time between Vectorstyler and Designer, but anything can be copied and pasted between them easily. 


Affinity has too many missing features and tools used by many for it to be a one stop  full time professional solution right now. We can sit around waiting and hoping for years for Affinity to add these features and fix the rest of them or we can find alternative solutions. $95 for Vectorstyler is not expensive if it solves a major need. Affinity is a great set of software and it holds a lot of promise. I can't afford to wait 7 more years for basic common use features. Paying $95 dollars to get real solutions that work in tandem with Affinity now seems like a great solution and well worth the price

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54 minutes ago, Boldlinedesign said:

I guess it depends on what your definition of "expensive" is. Adobe is $600 a year for the suite or around $300 a year for a smaller package, CorelDraw is almost $300 per year for a subscription or $500 dollars for a one time purchase... Affinity Designer at full price is around $55 dollars but lacks a large number of "standard" tools" and  has offered minimal feature upgrades over the last seven years. Vectorstyler is $95 (though it's been on sale recently for $29) just one app that does everything vector related very well and fills in every missing piece from the limitations of Affinity Designer's offerings. Unlike Affinity, Vectorstyler is continuously improving week by week with improved builds. 
Vectorstyler's interface can be modified - there's a lot of UI customization that can be controlled in the preferences - everything from light or dark mode to flat design or not, etc. I'm not sure what you mean about "dozens of swatches surrounding the canvas" - there's a row of colors at the very bottom only. The interface reminds me a lot of Illustrator's UI. It's not as simplistic as Designer for sure...but it's not horrible. If Designer offered the number of tools and options as Vectorstyler, it'd be a lot busier.

There's not a way to move multiple layers at the same time between Vectorstyler and Designer, but anything can be copied and pasted between them easily. 


Affinity has too many missing features and tools used by many for it to be a one stop  full time professional solution right now. We can sit around waiting and hoping for years for Affinity to add these features and fix the rest of them or we can find alternative solutions. $95 for Vectorstyler is not expensive if it solves a major need. Affinity is a great set of software and it holds a lot of promise. I can't afford to wait 7 more years for basic common use features. Paying $95 dollars to get real solutions that work in tandem with Affinity now seems like a great solution and well worth the price

Yea you're right, I mean I'm sure it's worth every penny, but I have just bought the whole Affinity Suite and I'm still subscribed to Photoshop. If I see it on sale I would buy it in a heartbeat.

Right, I'm talking about the row of color boxes, at the bottom. That's a huge UI design mistake IMO, the rest of the interface is pretty decent but I can't have all those colors around my composition because it interferes in how I perceive the colors I'm working on. As long as that can be hidden, I'm good.

I totally agree with the rest of what you said here, for me Its either going back to Ai or buying VS. Affinity apps on their own don't cover enough range for professional graphic design, at least not for me, and IMO Designer in particular doesn't live up to their marketing promise

"just all the tools you need, implemented how you always dreamed. Affinity Designer is a stripped back, pro-end workhorse that will always get your job done."

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40 minutes ago, DGee said:

If I see it on sale I would buy it in a heartbeat.

If I see it on sale again I'll try to let you know. 
I still have big hopes for Affinity. I own all their apps on all available platforms. My fingers are crossed that 2.0 is around the corner and that it will be a dramatic improvement

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4 hours ago, Boldlinedesign said:

My fingers are crossed that 2.0 is around the corner and that it will be a dramatic improvement

Agreed. I said it before in these fora (multiple times even?): I don't see any of those major features coming with any of the free 1.x updates. I, too, hope that they are already working on their implementation for a V2. release.

»A designer's job is to improve the general quality of life. In fact, it's the only reason for our existence.«
Paul Rand (1914-1996)

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A few words about VectorStyler.
I own and like Affinity Designer, and I decided to
buy VectorStyler a few weeks ago.

When I listen to the arguments that VS is expensive at $95,
these People don't take into account the list of features VS
offers in comparison.

One big reason why i bought VS was that i realized that many
wishes for Affinity Designer that have been popping up in this
Forum for years are all solved with my purchase of VectorStyler.


Free Transform Cage
Perspective Transform Cage
- you get a good List of Transform Cages
   - you could even set them to "rigid" so Objects
      inside of the Cage will only change their Size
      and will not be transformed.

Here a few Pictures
640181928_Bildschirminhalterfassen-3.png.093f63e7880714347296ca946a184ccf.png

transformed
transformed.png.df6984d812c203e9591500221e3f2b05.png

set to rigid, Objects change only size
rigid.png.5d01331f809f0d2a069be697dce64624.png

 

you get also:

Bitmap to Vector Tracer

Blend shapes
- incl. blending of lines with a color gradient
 

Gradient-Blend.png.ac5481b682cf54705b80cbc866c16166.png



Real Vector Pattern fill

Real vector Brushes

Real vector eraser

A pathfinder tool

and many, many more.


If this sounds like a fairy tale to you then i recommend
you to download the trial version (it works for 42 days)

Therefore, because of its very extensive feature list
i found VectorStyler is still a real bargain even for $95.
(I would bet that many AD users on the other hand would be willing
to pay more for AD if it included all these features)


The user interface is perhaps not so appealing and you have
to get used to the slightly different handling a bit. But
the forum and the developers are very helpful. If you
already have a few years of experience with vector graphics
programs, like me, then it's not a big problem.
I would definitely not want to miss VS in my Toolset anymore.

 

 

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