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Multiple Line Tool Request


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Just working on some posters using a great deal of curved lines in abstract form. Think stylised road maps. Im having a lot of trouble trying to create two or three lines that follow the same path but sit alongside each other and have a little space in between each one. Hard to explain but imagine drawing with a fork. You'd get four or 5 lines all following the same path but with space in between each line. Can we have a 'multiple line tool' added? Or maybe I'm missing something and there's a way to achieve this already?

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Should of mentioned multiple strokes to a single line won't work for the project as some line eventually need to veer off and then over lap other lines and have their own individual style. So the multiple line would need to be 'expanded' after drawing but still to remain as lines/paths. So basically quickly draw 5 lines in a row then once finished drawing they are now 5 separate paths that can have their own style and be edited individually. Hope that makes sense.

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Have a look at the Appearance panel. Not exactly what you want, but it goes into the right direction.

https://affinity.help/designer/English.lproj/index.html?page=pages/Panels/appearancePanel.html?title=Appearance panel

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Yeh it doesn't really achieve what I require but thanks.

I tried to upload an example image but keep getting a -200 error!

Imagine a letter S made up of two lines. How would you draw that while maintaining perfect gap between each line throughout but also ending up with two separate paths at the end? Not one path with two strokes.

A tool to draw paths quickly in any shape while maintaining a gap between would be very powerful I think.

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Thats great but it doesn't create the separate paths. It's still just one path. I need all three lines in your case to be separate paths at the end so I can then edit afterwards.

Forgive the crappiness but the attached (now working) is essentially what I'm after once I've drawn one path. I would have a perfect array of paths running next to each other but then I can manipulate each one thereafter. This one ive obviously done manually and you can see that its not perfect towards the bottom, the gap gets thinner. Thus a tool that would keep the gap perfect but allow for manipulation after would be very welcome. It could be a secondary pen tool that you select by holding down the pen tool button to access the multiple line tool, much like you do for artistic text or frame text.

Screenshot 2020-04-28 at 20.20.32.png

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You are looking for an offset path tool (as it is called in Adobe Illustrator or similar). Unfortunately Affinity Designer does not have that specifically yet. But as a work around you can  it to add a stroke to a copy of the shape (use the size of the stroke to define the offset distance) and then convert it to a shape going to Layer > Expand Stroke
 If you search the forum for offset path you’ll find work arounds. 

Edited by mackleys
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9 hours ago, GarryP said:

One (or more) of the developers was experimenting last year with an Offset Tool that looked very interesting. There’s a video of it on Twitter (I think) somewhere. There’s a chance that will help when/if it comes.

More like a contour tool, if you refer to this video:

 

https://mobile.twitter.com/mattp4478/status/1202971599630143491

Best regards!

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1 hour ago, Nazario said:

Hmm. Still not what I envision but interesting nonetheless.

I think your request of a multiple line tool is interesting but at the same time a very special use case. I think that the basic idea of creating multiple 'instances' of one line would perhaps better fit in the appearance panel. Currently we can have 'only' multiple strokes with different widths on top of each other. But if there were added an offset value that sets the stroke aside from the original path this would solve (at least partly) your request. It would also be necessary to be able to break that stroke into seperate paths after being created.

The result would be multiple paths following along one stroke. The problem is that you want to modify at some point only one of these paths to move into a different direction. I think this has to be done manualy according to your design idea.

Cheers,
d.

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Hi Dominik. Yes of course id have to adjust the line manually to deviate away. That wouldn't be part of the tool obviously. Just the ability to draw a preselected number of paths using one path. The brush idea from GarryP gives the correct 'look' but it doesn't create separate paths so doesn't work in this instance.

I do agree its quite specialised but the only other way is to do it manually and its incredibly difficult to get the gap to remain consistent along a line that has quite a few curves etc. So to be able to do this easily when required instead of spending hours trying to get it right would be really good.

Attached is an example of what I'm working on. As you can see the lines running top to bottom still are not perfect and its a pain in the ass trying to make it so. I have others far more complex than this one.

test.jpg

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4 hours ago, Nazario said:

Just the ability to draw a preselected number of paths using one path.

Thank you for the example. I can see how difficult it is to do this manually (just tried shortly myself). Having a tool to do this would be interesting. I wonder if this can be accomplished in other packages (Inkscape, Illustrator)?

d.

Affinity Designer 1.10.5 (beta 1.10.5.1342 (RC2))  |   Affinity Photo 1.10.5 (beta 1.10.5.1342 (RC3))   |   Affinity Publisher 1.10.5 (beta 1.10.5.1282 (RC))
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6 hours ago, Nazario said:

Attached is an example of what I'm working on. As you can see the lines running top to bottom still are not perfect and its a pain in the ass trying to make it so. I have others far more complex than this one.

test.jpg

 

I kept chewing on this. One starting point to achieve exact parallel lines is indeed to use the appearance panel.

Key is to use blend mode 'Erase' on some of the strokes. Once you have drawn your stroke to the exact shape you are looking for, you expand it. Then the expanded strokes can be subtracted and you end up - and this is the drawback - with seperate vector shapes that look exactly like what you are looking for.

The diversions have to be created and added on top manually.

Please see this screenshot and the attached sample file. (Edit: there was a problem with the upload. I'll try in a seperate post).

Cheers,
d.

Affinity Designer 1.10.5 (beta 1.10.5.1342 (RC2))  |   Affinity Photo 1.10.5 (beta 1.10.5.1342 (RC3))   |   Affinity Publisher 1.10.5 (beta 1.10.5.1282 (RC))
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This is the screenshot and the sample file.

multiple-stroke-sample.afdesign

multiple-strokes-2.png.6c4049ae2547d1d75fc5ce6ff1b9669d.png

Affinity Designer 1.10.5 (beta 1.10.5.1342 (RC2))  |   Affinity Photo 1.10.5 (beta 1.10.5.1342 (RC3))   |   Affinity Publisher 1.10.5 (beta 1.10.5.1282 (RC))
Affinity Designer for iPad 1.8.4   |   Affinity Photo for iPad 1.8.4

Windows 10 (19044.1586) 64-bit - Core i7 - 16GB - Intel HD Graphics 4600 & NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M
iPad pro 9.7" + Apple Pencil

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Hi Dominik,

Thanks for the tips I'll certainly have a play with that. The tool I envisage however would make such short work of the issue, instead of multiple steps and then leaving non editable shapes as the result with a lot of needless nodes.

Also I realised in the example I attached that I could have probably used the appearance panel and two strokes without much fuss to be honest at least for this one. With the other much more complex designs a specific tool would help immensely. It would probably also be able to create some really cool type faces and logotypes quite quickly I think.

Heres hoping.

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3 hours ago, Nazario said:

Hi Dominik,

Thanks for the tips I'll certainly have a play with that. The tool I envisage however would make such short work of the issue, instead of multiple steps and then leaving non editable shapes as the result with a lot of needless nodes.

Also I realised in the example I attached that I could have probably used the appearance panel and two strokes without much fuss to be honest at least for this one. With the other much more complex designs a specific tool would help immensely. It would probably also be able to create some really cool type faces and logotypes quite quickly I think.

Heres hoping.

Hi @Nazario

I don't mean to convince you that such a tool would not be a better and faster option to have 🙂
I just don't think it will come soon and I like the challenge to find a way to do it with the tools we have already. And, yes, the method I discovered is only good as a starting point and will need a lot of manual work afterwards.

Cheers,
d.

Affinity Designer 1.10.5 (beta 1.10.5.1342 (RC2))  |   Affinity Photo 1.10.5 (beta 1.10.5.1342 (RC3))   |   Affinity Publisher 1.10.5 (beta 1.10.5.1282 (RC))
Affinity Designer for iPad 1.8.4   |   Affinity Photo for iPad 1.8.4

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  • 1 month later...
On 5/1/2020 at 2:34 PM, dominik said:

Hi @Nazario

I don't mean to convince you that such a tool would not be a better and faster option to have 🙂
I just don't think it will come soon and I like the challenge to find a way to do it with the tools we have already. And, yes, the method I discovered is only good as a starting point and will need a lot of manual work afterwards.

Cheers,
d.

Fully appreciated Dominik but if this is supposed to be professional software then most professionals don't have the time to 'challenge' themselves and discover ways of working. The app should be intuitive and allow you to create graphics quickly and easily so you can maximise profit or else designers will use other tools to do the job. For such a simple end result the amount of work involved is not ideal in this case. MEBs reply to one of the earlier linked posts seems to be the quickest option but I still think an updated pen tool would be relatively easy to implement and will allow much quicker drawing of complex graphics.

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