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MattP

Affinity Designer Customer Beta (1.9.0.2)

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I just want to give a shoutout and say that I love the new Contour Tool. So much can be done with it!


The website is still a work in progress. The "Comics" and "Shop" sections are not yet ready. Feel free to connect with me and let me know what you like or what can be improved. You can contact me here, on my contact page, YouTube channel, or Twitter account. Thanks and have a great day!

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On 9/23/2020 at 12:46 PM, fde101 said:

This is really a different category of selection than the other options.  The current set of options work at the object level but this would almost require discontiguous text selection to be implemented first as these are properties of a subset of a text object, rather than an entire object.

I would suggest that if this functionality is needed Find and Replace should be used instead, though that is only available in Publisher - this could easily take the form of a "Find Same Font/Style/..." option which would configure and execute the search to do exactly that as well as displaying the Find & Replace panel if it is hidden, in one step.

I really like your thinking here. I'm not sure how the Find & Replace functionality works, because I haven't tested it yet, but if it works like it does on most Mac apps (with an immediate, more subdued highlight for all occurrences, and a more prominent one for the one in focus), there could very well be some nice little buttons there for selecting all strings, select all containing objects, etc.…

And this would be such a powerful tool that it absolutely must be included in Designer as well. I know most documents done in AD aren't as text-rich as those done in APub, but some scenarios, like the one I mentioned, can absolutely benefit from it.

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22 hours ago, Bri-Toon said:

I just want to give a shoutout and say that I love the new Contour Tool. So much can be done with it!

I love your enthusiasm. But could you share what you mean? I'm at a standstill trying to get it to do anything other than the obvious, which mainly is increasing the stroke width.

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1 minute ago, evtonic3 said:

I love your enthusiasm. But could you share what you mean? I'm at a standstill trying to get it to do anything other than the obvious, which mainly is increasing the stroke width.

It doesn't really increase the stroke width so much as offset the stroke from where the shape itself suggests it should be?

The second option next to "Fill:" on the context toolbar also makes a hole in the shape.  I still haven't figured out what the third option does differently from the first.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, fde101 said:

It doesn't really increase the stroke width so much as offset the stroke from where the shape itself suggests it should be?

The second option next to "Fill:" on the context toolbar also makes a hole in the shape.  I still haven't figured out what the third option does differently from the first.

It seems that the tool has two rules:

  • if a path is closed, offset either outward or inward
  • otherwise the path is open, so offset both outward and inward

The first Fill option, "Auto closed", results in the behaviour described above.

The second Fill option, "Force open", results in a closed path being considered as unjoined at end/start and then the open path rule is followed

The third Fill option, "Force closed", results in an open path being considered as having a linear segment joining end to start (as happens in Affinity Boolean operations) and then the closed path rule is followed.

Edited by anon2
rewritten for clarity

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14 minutes ago, anon2 said:

if the source path is closed.

Bingo...  it never actually occurred to me to try the tool with an open path.

The only thing is, now we have three options of which two do the same thing for open paths and two do the same thing for closed paths.  I think it could reasonably be simplified to "auto" and "force", but maybe it has applications in this form when multiple objects are selected...  hmm...

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2 minutes ago, fde101 said:

Bingo...  it never actually occurred to me to try the tool with an open path.

The only thing is, now we have three options of which two do the same thing for open paths and two do the same thing for closed paths.  I think it could reasonably be simplified to "auto" and "force", but maybe it has applications in this form when multiple objects are selected...  hmm...

I've rewritten my previous message to make things clearer (I hope).

Yes, I think the 3 options are required for when a mixture of open and closed paths are selected.

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23 hours ago, fde101 said:

It doesn't really increase the stroke width so much as offset the stroke from where the shape itself suggests it should be?

The second option next to "Fill:" on the context toolbar also makes a hole in the shape.  I still haven't figured out what the third option does differently from the first.

21 hours ago, fde101 said:

Bingo...  it never actually occurred to me to try the tool with an open path.

I'm glad that Anon2 was able to help with your question. There are also some tricks you can pull not just on open paths but stroke lines as well. So everyone's style is different of course, and part of my style, I find it easier to manipulate strokes instead of shapes. So you can use the Contour Tool on lines to create stripes on a pattern, give them a fill color, and then manipulate them as you normally would with regular strokes without the need to expand them. There are other tricks like creating barbed wires, reels, frames, and other things.

I hope this answers your question.


The website is still a work in progress. The "Comics" and "Shop" sections are not yet ready. Feel free to connect with me and let me know what you like or what can be improved. You can contact me here, on my contact page, YouTube channel, or Twitter account. Thanks and have a great day!

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On 10/5/2020 at 6:10 PM, nik78 said:

Some features that are being mentioned were talked about years ago.

Yeah, that’s absolutely true. To me the niche that Affinity Designer filled was illustration, no other application does the mix of vector and raster... unless...

 

On 10/5/2020 at 6:10 PM, nik78 said:

You can't live off potential forever.

And here the crux of the question. By dragging their feet with large releases like were in 1998, instead of putting out monthly releases with small but welcome improvements that build over time they open themselves to be overran by other competitors.

From what I can gather Affinity may have the rug pulled from under its feet with the illustration niche advantage I’ve just talked about. As far as I know Illustrator for the iPad will produce editable files that are interchangeable with Fresco. This means you can build the vectors in Illustrator, and raster shade them on Fresco. Pretty much what I think is the only strong use case for their software. If Adobe does it too, but better, then it’s game over for them. No pro will use their software since were all forced to have Creative Cloud subscriptions anyway, might as well make the most of it by using all software you can...

That said there’s still advantages to how Affinity does things, and I’m not sure if Adobe or other will catch up on these, but they might and that’s a dangerous game to play.

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6 hours ago, LCamachoDesign said:

Yeah, that’s absolutely true. To me the niche that Affinity Designer filled was illustration, no other application does the mix of vector and raster... unless...

 

And here the crux of the question. By dragging their feet with large releases like were in 1998, instead of putting out monthly releases with small but welcome improvements that build over time they open themselves to be overran by other competitors.

From what I can gather Affinity may have the rug pulled from under its feet with the illustration niche advantage I’ve just talked about. As far as I know Illustrator for the iPad will produce editable files that are interchangeable with Fresco. This means you can build the vectors in Illustrator, and raster shade them on Fresco. Pretty much what I think is the only strong use case for their software. If Adobe does it too, but better, then it’s game over for them. No pro will use their software since were all forced to have Creative Cloud subscriptions anyway, might as well make the most of it by using all software you can...

That said there’s still advantages to how Affinity does things, and I’m not sure if Adobe or other will catch up on these, but they might and that’s a dangerous game to play.

I seriously doubt Illustrator+Fresco on iPad would fill that niche as well as Affinity unless the switching between programs are near seamless with little delay. It still means needing two programs to go back and forth to work instead of just one program like Designer or Publisher (if you own all 3). You've been able to mix vector shapes and raster painting with Illustrator and Photoshop for years on PC and I was never a big fan of the workflow until I started using Affinity, especially after Publisher got released. The one aspect that should be absolutely commended regarding Serif is that they invested into one shared file format across all softwares as well as the Studio Link technology so that under the hood you are basically using the same program even though the tools and features are altered to fill different functions. Unless Adobe decide to create their own version of that I think Affinity will keep that niche as their own for a long time.

While I agree that it is important not to drag your feet in an industry such as this one, I don't think that the devs have been doing that too much considering what they have delivered on in the last 1-2 years. The fixes that they have done improve the software in terms of performance and usability have been really solid, especially with 1.8.5 adding better quality tablet APIs for Windows and the OS finally getting GPU acceleration (while buggy and a work in progress, the performance improvements I have experienced have been immense). They may not be a bunch of fancy new tools which I do agree are lacking in Designer, but unlike when I bought Affinity back in the 1.6 days, I can actually say that I can use their later versions.

That said, I do hope we get to see more tools and highly requested features once Publisher for iPad is finally released and the more underlying problems have been fixed (i.e. GPU acceleration). Personally I can't wait for a raster to vector converter and a shape builder tool. :D

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43 minutes ago, Frozen Death Knight said:

I seriously doubt Illustrator+Fresco on iPad would fill that niche as well as Affinity unless the switching between programs are near seamless with little delay. It still means needing two programs to go back and forth to work instead of just one program like Designer or Publisher (if you own all 3).

Obviously Affinity has an advantage here. I don't know how fast it will be on Adobe, but it's impossible to beat Affinity here since switching personas takes 0 time.

 

43 minutes ago, Frozen Death Knight said:

You've been able to mix vector shapes and raster painting with Illustrator and Photoshop for years on PC

This is not true. Once you move your Illustrator file to Photoshop you loose pretty much all vector information, you can't switch back and forth between them.

 

43 minutes ago, Frozen Death Knight said:

The one aspect that should be absolutely commended regarding Serif is that they invested into one shared file format across all softwares as well as the Studio Link technology so that under the hood you are basically using the same program even though the tools and features are altered to fill different functions. Unless Adobe decide to create their own version of that I think Affinity will keep that niche as their own for a long time.

This is actually a very good question. It's my understanding that's sort of what they've done with their Cloud documents. However right now the .PSDC and .AIC documents seem to be incompatible, or at least the applications will not show each other's files. However the pre-order page for Illustrator on the iPad clearly states that you can "[w]ork on a project across Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, and Fresco." This seems to indicate the all 3 applications will be able to open and edit PSDC and AIC files after the MAX 2020 update. Or they'll drop/rename AIC files in favour of having everything as PSDC's (or other extension). Also, one of the guest illustrators at a recent Adobe stream literally said she could open her AIC (?) files on Fresco.

 

43 minutes ago, Frozen Death Knight said:

While I agree that it is important not to drag your feet in an industry such as this one, I don't think that the devs have been doing that too much considering what they have delivered on the last 1-2 years.

Missing global colours on the iPad, or not even being able to delete more than one colour swatch at a time on the desktop seems to disagree with that. These are the very basics of drawing, it's literally basic flat colouring of shapes, and it's been missing since the beginning!

I mean they have great features, the isometric drawing for example is really, really good. But not if it comes at the expense of being able to literally colour things properly!

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23 minutes ago, LCamachoDesign said:

This is not true. Once you move your Illustrator file to Photoshop you loose pretty much all vector information, you can't switch back and forth between them.

You've been able to copy paste from Illustrator into Photoshop and vice versa for a long time. Problem is that Photoshop doesn't actually have true vector support, so whatever you do you aren't able to properly view them as vectors inside Photoshop (as I recall they are ported in as smart objects which open up Illustrator if you want to edit them), and the Pen Tool in Photoshop can't really edit any vectors you paste into the program (unlike Photo). This is in stark contrast with Affinity where you can not only copy paste between different Affinity programs, but also work on a single file as previously mentioned, while being able to preview raster and vector simultaneously. Either way, it is still working with both vectors and raster regardless of how you spin it.

23 minutes ago, LCamachoDesign said:

Missing global colours on the iPad, or not even being able to delete more than one colour swatch at a time on the desktop seems to disagree with that. These are the very basics of drawing, it's literally basic flat colouring of shapes, and it's been missing since the beginning!

I mean they have great features, the isometric drawing for example is really, really good. But not if it comes at the expense of being able to literally colour things properly!

Well, I hope that gets added then! Just because I said that doesn't mean I don't want to see more fixes being done to issues that hinder productivity. I personally wish they worked more on brush management, layer management as well as improved the Colour Picker Tool for Photo. I hope that last one especially gets addressed in 1.9, since having to switch to the tool instead of using alt on all the brushes to access colour picking from a selected layer can get really old every time you open Affinity.

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2 minutes ago, Frozen Death Knight said:

You've been able to copy paste from Illustrator into Photoshop and vice versa for a long time. Problem is that Photoshop doesn't actually have true vector support, so whatever you do you aren't able to properly view them as vectors inside Photoshop (as I recall they are ported in as smart objects which open up Illustrator if you want to edit them), and the Pen Tool in Photoshop can't really edit any vectors you paste into the program (unlike Photo). This is in stark contrast with Affinity where you can not only copy paste between different Affinity programs, but also work on a single file as previously mentioned while being able to preview raster and vector simultaneously. Either way, it is still working with vectors and raster regardless of how you spin it.

You can copy and paste shapes between Illustrator and Photoshop, and they'll retain their 'vectorness' if you choose to paste as shapes instead of bitmap or smart objects. But they loose any special properties. And you need to do this for each shape individually... meaning potentially copy/paste thousands of shapes individually! So yes, Affinity has an obvious advantage here, and yes, it's technically possible to work between Illustrator and Photoshop. But like I said, the pre-order page of AI seems to imply Photoshop/Fresco will be to natively read AIC files, retaining their 'vectorness'. I guess we'll find out in next week. 

 

10 minutes ago, Frozen Death Knight said:

Well, I hope that gets added then!

I hope they added it 5 years ago, since this is a day 1 feature. That's kind of what upsets me, these are not advanced obscure features, it's literally the everyday bread and butter of any vector workflow. 😑

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2 hours ago, LCamachoDesign said:

the pre-order page of AI seems to imply Photoshop/Fresco will be to natively read AIC files,

With software and hardware (of all sorts) do not believe what is implied. Unless it is explicitly stated that they can read AIC files assume that they cannot. 


MacBook Pro (13-inch, Mid 2012) Mac OS 10.12.6 || Mac Pro (Late 2013) Mac OS 10.14.6

Affinity Designer 1.8.4 | Affinity Photo 1.8.4 | Affinity Publisher 1.8.4 | Affinity Designer Beta 1.9.0.2 | Affinity Photo Beta 1.9.0.199 | Affinity Publisher Beta 1.9.0.742

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On 10/5/2020 at 7:10 PM, nik78 said:

You can't live off potential forever.

Correct. It is already too late - the professional market is already out of reach. Professional features, colours that blend naturally, natural brush movement... still nowhere to see. The hype was based on dreams and hope. And the hype is a thing of the past for this reason. Too little, too late, too slow.

 This is beggars can't be choosers software. Still a good thing. But nothing more.


I gave up using Designer - a "professional" vector drawing program without advanced or semi-advanced vector features. Customers waiting for five years in vain is more than any company can ask for. Maybe if Affinity Designer 2.0 gets real and advanced vector features I can use it. Until then... I am a customer, a potential upgrader and an active observer with an opinion.

Further... give up and please hire a professional, educated UX (user experience designer), Serif. Professional software companies used them for decades now. You must too.

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On 10/9/2020 at 8:26 PM, Old Bruce said:

With software and hardware (of all sorts) do not believe what is implied. Unless it is explicitly stated that they can read AIC files assume that they cannot. 

It was explicitly stated. And a speaker mentioned it on one of Adobe's stream. But now that AI for iPad is released, they took out the mentions about this, and indeed you cannot open .AIC files in Fresco or Photoshop. And you can't open .PSDC files on Illustrator either. Also, you can't rotate the canvas on Illustrator for the iPad! I don't even... I swear I'm running out of ideas to explain how companies seem to be able to sabotage themselves like this. 🤷‍♂️ You do get global colour swatches though, but the UI is clunky and badly thought out. 

So you're right and I was wrong. My bad. 😁

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@LCamachoDesign Thanks for posting clarification in such detail. It is frustrating, like the way Camera companies will make an improvement in a RAW file format but not help software companies read them.


MacBook Pro (13-inch, Mid 2012) Mac OS 10.12.6 || Mac Pro (Late 2013) Mac OS 10.14.6

Affinity Designer 1.8.4 | Affinity Photo 1.8.4 | Affinity Publisher 1.8.4 | Affinity Designer Beta 1.9.0.2 | Affinity Photo Beta 1.9.0.199 | Affinity Publisher Beta 1.9.0.742

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On 10/20/2020 at 10:15 AM, LCamachoDesign said:

It was explicitly stated. And a speaker mentioned it on one of Adobe's stream. But now that AI for iPad is released, they took out the mentions about this, and indeed you cannot open .AIC files in Fresco or Photoshop. And you can't open .PSDC files on Illustrator either. Also, you can't rotate the canvas on Illustrator for the iPad! I don't even... I swear I'm running out of ideas to explain how companies seem to be able to sabotage themselves like this. 🤷‍♂️ You do get global colour swatches though, but the UI is clunky and badly thought out. 

So you're right and I was wrong. My bad. 😁

Man, that honestly sucks to hear. Seems like a wasted opportunity by Adobe not to have these things ironed out for their iPad versions when their PC model is built around being able to work between Adobe softwares. :/

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22 hours ago, Frozen Death Knight said:

Man, that honestly sucks to hear. Seems like a wasted opportunity by Adobe not to have these things ironed out for their iPad versions when their PC model is built around  being able to work between Adobe softwares. :/

Tell me about it... I'm really loosing patience with these companies that produce tools but have no actual idea of how customers use them...

Illustrator has global colours on the iPad, which seems great, until you realise the editor UI to tweaks those colours covers THE WHOLE SCREEN. What were they thinking? The main reason to use global colour is to tweak and compare different colours in real time, by looking at how the work within the illustration. How are we going to do that if the UI covers the whole screen???

Ugh...

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6 hours ago, LCamachoDesign said:

Tell me about it... I'm really loosing patience with these companies that produce tools but have no actual idea of how customers use them...

Illustrator has global colours on the iPad, which seems great, until you realise the editor UI to tweaks those colours covers THE WHOLE SCREEN. What were they thinking? The main reason to use global colour is to tweak and compare different colours in real time, by looking at how the work within the illustration. How are we going to do that if the UI covers the whole screen???

Ugh...

There are often many great ideas that come out, but that does not mean that those ideas will follow the original intention. Priorities often get overlooked as new plans go into action.


The website is still a work in progress. The "Comics" and "Shop" sections are not yet ready. Feel free to connect with me and let me know what you like or what can be improved. You can contact me here, on my contact page, YouTube channel, or Twitter account. Thanks and have a great day!

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On 9/15/2020 at 9:52 AM, MattP said:


- Select Same / Select Object functionality. I'm happy to consider requests for extra options, so if you have a favourite, just say...

Great new, thanks !

It would be useful to combine the stroke weight + color selection.

Also about this new function it might be more useful to access it directly from the arrow tool.

Anyway, this is going to be extremely useful to work with cad files.

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