Jump to content

Can the Affinity range of products really be called 'pro'? I say no...


Recommended Posts

I know that no software product is 'perfect'. There are always drawbacks, features missing, 'too many' features, odd ways of doing things, convoluted steps, higher cost. Or a combination of these characteristics.

I've been bitten a few times by Affinity Publisher. There is a certain craziness in displaying inaccurate line widths and text leading, unless one sets the display options to show more decimal places. And the slider snaps to obscure numbers. The only solution being to ignore the sliders and type the numbers in all cases. This is really poor UI design.

I'm well aware of many of the missing features that are either present in other software, or were present in older versions of PagePlus. I particularly need right to left text, but I'm aware how tricky that is to implement. The latest version of LibreOffice has a much improved text engine. It is far from perfect for Arabic and Persian, but it is a huge improvement on the old engine. Other people want data merging. And so on - I read the forums from time to time. The lack of a knife tool is well known. I don't usually need a knife tool, but today I did. There is no reasonable workaround. It just can't be done in Affinity. There's no point even explaining or showing the drawing. The problem is the lack of a knife tool in Affinity.

For many years I have kept an old Windows XP box sitting around with some old much used software. On a computer magazine about a decade ago there was a cover CD with Deneba Canvas 7. I installed it at the time, used it for a while, eventually moved on to Mac, and generally forgot about it. Guess what! Deneba Canvas 7, made in 1999, has a cut tool which works logically, no need for a workaround. So my solution to Affinity's shortcomings is to use giveaway software on a beyond EOL OS. 

How can it be that software written more than 20 years ago is more functional than that what is sold today? I wonder if Serif's move from Serif to Affinity was wise. The huge drop in customary features, while offering some new features, just seems to me to be a bizarre decision.

I am reminded of two things from Apple: Aperture and Final Cut Pro. Aperture was feature rich, its search function was the best I've seen anywhere. But it was discontinued. Apple's replacement: the laughable 'Photos'. It just takes up a bit of space on my Mac, and was used once and derided forever since. Fortunately somebody made a workaround so that Aperture continues to work. I had seen the old Final Cut Studio but hadn't really used it - it wasn't my field. Then I saw Final Cut Pro X and read all the comments about just how weak this new software was in comparison, how much it lacked, and so on.

Today we have Affinity. Is that a fair comparison? Are Affinity programs really worthy of being termed 'pro'? If not, what are they?

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 78
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

Some of you guys need to get off your 'I'm such a professional' high horse, effectively insulting everyone else here you don't even know. A professional can do professional work with a crayon. I'm inc

About: Can the Affinity range of products really be called 'pro'? The premise of the initial post is flawed. Serif Affinity applications are designed meticulously with usability and performance a

I think @JET_Affinity's point about 'what is professional' is spot on as it's largely open to interpretation. Can you do professional work in Affinity's tools? Absolutely! Are they different from what

Some of you guys need to get off your 'I'm such a professional' high horse, effectively insulting everyone else here you don't even know. A professional can do professional work with a crayon. I'm inclined to doubt the claimed 'professionalism' of anyone who truly thinks a program is 'useless' until it's a veritable clone of the one program with which they're familiar, and has all the time in the world to waste repetitively whining about it.

I've been making my living in digital graphics for 35 years. Can I right now, today, do commercial-quality saleable work for clients in Affinity? Absolutely. Just like I can with Illustrator, Draw, Technical Designer, Canvas, and others, despite their respective weaknesses.

Do I consider Adobe Illustrator 'professional quality'? Compared to what? Regarding which features? I can build a list of sub-par features for any vector drawing program on my computer, including Illustrator. I can also build a list of features which Affinity could—with just a little innovation instead of just ever-more 'me, too' copying of conventional wisdom—easily implement in such a way to surpass Illustrator's functionality.

Since the beginning of the 'desktop revolution' in the mid-80s, one thing I've considered a matter of simple professionalism is to maintain at least working familiarity with as many mainstream vector graphics applications as I can. That's why I didn't become a victim when Adobe foisted its Captive Customer licensing scheme.

Affinity can do things Illustrator can't. For just two examples:

  • It provides a full-blown feature set for mechanically-correct axonometric drawing. To those who know how to use it (and broaden one's money-making skill set with it), that alone is worth the price of all three Affinity applications put together.
  • Affinity's value fields understand a math expression containing more than one operator. (What a concept for one-fifth of the way into the 21st century, 'professional' Illustrator!)

Waiting until any given program does everything one wants it to, in precisely the way the single program with which one is proficient does it, is a good way to find oneself behind one's competitors and mission-critically dependent upon a single vendor.

Use the programs you buy for what the can do. If you truly "can't do anything with a program until you get your wish", then why are you wasting your time and breath if you consider the program so 'hopelessly 'unprofessional.' Don't buy them. Don't use them. Get on with your erudite, single-track, blinders-wearing, awe-inspiring career.

JET

Link to post
Share on other sites
20 hours ago, LondonSquirrel said:

…then I saw Final Cut Pro X and read all the comments about just how weak this new software was in comparison, how much it lacked, and so on.

Today we have Affinity. Is that a fair comparison? Are Affinity programs really worthy of being termed 'pro'? If not, what are they?

I think @JET_Affinity's point about 'what is professional' is spot on as it's largely open to interpretation. Can you do professional work in Affinity's tools? Absolutely! Are they different from what you've come to expect from other tools? Quite possibly. Final Cut Pro X was a MASSIVE departure from its predecessor—it probably shouldn't have been called Final Cut Pro—but while it's VERY different from the previous version (and many of its competitors) there are many folks happily using it to create professional work. Is it for everybody? Nope, but those folks that do use often swear by it - especially for certain types of projects.

Lately I've given myself a bit of a challenge: to very intently use other tools from what I'm professionally accustomed to (Adobe, Microsoft, Cinema4D, etc). While often frustrating at first (why doesn't X behave like Y?!) I've actually been pleasantly surprised with the likes of Affinity, Pixelmator, Sketch, Figma, Final Cut Pro, Cavalry, Google Docs, Blender, Procreate, Linea, etc. as not only have they often met my (admittedly somewhat limited) needs, but more importantly they've got me approaching my work in a very different manner. I found that 20+ years of using 'industry standard' tools meant that I was often on auto-pilot (which is very desirable in certain circumstances), and often leads to very predictable results (also desirable in many circumstances). By pushing myself out of my comfort-zone tool wise I've not only discovered new (and often better) ways of working, but I've also unexpectedly introduced a huge amount of fun into my workday. While I may moan about the feature gaps in Affinity software, it has to be said that working in Designer/Photo/Publisher (the pen/node tools, grids, snapping, etc) has also brought a certain joy to my work. I genuinely prefer using them to the Adobe suite, which of course is very frustrating when I do hit a gap in the Affinity apps.

Admittedly, my circumstances and requirements aren't representative of many folks needs, but what I'm trying to convey is that anything can be a professional tool. It's just down to how you use it.

Link to post
Share on other sites
40 minutes ago, JET_Affinity said:

Some of you guys need to get off your 'I'm such a professional' high horse, effectively insulting everyone else here you don't even know.

I haven't insulted anyone here. I have asked whether the Affinity range of products can really be termed 'pro' given that they lack so many tools, and that my opinion is 'no'.

I am not alone in asking or complaining about the lack of a knife tool in Designer. If you had read my post a little more thoroughly it would have been clear to you that I have used Designer for some time, BUT I ran into a job where Designer would simply not work. I needed a knife tool. Knife tools in vector graphic apps have been common for years. I showed an example of a program which had this 21 years ago. There are no doubt others. Apparently Serif Draw had a knife tool too (I don't know, as I didn't use it). Yet Designer does not have it.

I am well aware of what Designer can do. I bought it and I use it. I know that people do use it for professional purposes. But using something for professional purposes is not the same thing as being a 'pro' tool. If I was competent enough, I could use my mobile phone to make a film which people would buy. Is my phone an Alexa? No.

I am not being disrespectful to Affinity users if I point out some obvious deficiencies in Affinity apps. The apps do some things well, in other places features are absent.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I reckon @JET_Affinity and Bryan Rieger are both spot on here - I believe I've done some of my best "professional" 🥴 work using Affinity - StudioLink really is an innovative solution and is something I now take as for granted as vector distortions and warps, upon trying out and loving the Affinity user experience 6 years ago - still loving it, I just didn't think it would take this long to implement some of the missing basics - I find now when I need to perform an edit that can't yet be done in Affinity, (usually switching to Illustrator or VectorStyler),  I really miss it - so I alway aim to get the deed done as quickly as possible and pasted back in its rightful place in Affinity to complete the job.

Daz1.png

Mac Pro Cheese-grater (Early 2009) 2.93 GHz 6-Core Intel Xeon 48 GB 1333 MHz DDR3 ECC Ram NVIDIA GeForce GT 630 - 2 GBUgee 19" Graphics Tablet Monitor Mac OS Mojave 10.14.6

Affinity Designer, Photo and Publisher 1.9.2 + Illustrator CS5 / VectorStyler mainly for Vector distortion workarounds + InDesign CS5 for multipage spread jobs with Slug + ImageVectoizer / Vectorize for raster to vector conversions

www.bingercreative.co.uk

 

 

 

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
27 minutes ago, Bryan Rieger said:

Final Cut Pro X was a MASSIVE departure from its predecessor—it probably shouldn't have been called Final Cut Pro—but while it's VERY different from the previous version (and many of its competitors) there are many folks happily using it to create professional work.

That is correct. They are using Final Cut Pro X today... But when it was introduced a lot of old Final Cut Studio users dumped it and went to Adobe. Apple knows this. After several iterations Final Cut Pro X became a better app.

30 minutes ago, Bryan Rieger said:

anything can be a professional tool. It's just down to how you use it.

Unless it simply cannot be done. I cannot make an oil painting using a pencil. I can use a pencil to make a pencil drawing, i.e. work within its limitations. And that is what I can do with Designer or any other app. But this is a forum about Designer, so it is appropriate to list Designer limitations here.

Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, LondonSquirrel said:

I haven't insulted anyone here. I have asked whether the Affinity range of products can really be termed 'pro' given that they lack so many tools, and that my opinion is 'no'.

I am not alone in asking or complaining about the lack of a knife tool in Designer. If you had read my post a little more thoroughly it would have been clear to you that I have used Designer for some time, BUT I ran into a job where Designer would simply not work. I needed a knife tool. Knife tools in vector graphic apps have been common for years. I showed an example of a program which had this 21 years ago. There are no doubt others. Apparently Serif Draw had a knife tool too (I don't know, as I didn't use it). Yet Designer does not have it.

I am well aware of what Designer can do. I bought it and I use it. I know that people do use it for professional purposes. But using something for professional purposes is not the same thing as being a 'pro' tool. If I was competent enough, I could use my mobile phone to make a film which people would buy. Is my phone an Alexa? No.

I am not being disrespectful to Affinity users if I point out some obvious deficiencies in Affinity apps. The apps do some things well, in other places features are absent.

Thats fair enough LondonSquirrel 👍

Daz1.png

Mac Pro Cheese-grater (Early 2009) 2.93 GHz 6-Core Intel Xeon 48 GB 1333 MHz DDR3 ECC Ram NVIDIA GeForce GT 630 - 2 GBUgee 19" Graphics Tablet Monitor Mac OS Mojave 10.14.6

Affinity Designer, Photo and Publisher 1.9.2 + Illustrator CS5 / VectorStyler mainly for Vector distortion workarounds + InDesign CS5 for multipage spread jobs with Slug + ImageVectoizer / Vectorize for raster to vector conversions

www.bingercreative.co.uk

 

 

 

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Dazmondo77 said:

I just didn't think it would take this long to implement some of the missing basics - I find now when I need to perform an edit that can't yet be done in Affinity

This is really my point. Knife tools have been around forever. It is a missing basic for me (and others). It is so basic that no 'pro' tool should be without it.

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, LondonSquirrel said:

This is really my point. Knife tools have been around forever. It is a missing basic for me (and others). It is so basic that no 'pro' tool should be without it.

Yes you're right boss - a knife tool would save a ton of faff

Daz1.png

Mac Pro Cheese-grater (Early 2009) 2.93 GHz 6-Core Intel Xeon 48 GB 1333 MHz DDR3 ECC Ram NVIDIA GeForce GT 630 - 2 GBUgee 19" Graphics Tablet Monitor Mac OS Mojave 10.14.6

Affinity Designer, Photo and Publisher 1.9.2 + Illustrator CS5 / VectorStyler mainly for Vector distortion workarounds + InDesign CS5 for multipage spread jobs with Slug + ImageVectoizer / Vectorize for raster to vector conversions

www.bingercreative.co.uk

 

 

 

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
16 minutes ago, LondonSquirrel said:

Unless it simply cannot be done. I cannot make an oil painting using a pencil. I can use a pencil to make a pencil drawing, i.e. work within its limitations. And that is what I can do with Designer or any other app. But this is a forum about Designer, so it is appropriate to list Designer limitations here.

Not to be pedantic, but if you've decided you want to make and oil painting you've already largely defined the tools (brushes, palette knives, etc.) you'll use. If however you really want to make a portrait then oil, pencil, conte, crayon, acrylic, water colour, ink, cut paper, wool, or just about any other material and tools could be used. Are there shortcoming in Designer, sure! Should there be a tool that provides a way to slice a path? Absolutely. Does it have to be a knife? Probably not, but that's what we're used to. Ideally you should also be able to accomplish the same thing using the divide tool, but that also has unfortunate limitations.

I'm not disagreeing with you that Designer has significant gaps, but I think whether or not it's considered a pro tool is down to whether it meets your individual needs and expectations. In your case it sounds like it does not, but that doesn't mean that it's still not a professional tool in someone else's eyes.

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Dazmondo77 said:

I reckon @JET_Affinity and Bryan Rieger are both spot on here - I believe I've done some of my best "professional" 🥴 work using Affinity - StudioLink really is an innovative solution and is something I now take as for granted as vector distortions and warps, upon trying out and loving the Affinity user experience 6 years ago - still loving it, I just didn't think it would take this long to implement some of the missing basics - I find now when I need to perform an edit that can't yet be done in Affinity, (usually switching to Illustrator or VectorStyler),  I really miss it - so I alway aim to get the deed done as quickly as possible and pasted back in its rightful place in Affinity to complete the job.

 

FYI StudioLink is a feature very similar to what Calamus for Atari ST had in the early 90’s. It was a complete DTP app containing full vector editor, pixel editor and an DTP solution (and more).

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, haakoo said:

It's called the segment cutter ( on windows in all three programs )

Blimey this is a pretty big deal - why didn't they big this up, can't remember seeing any blurb regarding this on the beta pages, who cares about screen recording when theres slicing to be done? HA HA HA! very funny - tried it and it works great - must have been a sneaky dev test to see who reads all the blurb at the bottom of the screen  ---- thanks for that haakoo 

Daz1.png

Mac Pro Cheese-grater (Early 2009) 2.93 GHz 6-Core Intel Xeon 48 GB 1333 MHz DDR3 ECC Ram NVIDIA GeForce GT 630 - 2 GBUgee 19" Graphics Tablet Monitor Mac OS Mojave 10.14.6

Affinity Designer, Photo and Publisher 1.9.2 + Illustrator CS5 / VectorStyler mainly for Vector distortion workarounds + InDesign CS5 for multipage spread jobs with Slug + ImageVectoizer / Vectorize for raster to vector conversions

www.bingercreative.co.uk

 

 

 

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, haakoo said:

It's called the segment cutter ( on windows in all three programs )

That is a nice one.

You can also cut path with Context Toolbar action Break Curve but as I seldom use toolbars it is a bit harder to access than simple knife tool. It is though possible to assign a kbd shortcut to it.

Link to post
Share on other sites
32 minutes ago, Fixx said:

You can also cut path with Context Toolbar action Break Curve but as I seldom use toolbars it is a bit harder to access than simple knife too

Yes Break Curve has been a good friend ---- bye bye break curve hello ctrl+click - segment cutter 👍

Daz1.png

Mac Pro Cheese-grater (Early 2009) 2.93 GHz 6-Core Intel Xeon 48 GB 1333 MHz DDR3 ECC Ram NVIDIA GeForce GT 630 - 2 GBUgee 19" Graphics Tablet Monitor Mac OS Mojave 10.14.6

Affinity Designer, Photo and Publisher 1.9.2 + Illustrator CS5 / VectorStyler mainly for Vector distortion workarounds + InDesign CS5 for multipage spread jobs with Slug + ImageVectoizer / Vectorize for raster to vector conversions

www.bingercreative.co.uk

 

 

 

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, haakoo said:

It's called the segment cutter ( on windows in all three programs )
 

clipimage.jpg

Thanks for picking it up haakoo! The introduction of the segment cutter is an intuitive and effective way of working with paths. Wonder why such a beautiful addition wasn't documented by Affinity😮

Hopefully plans are also under way to enable same node tool to copy, cut and paste path segments.

Link to post
Share on other sites

How can Tableau Desktop be considered a "Pro" level tool for Business Intelligence, when it requires you to give it very simple and plain tables, because joining them makes it more confused than a homeless man under house-arrest?

How can Oracle BI / Visual Analizer be considered a suitable tool for users when you have to spend so much time configuring it, modeling the tables, until you get a simple table result?

How can anyone even consider Microsoft Power BI when it's a just Excel on steroids, lacking a better language than what DAX has to offer? And why do they need you to install a Gateway to auto-refresh the Data?

Ah, sorry, just complaining about things in my job... some so-called professional tools from no-name companies make me a bit angry...

Best regards!

You'll never know what you can do until you get it up as high as you can go!   

AMD FX 8350 :: Radeon HD 7870 :: Windows 10 ::  http://mithferion.deviantart.com/

Oxygen Icons :: Free Quality Fonts :: Public Domain Pictures :: iOS 11 Design Resources :: iOS App Icon Template :: Hot to do High Quality Art :: Mesh Warp / Distort Tool Considerations

Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Dazmondo77 said:

Blimey this is a pretty big deal - why didn't they big this up, can't remember seeing any blurb regarding this on the beta pages, who cares about screen recording when theres slicing to be done? HA HA HA! very funny - tried it and it works great - must have been a sneaky dev test to see who reads all the blurb at the bottom of the screen  ---- thanks for that haakoo 

This is something that they really need to think about, for future Beta versions:

  • Don't just say there is a new feature, but do a little explanation about how they work
  • Say something about improvements like this, and also show how they work

That way many things wouldn't be overlooked.

Best regards!

You'll never know what you can do until you get it up as high as you can go!   

AMD FX 8350 :: Radeon HD 7870 :: Windows 10 ::  http://mithferion.deviantart.com/

Oxygen Icons :: Free Quality Fonts :: Public Domain Pictures :: iOS 11 Design Resources :: iOS App Icon Template :: Hot to do High Quality Art :: Mesh Warp / Distort Tool Considerations

Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, Mithferion said:
  • Don't just say there is a new feature, but do a little explanation about how they work
  • Say something about improvements like this, and also show how they work

Since everything that is in a beta can potentially change, it's not worth putting any time and effort in promoting or explaining it.
I'm sure there is going to be more detailed information when the software is publicly released, maybe even with video tutorials.

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, Jens Krebs said:

Since everything that is in a beta can potentially change, it's not worth putting any time and effort in promoting or explaining it.
I'm sure there is going to be more detailed information when the software is publicly released, maybe even with video tutorials.

New features (or old ones) can change during the Beta period, but explaining, even if with a short video, would allow for more or better feedback, I think.

 

1 minute ago, LondonSquirrel said:

How does one get to see these Betas?

Please visit this section of the Forums. There you will find the current public Betas for each platform (Windows, macOS or iPadOS), available for current customers.

Best regards!

You'll never know what you can do until you get it up as high as you can go!   

AMD FX 8350 :: Radeon HD 7870 :: Windows 10 ::  http://mithferion.deviantart.com/

Oxygen Icons :: Free Quality Fonts :: Public Domain Pictures :: iOS 11 Design Resources :: iOS App Icon Template :: Hot to do High Quality Art :: Mesh Warp / Distort Tool Considerations

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Please note there is currently a delay in replying to some post. See pinned thread in the Questions forum. These are the Terms of Use you will be asked to agree to if you join the forum. | Privacy Policy | Guidelines | We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.