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I have already posted this a few days ago, buried in a partially related thread, but reposting here for "posterity".

I was attempting to divide one simple closed path with a few crossed free form lines. I.e. essentially wanting to create a jigsaw puzzle. A divide path functionality that I may have been using with FreeHand already back in the mid-1990s. And now: can't do! (Well, "could do" by adding nodes one by one on crossings, breaking and rejoining paths one by one, as was proposed in an earlier post in the aforementioned thread.)

864460543_Screenshot2021-01-12at02_32_45.png.5cdd167943b4efddb0901231473260b5.png

1768127898_Screenshot2021-01-12at02_35_18.png.5be71fff9d4223a61de88f8b191e27ce.png

Definitely not what I wanted to get. The divider paths were open for a reason and must not "auto-close". The resulting forms cannot be cleaned up to the desired effect. Not to speak of more complex forms and paths.

After spending literally an hour trying to figure it out in Designer and looking for workarounds, eventually I copied my simple paths to Illustrator CS5 (which still somewhat works on MacOS El Capitan), clicked a button, copied the divided form back to Designer. Task done within a minute:

835231469_Screenshot2021-01-12at02_40_53.png.815a8fd659391d2d5d7e4f8f4a00a0e5.png

1839312488_Screenshot2021-01-12at02_41_07.png.ccbf5115a710d30ba60a2379bc4ca5ac.png

1966739157_Screenshot2021-01-12at02_42_08.png.2a8f7199f89e6a09cad1cb1f13429050.png

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proper boolean operations in Designer elude and seem to be an enduring thorn in Serif's side for years now with no end in sight. Based on posts I've made on the topic repeatedly over the last few years, I'm unsure if Serif is ever going to actually invest in making them right or just throw their hands up and call it done. I posted a few months ago how the divide and add booleans operations resulted in tons of excess nodes and issues. The response I got back was that it was just "dirty geometry" Meanwhile I could take the same combination of expanded strokes and the like and paste it inside Illustrator CS6 and have nearly perfect merges and divisions.

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Here a follow up, a "workaround" to achieve the goal in Designer, without having to resort to Illustrator CS5 (which likely won't work on anything higher that El Capitan).

The trick is to:

  1. close all open divider paths somewhere outside the form you want to divide
  2. process only two paths at a time to avoid dozens or hundreds of random superfluous nodes on your clean paths
  3. you may want to duplicate the dividers for each segment you want to divide

See animated GIF.
It's not looped (I hate looped GIFs!) so if it doesn't play, click the image to play it in an overlay:

AffinityDesigner_DivideByLines.gif.d81fd9999d69ae7c755b93532cf443d9.gif

Task finished in about 15 minutes. Hey, that's still somewhat faster than if I had to cut the form with a cutter from those old red transparent film layers and positioning them on cardboard like we did in the 1980s and early 1990s. Still have a few pieces of that film (forgot its name) and cardboards for final drawings – and rapidograph pens – somewhere in my studio shelf…

Edited by loukash

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15 minutes ago, Boldlinedesign said:

I posted a few months ago how the divide and add booleans operations resulted in tons of excess nodes and issues.

I think I've stumbled upon that post as well.

15 minutes ago, Boldlinedesign said:

The response I got back was that it was just "dirty geometry"

You mean something like "you're holding it wrong"? :D

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19 minutes ago, loukash said:

See animated GIF

As a side note, I had to create the GIF in Photoshop CS5.5.
Affinity Photo can't do.
GraphicConverter can somewhat do, but the resulting GIF looked, um… ugly.

Oh well…

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Designer seems to be set up currently to work in less of an artistic form and more a straightforward mathematical manner. Everything I trace with the pen tool needs to be in closed paths or else I can't switch it from a stroke to a fill easily. There's not much room for really using the brush tool freely in Designer. If I overlap parts or build up sections of lines to be thicker, the resulting expanded strokes are impossible the cleanly merge later on.

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On 1/14/2021 at 10:55 PM, loukash said:

Task finished in about 15 minutes. Hey, that's still somewhat faster than if I had to cut the form with a cutter from those old red transparent film layers and positioning them on cardboard like we did in the 1980s and early 1990s. Still have a few pieces of that film (forgot its name) and cardboards for final drawings – and rapidograph pens – somewhere in my studio shelf…

15 minutes?? Holy cow. I am happy I purchased software that does it in one or two if I am slow.

This is how you make simple drawings take 15 minutes. A computer should make things easier. 

 


  • "The user interface is supposed to work for me - I am not supposed to work for the user interface."
  • Computer-, operating system- and software agnostic; I am a result oriented professional. Look for a fanboy somewhere else.
  • “When a wise man points at the moon the imbecile examines the finger.” ― Confucius
  • Enjoy waiting for Godot. 

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18 minutes ago, Jowday said:

15 minutes??

Not 15 minutes for the drawing.
The division by paths as an excercise completely within Designer while working around that silly auto-close-open-path bug!
Including a few extra minutes while taking screenshots.
And a few minutes for dramatic exaggeration. :P
And another minute for banging my head against a wall.

Since the VectorStyler beta now has passed my divider test, I will use that for more, er, "complex" boolean operations until Serif fixes this.

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Vector

On 1/28/2021 at 2:09 AM, loukash said:

Since the VectorStyler beta now has passed my divider test, I will use that for more, er, "complex" boolean operations until Serif fixes this.

Vectorstyler is a program I followed for some time now. Very interesting. I have been in touch with the developer several times - he reminds me of a developer working for us that has the entire product in his head and can debug and adjust the code instantly to fix the issue or develop features overnight - but I am a customer in that case and the developer has a huge international company behind him and under him. We work in a professional setup. This VS guy sounds like a one man army and the product needs more. The potential is big! With a re-designed user interface and a significant scope freeze period where bugs and weaknesses are fixed I can only imagine a solid result.

The obvious ambitions shown in Vectorstyler and the instant fixes is what feeds my joy. If it could be merged with an elegant interface and stability in a professional setup. Bingo!

Personally I drifted back to Illustrator at work and CorelDRAW (for variation) at home because I need mature software with professional time saving features, great usability and algorithms that works. The pen tool in Designer is more pleasing and motivating to work with overall with but from there I meet the wall too often in the draw (vector) persona. A wall or an empty toolbox. Designer would be a much more interesting product now and later with the advanced features and algorithms found in Vectorstyler. Interesting to see where they both stand in 10 years time but for now I have to stay with the biggies.


  • "The user interface is supposed to work for me - I am not supposed to work for the user interface."
  • Computer-, operating system- and software agnostic; I am a result oriented professional. Look for a fanboy somewhere else.
  • “When a wise man points at the moon the imbecile examines the finger.” ― Confucius
  • Enjoy waiting for Godot. 

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Incredibly frustrating that this doesn’t work even now. My workaround without clip masks is to duplicate the shape and boolean subtract, which isn’t any better. 

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A brilliant and fast workaround provided by courtesy of @Roqoco via https://forum.affinity.serif.com/index.php?/topic/133354-composite-curves/&do=findComment&comment=734915
Taking my above example again – a closed object to be divided by several crossing open paths:

  1. select all open paths and change stroke width to 0.001 pt
    (smaller values are possible but that might later add redundant nodes)
    (you may need to change Preferences > User Interface > Decimal Places > Points: "3" to actually see the value, otherwise the stroke width field will display "0 pt")
  2. Layer > Expand Stroke(s)
  3. boolean Add
    (optional to make the expanded strokes a single object for easy cleanup)
  4. add the closed form at the bottom to selection
  5. boolean Subtract
    (optional to get rid of the strokes right away)
  6. boolean Divide
  7. voilà, done in less than 30 seconds

Note that there will be a tiny gap between the divided objects. But keep in mind that it's mere 0.35 µm! That's about twice the size of a Corona virus…
In other words, I have to zoom in at 75000% to actually see it as two lines in Outline Mode on my non-retina display…

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After looking at your "problem" I had to try it.
Guys for crying out loud... Maybe stop thinking like you are in Illustrator?

2 minutes 30 seconds, without rushing - I wanted to see real time with normal speed work, from empty canvas to finish.
Using JUST divide.
I dont say Designer doesnt need improvements but if you want to create bloody jigsaw puzzle, think shapes not nodes and youre good to go. Zero gaps, no weird nodes...

 

whatproblem.jpg

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4 hours ago, nezumi said:

your "problem"

No need to get snarky when it's a real and reproducible issue, as confirmed by staff. Thank you.

4 hours ago, nezumi said:

Maybe stop thinking like you are in Illustrator?

You mean as in, you know, "You're holding it wrong!" …?

4 hours ago, nezumi said:

Using JUST divide.

So, were you using open paths to divide?
And they didn't autoclose, creating unwanted sub-objects?

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Look, sorry for being snarky but when I see people trying to reach their left pocket with right hand saying "look how horrible this jeans were designed!" I am getting like that... I mean no harm though.
I said it many times already - when I moved to Designer I uninstalled Illustrator. It actually helps in switching. Otherwise instead of looking for a solution to the problem inside of Designer you will be jumping back to illustrator every time you encounter a problem, assuming it cant be done. Having that illustrator crouches only stops you from finding out new ways of working.

So, are you "holding it wrong"? I would rather say that "there are many ways to skin a cat".

No I didn't used open paths. As you have shown that will not work. Instead of trying to make work something that isnt I used something that is.
I don't say they shouldn't fix or improve AD to make it work the way you tried as well, mind you.
In the mean time though, if I have to achieve some result I look for the way to get it done instead of waiting for software to catch up. Here's my easy way to achieve it (no gaps, no subobjects - clean as it can possibly be) :

Would I prefer to make three cuts with some cool knife tool that can cut through multiple, selected objects? Of course :DThat would make it 20 seconds job not 2 minutes. But for now...

 

tut.jpg

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18 minutes ago, nezumi said:

people trying to reach their left pocket with right hand saying "look how horrible this jeans were designed!"

Bad analogy. :P
Appropriate analogy would be:
People trying to put things in their pocket only to find out there's a hole in it.

18 minutes ago, nezumi said:

"there are many ways to skin a cat"

I don't like this analogy as far the literal subject is concerned either because I would never want to skin a cat in the first place. Give me a dog instead!

But fair enough, when you're right you're right.

18 minutes ago, nezumi said:

I didn't used open paths. As you have shown that will not work.

Exactly. And that's a bug. Hence my bug report with examples.

18 minutes ago, nezumi said:

Here's my easy way to achieve it

I see. Well, that's basically what I've done here, only you've done it smarter and more efficiently than what I did, because my example was only a "proof of concept" by using and expanding already existing paths:

So, thanks for chiming in again and expanding on the subject in a constructive way this time. But it still is what it is: a workaround.

Now, would you go this exact path (no pun intended) if you had never used a vector app before, and your only analogy were, say, a piece of paper and a cutter?
I don't think so.

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Ow it absolutely is a workaround.
Also - take this. Not only I haven't noticed this is a bug report (thought youre looking for a solution) but also its on mac while I am on Windows...
Not only there are many ways to skin a cat but apparently to be an idiot as well. I have chosen mine... ;)

Sorry, but hey, I hope that workaround may help somebody anyways. Bug is a bug, hopefully they will fix it. Have a good one!

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3 minutes ago, nezumi said:

Not only I haven't noticed this is a bug report (thought youre looking for a solution) but also its on mac while I am on Windows...

Haha, sometimes it's a Good Idea™ to take a closer look at the breadcrumbs navigation at the top of each forum page, which in this case goes like this:

Quote

Home » Bug Reporting » Report a Bug in Affinity Designer » Designer Bugs found on MacOS » Bug: Divide form by open paths

 

7 minutes ago, nezumi said:

Have a good one!

Cheers! :)

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