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laneallen

Key modifier on reshaping lines to create smooth endpoints

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Right now you can hold +alt to break smooth lines when reshaping on a vector line between two nodes, but you can’t hold, say +shift, to reshape and smooth the two connecting points (basically the reverse of hold +alt). I find when converting artwork into vector, I’ll have more corner points that I want to smooth quickly by just reshaping the line(s). Or, artwork conversion creates a one handle node, so something like hold +control or +shift while reforming a line to form corresponding points to smooth would be wonderful.

 

Right now, if the nodes only have one handle, broken handles (non-smooth) or no handles (corner point), I would select the line to form a handle (if it's missing), then select that point(s) until it formed a smooth node. It would be really efficient to just have a modifier key like +shift while reshaping the actual line to quickly form smooth both connecting points.

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Yes you can.  You have two/three ways of doing it -

 

1) Drag the handle so that it is inline with the other, and it will snap and automatically smooth.

2) Hold Ctrl while dragging, and the other handle will be smoothed against it. Hold Ctrl + Shift and the dragged handle is smoothed to the other handle.

 

The hint line should give you all this information if you mouse over a curve handle.


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Wow Ben I hadn't heard of either of those modifiers before.  They will be a great help.  I guess I should go back to non-Separated Mode so I can see the hint line, but I really prefer Separated for other reasons.  

 

As I've said before AD has the best pen and node handling of any program I've used.  Thank you for creating this and keep up the good work.


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Yeah, I know of the node handle ones; I was talking about the actual line, not the handle. I mention this because I love the ability to adjust a shape effecting two nodes. You can get broader changes verses selecting one node, adjust, then selecting the other connecting one in an endless tweaking cycle.

 

Here's the scenario:

Create a square.

Each point on this square has a corner point.

If you want to round the square, you need to need to tweak the line to "generate" node handles.

But, those node handles are one sided, and any key modifier (control, alt, shift) has no effect on the actual line.

That means if I want smooth handles, I need to select two lines for one node, one on each side, to create the nodes, then select a handle and lock it until it's smooth.

That is four steps for one smooth node.

So, efficiency wise, if I could pull on the line when creating node handles while holding, say +control, that would form equal node handles on both end nodes... That is one step replacing eight steps (two nodes going from angle to both being smooth).

 

If you have two smooth nodes (i.e. create a circle), and manipulate the line holding +alt, both connecting nodes of the line will break both [end] nodes. This suggestion is simply reversing that process.

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Ok, thanks! I'd like to still mention that by adding a key modifier while adjusting the line for the same effect removes the distractions of the tools/ui while reducing travel time to the actual UI. Need to find buttons + click UI = distractions. Shortcuts + manipulating design directly = efficiency + focus.

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What do you mean by "adjusting the line"? Do you mean dragging on the off-curve handle, or dragging on the actual path between two nodes?

 

You can currently re-drag any node using the Pen tool - that would give you a node with equal handles.


SerifLabs team - Affinity Developer
  • Software engineer  -  Photographer  -  Guitarist  -  Philosopher
  • iMac 27" Retina 5K (Late 2015), 4.0GHz i7, AMD Radeon R9 M395
  • MacBook (Early 2015), 1.3GHz Core M, Intel HD 5300
  • iPad Pro 10.5", 256GB

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The actual path. I find it extremely efficient to adjust the path when working on a design since it lets me focus on the design. That's why I find being able to adjust lines to be one of the great features of Designer. It allows me to get a feel for how the manipulation of the line is effecting the concept without needing to look at/find tools.

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Just to mention about the buttons for Convert: Smooth/Smart Smooth for nodes, these commands do not always conform to the objects initial bounds. Meaning, it can greatly distort a design creating even more work to bring an object back to it's initial concept. So, if working on a design and there are some sharp edges, but you want to soften it a bit, it is much more efficient to just pull a line path next to the node, then snap the handle so it becomes a smooth. The advantage are (1) no required trip to the ui, (2) able to focus on the design, (3) no backtracking from large jumps (in overall line shape) from Convert: Smooth buttons, (4) interactive feedback with ability to use +alt to break smoothing points for more drastic changes.

 

Adding a key modifier that does the opposite of +alt while reshaping along a path would provide many more benefits, even if Convert: Smooth was hotkey-able.

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