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Some Basic Tools which are Missing in Affinity Designer and Must be Included in Affinity 2.0


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I have recently shifted from Adobe to Affinity. Most of my work is related to Designer, I use Photo occasionally. I’m very satisfied with it overall. I can do pretty much everything on Affinity which I could do on Adobe. But I have noticed that there are some very basic tools which are missing in Affinity apps. Here, I’m making a list of those tools. My request to Affinity decision makers & developer team is that, please include these tools in Affinity 2.0 as designers are desperately waiting see these in Affinity (Most of them are just related to Designer but some are missing in Photo too):

 

  1. Freeform Gradients
  2. Gradient Mesh Tool
  3. Vector/Pattern Fill
  4. Shape Builder Tool
  5. Live Tracing
  6. Perspective Distort/Free Transform
  7. RTL Languages Support
  8. Blend Shapes
  9. Inefficient Boolean Operations
  10. 3D Text Tool
  11. Simplify Curves
  12. Live Mesh Warp Filter
Edited by Muhammad Yamman
Simplifying the third & sixth point
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2 minutes ago, Frozen Death Knight said:

Agreed on all points.

Me too. Well, apart from this one:

On 5/11/2021 at 2:45 AM, Muhammad Yamman said:

Inefficient Boolean Operations

I’d quite happily live without that!

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Affinity Designer/Photo/Publisher for Windows 1.10 • Windows 10 Home/Pro
Affinity Photo for iPad 1.10 • Designer for iPad 1.10 • iPadOS 15.6.1 (iPad Air 2)

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4 minutes ago, Frozen Death Knight said:

a knife tool

Actually, if we could use any vector path as a cutting path we wouldn’t need a separate Knife Tool as such.

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Affinity Designer/Photo/Publisher for Windows 1.10 • Windows 10 Home/Pro
Affinity Photo for iPad 1.10 • Designer for iPad 1.10 • iPadOS 15.6.1 (iPad Air 2)

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3 minutes ago, Alfred said:

Actually, if we could use any vector path as a cutting path we wouldn’t need a separate Knife Tool as such.

Erm.....

I would like to use a knife tool like a knife, meaning I draw the blade across a Rectangle and I now have two items. No need to draw the line then click on Cut thing below/selected using this line.

Having said that I would also like the ability to use and reuse a shape or curve to slice things up repeatedly.

Mac Pro (Late 2013) Mac OS 11.7.3 
Affinity Designer 2.0.4 | Affinity Photo 2.0.4 | Affinity Publisher 2.0.4 | Beta versions as they appear.

I have never mastered color management, period, so I cannot help with that.

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10 minutes ago, Alfred said:

Actually, if we could use any vector path as a cutting path we wouldn’t need a separate Knife Tool as such.

Well, sure, but in my case I like to do freeform cutting, painting, and erasing because I use vectors as a base for silhouette painting and colouring in my drawings. If they can make something like the Pencil Tool that works as a cutter with the option to create straight lines for jagged edges then I will be at least satisfied.

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all above 'nailed' 

Off the top of my head, would also like to add:

Proper, end to end, vector brushes

Proper separation preview

Ability to print CMYK to postscript devices

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 GB Ugee 19" Graphics Tablet Monitor Double boot Mac OS Big Sur 11.6.5 and Mac OS Mojave 10.14.6

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On 5/11/2021 at 2:45 AM, Muhammad Yamman said:
  • RTL Languages Support

I note that you have 'recently shifted from Adobe to Affinity'. Out of interest, how do you handle RTL text now? Although I have my ear to the ground for RTL text handling I am always keen to learn if there is something else.

Thanks.

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+1

Of course. Without making a carbon copy of AI.

 

 

on peut penser également aux formes et au filet de dégradé qui combinés avec mesh tormentor (si il est supporté) donne quelque chose de vraiment puissant.

*****

we can also think of the shapes and the gradient mesh which combined with mesh tormentor (if it is supported) gives something really powerful.

*****

http://meshtormentor.com/

1 cœur - 2 poumons - 1 chose à la fois.
Windows 10 Pro 21H2 - Intel Core i7-3630QM CPU @ 2.40GHz - 16 Gb Ram - GeForce GT 650M - Intel HD 4000
Affinity Photo | Affinity Designer | Affinity Publisher | 2.0.0

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Only #11 from the original list ("Simplify Curves") really qualifies as "very" basic.

#6 - #8 and #10 may have become somewhat ubiquitous, and I would say they qualify as "basic", but not as "very" basic.

The remainder are intermediate through advanced features (except #9 which @Alfred rightly pointed out is undesirable as stated).

 

To say that they "must" be included in 2.0 is going overboard regardless.

They will get there when they get there.

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14 minutes ago, fde101 said:

Only #11 from the original list ("Simplify Curves") really qualifies as "very" basic.

Er, #7 is absolutely basic for the approximately half a billion Arabic/Urdu/Persian/Hebrew speakers in the world. It's a simple yes/no question. Does Affinity support RTL? No.

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Just now, LondonSquirrel said:

Er, #7 is absolutely basic for the approximately half a billion Arabic/Urdu/Persian/Hebrew speakers in the world.

Supporting it is not at all basic from a coding perspective.

Serif wrote their own text engine for the Affinity apps, so they are not leveraging what has been done for this in other existing ones.  Trying to add RTL support to their own text engine can be a significant effort, which is why it hasn't happened yet.

Text in computer memory is generally stored "as typed", which for LTR languages means the first character appears on the left and the last on the right; for RTL languages it would be the other way - that wouldn't be too bad on its own, but things start getting much more complicated when you have a mixture of the two, as you may need to reverse the layout direction mid-line.  There are numerous little things that need to be taken into account when doing this.

Serif can't realistically support ONLY RTL in a given line of text - when they implement this they will need to account for having these mixed-script situations in play, which means needing to take the time to work through all of the various complications that arise from doing so.

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1 minute ago, fde101 said:

Supporting it is not at all basic from a coding perspective.

I didn't say it was. And I know how difficult it is. All your points about how tricky RTL, and RTL + LTR in the same line being even more tricky, are valid. But that does not make this feature any less essential.

Meanwhile, even the free LibreOffice (since version 7) has a much improved text engine for RTL. It's not perfect, but you can see I have RTL and LTR in the same sentences below. This is a snippet from 188 pages that I am working on as a hobby. So why don't I use LibreOffice for everything? Because it is not a DTP or a graphics application.

911314961_Screenshot2021-05-14at15_02_00.png.f53655688bd129bd884b140d9f0b522b.png

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1 hour ago, LondonSquirrel said:

But that does not make this feature any less essential.

Je suis toujours épaté lorsque la question est préemptée par des considérations techniques qui deviennent l'alpha et l'oméga de la discussion.
On peut entendre "on le fait" ou "on le fait pas pour l'instant" mais pas "c'est techniquement compliqué". Ce dont personne ne doute au demeurant.
Ce qui est légitime est que beaucoup d'entre nous souhaitons retrouver des fonctionnalités que nous utilisons naturellement ailleurs et ce qui peut finalement poser problème et d'inciter Affinity à refaire le même produit que celui que nous utilisions déjà. 🤨

*****

I am always amazed when the issue is preempted by technical considerations that become the alpha and omega of the discussion.
You can hear "we're doing it" or "we're not doing it right now" but not "it's technically complicated". No one doubts this, by the way.
What is legitimate is that many of us want to get back to features that we naturally use elsewhere, and what may end up being a problem is for Affinity to redo the same product we were already using. 🤨

1 cœur - 2 poumons - 1 chose à la fois.
Windows 10 Pro 21H2 - Intel Core i7-3630QM CPU @ 2.40GHz - 16 Gb Ram - GeForce GT 650M - Intel HD 4000
Affinity Photo | Affinity Designer | Affinity Publisher | 2.0.0

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A tous,
Désolé pour mon commentaire précédent s’il a pu heurter.
Mauvaise journée.
Et décidemment je suis uneMule avec un caractère de cochon. 🙄
Mais il est vrai que…

*****

To all.
Sorry for my previous comment if he could have hit.
Bad day.
And I'm definitely uneMule with a pig-like character. 🙄
But it is true that...

1 cœur - 2 poumons - 1 chose à la fois.
Windows 10 Pro 21H2 - Intel Core i7-3630QM CPU @ 2.40GHz - 16 Gb Ram - GeForce GT 650M - Intel HD 4000
Affinity Photo | Affinity Designer | Affinity Publisher | 2.0.0

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  • 5 months later...

Actually Affinity Designer does have free form gradient.  It was added at the beginning of 2020 to Affinity Designer with the new Appearances tab which allows you to add multiple fills and strokes to a layer.  If you add a gradient either circle or ellipse to the fill and then set the right sides opacity to 0% so its completely transparent and the left side to the desired colour and set the blend mode to average (or you can play around with it) it will become a free form gradient point and function just like free form gradient in Adobe Illustrator.  Duplicate the fills and adjust the color on the left and you will have multiple gradient points that will interact with one another.  Use the handles on the gradient to stretch and shrink the area of coverage of the gradient and how much it overlaps with the gradient fill point next to it.  I miss spoke it's actually more flexible than AI's freeform gradient as you can modify more options such as the shape of the gradient around the point, the size and area of coverage, the way it blends, add additional colors at various points with their own opacity levels, etc.  There is a lot more control.

As far as the others we definitely do need a Shape Builder tool.  I have searched and fiddled around with the boolean geometry xor and node tools join and close curve buttons to varying degrees of success but this only works with simple shapes having no real line overlap.  There is also a great need for a vector deform tool like Adobe Illustrators Envelope Distort Mesh Warp and to Warp to Shape tools as well as a Live Trace tool.  A curve smoothing and simplification tool to cut down on the number of nodes would also be nice.  As far as 3D text this can be somewhat achieved with the fx 3d and bevel tools.  

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On 10/26/2021 at 7:12 PM, dcadint said:

Actually Affinity Designer does have free form gradient.  It was added at the beginning of 2020 to Affinity Designer with the new Appearances tab which allows you to add multiple fills and strokes to a layer.  If you add a gradient either circle or ellipse to the fill and then set the right sides opacity to 0% so its completely transparent and the left side to the desired colour and set the blend mode to average (or you can play around with it) it will become a free form gradient point and function just like free form gradient in Adobe Illustrator.  Duplicate the fills and adjust the color on the left and you will have multiple gradient points that will interact with one another.  Use the handles on the gradient to stretch and shrink the area of coverage of the gradient and how much it overlaps with the gradient fill point next to it.

As far as the others we definitely do need a Shape Builder tool.  I have searched and fiddled around with the boolean geometry xor and node tools join and close curve buttons to varying degrees of success but this only works with simple shapes having no real line overlap.  There is also a great need for a vector deform tool like Adobe Illustrators Envelope Distort Mesh Warp and to Warp to Shape tools as well as a Live Trace tool.  A curve smoothing and simplification tool to cut down on the number of nodes would also be nice.  As far as 3D text this can be somewhat achieved with the fx 3d and bevel tools.  

Free form gradients are just like AI's? Not even close, just read what you wrote and then see how you do it in AI. At best it's a hit or miss bodge.

Anyway, I'll add a few to the list even though it's pointless:

1. Roughen, something that takes ages doing it manually.

2. Snap to pixel after the fact. So if you've scaled etc and want to re-snap, as per the AI's Align selected art to pixel grid button. I use it all the time for icons (although there are other blockers that stop me from using AD for them even if this was implemented).

3. Object blending from one to another (not blend modes).

4. Allow multiple effects of the same type to be applied. 

5. Distort and transform fx so you can do things like "attached" drop shadows on text.

6. Gradients around a shape.

Mesh is often mentioned however I'm not convinced it's used a whole lot even in AI these days where most are racing to see how dumbed down they can make their designs.

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On 10/27/2021 at 2:12 AM, dcadint said:

Actually Affinity Designer does have free form gradient.  It was added at the beginning of 2020 to Affinity Designer with the new Appearances tab which allows you to add multiple fills and strokes to a layer.  If you add a gradient either circle or ellipse to the fill and then set the right sides opacity to 0% so its completely transparent and the left side to the desired colour and set the blend mode to average (or you can play around with it) it will become a free form gradient point and function just like free form gradient in Adobe Illustrator.  Duplicate the fills and adjust the color on the left and you will have multiple gradient points that will interact with one another.  Use the handles on the gradient to stretch and shrink the area of coverage of the gradient and how much it overlaps with the gradient fill point next to it.  I miss spoke it's actually more flexible than AI's freeform gradient as you can modify more options such as the shape of the gradient around the point, the size and area of coverage, the way it blends, add additional colors at various points with their own opacity levels, etc.  There is a lot more control.

As far as the others we definitely do need a Shape Builder tool.  I have searched and fiddled around with the boolean geometry xor and node tools join and close curve buttons to varying degrees of success but this only works with simple shapes having no real line overlap.  There is also a great need for a vector deform tool like Adobe Illustrators Envelope Distort Mesh Warp and to Warp to Shape tools as well as a Live Trace tool.  A curve smoothing and simplification tool to cut down on the number of nodes would also be nice.  As far as 3D text this can be somewhat achieved with the fx 3d and bevel tools.  

All I can say, Shape Builder Tool is a must. It helps us to create or combining much easier rather than need to do step by step boolean geometry.

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On 10/26/2021 at 2:12 PM, dcadint said:

Actually Affinity Designer does have free form gradient.  It was added at the beginning of 2020 to Affinity Designer with the new Appearances tab which allows you to add multiple fills and strokes to a layer.  If you add a gradient either circle or ellipse to the fill and then set the right sides opacity to 0% so its completely transparent and the left side to the desired colour and set the blend mode to average (or you can play around with it) it will become a free form gradient point and function just like free form gradient in Adobe Illustrator.  Duplicate the fills and adjust the color on the left and you will have multiple gradient points that will interact with one another.  Use the handles on the gradient to stretch and shrink the area of coverage of the gradient and how much it overlaps with the gradient fill point next to it.  I miss spoke it's actually more flexible than AI's freeform gradient as you can modify more options such as the shape of the gradient around the point, the size and area of coverage, the way it blends, add additional colors at various points with their own opacity levels, etc.  There is a lot more control.

This can be a useful technique, but it is very different from how freeform gradients work in illustrator.  The colors at each point do not interact with each other in the same way as a freeform gradient.  I would not say this technique offers "more control" because it isn't directly comparable.  As such, I think a real freeform gradient tool would be a very nice feature to add, but I'm not sure I would call it must have. 

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Well, since everyone is listing their own list of most wanted features I will do it, but not before listing what I'm not interested in:

  • Knife Tool
  • Mesh Fill Tool
  • Auto tracing
  • Spiral Tool
  • DXF/DWG Import/Export
  • CDR Import/Export
  • Right-To-Left languages support

Now, the ones I'd love to see implemented or improved:

  • Compass / Arc Tool
  • Mesh Warp / Distort tool (with some considerations)
  • Shape Builder Tool
  • Select Same with added power, suggested by me
  • Custom Shapes for Arrowheads
  • Add Page capabilities for Affinity Designer (to work more like Fireworks used to)
  • Freeform Gradients
  • Multiple Effects / Fills / Strokes for Text
  • Multiple Effects for Shapes
  • Blob Tool
  • Vector Eraser Tool
  • Width Tool
  • Pant Bucket Tool
  • Vector Cropping Tool that truly crops Vector Shapes
  • Optical kerning for badly designed Fonts
  • Vector Patterns
  • PSD Export with editable text
  • Scripting/Extensibility
  • Vector brushes with actual vectors

Best regards!

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11 hours ago, Mithferion said:

Well, since everyone is listing their own list of most wanted features I will do it, but not before listing what I'm not interested in:

  • Knife Tool

I’d like to be able to designate any curve as a cutting curve, but a Knife Tool would be better than what we (don’t) have now.

11 hours ago, Mithferion said:

Shape Builder Tool

As discussed elsewhere, a Shape Builder Tool would be great once the basic Boolean operations are working properly.

11 hours ago, Mithferion said:

Pant Bucket Tool

I hope that was a typo for Paint Bucket Tool! ;)

11 hours ago, Mithferion said:

Vector Cropping Tool that truly crops Vector Shapes

Do you mean destructive cropping, or something else? :/

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Affinity Photo for iPad 1.10 • Designer for iPad 1.10 • iPadOS 15.6.1 (iPad Air 2)

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