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Shape examples - getting the most out of our dynamic shape tools

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I thought I'd give everyone a few samples of what can be achieved with some of our shapes.

 

We've made the shapes available in Designer highly versatile.  All of the shapes (apart from the basic Rectangle and Ellipse) can be customised, giving you a high degree of control.  Certain shapes have carefully chosen snapping values for each of their control points which quickly allow you to find right angles, inline edges, mirrors, and other useful positions.  You'll see what I mean when you try them out!

 

The main reason for using our shape objects is that they remain fully editable in your document.  They scale and resize with other objects, but they can maintain proportions, angles and sizes.  You have the option to convert any shape to a regular curves object, but in doing so you will lose the unique dynamic properties of that shape.

 

To kick off, the one shape I'm particularly proud of is the Cog.  It may sound like quite a restrictive shape, but please look at the samples below to get an idea of the range of shapes that can be made with just the Cog.

 

post-17-0-42038500-1403775046_thumb.png

 

Here's the actual Designer document, so that you can see for yourself how these shapes were made with the Cog.

 

CogSamples.afdesign


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And here are some examples of the Polygon shape.  Again, not just a simple polygon - as you would expect, you can set the number of points, but you can also curve the edges inwards or outwards.  There is also an option to smooth out the points when you curve out the edges.

 

post-17-0-63738700-1403776793_thumb.png

 

PolygonSamples.afdesign

 


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Here is the Star shape.  With the Star you can set the number of points and independently adjust curvature of the left and right edges of the points.

 

The star also has some useful snap values.  As you increase the number of points, snap values are provided that allow you to create straight lines between the other points around the star.  It's a little hard to explain - try it and you will see.  Create a star with eleven points, and then resize the inner radius using the on-page red control points. The point will snap when a straight line is created, and you will see a red indicator showing you the straight line.

 

post-17-0-28678000-1403777755_thumb.png

 

StarSamples.afdesign

 


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The Arrow shape also offers a lot of customisation.

 

The two ends of the Arrow can be customised independently. You can chose from a number of head styles (or none).  On top of that, each head style offers certain customisation and useful snapping values for finding right angles, aspect correct sizing, etc.  Some head styles also have complementary snapping values that provide mirrored or parallel angles, or mirrored positions.

 

post-17-0-59708800-1403779733_thumb.png

 

ArrowSamples.afdesign

 

One other useful option is the choice of how the arrow head scales when you resize the shape.  The default is to scale the head as a proportion of the shape height, but you can also opt to scale proportional to the shape width.  See the following example for how that works in practice.  The first set of arrows scale proportionally to the height, the second set proportional to the width.  The Arrow objects were originally all created at the same size, and then stretched horizontally. You will see that the head also stretches in the second set.

 

post-17-0-01305700-1403779741_thumb.png

 

ArrowSamples2.afdesign

 


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I shall enjoy having a look at those as I like to work from shapes. I also enjoyed looking at your mind working as you made those samples, I was waiting for the ? to pop up, asking "what comes next" and providing me with an IQ rating at the end :) 


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Can we save these shapes to any place in Afinity so we may use them later?


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You can easily create any of these shapes in a matter of seconds with the Shape tools.

 

I've provided the sample documents so that you can see what parameters were used for each shape.  You can also copy and paste the shapes from the sample documents into your own document.


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Ben, thank you. Thats great to hear.

 

Regards,

Gregg


Gregg

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Also, once you have a shape, you can use it to clip other objects by placing them below/inside it with the Layers tab. The other object acts like a rich fill for the shape. You can, for example, crop a picture to a heart for Valentine's day.

 

You can also convert shapes (and curves) into text frames. So you can have your text fill an oval.

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Hi Ben, i don't know if you´re taking suggestions but here's some options i would like to see implemented that are not easily reproducible with the current star, double star, polygon or cloud tools. It's basically a star with several points, where all the points have rounded corners.

post-59-0-95430600-1404748139_thumb.jpg

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I have already got a prototype shape that will do exactly this - a rounded-point star, to complement the regular and square star we already have.  It still needs some work though as I decide how it is customised, and so doesn't feature in the Beta.  As ever, I want to make it highly customisable, but the limits of the parameters need to produce good shapes.

 

Watch this space.

 

And, other suggestions are always welcome.


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That's great :) Yes, I will keep an eye on this thread.

 

[EDIT ]The type of composed shape i proposed originally here in this post (see attachment) would be better if implemented trough tools for distributing and aligning objects and text along a path as it offers much more creative possibilities.

It really doesn't fit the nature of dynamic shapes anyway, so i removed the rest of the original post [/EDIT]

post-59-0-23225400-1404750806_thumb.png

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I really want to see this implemented!

 

Hi Ben, i don't know if you´re taking suggestions but here's some options i would like to see implemented that are not easily reproducible with the current star, double star, polygon or cloud tools. It's basically a star with several points, where all the points have rounded corners.

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That's a fairly open ended question.  Our shapes (believe it or not) use some fairly involved trigonometry for determining ranges for properties and snapping points.  Some shapes also determine their properties based on their spread transformation (for example, the corners on rounded rectangles). This is made simpler by knowing the shape and its limitations.  We'd never say never, but I would imagine making general purpose properties for defining shapes would be far from trivial.


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Hi Ben, i don't know if you´re taking suggestions but here's some options i would like to see implemented that are not easily reproducible with the current star, double star, polygon or cloud tools. It's basically a star with several points, where all the points have rounded corners.

Any plans for this shape option on the star shape to make round corners inside/outside ?

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Hi Mushr00m,

This is an old thread. It's already possible to do it using the star (and any other shape) and then rounding their corners with the new Corner Tool (not available at the time).

To do this create the shape you want with the Shapes tools and adjust its settings (on the context toolbar) as you see fit. Then change to the Corner tool, press ⌘ (cmd) + A (to select all nodes), and drag one of them. All the others will follow. You can also change the type or corner (rounded, straight, concave etc) and other settings from the context toolbar while the Corner tool is still selected.

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There is a new property coming soon on Cogs - Curvature for the edge.  Here's a few examples of how it can be used.

 

post-17-0-82967800-1440597188_thumb.png

 

CogSamples2.afdesign

 

The afdesign file will only work when the next Beta comes out.

 

 


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A new mode for the Star shape has been added. The mode allows for the inner and outer points to be rounded.  This mode will be the default when creating new Stars, but the old mode is still available under "Curved edges" on the context menu when a star is selected.

 

The rounded points use strict arc segments (parts of a circle).  Is will give a subtly different result to just using the corner tool on a Star, as the rounding affected the edge angles.  See these examples:

 

post-17-0-42381700-1440597986_thumb.png

 

StarSamples2.afdesign

 

The afdesign will work in the next Beta.

 


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