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The docs team have put together a collection of tutorials that will grow over time, please speak up about which tutorials you feel are most needed.

 

Here's one that covers the pen tool.

 

Regards, Dale.


Twitter: @Writer_Dale
Work: Intel i7-6700, NVIDIA Quadro K1200 and Intel HD 530, Windows 10   |   Home: Intel Q6600, NVIDIA GTX950, Windows 10

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Just thought I'd point this out, but the vectors and the pen tool are so implemented so well, that a lot of info in Von Glitschka's Vector Basic Training book (which is Illustrator-centric) applies equally to Affinity Designer. I've done a few of the exercises/practices and they work great! <sarcasm>  The only thing I miss is the lovely way Illustrator would randomly crash on me and try to drain my bank account </sarcasm>. 


2014 iMac, 3.5 Ghz Intel Core i7, Secondary Samsung SyncMaster B2430 display, 16GB RAM, MacOS10.12 || Magic keyboard w/numeric keypad, wireless trackpad, Kengsington Edge Trackball, Wacom Pro Large tablet || Flux Capacitor in a secure location

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I encourage kids to go ahead and play on my lawn. I mean, how else can I make sure the death-traps work?

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Way to make me lol and wake up my wife Mike!


Twitter: @Writer_Dale
Work: Intel i7-6700, NVIDIA Quadro K1200 and Intel HD 530, Windows 10   |   Home: Intel Q6600, NVIDIA GTX950, Windows 10

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Dale, 5:50am!? I thought I was bad clocking 2am.


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Dale, 5:50am!? I thought I was bad clocking 2am.

Lol the growing community is good fun to work with. Think I dozed a bit between 2 and 5.

 

Then drove for a bit. Greetings from sunny Germany!

 

 

Peter, does unpicking any of the samples help? Am sure we can do more to help as well with a little more info.


Twitter: @Writer_Dale
Work: Intel i7-6700, NVIDIA Quadro K1200 and Intel HD 530, Windows 10   |   Home: Intel Q6600, NVIDIA GTX950, Windows 10

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I need help with the whole sketching/drawing thing.

 

My experience and opinion, your mileage may vary. Hope this gets you started...

 

When I was starting out, sketching/drawing in a vector app was intimidating. Until I realized that a vector drawing program is like a technical pen. And I've done my best tech pen (or dip pen or windsor newton series 7 #2 brush) work when I was rendering a pencil drawing that was complete, i.e. no sketchy lines, everything had a value (line weight, cross-hatching, etc) and I had no "vague" areas. In other words, my pencil drawing was the blueprint that I would create the structure using ink-based tools. 

 

Switch to digital from  analog: pencil drawing becomes the base drawing. Usually grey tones, sometimes blue (hold over from the Non-Photo blue pencil that couldn't be photo stated/copied or reproduced, cartoonists loved them). However you create it (for me it's either using Manga Studio 5 or Sketchbook Pro 7) -- the base drawing needs to be completely drawn: every line on the base drawing is a line that will (in one way or another) find its way into the vector drawing.

 

Let's say you're creating a Jack o'Lantern. Take a good look at the drawing. Break down, in your mind, the major shapes. There's the stem part at the top and the round part. Inside the round part there's two eyes and a mouth. Be mindful that as you create shapes, lines and such, the first thing you create will be on the bottom of the stack and the latest thing will be on top. What ever is on top will obscure things below it.We can call this the Stacking order.

 

We don't worry about Fills, Masks, groups or such at this point. Get the shapes drawn. Just like in a pencil drawing, get the basic forms down and then fine-tune as you work on it.

 

When creating shapes, just make a single click. We can set this sharp/corner node to smooth or smart in a moment. Let's say we're working on the round shape of the pumpkin. The shape is made up of rounded segments from the North (top) to the South (bottom). Don't fill the shape, have a line width of something heavy, like 8-12 points. (this can and will be adjusted later). Working from the outer parts inward, create the "C" shapes for the segments. In the middle is the part that's closest to the viewer, so that can be a distorted oval shape, or just make a closed shape for that. Now the "C" shapes on the left and right of the center shape, connect the two shapes and make sure they are below the middle oval in the stacking order. Double click on the shape's layer and give it a meaningful name (like center segment, second segment, outside segment for example). Because of the stacking order, the center oval should be above the "second segment" and the "Outer Segment" should be on the bottom. Now give each of these segment shapes a different color. Although there's only 3 shapes here, they look like 5, the left and right sides are visually cut by the layer above them. 

 

Now we can draw the eyes and mouth the same way, just simple lines at first. Then round them out. Don't forget to curve them to follow the form of the segments of the pumpkin. Missing visual cues can kill an otherwise good illustration.

 

And that's one way to approach drawing with vectors. It's basic and won't work in every situation, But by careful use of a radial or ellipsoid gradient (mostly messing with the stop points and the geehaws that control the width and height of the gradient), we can quickly come up with a basic pumpkin shape. 

 

I've found it best to start with the big shapes and then work my way inward, adding details along the way. Some shapes are just a filled shape with no stroke and I have stokes with no fills on the layer above the filled shape. It looks like it's one shape with a stroked outline. This way I can seem to have depth in my drawings. 

 

Look at the samples that come with AD, remember that you're seeing the finished work. Now try to mentally reverse engineer them. Look at the big shapes and imagine starting with them and slowly building up details and such. 

 

Start with simple base drawings. We're learning how to walk. the Ironman triathlon comes later. I found that Super-Hero shields/logos are great to start with. The superman "S" shield is a great example. Without doing anything fancy like compound shapes or masks, I can do one in 3 0r 4 layers. The big shape is the diamond shape. Make that a red shape. Then the yellow background color is a copy of that pentagonal  diamond, scaled down a bit. Now the stylized "S", red again with no fill, drawn last so it'll be on the top of the stacking order. As far as outlining the Red and yellow shapes with a  black stroke. That's a great problem to figure out. I'm not withholding information -- it's just that in order to "think" inside the program sometimes we have to have brain-teasers to kick-start the process.

 

In essence, Affinity Designer is a full tool box. Each tool is enticing and exciting to use. But if you're new to vectors, learn how to use the pen tool and layers first. Then work up to gradients and masks. Pretty soon you'll be whipping up vector victories without any conscious thought.

 

It just starts with a line.

 

Hope this helps. Your question was vague to me, so forgive me if this answer is below your pay grade. Just trying to help out. :) I would love to do a full-blown tutorial, but I just have time for these wordy things about doing visual stuff.  


2014 iMac, 3.5 Ghz Intel Core i7, Secondary Samsung SyncMaster B2430 display, 16GB RAM, MacOS10.12 || Magic keyboard w/numeric keypad, wireless trackpad, Kengsington Edge Trackball, Wacom Pro Large tablet || Flux Capacitor in a secure location

---

I encourage kids to go ahead and play on my lawn. I mean, how else can I make sure the death-traps work?

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Way to make me lol and wake up my wife Mike!

Wake up Marketing/PR guy's spouse. Check.

 

Next... world domination.

 

Or supper. 


2014 iMac, 3.5 Ghz Intel Core i7, Secondary Samsung SyncMaster B2430 display, 16GB RAM, MacOS10.12 || Magic keyboard w/numeric keypad, wireless trackpad, Kengsington Edge Trackball, Wacom Pro Large tablet || Flux Capacitor in a secure location

---

I encourage kids to go ahead and play on my lawn. I mean, how else can I make sure the death-traps work?

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Hi CartoonMike,

 

Thanks for taking time out to respond with this wonderful lesson (beta tutorial, would be much honest description :)). An excellent write up. Put this on Youtube! Pictures, screen grabs and this transcript; or speak to the AD team!

www.asklynda.com,  www.askcartoonmike.com  should be the best way to go.

 

 

When it comes to drawing, with pencils and paper, i.e analogue - then I really struggle. Just drawing straightish lines, circles and simple shapes is really hard for me. Which in a forum like this must look a bit strange, a non artist in a digtial art forum...I can use a camera and keyboard, so all is not lost.

 

However, when it comes to working with layers, then I suppose I am at the Superman logo level, that you mentioned. The tools I use the most are the Quickshapes, layers and fonts, (ooh yeah I like my fonts by the bucketload). As for working with layers:

 

See http://www.pinterest.com/peter2111/serifcom

 

The Akira picture, was a difficult process broken down into bite size chunks, using DVD ripping software, DrawPlus and PhotoPlus

  • convert DVD to JPG
  • Cut, feather and layer individual image segments into place
  • convert canvas to brick work

and make people think I have talent.

 

So, even without the ability to use the pen/pencil tools, I can still produce something half decent.

 

peter


MacBook pro, 2.26 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 4 GB 1067 MHz DDR3, NVIDIA GeForce 9400M 256 MB, OS X 10.11.6

 

http://www.pinterest.com/peter2111

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Peter, 

 

I won't have time to do any Video tutorials until I finish the ones already in my queue (they're for  the book on Manga Studio that I wrote) same goes for full blown written ones until I wrap up the ones I've promised to do for a few websites that are for Manga Studio. And in what time my day has left, I kinda would like to work on my comics ( my websites www.crtoons.com and www.quantumgumbo.com are getting all dusty and cobwebby from lack of updates) and prepare for some conventions coming up in a few weeks and a big one in January (SuperSacCon and Sac-Anime respectively in Sacramento CA). 

 

Thanks for the kind words, I appreciate them. :)

 

Quick tip for drawing straight lines with an analog pencil: put dots where you want the line to start and end. Put your pencil on the starting dot and fix your eye on the ending dot. Move the pencil quickly to the end dot without moving your eyes from the dot. It's okay to miss the mark, the point is to improve the old eye-hand coordination. With some practice you'll be drawing straight lines in no time.

 

Circles, well that takes practice. Keep in mind that most artists do warm up exercises before doing "serious" work, just like an athlete. So just spend like 10-15 every day and just practice drawing straight lines, circles, ellipses and squares. Don't worry about perfection, this is just a warm-up. If you do these warmups every day, you'll see improvement in mere weeks. Be mindful that you're learning muscle memory, so there's no such thing as a bad warm up or drawing. That's why we have erasers and tracing paper. 

 

There's a book, Thinking with a pencil, that I got when I was a wee sprout that was instrumental to my development as an artist. It's on Amazon ( http://www.amazon.com/Thinking-Pencil-Henning-Nelms/dp/0898150523 ) for under $10 US. Try some used bookstores (support your local economy and not the octopus that is Amazon if you can help it ) to see if they have a copy. This book is made for those who think they're not "artists" and it breaks down a lot of stuff nicely. And since it was written in the '50s, it's a retro blast from the past. :D


2014 iMac, 3.5 Ghz Intel Core i7, Secondary Samsung SyncMaster B2430 display, 16GB RAM, MacOS10.12 || Magic keyboard w/numeric keypad, wireless trackpad, Kengsington Edge Trackball, Wacom Pro Large tablet || Flux Capacitor in a secure location

---

I encourage kids to go ahead and play on my lawn. I mean, how else can I make sure the death-traps work?

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Just thought I'd point this out, but the vectors and the pen tool are so implemented so well, that a lot of info in Von Glitschka's Vector Basic Training book (which is Illustrator-centric) applies equally to Affinity Designer.

 

I have been going through the tutorials from Illustrator WOW Book series with great success. It's good to know that most of the books we have lying around are still useful for Affinity Designer. I just remembered the Killer Tips series that I really enjoyed too maybe I'll flip through that book and see if any of it applies.

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Thanks CartoonMike, very inspiring.

 

Was this film a favourite of yours? Journey to the moon. Looks like a pal for Gracie Grape.

 

peter.

 

 

Ps this image of AKIRA was done in PhotoPlus, let's hope the next product Affinity Photo will be as productive.

post-705-0-42211900-1412712148_thumb.jpg

post-705-0-65538900-1412712485_thumb.jpg

post-705-0-60268700-1412715210_thumb.jpg


MacBook pro, 2.26 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 4 GB 1067 MHz DDR3, NVIDIA GeForce 9400M 256 MB, OS X 10.11.6

 

http://www.pinterest.com/peter2111

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Hi CartoonMike ,

 

Thanks for the dot-dot lesson. It really worked, only another 10,000 hours of practice to go. I suppose parallel lines should follow, along with basic angles/vanishing point. So I can do 3D cubes.

 

Good news regarding a very old ALDI bought A3 Tevion MD 41217 graphics tablet. Spent years gathering dust this did: until tonight. As this was never supported in Mavericks. However, after an hour forum-foraging I was recommended to pinch a WACOM tablet driver, lo and behold something on my tablet flashed...It's alive I tell you - it's alive. Not bad for a £25 purchase!

 

So once again, thanks for the gentle coaxing out of my comfort zone.

 

Time to produce some artwork :D

 

peter


MacBook pro, 2.26 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 4 GB 1067 MHz DDR3, NVIDIA GeForce 9400M 256 MB, OS X 10.11.6

 

http://www.pinterest.com/peter2111

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Hey Peter,

 

Sometimes the best art comes from going outside your comfort zone. That's where Gracie came from: wanted to do cute and sexy in a form that shouldn't be cute and sexy. :)

 

Good luck on your new tablet! Have fun, AD is the app I wished I had when I first started working with vectors years ago.


2014 iMac, 3.5 Ghz Intel Core i7, Secondary Samsung SyncMaster B2430 display, 16GB RAM, MacOS10.12 || Magic keyboard w/numeric keypad, wireless trackpad, Kengsington Edge Trackball, Wacom Pro Large tablet || Flux Capacitor in a secure location

---

I encourage kids to go ahead and play on my lawn. I mean, how else can I make sure the death-traps work?

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