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ianrobertdouglas

Status of layer Erase function in Affinity Designer; other strategies?

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I'm new to Affinity Designer (AD), and to vector graphics, so pls bear with me. Amazing piece of software, by the way!

 

Some images that relate to my query below:

https://cldup.com/T__1kSZ5pa-3000x3000.jpeg

 

So, I created a vector graphic with AD (v1.3.5) that is to serve as a logo. The client wanted a grunge effect on one part of the graphic, which I did by adding vector grunge textures as layers. Long story short, I needed quite a few to get the exact effect we wanted. They were mostly laid over text.

 

Now I come to export, so the client can use the logo in the real world (i.e., .eps, .svg, and via Illustrator to .ai). Everything works fine when I have a background present in the graphic. But I'm trying to find a way to have a transparent version, too. This would be important for the client, in terms of flexibility of use of the logo.

 

Here, I'm having problems with the grunge texture layers.

 

The Erase option on layers or groups in AD is fabulous. It does exactly what I want. I want to get rid of the colored font, but keep the grunge effect over the font, and elsewhere in this part of the graphic. With Erase enabled in AD in particular layers or groups, when you scale up the graphic in you see precise vector shapes are preserved, no matter how large you go. But when it comes to exporting, there are two options, as we know:

 

1. Export with rasterising "unsupported effects" (which sadly includes the Erase function); or

2. Don't rasterise, and see the Erase effect lost, and hence the transparency I need lost.

 

In my specific situation, rasterisation is not possible, and the result from Option #1 above is pixelated anyway, which is useless for me. On the other hand, because of the grunge effects, there are literally way too many small shapes to locate and make transparent manually. There are probably 5000+ of these tiny shapes. And I'd not only need to delete what is otherwise a white fill (absent the Erase function), but also the same shape, in place, in the background layers the grunge effects rest on top of.

 

Erase just does this directly. But it's unusable if you need a 100% vector output.

 

I've tried seeking a solution outside of AD. In Illustrator, in iDraw / Graphic, and also Inkspace. In none was I able to work out how to do what I wanted to do.

 

I also tried exporting my AD graphic as .png and running through Vector Magic on the most detailed settings and vectorising again. But the result is at least 50% or more poorer than the original in my AD document.

 

In Illustrator, I could pick all layers with a certain color. But I wasn't able to work out how "cut" those layers *and* all other layers relevant that these shapes or nodes lay over.

 

In Inkspace, the exported .eps was pixelated, even without rasterising.

 

I couldn't immediately see anything in iDraw / Graphic that would help, though the .eps file was clean, just like it is in the original AD file. I couldn't see how to erase, in iDraw / Graphic, globally a single hex color, which is really -- ultimately -- what I need to do. Or otherwise, to force that color to be transparent, from the top of the layer tree to the bottom. 

 

So two questions:

 

1. Is AD close to being able to export a vector with the Erase effect preserved? 

 

2. Does anyone have advice on how to get that effect in a complex vector in the meantime, even if outside of AD (in Illustrator, for example)?

 

I spent all day trying to search for solutions on Google, but I'm not finding what I need so far. I fear that the complexity of the layers I have will prevent a simple solution. Again: Erase does it. But it's not possible, sadly, to output a 100% vector from it.

 

Vector Magic has a great feature when vectorising a bitmap image: you can cut a background out with the press of a button. Given the complexity of the grunge effects, this would not exactly be practical in my instance, but I know the hex value that I want to make transparent throughout my graphic, if anyone knows a way of forcing that.

 

Thanks for reading this far ... and for any advice or input.

 

 

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Would it be possible to get a copy of your file so I can look into this further? You can PM me a link to it and will make sure it's deleted when finished with :)

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