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GRScott

[ADe] Is there any line smoothing? (implemented)

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SrPx,

 

The stabilizer feature you wrote about already exists, so there's no reason to defend it. Furthermore, I was not saying that feature needs to be removed.

 

Obviously, there are some that you simply don't understand what this discussion is about. Thankfully MEB does understand, as per his previous post.

 

This discussion is about how to add a feature that is missing in Affinity Designer but which does exist in Adobe Illustrator for good reason. It's absolutely silly to say we only need certain tools when designing while implying we don't need comparable tools at all when repurposing art.

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The stabilizer feature you wrote about already exists,

 

 

It's in the works.

 

 It's absolutely silly to say we only need certain tools

 

 

I have not said such thing. Nice choice of adjectives, BTW.


Affinity Designer and Affinity Photo licenses, Windows 7, i7  860 (2009) 2.8 GHz,  8 GB RAM, GTX 1050 2 GB, HD 7200 RPM.  Wacom Intuos 4 XL.

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I suggest to impliment point reduction feature like in Astute Graphics InkScribe plugin for Illustrator, please.

This plugin have best tool for point reduction while keeping line paths to be the same, it have very understandable logic and keyboard combinations.

https://youtu.be/P0FnOAamnpw?t=4m2s

 

That looks very useful. I'm down with that.


The website is still a work in progress. The "Comics" and "Shop" sections are not yet ready. Feel free to connect with me and let me know what you like or what can be improved. You can contact me here, on my contact page, YouTube channel, or Twitter account. Thanks and have a great day!

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Apparently the creators of ADe aren't aware of my disability. This is what a shaky hand on a slick Wacom tablet looks like: http://goodvibrato.cgsociety.org/art/affinity-designer-vst-ui-1699366

I'm being slightly facetious here. I don't have any disability that causes this as far as I know, but I certainly do suck at using Wacom tablets. On some level it looks kind of cool, but this is not what I want all my vector art to look like. As is, I don't have much use for the brush tool, especially when I want to move slowly and take my time, like tracing an image or something. Even my fast strokes don't look that great, and they're probably also out of position on top of looking mediocre. I'm very disappointed that there is no smoothing option or line stabilization feature in ADe. Any line work I do is with the pen tool, and then I adjust the pressure graph in stroke options. That gives great results but certainly takes a lot of time. In one of my projects, I will have to "draw" about 500 variable-length lines for eel-like fins. That will be a long day with the pen tool.

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12 minutes ago, Kochab said:

I'm very disappointed that there is no smoothing option or line stabilization feature in ADe.

 

Hello Kochab, and welcome to the Affinity forum.

 

New to 1.6 is a feature called Line Stabilisation. It is the approach of drawing freehand strokes by dragging them on a string for smoother line quality. The smoothness is also adjustable, so you can increase it for long lines, and you can decrease it for short lines. It's older now, but here was a sneak peek of the feature. (The Bungee mode is now called Rope mode.) I hope this helps.


The website is still a work in progress. The "Comics" and "Shop" sections are not yet ready. Feel free to connect with me and let me know what you like or what can be improved. You can contact me here, on my contact page, YouTube channel, or Twitter account. Thanks and have a great day!

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I do inking all day, lately, since several months, due to certain work projects. I need to say something here : This whole problem is not just software related. I was even years thinking it was. I've been professionally drawing with Wacom's and other brands devices, so long that I can't almost not remember the old times.  It is not that simple... .I have made several thorough tests, recently, with same tasks/projects inking by hand.... it had been a while since last days I inked traditionally (I'm old enough to have started and study half my career before getting serious with a digital table (I used the first in the market, back in 1991, when I started my university studies)). I started inking comics traditionally, for example. By then, clearly  the Kurta, or Genius, or Summagraphics or etc that were available were terrible, and really easy to realize by then that traditional drawing was superior. Just that as Wacom (and now iPad Pencil's/tablet system) has evolved a lot, and new artists have even only known this way of painting, when started to actually draw well, (I smile largely when I read :  " I can't use a cintiq, my hand gets in the way " ....they are that much used to digital painting! Anyway, I believe none of these are Fine Arts students as there is almost like in my times: you need to master traditional methods)  As is now, a Intuos Large, even more a pen-display like Cintiq (as is much more contol and no hand-screen coordination needed) or even a Yiynova, huion , etc, they seem to be perfect, while it's very far from reality. My tests were very revealing to me. (I knew there was a gap, but not THAT HUGE.  )

 

A lot of very talented digital inkers tend to give the advice of "hey, you just are a poor inker, yet. You need to have a steady, fast line, trained just....drawing fast" . Not really true. False. I've known AMAZING inkers drawing slow. I firmly dislike "purist" or elitists that discard other ways of doing art, when is not even talking about the main essentials (composition, perspective, anatomy, color, lighting, etc). Even fast inkers count on a special and key accuracy when inking by hand over paper, which you do not have in digital. Not yet (imo it never will reach there, but will approach well enough). I could ink slow on paper, in my youth and in my recent tests, or fast, or more interesting: somewhere in between which is what you can't either do in digital. Digital painting (instead of inking,line art), all oil / acrylics, yep, no issue there, even a small wacom could do. Or any alternative for 67 bucks in amazon. But inking, line art requires extreme accuracy to your gesture, and accuracy in position, curve, etc !  That's the issue when it is a limited grid (with way less "resolution" than your brain, hand and paper provide), magnetic technology, with parallax in the middle, with lag in all of it, etc, etc, etc. So....no, is not "us". And....no, "generally" is neither the painting software. If the hardware was perfect already, or much more evolved, I mean, stabilizers wouldn't be that needed (could still be convenient for some projects). As things are, by now, they are essential for most people, even very talented artists. Latest -very recent-  cintiqs and the iPad Pro (imo, too small for long work, that's just me) are a ton better, and still, far from the natural wonder of pure human hand and traditional skill. 

 

So there comes the need of stabilizers. Of course, if there's jitter / wobble introduced by the application, that's even worse, that'd be a top priority, but focusing here on the initial hardware problem that's still there, and is far from being minimal (ie, detetced largely in Surface Pro from Ms, even in the expensive (and great in almost any other matter, maybe lacks a bit of power for 4k) Studio. Much more than in Wacom products! ). From that video, that is one of the ways to attack the problem, the pull string method. Specially good for projects of vector nature.  Many 2D packages, Like Affinity's have detected the need. Surprisingly one of the most important (or the most in image editing) ones hasn't don anything about it, but that one did never care very much about inkers/painters, to be honest. Very different situation in Affinity, were it's appearing very very soon for what short life has it yet compared to other packages. I can only give praise and compliments for this. For now, and mostly as these projects I'm at now were very long ago started, and others need very specific features, I cannot change in the middle, but I am totally planning to move most of my activity , perhaps inking included, to Affinity's applications.  I have now a trained ability to ink with brush as you mention, to control the weight of the line on the fly almost exactly how I would do in traditional (not as a post edit, that, as you say, is extremely slow, tho gives more control than anything else), as that app (whose name am not gonna mention) it has a smoothing, very slight, which eliminates the hardware provoked tremble, and I trained my hand to "think" it is not inking in paper, I mean, I developed a new way of inking that allows me to ink several illustrations in a day, digitally, which is great.  Or use the pull string for things more in the logo / graffiti style where line must be according to my style in those things very very solid.  Of course, pull string is also valid for realistic illustration inking, just lowering a tad the value. 

 

Smoothing / stabilizers, etc, are specially useful if you do first a very accurate, but dirty pencil drawing, very detailed (remember that detail in the sketch is done by many fast erroneous strokes, like in painting, but that's not a prob here) in a layer and put it in a % of low transparency, of course, to ink in a new layer over it. One thing these "digital inking" gurus use to say is true, though. As you do more and more work with it (ie, usually I do a mix of things, but late months been like 24/7 inking, almost...)  the hand gets used to it, am even inking stuff "alla prima " often without even sketch....Practice is as usual part of the equation, of course. I recon is a bit painful to "relearn"  this, when one can ink perfectly on paper. But this is the hardware status, for now !

 

I believe the 1.6 feature (indeed, both in ADe and A.Photo) is what you need. I really hope though that one can make several values, not necessarily smoothing so much -not good for certain type of inked illustration, specially small details-  and even greater if can allow different methods: Pull string or just smoothing (no pull string, the line is averaged, smoothed in real time. mostly to eliminate hardware jitter (or even eliminate "amplified" hand jitter! ) Large values of it make it look like a slight lag, but is up to you set it stronger, light, or off, just like, i suppose, "pull string" method. This (none pull string, just a slight smoothing) I am using for now in other software applications). Indeed, for the type of work you linked, pull string could be very proper solution, even the best for that ! . (much more than for the sort of stuff that I do)

 

So, my main point : Software stabilizer feature for the lines, is not as much as a feature lacking in a 2D painting tool, is just a way to try to, at least till certain extent, counter a lack of accuracy and other issues in the present hardware. Even tho, being so the situation, they are really needed for a lot of illustrators/ comic creators.(and those having almost same ability now in digital (I'm almost there...) due to long Wacom practice, well, they do benefit of any of these features, as well (work faster, etc)....and of any improve, hardware or software based. )

 

PD: I correct myself. Hadn't read well the reply. Yep, it seems it (pull string (rope mode?)) counts on several values, and I deduce there are different modes.... Which would be fabulous. (even only one, kind of ...could do. ) 


Affinity Designer and Affinity Photo licenses, Windows 7, i7  860 (2009) 2.8 GHz,  8 GB RAM, GTX 1050 2 GB, HD 7200 RPM.  Wacom Intuos 4 XL.

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A bit more to add... PS just added  -seen in an article of today, from a link in other thread- smoothing in brush lines.... At least from what one can see on the video, there's only a simple slider of the effect intensity. And is using pull string only (Clip Paint Studio, Lazy Nezumi and Krita use several methods more) . Unless the tiny gear icon just planted besides it means more options (but maybe just brush options, not smoothing related), that'd be pretty basic. And performances seems pretty similar to the much more previously added in 1.6 betas from Affinity.  ;)

 


Affinity Designer and Affinity Photo licenses, Windows 7, i7  860 (2009) 2.8 GHz,  8 GB RAM, GTX 1050 2 GB, HD 7200 RPM.  Wacom Intuos 4 XL.

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7 hours ago, affinitydesignerfan said:

"Simplify path" would be very useful for making lightweight SVG files for websites!

 

I'm down with that. There is a "Smooth Curves" button, but I do find it to be inconvenient since it tends to create more nodes instead of less.


The website is still a work in progress. The "Comics" and "Shop" sections are not yet ready. Feel free to connect with me and let me know what you like or what can be improved. You can contact me here, on my contact page, YouTube channel, or Twitter account. Thanks and have a great day!

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I feel compelled to weight in on this subject because I am not a math guy, but I sure do believe in math.

So, Affinity Design team, perhaps you can allow one of your programmers to weight in on this subject with a BIT of technical explanation to help me understand if it is possible to do this.

Please see the attached image:

  • So I draw a spline with 2 nodes and 2 bezier handles, and with a pressure profile like in example (A) and (left-most A).
  • When I expand that stroke, I get the result (B).  My reaction is "wow, really? That complicated off such a simple stroke?"
  • If you have the mathematical description of spline (A) with the pressure profile (left most A) also mathematically described, Is it not possible to generate (C), (D), or (E) from those two mathematical descriptions? 
  • (C) might not be entirely "legal" for some other software when it comes to bezier positions, but perhaps something closer to (D) or (E)?

I am not saying it would be easy, and perhaps I am over-simplifying things, but if you could implement this, you would have some very valuable code in the vector app creation industry, a cut above what Inkscape or Adobe currently has.

I would love to hear your thoughts!

AD- Simple Expansion-Smoothing.PNG

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Hi Dave Vector, this problem of expanding strokes is already on the list of things to improve. Depending on the size of the spline, this issue occurs or may not occur. You get more nodes the smaller the stroke is and you get less the larger it is.


The website is still a work in progress. The "Comics" and "Shop" sections are not yet ready. Feel free to connect with me and let me know what you like or what can be improved. You can contact me here, on my contact page, YouTube channel, or Twitter account. Thanks and have a great day!

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Hi @Bri-Toon.  I checked the AD Feature Roadmap and there is no mention of Expand Stroke improvements. 

Perhaps there is a list of Improvements separate from the Feature Roadmap?

 

My question is to know if this is possible and easy (or not easy) to implement.

I sense is that it is not, since other software vendors have solutions similar to the current AD solution, but perhaps a programmer might be able to easily explain it.

 

Thanks.

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I tried to convert a similar image from raster to vector.
Although it is a slightly different task (vectorization is more complex), the result is quite good.

2018-01-20_004919.png.d5399d8a8777d5d313a3e272d99ca380.png

 

So it can definitely be improved.


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10 hours ago, Dave Vector said:

Hi @Bri-Toon.  I checked the AD Feature Roadmap and there is no mention of Expand Stroke improvements. Perhaps there is a list of Improvements separate from the Feature Roadmap?

 

Correct. Not all features or improvements to be added will be listed on the roadmap. It was said by a staff that we can expect bonus ones as well, but they are already aware of this issue and they said they are working on it.
 

Quote

 

My question is to know if this is possible and easy (or not easy) to implement.

I sense is that it is not, since other software vendors have solutions similar to the current AD solution, but perhaps a programmer might be able to easily explain it.

 

 

Well I can't really speak for them since I have no idea how they program it. Seeing how there is an over 1,000,000 percent zoom, I assume this would not be an easy task. Like I said, currently work in larger space before expanding and see if that helps.


The website is still a work in progress. The "Comics" and "Shop" sections are not yet ready. Feel free to connect with me and let me know what you like or what can be improved. You can contact me here, on my contact page, YouTube channel, or Twitter account. Thanks and have a great day!

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Anyone who has ever had to work with CAD/CAE exports knows how important a quality path smoothing feature is. It is not at all uncommon to have incoming files with tens or even hundreds of thousands of nodes. The first application of the smoothing / simplifying command in other mainstream programs, even set to maximum "curve accuracy" can typically reduce the node count to 30% with practically imperceptible shape deterioration.

JET

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12 hours ago, Bri-Toon said:

 Like I said, currently work in larger space before expanding and see if that helps.

Yeah, thanks.  I am not really looking for a work around to make it slightly less node-ridden.  I am hoping to hear from someone who knows vector-based coding to find how possible either (C), (D), or (E) is in the Image in my post above. 

 

Dave.

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Hi Dave,

 

its non-trivial to produce a mathematical offset from a cubic bezier that is correct. It is however possible to produce an offset that is ‘good enough’ that you’d never know it wasn’t right. We already have this code. I’ve said before that I intend to rewrite the expand strokes function to produce the actual offset curves in this fashion rather than re-fitting the expanded geometry as we currently do. I will implement this as soon as I’m able. To be clear, this is very important and will be done as soon as I can - but it is not trivial to implement and needs to be done carefully (ie not in a rush!) or the results will be just a different kind of wrong! ;)

 

thanks,

Matt

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