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Layer behaviour like Illustrator


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7 hours ago, hudson2800 said:

Layers behave like Illustrator

Hi @hudson2800, I've never used Illustrator, but after reading your post done a quick look at a tutorial about Illustrator layers.

Could you point out how or what you think Serif could do in this regard? From what I've quickly learned is, Layers in Designer are very much like those in Illustrator.

  • Both have Layers,  which behave almost identical.
  • They are folder-like containers.
  • You can rename them
  • Color Code them
  • Place numerous objects on a Layer, which helps organize.
  • They can be Locked and Hidden
  • They can have Grouped Objects
    • Which can be Color Coded
    • Can be Locked and Hidden

Are you referring to how the Color Coding is done? Illustrator you click on the left end of the Layer, where in Designer you right-click on the Layer.

It's been mentioned numerous times, the Lock in Affinity (across all 3 apps), should be modified to really lock the layer, where you can not modify it at all, instead of just preventing movement.

I mention all the above, hoping you can elaborate on your question on the difference(s).

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Hi @Ron P.Thanks for your questions. Let me explain how I use Illustrator, and how I find Designer confusing.

In Illustrator, I create 3 layers.

Top layer: I do all of my drawing, labelling, etc in outline with no fill.

Middle layer: I add a 'Colour' layer. Add blocks of colour, copy shapes from above and add fill colour

Lowest layer: I paste a sketch (of a house floor plan) Trace it in the layers above.

So when I use Designer, I find that I have tens or hundreds of layers and I find it difficult to have control over what object is on top. I am constantly moving an object up the layers palette.

In Illustrator, I lock other layers and draw my lines all on the same (top) layer. I know I can click to open the layer and see every object on a sub layer. But that seems to be the default in Designer, that is what I find difficult to work with. For example, how can I quickly copy a shape to the level below and change it's colour. I want all my coloured objects to be on a layer of their own. 

I should say that I have worked with Designer for about 3 months but I have had to return to Illustrator for now because I can be productive without the confusion in the layer palette. I find nearly everything else in Designer superior for my purposes. 

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Thank you for replying. Those details help describe what's different and Serif should look at. I can recall one feature request, the TGA export, where members hammered with the need this, the +1s ect. Suddenly one of the Devs basically asked for some sort of detailed reasoning, was presented with same, and the TGA export feature happened.

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If your requested change means more than a million existing users having to change their current workflow then you probably should have plenty of good reasons ‘up-your-sleeve’ when making a request as “it’s what I would prefer” or “it’s how this other software works” doesn’t always have much ‘clout’.
If the developers and most users can understand that the changes make things 'better’, for most people, in most situations, then you will have more luck, persuasively.

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I understand exactly what you mean hudson2800. I find this a bit frustrating as well.

What I find helps for more of an illustrator layer workflow is to create and name your layers first using the "add layer" button on the bottom of the layers panel - ie line, colour and sketch, than before you create an element make sure you "target" or click on the layer you want the element to be on in the layers panel. It will put the element on the layer you clicked on.  Same goes for artboards. If you have artboards, target or select the artboard before creating the element and the element will reside on that artboard.

To move an element from one layer to another layer, cut (Cmd or Ctrl X) the element from one layer, select the layer you want it to be on and paste (Cmd or Ctrl V). It will remove it from the unwanted layer and place it in exactly the same place on the desired layer.

By creating and naming your layers or artboards first it also helps to keep things nice and organized.

Hope this helps. It's not exactly the same as illustrator but it tends to keep the layers panel from getting out of control.

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This works for me logically and If you think about it, what Adobe Illustrator probably does is hide the myriad of layers to make it look like it's on a single layer, but, if you consider that each object is an individual element that must have it's own layer because they are separate and distinct then all Affinity have done is not hide the elements layers.

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In Designer layers palette is more like list of objects. In Illustrator layers are organising tool.

You can somewhat simulate Illustrator behaviour if you group sets of objects as a "master layers" and use those for organizing (turn on/off as needed... hmm is it possible to lock a parent layer?)

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1 hour ago, Fixx said:

hmm is it possible to lock a parent layer?)

Yes.

Just don't do my usual thing and lock it then forget about it being locked and try to select the objects in that layer. "What on earth is going on here????" several minutes later... "Oh."

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

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Umm... as I fight one Designer project right now I notice grouping objects to a layer-group severely limits how I can choose objects within a group. So using a "layer-layer" makes them behave better :34_rolling_eyes: but it has its own issues...

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1 hour ago, Fixx said:

Umm... as I fight one Designer project right now I notice grouping objects to a layer-group severely limits how I can choose objects within a group.

How specifically does this limit how you can choose objects?

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5 minutes ago, ashf said:

He might be mentioning this problem?

How does that relate to choosing objects within a group?

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13 hours ago, R C-R said:

How specifically does this limit how you can choose objects?

As you try to select an object onscreen you end up selecting the whole group. When objects are in layer-layer they can be selected simply by click or drag.

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  • 6 months later...

Like many, I’m also a refugee from Illustrator. I have no complaints about AffDes, other than the way layers appear to function and the Layers palette.

On 12/13/2021 at 11:32 AM, firstdefence said:

This works for me logically and If you think about it, what Adobe Illustrator probably does is hide the myriad of layers to make it look like it's on a single layer, but, if you consider that each object is an individual element that must have it's own layer because they are separate and distinct then all Affinity have done is not hide the elements layers.

Unless I’ve misunderstood what you are saying here, I don’t think this is quite the case is it? Open a new AI document and it has a layer already there, called Layer 1. Start creating objects and they will reside on that layer until you create another layer, when that becomes the active layer.

Open a new AD document and there is no layer. Start creating objects and each new object stacks on top of the previous. They are objects, not layers, and will be called ‘(Rectangle)’ or ‘(Ellipse)’ or whatever. You can consider them as ‘layers’ only in a metaphysical sense. And there will be no Layer as such until you click the wee button to create one.

I struggle with the very concept of the AD layers palette. There is an excellent tutorial about using the Layers palette here on this site somewhere but I can’t make my AD work the way it’s intended. There appear to be so many operations done by dragging objects or layers in the palette that precise positioning of the cursor is necessary—drop the object very slightly to the left or right, further up or down and something other than what you wanted happens, or nothing at all happens. It’s just not in any way intuitive and I struggle to remember very much other than the absolute basics of how the Layers palette works.

I don’t—really I don’t—want to sound like a I wish I could afford to continue with Illustrator moaner, but I feel that some of these functions (eg. creating a clipping mask) would be better in the palette side-menu.

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2 hours ago, Washishu said:

that precise positioning of the cursor is necessary

 

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8 hours ago, Washishu said:

Unless I’ve misunderstood what you are saying here,

I probably haven't explained it very well. In illustrator because of layer1 it appears that the objects are all on one layer when in fact they have merely been placed in a layer container. In Affinity Designer, initially, there is no such container and you have to create a group or layer after the fact.

Upon opening a document, you create a group or layer container, affinity expands that container to show its content, whereas the layer1 container in Illustrator doesn't, this is what I meant by hidden.

Affinity doesn't assume you automatically want a layer container but within document creation it would be nice to have the option to have a layer or group created, much like you have a choice to start with artboards instead of a canvas.

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