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JohnG

Is there a way to open a layered PNG file and retain layers in AD

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One of the primary reasons why I bought Affinity Designer was as a replacement for the no longer supported Adobe Fireworks. As such, I have MANY PNG files that I need to be able to edit that were created with layers. But so far, I have found no way to open a PNG file and retain the layers. Is there such a feature within Affinity Designer?

 

One of the problem files is attached.

 

There is another question that I have not tested for yet, but that relates to the above question. Is it possible to open a PNG file with frames and retain the frames, with Affinity Designer?

 

Thanks.

post-23019-0-08424700-1449539812_thumb.png

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Hi JohnG,

 

Welcome to the Forums :)

 

At the moment we don't support Fireworks's editable .PNGs. This is because the information used to retain the layers in the .PNG files is specific to Fireworks so other programs cant read it. This is something we are working to fix but at the moment we have no time frame sorry. In regards to your second question it isn't possible to save objects within the program it would be possible to select the frames but you would have to export them you couldn't retain them within Affinity Designer.

 

C

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Hi JohnG,

 

Welcome to the Forums :)

 

At the moment we don't support Fireworks's editable .PNGs. This is because the information used to retain the layers in the .PNG files is specific to Fireworks so other programs cant read it. This is something we are working to fix but at the moment we have no time frame sorry. In regards to your second question it isn't possible to save objects within the program it would be possible to select the frames but you would have to export them you couldn't retain them within Affinity Designer.

 

C

 

I work at a creative dept for a big company hiring more than 10000 employees. We have decided to replace Fireworks with other software and Affinity Designer is on our list. From the research that was done recently we have rated Affinity Designer quite high in comparision to other software, 2 major points that still stop us from switching are: lack of smart objects and it's not possible to open layered png files (Fireworks png).

 

With these two features added, Affinity Designer will become an amazing piece of software, good enough not only to gain all ex-fireworks users at once but to compete with Adobe Suite!

 

I keep my fingers crossed and perhaps another pair of hands could reprioritise your development program. 

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I think, it is definitely the wrong way, to rely on a proprietary file formats like layered PNGs. You never can't be sure, that another applicationion is able to read it. I personally woudn't even rely on layered TIFs, because this format is only supported by Adobe products.

I think, Affinity shouldn' support these kind of formats. Support your native format, and exchangeable formats like TIF, JPG, PDF and you are done.

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+1 to not supporting proprietary formats in PNGs. 

 

TIFFs on the other hand... well Sketchbook (From Autodesk) supports layered TIFFs and IIRC, layers are part of the TIFF format now and has been for a few years. Nobody but the big A's (Adobe and Autodesk) seems to support them, though.

 

I had a boatload of layered TIFFs that I just opened in Sketchbook and "Saved As" a PSD file. Opened those in apps that can open PSD files and carried on. It seems to me that there should be a way to export Fireworks files as PSDs. Not a perfect solution, but at least it could ease the pain of transitioning to Affinity products.

 

I don't think that AD will support Fireworks PNGS, as Fireworks is basically a dead app as far as continued development goes. I'd rather see forward motion rather than a step back, all things considered. I usually save the final files of work I do in multiple formats just for such an occurrence -- because no software is eternal. And if I have to spend time transitioning files to a new app... well that's how the digital game is played. Like Mongo from Blazing Saddles, we're just pawns in the game of apps. :D

 

And I feel that having symbols in AD is a step towards smart objects. At least that's my hope. :) 


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Along the lines of "It's not a bug -- It's a feature" -- I cannot think of a better way to get acquainted with a new software app than to recreate something I did using Brand X in the shiny new App. Sometimes, freed from the restraints of legacy apps, one can find new and better ways of doing the same old, same old. 


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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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CartoonMike...While I understand and in part agree with your reasoning that recreating work you did in one program is a good way to learn the workings of another, for JohnG and dariobros, or many other companies with a big library of work, spending time and resources to redo what they have already done is probably not an option they would want to consider. The strangle hold of Adobe on the use of proprietary file formats they created is going to be a difficult bridge for any new company to cross. I'm not sure what the answer is but it may require quite a bit of time for those file formats to die out as they are slowly replaced by newer ones. If Affinity is able to establish it's own PDF format that might go a long way toward making things better. Not sure if that is possible.

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thanks, CartoonMike this is very helpful, saving PNG from Fireworks as PSD does the trick (at least partially, I need some time to test it) and it can be opened in AD!

A large number of our templates were designed in FW, it would be  however impossible to recreate them all (eg. 1 FW PNG file contains ca 10-17 pages - banners).

 

Keep up the good work, AD!

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@dariobros

 

We've stated it many times before - there is no such thing as "layered PNG" - it is proprietary data inserted into a standard PNG that Fireworks uses. Since that data has no public documentation it is next to impossible to open a PNG with Fireworks data and retrieve the layers (for any app other than Fireworks).  Also, since the Fireworks PNG format was not created by Adobe, we can't use our knowledge of Adobe files formats as a starting point to try decode this data.

 

@CartoonMike

 

There is also no such thing as "layered TIFF" - and it is not in the standard.  What is in the standard are two TIFF tags assigned to Adobe which they use to embed PSD layers into a TIFF, but the content of those tags is not explained in the TIFF standard.  TIFF itself only supports flattened images.  A number of apps can read the Adobe tags from a TIFF, but it is subject to the same PSD import limitations that we always talk about.  The support for layered TIFF is only as good as the support for PSD import, which is a moving goal.  Adobe also has its own methods for applying alpha, layer effects, gradients, etc. These all affect how closely a third party app can replicate a PSD in composition.  I can guarantee that no third party app will produce 100% pixel match for Photoshop if they also support layer effects, vector masks, gradients. PSD doesn't contain a rasterised version of layer effects, so a lot of third party apps cannot import those if they rely on using the rasterised version of layers.

 

We have also registered TIFF tags to allow us to embed Affinity layer data into TIFF files.  So, like with PSD, if your exchange file format for use with a DAM is TIFF, then you can optionally preserve your Affinity layers.

 

Of course, our recommendation is that you stay with a proper Affinity file because that will give you the best performance and file size, and use our export options for creating publication formats.


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@Ben: I stand corrected. Thanks for setting me straight. 


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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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No problem.  ;)

 

The subject keeps getting brought up by people - and most people don't understand that a lot of these "features" are not part of the global standards. I think we should write a final statement somewhere. :)


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No problem.   ;)

 

The subject keeps getting brought up by people - and most people don't understand that a lot of these "features" are not part of the global standards. I think we should write a final statement somewhere. :)

 

Thanks for the clarification re file specs.

 

I am looking from an end-user (designer's) perspective hence the expression 'layered' png as these files do have layers. Us designers working with FW want to seamlessly move from 'ancient' templates into the modern world. Tackling the problem of FW pngs is one of the challenges.

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Unfortunately, you are going to have to accept that there is no application that can handle FW layered PNG files.

 

I am not overly familiar with Fireworks, and getting hold of a copy is now really difficult.  Is there any way to batch export your Fireworks PNG files as PSD?


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I am not overly familiar with Fireworks, and getting hold of a copy is now really difficult.  Is there any way to batch export your Fireworks PNG files as PSD?

Fireworks has batch processing with export functionality, but that’s only for standard flattened exports, not for special formats. For that you have to manually “Save As”.

 

It’s not that difficult to get ahold of a copy of Fireworks, actually. You can easily buy one on eBay.

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It’s not that difficult to get ahold of a copy of Fireworks, actually. You can easily buy one on eBay.

 

 

And how many of those are genuine copies....?  I just had a look, and didn't see any that looked convincing.


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We have also registered TIFF tags to allow us to embed Affinity layer data into TIFF files.  So, like with PSD, if your exchange file format for use with a DAM is TIFF, then you can optionally preserve your Affinity layers.

 

Where can I set this option? We need a standard File format like PSD or TIF to save them to our celum DAM. Affinity File formats are currently not supported by celum and end up there as a file with no preview. 

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You should get the option appear in a dialog when you open a TIFF file, add some layers, then save again.  Chose the option "Save with layers" from the dialog.  Once a TIFF has embedded Affinity layer data, it won't ask you again.


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I have been using Fireworks since version 1 so I too have many many layered source PNG files. I have no desire or need to continue using layered PNG files I just want to be able to open and use old resources. So a one time conversion or import or something, even if it was an external app. "Save Layered PNG as Affinity Designer" would be fine with me.

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John G, I know this thread is several years old but I sure do not see a response that solved yours or my problem.

I do not know if you ever got an answer anywhere else that helped you resolve your issue.

What I do is export a page from the PNG (after first ungrouping ANYTHIING and converting text to paths) to FXG. You can actually save out the data from ALL of your pages but the result is a file with everything lumped together in one file. Can be tedious to wade through. Anyway, after exporting to FXG you then have to make a new illustrator file and PLACE that fxg file into it.

The result will have saved most if not all of your styles and kept most if not all editable vectors. Save the ai file and this can be now be opened with affinity designer and resaved. Its not beautiful. A few things are might get bitmapped...this usually happens if anything is grouped.

IF your text does not contain styles then you do not need to convert to paths. It will remain editable. Just make sure when you save the imported FXG as an illustrator file to check include PDF. if you don't you got nothing but text messages telling you that illustrator saved this file out without PDF. totally weird.

Sometimes you can copy and paste from fireworks to illustrator and skip the FXG step. I think it depends what version of illustrator you have?

All affinity needs to do to make me happy is support pages. Doesnt have to be fireworks proprietary. Its the function that I want! "pages" are no different than illustrators multiple artboards. But I want them stackable so I can flip though the pages when Im working on iterative changes for a tight comparison.  I defo want the ability to share a single item to multiple pages. It should be doable regardless of adobe proprietary nonsense. Its called reinventing the wheel. 

Imagine when wheels were all wooden and what if the inventor of the automobile had said -well we have to use wooden wheels because thats all the standard is. Or imagine him saying we cant have rubber wheels because no one will tell us how they are made. You better believe they invented their own rubber.

reinvent the wheel. and do it better. Thats my two bits.

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My guess is that Designer will get the Pages functionality by the time Publisher is out, at the Beta stage to the earliest.

Best regards!


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Diz,

 

I don't remember FW's pages. But aren't they just layers? 

 

You can make discrete layers in AD. Then put each asset on its own layer.

 

You likely can create artboards and stack them on top of each other.

 

I would need to dig out some Fireworks files from an old backup to even try anything. I have not used it since the 1990s.


My computer is a nothing-special Toshiba laptop with unremarkable specs running Windows 10 64-bit.

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10 hours ago, MikeW said:

I don't remember FW's pages. But aren't they just layers? 

No pages in Fireworks are not layers. In terms of organization they are probably similar to artboards in Illustrator, i. e. they have their own panel where you can sort the pages; they can be re-ordered but can’t be nested and aren’t organized as tree with layers inside (the layers panel is extra). Only one page’s content is shown at a time, so that’s different to artboards which are all shown on the canvas. And you can have a master page whose contents are shown on all other pages.

However, I think if one were strict and regarded web/UI design as sort of “publishing” (in terms of confronting people with information) rather than illustration (as an art), all the UI functionality currently in AD would have to go into Affinity Publisher, where we’ll definitely have pages and stuff. So, APub would be the all-in-one DTP/UI design application while AD would be more geared towards actual illustration.

That’s just my opinion; we’ll see where Serif goes. But we should probably get rid of the old way of thinking of “pages” as was implemented in FW and embrace more modern approaches.

fw_pages.png

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2 hours ago, VIPStephan said:

That’s just my opinion; we’ll see where Serif goes. But we should probably get rid of the old way of thinking of “pages” as was implemented in FW and embrace more modern approaches.

I agree but I also wonder what the most 'modern' approach should be. Obviously, web pages & printed pages are very different things, & UI "pages" are different from either one. Affinity Designer's artboards are not exactly "pages" either, so where should they fit into our thinking?


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