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Attempting to join multiple curves together into single curve using boolean operations


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Hi,

I'm trying to create a singular curve by joining multiple individual curves together using the ADD boolean operation, but it is not working as expected.

I have the following design below consisting of multiple curves, and basically I want to join them together so it becomes one single curve:

image.png.2145ba2738cc3a6538cdb0a52974b760.png

When I used the ADD boolean operation to attempt to join the curves together it came out looking like this:

issue-with-boolean-ops-add-annotation.png.663863332cb42d130065ed6f4acff1ba.png

 

I also tried to use the XOR boolean operation and then use the "Break Curve" and "Join Curve" options respectively to remove the newly intersecting pen curves, but for some reason the areas where the curves should join right after implementing the XOR operation become a jumbled mess (which makes using the Break- and Join Curve actions almost impossible):

issue-with-boolean-ops-xor-annotation.png.f3988712533bb4bb10095eb763c4d256.png

issue-with-boolean-ops-xor-join-issue-2.thumb.png.c3bbb6a87a0a77aaafea06f1be4844a3.png

 

Hence I'm asking for help with this because I truly don't know how else to achieve this. Not sure if this question has been asked before in the Forum, but any help would be truly appreciated :).

 

 

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Welcome to the forum @lphilb92

It's better to do this incrementally, you need to join some of the curves first, such as the open curves (lines) If you can upload the document I can do this and save the history so you can see what I have done in the history panel.

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This is about as far as I can get.

curve-join-test modified.afdesign

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You can't have a curve joined mid curve, this effectively forms a T connection and that isn't permissible so you have to layer the shapes behind to give the illusion of it being connected.

image.png.d263bf1e0db6a30b35eab8366c401a27.png

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22 minutes ago, G13RL said:

Hi @lphilb92

I don't know if this will work for you: select the set, "Layer", "Geometry", "Merge Curves".

2022-02-27_001222.jpg

Puts the curves onto one layer but try adding a fill to it and it will show you a mess.

image.png.34d4ca033383406cec15f5fb299dbbf3.png

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Hi @firstdefence,

Thanks again for the attempt. After checking your modified version of the file I now see that the version I sent you was one where the outer curve of the plane design mistakenly had a mid curve and wasn't a whole curve. I followed the history and see how you worked it out to the final outcome, so I'll replicate it.

I understand what you mean behind the layering to give off the illusion of it being connected, but the reason I'm trying to combine all the curves into one because I want it to be a singular vector (like an icon) where the design can blend in with any background. I've managed to come close to this with a different design, but the problem is that I have to use curves with a defined curve size (e.g. 2px) which includes a combination of using the Expand Stroke option, boolean operations (to cut out intersecting strokes) and then using the Convert to Curves options. The problem is that the curve size becomes set in stone (due to the Expand Stroke option), so I wanted to try a different approach where the curve does not need to become expanded to achieve a singular curve. Below I have some screenshots illustrating the attempt at creating a singular curve using the above mentioned step combinations:

expanded-stroke-issue-1-annotations.png.314eba42b0b3aa0a25a12ab5c998ff67.png

 

expanded-stroke-issue-2-annotations.png.5a63e14d32297768fd00329b8826a3f4.png

If it isn't possible to combine the curves together without using the Expand Stroke option for the curves then I think I'll have to go with the Expand Stroke option as a workaround.

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The expand curves option is likely the easiest of options because you can then connect pathways, so, this is not permissible...

image.png.e0d7f47bd02dffae3b818d1bebdbf5c6.png

But, expand the curves and you have the same visual effect but you have lines that do not connect as a T junction and consequently are permissible.

image.png.7dcd465cf312d6929e45eaed27141ed0.png

Like you say this makes post editing fiddly and time consuming but for the design you have at the moment it's the most practical way forward, unless others have any methods.

  • Will this icon have a fill or will it be a stroke only icon...
  • What format are you going to export to?
  • Are you trying to add two strokes to the curve line, if so the Appearance panel is the best choice for that.
  • image.png.13188937a21da243ea717b37754d3244.png

 

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Soooo, can someone please explain again why this needs to be one continuous path? Maybe a rephrasing will add clarity (..... for me 😝).

What it the end result supposed to look like, or be able to do, that needs that requirement? 

You can't use an SVG of a few parts and just change the stroke color (you could even have different thicknesses)?
If it's a solid fill you're after, isn't a whole other kind of construction needed?

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21 minutes ago, JimmyJack said:

Soooo, can someone please explain again why this needs to be one continuous path?

I think it is in response to what the OP said was wanted in the first post:

Quote

I'm trying to create a singular curve by joining multiple individual curves together ...

But it is still not clear why that is needed, or if it really is....

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Hi all,

Sorry if I wasn't clear in my first set of posts, but to clarify what I'm going after (to answer @firstdefence's questions):

Q1: 

Quote
  • Will this icon have a fill or will it be a stroke only icon...

A: This icon/vector will be a stroke only icon/vector, so no fill. I want to be able to place it in any background (like an icon).

 

Q2: 

Quote
  • What format are you going to export to?

A: I want to export it to EPS, PSD, PDF, SVG and PNG.

 

Q3: 

Quote
  • Are you trying to add two strokes to the curve line, if so the Appearance panel is the best choice for that.

A: Yes, the intention is that the eventual curve "size" can be increased by adding strokes (to give the illusion of the curve line looking larger). I just want to be able to prevent the issue with the curve size being set in stone by using the Expand Stroke option.

 

To answer your questions @JimmyJack and @R C-R,

The main reason it (preferably) needs to be one continuous path is because I want it to function like a vector-based icon (which is one continuous path), which can be exported into e.g. an EPS file and can be edited for future use (to have a editable stroke, to be resized, etc.). I'd rather it not consist of multiple paths (if possible). If it ends up being too time consuming to do it that way then I might have to just go ahead and use multiple joined paths.

 

Below I attached some screenshots to illustrate what I'm trying to achieve with one of the designs I'm working on:

example-1-annotation.png.e87c460eeacbf62b15c27ff2762af72a.png

 

example-2-annotation.png.010ff8f910cd47709655944a64639129.png

 

 

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21 hours ago, lphilb92 said:

Hi @v_kyr,

Thanks, yes actually that's what I'm trying to achieve, but I noticed that somehow the curves looks distorted (e.g. lines which are meant to be straight look wavy and uneven). I'm curious to know which steps you took to get to the end result?

Since I was in a hurry, I throwed your initial shown drawing (a taken bitmap screen capture of your plane drawing) into an online vectorizer. The online vectorizer used doesn't offer much finetune settings (... in contrast to some other good & standalone tracing apps), thus it looks slightly uneven like this. - Note that when using a vectorizer therefor, one with centerline tracing capabilities is needed (aka if the strokes on an initial to trace bitmap image are very thick/bold), since otherwise with just default outline tracing settings, you would get outlined strokes here instead.

Since you don't want to get bigger/thicker strokes as outlines, you have to trace just the centerlines of the bigger strokes here. In return you will get all as thin centerline strokes as one curves layer here. - Further the better the tracers outline/centerline tracing capabilities (it's used algorithm) and the finetune settings it offers therefore, the better the final result will be.

You can test some Online centerline supporting tracing tools here:

Free standalone apps with centerline tracing options are for example:

Such tools do help for quicker turnarounds. Though you can also do the tracing manually and often even better maybe more accurate, though you will need to spend much much more time instead!

 

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23 hours ago, v_kyr said:

Not sure if that's what the OP is after here ...

Hard to tell from the screenshot but from what you said later, you combined multiple curves into a single Curves layer, so it actually is not a single vector curve. I still wonder if what the OP needs is a single vector curve, or why.

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AFAI understood it, the OP prefers to have just one (curves) layer here instead of ~14 (curve) layers.

2 hours ago, R C-R said:

but from what you said later, you combined multiple curves into a single Curves layer

Nope, I didn't said that I myself combined curves here, in fact I didn't combined anything here at all. The online tracing app traced the whole image centerline based and returned one curves layer as a result! Which in turn is logical, since it's tracing algorithm detetected several closed paths (wings, windows ...) inside the bitmap drawing I've thrown on it and not just one closed path (... since that drawing isn't created as just one continious path, how can it that way? )!

jets.jpg.36028537d2a8ecfb2963707522163eb1.jpg

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2 minutes ago, v_kyr said:

AFAI understood it, the OP prefers to have just one (curves) layer here instead of ~14 (curve) layers.

As I understand it, the OP wants a single curve. Note for instance the mention of a "single curve" in the topic title or the mention of "a singular curve" in several of the OP's posts. As you understand it, a "(Curves)" layer is not a single curve is it?

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Yeah, I think the word "continuous" is throwing me (et al) off. I think it's clear that the OP wants everything in one "object" and not consisting of one single uninterrupted line (how would that even be possible with the windows and such).

On 2/27/2022 at 10:07 PM, lphilb92 said:

This icon/vector will be a stroke only icon/vector, so no fill. I want to be able to place it in any background (like an icon).

It now seems apparent that your initial file was just fine....the construction's a bit disjointed, but it's fine. Do what @G13RL said, and everything will be in one object. The fill won't work as @firstdefence pointed out, but you say you don't need/want a fill. Your elements can be combined so the fill will work, but I guess that's a different topic.

On 2/27/2022 at 10:07 PM, lphilb92 said:

I want it to function like a vector-based icon (which is one continuous path)

But a vector based icon doesn't need to be one object, or, "one continuous path", at all. 
Illustrator might be causing the confusion here. It's a little different when it comes to this. You can have what appears to be many different flavors of things in "one" object/layer, but the reality it that your AI prefs are such that it's just not showing you all the individual pieces as individuals. Change the setting and every little thing will be shown as it's own item within the layer.

On 2/27/2022 at 10:07 PM, lphilb92 said:

Below I attached some screenshots to illustrate what I'm trying to achieve with one of the designs I'm working on:

So, Affinity's booleans won't work (at least how you'd like them to) on single curves. And there is no trim or slice tool. You're going to have use the Node tool and add a point at each intersection and delete the crossing spans (ctrl clicking on it w the node tool... or whatever the pc key combo is.)

Bottom line:
You don't need to expand and Boolean add everything together. Use Layer > Geometry > Merge Curves instead.

EDIT: Oh, and I did do a version of your first file where the entire plane body: fuselage, belly, tail and both wings is indeed one single long continuous line 💪 😅.

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25 minutes ago, R C-R said:

As I understand it, the OP wants a single curve. Note for instance the mention of a "single curve" in the topic title or the mention of "a singular curve" in several of the OP's posts. As you understand it, a "(Curves)" layer is not a single curve is it?

Look at what the centerline tracing app generates and returns as SVG code here, that should answer your question ...

<?xml version="1.0" standalone="yes"?>
<svg xmlns="http://www.w3.org/2000/svg" width="702" height="591">
<path style="stroke:#000000; fill:none;" d="M333 342L330 342C334 336.714 332.606 330.236 333.424 324C335.769 306.14 335.789 287.017 336.004 269C336.692 211.189 339.43 152.795 341.961 95C342.805 75.7271 343 56.287 343 37C343 32.7018 341.48 20.3184 347.208 18.7515C354.547 16.7443 353 37.1747 353 41C353 66.3536 355 91.6801 355 117C355 173.292 355.5 230.984 360.83 287C362.093 300.269 361.15 313.744 362.715 327C363.266 331.675 362.525 336.685 365.228 340.856C367.972 345.088 373.596 344.823 378 345.898C385.482 347.724 393.325 350.601 400 354.465C409.441 359.929 417.598 367.216 424.076 376C427.115 380.121 429.381 388.217 433.498 391.111C437.202 393.715 445.791 391.233 450 390.715C463.976 388.998 477.999 387.665 492 386.166C537.327 381.313 582.673 376.687 628 371.834L665 367.834C669.641 367.337 677.273 365.35 681.663 367.603C688.398 371.058 673.89 374.731 672 374.999C655.323 377.366 638.631 379.739 622 382.41C586.072 388.181 549.959 392.847 514 398.424C489.66 402.199 463.625 408.796 439 409C441.168 425.787 441.543 442.253 443.17 459C443.765 465.124 447.708 470.983 447.683 477C447.667 480.941 444.813 484.151 444.214 488C443.039 495.544 443.57 504.354 443.571 512C443.572 524.049 451.206 539.454 442.606 549.957C431.127 563.975 403.293 561.713 387 564.804C372.389 567.576 357.989 571.617 343 570.961C326.027 570.217 308.844 564.698 292 562.271C278.783 560.366 260.628 560.596 252.562 547.985C245.367 536.734 252 514.155 252 501C252 489.451 246.039 477.288 252 467C260.233 481.853 260.093 498.24 272.184 512C307.867 552.608 378.667 557.354 418 518.985C426.856 510.347 433.585 500.755 437.656 489C440.116 481.897 440.451 473.549 444 467M365 342L333 343M252 467L253.09 436L257 409C236.207 408.943 214.578 403.236 194 400.271C152.309 394.263 110.667 387.866 69 381.728C53.9965 379.518 39.0222 377.084 24 375C21.6039 374.668 10.4092 373.407 13.1759 368.588C15.2502 364.975 25.7348 367.314 29 367.715C44.3057 369.595 59.717 370.538 75 372.576C117.814 378.282 161.054 381.568 204 386.166C216.663 387.522 229.359 388.732 242 390.285C247.486 390.958 255.503 393.211 260.895 391.82C264.709 390.837 266.216 386.064 268.012 383C272.085 376.047 277.008 369.59 283.001 364.171C297.235 351.298 312.667 348.87 330 343M262 393L258 408M434 393L438 408M290 395.573C301.184 392.368 299.494 400.689 297.003 408C294.019 416.759 288.72 424.953 279.001 427.343C271.941 429.078 272.334 422.647 274.065 418C277.029 410.039 280.884 398.185 290 395.573M397.618 396.028C408.662 386.91 418.309 408.357 421.128 415C422.375 417.939 425.19 423.449 422.382 426.254C412.858 435.766 400.732 411.793 398.576 406C397.612 403.411 394.807 398.349 397.618 396.028M309.058 397.117C315.139 394.258 339.026 398.217 343.397 403.419C347.71 408.552 345.976 423.427 339.981 426.427C331.146 430.849 308.039 427.609 301.619 419.581C298.251 415.369 304.51 399.255 309.058 397.117M383.996 396.533C390.822 396.395 398.147 412.989 394.932 418.725C391.34 425.136 372.752 428.428 366 428.427C354.032 428.427 343.103 412.488 353.434 402.514C359.145 397 376.376 396.687 383.996 396.533M280 534L295 544C288.168 545.419 282.341 540.927 278 536L280 534M416 534C417.058 541.423 407.26 545.3 401 544L416 534M296 555L305.871 553.014L315 558M383 558C388.662 554.098 390.374 553.433 397 555M302 555L308 557M393 555L387 556"/>
</svg>

 

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19 minutes ago, v_kyr said:

Look at what the centerline tracing app generates and returns as SVG code here, that should answer your question ...

First of all, I don't know what tracing app you used, so I have no idea how to examine what it returns as SVG code.

But more to the point, how could any form of centerline tracing make everything in the OP's design into a single curve path? There is no way I can see to do that -- even if the path doubles back along itself to simulate 't' joins, the cockpit windows can never be a part of the same path as the plane body. 

It is as I think @JimmyJack said that the OP is (or was) not aware that a vector icon does not need to be all one continuous path.

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57 minutes ago, R C-R said:

But more to the point, how could any form of centerline tracing make everything in the OP's design into a single curve path? There is no way I can see to do that -- even if the path doubles back along itself to simulate 't' joins, the cockpit windows can never be a part of the same path as the plane body.

You are just repeating what I've already said and concluded to you before here ...

2 hours ago, v_kyr said:

...The online tracing app traced the whole image centerline based and returned one curves layer as a result! Which in turn is logical, since it's tracing algorithm detetected several closed paths (wings, windows ...) inside the bitmap drawing I've thrown on it and not just one closed path (... since that drawing isn't created as just one continious path, how can it that way? )!

Further if you've looked into the above shown SVG code you will see that only one path element was created ...

<path style="stroke:#000000; fill:none;" d=" ........"/>

... which in turn contains a sequence of commands with absolute coordinates (M = Move to, L = Line to, C = cubic Curve to) and their used coordinate parameters. - So that tells you that one Layer (path element) will be used/created with 15 coordinate position moves (used 15 times), 14 lines (used 14 times) and 68 cubic curves (used 68 times). Due to the amount of moves you can tell immediately that it is no continious path element at all!

Do your own tryouts to understand what a tracer's centerline algorithm (in this case "Rapid resizer") will detect & generate here. I used ...

... and exported as SVG & PDF. In order to inspect what it generates you just need SVG export from that, which you can review inside any text editor.

 

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20 minutes ago, v_kyr said:

You are just repeating what I've already said and concluded to you before here ...

All I am trying to do is make it clear to the OP that there is no way to make that design into a single curve (just like the topic title says), nor is there any need to do so.

I am not sure your previous comments about centerline tracing, curves layers, SVG exports, etc. did that.

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8 minutes ago, R C-R said:

All I am trying to do is make it clear to the OP that there is no way to make that design into a single curve (just like the topic title says), nor is there any need to do so.

Then quote and tell the OP not me, or indicate that it's meant for the OP, otherwise I always think you are asking me again something I've already answered before IMO clearly!

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