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No Good Work-a-rounds for this missing feature (Distortion Tool Set)


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For many of the tools existing in Adobe Illustrator or Inkscape which do not exist in Affinity Designer there are some work-a-rounds which may be used to achieve comparable results.  These often only add 10s of seconds to the workflow and while not optimal and a little of an annoyance they are still functional.  However the lack of a distortion tool set I have found to be quite limiting.  If I want to fit characters into a shape there is no good way to do this that doesn't  add 10s of minutes onto a task.  I can take the shape and text and use edit in photo so I can make use of its mesh warp, liquify or perspective tools but this rasterizes the curves so that they no longer scale.  I might then bring them back into Designer and use the pen tool to outline and recreate the shapes but this adds quite a bit of time to the workflow.  This is the biggest gap Designer has with other drawing applications.  Using shearing and then the node tool to poke and prod segments here and there into a shape is rather difficult often looking out of sorts with the whole.  Of all the tools other applications have If I could choose one to be added to the next version of Designer a distortion tool set is it.  

The other missing tools such as the knife tool, Eraser, and Shape Builder I can kludge using other tools.  The knife can be achieved using the pen or pencil tool across a shape followed by the expand stroke operation and then selecting it with the underlying shape and apply geometry divide to cut the shapes along the expanded stroke. 

The shape builder alternative was a little harder to figure out.  Overlaying shapes and using the divide tool works for simple shapes but with more complex shapes overlays don't always divide shapes as expected leaving artifacts of overlapped shapes which are not divided.  To ensure clean cuts I've found if I select the shapes and expand stroke and then divide all shapes will be divided but there are a lot of artifacts of unclosed curves left between the shapes.  To help identify these; before the divide I overlay the shapes with a gray 50% transparent rectangle and then do the divide.  The shapes then stand out as grey in the layers panel and the curve artifacts are black and may be deleted.  However there are gaps between the shapes preventing them from being added together without strokes being visible between.  To fill the gaps select all shapes and use the Contour tool to expand them into the gaps.  Then you have shapes which may be selected with the node tool and removed similar to the shape builder or multiple may be selected and converted to a single shape using the add operation.  Quite obviously a kludge but it doesn't take as long as it sounds to achieve.

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4 hours ago, iuli said:

@Boldlinedesign Isn’t sending people away from Affinity, on Affinity Forums, crossing a common sense line (and probably even more than that)?

If there's a solution to all the problems someone listed, would you not offer to help them solve it? That person was already looking beyond affinity at this point, why not give them another one to consider? Affinity has said many times, you buy their software for what it can do now, not what you hope it can do in the future. Right now, affinity designer is missing a large number of features that most would consider standard in a professional vector program and the pace they've been adding them has been glacial at best. Affinity has an entire team dedicated to advancing each respective affinity software, vectorstyler is built by one developer who's built all the missing tools into vectorstyler in less time.

They have removed their roadmap and do not say much on the forum. Certain existing features like Boolean operations do not function well and never have... At some point, the user base is going to have enough frustration that they look for alternative solutions. After all, many turned to affinity when adobe turned to a predatory SaaS and they can turn from affinity if they do not steps up their game soon. As a fan of affinity in many ways, I am optimistic a giant 2.0 release is coming and will close the feature gap in a large way. 

I can understand why you'd think suggesting a different vector program on the affinity forum is wrong. I would encourage you to think of it differently. Vectorstyler does not have to be a replacement to affinity designer, and instead could be complementary. Affinity users who need features long absent from affinity could purchase vectorstyler and paste vector work interchangeably between the two programs. The struggles of using affinity designer can be alleviated by adding one program. As anxious as I am for affinity designer improvements and feature additions, using vectorstyler alongside designer gives me most of the solutions . I learned of Vectorstyler through the affinity forum years ago when I was losing  patience with affinity and if it could help others like it did me, everyone gains. 

 

 

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I don't have a problem with people suggesting other software that offers functions not available in the Affinity apps, but it is worth mentioning that VectorStyler costs around twice as much as Affinity Designer. It may be very good, I've never used it, but it does seem a bit expensive just to "add" a few features "missing" from AD!

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19 minutes ago, PaulEC said:

I don't have a problem with people suggesting other software that offers functions not available in the Affinity apps, but it is worth mentioning that VectorStyler costs around twice as much as Affinity Designer. It may be very good, I've never used it, but it does seem a bit expensive just to "add" a few features "missing" from AD!

That is a very good point. And while I applaud the (apparent) fact that 'vectorstyler is built by one developer', that does mean it is a single point of failure. 

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If you use any of these programs to design professionally and make money, even the cost of all the affinity apps plus Vectorstyler do not add up to a major cost investment. I've purchased every available affinity app on all the platforms as sell as countless other programs in order to do my unprofessional work.

If a program you purchase for less money does not offer a majority of tools needed to do your job, was it a great purchase to begin with? Vectorstyler offers easily ten times the functionality of affinity designer currently and is still priced under 100 dollars. I think the more accurate phrasing is why is affinity cost as much as it does given the lack of many vital features?

Vectorstyler offers far more than just a few features beyond designer; vectorstyler is a powerhouse vector program that will far exceed the capabilities of designer for the foreseeable future. I invested in vectorstyler to be the solution to designer's  gaping holes and ended up making it my primary vector app and now affinity is the sidecar. Some people prefer the simplicity of designer and only want the major features of Vectorstyler as needed. 

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@LondonSquirrel it amazes me the things people fixate on to justify their position. The fact that one developer has built Vectorstyler into a powerhouse vector program in just a few short years should expose and in some ways embarrass the affinity designer team. One man has accomplished in three years far more than an entire team at affinity has done in over eight years. Is there some concern about a contingency plan should something happen to him? Sure, but the investment made by a vectorstyler user is minimal and the upside tremendous.

The whole cost argument is also baffling. Adobe wants a 650 dollar subscription annually, Corel is several hundred dollars, etc. Here's a program (vectorstyler) that runs circles around affinity and eliminates most every missing feature issue and allows users to get away completely from Corel and adobe, etc, all for a measly 100 dollars. People spend that much on a fancy dinner! Here a 100 dollar purchase gives you the tools and more to use alongside affinity for years to come.

Seems like a no brainer to me

 

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3 minutes ago, Boldlinedesign said:

@LondonSquirrel it amazes me the things people fixate on to justify their position. The fact that one developer has built Vectorstyler into a powerhouse vector program in just a few short years should expose and in some ways embarrass the affinity designer team. One man has accomplished in three years far more than an entire team at affinity has done in over eight years. Is there some concern about a contingency plan should something happen to him? Sure, but the investment made by a vectorstyler user is minimal and the upside tremendous.

The whole cost argument is also baffling. Adobe wants a 650 dollar subscription annually, Corel is several hundred dollars, etc. Here's a program (vectorstyler) that runs circles around affinity and eliminates most every missing feature issue and allows users to get away completely from Corel and adobe, etc, all for a measly 100 dollars. People spend that much on a fancy dinner! Here a 100 dollar purchase gives you the tools and more to use alongside affinity for years to come.

Seems like a no brainer to me

It seems that somebody here is fixated on VectorStyler. Does VectorStyler have three platforms? Does VectorStyler offer DTP and photo editing? If the answer to those questions is 'no', then VectorStyler is not a suitable replacement for me. Yes, VectorStyler is relatively cheap. But it is also twice the cost of AD.

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37 minutes ago, Boldlinedesign said:

If you use any of these programs to design professionally and make money, even the cost of all the affinity apps plus Vectorstyler do not add up to a major cost investment. I've purchased every available affinity app on all the platforms as sell as countless other programs in order to do my unprofessional work.

If a program you purchase for less money does not offer a majority of tools needed to do your job, was it a great purchase to begin with? Vectorstyler offers easily ten times the functionality of affinity designer currently and is still priced under 100 dollars. I think the more accurate phrasing is why is affinity cost as much as it does given the lack of many vital features?

Vectorstyler offers far more than just a few features beyond designer; vectorstyler is a powerhouse vector program that will far exceed the capabilities of designer for the foreseeable future. I invested in vectorstyler to be the solution to designer's  gaping holes and ended up making it my primary vector app and now affinity is the sidecar. Some people prefer the simplicity of designer and only want the major features of Vectorstyler as needed. 

I only mention the cost of VectorStyler as many people have moved to Affinity from Adobe for cost reasons. (Although there are some, like myself, who actually prefer the Affinity apps.)

I appreciate that for some people cost is not an issue, but I think it only fair to warn others, (whose hopes may be raised by the recommendation of an alternative app,) that it is not free, or even cheap but, compared to AD, a fairly significant investment!.  😐

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3 hours ago, Boldlinedesign said:

vectorstyler is built by one developer

Due to the frequency of posts and the stubbornness with which you promote the program here (which, by the way, is against the rules of the forum - "links to any other commercial website or store"), this single developer has a decent marketing department 🙂

https://www.google.com/search?q=Vectorstyler+boldlinedesign+site:forum.affinity.serif.com
https://forum.affinity.serif.com/index.php?/search/&q=Vectorstyler&author=Boldlinedesign

Edited by Pšenda

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16 hours ago, Pšenda said:

Due to the frequency of posts and the stubbornness with which you promote the program here (which, by the way, is against the rules of the forum - "links to any other commercial website or store"), this single developer has a decent marketing department 🙂

https://www.google.com/search?q=Vectorstyler+boldlinedesign+site:forum.affinity.serif.com
https://forum.affinity.serif.com/index.php?/search/&q=Vectorstyler&author=Boldlinedesign


Well, I would rather say enthusiastic and impressed Users, of which I am one, by the way.
And i guess, the others are in need of a good Marketing Department.

But still like Affinity Designer for some Tools i like.

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21 hours ago, PaulEC said:

I appreciate that for some people cost is not an issue, but I think it only fair to warn others, (whose hopes may be raised by the recommendation of an alternative app,) that it is not free, or even cheap but, compared to AD, a fairly significant investment!.  😐

Let's put some additional perspective on this.  There is an audio instrument plugin called BFD3 which produces drum sounds.  That is what it does - you feed it MIDI data and it outputs drum sounds.  It is currently *on sale* for $150 - the cost of both AD and VectorStyler combined.  On its own, it produces... drum sounds.  You would need other sources to provide the sounds of other instruments if you wanted to produce an entire song.  And when the plugin is not on sale, it costs even more - try twice as much.

 

Why can the company get away with a price like that?  Because what it does, it does very well.  It is among the best at what it does, and there is a market for that.

Are they the only ones that charge that much?

Here is an example of a somewhat more specialized (limited) drum sound library that is $299 (the "normal" price of BFD3): https://www.spitfireaudio.com/shop/a-z/hammers/

 

Combining AD and Vectorstyler for $150 is not that big of a stretch in the grand scheme of things, particularly since each of them is perfectly usable on its own for a range of tasks, and capable of producing complete works.

 

Ultimately, you need to balance your requirements against your budget based on the tools that are available and what they cost.  If AD does not provide the features you need, then you will need something else.  You can get some perfectly usable drum sounds bundled with most DAWs and even for free.  You can get some perfectly good vector artwork tools by downloading Inkscape for free.  If they do not do what you need, or you are not happy with them, then look elsewhere.

 

AD is a great tool at a great price point, but it is true that there is quite a bit that is missing as well.  The same can be said for all the other programs - they each have things to offer, and they are all missing things too.  Having more than one tool in your toolbox increases your versatility, as long as you learn to choose your tools to match the project at hand.

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57 minutes ago, fde101 said:

Combining AD and Vectorstyler for $150 is not that big of a stretch in the grand scheme of things, particularly since each of them is perfectly usable on its own for a range of tasks, and capable of producing complete works.

For some people it isn't, for some people it is!

I don't see a problem simply pointing out that what was touted as something to replace some missing features in one app is actually twice the price of that original app. If you want VectorStyler for itself, and are happy to pay for it, that's great. I'm not sure why some people seem to think it unreasonable to mention the cost of an app, rather than just trying to "sell it" as an alternative.

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4 hours ago, PaulEC said:

For some people it isn't, for some people it is!

True.  In some countries people need to travel several miles every day to get clean drinking water.

 

4 hours ago, PaulEC said:

I don't see a problem simply pointing out that what was touted as something to replace some missing features in one app is actually twice the price of that original app.

Neither do I.

 

4 hours ago, PaulEC said:

I'm not sure why some people seem to think it unreasonable to mention the cost of an app, rather than just trying to "sell it" as an alternative.

It is not, but when doing so, it is not unreasonable either to have suggested it in the first place.  For some people the cost would be worthwhile.

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15 hours ago, fde101 said:

It is not, but when doing so, it is not unreasonable either to have suggested it in the first place.  For some people the cost would be worthwhile.

I agree. But I do think it reasonable to expect someone who suggests another piece of software as a "solution" to "missing" features, or to solve a particular problem, to mention if it is free, cheap or more expensive than the Affinity app that (in their opinion) it supplements or replaces. Especially when they don't just mention it, but repeatedly "push  it" as an alternative to an Affinity app. Quite often, when you go to an apps webpage, you see something like "free download", but it isn't obvious just what it actually costs! – It can be quite frustrating to think you've found a great solution for something, only to discover how expensive it is. 

It really isn't a matter of "some people can afford it, and some people think it's worth it" - so don't mention he cost; it's just a matter of clarity and being honest about something you are recommending to other people. I'm sorry you think it was wrong of me to mention the cost of an app that someone else recommended, personally I just consider it to be giving a little extra information, which some people might find helpful!

Some people obviously think VectorStyler is a great app, some people think Adobe apps are wonderful, personally I prefer the Affinity apps.  For some of people the choice comes down to a simple choice of which app you prefer to use for your workflow etc. (regardless of cost.) For some cost is a major factor. For many it's a balance of the two, and knowing the cost of something, in addition to being told how wonderful it is, can be quite handy!

We just seem to be going round in circles, and will never agree about his, so maybe we should agree to disagree! 😉

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32 minutes ago, PaulEC said:

Especially when they don't just mention it, but repeatedly "push  it" as an alternative to an Affinity app.

At least in my opinion, it is unethical to use a site funded by another company that offers a cheaper product for this re-promotion of competing products. VectorStyler should use and fund its own marketing channels for this - given the considerable price of the product, it should have enough money to do so, and not parasitize on others.

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Wow sounds like recommending a usable workaround is getting a little out of hand, the forum post title is: "No Good Work-a-rounds for this missing feature (Distortion Tool Set)" a solution I would recommend is copy paste into VectorStyler, do your stuff that you can't do in Designer, copy paste back into Publisher (StudioLink fanboy here) - paid for itself in a few minutes - I use VectorStyler as a companion app just to plug gaps, now just part of the workflow  - so for me and a couple of Adobe and Corel switchers which I've recommended this to, this is a "Good Work-a-round for this missing feature (Distortion Tool Set)" also good for vector brushes, blob brush, vector pattern fills.... blah blah blah etc... all very boring unless your job needs them 

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I probably haven't read all the posts here about VectorStyler, but in addition to it being 2x the price of Designer, it may be worth noting that while you get a perpetual license for the program, you only get 1 year of updates. After that, you need to pay again if you want additional updates.

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