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Outlining Text - Contour tool method not working.


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I've taken various tutorials on the contour tool and have used it successfully to outline text one time. (copy text layer, hit contour tool, play with size of contour and mitres, etc) But lately, the contour tool is a fail. The text outline comes out broken, partial, and doesn't fit the text. I can use the apply stroke technique but am wondering what happened to contour. Any thoughts appreciated.

Screenshot 2022-05-15 173431.jpeg

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It’s often difficult to diagnose problems when we can only see such a small part of the screen.

If you can supply a full-screen screenshot which, in this case, includes the Layers Panel (with the ‘problem layer’ selected and visible in that panel) and you have the Tool you are using selected so we can see the Context Toolbar settings for it then we might have a better idea of what’s going on.

The more information we have – the more we can see of what you can see – the better it is for us when we are trying to help you.

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Hi!

My first suspect is that you use a Dash Line Style with a very strange Dash. You might possibly have made some experiments with it and now it creates this strange results.

In that case you only need to click the Solid Line Style on top of the Stroke Panel. Take care that the Text is selected while you do that.

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Thanks so much for your suggestions.

Attached is a larger view screenshot.

I tried selecting the text and choosing a solid line style, but nothing changed. And I've never used a dashed line, much less an irregular one. The problem seems to be coming out of the Contour Tool. But none of the contour options fix the text.

Screenshot 2022-05-15 200516.jpeg

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Mysterious! I can't replicate this. But as far as I see, there is no outline (Stroke) on the selected layer. What would it look like if the top layer would be invisible?

By the way, what app we are talking about here: Designer, Photo or Publisher? Edit: Ah, I see, it can only be Designer.

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Can you upload the afdesign file for us to look at please?

 

iMac 27" Late 2019 Fully Loaded and running Monterey 12.6.1, iMac 27" Late 2013 running Catalina 10.15.7 - Affinity Designer, Photo & Publisher V1 & V2, Adobe, Inkscape, Blender, C4D, Sketchup + more... XP-Pen Artist-22E, - iPad Pro 12.9 B|  

Affinity Help - Affinity Desktop Tutorials - Feedback - FAQ - most asked questions

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The red fill wouldn't be a bitmap fill would it?

iMac 27" Late 2019 Fully Loaded and running Monterey 12.6.1, iMac 27" Late 2013 running Catalina 10.15.7 - Affinity Designer, Photo & Publisher V1 & V2, Adobe, Inkscape, Blender, C4D, Sketchup + more... XP-Pen Artist-22E, - iPad Pro 12.9 B|  

Affinity Help - Affinity Desktop Tutorials - Feedback - FAQ - most asked questions

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15 minutes ago, firstdefence said:

The red fill wouldn't be a bitmap fill would it?

Doesn't seem so, if you look at the Layers Panel. But maybe it is a display error. As I tested it, it seemed to be a lot of work for my computer. Possibly a restart of the app or the computer would help - of course you should save your work first.

Edit: By the way, it would possibly be a better solution to use only one layer for the text and to give the text an outline on that layer. It would spare a lot of data and possibly a lot of work too. But of course also your intended workflow should work.

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Thanks for considering the issue. Below is the file if you want to take a look. The red fill was generated by the contour tool. I was just expecting a red outline around my text. My computer was straining during the episode, intermittently using 100% of the CPU. I can generate an outline using stroke, but those outlines are a bit more spindly, so I'd like to have the contour tool working normally. All this, and I was just making a silly post.

Mold-MessedUp.afdesign

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1 hour ago, iconoclast said:

Doesn't seem so, if you look at the Layers Panel.

The Layers Panel seems not to inform about a bitmap fill – but the Character Panel does.
Also, can a bitmap fill be partially transparent, like in the OPs screenshot? (below I tried a jpg only).

1550687767_bitmapfilltext.thumb.jpg.e47ef49d062b37df9eeb86fb44ed3e97.jpg

 

Edited by thomaso
update screenshot (+char panel)

macOS 10.14.6, MacBookPro Retina 15" + Eizo 27"

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18 minutes ago, thomaso said:

The Layers Panel seems not to inform about a bitmap fill – but the Character Panel does.
Also, can a bitmap fill be partially transparent, like in the OPs screenshot? (below I tried a jpg only).

1523938813_bitmapfilltext.thumb.jpg.f943703ad20269f9d86bcd7a202b3f01.jpg

Where does the Character Panel inform about a bitmap fill? Can't see it.

In fact it looks like the fill is text with a chaotic spacing, so you are possibly right. But how does it work?

Another thing that I noticed: If I set the Radius of the Contour Tool to "0", the text is filled perfectly as it should. This mysterious distortion happens if the Radius increases.

Edit: And possibly the most important thing: the letters with the distorted fill are stretched in width. But the character panel doesn't show it.

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@iconoclast,  sorry I picked the wrong screenshot, it's updated now in the previous post.

I assume the OP's textframe is oddly corrupted. See what I get when I copy it into an .afpub, respectively its style definition, which doesn't point to a possible reason for this occurrence in APub or in the OP's .afdesign. In the lower frame I copied the contents into a new created text frame, and I get the same result when copying the affected frame's content within .afdesign.

375743146_textframecorrupted.thumb.jpg.3ac4f34568d88561a90080c7db8304be.jpg

Edited by thomaso
update screenshot (added 2nd text frame)

macOS 10.14.6, MacBookPro Retina 15" + Eizo 27"

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10 minutes ago, thomaso said:

@iconoclast,  sorry I picked the wrong screenshot, it's updated now in the previous post.

I assume the OP's textframe is oddly corrupted. See what I get when I copy it into an .afpub, respectively its style definition, which doesn't point to a possible reason for this occurrence in APub or in the OP's .afdesign.

653923379_textframeweirdlycorrupted.thumb.jpg.a028ae82fcda331a74ec3890320b7635.jpg

 

I think the whole document is corrupted. If I delete the distorted layer and apply its settings to a duplicate of the other text layer, the same problem appears.

Another weird thing: the background layer (an Image Layer) is also visible outside the borders of the document.

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14 minutes ago, iconoclast said:

I think the whole document is corrupted. If I delete the distorted layer and apply its settings to a duplicate of the other text layer, the same problem appears.

… whereas when I copy the content of the affected frame into a new text frame within the same document it appears correct. (see updated screenshot above)

macOS 10.14.6, MacBookPro Retina 15" + Eizo 27"

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4 minutes ago, thomaso said:

… whereas when I copy the content of the affected frame into a new text frame within the same document it appears correct. (see updated screenshot above)

Yes, that works for me too. And also the Contour Tool works properly with this copied and pasted text. Weird!

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11 minutes ago, iconoclast said:

And also the Contour Tool works properly with this copied and pasted text. Weird!

... whereas it does not for me, here with a newly created text frame: The text gets visually scaled, the highlight shows my partial text selection. The frame below shows it before using the contour tool. – This reminds me to a report (~ 1-2 years ago) concerning the text + contour tool causing similar results. Unfortunately I can't find this thread in a quick search.

188518606_textframecontourtool.thumb.jpg.1df658826ab495e0cbdf764684b5980b.jpg

macOS 10.14.6, MacBookPro Retina 15" + Eizo 27"

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@StellaJo, try it with an Artistic Text frame instead. It seems to work more reliable, though I get interface confusion when moving panels while the Contour Tool is selected. – So, if possible don't use for your text the Contour Tool but the Appearance Panel to apply more than 1 contour; it doesn't cause such issues.

386379233_textframecontourtool2.thumb.jpg.672bd7aa9e4256f17319850d233727ec.jpg

Here is a related report thread. This issue was already logged as bug several times ( afd-5255 ).

macOS 10.14.6, MacBookPro Retina 15" + Eizo 27"

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Nice reference to the Eurythmics love this acoustic version.

iMac 27" Late 2019 Fully Loaded and running Monterey 12.6.1, iMac 27" Late 2013 running Catalina 10.15.7 - Affinity Designer, Photo & Publisher V1 & V2, Adobe, Inkscape, Blender, C4D, Sketchup + more... XP-Pen Artist-22E, - iPad Pro 12.9 B|  

Affinity Help - Affinity Desktop Tutorials - Feedback - FAQ - most asked questions

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hey everyone, I wanted to add to this. I just downloaded Affinity Designer this past week and am also having issues with using the contour tool on text. I'm following the same tutorial mentioned above. However, when I try using the contour tool, my text goes completely white and disappears. If my radius is above or below 0 this happens. In the screenshot I have my radius set to .1px and you can see the text is no longer visible.

 

 

 

 

contour-text.png

Edited by loganblankk
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Welcome to the forums @loganblankk

You seem to have no Contour Type selected on the Context Toolbar, but I don’t know how that could have happened.
Try selecting one and see what happens.

Also, maybe as an aside, I am wondering why your Context Toolbar on MacOS looks very different to mine on Windows – see attached screenshot. I have no Fill or Stroke options, for instance.

image.png.93ddea5f0e70a43bec21032841498868.png

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13 hours ago, loganblankk said:

In the screenshot I have my radius set to .1px and you can see the text is no longer visible.

Your object is 800+ pixels high, so a tenth of a pixel is going to be invisible. I would doubt a fraction of a pixel to be visible on any stroke.

Mac Pro (Late 2013) Mac OS 11.7.3 
Affinity Designer 2.0.4 | Affinity Photo 2.0.4 | Affinity Publisher 2.0.4 | Beta versions as they appear.

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

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