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Retro Supply Grave Etcher Vector Brushes look blurry in Affinity Designer


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I very much enjoy using Affinity Designer to make illustrations. Having used the old standby products since the late 90's I find the Designer workflow to be refreshing in a way that reminds me of sketching in a carefree manner, which appeals to me now that I am practicing art primarily for enjoyment and personal fulfillment.

Every now and then I encounter a gotcha which makes me understand the limitations of Designer, but on those occasions I opt to look at the sunny side of the issue and try to learn the best way to make best use of Designer. I really enjoy using Designer. Thank you!

I finally bumped into a gotcha that seems to warrant a sincere critique.

In the past few weeks I have considered buying a license to Retro Supply's Grave Etcher Vector Brush Pack for Affinity Designer. It had been on my wish list for a long time, but I usually illustrate with a clean stylized appearance so I kept procrastinating. A couple weeks ago I had a project that worked well with a wood cut stylization so my interest was renewed. For that particular project I made my own custom engraving brushes, and learned a lot about how the brushes need to be prepared to scale well with clean crisp edges when they are composited into an illustration. The scaling is probably less of a concern if you are using some style of blurry or bushy brush stroke, but my interest in a wood cut engraving appearance highlighted the need to plan for the final presentation when preparing the source files for an Affinity Designer Vector Brush. It was fun to make the brushes I need and it was fun to learn more about Designer.

When I finished my project I was curious how a "professional" asset supplier might handle all the details, so I took another look at the Retro Supply Grave Etcher and Wood Cut collections. The promotional info looks great and the designers seem to supply a thorough collection of brush sizes and shapes.

When the recent Affinity sale halved the price of the Add Ons I thought it was a great time to make a frivolous purchase and try out the Grave etcher collection first hand.

It only took me a few moments of use to realize and understand that the Retro Supply Grave Etcher Vector Brush Pack for Affinity Designer was a disappointment. I have been left with the impression that the porting of this collection, from a true vector shape set to Affinity's version of rasterized vector brushes, was made with compromises that undermined the quality of the product.

In an attempt to understand and then explain why I was disappointed I made a few demonstration projects which displayed the marked difference between what I expected and what I did not.

Here is an export from a simple afdesign test project that compares a cropped portion of the pdf promotional file provided by Retro Supply and the very same brush, as actually implemented in Affinity Designer. I don't understand how the supplier of these brush strokes could expect this product to be acceptable to customers. The purchase price seemed trivial but the disappointment compelled me to delete the category and request a refund.

Thank you.

 

 

 

This image shows one of the brushes at the full scale. The image is resized for the forum formatting, but you can view the image in another tab and see it at the original 100% scaling. 

Grave Etcher Test 02A.jpg

 

This image features cut out portions of the image shown above and has been sized to appear at full 100% scale within the confines of the forum formatting.

Grave Etcher Test 02B.jpg

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Could it be the resolution of the document?

Just tried some engraving brushes and I get crisp definition.

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The document that the images shown above were made from is 300 dpi. 

Some of the brushes in the Grave Etcher collection look better than others, but none compare favorably to the examples that Retro Supply publishes in their example .pdf pages.

The basic engraving brushes included with the Designer install, and the custom brushes I made for myself, using Designer to draw source files as true vector shapes before conversion to .png, are both much more refined with regards to the edges.

Thank you.

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53 minutes ago, firstdefence said:

Could it be the resolution of the document?

Just tried it with Grave Etcher Etch Long 25, in documents created at 300 dpi and at 1200 dpi.

When zoomed so the brush strokes are the same size, or when the diameter in the 1200 dpi document is multiplied by 4, they are equally fuzzy.

-- Walt

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12 minutes ago, walt.farrell said:

Just tried it with Grave Etcher Etch Long 25, in documents created at 300 dpi and at 1200 dpi.

When zoomed so the brush strokes are the same size, or when the diameter in the 1200 dpi document is multiplied by 4, they are equally fuzzy.

Not good then.

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

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

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  • Moderators

We're currently in contact with RetroSupply to get this resolved on the store to return the higher quality brush pack, for anyone else experiencing this issue who owns this particular pack, please contact us directly at affinitysupport@serif.com so we can assist you further.

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