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Object to Object Node Snapping


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I'm desperately trying to move away from Illustrator (and have been for a number of years since purchasing AD 🙂

I attempt to get to grips with AD every six months or so, but to no avail.
I've trawled the help files and this forum, seen a few requests, but other than that, nothing.


For the life of me, I just can't get AD to snap to object nodes - I don't mean during the creation of another object, that does work, but subsequent to the object creation - which may be  on some other part of the page or even part of another project (I have no interest in aligning to page edges/centres/grids/bounding boxes). 
For a start, AFAICS, there seems to be no inferencing (ie node or line highlighting when your cursor passes over an object) - that in itself is a serious issue (for me at any rate 🙂 )  as you don't know where any orphan nodes may be (other than an obvious change of vector).  In illustrator, the cursor changes from black to grey (Mac) and the underlying node is highlighted as you pass over.
A really simple scenario is say a rectangle and a star - without actually selecting any of the objects (to be fair, in Illustrator, you pull the object along by one of it's nodes without previously selecting the complete object) , snap one of the star points to a rectangle corner. This is just child's play in Illustrator and something that I use constantly to ensure precise object positioning. 
Practically all the work I do has to be precise - not artistic 🙂

I do have snap to shape key points and snap to object geometry selected in the snapping manager along with all layers and visible objects.
I'm sure some expert will have a simple solution to this that I have stupidly overlooked 🙂

Cheers

Neil

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When you say Object Nodes I think of the Nodes on Curves. I use the node tool, I select both objects, I select some nodes I wish to move and move them to the node I want to snap to.

Use this set of items on the Node Tool's Context toolbar.

2101764248_ScreenShot2022-06-17at12_38_02PM.png.6a681ee179e27b18e0c8bd177c5349df.png

 

Mac Pro (Late 2013) Mac OS 11.7.1 
Affinity Designer 2.0.0 | Affinity Photo 2.0.0 | Affinity Publisher 2.0.0 | Beta versions as they appear.

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

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Thanks for this, but this is more of a workaround than a solution - it DOES work - and well thought out !, but that's four operations (I'd have to swap from the move cursor) just to snap an objects node when it should really be one :-)) To put this into perspective, if I have 30 (or much more!) items to move, that's 120 operations !

You get a quarter of that cigar though, thanks :-)))

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Have you tried using the Node tool with some of the choices for node snapping set?

Mac Pro (Late 2013) Mac OS 11.7.1 
Affinity Designer 2.0.0 | Affinity Photo 2.0.0 | Affinity Publisher 2.0.0 | Beta versions as they appear.

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

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Have you tried using the Node tool with some of the choices for node snapping set?

TBH, the fact that you actually have to select the object first before you then choose another tool - say the node tool or point transform tool - to modify it or have to set a preference, makes it all just unusable for me - far too much faffing about. Simply mousing over an object in illustrator (or dare I say it, even the dreaded Inkscape 🙂 ) allows you to simply click the node or vector (using the move tool - which is more than likely, the tool you were using anyway) and instantly be able to drag and snap the object to any other object or node.

I really don't understand why inferencing isn't a fundamental part of the core technology of AD. It's certainly a deal breaker for me and I don't see a way around it sadly - which is a real shame as AD is such a nice piece of software - AND the price is right - AND it's made in the UK 🙂.

I guess that won't be addressed any time soon - I'll check back in another six months or so - maybe I'll get a surprise :-))

Cheers

Neil

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41 minutes ago, Igull said:

TBH, the fact that you actually have to select the object first before you then choose another tool - say the node tool or point transform tool - to modify it....

????? That is not my experience at all.

22 hours ago, Igull said:

I attempt to get to grips with AD every six months or so, but to no avail.

Ohhh. Okay.

Mac Pro (Late 2013) Mac OS 11.7.1 
Affinity Designer 2.0.0 | Affinity Photo 2.0.0 | Affinity Publisher 2.0.0 | Beta versions as they appear.

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

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1 hour ago, Igull said:

TBH, the fact that you actually have to select the object first before you then choose another tool - say the node tool or point transform tool - to modify it or have to set a preference, makes it all just unusable for me

You can select one or more curve objects with the Node Tool or the Point Transform Tool. To do that, just drag a marquee out with either tool, just like it says in the status bar at the bottom of the workspace window, at least in the Mac version:

317579338_statusforxformtools.jpg.7e48aca81b38d1b2f4844424b8635ba5.jpg

Affinity Photo 1.10.5, Affinity Designer 1.10.5, Affinity Publisher 1.10.5;  2020 iMac 27"; 3.8GHz i7, Radeon Pro 5700, 32GB RAM; macOS 10.15.7
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Ok, it seems I may not be explaining exactly what AD needs to be able to do (or may just what I want it to do 🙂 ).

Here's a screendump of it using AI. For demonstration purposes, just a bunch of random polygons that require their nodes accurately snapped to other nodes.

Cheers

Neil

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Alright there is the need to use the Select All from the edit menu's keyboard shortcut or a drag with the node tool after selecting the object I want to move. I for one do not find this insurmountable or arduous. It is even useful if I am wanting to change the shape of the object I am dragging. just select two nodes out of the several and drag those two. 

Mac Pro (Late 2013) Mac OS 11.7.1 
Affinity Designer 2.0.0 | Affinity Photo 2.0.0 | Affinity Publisher 2.0.0 | Beta versions as they appear.

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

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With respect, you must be using a different version of AD from me - 1.10.5 ? I'm on Mac, but do have a windoze version somewhere - I can't imagine there being any differences.

Selecting all from the select menu (not the edit menu ?) - selects all objects - if using the node tool, the node tool changes to the move tool within the bounding rectangle of the selected objects, therefore, you can't subsequently select anything within that rectangle ?? There is no inferencing involved, so you can't snap to a node ?

Maybe a screen vid would help, patently, I'm not getting the same effects you are.

Cheers

Neil

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42 minutes ago, Igull said:

With respect, you must be using a different version of AD from me - 1.10.5 ? I'm on Mac, but do have a windoze version somewhere - I can't imagine there being any differences.

Both @Old Bruce & I are Mac users & run AD v1.0.5. That should be obvious from our sigs below our posts.

45 minutes ago, Igull said:

Selecting all from the select menu (not the edit menu ?) - selects all objects - if using the node tool, the node tool changes to the move tool within the bounding rectangle of the selected objects, therefore, you can't subsequently select anything within that rectangle ??

Yes, Select All is in the AD Select menu. But for me, using it does not cause the Node Tool to switch to the Move Tool no matter where in the document I put it. I can get it to switch to the Move Tool if I double-click on (for example) a Rectangle object but that happens because they are among the object types that do not have nodes (they have control handles). If you want to change the shape of a rectangle with the Node Tool first convert it to curves first so it will have nodes.

I am not sure what you mean about selecting anything within the rectangle. Are you talking about objects nested within them, objects above them in the Layers panel, just some part of the rectangle's fill or something else?

Affinity Photo 1.10.5, Affinity Designer 1.10.5, Affinity Publisher 1.10.5;  2020 iMac 27"; 3.8GHz i7, Radeon Pro 5700, 32GB RAM; macOS 10.15.7
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1.10.5.280 & Affinity Designer 1.10.5 for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iPadOS 15.7

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Quote

Both @Old Bruce & I are Mac users & run AD v1.0.5. That should be obvious from our sigs below our posts.

Apologies for that, I seldom read further than the end of any post, in my defence, in most other forums I occasionally frequent, it invariably contains endless trivia about what toys the poster owns 🙂

Quote

Yes, Select All is in the AD Select menu. But for me, using it does not cause the Node Tool to switch to the Move Tool no matter where in the document I put it. I can get it to switch to the Move Tool if I double-click on (for example) a Rectangle object but that happens because they are among the object types that do not have nodes (they have control handles). If you want to change the shape of a rectangle with the Node Tool first convert it to curves first so it will have nodes.

I am not sure what you mean about selecting anything within the rectangle. Are you talking about objects nested within them, objects above them in the Layers panel, just some part of the rectangle's fill or something else?

OK, I've just watched the video by NPM (thanks for that BTW, cleared up a lot of my pre-conceptions of AD 🙂 )and see where my (?) issues arise.

In AD, it seems that not all polygons are the same - a rectangle or a star (or whatever regular poly) are separate entities with their own super set of attributes particular to their design and NOT simple polygons with nodes - as in AI ! For instance, a rectangle created with the rectangle tool in AI is just a four sided poly and any of the nodes can be adjusted with the node tool - unlike AD where you have to "convert to curves" before being able to edit any of the nodes (of a "super poly" )- fine if you want the rectangle to stay as a rectangle, but painful if not.

On the select all thing, I don't know what happened there, but the node tool was definitely changing to the move tool when within the bounding rectangle of the selected objects. In light of the above video and also the way AD handles 'super' polygons, I assumed that it may have been something to do with that - selecting all regular polys and created polys. I can't reproduce it this morning, it may be some low level bug - or may have been finger trouble on my part (couldn't possibly be that of course 🙂 ).

I'll re-iterate the inferencing thing - I've just run through all my CAD applications and a few of my vector graphic applications and they ALL use inferencing at all levels, not just the bounding box of the object. I DO understand that you can do what I wish, but only with some effort to do something that should just be so ! I am of an age that has used graphic and cad apps for 40+ years, so have at least some experience with GUIs (and their foibles 🙂 )

Rather than one-click to move and snap in AD, it requires...

1 - Change to the node tool

2 - Select the object with that tool

3 - If it's a "super" poly, convert to curves

4 - Select all (this makes NO sense to me, Select All is a global command surely 🙂 ) to select all nodes of the selected object

5 - Click and drag the object either by the selected node (the node is highlighted, that in my book would adjust that node surely ??) and snap to the required node of the other object.

For me, it's probably a deal-breaker, I can see where others that don't require this level of precision will find it perfectly fine for them - I really don't want to go through all the above steps simply to snap to a node - forty-odd years of muscle memory probably hasn't helped either in this case 🙂 

Thanks to all for pointing out the "error of my ways" 🙂 , it seems that AI and I will have to be friends for some while yet /rant

Cheers

Neil

 

 

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4 hours ago, Igull said:

In AD, it seems that not all polygons are the same - a rectangle or a star (or whatever regular poly) are separate entities with their own super set of attributes particular to their design and NOT simple polygons with nodes

Correct. In Affinity (as well as in most other vector creation apps) there are a variety of geometric shape objects that each have their own set of parameters that can be changed non-destructively at any time during or after creation. Two video tutorials, a new one & a better old one, demonstrate the power & flexibility of using these shapes vs. simple closed curves (polygons).

Note as well that not all curve objects are polygons, since by definition a polygon is a 2D shape composed of a number of line segments (edges or sides) that form a closed path, & like essentially every other vector app the Affinity ones support both open & closed curves.

Anyway, the main thing to remember is geometric shapes are not like shapes created by nodes on a path (like with the AD Pen or Pencil Tools). The Layers panel displays the object type in parentheses for each layer so for example you would see "(Rectangle)" for a rectangle, "Cog" for a cog, or "Curve)" for a curve.

5 hours ago, Igull said:

Rather than one-click to move and snap in AD, it requires...

Not too surprisingly I hope, it depends on what you are trying to move & what you are trying to snap to. So for example, if you just have some nodes of one or more curve objects selected, only those nodes will snap to anything if you move them with the Node Tool. If you have all of one or more curve objects' nodes selected, it will move & snap all of them, preserving their original shapes.

5 hours ago, Igull said:

For me, it's probably a deal-breaker, I can see where others that don't require this level of precision will find it perfectly fine for them

I am not sure what you mean about precision. If you use snapping correctly, anything can be precisely placed in the canvas at the limits of the precision the app supports, which is to about 8 decimal places.

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I am not sure what you mean about precision. If you use snapping correctly, anything can be precisely placed in the canvas at the limits of the precision the app supports, which is to about 8 decimal places.

For precision, read requirement - if it's arty-crafty, it's probably not too much of an issue in most cases, if you're crafting something that requires laser cutting, it's a different matter. But I'll harp back to the five steps to snap something in AD ! Just unacceptable sadly.

 

Quote

In Affinity (as well as in most other vector creation apps) there are a variety of geometric shape objects that each have their own set of parameters that can be changed non-destructively at any time during or after creation.

Yes, a really great feature if it's something you use, I don't find that at all useful - more of a hindrance really 🙂 I guess we all use these tools to completely different ends and occasionally, will have "conflicting features".

As an aside, I had another yearly look around for alternative Illustrator-like apps this evening and came across "Amadine" - strangely, it does EXACTLY what is required - in one click too - and only 20 USD - maybe someone made it specially for me - it too has some "conflicting features" 'though 🙂  🙂 

Happy Days

Cheers

Neil

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10 minutes ago, Igull said:

For precision, read requirement - if it's arty-crafty, it's probably not too much of an issue in most cases, if you're crafting something that requires laser cutting, it's a different matter. But I'll harp back to the five steps to snap something in AD ! Just unacceptable sadly.

 

Yes, a really great feature if it's something you use, I don't find that at all useful - more of a hindrance really 🙂 I guess we all use these tools to completely different ends and occasionally, will have "conflicting features".

As an aside, I had another yearly look around for alternative Illustrator-like apps this evening and came across "Amadine" - strangely, it does EXACTLY what is required - in one click too - and only 20 USD - maybe someone made it specially for me - it too has some "conflicting features" 'though 🙂  🙂 

Happy Days

Cheers

Neil

Amadine is a nice small program developed by very friendly and productive people in Ukraine. It is excellent, but not very feature-rich either.

Have you tried Vectorstyler? We have evaluated it, and I can certainly tell that it is heavily inspired by Illustrator and CorelDRAW, among others. You won't miss the functionality of Illustrator!

If you're looking to manipulate vector graphics a'la Adobe Illustrator, then I recommend you give it a test run.

It's a young program from a small company, so as a company we're cautious about implementing it into our processes, but privately I wouldn't hesitate to use it.

/Eddie

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49 minutes ago, Igull said:

...a really great feature if it's something you use, I don't find that at all useful - more of a hindrance really...

Well you can always convert those shapes to more common curves if needed (via selecting any shape object and then "Layers > Convert to Curves") and then drag those via the Point Transform tool etc.

 
1 hour ago, Igull said:

As an aside, I had another yearly look around for alternative Illustrator-like apps this evening and came across "Amadine" - strangely, it does EXACTLY what is required - in one click too ...

The interesting part about Amadine is, that it offers some easy to use vector eraser- and distortion tools which aren't available in ADe. I've used Amadine some time ago in it's early stages for performing certain needed vector distortions.

 

☛ Affinity Designer 1.10.5 ◆ Affinity Photo 1.10.5 ◆ OSX El Capitan

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1 hour ago, Igull said:

For precision, read requirement - if it's arty-crafty, it's probably not too much of an issue in most cases, if you're crafting something that requires laser cutting, it's a different matter. But I'll harp back to the five steps to snap something in AD ! Just unacceptable sadly.

I really do not understand what you mean by this. As has been demonstrated in several posts, there are several tools & options that can be used to snap nodes or objects precisely to other parts of the document, & it does not take 5 steps to do so.

1 hour ago, Igull said:

Yes, a really great feature if it's something you use, I don't find that at all useful - more of a hindrance really 🙂

You do not have to use any of the geometric shape creation tools if you do not want to. So for example, you can use the Pen Tool to create rectangles, cogs, polygons of all kinds, & so on. It will just take longer than using these tools & if needed or wanted to convert the results to curves.

Affinity Photo 1.10.5, Affinity Designer 1.10.5, Affinity Publisher 1.10.5;  2020 iMac 27"; 3.8GHz i7, Radeon Pro 5700, 32GB RAM; macOS 10.15.7
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Personal preferences understandably vary, and snapping needs vary according to the kind of job at hand. CorelDRAW snapping behavior demonstrated below (mainly to show that Affinity apps are by no means idiosyncratic in implementation of this feature) shares the "Select All" logic of node based alignment with Affinity apps (and VectorStyler), but differs from them by allowing use of Illustrator kind of direct node selection (with object picker / "Selection Tool") for shape alignment (shapes marked in violet in the video below), because the Node tool in context of shapes is dedicated to modifying the shape properties. EDIT: CorelDRAW also allows the same method to align curve objects -- both on the nodes and any selected point of the "edge" (path), similarly as Illustrator, but allowing snapping selected path point to path (and not just points), but only the Node tool allows highlighting the nodes of the target curve. The nodes of a curve object selected with the object picker ("Selection Tool") can be seen on the video at 1:12.    

As CorelDRAW. Affinity apps and VectorStyler allow highlighting of nodes of other curve objects they make it easy to spot smooth nodes (something that in Illustrator, at least in CS6, is very tedious, as is editing of smart shapes). CorelDraw also does all object snapping with one command (similarly as Illustrator), and can find easily the snapping points, which it also shows clearly using text labels. It also finds midpoints of segments and transformation points of shapes.

Affinity apps (and VectorStyler) have complex additional snapping options, which can be useful in some situations, but might easily complicate snapping operations and make it cluttered. Along with the Point Transform Tool Designer (and Publisher) can now handle most point snapping scenarios (mainly snapping of points of shapes which was not earlier possible; curve nodes however can be aligned with shape nodes by using just general snapping options). But snapping shape points to e.g. curve (ellipse) points and to points of grouped objects is still cumbersome if not impossible.

 

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