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Fill Tool not working correctly on compound objects?


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I have been experimenting with using symbols & compounds to create prototype automotive wheel shapes with radially symmetric spokes or struts, like with the 5 way radial symmetry in this Fill Tool oddity.afdesign example.

However, once I create a compound add object of the hub & rim shapes, the radial fills applied to each of them separately no longer is adjustable separately & doesn't even appear on the hub curve.

Why is that? 

1935643357_5wayfilloddity.jpg.198ba0feeea8bcba7987a00c794d4d83.jpg

Of course, I can apply a single, more complex radial fill to the Compound layer itself instead of 2 fills applied separately to its components but that means more work if I want to change the size of the hub or rim & keep the same relative fill gradients.

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39 minutes ago, R C-R said:

I have been experimenting with using symbols & compounds to create prototype automotive wheel shapes with radially symmetric spokes or struts, ....

The problem with using compounds for this is the inability to colour the separate items. We can only colour the entire Compound. I use Groups for this type of work.

Mac Pro (Late 2013) Mac OS 12.7.4 
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I have never mastered color management, period, so I cannot help with that.

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1 hour ago, Old Bruce said:

The problem with using compounds for this is the inability to colour the separate items.

I guess in my "why is that" query I should have been clearer that I was complaining about not being able to apply different colors to the separate items in a compound -- IOW, asking why the apps do not allow this.

Like I said, this is particularly annoying for projects like this one in which I would like to be able to vary the size of the hub or rim individually (which of course I can do) but without having to redo the radial fill on the compound itself to maintain the same appearance.

1 hour ago, Old Bruce said:

I use Groups for this type of work.

That sort of helps with preserving the appearance of the radial fill gradients but still seems fiddly compared to being able to set the colors of the items in a compound-add independently.

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1 hour ago, R C-R said:

being able to set the colors of the items in a compound-add independently.

We can. But we cannot see the changes to the Hub because it is part of a Compound. We cannot see the changes to rim because it is part of a compound. That is how compounds work, one or more items compounded into one. Therefore one colour or gradient for all the stuff, even though all the things are still whatever original colour or gradient they were, and we can change the original colours but we won't see that. 

Mac Pro (Late 2013) Mac OS 12.7.4 
Affinity Designer 2.4.1 | Affinity Photo 2.4.1 | Affinity Publisher 2.4.1 | Beta versions as they appear.

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

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9 hours ago, R C-R said:

IOW, asking why the apps do not allow this.

II understand compounds as kind of merged layers. If I turn two layers of type "(curve)" into a compound the result is a "(curves)" layer – whereas generally "(curves)" do display common fill / stroke only.

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7 hours ago, thomaso said:

If I turn two layers of type "(curve)" into a compound the result is a "(curves)" layer...

Then why does the Layers panel identify it as a "(Compound)" rather than a "(Curves)" layer?

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3 minutes ago, R C-R said:

Then why does the Layers panel identify it as a "(Compound)" rather than a "(Curves)" layer?

Oh, I was unclear / misusing the term "compound".

You are right, if I apply "Add" with Opt-key to cause a compound then it results in a "(Compound)" layer with "(Curve)" child layers.

What I noticed / meant before: If I apply "Add" to several "(Curve)" layers then it can result in either a "(Curves)" or in a "(Curve)" layer. Whereas I don't get yet what it depends on, possibly the way how the single "(Curve)" layers were created (before applying "Add").

It was this result of "(Curves)" or "(Curve)" layer which makes me think of a compound being treated as one layer behind the curtain, though the interface still displays the single layers as children. Consider that you can merge several curves to 1 curves layer (which may get only 1 fill assigned) – although the information of the initially several objects is still there (+ can get separated back to their initial objects).

So, it seems to be similar to what @Old Bruce said with "we can change the original colours but we won't see that".

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3 hours ago, thomaso said:

What I noticed / meant before: If I apply "Add" to several "(Curve)" layers then it can result in either a "(Curves)" or in a "(Curve)" layer. Whereas I don't get yet what it depends on, possibly the way how the single "(Curve)" layers were created (before applying "Add").

It depends on if the layers overlap or not. If they do then adding them together creates a "(Curve)" layer; if not then the layer must include more than one curve; thus it becomes a "(Curves)" layer.

As for "(Compound)" layers, another difference is they can be expanded in the Layers panel to show the curves they contain, so I think they could be considered boolean container objects. Like other container object types, you can hide individual curves in them, just like you can in "(Group)" or capital L "(Layer)" containers.

Of course, they are unique in that for all but the bottom-most curve each of them can be set to any of four boolean combiner types, but I still think it should be possible to set each of their fill (or stroke) colors individually, independently of the colors (if any) of their "(Compound)" parent container, and have that be visible.

Like @Old Bruce said above, we can set those colors individually but we cannot see the results anywhere other than in the Colors panel or if we drag that curve out of the "(Compound)" parent container.

I believe this to be an unnecessary limitation, particularly for the Add boolean, if not for the others.

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@R C-R,

What would you expect to see here? Keeping in mind that the Compound is supposed to be similar to what would happen if you used the Boolean Add.

Compound vs Group.afdesign

2026077958_ScreenShot2022-08-14at9_43_47AM.png.a337d6b06fc9df6010b482cf84f408ab.png

Mac Pro (Late 2013) Mac OS 12.7.4 
Affinity Designer 2.4.1 | Affinity Photo 2.4.1 | Affinity Publisher 2.4.1 | Beta versions as they appear.

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

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28 minutes ago, Old Bruce said:

What would you expect to see here? Keeping in mind that the Compound is supposed to be similar to what would happen if you used the Boolean Add.

Like I said, what I want to see is each of the rectangles in the compound showing the fill same fill color on the canvas or artboard that each of them shows in the Color panel, or if any are dragged out of the compound.

IOW, I do not think there is any good reason for this to behave like a regular boolean add in this respect, just like it does not behave like a regular boolean if any of its objects are shown or hidden. If anything, they behave more like Group layers than like regular booleans.

But if nothing else, each of the rectangles in the compound should show their colors in the Layers panel, even if they are not showing on the canvas. Otherwise, if the Colors panel is not currently visible there is no way to see what they will show if dragged out of the compound.

Edited by R C-R

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2 hours ago, R C-R said:

Otherwise, if the Colors panel is not currently visible there is no way to see what they will show if dragged out of the compound.

You can option/alt click on the layer.
It's isolated sure but there in all it's detail i.e. if there's an off center gradient or bitmap.

.... and editable.

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1 hour ago, JimmyJack said:

You can option/alt click on the layer.
It's isolated sure but there in all it's detail i.e. if there's an off center gradient or bitmap.

.... and editable.

Which to me is yet another reason it should be possible to see the results on the canvas or artboard.

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39 minutes ago, R C-R said:

Which to me is yet another reason it should be possible to see the results on the canvas or artboard.

:S

I can understand wanting to see something in the thumbnail of the layer,  but on canvas?

Is sounds like you want group behavior so why not just use a group.

You want separate object editability, hub & rim. A boolean (except for Divide) makes one object. What advantage are you getting with a compound?

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2 minutes ago, JimmyJack said:

Is sounds like you want group behavior so why not just use a group.

What advantage are you getting with a compound?

One advantage vs. a group is I can quickly, easily, & non-destructively change the type of boolean for each of the curves in the compound individually to get different looks, like in this 4 object compound.afdesign example. Combine that with being able to set & see color changes on each of them would be nice.

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15 minutes ago, R C-R said:

One advantage vs. a group is I can quickly, easily, & non-destructively change the type of boolean for each of the curves in the compound individually to get different looks, like in this 4 object compound.afdesign example. Combine that with being able to set & see color changes on each of them would be nice.

I guess I just don't get it.

Happy trails.

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What I just don't get is why changing the visibility or the type of boolean for each of the curves in the compound has a visible effect but changing the color does not. Doesn't that seem at least a little inconsistent & illogical?

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2 hours ago, JimmyJack said:
4 hours ago, R C-R said:

Otherwise, if the Colors panel is not currently visible there is no way to see what they will show if dragged out of the compound.

You can option/alt click on the layer.

... or, without opt-click, take a look in the Context Toolbar, which always displays fill & stroke for a selected layer.

macOS 10.14.6 | MacBookPro Retina 15" | Eizo 27" | Affinity V1

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