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MickM

How can I hand draw accurately - just like in Sketchbook Pro?

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I'm not a graphics artist or designer, I'm an engineer. I currently use Sketchbook Pro and my Cintiq graphics tablet as a replacement for my engineering notebook to do handwritten notes and sketch circuits, graphs and formulae. Sketchbook Pro does a fantastic job of replicating the pen/pencil and paper experience. However, it completely blows at editing - you can't select something and change it's color, flip it in X or Y, open two documents at the same time and copy/paste between them etc. 

 

I was hoping I could get all that out of AD. However, in my first 30 seconds of usage I decided the lag with using my graphics tablet was *completely* unacceptable. Also, if I used the tablet to sketch handwriting or circuits etc using the paint brush (with a very small size) then when I lifted the pen after writing something the software turned the whole thing into a vector and smoothed it to the point you couldn't read a thing. Likewise circuit diagrams I drew also got mangled. 

 

Is there any way to control the over-smoothing that's going on? Is there any way to just draw as a bitmap so when I use the eraser I'm not slicing vector lines into lots of little pieces?

 

Thanks!

 

 

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Mick,

 

Having done a lot of technical drawings in the past I would start by maybe setting up a document with your desired resolution (say millimeters, etc) and turn on the “Grid” from the  “View” menu and turn on snap to grid under the magnet icon. Once you have a document setup for what you need then I would use only vector drawing and create some electric component IC shapes, some resistors, diodes, pots, etc. or whatever you might need in the future and save it as say, “Circuit  Components”, etc. This will quickly become your template file.

 

Once you have these you can set up you can create a new file with the same spec’s. Then open you components file and simply copy paste the components you need onto your new drawing area. As all components are vectors you can easily resize them, move them, color them, change the line widths, etc. A trick with line widths is to make sure you have the “Scale with Object” option checked when you create a line object. That way the line weight will scale as you scale the object if you need that option.

 

If you create a new component just copy and paste it into the Components file and save it for the future along with the others. This way you should only have to draw each type of component one time and can use them as many times in the future as you wish.

 

Also any time you need a copy of an existing object select it then hold down the “option” key before moving it and you will get a copy. From the icon at the top center area you can flip any component vertically or horizontally at will with one click of the mouse

 

Once your components are in place simply connect them with lines using the “Pen Tool”. Use the “Text Art Tool” to create any text you need on your drawing.

 

Because of the accuracy of Affinity Designer (AD) you can zoom in really tight and create incredibly accurate components that will in the end create outstanding drawings of incredibly accurate precision.

 

You can also use the edit fields in the “Transform” section at the bottom right to enter precise dimensions for your components.

 

Unfortunately there is no way to link lines to objects or locations on objects so the lines will follow the objects. I would lay out the components first then connect them however you may need them.

 

In the end a little time spent laying out your components will be like money in the bank when you need it and you will never be sorry you took the time up front to do it.

 

You do need to spend a little time practicing with AD but in very short order you will become very proficient using it.

 

Hope this is of some help.

 

Max

 

P.S. I, personally, would create a sheet with a border and a name and information block at the bottom right like what you might see technical draws on and save that as a “Template–Drawing” with all you defined setup information like documents units etc. Then you can open that file and do a “Save as…” under a new name and your all set to go.

 


OS X 10.9.5, 24" iMac, 3.06 GHz, 4 GB 800 MHz DDR2 SDRAM, NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GS 512 MB, 1 Terabyte hard drive.

 

Mac User since 1985. Author of “SignPost” for vinyl sign cutting.

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Thanks for your reply Max. However, you are describing a usage model that doesn't serve my purpose, although I can certainly see the need for a schematic entry tool at some point down the road. 

 

All I'm looking for is pen and paper being replaced by stylus and tablet. I need to be able to write in cursive or doodle formulae and graphs etc. (which simply cannot be done using your proposal) and it's unacceptable to lift your stylus after having hand written a word and have AD immediately mangle it to the extent it's illegible!!  When I draw something I need what I drew and not some smoothed version of it that loses vital information. Of course, I could just write bigger so these effects are reduced, but that's not an option.

 

I'm suspicious that there are settings somewhere within AD that may allow what I'm after, but I haven't found them yet. I'm also highly suspicious that turning what I write into vectors will yield unintended trouble when I go to use the eraser tool and expect the  same experience as the pencil/eraser and paper paradigm. Again, this part is where Sketchbook Pro excels. Maybe my question should have been framed more simply - can AD do simple bit map drawing?

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I am also looking for an option to quickly adjust smoothing (using it in Harmony all the time, really very useful).

 

Else: in AD the pixel persona can be used for drawing/"writing" and there is an app called Curio, that might be useful to you, but there currently is no app that really can do all this well AFAIK.

(and agree regarding Sketchbook, why they cripple app like this is hard to understand, it is great for drawing)

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MickM,

 

Sorry that did not solve your problem.

 

Sounds like the best tool for the job is on the other end of the eraser on a pencil and the back of a Denny’s placemat. Wound’t be the first invention or design that started that way. Once you have what you want the hit it with AD.

 

Max


OS X 10.9.5, 24" iMac, 3.06 GHz, 4 GB 800 MHz DDR2 SDRAM, NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GS 512 MB, 1 Terabyte hard drive.

 

Mac User since 1985. Author of “SignPost” for vinyl sign cutting.

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Hi MickM,

 

Is the 'lag' in this video any more acceptable? If so, consider that resolved when we push an update through the App Store or if you choose to download the upcoming beta version for access to all the fixes much quicker than we're able to push them via Apple (details of which will appear on the forum shortly)... If that's no good, then I genuinely can't see that any vector editor can serve your needs? :(

 

Sketchbook is doing pixel-painting and as such is doing a very different thing to the tools available in the 'Draw Persona' of Affinity Designer - they're all vector-based, hence why they are editable. It's necessary to apply post-smoothing of the input data in order to present you with a curve which is manageable in terms of complexity (your actual input points will typically be in the order of many thousands of points, yet on screen you have drawn a smooth, flowing shape which you expect to be represented by a few points only) whereas in Sketchbook when you release the mouse you've done and they don't ever need to show the user those points to edit them. The same is true of the tools available in Affinity Designer's 'Pixel Persona' (second button at the top left of the application) which are all bitmap tools: What you draw is what you draw, and there won't be any magic smoothing happening afterwards that might lose your fidelity... The degree of smoothing in a vector program is the important point here - I was hoping we'd got it right by default - I can certainly write handwritten things with my Intuos tablet and they are represented well, but clearly not everyone is the same, so it might be that we have to add a user-definable smoothness to the context toolbar of the tool. I can look to add this in the future, if that would alleviate the problem?

 

Many thanks,

Matt

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[...] a user-definable smoothness to the context toolbar of the tool. I can look to add this in the future, if that would alleviate the problem?

 

+1

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Yes Matt, As I posted early on, having "smoothing" slider is a great addition that I've used in other programs. Actually, Sketchbook Pro 7 now has smoothing. It is nice for us folks with jitters.


Gregg

OS X Version 10.14.4 iMac 27" 3.2 GHz Intel i5 16 GB 1867 MHz DDR3  Huion Kamvas Pro 20

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I'm suspicious that, like in other vector programs, the eraser tool touching a given vector just deletes the entire thing on contact, which is way too harsh. I wonder if you can emulate a pixel drawing program within your vector world by creating a new pencil-like tool - once you put the pen down and start drawing it starts creating zillions of little 2 point vectors (e.g. one every 10msec) until you release the pen. Now when you start using the eraser all the tiny vectors touched would vanish, and you would effectively get what I'm asking for... Heck, you could even do all those cool things like using a lasso tool to select arbitrary pieces of your scribbles. Aside from the fact that a lot of data will be generated, I think I like that idea :-).

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I think our eraser is simply a pixel tool, isn't it? It's just adding a mask to the vector object - so that means you can erase with any level of flow, opacity, whatever and make artistic effects. We currently don't have a vector eraser tool.

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I would like to have the possilibity of drawing with more accuracy in AD. :) I use it not for graphic design only but for architecture where the getting perfect lines, angles and lengths is quiet important.

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Raskolnikov,

 

I just finished a full plan view with internal details, etc.in AD. I just set up the document so that the drawing size was in inches (US here) and made the drawing board slightly larger than the lot size. My scale was 1 inch = 1 foot. All my walls are rectangles. I create two wall segments to copy and use. each one is maybe 6 inches (6 feet) by the wall thickness I need, say, .5 inches. I set the fill to black and the stroke to none so it is accurate and set the end caps to square so that all alignments for lengths are ace upon the center lines.

 

I also create door icons, sliders, windows, sinks, fixtures, etc. group them and save them to a single file “Fixtures”. These I can simply open in a second file, copy and paste them and/or rotate the and drag them to where they belong. Works great.

 

 

If I need a wall segment 18.5 feet long I simply drag off a copy of either the vertical segment of the horizontal segment and while it is selected I enter the exact length I need it to be in the Transform field depending on whether or not I am using the vertical or horizontal segment and i have the wall segment I need in exactly the length I need it.

 

To measure any wall simply click on it and the transform area shows you the exact size in W: and H:.

 

If you use metrics just create the drawing document in millimeters ( my preference) and do the exact same thing. Now the accuracy is easily 1/10 of a millimeter.

 

Max

 

P.S. Here is my house done in Affinity Designer format.

 

MyHouse.afdesign


OS X 10.9.5, 24" iMac, 3.06 GHz, 4 GB 800 MHz DDR2 SDRAM, NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GS 512 MB, 1 Terabyte hard drive.

 

Mac User since 1985. Author of “SignPost” for vinyl sign cutting.

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Hello,
I'm using a Wacom Cintiq tablet and drawing in vector mode is very inaccurate, just like other members said above. When I draw in the pixelmode, drawing is more accurate but extremely slow. Is there any way to improve this? can I convert pixel to vector within the program, like the trace option in illustrator?
thank you ! 

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I just installed the beta and you're right, it works perfectly with the cintiq!! so I'm sure it will work soon with the 'real' version, too... right?

Thanks so much for your help!

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