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Affinity Photo 2 - Are Macros really improved?


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Hi everybody, I've been using Affinity Photo for years but v1 has two huge problems with Macro:

- I can't use it to resize images with different sizes to a particular size: for example. I have 2 images, one is 400x300 and 72dpi, the second is 600x600 and 144dpi. I want that macro (such as Photoshop's actions do) resizes both the images to 300b (the height changes consequentially and automatically) and 72dpi.
To better understand, for a magazine, I have to work tens of images of different sizes and dpi to images of 10cm and 300dpi. Not just one, but 2/300 hundreds...

 - I can't use it to export the image.

With v1 these actions are not possible (with Photoshop's actions these are normal) and it's a problem for my work.

Do you know if there are possible with v2? 

Thank you!

Daniele

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No. The macro facility has not changed.

-- Walt
Designer, Photo, and Publisher V1 and V2 at latest retail and beta releases
PC:
    Desktop:  Windows 11 Pro, version 23H2, 64GB memory, AMD Ryzen 9 5900 12-Core @ 3.00 GHz, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 

    Laptop:  Windows 11 Pro, version 23H2, 32GB memory, Intel Core i7-10750H @ 2.60GHz, Intel UHD Graphics Comet Lake GT2 and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPU.
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Mac:  2023 M2 MacBook Air 15", 16GB memory, macOS Sonoma 14.3.1

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That's a pity because that could be the only reason to buy the v2. What I do just clicking once (on a saved set of actions) in Photoshop, in Affinity Photo is not possible unless of complicated real actions (Batch is useless also because it's not possible to save a soft of macro of Batch).

Thank you Walt, you're very kind.
Dan

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A macro should do what you want. When you use the resize dialogue, you do need to ensure that the Resample box is ticked.

Macros cannot export images, but a combination of a batch job and a macro should do what you want.

John

Windows 10, Affinity Photo 1.10.5 Designer 1.10.5 and Publisher 1.10.5 (mainly Photo), now ex-Adobe CC

CPU: AMD A6-3670. RAM: 16 GB DDR3 @ 666MHz, Graphics: 2047MB NVIDIA GeForce GT 630

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You actually need to use a macro such as those I have provided for resizing to a fixed maximum size and to set the dpi. Run the dpi macro first, then the resize macro.

The included macros do work for your target breadth/width and dpi.

Note that I say that I have recorded these in Affinity Photo 1.6. There is a bug in later versions which means that the resampling does not work in the resizing macros.

John

Windows 10, Affinity Photo 1.10.5 Designer 1.10.5 and Publisher 1.10.5 (mainly Photo), now ex-Adobe CC

CPU: AMD A6-3670. RAM: 16 GB DDR3 @ 666MHz, Graphics: 2047MB NVIDIA GeForce GT 630

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  • 2 months later...
On 1/1/2023 at 11:08 AM, John Rostron said:

A macro should do what you want. When you use the resize dialogue, you do need to ensure that the Resample box is ticked.

Macros cannot export images, but a combination of a batch job and a macro should do what you want.

John

You're protecting the macros in Affinity Photo for nothing, they clearly need improvement.

Examples:

• I want to import 4 images into a document and arrange them. Can? It is forbidden.
• I want to mask the layer below. Can? It is forbidden.

I would like better automation.

For me, this is also important and this is not in the new version.

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6 minutes ago, Evil Pechenka said:

I would like better automation.

For me, this is also important and this is not in the new version.

The APh Macro capabilities have always been and are sadly pretty limited, if not to say very weak. - There are a bunch of things missing or which Macros doesn't offer and can't do, especially in terms of document size independent dynamic handling, I/O file support, text and layer handling ... and the like. Also things like nesting macros, or the interoperation of macros, aren't really possible, or are only possible via some cumbersome unpleasent copy/paste workarounds. There's also no real possibility to single step through, or halt a macro via some stop breakpoint etc., so no debug features.

All in all the overall hope here lies more on some additional future Scripting capabilities for the Affinity apps, as far as it's good, flexible and powerful implemented. Meaning, it should then ideally also offer some CLI based access to Affinity apps objects/methods/functions (...so not been restricted to only/just being exectable inside the GUI with all that app GUI mem overhead), further it should offer some real debugging capabilities ... and so on.

If it (a scripting facility) would be instead implemented like/after the Macros facility, then it would be probably crappy.

☛ Affinity Designer 1.10.8 ◆ Affinity Photo 1.10.8 ◆ Affinity Publisher 1.10.8 ◆ OSX El Capitan
☛ Affinity V2.3 apps ◆ MacOS Sonoma 14.2 ◆ iPad OS 17.2

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1 hour ago, Evil Pechenka said:

You're protecting the macros in Affinity Photo for nothing

All @John Rostron did was to point out that the functionality @NY32 requested can actually be achieved with the current Macros implementation in Affinity Photo. This doesn't say anything about the Macro capabilities in general.

10 minutes ago, v_kyr said:

All in all the overall hope here lies more on some additional future Scripting capabilities for the Affinity apps

Or just improve the Macros feature. Ideally without breaking compatibility for existing macros.

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7 hours ago, kaffeeundsalz said:

Or just improve the Macros feature. Ideally without breaking compatibility for existing macros.

Macros (aka just an interactive screenrecording and replay) don't offer what real Scripting would offer here! - Further there wouldn't be any upward compatibility between v1 and V2 macros, V1 apps wouldn't be able to execute V2 macros, same as with the common aff files.

☛ Affinity Designer 1.10.8 ◆ Affinity Photo 1.10.8 ◆ Affinity Publisher 1.10.8 ◆ OSX El Capitan
☛ Affinity V2.3 apps ◆ MacOS Sonoma 14.2 ◆ iPad OS 17.2

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I know the difference between macros and scripting, but in your post it sounds like you suggest scripting is supposed to be the solution for a limited macro feature. However, I don't think the two should be mutually exclusive. I'd very much appreciate it if Serif would extend the functionality of macros, also because that would allow more use cases to be covered by macros before people need scripting.

By not breaking compatibility, I meant that if Serif extends macros in Affinity Photo, I'd appreciate it if existing macros would still continue to work in newer versions of the application.

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38 minutes ago, kaffeeundsalz said:

...but in your post it sounds like you suggest scripting is supposed to be the solution for a limited macro feature. ...

Depends on how it is implemented and what it finally offers. Scripting usually offers by far a lot more than Macros, like looping, conditions, calling/using/adding external functions, I/O pipes ... etc., aka allowing to do a lot of things so far not available in Affinity apps. - Though some of these things could also be made available & reusable in/for Macros then too. Further for example, a script could call and execute some available macro, or vice versa.

In short, Scripting is like programming offering much more flexibility, where Macros in contrast to that are more like clicking a GUI workflow together. Where the later (Macros) can't add functionality not already available or accessable in the app GUI so far. - And of course the Macro facility has to be enhanced, since in it's actual state, as already said, it's pretty limited in overal functionality.

Let's see what the future brings here!

☛ Affinity Designer 1.10.8 ◆ Affinity Photo 1.10.8 ◆ Affinity Publisher 1.10.8 ◆ OSX El Capitan
☛ Affinity V2.3 apps ◆ MacOS Sonoma 14.2 ◆ iPad OS 17.2

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Just now, v_kyr said:

Let's see what the future brings here!

As we can see, nothing.

The first thing I ran to watch with the release of the new version was macros. They were not changed and they were not dealt with. I will not buy the new version.

From the good for me - added pseudo three-dimensional distortions. I did them before by other means. But I needed macros the most.

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On 3/24/2023 at 11:01 AM, Evil Pechenka said:

As we can see, nothing.

You're confusing the future with the present. Serif has released their Affinity v2 apps in November 2022, and these reflect the current state of development. With Affinity Photo 2.0, there were no improvements in the Macros feature, but that doesn't say anything about whether Serif is going to improve it in a future version.

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9 hours ago, Evil Pechenka said:

I don't confuse anything. For three years now I have been waiting for some macro improvements, a new version has been released. I received nothing.

I see. You're assuming that because there have been no macro improvements so far, there will never be any. That is an irrational assumption, but of course you are free to make it. Many users have waited far longer than three years for a desired feature to finally get implemented.

9 hours ago, Evil Pechenka said:

Can you convince me that I don't need it? It is forbidden. 😀

Why would I want to do that? You know best what you need, so if Affinity Photo, in its current state, doesn't meet your requirements, that's fair enough.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Thank you guys for all of your replys. In particular  @John Rostron that really helped me with his set of macros that do exactly what I wanted. 
About the discussion, I guess the biggest problem, in my opinion, is that we consider them as the Actions in Photoshop but they aren't. Or, at least, they completely aren't and I don't understand why. If I were an Affinity programmer I'd look at what works in Photoshop and I'd make it to AP. And Actions and the set of Actions are fundamental in Photoshop.
And the fact that we need your set of macros to resize images is the proof that AP wasn't thought with the idea to get the best from competitors and renew it.

And not, Batch is not always the solution for at least two reason: I can't record a batch setting (I have to re-set all settings every time) and not always it works. For example "convert from RGB to CMYK" is not possible. I did a macro, it works if I click on the macro, but if I use that macro in Batch it doesn't work. 

 

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14 minutes ago, NY32 said:

For example "convert from RGB to CMYK" is not possible. I did a macro, it works if I click on the macro, but if I use that macro in Batch it doesn't work. 

It's not necessary to use a macro for that. The "..." options in the Batch Job will let you change the color format.

I think what's happening is that the macro runs, then the "save" part of the operation runs, and it takes its information from the "..." options which will override whatever the macro did.

Edited by walt.farrell
Fixed inaccurate info

-- Walt
Designer, Photo, and Publisher V1 and V2 at latest retail and beta releases
PC:
    Desktop:  Windows 11 Pro, version 23H2, 64GB memory, AMD Ryzen 9 5900 12-Core @ 3.00 GHz, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 

    Laptop:  Windows 11 Pro, version 23H2, 32GB memory, Intel Core i7-10750H @ 2.60GHz, Intel UHD Graphics Comet Lake GT2 and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPU.
iPad:  iPad Pro M1, 12.9": iPadOS 17.3, Apple Pencil 2, Magic Keyboard 
Mac:  2023 M2 MacBook Air 15", 16GB memory, macOS Sonoma 14.3.1

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1 minute ago, NY32 said:

I don't know where else to write it...

If you have a question, that's the right place. You have a number of possible choices, depending on whether you're asking a question, or reporting a bug, or asking for a change.

You can either navigate to the forum you want to post in and use Start New Topic:

image.png.58760533ae81a70ddf341790d1ee8254.png

Or you can use Create at the top of the page and it will give you either "Create Topic" directly, or if you're not in a place where you can directly create one it will let you drill down to a forum of your choosing (any one that is not grayed out), which may require expanding an entry.

 

-- Walt
Designer, Photo, and Publisher V1 and V2 at latest retail and beta releases
PC:
    Desktop:  Windows 11 Pro, version 23H2, 64GB memory, AMD Ryzen 9 5900 12-Core @ 3.00 GHz, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 

    Laptop:  Windows 11 Pro, version 23H2, 32GB memory, Intel Core i7-10750H @ 2.60GHz, Intel UHD Graphics Comet Lake GT2 and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPU.
iPad:  iPad Pro M1, 12.9": iPadOS 17.3, Apple Pencil 2, Magic Keyboard 
Mac:  2023 M2 MacBook Air 15", 16GB memory, macOS Sonoma 14.3.1

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There's limitations with regards to what Macros can do that I seem to find whenever I go to set one up. It's discouraged me using them more faithfully, but I do utilize them. I prefer to use them for housekeeping tasks, but some of what I would typically do in other programs I can't setup a macro for in Affinity. Not that I don't run into similar limitations in other apps. Export Persona does cover some of those gaps for single file operations. Adobe is more likely the real outlier in that they've had decades of experience to build a proper foundation for their API and Actions panel. All that said, I don't see a premise behind saying "in the future it'll be possible". We don't know whether the changes will even be big or even small, whenever and if they do occur. We know nothing about future development and we can't know. So basing one's review on currently available features is the best call. There's still preexisting bugs and it's been said they need more people. Either way, a macro facility is present and scripting is in the pipeline. There's been some very good discussions with staff there. Scripting in particular, though worth looking forward to, I agree can never and should never replace proper Macro functionality.

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