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When importing downloaded Illustrator (.ai) formatted files I often see multiple group layers set to the default Passthrough blend mode that each consist only of one filled shape and a 100% black rectangular mask. The mask seems superfluous since it is large enough to completely enclose the shape & it can be deleted with no visible changes in the document.

 

The weird thing is the shape's fill color is always the same as that of the layer below its group, so I would not expect it to be visible against that color. But for reasons I don't understand the group it is in seems to be changing its fill color even though that group is set to passthrough, which as I understand it should have no blend effect of its own.

 

This is obvious if I ungroup the object or in the Layers panel drag it (with or without the mask) to a position above the now empty layer. Also, without ungrouping the layer, just changing its blend mode to Normal & then back to Passthrough causes this effect to vanish -- the grouped object's shape color remains the same as if it had been ungrouped & does not revert to the previous state.

 

I hope the thumbnail below & the companion afdesign document will make this clearer. Each of the file's 5 groups has the same group/curve/mask arrangement, each of the curves has a fill color that is different from how it appears in the document, & moving any of them out of their parent group changes their displayed color to agree with what is shown in the Colors panel.

post-3524-0-37747300-1460300287_thumb.png

AI import.afdesign

Affinity Photo 1.9.3, Affinity Designer 1.9.3, Affinity Publisher 1.9.3;  2020 iMac 27"; 3.8GHz i7, Radeon Pro 5700, 32GB RAM; macOS 10.15.7
Affinity Photo 
1.92.236 & Affinity Designer 1.9.2 (showing 1.9.9) for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iPadOS 14.4 (18D52)

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If it helps, the original source of the file is the "Nice Things Icon Set" available for download at https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2013/11/freebie-nice-things-icon-set-png-ai-source/. Each of the included 128 icons is on its own layer in the ai file, so for my example I imported that file into AD, copied the "#Roller Skate" layer, & then used "New from clipboard" to create a new AD document with just that layer in it. My example file is just a part of that, created by dragging a marquee around the shapes that form one of the wheels, copying that, & using "New from clipboard" again.

 

That was just to simplify things but I get the same behavior with either the original import or the first, all shapes included, clipboard copy.

 

By the way, many of these icons are much more detailed than they appear on the web page. All are well done, & I think worth the 11.7 MB download if you are looking for some free, pre-made vector objects to use in your own projects or as teaching aids.

Affinity Photo 1.9.3, Affinity Designer 1.9.3, Affinity Publisher 1.9.3;  2020 iMac 27"; 3.8GHz i7, Radeon Pro 5700, 32GB RAM; macOS 10.15.7
Affinity Photo 
1.92.236 & Affinity Designer 1.9.2 (showing 1.9.9) for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iPadOS 14.4 (18D52)

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So I think I know what's happening here, at least regarding color/blends.

 

The art is coming in looking as it should, but the group blending modes are being mislabled while retaining the correct effects.

They should be either Screen or Multiply as the case may be.

Switching to normal and back to Passthrough jogs AD's brain and results in the correct Passthrogh effect.

Switching to the other two retains the intended effect.

 

I had a similar issue a while back with different mode names not being honored.

(will have to look back to be more specific)

 

As far as the clips go... not sure, they could be junk in the .ai as well.

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JimmyJack,

I think you are right about the blending mode being mis-identified as Passthrough for these groups. Changing the mode to Screen without doing anything else preserves the original look & color. 

Affinity Photo 1.9.3, Affinity Designer 1.9.3, Affinity Publisher 1.9.3;  2020 iMac 27"; 3.8GHz i7, Radeon Pro 5700, 32GB RAM; macOS 10.15.7
Affinity Photo 
1.92.236 & Affinity Designer 1.9.2 (showing 1.9.9) for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iPadOS 14.4 (18D52)

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