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AD: Shape Distribution Along Line / Custom Vector Brush

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Hi, everyone!

As I haven't found any topic on this, so the decision was made to post a new one.

I have one elliptical shape, which I want to be distributed along any free line at certain density. 

Something like the image below, only at much higher density, but just so you can understand my needs.




Maybe just a simple vector brush would do? But I haven't figured out how to make one.


— the shape actually mustn't rotate; needs to stay in its default orientaiton

— I would prefer the shape to have an exact dimensions (set in milimeters)
— variable density would be useful, but not necessary


Is there a way to do this in Affinity Designer?
I need this for typeface design :) 

Thank you.

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Hello rdksl,

Welcome to Affinity Forums :)

Currently there isn't a "distribute along a path" feature in Affinity Designer and the vector brush engine is not developed enough to be an option here (keeping all objects as vectors).

If you create a custom font with the shape you want you can make it follow a path but it's quite a convoluted solution for a problem like this. There was already a few requests for this type of functionality. Maybe in a future version this will become possible.

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How about an Image brush?


Save a png with transparent background. Make new Image brush, select that image. 

(If you save the oval with space on either side, you can adjust the individual spacing.)



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Would a logarithmic grid help ?

Google for "Logarithmic grid", choose an appropriate one, open in AFD, use as background layer, lock it & start your design on a new layer.

Or : use as background layer & pull guidelines to fit on a new layer.

There's also info on Google on how to make a logarithmic grid  from scratch (if you're good at maths...)

That what you do not yet know is more important than what you already know-Jordan Peterson

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Thanks to all of you—MEB, JimmyJack and catlover and sorry for a month-long silence!


@catlover: Actually I don't know why I didn't present my actual intention and chose analogy instead. I see your point with a logarithmic grid, but this isn't the issue here. However it got me thinking about that for something else, so thanks for the suggestion :)


@MEB: The font made of shape is viable idea if it then was possible to keep the letters from rotation when following a path in AFD. I don't think there is an option. Or am I wrong?


@JimmyJack: In fact, I don't need these shapes to be vector as they only act as some kind of guides. Didn't realize that before.


So, guys, I'm still figuring it out... the ellipses should act as guides, specifically gauge balls, for the typeface stroke gauge.

The image brush is actually a great idea—only with one challenge.


The desired effect is only achieved in a pixel persona, but there you cannot control the path of stroke (or can you?).

I need to control the path with a vector line (or anything that can be drawn with bezier curves). An image brush in vector persona is working in a bit different way, although it is vector-controled.


I attached a picture of what I use these for (set manually with hand) next to the brush I made, but as I said, can only be used in pixel persona that doesn't allow the control of path.


So, is there a tool or a technique to control the image brush in pixel persona or to set an image brush in vector persona to act as on the image instead of laying shapes next to each other and deforming them?


Thank you so much again and if I described something poorly, please hit me with a further question :)






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I tried making some brushes again, but still can't get what I need. Any thoughts on this?

The sufficient solution would be even if I could use a vector curve as a path for generating brush stroke in pixel persona.


Is anything like this possible?



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A little confused... Does each little oval need to be a vector?


If not, you could create a brush that is a section of three or four ovals and use that to stroke a vector path.

No need to go into Pixel Persona.


But the orientation problem still remains, yes?




Edit: WARNING the ovals will get start to distort as curve bend sharpness increases! Corners.... fuggedaboutit.

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Sorry, I admit the thread is a bit confusing from my side.


The ovals do not need to be vectors.


However what you suggest isn't a viable solution. Vector brush actually only uses images as textures rather than the brush object.

Being that way, it rotates and distorts the shape along curves. 

Here see the quick comparison. I set the spacing on pixel persona brush so it matches the look, but I really need them to overlap which can't be done with vector brush (actually it would work if as you said, I created an image with multiple ovals, but I need to prevent them from rotation and as the paths would have different directions, they would not continue flawlessly).



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Yeah, I remembered that part of the problem as you were posting and added that question to my post.

.... and you just answered it. 


Back to the drawing board (literally  <_< )

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