MattP

Affinity Designer Customer Beta (1.5 - Beta 1)

184 posts in this topic

Status: Beta Release

Purpose: New features, fixes

Requirements: Purchased Affinity Designer

Mac App Store: Not Submitted

Download: Here

 

This is the first beta of a substantial change to our codebase and as much as we have tried to ensure the quality of the code, it should be considered to be not suitable for production use. This means that you should not attempt to use it for commercial purposes or for any other activity that you may be adversely affected by the application failing. In addition it is definitely worth noting that files created in Affinity 1.5 cannot be opened in 1.4 so always make a copy of your important documents before opening them in 1.5 to ensure you do not accidentally overwrite them and are unable to open them in your 1.4 version.

 

To use this beta, simply download the file from the link given above and double-click on the file to open the installer. Follow the instructions to install the beta version. The beta sits alongside the Mac App Store version and will not interfere with it.

 

 

I am hoping for a brief video overview of the new headline features from Ash very soon and I'll add a link here when it arrives, but here's a quick summary in the interim...

 

Summary:

Symbols - Objects can be made into symbols and remain editable on document at all times - instantly updating other instances. The 'Sync' button on the Symbols panel controls whether changes will be made to all instances, or just the current instance. Found on 'View'->'Studio'->'Symbols'

Constraints - Objects can be made to constrain in certain ways when their parents change. For example, an object could be anchored to a corner of its parent and told to not scale when the parent is scaled. This is powerful for UI mockups and allows you to see in realtime how dialogs may scale, for example. Found on 'View'->'Studio'->'Constraints'

Assets - We now have an Assets panel that you can use to drag any documents into from your document. Dragging items back out creates new objects from them. You can also add Symbols to your Assets if you wish. Found on 'View'->'Studio'->'Assets'

Text Styles - We've added support for text styles - and it's really very powerful... It probably needs a video tutorial all to itself to describe how to use it properly! Found on 'View'->'Studio'->'Text Styles'

Export Persona - The Export Persona has much greater functionality, allowing you to specify many export sizes and formats from each slice area/object. It also has presets for creating common icons, making Xcode asset JSON and even for creating JSON export for Spine (2D animation software by esotericsoftware.com - we're not affiliated with them in any way, but they suggested they'd like to use Designer for content creation so we tried to enable it)

Snapping - This has been greatly improved, as has the 'candidate' snapping system (there are options for this in the snapping setup). We now also support 'gaps and spans' to aid with object construction and object geometry snapping. We will soon add 'measuring'

Colour Picker Tool - We've added a colour picker as a dedicated tool. I'm open to suggestions on your favourite shortcut key for this one and we'll add it next time :)

Styles - Now has a 'spotlight' style search box.

Tool shortcut fixes for International keyboards.

You can now drop colours from programs like Chroma (by softpress.com - again, no affiliation but they mentioned they'd like to do it, so we tried) directly onto objects on the document.

Embedded documents should now usually export as vector elements rather than being rasterised.

Many PDF/PSD import/export improvements.

You can now choose which artboard to display for an embedded document (if it contained artboards) rather than being forced to see the whole document.

Selection has been improved to hopefully stop people getting frustrated about not being able to click to select the things they can see!

New Beta Icon - Perhaps the biggest change, we've finally thrown out the old Beta icon and its terrible, terrible 'chain' hanging the beta sign off the icon! Hurrah!

 

 

Known Problems:

I've accidentally left the Links panel available in the UI and also the option to mirror the document to iOS is still there too... I'd encourage everyone not to delve into any of this... The Links panel allows you to specify for any object which artboard it will transition to and in what way it will transition when it is touched. It's only of any use to you if you have the iOS Mirror application (which we aren't ready to release yet) and by enabling the links on your objects, you may well be left with a document which will not open again in the future if the developer decides to change anything... Also, the Artboard Tool's context toolbar includes Header and Footer controls - this is also related to previewing on the iOS Mirror application and is to enable scrolling website mockups. So there you go, you know what we're up to a little ahead of time, but it would take me too long to build the whole application again without it all! ;)

 

Embedded documents in colour formats/profiles which are different to the parent document might draw strangely - this will be fixed for the next beta, sorry.

 

Assets and Symbols are all currently assumed to be in the current document format and colour space - again, this will be fixed for the next beta, sorry. They also don't currently get snapped as you drop them onto the document - this will be fixed shortly, too.

 

 

The Future:

We'll try to update the beta a lot more regularly again, hopefully weekly but it will depend on whether enough is ready to warrant a new beta. Expect this first beta to have a few snags, but we'll try to get them turned around and a new beta out very quickly when they are identified. We have a number of other smaller things to tweak that will hopefully improve the whole experience subtly and these will also appear in the coming weeks.

A_B_C, hawk, ronnyb and 14 others like this

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Oh. My. Word.

 

Were you guys just hammering 'refresh' all afternoon or something!?!? ;)

maaaayyyybbbbbeee ;P I am very excited for this one as I told you yesterday. also Its still morning here in the US :) which means I have all day to use the beta :D

MattP, KipV and Malcolm like this

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Matt didn't listed above but it's now possible to change Grid lines and Subdivision lines colours and opacity (menu View ▸ Grid and Axis Manager).

The Fill and Transparency Tools also have a new option in the context toolbar (Maintain Fill Aspect Ratio).

Pen and Node Tools have a new local snapping option: Snap to geometry of selected curves (path and node aware snapping).

Frame Text Tool has a new snapping feature: baseline snapping for the first line.

 

There's also a few new options in Preferences:

- General: 

- Enable “Save” over imported PSD files (intended to use as an interchange format with DAM applications)
- Perfromance:
- Retina Rendering:  Single Pass | Retina Multi Pass
- User Interface:
- Artboard Background Grey Level

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Matt,

 

I like the new Colour Picker (eye dropper) but when I use it to copy the colour from one item to another the main item that I have selected (the one I want to change) appears to be deselected (it isn't but it doesn't look like anything is selected). Is that a bug?

 

Thanks for all the hard work, any chance that you added a zooming preference that I can't find so I can get rid of scrubby zooming forever? I would love to be able to select which zooming works best for me (and scrubby zooming isn't it). 

 

Hokusai

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Hi Matt

 

Thanks for the great update; the added text-styles and asset panel were unexpected but are true timesavers!

 

One question about the text-styles: One can specify a following style, which works when typing directly into the document. But I haven't found a way to apply the style to a paragraph, followed automatically by the next style being applied to the next paragraph. A workflow I have in InDesign is to create a loop of following styles and apply it on large texts with recurring patterns. (i.e. heading → subheading → bodytext → heading → subheading etc.)

 

Have a nice weekend!

Bauke

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Cheers team, just wading through all of the new goodness!  :) Thanks for all of the hard work!

 

Really liking the deep thinking in some of the new features.

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Amazing Matt! I noticed the app jumped in size by quite a bit... I wonder what else you're hiding under the UI hood...  ;)


2011 MacBook Pro 8,2; Intel Core i7 @ 2.2 GHz, 16 GB RAM, 240 GB SSD Boot Disk + 750 GB HDD in optical bay, MacOS High Sierra

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Looks cool but very unstable. Crashes a lot. :(

 

That's a bit harsh, mate !!!  I think the most sensible thing to do is if you have found a problem, just log a bug report.  Please don't dent the happiness in the forum today with such undue criticism.

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Amazing Matt! I noticed the app jumped in size by quite a bit... I wonder what else you're hiding under the UI hood...  ;)

 

Yeah, there's a good reason for that - and it's hiding in the Affinity Photo 1.5 update - which is hopefully due out soon :)

 

Obviously, Designer needs to be compatible with everything you can achieve in Photo, so the size of the two apps will always mirror each other as they grow or shrink :)

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That's a bit harsh, mate !!!  I think the most sensible thing to do is if you have found a problem, just log a bug report.  Please don't dent the happiness in the forum today with such undue criticism.

 

Thanks, Nana :)  I'm totally expecting there to be bugs, and I've tried to be very upfront about this at the start of this thread - but this is the worst state that 1.5 is ever going to be in, our work from here until release is reproducing cases that cause failure and fixing the logic problems that caused the issues. If 00Ghz can just help us out a bit and tell me how to cause one of the problems then I'll be able to fix it - and that in turn may fix a good number of other bugs that are actually all related. When we released the 1.4 Beta 1, we had exactly the same scenario - it's just how development is...

Matt

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Matt didn't listed above but it's now possible to change Grid lines and Subdivision lines colours and opacity (menu View ▸ Grid and Axis Manager).

The Fill and Transparency Tools also have a new option in the context toolbar (Maintain Fill Aspect Ratio).

Pen and Node Tools have a new local snapping option: Snap to geometry of selected curves (path and node aware snapping).

Frame Text Tool has a new snapping feature: baseline snapping for the first line.

 

There's also a few new options in Preferences:

- General: 

- Enable “Save” over imported PSD files (intended to use as an interchange format with DAM applications)
- Perfromance:
- Retina Rendering:  Single Pass | Retina Multi Pass
- User Interface:
- Artboard Background Grey Level

 

Sorry, I'm pretty sure I've missed out a great many other subtle things too, but we've just got very used to using 1.5 already and I'm starting to forget what was possible in 1.4 and what has just been introduced! :S

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Yeah, there's a good reason for that - and it's hiding in the Affinity Photo 1.5 update - which is hopefully due out soon :)

 

Obviously, Designer needs to be compatible with everything you can achieve in Photo, so the size of the two apps will always mirror each other as they grow or shrink :)

Well I was dying for the AD update and couldn't wait for the beta. Thankfully I was gratified today. But now, now Im going through the same thing with AP except I have no idea whats coming! Now I am going to have to wonder all weekend whats in there!! :P

MattP likes this

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Enjoying exploring the new Beta, found some issues...

 

Loaded a large file I've been working on in 1.4.2 (~64mb). Has tons of embedded images etc. Anyway 1.5 has substantial refresh issues with it. See attached image. I know - get a better machine - but the file is usable in 1.4.2 :) 

 

Also another bug; if an embedded file has an adjustment at the top level (brightness contrast), the alpha'd area is effected, (in this case brightened) in the parent doc - you can see this in the selected object in the screen grab. This can be avoided by grouping all objects in the embedded file and applying the adjustment to the group.

 

As always happy to supply files over e-mail or provide more info. 

 

System vitals... 

MacBook Pro (15-inch, Mid 2010)

2.66 GHz Intel Core i7

8 GB 1067 MHz DDR3

NVIDIA GeForce GT 330M 512 MB

post-6493-0-40058200-1466799323_thumb.png

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Oh boy, the love I have for this beta.. let me count the ways:

  1. The improved Apple Color Picker integration is great, now we have the best of both worlds!
  2. Also love the color picker tool in the toolbar. Nice! Default shortcut coming?
  3. The awesome Symbols, oh my, the symbols! So shiny, so awesome.. have.. no words.
  4. Seems I don't quite get the constraints options in the bottom right http://pasteboard.co/1VHUWtAm.png- a tooltip would be nice
  5. .. so much more, but dinner calls.

Snags

  1. We have all seen this I guess, unless you are on a retina screen: http://pasteboard.co/1VGMkvSU.png
  2. Seems I don't quite get the constraints options in the bottom right http://pasteboard.co/1VHUWtAm.png- a tooltip would be nice.

Persistent Curiosities

  1. That the 3D effect radius is still using units and not a percentage. Maybe for a good reason..?

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