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bigeyex

5 things Affinity Designer behaves counter-intuitive

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1. Snapping and distributing
I still cannot find how to distribute objects in equal gaps. The "Snap to gaps and sizes" option is always disabled in snapping menu, and there is no distribute option in the align menu. No object distribution=no use in web designing. After all, this shouldn't be a feature users should worry about - just make it work (by default) like Keynote or Sketch.
 
2. Cropping the canvas
What do you think of this button? Resize the canvas, right?

post-1325-0-60795700-1415288265.png

This convention dates back from Microsoft Paint and even earlier. Affinity Designer is the first software that doesn't behave this way. I understand that you can export parts of the canvas by slicing, but just walk into every museum, you will find canvas size and shape have a great effect on art expression. And changing canvas size should be able to be done without inputing numbers.

 

3. Editing Bitmap files

Drag a png/jpg file into the canvas, and you'll find you can't edit it - you need to "Rasterize" it. That's because stupid designers - those who are too lazy to learn to use a new software - shouldn't be able to edit bitmap files.

 

4. Deselecting in Pixel Persona

You made a selection and made some edits, now you "habitually" switched to rectangular marquee tool and clicked on the blank region of the canvas, and nothing happened. Yes, you need to learn Cmd+D, you stupid designer.

 

5. Where is my magic wand?

Am I the only person who need a magic wand? Since we don't have "trace bitmap image" for now, can't I even remove the transparent pixels from my bitmap?

 

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1) Distribute is on the Arrange button (main toolbar).  It's the fourth arrange option, and can be applied in X or Y axis independently.


SerifLabs team - Affinity Developer
  • Software engineer  -  Photographer  -  Guitarist  -  Philosopher
  • iMac 27" Retina 5K (Late 2015), 4.0GHz i7, AMD Radeon R9 M395
  • MacBook (Early 2015), 1.3GHz Core M, Intel HD 5300
  • iPad Pro 10.5", 256GB

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Every graphics app is like a dialect of a language. It is up to the user to learn and discern the differences between them. 

 

1-- snapping and aligning is a bit different from other apps, true. But once one gets their head around the concepts as Designer does them, snapping and aligning are very elegant. They may not be perfect, this is an initial release, after all. It's important to let the developers know of any issues and then provide feedback on how it could be improved. In this sense, users are part of the development process. If we get invested in the development of AD, it will be the app we want and need.

 

2-- The crop button is mysterious to me, too. Since I rarely use it, it's a non-issue for me and best left for those who use it to ask questions and such. I have no qualms about manually entering in numbers for canvas/document sizes. Most of my work needs to fit within specific parameters, so I make sure my stuff is usable by making sure the size is correct.

 

3-- Having imported art be "un-editable" at first is a viable thing. Manga Studio (a comic creation app), won't let me edit PNGs, PSDs, TIFFs and such unless I "rasterize" it. For the most part, when I import graphics they are either going to be Logos, reference images and other kinds of uses that I don't want to edit. So having them be "locked" (so to speak) is good. If I import an image that I want to edit in the app, then rasterizing it is a trivial step. 

 

4-- The lack of a Magic Wand has been addressed (see https://forum.affinity.serif.com/index.php?/topic/1466-magic-wand-german-zauberstab-missing-in-affinity/  ) and will be added in time, so a bit of patience is required. For the present, if I need to use the magic want tool in an imported raster image (or on a pixel layer) I'll just edit the source file (or export the pixel image from AD and edit that and then import the edited version back in). Sure this is a work-around, but after years of "round-trip" image to vector and back again, it's not new nor novel for me to do.

 

----

 

When learning a new app, it's important to discard previous notions of how "they" did things and grasp how the new app does things. I used to think that Illustrator's pen tool was the pinnacle of design and UX. Until I started using the Node tool in Designer. A quick read through of the Help files and some messing around with it, and I found that the node tool is so much better than any other vector tool in other apps. If I had fixated on how the Pen tool worked in Illustrator, then I would be one frustrated puppy. 

 

When I first started inking with a Winsor-Newton series 7 no. 2 brush, I didn't expect my work to be stunning out of the gate. I had to learn how to use it. It wasn't a dip-pen, quill pen or technical pen. The basics were the same, tool to apply ink on paper, but the "how" was very different. Same thing with different apps. Especially with an app still at version 1.x. We are seeing a work-in-progress and with the rapid deployment of betas and a new version 1 month after the first release -- we are in for a great ride!


2014 iMac, 3.5 Ghz Intel Core i7, Secondary Samsung SyncMaster B2430 display, 16GB RAM, MacOS10.12 || Magic keyboard w/numeric keypad, wireless trackpad, Kengsington Edge Trackball, Wacom Pro Large tablet || Flux Capacitor in a secure location

---

I encourage kids to go ahead and play on my lawn. I mean, how else can I make sure the death-traps work?

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Anybody who read my post carefully will notice that I'm simulating how a frustrated user may blame himself/herself, as I always say "stupid and lazy" designers not the software itself is bad. If Serif is just selling $40 software to some technical hobbyists (including me), then it's mostly fine to ignore my comments (aside from the "gap-snapping" one - this is really an issue). 

 

Adobe illustrator is the industrial standard, that's why students in art college may spend years on that. But designers won't spent that much time on a new and unknown software. If some usual and critical functions are missing or not working as expected, users will leave after 5 minutes before they see your awesomeness in functionality. Most of the things I said requires little to medium work. Developers may just change the icon to alleviate #2 or change default settings to avoid #3 and #4. I think it's easier than dump heavy labor in features such as image tracing in this moment.

 

Now Affinity Designer ranks #65 in app store (paid category), lower than iDraw/Sketch. Can iDraw do more than Affinity? I don't think so. But iDraw has a good name (what is "Affinity Designer" then), and Sketch has good ui appealing / user experience (and it's a standard now). It requires more than technology to win market share. 

 

 

 

 

 

Bigeyex: Let's have an adult exchange. Say what you have to say without the attitude – don't turn technical forums into chat rooms.

 

 

Every graphics app is like a dialect of a language. It is up to the user to learn and discern the differences between them. 

 

1-- snapping and aligning is a bit different from other apps, true. But once one gets their head around the concepts as Designer does them, snapping and aligning are very elegant. They may not be perfect, this is an initial release, after all. It's important to let the developers know of any issues and then provide feedback on how it could be improved. In this sense, users are part of the development process. If we get invested in the development of AD, it will be the app we want and need.

 

2-- The crop button is mysterious to me, too. Since I rarely use it, it's a non-issue for me and best left for those who use it to ask questions and such. I have no qualms about manually entering in numbers for canvas/document sizes. Most of my work needs to fit within specific parameters, so I make sure my stuff is usable by making sure the size is correct.

 

3-- Having imported art be "un-editable" at first is a viable thing. Manga Studio (a comic creation app), won't let me edit PNGs, PSDs, TIFFs and such unless I "rasterize" it. For the most part, when I import graphics they are either going to be Logos, reference images and other kinds of uses that I don't want to edit. So having them be "locked" (so to speak) is good. If I import an image that I want to edit in the app, then rasterizing it is a trivial step. 

 

4-- The lack of a Magic Wand has been addressed (see https://forum.affinity.serif.com/index.php?/topic/1466-magic-wand-german-zauberstab-missing-in-affinity/  ) and will be added in time, so a bit of patience is required. For the present, if I need to use the magic want tool in an imported raster image (or on a pixel layer) I'll just edit the source file (or export the pixel image from AD and edit that and then import the edited version back in). Sure this is a work-around, but after years of "round-trip" image to vector and back again, it's not new nor novel for me to do.

 

----

 

When learning a new app, it's important to discard previous notions of how "they" did things and grasp how the new app does things. I used to think that Illustrator's pen tool was the pinnacle of design and UX. Until I started using the Node tool in Designer. A quick read through of the Help files and some messing around with it, and I found that the node tool is so much better than any other vector tool in other apps. If I had fixated on how the Pen tool worked in Illustrator, then I would be one frustrated puppy. 

 

When I first started inking with a Winsor-Newton series 7 no. 2 brush, I didn't expect my work to be stunning out of the gate. I had to learn how to use it. It wasn't a dip-pen, quill pen or technical pen. The basics were the same, tool to apply ink on paper, but the "how" was very different. Same thing with different apps. Especially with an app still at version 1.x. We are seeing a work-in-progress and with the rapid deployment of betas and a new version 1 month after the first release -- we are in for a great ride!

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Now Affinity Designer ranks #65 in app store (paid category), lower than iDraw/Sketch. Can iDraw do more than Affinity? I don't think so. But iDraw has a good name (what is "Affinity Designer" then), and Sketch has good ui appealing / user experience (and it's a standard now). It requires more than technology to win market share. 

 

Well, I just looked on the UK App Store, and we are 22nd in the Top Paid (iDraw at #59) and 6 in Top Grossing (iDraw at #37). So, it depends upon which territory you are talking about.


SerifLabs team - Affinity Developer
  • Software engineer  -  Photographer  -  Guitarist  -  Philosopher
  • iMac 27" Retina 5K (Late 2015), 4.0GHz i7, AMD Radeon R9 M395
  • MacBook (Early 2015), 1.3GHz Core M, Intel HD 5300
  • iPad Pro 10.5", 256GB

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