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I cannot follow the Resource "core_skills.afdesign" at the top of a topic in the Workbook. Some insight onto using this would be helpful. I do not have the  practice files for the Workbook and would like a link to get them.

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The links are in the book. See for example https://forum.affinity.serif.com/index.php?/topic/32798-sample-files-for-affinity-designer-workbook/for the latest topic about that.


Affinity Photo 1.8.4, Affinity Designer 1.8.4, Affinity Publisher 1.8.4;  2020 iMac 27"; 3.8GHz i7, Radeon Pro 5700, 40GB RAM; macOS 10.15.6
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I have thoroughly enjoyed using the Affinity Designer Workbook. I have learned an enormous amount, and probably forgotten a lot already! (But it is there for me to go back to).

 

I should explain that I am an enthusiastic amateur, not a professional graphic designer. A professional might see through issues I see as problems, but I think Serif can get a strong place in the amateur market with their brilliant new Affinity products, so I hope the professionals will forgive me.

 I have a few criticisms, which I offer in the hope that things can get better.

 

1: A general crit is that when you say “on the toolbar” (for a function such as “divide”, it would help to say which part pf the toolbar is being referred to. For example:  the divide function is just one button in a long row. As an inexperienced user, I have spent lots of time hunting for such functions)

 

2: In the panther exercise, when you apply the divide functon it is very hard to find out where you are unless you have previously named ALL the layers so you can see what has happened. No doubt this is easy for a professional graphic designer, but amateurs should be advised to label the layers. Until I did this I could not work out how the divide function worked.

 

3: To an experienced user it is obvious, but in the panther example, the distinction between  drawing paths (for the lines outside the main animal) and CLOSED shapes is not obvious and should be clarified. [the fact that when inking, the shapes must be closed is not made clear]  That said, the way the help files are constructed means that even when you have fallen into this pothole, it is easy to move on, so a definite plus there.

 

4: In the next (reflections) exercise, I found that the colour ‘things’  (colour wheels, gradient displays etc) in the context toolbar were very confusing when working with gradients. I came to the conclusion that when working with gradients it is far better to use the colour functions in the main panels rather than the context toolbar.

 

5: The book tends to show colour wheels, but they are tough for an amateur to use. I found it far better to key in the HSL numbers quoted in the book on the sliders. This is badly explained, and I wasted a lot of time before I worked this out. I have never used HSL numbers before but I am thinking of making a ‘shortlist’ of useful colours to have as an aid. Is there a bit of mileage there for help to the amateur user?

 

6:  A small point: Designef workbook p 170 "Lighting windows selectively". I could not get this to work (Windows !0 system). Not a major issue, though,

 

Well, that is as far as I have got so far, It is an exhilarating ride. The combination of excellent video tutorials, and clear explanations of core skills in Ihe beautifully presented book make this inevitably intense learning process fun

 

So at least 8 out 10, Serif. Affinity is fun.

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I have never used HSL numbers before but I am thinking of making a ‘shortlist’ of useful colours to have as an aid. Is there a bit of mileage there for help to the amateur user?

 

What would constitute generally 'useful' colours for most users? If I'm working in HSL colour mode, I tend to use full saturation (S=100) with no shading or tinting (L=50) as the starting point for my choice of hue.


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GrahamMYC,

 

Regarding your first point, the main Toolbar is totally customizable so the buttons on it could be in any order, some multi-item button groups might be replaced with individual buttons, & others might not present there at all. You also have the option to hide or show tool group labels.

 

For more about that, refer to the built-in help topic "Customizing the Toolbar."


Affinity Photo 1.8.4, Affinity Designer 1.8.4, Affinity Publisher 1.8.4;  2020 iMac 27"; 3.8GHz i7, Radeon Pro 5700, 40GB RAM; macOS 10.15.6
Affinity Photo 
1.8.4.186 & Affinity Designer 1.8.4.4 for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iPadOS 13.3.1

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What would constitute generally 'useful' colours for most users? If I'm working in HSL colour mode, I tend to use full saturation (S=100) with no shading or tinting (L=50) as the starting point for my choice of hue.

Thanks for helpful tip on using HSL

 

GrahamMYC,

 

Regarding your first point, the main Toolbar is totally customizable so the buttons on it could be in any order, some multi-item button groups might be replaced with individual buttons, & others might not present there at all. You also have the option to hide or show tool group labels.

 

For more about that, refer to the built-in help topic "Customizing the Toolbar."

Until you are familiar with the product, it is impossible to know what customisation of the toolbar is desirable. So for a newbie, some better pointers would be useful.

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I forgot to mention that, once again, I found the lack of 'up/down' arrows to change values in the transform panel a nuisance. I have already raised this point as a product feature request. It would make the placing of the buildings in the skyline exercise much easier

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Until you are familiar with the product, it is impossible to know what customisation of the toolbar is desirable. So for a newbie, some better pointers would be useful.

The built-in help & the dozens of official video tutorials offer a lot of help with that. At the bare minimum newbies should read the 'Getting Started' help section & check out the first few 'Getting Started' videos here.

 

Think of the workbook as a supplement to, not a replacement for, these resources. In particular, the built-in help will aways include the latest additions to the app, which won't be true for the workbook. There is even a brief video tutorial about using the help system here, in case you are not familiar with how to use it.


Affinity Photo 1.8.4, Affinity Designer 1.8.4, Affinity Publisher 1.8.4;  2020 iMac 27"; 3.8GHz i7, Radeon Pro 5700, 40GB RAM; macOS 10.15.6
Affinity Photo 
1.8.4.186 & Affinity Designer 1.8.4.4 for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iPadOS 13.3.1

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I forgot to mention that, once again, I found the lack of 'up/down' arrows to change values in the transform panel a nuisance.

If you have a mouse with a scroll wheel or the equivalent, you can use that to increment/decrement numeric values, not just in the Transform panel but almost anywhere in the interface that has numeric text fields. Just hover the pointer over the field & scroll. Pressing the alt/option modifier key while doing this will reduce the increments for fine control.

 

Also, if you click on a value in the Transform panel to select it, the keyboard up/down keys increment/decrement the value.


Affinity Photo 1.8.4, Affinity Designer 1.8.4, Affinity Publisher 1.8.4;  2020 iMac 27"; 3.8GHz i7, Radeon Pro 5700, 40GB RAM; macOS 10.15.6
Affinity Photo 
1.8.4.186 & Affinity Designer 1.8.4.4 for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iPadOS 13.3.1

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If you have a mouse with a scroll wheel or the equivalent, you can use that to increment/decrement numeric values, not just in the Transform panel but almost anywhere in the interface that has numeric text fields. Just hover the pointer over the field & scroll. Pressing the alt/option modifier key while doing this will reduce the increments for fine control.

 

Also, if you click on a value in the Transform panel to select it, the keyboard up/down keys increment/decrement the value.

 

You can also 'scrub' a value by clicking over its label (e.g. X, Y, W, H, R or S in the Transform panel) and dragging to the left or the right.


Alfred online2long.gif
Affinity Designer/Photo/Publisher for Windows • Windows 10 Home (4th gen Core i3 CPU)
Affinity Photo for iPad 1.8.4.186 • Designer for iPad 1.8.4.4 • iPadOS 13.7 (iPad Air 2)

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You can also 'scrub' a value by clicking over its label (e.g. X, Y, W, H, R or S in the Transform panel) and dragging to the left or the right.

Thanks! I never knew that was yet another way to change values! It also works for labels like Width, Opacity, Flow, & Hardness in the Context toolbar for all (?) the tools that have labeled numeric values.

 

With all those methods to choose from, I doubt there is any real need for those tiny little up/down icons in the UI. Personally, I never liked them much in other apps -- they are small & hard to target quickly, & depending on the implementation often increment/decrement values too slowly or too quickly. If there are many of them, they also take up space in the UI I would prefer to have available for other things.

 

If the up/down icons are ever added to the Affinity UI, I hope they are optional. But that is just me.


Affinity Photo 1.8.4, Affinity Designer 1.8.4, Affinity Publisher 1.8.4;  2020 iMac 27"; 3.8GHz i7, Radeon Pro 5700, 40GB RAM; macOS 10.15.6
Affinity Photo 
1.8.4.186 & Affinity Designer 1.8.4.4 for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iPadOS 13.3.1

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