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v1.6 and nothing.

I've got a really simple idea how to handle this: I'll just use my pen and draw the arrow heads freely by hand. That'll look great and naturally as well. After all, that pen must be good for something. Since handwriting text doesn't work because Affinity Designer just can't keep up with the pen movement.

Where was the link to the roadmap again? I'm curious if it's still on it, and where.

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On 3. November 2017 at 7:05 PM, ygoe said:

Where was the link to the roadmap again?

→ → →  HERE  ← ← ←

 

  Grüße aus der Quadratestadt in die etwas andere Quadratestadt.

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Depends on what you see as minor. It's clearly blocking me from using Affinity Designer for an entire class of tasks: technical diagrams. And I'm not primarily an artist but a technician. Now imagine my priorities.

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My first post here and I'm surprised to see that line ends (arrows, lines, blocks, etc) still haven't been addressed. 

 

I'm doing technical drawings of properties (non-exact, for a real estate website) and the lack of a simple line that can have end-effects has slowed me to a crawl. I can appreciate why people here are quite frustrated. I really like Affinity Draw, so far - and hopefully the developers see the change in tone in this thread and redouble their efforts. Seriously, someone as elemental shouldn't take 2+ years to accomplish.

Edited by HollandJim
rephrasing and refining the point

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...the lack of a simple line that can have end-effects...

I applaud your use of  "line end effects" rather than "arrowheads."

It is so 1980s to think in terms of just arrowheads. As with other still-missing features, I very much hope that the reason for the delay is that the Affinity team has something far better in mind than the prevalent conventional wisdom.

Those who also follow Gravit Designer's (rapid, but sometimes too rapid) development know that it has been under a similar "must have" outcry for "arrowheads," and that it was just recently added. I have high regard for Gravit's  nobel effort to restore what has been for too long abandoned in vector drawing programs: interface elegance. But its obviously rushed-out-the-door arrowheads treatment is possibly the poorest I've ever seen. I sure don't want to see Affinity go that way due to unrelenting user pressure.

Paths have strokes and paths have ends. Nowadays, everyone expects (and rightly so) vector-based path stroke features to be far more elaborate than just the archaic basic color, weight, and end caps settings. Sadly, Illustrator's Pattern, Art, and Scatter Brushes (despite their needlessly overblown interface and lack of integration with other features) leads that functionality and is one of the really very few true advantages of that program.

All the while expecting more sophistication for path strokes, there seems to be a prevalent fixation on the archaic single-purpose use of "arrowheads" as path ends. Yes, arrowheads are a common need. But they are just a pointy-shaped vector graphic positioned at the end of a path and rotated to maintain tangency with the path's stroke. Thinking of "arrowheads" as a distinct feature needing its own interface is as archaic as thinking of dashes as something worthy of a standalone interface entirely distinct from other path strokes.

Even the conventional treatment of "brushes" misses the elegance mark. It's an example of how the typically-strained "natural media" metaphor breaks down. Like Illustrator, most programs have come to treat "Brushes" as an attribute. But in the physical media metaphor, a brush is not an attribute; it's a tool. A brush applies strokes, just as a pen or a pencil applies strokes.

Paths have strokes and paths have ends. Path ends should be every bit as versatile as path strokes (including so-called brushes). Both represent opportunity to exceed the functionality and disconnected non-integration with the rest of Illustrator's cumbersome, scattered, and grab-bag-like interface. Powerful as they can be when used with a little ingenuity, Illustrator's brushes are hamstrung by their stand-alone nature:

  • You can't simply use a Symbol as the "end tile" of a Pattern Brush. Why?
  • You can set an option on or off to "Scale Strokes and Effects" for any ordinary object(s) in the document, but you can't set that for Symbols, strokes contained in Art Brushes, or strokes contained in Tiles of Pattern Brushes. Why?
  • You can't simply assign a Symbol as a path end. Illustrator has its archaic separate Arrowheads setting. You can create custom Arrowheads, but to do so, you have to open a separate Arrowheads file, draw your custom "Arrowhead", and store it in that separate document as--wait for it--yes, a Symbol! You then quit the program, re-launch the program, re-open your document and now your "Custom Arrowhead" is available in the stupid separate Arrowheads popups of the Attributes panel.

Arguably (albeit a stretch), Adobe may have somewhat of an excuse for this convoluted nonsense in that it is a very, very old program, so certain archaic aspects have to be perpetuated for the users' old files. But Affinity is new; it should be free of such backward constraints. I'll say it again: Market share be hanged. Adobe Illustrator IS NOT the program for anyone to emulate in creating a far better drawing program.

Nowadays, most programs provide a symbols feature. Path ends should be integrated with symbols. Any symbol should be able to be applied as a path ending. The interface for applying a symbol as a path end should include these options:

  • Setting the rotation angle of the symbol, and whether that angle is relative to the page or to the path.
  • Setting the scale of the symbol (relative to how it is stored) and whether changing the path's stroke weight correspondingly affects the scale of its ends.
  • Setting for whether or not strokes contained within the symbol's artwork are scaled.

Most programs treat paths as having two primary attributes: stroke and fill. But they really have three: stroke, fill, and ends. It's way past time for someone to provide a modern, powerful, and elegantly integrated treatment of path ends.

JET

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I would like to build on the idea of arrowheads being added.  This was covered to some degree by a different poster but I want to add a couple of things:

1- Arrowheads being added to either end of the Pen Tool one the Bezier has been drawn. Different arrow head type option and can also make an outline around the line.

2- The arrowhead tip automatically snaps to shapes used as nodes to make diagrams (like what can be done in MS PowerPoint, but if Affinity does it.... will be way faster.

3- Basically a way to make fast decision tree diagrams and nodes....

 

Thanks!

David

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7 hours ago, Oval said:

and not only to the ends, please

Now that's an interesting point. Would that mean that I could create a "leaf" "arrow head" and spread leaves along a branch path to form a tree or something? This is actually something I had needed some time ago when recreating an old logo from paper.

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...and not only to the ends, please...

Quote

Now that's an interesting point. Would that mean that I could create a "leaf" "arrow head"...?

Oval will have to explain what exactly he envisions. I hope he's just reinforcing the need to specify a Path End's position relative to the path's endpoint (e.g., whether an arrowhead's point is on the endpoint, or beyond the endpoint).

But if otherwise, as it sounds to me, both of the above situations (and countless more) would be addressed by what I have been trying to describe as tight integration between what Illustrator and other programs treat as too-isolated features: path Strokes, Fills, Ends; and Symbols.

Imagine an interface something like this:

Any path has three intuitive graphic attributes: Stroke, Fill, and Ends. (It's time to abandon many of the ambiguous, strained pre-computer metaphors like "Brush" or "Pen," not to mention increasingly outdated esoteric terms like "Dodge" and "Burn.")

  • A Stroke is either "Art" or "Line."
  • An Art Stroke has options for:
  • Scale: ("Fixed" or "Per Stroke Weight")
  • "Stretched" or "Repeated."
  • A Repeated Art Stroke has options for:
  • Count: (Value)
  • Spacing: ("Auto" or "Specific")
  • Bend With Path: (Boolean)
  • Offset (Distance, Random [Boolean] )

The content of an Art Stroke can be a stored Symbol, just as the content of a Path End can be a stored Symbol. So there is no need to confusingly position something specifically called a Path End midway along the path. That can be done with a Repeated Art Stroke, with any Count, Spacing, Offset, etc., desired.

Or something like that. The devil, of course, is in the details, so I'm not claiming the above is perfect. Some of the options, for example, would be inter-dependent. But the concept is sound, and would be more concise, intuitive, and versatile, while less scattered and confused than most existing treatments. For example, it effectively unifies functionality of Illustrators separate "Art Brushes" and "Pattern Brushes."

All three path attributes (Stroke, Fill, Ends) should support application of multiple instances.

JET

 

 

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I think it should not only be possible to add symbols to the ends of a path, but anywhere on a path. Just think of scientific diagrams. Mathematicians will need to attach, for instance, letters to the middle of their arrows. A randomly taken screen shot from Wikipedia:

Wikipedia.png.f873437cfea8e6603f90c4d234cf1802.png

I think it would be nice if a drawing program provided a way to create such illustrations and diagrams with more ease … and in a typographically more pleasing way than it is currently often the case. :)

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On 22. Juli 2018 at 4:42 PM, JET_Affinity said:

Oval will have to explain

Nope, it is only a request. Serif has enough brain and hopefully give us fractal possibilities.

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(As long as “fractal” doesn’t mean what people usually have in mind when thinking about fractals … we certainly don’t need the well-established very same patterns repeated over and over again … :D)

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OP checking in. I see I've been hijacked! While I appreciate the wishes of others, I sure hope all this digression from arrowheads doesn't compromise the utility of, well, arrowheads.

Many of the "add-ons" being requested here would not, in any meaningful way, be enhanced by the kind of controllable parameters as I envision a robust arrowhead utility. The idea of lumping arrowheads into just another option to put stuff on the ends of lines is worrysome, I'd rather this be thought of as an independant request. Lumping arrowheads into a generic stuff-on-lines not only threatens dilution of their utility but likely delays implementation even longer.

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Lumping arrowheads into a generic stuff-on-lines not only threatens dilution of their utility.

I am not sure I can share this point of view. ^_^

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Lumping arrowheads into a generic stuff-on-lines not only threatens dilution of their utility.

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I am not sure I can share this point of view. ^_^

I know I don't. What I favor is something that removes the redundancy of ordinary old fashioned arrowheads and more modern related features (vector brushes, symbols) treated as separate features, but that is more powerful than both.

And as a technical illustrator, I assure you, I fully understand the need for traditional arrowheads. But they don't have to be implemented as the kind of limited feature they historically have been in other programs. Often, that kind of archaic treatment is just kept for backward compatibility with previous versions. That is one area where Affinity should have the luxury of moving beyond conventional wisdom.

JET

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On 8/23/2018 at 2:25 PM, JET_Affinity said:

What I favor is something that removes the redundancy of ordinary old fashioned arrowheads and more modern related features (vector brushes, symbols) treated as separate features, but that is more powerful than both.

So how do you picture the ability to, say, adjust the angle of the arrowhead fitting in with your "modern related features"? I worry this ability, and a corner rounding parameter, wouldn't be germain to your other applications and would be left out of the feature set. If you are compromising the arrowhead feature set to make it a generic tool, I think it should be a separate tool. I don't argue against your needs or wishes; I'm unclear on why you would wish to potentially compromise mine. You did read the initial post? At least as far as my experience goes with AI, Freehand, Canvas, etc., I'm asking for something a bit more robust than "ordinary old fashioned arrowheads".

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You did read the initial post?

From your original post:

Quote

The main addition it needs for me to replace AI is arrowheads.


I assume you understand how Adobe Illustrator's arrowheads work?

As of CS6, they exist in an ordinary .ai file inconveniently buried in a directory of the default installation:
C:\Program Files\Adobe\Adobe Illustrator CS6 (64 Bit)\Support Files\Required\Resources\en_US

In that ordinary .ai file, they are just simple path artwork stored as Symbols.

To "customize" an arrowhead, you have to dig for that file, open it, draw your custom arrowhead, store it as a Symbol in that document, save that document, switch back to the document you're actually working on, in order for it to finally be usable.

That is extraordinarily cumbersome for anything claiming to be a "professional quality" drawing program. That's not an interface; it's a worst-of-class hack.

What, exactly, do you find in anything that I've written as cause for fear that what I suggest would be in any way more limiting than Adobe Illustrator's hacked-together treatment? How do you see my suggestion that arrowheads should be elegantly integrated with the Symbols functionality as less functional than Illustrator's awkward and cumbersome storage of arrowheads as Symbols? And why should such straightforward, clean, intuitive interface efficiency of closely-related features not be extended to the other attributes you also must apply to any path (e.g., strokes)?

Again: Illustrator's arrowheads are just simple drawings stored as Symbols in a particular file that is anything but convenient. In typical Adobe fashion, that sloppy hack was thrown together because it was very late to the game (to the point of embarrassment) in providing for user-defined (and user positioned) arrowheads. FreeHand, Draw, and Canvas (its three historic competitors) already provided for custom arrowheads years before.

And how do you think anything you currently do with Adobe Illustrator's arrowheads would be broken if, for example, selection of path ends were logically integrated with the interface for setting the same path's strokes (including brushes)? Illustrator's Pattern Brushes have...wait for it...End Tiles. But guess what? That feature is totally ignorant of the existence of Symbols and Arrowheads. That is anything but the kind of integration of functionality that can make each separate feature more powerful and more versatile. It's just the archaic hodge-podge, grab-bag, "me, too" approach to software design.

JET

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JET_Affinity  I haven't use AI since my original post, I think CS2 or 3 was as high as I used because of an updated OS and a refusal to suport Adobe's subscription menatality. So I can't attest to the arrowhead tool in the current AI. I know I didn't like the arrowhead tool they had in the versions I used, it seemed compromised by being part of a general end-of-lines tool.

So, you absolutely feel the the arrowhead functionality I envision would be uncompromised by being lumped in with general end-of-line stuff even though the adjustable parameters  I'd like to see for arrowheads only make sense in the context of arrowheads? All I'm asking is that if these adjustable parameters would not be implemented as part of a general end-of-line stuff tool, make arrowheads a separate tool. I can't imagine why you seem to take extreme umbrage with this. 

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Just add shape/layer binding, then we can use our own symbols and shapes as arrow heads, or ANYTHING else at the end, or vertices and their midpoints.

Much simpler, much more powerful.

Let the binding have constraint rules, such as rotation and anchor. Then call it a day, send programmers out for lunch.

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On 8/30/2018 at 7:39 AM, deeds said:

Just add shape/layer binding, then we can use our own symbols and shapes as arrow heads, or ANYTHING else at the end, or vertices and their midpoints.

Much simpler, much more powerful.

I wouldn't want to draw an arrow every time I need an arrow on a line. Actually, I need simply configurable arrow heads way more often than arbitrary line caps or path decorations. (Although bending and aligning any symbol along a path would be helpful at times, too. This isn't possible today. But it's a different topic.)

Give me a handful of parameters to define arrow heads (open/closed, filled/outline, angles, width, length etc.) for either end of the line and I'm happy for a long while.

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I wouldn't want to draw an arrow every time I need an arrow on a line.

Ygoe, no one is suggesting that. Deeds said:

Quote

…then we can use our own symbols…[emphasis mine]

Again, as I explained at length, even Adobe Illustrator's Arrowheads are stored as ordinary symbols; they just reside in a separate file that has to be awkwardly accessed in order to customize them or add to them. That separate, ordinary .ai file (rather crudely, as implemented) serves as an app-level "library" to populate the arrowheads popup menus in the Attributes palette. (Illustrator does the very same cumbersome hack with bevel profiles for its 3D Effect plug-in.)

No one is suggesting that every Affinity user should have to draw their own arrowheads from scratch. The program would be assumed to ship with practical collections of pre-built Symbols libraries, just as other features (brushes, swatches, patterns, etc.) are typically pre-populated.

For technical illustration, I would even favor having such pre-built arrowhead symbol libraries that conform to the several mechanical drafting standards. But even if those were not provided with the program, there would be nothing stopping an enterprising Affinity user from creating and distributing them.

There would be nothing lost in the functionality of ordinary traditional arrowheads as a result of cleanly integrating path strokes, ends, brushes, symbols, and graphic styles for far greater and more versatile functionality instead of effectively implementing them as yet another lame collection of seemingly isolated, standalone, single-purpose features. As Illustrator demonstrates, that "isolated" aspect has nothing to do with actual functionality; it's just due to the program's outdated, scattered, cluttered, and confused piecemeal interface design.

This is yet another area of huge opportunity for Affinity to surpass the archaic mediocrity of most other Bezier-based drawing programs.

JET

 

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Really, really, really need arrowheads.  Until Designer has these I cannot get rid of Illustrator.  Really essential feature, guys.  Illustrator has had since some time in the 1980s!

Graphic has them.  And it has calligraphic brushes too!

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