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Hello,
I just downloaded the free trial of Affinity Designer and I'm trying to figure out if I'm missing something or if it's unavailable. I'm looking for an image trace option to take hand lettered sayings into scaleable vectors. I normally use Adobe Illustrator for this option but I can't afford the $20/month.
This looks like a beautiful program so please, please have this!
 

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Hi Biatashad,

 

Welcome to the Forums :)

 

There isn't an automatic tracing feature in Affinity Designer I'm afraid. You will have to trace by hand using the Pen Tool.

 

C


Please tag me using @ in your reply so I can be sure to respond ASAP.

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This comes up a lot. There was a comment some time ago that it will be implemented when the devs like the results. In the interim, lots of folks are using free or very inexpensive 3rd party software. Often, the results from those require significant manual editing. I haven't used AI for that in years, but Corel used to be better, and its results often took hours of refinement. S'pose it depends on how clean and accurate you want the path.


iMac 27" Retina, c. 2015: OS X 10.11.5: 3.3 GHz I c-5: 32 Gb,  AMD Radeon R9 M290 2048 Mb

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I just stumbled across something called "Super Vectorizer" and it seems to have a pretty decent tracing capability. Today (2/24/17) it's on sale for $10 vs $25 (I believe). I'll have a better feel for it after awhile. It got my immediate needs met, anyway...

 

Donna

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I just stumbled across something called "Super Vectorizer" and it seems to have a pretty decent tracing capability. Today (2/24/17) it's on sale for $10 vs $25 (I believe). I'll have a better feel for it after awhile. It got my immediate needs met, anyway...

 

I have Super Vectorizer 2, bought on sale a month or two ago for considerably less than $10.

 

It does a relatively good job if you get the settings right but it produces a huge number of nodes. Because of this, I don't use it much.


Affinity Photo 1.8.3, Affinity Designer 1.8.3, Affinity Publisher 1.8.3; macOS Mojave 10.14.6 iMac (27-inch, Late 2012); 2.9GHz i5 CPU; NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M; 8GB RAM
Affinity Photo 
1.8.3.180 & Affinity Designer 1.8.3.2 for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iPadOS 13.3.1

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A good tracing tool in AD with options of exactness would be extremely useful for those of us who have brought over complex docs from Illustrator (AI). As you no doubt know, AI comes up in AD will all types of problems (ellipses become curves, curved strokes export from such AD docs as much bigger SVGs, etc.). Even a simple road I tediously drew on a map in AI exported as an SVG of about 800k from the "AI to AD" doc, but when I redrew the road in AD the exported SVG was only 7k. This is a big difference when developing an app with many such SVGs.

 

Also, myriad of city-dots imported from AI to AD became a very large SVG, but redrawing these dots as ellipses in AD greatly reduced size of the exported SVG, but this was a lot of the work, even with cutting and pasting ellipses. 

 

Thus, for those of us who are importing our previous AI work, a good AD tracing tool would be invaluable. Thanks for your consideration, all of you who make AD the wonderful program all that it already is.

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I'm curious about what is happening when AI is exporting the .svg files. If you have a text editor, you should be able to open the .svg, and see the text that defines the picture. When I export from AD, if I've exported the file as a flattened .svg, or export a rasterized image as .svg, the results are a very large image file, and not a concise vector description.

 

As in flattened .svg:

 

<image id="_Image1" width="868px" height="868px" xlink:href="data:image/png;base64,iVBORw0KGgoAAAANSUhEUgAAA2QAAANkCAYAAADY6OnIAAAACXBIWXMAAA7EAAAOxAGVKw4bAAATMElEQVR4nO3dQWoiYRRG0VfdEiGuwIFzh0Jv3S1k4AqykHYomBUklYbGC/Gc8Ufxphd+qGVmXmfmzwAAAPBIb8vMHGfmvb4EAADgybz8qi8AAAB4VoIMAAAgIsgAAAAiggwAACAiyAAAACKCDAAAILJZG2y32zmdTo+4BQAA4Me4XC6rm9UgOxwOcz6f/8tBAAAAz2K/38/.... (and on for about 7000 characters)

 

vs. for export

 

style="fill-rule:evenodd;clip-rule:evenodd;stroke-linecap:square;stroke-miterlimit:2;">
    <g transform="matrix(1,0,0,1,-607,-890)">
        <rect x="613.843" y="895.762" width="858.175" height="858.175" style="fill:rgb(235,235,235);stroke:black;stroke-width:8px;"/>
    </g>

 

Perhaps there is a different way to export from AI that will give a more compact and hopefully accurate file to open. This assumes that the work done in AI was all vector.


iMac 27" Retina, c. 2015: OS X 10.11.5: 3.3 GHz I c-5: 32 Gb,  AMD Radeon R9 M290 2048 Mb

iPad 12.9" Retina, iOS 10, 512 Gb, Apple pencil

Huion WH1409 tablet

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Thanks for the insight, gdenby. Here is what I found, hopefully with some clarity.

 

ORIGINAL ROAD DRAWN IN AI (Illustrator) AND BROUGHT INTO AD (Affinity Designer)

 

The original road in the AI-->AD using the "flattened" option when exporting as an SVG brought down the size considerably, from some 460k to about 120k. While it is a long file, every option in the AD SVG Export menu (export, print and web) made it much larger. Thus your suggested "flattened" option at the lowest possible resolution (72) produced a 120k SVG.

In Mac's TextEdit the code goes stretches out twelve times longer than the AD redrawn road (see below) and consists of code such as this:

 

png;base64,iVBORw0KGgoAAAANSUhEUgAABcQAAA55CAYAAABHmlnfAAAACXBIWXMAAA7EAAAOxAGVKw4bAAAgAElEQVR4nOzdebRvd13f/9fNSBgE3BYIbkBlg0EJWKRMQn8gZRCXiICQaAQiP4s/sWDR/hCHYiNU24IWQZl+CChgClXBMMm0xFKIA7VhHrYFZRMF2WlQCCRk+P1xkxrgfs/5nnO+3/Pe+/

 

 

THE SAME ROAD REDRAWN IN AD 

 

The SVG of exact same road, redrawn natively in AD, was only about 8k when chose the "export" option at a res of 72. Using the "print" or "web" options when exporting kept the size between 7.5k and 8.75k. However, when I chose the SVG "flattened" option the size jumped to about 168k. The code (using the "export" and 72 res options) basically filed one page on my screen (compared to the 12+ pages above). It's format was as follows (all numbers):

 

13186.3,11857C13165,11882.3 13127.7,11916.5 13108.1,11941.6C13062.2,12000.7 13049.7,12023.1 13042,12048.5C13036.5,12067 13010,12092.7 12989.4,12145.8C12982.8,12162.8 12978.6,12182.6 12979.4,12229.8C12979.6,12243.6 12980.5,12268.5 12963.1,12296.8C12957.4,12306.1 12957.4,12313.9 12963.6,12322.1C12973.9,12335.5 12965.7,12336.4 12971.3,12349.3C12973.9,12355.4 12982.8,12362.1. 

 

All of this tells me (with my limited background) that the AI drawn road brought into AD (not redrawn) needs tons more code info to interpret the road than the road redrawn in AD. I knew this before but now I visually see it. It is all about the AI doc and how Adobe exports rather than an AD problem.

 

Again, we can thank Adobe for yet another hurdle over which to jump. You can see what MattP, a staff member of AD, kindly wrote me last year about this. https://forum.affinity.serif.com/index.php?/topic/19878-changes-in-texts-when-importing-from-illustrator/

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When I export from AD, if I've exported the file as a flattened .svg, or export a rasterized image as .svg, the results are a very large image file, and not a concise vector description.

Maybe I am misunderstanding something but I do not see why this might be in some way mysterious or surprising. If you flatten the document, everything is 'flattened' to a single rasterized (pixel) layer. If you then export that to the SVG format, the file contains that rasterized layer -- just pixels, no vectors.

 

The SVG format supports three types of graphic objects: vectors, raster images, and text. So for example, in a text editor you see the '/png;base64' label prefacing the rasterized pixel data the file contains, much as you would for any other raster image format.


Affinity Photo 1.8.3, Affinity Designer 1.8.3, Affinity Publisher 1.8.3; macOS Mojave 10.14.6 iMac (27-inch, Late 2012); 2.9GHz i5 CPU; NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M; 8GB RAM
Affinity Photo 
1.8.3.180 & Affinity Designer 1.8.3.2 for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iPadOS 13.3.1

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