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quantos

Converting Marquees to Paths (and vice versa)

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Hi guys,

 

I can't for the life of me workout (or find any tutorials) on converting a marque selection into a path and vice versa. In Fireworks this is easy, and I use it all the time, you just create a new marque (based on colour range selection, say) and use the Selection menu too Convert Marquee to Path and to go in the opposite direction use the Modify menu and click "Convert Path to Marquee". Job done.

 

I just can't find/see any way to do this with Affinity Designer or Photo.

 

Typical example of what I use this for: find a flat pixel graphic that you want to convert into vectors to recolour and scale up etc. I'm trying to create some new maps from some older pixel maps right now.

 

How can/do I do that?

 

Thanks in advance.

 

Q.

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I believe what you want is the Convert Pixel Selection to Vector Shape feature but that hasn't been included yet but is on the feature roadmap. Of course I am just speculating on how that feature will work, maybe somebody from Affinity can clarify?

 

In Photo you can use the Pen tool to trace over an object and you have the option to use the shape created as a mask or as a selection, so in that instance you can go from a path to a marquee selection. But that is really for making cleaner masks when you need to have that finer control.  I just think that you will have to use the pen tool and just trace over your pixel maps manually, there is really nothing available yet to speed up or automate the process. 

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Hi quantos,

Welcome to Affinity Forums :)

Currently it's not possible to convert a pixel selection into a path, only the opposite (in Affinity Photo) as Scungio pointed out. 

We already have this on Designer's roadmap. Hopefully it should also be ported to Photo. Currently there's no tracing tool (to convert raster images into vector) but we are considering adding it later if we get the quality/output we are aiming for.

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It sounds like you really need a "tracing" program, or at least a vector program with a tracing facility. I used to regularly use such software years ago to recreate logos and still do trace stuff from time to time.

 

I have found that "Inkscape" (on my PC) is not only a first class vector drawing program but actually has a surprisingly good tracing feature. It worked better for my needs than the built in feature in Xara Designer. Inkscape is free software and available on Mac, PC and Linux. Inkscape is also useful as a complimentary program to Affinity, because it works in SVG format, you can export files and load them into AP and use them as paths to cut out objects. Funnily enough, I did that this morning.

 

 

Hi guys,

 

I can't for the life of me workout (or find any tutorials) on converting a marque selection into a path and vice versa. In Fireworks this is easy, and I use it all the time, you just create a new marque (based on colour range selection, say) and use the Selection menu too Convert Marquee to Path and to go in the opposite direction use the Modify menu and click "Convert Path to Marquee". Job done.

 

I just can't find/see any way to do this with Affinity Designer or Photo.

 

Typical example of what I use this for: find a flat pixel graphic that you want to convert into vectors to recolour and scale up etc. I'm trying to create some new maps from some older pixel maps right now.

 

How can/do I do that?

 

Thanks in advance.

 

Q.

 

I


Windows PCs. Photo and Designer, latest non-beta versions.

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Thanks for the replies guys. Looks like I'll continue using Fireworks for that - or try Inkscape (thanks Toltec). Generally speaking I think you've done a great job on Affinity Designer and Photo (I've got them both) so keep up the good work. For just about every other feature it beats Fireworks hands done (and blind-folded).

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@MEB Keep going guys. You're doing a great job. However it does look like you have some background functionality in two of your existing functions (which might be extendable?):

 

1. Selection Brush Tool under the Pixel Persona menu set does allow a good marquee selection to be created (step 1) with pretty good fidelity and speed.

2. And your Grow/Shrink, Feather Selection and Outline tools already seem to be operating using some kind 'path' logic once that initial selection has been created - but the tool options stop there.

3. I'm not a programmer in any shape or form but would it really be so hard to add 'Now save this path so I can edit it further' option? Just in case it sounded like I might have been describing something more complicated.

 

It just seems you're so really, really close with these tools as they stand and that's all anyone might reasonably desire at that next step.

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In Photo you can save the selections that you make by saving them out as a spare channel or writing them out to an external file. When you write them out to an external file it will have the .afselection extension. When you save them as a spare channel or external file you can name them so that they make sense to you.

 

You can then load one selection and then add another selection and add, subtract, intersect them to make other selections which you can then save. For example say I want to do some editing of a photo of my cat sleeping in the bathroom sink. I can take the pen tool and make a rough selection of just the outer shape of the sink and save that as a spare channel. Then I can use the pen tool or selection brush tool to make a selection of the faucet, hot and cold taps, etc, and save that as a spare channel. Then I use the selection brush to make a selection of my cat in short order and save that as a spare channel or save it out to an external file.

 

Then I can left click on the spare channel for the sink and load it to a pixel selection. Then I can left click on the spare channel for the faucet and choose subtract from pixel selection. Finally I click on the spare channel for the cat and also subtract from pixel selection. This leaves me with a better selection of just the sink as the faucet and cat are subtracted out. I then save this selection out as a spare channel. So now I can easily do color adjustments to just the faucet, just the sink, just the cat because I made these selections and used the spare channels and operations on them.

 

The only problem I have with the saving selections to an external file is that when you load them back in there doesn't seem to be a way to tell Photo what to do with them, i.e., add them, subtract them, intersect with pixel selection. There should be a dialog box that asks you what you want to do with the selection when you load it, just as you can do with the spare channel selection method.

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Yes, but it is not too much trouble to load your selection file(s), save it as a spare channel then mix and merge selection channels to your hearts delight.

 

Indeed, what you describe is a good way of using selection channels to make a complex selection but why would you want to create one external selection file in the middle of all those spare channels? Why not just use spare channels for the lot?

 

 

The only problem I have with the saving selections to an external file is that when you load them back in there doesn't seem to be a way to tell Photo what to do with them, i.e., add them, subtract them, intersect with pixel selection. There should be a dialog box that asks you what you want to do with the selection when you load it, just as you can do with the spare channel selection method.


Windows PCs. Photo and Designer, latest non-beta versions.

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Well, yes, I would not just use an external file when I was making all of those spare channels to store and manipulate selections for something easy. But I can also see that it might be advantageous to start writing out some external files to keep a more tidy channels tab. I always marveled at Bert Monroy and his Photoshop work and his paths and selections in making photoreaslitic work. 

 

I could imagine trying to make something really involved and just getting bogged down by having so many spare channels in the Channels tab. Saving 3 or 4 selections as spare channels is easy but what if you were doing something that was really complex and you had 50 selections or more that you wanted to make to work on individual parts of a large piece? Saving out external files to me would help keep my sanity in that regard. But when you start loading back in those saved selections you should still have the ability to designate them as add, subtract, intersect with the current pixel selection just as you can when you left click on the spare channels.

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