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Hi Everyone,

I have some Questions about the perfect Workflow for Architects, Working with affinity Photo at first.

We are a big Architectural Company, using untill now Photoshop and CAD Programms like Autocad and Revit, to produce Plans for Architectural presentations.

A well established Workflow exists,  Printing PDF Files from Autocad, with the used Layers, that later on can be refined in Photoshop thinking of colors, effects ore retouching things.

1. We export the needed PDF´s to a folder

2. We use Photoshop , using the PdF´s as linked embeded Smart Objects  (and Photoshop gives an option to place them pecisely as i will show in my screenshots...)

3 Whenever the Plan changes, and beleave me the Plan can change a dozen times  :-(    , we only have to print the changed plans, replacing to older pdfs with new ones, and .........  bang...

the Phhotoshop document updates because the linked smart objects now use the changed pdfs. 

Well i know linked smart objects do not allready exist in affinity PHoto, but i can place embeded pdf´s which fullfills my wishes half the way...     this has to come in later releases of affinity Photo...

now, i reproduced this workflow in affinity which we wish to switch to in the future as far as i could.. 

 

First Problem:   

How can i tell the placed pdf´s, to get imported exactly where i wish them to...    (as i can in photoshop using the dialog box while importing and as i show in the screenshots )  ?

 

Scound Problem: 

If theres no way to place the embedded pdf file....    is the way, using snaps as i show in the screenshots of my affinity workflow the only and best way ? What would you suggest to streamline this workflow ?

 

Third Problem: 

When i dont Change the embedded pdfs, and i Plot them , everything seems fine. But when i use a Layer Effect  (color overlay) which the architects use to change the Colores of the layer to the exact Color without thinking of it in the CAD Program,  I Can see, that the embedded PDF in Affinity gets visible lines inside the Colored areas...     And they get printed Too....   thats a real big Problem.  When i open the embedded Pdf, i still can see its not a pixellayer, but a group of very many colored vector shapes..  but never the less. I dont mind , what affinity uses in the embedded Object, but when theres a colored area, there shouldnt be lines in there in any way..     it makes it unsuable.     Is there a Workaround ?  maybe instead of importing pdf´s, better to use eps files from the cad programm ?   any ideas ?  This is realy important, it has to be a smart workflow, because if not, my company using some hundred of Photoshop licenses will not be able to switch to affinity.  So pleas give us a solution.. 

 

greetings from Hamburg,

Tom

The attached Images show the workflow in PHotoshop,    and the workflow in affinity and one immage showing the jagged lines inside the solid color, using the color overlay effect on one of the embedded objects.

I could also send you an eample of the used footage if this helps.

 

workflow photoshop 1.jpg

workflow photoshop 2.jpg

workflow photoshop 3.jpg

workflow affinity Photo 1.jpg

workflow affinity Photo 2.jpg

workflow affinity Photo 3.jpg

workflow affinity Photo 4.jpg

workflow affinity Photo 5 jagged lines.jpg

gruen_500.pdf

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As for your third problem, this is a rasterisation effect that has been discussed in several other threads on the forum. I think the authoritative answer was given by Matt in this post:

 

https://forum.affinity.serif.com/index.php?/topic/15889-some-visible-hairline-that-irritate/&do=findComment&comment=72360

 

Miguel (MEB) posted some workarounds for this problem:

 

https://forum.affinity.serif.com/index.php?/topic/24412-new-to-ad-white-outlines-on-imported-vector-graphic/&do=findComment&comment=115144

 

Hope that helps … :)

Alex

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Since all these green shapes have the same color, you could try to add all of them together, using a Boolean Operation. Afterwards you will have to delete some nodes, but the result looks pretty usable, doesn’t it? The Boolean Operations are currently improved, so you might even get fewer nodes in the future … :)

 

gruen_500_Boolean_ADD.afdesign

 

gruen_500_Boolean_ADD.png.793285f02e477e7663ae0594192f9ab1.png

 

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As for your first and second problem, if all the documents you receive have precisely the same size, you could simply place and resize the first PDF where it should sit on your canvas, then duplicate it in place (Cmd + J), select the duplicate, and finally use the Replace Document button on the context toolbar of the Move Tool. This way you can replace the duplicate by your next document and apply the correct scaling automatically. :)

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Well... If placed PDFs are same size you can use guides to snap them to register. Or use transform panel to move them. Preferably the canvas should be of same size as placed PDFs which would help some.

As linked files are not supported it is not possible to refresh design easily when PDFs are replaced with newer versions. Mentioned Replace Document may help some.

It may be that third problem comes from CAD software.. they often create a lot of shapes within coloured designs. Generally walls and floors are not simple closed paths but a bunch of lines and random triangle shapes. 

 

Why use pixel software for vector work? I would think vector tools would be better. (I do not do architecture a lot these days so I cannot recommend any ideal solution.)

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Hallo Fixx.

Cad Software can´t compete, when it comes to layouts and the need to also produce beautiful  Plans, when you are heavy involved into competitions. And my company at first place is producing Competitionwork in worldwide architectural competitions.

So Adobe Products do have a much to big financial footprint, and thats of course the reason,  why we now look into affinity and planed to switch over as soon as possible.

 

But the problem now is, that there are some essential workflows that streamline day to day work enormously. So when the implemented funktions and possiblilities are not far enough develloped for our needs, the advantage of one time low costs get eaten by workflow performance lost, which would be very sad.

 

As you can see in the third of the Adobe workflow jpg´s,    Photoshop can import the pdfs without any problem. Well it seems to rasterize the layers to pixels, but that s abolutely nothing, i would worry about.

I trust, that affinity with "publlisher" will emplement also the very much needed linked external files funktionality into affinity photo and affinity designer.

 

A_B_C ´s  workarounds does work, but from a work performance view, they are no real solutions.   You have to be aware of, that a architectural Plan consists usualy of two ore three dozens of  layers with embedded linked layer-objects.   And an Architectural Plan in the Process of a Competition Changes several times. That makes up to how many hours of tackling with unnessesair lines in solid colours ? and how many hours of hand work, to relink the changed pdfs from the ongoing Architectural competition ?

 

So the lines inside the solid colored object are a real killer for this funktion..          the call goes out again...     " Affinity... where are you ? Whats the real solution ?"  

 

maybe eps import ?   Look at Photoshop.. it does the Job without any Problem.  Why not affinity Photo without timeconsuming workarounds ?

 

never the less for your ideas and workarounds 

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Ok Everyone...

there´s a far faster workaround...      for the thin lines Problem..  (but only if you dont need the "Outline Layer Effect" for other purposes but the workaround of this...).

First Workaround:

Just use the layer effects and produce a very thin Outlline of about 0.1 pixel..  to get the correct color, you have to use the eyedroper in the outlines color settings and use the color of the color overlay.

Secound Workaround:

If you need the Possibillity to use the outline layereffect for other purposes but for the thin lines problem ,  then you can open the embedded PDF file itselve, and use on the whole group the Layer Effect "thin line" .  This has the advantage, that you dont have to care about the color in my case, because the whole embeded Layer gets recolored never the less .  This workaround of course fails if i  have to replace the embedded pdf, because the layereffect will be removed..

 

But Please Dear Affinity Staff members..  You do a great job and in the face of the reality that this is a 1.5 version Affinity is allready an impressive product.

But embedded linked Objects pdfs..     the abillity to just Click Add a Layermask kummulative ...   and the perfect import of pdfs or other vector files like adobe does...   should be on top of your list.

 

and.  of course if there are other or better workarounds for example some setting changges inside the programm...  Please tell us..

 

 

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Hi A_B_C   

i dont understand the question  .  The difference to what ?    the stroke fills the tiny gaps you can see  after importing pdfs that are produced, because the embedded file remains a vector format and the gaps com from antialiasing differences between the lines of the filling...     

 

Well  you can ad the layereffect to the embedded object by opening it or aftwerwords on the embedded layer you see in your whole document.    In the first case you dont have to care about the coller because in the composed document you still ad a color overlay, but when you for example replace the layer of ...  the street or the ground ....  wiith an newer version, the thin stroke gets lost.

When you add a stroke in the compound object on the embbeded layer, you have to be aware of the filling color to make it invisible and you loos the abillity of adding another stroke surrounding the embedded layer (ok you could nest it in another group to make it... ) 

 

Both solutions are far more effective but copying the whole embedded layer and moving it pixelwise  or...   as suggested to make a bolean object of it..

 

never the less, i would suggest to Affinity, to look at their import solution.  Adobe can import a pdf without worring about thin gaps and even if this means to first convert it to pixel, affinity should give an option to do this .

 

greetings  Tom

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I believe to understand now what you mean. You will place the PDF document on your canvas and apply the Outline Effect to the layer that represents the placed document in the Layers list, right? That means, you will not double click the placed PDF in order to open it and apply the effect there. Clever. :)

 

Another idea, for what it’s worth. When you select File > Place … you can “load” your cursor with a file to be placed. Now this cursor is susceptible to snapping, and the file to be placed will be centered around the cursor, once you click the canvas with the file “loaded.” So you could create some intersecting guides, engage “Snap to guides,” load your cursor with a file, move the cursor to the intersection of these guides, until it snaps, and click. If all your files are of the same size and you follow this method consistently, your files should be aligned perfectly on the canvas. See the snapping mechanism in action below.

 

Placing.mov

 

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nice idea..

but i tried it with the other idea and it seems to be a real fast workflow.

open one of the pfd-s and  delete the pfd..  now your docuament has allready the right size used in the plotted pdf depending on the dpi settings you have used..

 

now switch in your snap settings to only snap to document..  

 

drag and drop your first pdf on the document and use the move tool to snap to the document center  (by the way i use xnviewmp with ghostscript to see immages and pdfs ore ai´s like with bridge)

 

now apply th layer effects...  color    and after this thin line using the same color of your color-layer effect..

 

strg + j   duplicate the layer in place as often as needed...

 

use for the embedded docs the replace option to load all of your other layers.   

 

if i had a wish..   i would like to use my external image browser and drag and drop it on top of my layers which would give me the option to replace the layer..  that would even be faster as the replace button.

 

greetings...  this workaround...  welll     works well.. 

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Useful thread. .issued this one earlier in my searches  ( maybe due to 'Architects' German spelling version in the subject)

Shall try this ASAP.

Cheers .

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On 9/2/2017 at 4:12 PM, Tom Schülke said:

nice idea..

but i tried it with the other idea and it seems to be a real fast workflow.

open one of the pfd-s and  delete the pfd..  now your docuament has allready the right size used in the plotted pdf depending on the dpi settings you have used..

 

now switch in your snap settings to only snap to document..  

 

drag and drop your first pdf on the document and use the move tool to snap to the document center  (by the way i use xnviewmp with ghostscript to see immages and pdfs ore ai´s like with bridge)

 

now apply th layer effects...  color    and after this thin line using the same color of your color-layer effect..

 

strg + j   duplicate the layer in place as often as needed...

 

use for the embedded docs the replace option to load all of your other layers.   

 

if i had a wish..   i would like to use my external image browser and drag and drop it on top of my layers which would give me the option to replace the layer..  that would even be faster as the replace button.

 

greetings...  this workaround...  welll     works well.. 

Hi @Tom Schülke , Will it be possible for you to put a screen recording video of the workflow . Shall be greatly helpful for newbie users like me.

Cheers !

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Hi @Kay P

very late, but here´s a simplified Workflow as we now use it for importing Acad Plans to Affinity Photo..   

To understand this, you need to know, that Architects never would use Designer to change thousends of differing plan elements and lines..  this is by far by far easier inside of the CAD Programs..

So we search for ways to import CAD Plans to make them beautiful, which most CAD Programs are bad for..   but !  Want to be able to get a fluid workflow , when the architecture changes, which it does all the time.. So someone could start in a contest to build up a beautiful Plan in Affinity Photo, but still changes are possible and should be importet to Affinity very easy..

Best way to get this with 1.65 are embeded PDF files, which you can easily exchange..  and later on..  as Serif  told, there should be as in Publisher the option to import changes automaticaly, as it is done in Publisher with the Ressourcemanager. 

 

Now the only problem is, that we need to select from the pdf´s using color selection , which doesent work !!!   so i have to make copys of the pdf´s at last temporary.. to select areas or colors from. 

 

My suggestion to serif...  !!! i would like a new   "Live Filter Layer"      "Convert to Raster Image".. Please..  this would ease the pain soooooo much..

Ok.. now also important for you architects out there..    Printing CAD Plans to PDF leads to horribly jagged and bad antialiased lines and fillings of solids, when you import them to affinity Photo and also to affinity Designer..

It took us some time to find a Printerdriver that works somehow... not perfekt but works..  and that is   the     " PDF X-Change 6" printerdriver..  Only this one worked.  Most time you can use it, and if it still has some jagged lines, rasterising the imported pdf plans, let you get rid of the problems ( but before doing so, kopy the embeded pdf, because otherwise, the workflow, of easy reimporting changes gets broken).

 

so heres a link to a fast youtube workflow film..  very oversimplified, but you get the idea...

 

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I want to add the importance of what Tom Schülke said. For an Architect the automatic  update of a pdf is essential. Updating one by one with "replace" is not convenient enough. And being able to select a color from a PDF without copy it and rasterize (Tom Schülke idea of a live filter seems good, although being able to do it directly like PS would be better) is also a very  important. Like it was said, in the architecture's workflow one has to assume that everything is always being updated and one should be able to accommodate those changes as fast and smooth as possible.

I hope soon this will be possible. A whole market could be (more) open to AF.

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