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Image Tracing in Affinity Designer?

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@R C-R https://inkscape.org/release/1.0alpha2/mac-os-x/

First taste, it feels more responsive than the windows port, certainly starts much quicker, I think the windows port might be deleted after a bit more testing.

update: windows port removed


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2 hours ago, firstdefence said:

First taste, it feels more responsive than the windows port, certainly starts much quicker, I think the windows port might be deleted after a bit more testing.

Thanks for the link. I downloaded it & gave it a brief test. It definitely redraws items much faster than the ports I have used.

Unfortunately, it hung after trying to change the stroke width of a simple star object, thus living up to its 'alpha' designation.  rotfl.gif


Affinity Photo 1.7.3, Affinity Designer 1.7.3, Affinity Publisher 1.7.3; macOS Mojave 10.14.6 iMac (27-inch, Late 2012); 2.9GHz i5 CPU; NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M; 8GB RAM
Affinity Photo 1.7.3.155 & Affinity Designer 1.7.3.1 for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iPadOS 13.1.2

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15 minutes ago, PixelPest said:

Not able to recreate this. Can you make a vid/gif of it?

I might give that a go at some point in the future but for now I have too many other things going on to devote any time to that.

Besides, assuming it behaves the same way each time, all you would see is the 'tooltip' popup below the stroke width field & then nothing responding to a mouse click anywhere else in the app.


Affinity Photo 1.7.3, Affinity Designer 1.7.3, Affinity Publisher 1.7.3; macOS Mojave 10.14.6 iMac (27-inch, Late 2012); 2.9GHz i5 CPU; NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M; 8GB RAM
Affinity Photo 1.7.3.155 & Affinity Designer 1.7.3.1 for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iPadOS 13.1.2

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2 minutes ago, R C-R said:

I might give that a go at some point in the future but for now I have too many other things going on to devote any time to that.

I knew this was coming.

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12 minutes ago, PixelPest said:

I knew this was coming.

OK, but do you understand why? This is alpha software, which typically means it is neither feature complete or completely stable. Even doing the first hour I tested it, I saw several indications of that. So I really have no idea if there is a particular sequence of steps that triggers the hang, or what steps I should do to recreate it.

That means it could take many hours to trigger it again & I still would not know if it was linked only to that sequence or what without devoting many more hours to that.

If & when it reaches even an early beta stage of development I would be much more willing to devote time to this, but not now.


Affinity Photo 1.7.3, Affinity Designer 1.7.3, Affinity Publisher 1.7.3; macOS Mojave 10.14.6 iMac (27-inch, Late 2012); 2.9GHz i5 CPU; NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M; 8GB RAM
Affinity Photo 1.7.3.155 & Affinity Designer 1.7.3.1 for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iPadOS 13.1.2

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In Windows works great, but one is not 100% safe on an eventual hang from time to time (it was way worse in the past). I can live with that, tho. At game companies I had to use pre-pre-alpha "things" as my everyday tools (in-house level editors, other utilities, etc)... The several crashes in Inkscape, though, I typically learn which are the triggers, only having those crashes when I forget to avoid the triggers.


Affinity Designer and Affinity Photo licenses, Windows 7, i7  860 (2009) 2.8 GHz,  8 GB RAM, GTX 1050 2 GB, HD 7200 RPM.  Wacom Intuos 4 XL.

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4 hours ago, SrPx said:

The several crashes in Inkscape, though, I typically learn which are the triggers, only having those crashes when I forget to avoid the triggers.

As yet, I have no idea what might trigger this or some other hang in the Mac alpha. One thing I noticed was after a while it starting taking longer & longer for a click on a tool to do anything, but that was just a symptom, not a trigger.


Affinity Photo 1.7.3, Affinity Designer 1.7.3, Affinity Publisher 1.7.3; macOS Mojave 10.14.6 iMac (27-inch, Late 2012); 2.9GHz i5 CPU; NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M; 8GB RAM
Affinity Photo 1.7.3.155 & Affinity Designer 1.7.3.1 for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iPadOS 13.1.2

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To reply to the original points of the post. I have started using super vectorizer 2 and it seems quite capable of turning out decent vectors from photos. I am only using it for outlines for cut paths from photos, so am using it in 2 colour mode. I do have quite a few years experience of Illustrator and I can testify that it has more controls than illustrator and appears to have better fine control. Of course it's not magic, if you put in a low pixel crappy photo, you will not get good results out but that stands to reason for all the tracing programs. It's well worth a try until AD gets a tracing function ;) 

Anyone have any idea if there will ever be any plugins for AD in the same realm as the Astute graphics? I used them alot with Illustrator until the great subscription fiasco. The extra functionality could really make AD a show stopper.

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Jim, your first paragraph are my exact thoughts and almost identical experience (yep, I do use the two colors+tolerance+etc trick in Inskcape a lot, when using its autotracer...better said, Potrace). About the plugins, I don't need it, but no idea when/if that would be added. It seems a quite heavy structural change, compared to adding a particular feature. 

I have mixed feelings with plugins. Sometimes add essential functionality (heck, Character Studio in Max was a plugin...CAT was another, quite later, thousands better, and the major reason for some (rare, mostly TV shows, at least in my area) animators not to leave Max, at certain time). Other times (specially among the not very experienced) a badly implemented plugin (happens often) gives bad name and instability to an entire app. I'm not against it, though. Here are threads around this of adding Astute, and was addressed/answered.


Affinity Designer and Affinity Photo licenses, Windows 7, i7  860 (2009) 2.8 GHz,  8 GB RAM, GTX 1050 2 GB, HD 7200 RPM.  Wacom Intuos 4 XL.

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For a start it would help if Designer just gets a GUI for potrace like Inkscape has. The algorithm can be changed later on.


Windows 10 Pro x64 (1903). Intel Core i7-9700K @ 3.60GHz, 32 GB memory, NVidia RTX 2080
Affinity Photo 1.7.2.471, Affinity Designer 1.7.2.471, Affinity Publisher 1.7.2.471

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I second that.

Why not using the plugin-philosophy for something like this? Does photoshop have bad reputation because of providing the possibility for third party plugins? It just enhances the application. If provided, I find it very useful in each and every application i use, be it 3D modeling, graphics or audio.

As context for the serif staff: I'm testing affinity for our company in terms of switching our graphics suite. The lack of functions like this (or for example: batch processing/synchronizing for raw images in Photo) keeps us from doing so. We have many clients to install the applications on and a very restrictive IT policy where everything has to be processed by the admin. Workarounds for tasks by using additional application B for this and and additional application C for that (as discussed in this thread) are therefore a straight no-go in our IT-ecosystem.

So please go agile with features like this. I would really propose to release also stuff which is just 80% of perfect in a contained environment like a plugin. This way, you can have a beta feature within a fully functional application. It might even be a fair way for Serif to be paid adequately for more specific features.

We WANT to get away from a certain company and Affinity does so many things right. But we have have to keep up our productivity. Please try to get rid of the non-switching reasons on the functions side by flexibilizing the approach.

Edited by TC-TESTuser

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I've been using a nice little app from the Mac App Store called TracedLines. Has done some really good conversions for me, and very customisable. By the way, I have nothing to do with developer!

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A fast note here to mention that - crazy as it sounds- I was not aware about Opentoonz (free, open source animation package) having a raster to vector conversion feature. But also, that apparently, the also free and open source (you can contribute with donations, or patreon, etc) Synfig is going to have as well a raster to vector autotrace. Based as well on Opentoonz autotracing system. I still heavily recommend everyone needing this type of workflow,  to use Inkscape's autotrace feature (or the original potrace in command line), but is nice to know more free, opensource alternatives for this operation. Synfig will get it through a Google summer of code project (a programmer will be adapting Opentoonz code for that feature, it seems), but still does not have it. So, linkies for those with curiosity and flexible brains : 

https://inkscape.org
http://potrace.sourceforge.net
https://opentoonz.github.io/e/index.html
https://www.synfig.org  

 

Edit: Link to the part in the doc of open toonz where the feature is explained. Please realize that Synfig hasn't got it yet, but Google summer of code projects tend to get  finished, done as is in the interest of  the developer, student, etc. But it could be months from getting it:  https://opentoonz.readthedocs.io/ja/latest/drawing_animation_levels.html#converting-raster-drawings-to-vectors


Affinity Designer and Affinity Photo licenses, Windows 7, i7  860 (2009) 2.8 GHz,  8 GB RAM, GTX 1050 2 GB, HD 7200 RPM.  Wacom Intuos 4 XL.

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47 minutes ago, SrPx said:

I still heavily recommend everyone needing this type of workflow,  to use Inkscape's autotrace feature (or the original potrace in command line), but is nice to know more free, opensource alternatives for this operation.

Maybe you should add the information for people, that the initial default potrace command line prog doesn't support color tracing and that Inkscape hence uses a modified and enhanced version, which also handles color quantization for color tracing here. There are also Inkscape enhancements for centerline tracing, which the potrace CLI initially also doesn't support.

Another (though older) similar command line tracing tool, which does support color- and centerline tracing, is autotrace. - Let's add further, that a bunch of available standalone tracing apps and GUI frontends, are mostly based on either one of these two tools (autotrace or potrace) for their underlayed used tracing routines.


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As there are so many alternatives to choose from Serif may have no need to invent another.

Just integrate oneof them in Designer where feature set and license allow to do so.

Affinity already makes heavy use of third party libs. Why stop here?


Windows 10 Pro x64 (1903). Intel Core i7-9700K @ 3.60GHz, 32 GB memory, NVidia RTX 2080
Affinity Photo 1.7.2.471, Affinity Designer 1.7.2.471, Affinity Publisher 1.7.2.471

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9 hours ago, v_kyr said:

Maybe you should add the information for people, that the initial default potrace

OR people should just research, themselves  :D :P  :71_smiling_imp:


Affinity Designer and Affinity Photo licenses, Windows 7, i7  860 (2009) 2.8 GHz,  8 GB RAM, GTX 1050 2 GB, HD 7200 RPM.  Wacom Intuos 4 XL.

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pppppplllllllllllllllllllllllleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaasssssssssssssssssseeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee, for the love of sweet holy mary mother of GOD, if the Affinity team can create three fantastic apps to save and rescue the lifes of designers around the world from the evil grip of Adobe I'm sure its not too much to ask the affinity team to add "Image Trace" to Affinity Designer and "Smart Object support" to "Affinity Photo" before my head explodes with designer frustration.

I rely heavily on both to create and present work to clients. I've tried numerous online tutorials to work around a PSD Mock-Ups in Photo and Designer and I can't get either to work. I've just lost one client because of this, as they wanted to see what their logo would look like on a van because there's no "smart object"it in either application  I've lost a lot of money.

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ehm... Wait. Let me see if I've got this right.... You can't overlay a logo over a van because you have no smart objects.... seriously ? I've always done this kind of things (and extremely more complex things) without needing smart objects in PS. No, can't be... You must be meaning something else....

About tracing. A designer package is not made for doing auto generation of nodes, but do clean designs, and well placed nodes, where you, the designer, use all your design theory knowledge and experience to think well those nodes placements, so to speak. Auto tracing is just a nice utility for fast food work... not a must in any design package.

That said, is a convenient tool to have for some specific cases (which rarely have to do anything with pure design), but if I remember the last staff's word about it (in every other app/brand forum I remember, after a final statement from the company, the thread would be locked, but they are really democratic and patient...)  I believe have been something along the lines of  (not literally as I have terrible memory) "We are not against creating an auto tracing solution, but when we studied the possibility, we found that we would want to make this well, not something fast and mediocre, we might eventually do it in the future". Surely that is not matching a  single word of their statement, but more or less that was the message, I think, lol.

I'm always ready to help, even if lately I have very little time, so, if me or anyone else, can help you in providing alternative workflows, inside the tools (Photo and Designer), or with some companion app/jewel, I'd be happy too. Just please, if you are so kind, describe a bit more in detail the task in hand that is such obstacle in your work, because particularly the van example, that definitely is possible to make without smart objects, unless you needed some extra functionality which you have not detailed well.

Also, I'm not willing to sound presumptuous, is just that reading "I've tried numerous online tutorials to work around a PSD Mock-Ups in Photo and Designer and I can't get either to work" I believe we (there are some real genius around here) could help with some tips once knowing the exact issue in detail to overcome. Might help others, as well. Also.. I have tons of very varied gigs, and I can develop everything without using smart objects neither auto trace. I believe we could be of help (specially if it is making you loose money).


Affinity Designer and Affinity Photo licenses, Windows 7, i7  860 (2009) 2.8 GHz,  8 GB RAM, GTX 1050 2 GB, HD 7200 RPM.  Wacom Intuos 4 XL.

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