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Image Tracing in Affinity Designer?


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Have to say, watching that tutorial shows DrawPlus's tool to be very nice in operation.

For $25/UKP20, it seems a no-brainer if you have the need, since Affinity / Amazon still allow purchasing the no-longer-supported final version.

I'm not expert on these matters, but as far as trace quality/ies, there are a lot of comments in this thread saying (artistically) pen-tracing often beats auto-trace.

This would fit my experience with Illustrator -- by the time you play with settings enough to get near what you want, the drawing board grows in atraction to tastebuds.

Maybe that's a point of view that could draw Affinity designers into a different corner...they do such good work in producing tools superior, not just replacement, for Adobe's, and here there's the opportunity to make 'appropriate technology' out of the DrawPlus bones.

By which means, easy appiication, of course in new Affinity apps style, abilities attuned to producing the level of result really useful autotrace can, while leaving the unattainable 'touch' to manual tracing. The software could even say so...

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19 minutes ago, narrationsd said:

Have to say, watching that tutorial shows DrawPlus's tool to be very nice in operation.

For $25/UKP20, it seems a no-brainer if you have the need, since Affinity / Amazon still allow purchasing the no-longer-supported final version.

I'm not expert on these matters, but as far as trace quality/ies, there are a lot of comments in this thread saying (artistically) pen-tracing often beats auto-trace.

This would fit my experience with Illustrator -- by the time you play with settings enough to get near what you want, the drawing board grows in atraction to tastebuds.

Maybe that's a point of view that could draw Affinity designers into a different corner...they do such good work in producing tools superior, not just replacement, for Adobe's, and here there's the opportunity to make 'appropriate technology' out of the DrawPlus bones.

By which means, easy appiication, of course in new Affinity apps style, abilities attuned to producing the level of result really useful autotrace can, while leaving the unattainable 'touch' to manual tracing. The software could even say so...

DrawPlus is good, but it’s not available for Mac computers.

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1 hour ago, tom95521 said:

Serif either has a license or the source code for an image tracer in DrawPlus. Just add it into Affinity Designer.

The Plus & Affinity softwares have entirely different code bases so they can't "just add" anything from one into the other.

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2 hours ago, R C-R said:

The Plus & Affinity softwares have entirely different code bases so they can't "just add" anything from one into the other.

Maybe "add" was a little optimistic. The operating system graphic APIs might be different and the programming language might not be the same but reading the source code would be a good start for designing a tracing algorithm. It's not as bad as starting from scratch. There seems to be enough people interested in bitmap to vector.

Tom

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31 minutes ago, tom95521 said:

Maybe "add" was a little optimistic. The operating system graphic APIs might be different and the programming language might not be the same but reading the source code would be a good start for designing a tracing algorithm. It's not as bad as starting from scratch. There seems to be enough people interested in bitmap to vector.

That's also assuming that Serif likes the results that the old code provided, and would think them acceptable if that same design were to be implemented in Affinity. If they don't like those results, they might consider it better to scrap the old design completely.

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28 minutes ago, walt.farrell said:

That's also assuming that Serif likes the results that the old code provided, and would think them acceptable if that same design were to be implemented in Affinity.

It also assumes that using the old code as a basis for designing the new algorithm won't cause any issues (bugs, instabilities, Ui conflicts, whatever) with the execution the existing code already designed from scratch for the Affinity apps, & that this would be the most efficient way to use the existing code base.

It can be like trying to adapt construction methods that work well with one kind of building to a completely different kind of structure.

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Algorithms are language independent. Beta testing works great to find bugs. Call me an optimist but I don't think bitmap to vector is impossible (or even that difficult) for Serif to add to Designer.

Instead of different construction methods I think it's equivalent to NASA and SpaceX. NASA takes decades to design overpriced rockets using contractors while SpaceX builds rockets in months, explodes rockets, learns from failure, and fixes the design until the reliable.  Is Serif a NASA or a SpaceX? Give up because it's too complicated or try to add bitmap to vector and fix any bugs.

Tom

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13 hours ago, AffinityAppMan said:

How good is it?   Is it safe to install?

On the website it show the latest version at "potrace-1.15.mac" and it's old.

Here:   http://potrace.sourceforge.net/#downloading

 

Where did the Potrace_GUI_0.1.dmg version come from?

Hi, it works well for me, despite its age and 32bit nature. Just use VM software of your choice (there are free and paid ones) and install any OSX up to 10.5 that still supports Rosetta (Power PC emulation layer) - you can easily download old OSX ISO's from your apple developer account.

The link was linked from their sourceforge page - http://potrace.sourceforge.net   along with a link to its source code. As you can see, you're downloading the Potrace GUI directly from potrace's sourceforge repository, from the /thirdparty/ directory though.

potrace.thumb.jpg.049045cf8a26b9e03b536fe15c48c14b.jpg

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3 hours ago, tom95521 said:

Algorithms are language independent.

Perhaps they are in a very broad, abstract sense but implementing them certainly is not.

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I can't see Affinity adding Tracing anytime soon, there are a plethora of apps and online options and I doubt Affinity could improve on them. Bitmap to vector is one hell of a lottery, you roll the trace dice and wait to see what comes out the other end. The results are rarely editable  to the point you get a clean vector unless it's a simple design and few colours and of course a hi res image. Also tracing creates hundreds if not thousands of nodes. You will always end up with a vector you will have to tweak.

Personally I think the time would be better spent learning manual trace techniques so you get exactly what you want with clean lines and minimal nodes. 

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11 hours ago, narrationsd said:

For $25/UKP20, it seems a no-brainer if you have the need, since Affinity / Amazon still allow purchasing the no-longer-supported final version.

From a recent post to CommunityPlus it looks as though Serif will soon stop selling their ‘legacy’ applications. If you want to purchase DrawPlus X8 (or PhotoPlus X8 or PagePlus X9) you would be wise not to delay.

 

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10 hours ago, Alfred said:

From a recent post to CommunityPlus it looks as though Serif will soon stop selling their ‘legacy’ applications. If you want to purchase DrawPlus (or PhotoPlus or PagePlus) you would be wise not to delay.

 

Yes, and as Potrace is not available in any of its Gui forms _except_ on Mac...

However, I had a quick look this morning, and:

- DrawPlus, you'd need to buy, to try

- Microsoft's ancient Expression is listed and downloadable, but the tracing is dire

- So I fired up my CS6 end-of-life Illustrator, and contrary to memory, its trace seemed quite good. It's maybe the presets, kind of hidden on the invisi-bar just above the drawing, which is making this so.

- Thus, as long as tracing images which are your own or from sources you know you can trust, Illustrator if you have it seems to enjoy a long coming life.

- And Affinity deals nicely with Illustrator files, so there's no loss of effort there.

- You'd still think the bright in Nottingham would do a nice job of tracing without too much taxing of themselves, but just possibly there are more pressing matters...we should understand

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13 minutes ago, narrationsd said:

- You'd still think the bright in Nottingham would do a nice job of tracing without too much taxing of themselves, but just possibly there are more pressing matters...we should understand

 

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Also this comment:

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14 minutes ago, R C-R said:

Also this comment:

That was actually a comment on the vector flood fill feature in DrawPlus (but the same argument applies, of course, to auto-trace).

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1 hour ago, narrationsd said:

Yes, and as Potrace is not available in any of its Gui forms _except_ on Mac...

Are you saying Inkscape´s autotrace - which is Potrace - is not available in the Windows version of Inkscape?

As a side note: a native Inkscape_for_Mac is heavily in the works and the alpha is already available.

I use a native version since many years - never looking back to XQuartz.

Cheers

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1 hour ago, PixelPest said:

a native Inkscape_for_Mac is heavily in the works and the alpha is already available

looking forward to this, do you have a link to this @PixelPest?

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Indeed, the odd project I get every week with two Thursdays, that it's "kind of" faster by auto tracing, while Potrace (whether in command line, or in the quite less flexible, GUI instances (I have used it in the past with other UIs than the inkscape's embedded one....) would suffice, Inkscape, just doing some trial and error initially (you learn the good values for your typical use cases), it works like charm. In my case, it's often for some 3D silhouette to export to Blender when am too busy to trace by hand, and no real need of making a lot of cleaning (as for good 2D design, the cleaning stage with any auto tracer in the market would mean the same time or more than 100% manual, and besides that, never as perfect output as tracing manually), or is for some really dirty/fast work that will end up as bitmap anyway. And... for those, and certain settings, I'd say works better than most of the very high end solutions for auto tracing. But a lot of people don't know (or care to learn) how to handle it...

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49 minutes ago, SrPx said:

... Inkscape, just doing some trial and error initially (you learn the good values for your typical use cases), it works like charm.

At least for me, Inkscape on a Mac, whether running under X window emulation or as a compiled native app, has never "worked like a charm" for much of anything. Its UI resembles something first designed in the early 1990's & never updated. Menus take much too long to open, screen rendering/redrawing is painfully slow, & overall it somehow manages to make doing even simple things far more complicated & time-consuming than necessary.

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In Windows works just fine (not fan of the UI, to say the least..since many years). It used to be my tool for everything vector at certain pair of companies. I still use it for an eventual spiral, certain type of distribution, deform/warp of some kind or, quite rarely when needing autotrace. The back and force I/O between it and Designer hasn't been a prob here...

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2 hours ago, firstdefence said:
3 hours ago, PixelPest said:

a native Inkscape_for_Mac is heavily in the works and the alpha is already available

looking forward to this, do you have a link to this @PixelPest?

I too would like to see a link to any info related to this "heavily in the works" native Mac version. I have heard that there have been a few people working on that for many years, but to date it remains vaporware.

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Well, just to say, I did install Inkscape on Win10, and try it...on a photo, was just trouble. 

I am sure those who put the effort in long ago to figure how to treat it for getting traces still can, but...

An opportunity we'll hope Affinity finds their moment to pick up on, here, and I guess they know that.

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