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Here's the thing. Affinity changed the way I work. I'm not shy of using raster based effects anymore as they're handled well across the apps.

It creates a problem with PDF output though. Text outlines inevitably blur when they are anti-aliased against their background. To a point that can be addressed by exporting with different resampling algorithms.

But some text just has to stay vector based. Right now, both apps just crash when I export my layouts to PDF. Stacked LUTs, live filters, item blurs, mixed media items parented to text objects… it's a problem factory.

 

Ideally we could have a way of tagging a shape or text layer and say: I need this to stay intact. The app then "does stuff" to rasterise unpremult, duplicate the shape and whatnot to make sure the tagged objects come out as vector shapes in the PDF. It can all be flattened with the text outline slightly eroded inwards behind a vector shape even. It's similar to what I'm doing right now. Export my document to several layers and put them back together in a simplified way, re-nesting flattened elements. 

 

Another option would be "output layers" for lack of a better term. Like groups you'd put items into them in the way you want the output to be organised. Everything in these would then get flattened, retaining the original appearance by baking in blend more results into the objects so they all just have an alpha and nothing more. In return this makes it easier to retain vector shapes. Either via dilate, bake and nest or by pixel tracing how the vectors would be affected by raster effects. In some cases it could even be sufficient to render these effects as a mesh gradient fill or a set of vector shapes blended together.

 

 

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