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jken

Export or Save as AI - it's stopping me switching

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Really liking what i'm seeing coming out of Serif. Affinity Designer interests me a lot but the sticking point in me switching for me is the inability to export AI files back out as AI files. Many customers of mine need the ability to work on edited AI files. Many will want to do the basics but hand it back to me if they need extensive alts.

 

Obviously, Serif's creation of AD is to attract Ai users away from Adobe and give everyone an alternative, good on'em too.

But the addition of  "Export" or "Save as AI" could be added in a future update your user numbers would increase beyond belief.

 

jk

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Hi jken,

Welcome to Affinity Forums :)

The Ai format is proprietary/closed. Apart from an old version (8) of the format there's isn't much we can do to add support for the current Ai format. The best option you have in Affinity is export to PDF which should open without issues in Ai (although not everything will be editable).

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Hi MEB,

 

I fully understand the use of PDF's but customers who only dip into the files very occasionally just don't get what PDF's are, maybe out to eps would be a better option as everything should be editable. Ideally, I'd want them to pay me to edit but if it's adding a line of text, changing a colour etc it's far easier for them to sort it. I may have to educate them.....again.

 

Thanks anyway.

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The problem with EPS (besides being an old format) is that is doesn't support any kind of transparency. Illustrator is able to keep EPS files editable because it embeds a copy of the AI file inside for editing purposes when the file in opened in Illustrator. However third party software like ours don't have access to the embedded Ai data (closed/proprietary data), so EPS files exported form Affinity may not provide much flexibility compared to PDF.

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On 11/3/2017 at 7:42 AM, MEB said:

Apart from an old version (8) of the format ...

I know this is a bit of a necro post, but having AI 8 export capabilities (even in EPS files) is pretty important to 3D workflows.
Many of the major 3D programs will not recognize AI/EPS above version 8 anyway, so I'm used to having to save down.

None of this workflow cares about effects, strokes, colors, etc. It's just about bringing the vector paths into 3D software.

I've tried every option in Designer's dialogues for EPS and PDF and nothing goes lower than AI 9. -_-

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Just downloaded the trial, and am in agreement with the OP re usefulness & need of .ai export. I understand the .ai file format is closed & proprietary, but couldn't the same be said for .psd? Or is .psd that much more understood/hacked by the dev community than .ai?

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11 hours ago, Pyrrho said:

I understand the .ai file format is closed & proprietary, but couldn't the same be said for .psd?

You do not get all the information from within a .psd document when you open it in an application other than Photoshop.


MacBook Pro (13-inch, Mid 2012) Mac OS 10.12.6 || Mac Pro (Late 2013) Mac OS 10.14.5

Affinity Designer 1.7.1 | Affinity Photo 1.7.1 | Affinity Publisher 1.7.1 | Affinity Photo Beta 1.7.2.146 | Affinity Publisher Beta 1.7.2.422

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Hi Pyrrho,
Welcome to Affinity Forums :)
There's some official documentation for PSD but only covers the basic. We don't provide full support for PSD (no editable text layers on export, smart objects support, or full blend options compatibility) and advise people to NOT use Affinity in a PSD workflow as this may lead to loss of data if you overwrite a PSD coming from Photoshop or third party apps but, as long as you export the edited PSD as a new PSD file you shouldn't have issues.

Note: post edited for clarity.

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Why not working with both? In my case, if the time comes when I'll need to rent Illustrator (even for a month), I'd use Designer as the main Tool and Illustrator just for the sake of saving it in AI Format and maybe for some specific feature. I have the understanding that Copy & Paste from Designer to Illustrator works well.

Best regards!


You'll never know what you can do until you get it up as high as you can go!   

AMD FX 8350 :: Radeon HD 7870 :: Windows 10 ::  http://mithferion.deviantart.com/

Oxygen Icons :: Free Quality Fonts :: Public Domain Pictures :: iOS 11 Design Resources :: iOS App Icon Template :: Hot to do High Quality Art :: Mesh Warp / Distort Tool Considerations

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Mithderion: This is exactly what i've done, now been happily using Designer, Photo and soon Publisher for a year or so. Kept the Adobe photographers account to get Lightroom as there's still no sight of a DAM in Affinity Photo. Works fine but a workflow step that needs to be sorted.

 

Cheers jk

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1 hour ago, MEB said:

[...]  We don't provide full support for PSD (no editable text layers on export, no smart objects support, no full Layers FX or blend options compatibility - just to name a few) and actually advise people to NOT use Affinity in a PSD workflow as this may lead to loss of data if you overwrite a PSD coming from Photoshop or third party apps.

After re-searching through the website & available in-app documentation all I find is "Best in class PSD Import/Export", "Pro file formats like PSD supported", "accurate opening/saving of Adobe Photoshop PSD files (includes 32 bit)", and "take PSDs into other supported software". IMO this appears somewhat disingenuous in light of what you're telling me. As someone who's worked in IT & AV for over 30 years, I understand and empathise with what AP is trying to accomplish vs Photoshop, but I'd ask to please be more straightforward with your marketing & documentation.

That being said, it still doesn't answer my question as to why .AI export isn't supported. If you've partially figured out .PSD export to the point where it's marketed as complete, why not add partial .AI export too? If it's too difficult and/or not determined to be worth the development time, I'd appreciate you then just say so, instead of saying there's not much you can do. I think we all understand the realities of limited resources and prioritization and would appreciate the transparency.

.AI export isn't a deal-breaker for me, although at one time it was (and at that time I and everyone else I knew just saved everything down to Illustrator 88). Very VERY impressed with both AP & AD so far, so please rear my previous criticism in that context.

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Hi Pyrrho,
Nobody offers full PSD compatibility: this is not an open format - neither is Ai - however there's some documentation for PSD whereas almost nothing for Ai. We do provide some of the best PSD support (import/export) - most common features should import without issues (layers, shapes, masks, Layer FX etc) and you can certainly export to PSD and open the files in third party software - Photoshop included. What I advised you against is saving over (rewriting) an existing PSD coming from third party software as it may lead to data loss. You can always export as a new PSD file. Sorry if I wasn't very clear about it.

Regarding Ai, yes it's complicated, there's no documentation and would take a huge amount of time & resources and eventually would still offer just basic feature support. There's also no feature parity between the two apps. If you need to take artwork to Ai you can export as PDF, SVG or try to copy/paste (for a few things).

I've rewritten my reply above to make the above point (about rewriting PSD files) more clear.

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2 hours ago, jken said:

Mithderion: This is exactly what i've done, now been happily using Designer, Photo and soon Publisher for a year or so. Kept the Adobe photographers account to get Lightroom as there's still no sight of a DAM in Affinity Photo. Works fine but a workflow step that needs to be sorted.

 

Cheers jk

Getting rid of the subscription thing and working only with a set of programs that you like would be the best, but yeah, sometimes the work needs are what they are.

 

1 hour ago, MEB said:

We do provide some of the best PSD support (import/export) - most common features should import without issues (layers, shapes, masks, Layer FX etc)

You know? Something that I've thought for a while: becoming friends with the Developer of Photopea might prove to be a good thing, since Photopea opens SmartObjects and exports editable text in PSD format. But that's just me and my imagination. Affinity does a very good job, but any improvement is very welcome. 

Best regards!


You'll never know what you can do until you get it up as high as you can go!   

AMD FX 8350 :: Radeon HD 7870 :: Windows 10 ::  http://mithferion.deviantart.com/

Oxygen Icons :: Free Quality Fonts :: Public Domain Pictures :: iOS 11 Design Resources :: iOS App Icon Template :: Hot to do High Quality Art :: Mesh Warp / Distort Tool Considerations

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You can export to PDF and then change the file extension to ai.

Also keep everything as simple as it can, vectorize all curves, and use solid colors as much as possible.

 

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On 6/6/2019 at 11:37 AM, MEB said:

...
We hope to provide support for both things in a future version as well.

Support for so-called Smart Objects would be awesome. Not just respecting them in a PSD-AP-PSD round trip, but having the ability to create and use "Smart Objects" within AP for non-destructive warping and editing of art layers.

I frequently make use of Smart Objects in Photoshop to warp and apply artwork to 3-D brand application mock-ups (e.g., books, billboards, branded objects like bottles and other packaging. And it's easy set up these sort of files as templates, where new flat art can be pasted into the Smart Object layer, saved, and then the warp transformations applied to the Smart Object automatically bend the newly pasted art. 

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4 hours ago, Mark Oehlschlager said:

but having the ability to create and use "Smart Objects" within AP for non-destructive warping and editing of art layers.

A similar feature is available in the form of Embedded Files. You can embed an AFDESIGN file inside the AFPHOTO file and apply a lot of effects and filters.

Best regards!


You'll never know what you can do until you get it up as high as you can go!   

AMD FX 8350 :: Radeon HD 7870 :: Windows 10 ::  http://mithferion.deviantart.com/

Oxygen Icons :: Free Quality Fonts :: Public Domain Pictures :: iOS 11 Design Resources :: iOS App Icon Template :: Hot to do High Quality Art :: Mesh Warp / Distort Tool Considerations

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17 minutes ago, Mithferion said:

A similar feature is available in the form of Embedded Files.

Hey. Thanks for the tip.

I just experimented by placing some vector art from Designer into Photo. It gets placed as Embedded art, but the second I try to bend it with the Warp Mesh tool, the embedded vector art gets rasterized, and the warp is applied as a "destructive" effect.

Is there a way to do this non-destructively?

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Go to Menu “Layer”, there you will find the Live Filters, which are non-destructive.

Best regards!


You'll never know what you can do until you get it up as high as you can go!   

AMD FX 8350 :: Radeon HD 7870 :: Windows 10 ::  http://mithferion.deviantart.com/

Oxygen Icons :: Free Quality Fonts :: Public Domain Pictures :: iOS 11 Design Resources :: iOS App Icon Template :: Hot to do High Quality Art :: Mesh Warp / Distort Tool Considerations

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6 minutes ago, Mithferion said:

Go to Menu “Layer”, there you will find the Live Filters, which are non-destructive.

Very cool. Thanks.

Serif just need to add the Mesh Warp as a Live Filter. That way, for example, one could warp the flat image of a page to the curving contours of a page in an open book.

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39 minutes ago, Mark Oehlschlager said:

Very cool. Thanks.

Serif just need to add the Mesh Warp as a Live Filter. That way, for example, one could warp the flat image of a page to the curving contours of a page in an open book.

Ah, it’s true. I forgot that only the Perspective Filter is available as a Live Filter.

Yes, more Live Filters have been asked before.

Best regards!


You'll never know what you can do until you get it up as high as you can go!   

AMD FX 8350 :: Radeon HD 7870 :: Windows 10 ::  http://mithferion.deviantart.com/

Oxygen Icons :: Free Quality Fonts :: Public Domain Pictures :: iOS 11 Design Resources :: iOS App Icon Template :: Hot to do High Quality Art :: Mesh Warp / Distort Tool Considerations

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