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AviTambijaku

Designer 1.6 | 'Expand stroke' tool overly aggressive with rounded corners

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Hello affinity team,

I've recently upgraded to version 1.6 and have since encountered problems with the "expand stroke" tool. When I try to expande strokes with rounded corners the resulting shape is distorted. This does not happen with straight corners (bottom right in attached picture). It seems to be more pronounced at small sizes. I did not have this problem on version 1.5.

Is there a workaround for this? I've since tried to enlarge objects before I expand their strokes, but as someone who mostly works on small icons that's a bit annoying.

Thanks

Avi

Bug..PNG

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@AviTambijaku Although there are errors with Expand Stroke they are really tiny, and v1.6 seems to me to be vastly improved over v1.5 

 

In the attached file I…

  • Made a shape similar to yours, duplicated it at sizes 256px down to 8px.
  • Made a duplicate (coloured it pink).
  • Expanded the stroke.
  • Then duplicated the original stroke and the expanded version, before overlaying them and subtracting one from the other.

 

59fcd4dfaffb4_AffinityExpandStroke.gif.2e2310eea874a1b45a67d635be730a52.gif

 

As you can see the difference is a hairline (I zoom in to ~32000%).

Even on the tiny 8px version the difference is minimal.

 

Perhaps you are doing something different to me?

 

 

Affinity Expand Stroke.afdesign


Win7 Ultimate x64   |   i5-3570K @ 3.4GHz   |   16 GB RAM   |   120 GB SSD   |   nVidia GTX 660 Ti   |   Huion 1060 Plus

How I make GIFs >>> ScreenToGIF (Windows only, Open Source, Portable, ~600kB)

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8 hours ago, Aammppaa said:

@AviTambijaku Although there are errors with Expand Stroke they are really tiny, and v1.6 seems to me to be vastly improved over v1.5 

 

In the attached file I…

  • Made a shape similar to yours, duplicated it at sizes 256px down to 8px.
  • Made a duplicate (coloured it pink).
  • Expanded the stroke.
  • Then duplicated the original stroke and the expanded version, before overlaying them and subtracting one from the other.

 

59fcd4dfaffb4_AffinityExpandStroke.gif.2e2310eea874a1b45a67d635be730a52.gif

 

As you can see the difference is a hairline (I zoom in to ~32000%).

Even on the tiny 8px version the difference is minimal.

 

Perhaps you are doing something different to me?

 

 

Affinity Expand Stroke.afdesign

 

Hi Aammppaa,

From your file, just try to change the resolution to 72dpi, then you will see the bug :).

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5 hours ago, predick said:

try to change the resolution to 72dpi, then you will see the bug

 

I don't see that the DPI is making a noticable difference. This GIF is at 72DPI and the distortion is still small.

 

 

59fd9786ee8dd_AffinityExpandStroke72DPI.gif.57c704fc147d258d00dbb681e376b951.gif

 

Is this level of distortion a problem? Perhaps it is for designing tiny things like icons?

 

Things that definitely do make a difference are the size of the object and perhaps the relative thickness of the stroke. This 0.2px circle is indeed a bit of a joke! But it doesn't really feel like a real world test to me.

 

 

59fd9d3b1c054_AffinityExpandStrokeTiny.png.e803ab81d1fe1554d1790517dda6556a.png


Win7 Ultimate x64   |   i5-3570K @ 3.4GHz   |   16 GB RAM   |   120 GB SSD   |   nVidia GTX 660 Ti   |   Huion 1060 Plus

How I make GIFs >>> ScreenToGIF (Windows only, Open Source, Portable, ~600kB)

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Hi AviTambijaku,

Welcome to Affinity Forums :)

We are aware of these issues with small objects/expand stoke command. Currently the only workaround is to enlarge them first, expand the stroke, then scale them back again to their original size as you discovered. This may have also been affected/aggravated by a recent change in the expand stroke command to reduce the number of nodes generated. In any case we do intend to review/improve the Expand Stroke command in future versions. I'm sorry for the inconvenience this is causing you.

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20 hours ago, Aammppaa said:

 

@AviTambijaku [...]

Perhaps you are doing something different to me?

Affinity Expand Stroke.afdesign

@Aammppaa Thank you for your effort.

I noticed that I indeed do something different. I noticed in your .gif that you used the "align to centre" stroke option. However, I mostly work with strokes aligned to the outside of shapes for my current projects. So I investigated and, indeed, it seems that "align to outside" suffers the effect much more than "align to centre".

Bug..PNG.a5f093e542be3997f5819eed0d2efee1.PNG

(Left row: align to outside; middle row: align to centre; right row: align to inside)

As one can see, the align to centre option does suffer quite a bit less from the problem, same as in your examples. The "align to inside" seems to be handled best, probably because there are no rounded corner, however, in this example it removed an entire edge from the shape!

You're right, that it doesn't seem like much, however, I mostly work with icons from the size range of 16px to 64px and these distortions do actually cause some blurriness and bleeding effect, especially at the size of 16px.

4 hours ago, MEB said:

Hi AviTambijaku,

Welcome to Affinity Forums :)

We are aware of these issues with small objects/expand stoke command. Currently the only workaround is to enlarge them first, expand the stroke, then scale them back again to their original size as you discovered. This may have also been affected/aggravated by a recent change in the expand stroke command to reduce the number of nodes generated. In any case we do intend to review/improve the Expand Stroke command in future versions. I'm sorry for the inconvenience this is causing you.

@MEB

Thank you! It's good to know that this issue is known and being worked on in future. Though I wondered if I could downgrade to version 1.5 again as long as this issue persists. I remember that there were links to older version on the page where I downloaded the update from, but I can't seem to find the link to this page anymore.

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That is a HUGE bummer for me, as I purchased Designer mostly for creating icons and other UI elements. The Expand Stroke command in 1.5 wasn't all that bad, but in 1.6 it's just unusable (I even reported this problem during 1.6 beta testing). I will head back to CorelDraw and Illustrator for the time being, and hope for this bug to be fixed in 1.6.1...

 

Also, I really see absolutely no logic in the way Affinity Designer generates nodes in an object created by expanding a stroke. It just seems to randomly slap them all over the place along the stroke line, and the result is a massively distorted object. Here are screenshots comparing the same icon and its expanded result in Corel Draw X8, Illustrator CC and Designer 1.6.0.89. I highlighted the nodes in Outline view, Designer's results are a real mess...

P.S.: I also attached the original CDR, Ai and afdesign vector files so you can check for yourselves.

designer_1.6.PNG

IllustratorCC.PNG

CorelX8.PNG

00001.afdesign

00001.ai

00001.cdr

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This is an issue for me too, just when the pixel grid offset bug got solved, this comes up... The work-around of expanding the object in a larger size doesn't seem to solve the issue @Molumen showcased, where the strokes become this weird blobs instead of rounded rectangles.

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Hey everyone!

Have things gone better in the latest Beta, or is the Expand stroke tool still producing weird results?

I didn't really had the time to download and install the latest Beta in order to test it, so I thought I'd just ask here.

I'd really like to finally move away from Adobe Illustrator for UI and icon design...

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I'd like to know, as well. As it stands, this is a colossal problem. 99.9% of the time, I simply can't have my lines wobble on their own, I need them to be consistent. I'd prioritize fixing/improving this above just about everything else. Don't necessarily need all the bells and whistles, but the core tools have to be reliable and of high quality.

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Hi dr_who, Molumen,

There's no changes here yet, sorry. This is not a simple fix and implies rewriting the code/approach this in a different way. It may still take some time until it's ready. Please bear with us while we get there. 

 

@dr_who

This issue is less pronounced the bigger the objects are. So one current workaround for it is to scale the objects considerable a x factor, expand the strokes, then scale them down again the same factor value.

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Omg, I need this fix like yesterday.. This is really really important to me, this is so big problem with icons.. Please fix this soon, I can't work like this. Also that methid to scale it up and then down is not working, because it scales it down with different line width.

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4 hours ago, simonlayfield said:

I'm guessing this is the same issue?

affinity-expand-stroke.gif

Yes, when transitioning from outlines to filled objects, Designer messes up rounded corners in unpredictable ways. A real bummer for logo design and especially icons...

We're all in this thread eagerly waiting for a fix (the whole point of purchasing the app for me was icon design) but it seems that it's not something that can be patched rapidly.

Edited by Molumen

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On 11/6/2017 at 1:40 AM, Molumen said:

That is a HUGE bummer for me, as I purchased Designer mostly for creating icons and other UI elements. The Expand Stroke command in 1.5 wasn't all that bad, but in 1.6 it's just unusable (I even reported this problem during 1.6 beta testing). 

I agree completely. People here writing the differences are minimal just aren't really serious about their jobs. There should be NO difference. And 99,9% of the time after outlining borders I have to correct the hundreds to thousands of way too many anchor points on the weirdest places. The formulas underneath obviously just don't make any sense or are still full of bugs. A vector-program is all about vectors and math and exactly that is so hugely unreliable and full of bugs. And even after so many people complaining about this it's not being fixed after months or maybe even year(s), while new features still being added, the Affinity website completely reworked, another website launched, a new product added, with existing products with these kind of nasty bugs still there, is just crazy. If I look at how little changes and fixes are made in months for the upcoming 1.6.5 stable release I wonder if Affinity got its priorities straight. In my opinion if Affinity isn't changing it's priorities a lot of the professionals will be gone in no time and never return.

I'm at the point rightnow I find so many issues, but strongly got the feeling no one at this company is taking them seriously, so starting to wonder why I would still take the time and effort to report these bugs and trying to help, if no one is fixing them. And I'm obviously not the only one. If Affinity has too little developers, then hire developers. If Affinity has too little testers, then hire testers. If Affinity has too little budget, then higher the price. But this is not a product that professionals can rely on for real world production projects like this.

 And believe me, I'd rather be a fan and stay, so I still hope them to proof me wrong. But right now this product is costing me more money and time that would justify a switch back to Adobe. And I'd rather don't.


 

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6 hours ago, Mark Ingram said:

FYI, the exact same discussion is being had in the macOS forum:

 

I went to the Mac forum and read what Mac users are saying there, and similarly to this thread, it's full of frustrated UI designers that purchased Affinity Designer, but cannot work in the app because of this major flaw. Personally, it's been 7 months now since I last opened Affinity designer to create something in it. What's the point of creating a UI in Affinity Designer, and then having to switch to some other app in order to create icons for this UI?

For now, I decided to stick to Figma (which has flawless expanding strokes at any size, even as small as 1x1 pixel). And since Affinity doesn't seem to have a clue about when or in what software version this problem will be fixed, I probably will not be switching back to Affinity Designer any time soon...

I have to admit that purchasing Designer 1.5.2 was, in my case, a mistake. I am however quite happy with Affinity Photo, even if it has its own set of annoying bugs though...

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24 minutes ago, jacekpuzio said:

Why isn't this bug still fixed? It makes Affinity Designer useless both on Windows & Mac...

It looks like to fix this bug, they'll have to re-write a big chunk of the program's code, so this bug is probably here to stay for quite some time. I sure hope it gets fixed asap, but I'm not holding my breath...

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