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Auto Trace in Affinity Designer

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29 minutes ago, Canuck said:

   Serif had it, yet they did not add it to Designer? 

 

From a previous discussion:

 

On 01/12/2016 at 1:29 AM, JET_Affinity said:
Quote

Affinity is an attempt to be different and only introduce high quality tools and features. This is still a work in progress but sets out the path we are trying to follow. We could add AutoTrace, Flood Fill, 3D extrusion etc in a few weeks by using similar methods to DrawPlus but we just don't think it's the right thing to do.

 

 Tony,

 

For what it's worth, thank you for that. Some of us have long hungered for a truly elegant vector drawing program with cleanly integrated features, real geometric power and accuracy just under the surface, and true vector-based innovation, as opposed to just yet another "me, too" grab-bag of instant-gratification eye-candy features repeatedly re-packaged into ostensibly "new" features.

 

Please encourage the team to hold fast to the vision of functional elegance.

 

And please never let Adobe acquire Affinity like it did FreeHand.

 

JET

 


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Please forgive my admittedly passionate stance on this, but...

Auto-tracing is far and away usually very bad practice which merely trades one kind of ugliness (raster pixilation) for another (jagged vector paths). The end result thereby negates the resolution-independence advantages of properly drawn scalable vector artwork.

Although it has some legitimate last-resort uses, it is by far most commonly used as a cheesy workaround for avoiding properly drawing efficient and accurate paths. It is also very common and easily available elsewhere. You can even do it online for free. It does not need to appear in every drawing program. (Corel did it right by implementing it as a separate standalone utility.)

As overwhelmingly implemented, all most auto-trace utilities do is try to draw paths around contiguous same- or similarly-colored pixels with a certain amount of "sensitivity" control. They have no shape recognition capability whatsoever. As a very simple example, they know neither that a cluster of dark pixels is supposed to represent the pupil of an eye, nor that a pupil is round. So you just end up with an ugly irregular path which looks no better when enlarged than the original raster. That's what I mean by simply trading one kind of resolution-dependent ugliness for another.

Another far too typical use is by sign shops which auto-trace a customer's logo so they can cut it from sign vinyl. The resulting jagged shapes of the hugely enlarged paths is a dead giveaway of amateurish sub-standard work.

So I, for one, have no interest whatsoever in seeing yet another "me, too" auto-trace feature cluttering up yet another vector drawing program. It's not just dead last on my wish list; it's not on the list at all. Its absence is a better indication that a program is being developed for serious commercial-quality work. Affinity still needs way too many serious vector drawing features to waste any development time on yet another junky auto-trace feature.

JET

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7 hours ago, bleblans said:

 In Illustrator it works fine.

The developers have stated that they will add a trace tool to Designer sometime in the future. The developers have also indicated that they don't want to settle for tools that are only just okay. They had a tracer in DrawPlus but they said that it wasn't as good as they wanted so they are taking their time to make sure that they get their tracing tool to be as good as they can make it before adding it to Designer. I can understand that it is hard to wait for some people but luckily there are some decent third party options to tie them over until tracing is added to Designer. 

 

Hokusai

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This is actually how the thought of converting pixel selections to vector graphics first made it on the roadmap. It was MEB's idea for the sake of tracing. Given the strong point that JET_Affinity made, this might be a more hands on method giving better results than an auto trace.

 

 


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JET seems to assume he understands everyone else's business. He does not. I seldom use autotrace in my professional illustration work (when I do it's a life-saver), but I use it every day in my 8-5 business and without it we would be OUT of business. When Affinity has auto trace I'll take another look.

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8 hours ago, rcraighead1 said:

JET seems to assume he understands everyone else's business. He does not. I seldom use autotrace in my professional illustration work (when I do it's a life-saver), but I use it every day in my 8-5 business and without it we would be OUT of business. When Affinity has auto trace I'll take another look.

He is into drawing software from the 1980's so he probably know a lot. 

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On 6. November 2017 at 7:37 PM, JET_Affinity said:

So you just end up with an ugly irregular path which looks no better when enlarged than the original raster.

 

JET_Affinity certainly knows this: 

Not true for some algorithms that lead to much much better results than the original! That's what we also expect from the Serif solution.

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2 hours ago, Oval said:

 

JET_Affinity certainly knows this: 

Not true for some algorithms that lead to much much better results than the original! That's what we also expect from the Serif solution.

And that's why it takes a long time. 

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8 hours ago, Fatih19 said:

And that's why it takes a long time. 

Probably not before 2019. But perhaps "Convert Pixel selection to Vector shape”.

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