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Tom Schülke

Big problem for architektural Workflows..

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Hi everyone,

i found a secound real Problem in using Affinity Photo as a replacement for our Photoshop inhouse workflow.   

The first and even bigger Problem is, that Affinity Photo imports and embedds PDF files printed from CAD applications as a vektorfile, and not as a pixellayer....   the reason for this is that affinity photo for sure tries to stay flexible so you can still change the curves. but in this case this is nonsense, because you allways make the changes in CAD applications. and so, you get an embedded vektorlayer, which has strong antialiasing problems in between of the fillings.. .......    i ll get to this back later in another post, even when this Problem is allready known.  Just because this workflow problem, prevents the whole architektural society from using affinity photo, which is very sad and could be solved " easily" (maybe its not ?)  by just importing pdfs as rasterised layers that are embedded.. just like in photoshop...

(So i developed a Workaround for this by using layer effects, coloring an embedded pdf and after this putting a outline in the same color on top, to fill the antialiasing gaps..)

Now here comes a good message..  in afinity Photo 1.6 i can decide to just print my contend and also the embedded pdf files and overwrite the used 300 dpi, in the print dialog, and use for example 1200 dpi.

so in the printing i can get rid of the antialiasing seams inside the pdf file, while i can still see them in the viewport. But the print is allright.

 

but now the Secound problem for this post.. 

When using the embedded pdf, Architects often use differing colors inside the embedded file, and i need to make selections from those differing colors.   THIS at the moment doesnt work ..   

i have to duplicate the embedded pdf, rasterise it and than make the selection from the rasterised file, use it, and afterwords delete the pixellayer..      THIS  costs so much time again, that the architects in my company will kill me if i force them to use  affinity photo.

is there any other way to get a solution from this ?

 

i put a screenshot for clarification to this post..

 

please Affinity......   Help the architectural Soziety....   there are about  130 000 Architects in Germany !!!   most of them that do Competitions use this one workflow to print pdf´s and use them in Photoshop to make them better and they need it embedded...  and working..     Its the one Single by far most important feature for them when they do Plans ........   (renderings are another thing).. 

 

So is there another way ?  

problems with colorpicker on embedded pdfs.jpg

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Hi Tom

Yes have the same problem here, I have suggested an "Open As" feature so that we could elect to have the PDF come in as a Raster rather than a vector. What I have done as a work-around in the meantime is open with Designer and flatten/rasterise the image first. At least I can then continue working as I did with Photoshop, or colouring & "hand drawing" with my Wacom in Clipstudio. For some reason I find that Designer deals with the complex vector layers from AutoCAD far better than Photo does.

I have similar issues to you (having read a couple of your posts now) in that the firm I work for uses the Architect PDF Base (or CAD) to generate a plan that we then hand draw our soft landscaping elements. I disposed of Photoshop for Affinity, though I use either Sketchbook or Clipstudio Paint for this aspect of the work, and neither programme opens PDF directly.

An alternative might be to open with GIMP or similar (eg Irfanview's PDF plugin) just to get a flat image. Not ideal but I am not adverse to using multiple softwares if that is needed to get my work done.

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Hi sceyefeye...

good to heare i am not alone with this..   well   

Affinity should aknowledge, that there are about 130 000 Architects out there, alone in Germany..  so even for their own bennefit, thats a huge part of the market, they could get very easy only by changing just a very few Features..

1.:  ad shortcut for    additive interactive add layerselections to pixelselections which is at the Moment only possible for one layer at the time  (STRG left mouse button cklick on the layer Icon.)   just ad  " Strg + shift + left mousebutton, and workflow gets muuuuch ...

 

2. make PDF or eps Import better..  in photoshop you nearly cant see the antialiasing seams in the imported PDF... and it prints good enought. 

3.  embedded  Vektor Formats like pdf´s    ,  you cant select differing Areas from for example using the flood select tool...   thats uggly, because as an architect you wont Export each and every part of a cad plan that has differing Colors as a seperated PDF..  you must be able to select differing parts of the embedded PDF with differing Colors to get a pixelselection..

4 . make linked embedded files possible..   and yes i know.. it s on it s way... 

 

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I think this is the problem we face, we have been doing things a certain way using PS and ACAD, now the new kid on the block is forcing us to reconsider how we work.

The current behaviour has been quite useful to me when we have received PDFs from consultants without CAD files. Being able to access the vectors had allowed me to save to SVG and then use Inkscape to DXF (yes would love DXF export in Affinity of course) so I do not want this to go away.

I can only imagine we will have to be patient with the developers, there is a lot of stuff we'd love to have, yet the software is still quite young. Just hope the devs can grow the software fast enough for us impatient users :)

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for sure you are right...     my problem is , i do have to deal with such problems right now, because the decision to switch over to Affinity has been made before i was told to take a deeper look into the software and the workflows,

and now i have to deal with some hundrets of architects, who have to produce plans for competitions...    

aside of the architectural workflow, its a great software allready, and the architects to whome i teach the software so they can start to work, are impressed too.   but !  as they tell me...     this one and by far most important funktion, to easy import pdfs or eps without having to think about  antialiasing problems, and beeing able to fast  and perfect select differing parts (colors) ist nearly the one and only thing they have to do..       its by far more imprtant than stitching or impainting and so on..

so if the software is about 500 Euro cheaper per year, but your workflow gets slowed down by 5%, than you first get angry user... secound it costs you more than those 500 Euro for sure.. 

nevertheless..

 

i post such things just to make    affinity understand the importance of such workflow enhancements.   Its never only about one software its about the interconectness of workflows.. 

and if they listen, all will be fine..

 

 

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Hmm … it seems I didn’t understand your selection problem correctly. As far as I see, you want to create a pixel selection that comprises all vector parts of your embedded PDF that are in a specified range of grey values. Is that correct? :/

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Hi A_B_C..

thats right.. as an architect for Competitions, you have to improve the look of your plans heavily...  using also pixellayer, because they never will be beautiful enough, comming straight out of your CAD application..   so you use the embedded and (when possible) linked pdf files as a basis to improve it..   in many cases you can use layereffects to get the result right..  thats perfect if changes come, because you just have to relink your file (ore in photoshop it will tell you that your underlying file has changed...),   and all changes, the position on the plan, the color or shadows will bei updated automaticaly..   but often you still have to select parts of the pdf, if it has differing Colors, just to draw on top a further pixellayer...   bring in dust,   grass...  colors..  

so you still need embedded Layers   and furthermore also the possibility to select from the pdf and draw on top of it.  

in architectural Companys a standart workflow..

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It would be nice and healthy do this beautifying in AD using vector tools. Unfortunately CAD exported PDFs are usually not sensibly grouped or comprise of full useful shapes, but contain lots of element shards, fills may be vector lines or small triangles, weirdly grouped. Thus rasterizing and selecting by color is often easiest way even if it results inferior images. I hope I could stay all vectors (+ some AD bitmap embellishments added ;)

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Well i am allready happy, that the new affinity 1.6 comes with a new print dialog, that let´s you print your immage with a higher dpi count than the original file you work with...    so by printing you can get rid of the antialiasing lines in the print, even if they are in the viewport very much pronounced... 

and..  i am doing some research for other printoptions coming from the cad files.. a colleque tested a special printer producing eps files, and they where absolutely without any antialiasing seams..

if that works, only thing i still need is to be able to select seperated colors inside of the embedded eps file, to refine the image..    only workaround so far..  copy the embedded layer, rasterise it, pick colors for example using the flood select tool..      and as told...   Photoshop can do this easily

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