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Good morning everybody,

I am finding another thing that seems to be missing from Designer which I use an awful lot in CorelDRAW and which is kind worrying to me unless maybe I'm missing something. In Corel I have a blend tool. I believe Illustrator has the same thing though I don't use Illustrator. It allows me to create two objects and blend them together. This is particularly useful for creating interesting drop shadows and so on. Is there really no way to do this in Designer? I'm attaching a screenshot to show you what I mean. Corel allows me to choose which aspects of each object interact with one another.

Hopefully there is some way of doing this or it will be added as it seems like a very important tool to me.

Thanks very much and let me know!

Phil

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Huh, yeah, a tool like this and i would buy Designer too. A "morphing tool" would be a really reason to have booth apps.

 

But this tool should also create an "export layer" with all between-steps inside, placed vertically below each other, each step in a "size-placeholder" container.

The biggest object determines the "container-size", all other "between steps must have the same container size, independingly from its real (object) size.

Lets say i morph serif-text in 24p to a non-serif text (other letters) in 12p and back to a phat text in eg 36p - in this case the 36p (plus a small frame) must be the size of the container in vertically and the longest text in horizontally and the size of this BIGGEST STRETCH is the placeholder-container for  EACH single-step!

And yeah, this tool should be able to morph more complicated stuff than rectangle to circle;-) 

It must not be 100% smooth/perfect, in the opposite, our eyes are sluggish, often 5-10 steps are enough, like the dock-animation or simple gif-stunts....

 

 

 

 


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Yes, this feature needed. Miss this most from Illustrator and CorelDraw. It is the heart of geometric repetition and evolvement. 

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2 hours ago, Abinash Mohanty said:

Yes, this feature should definitely come. 

In the same time, do we really need all kind of features that ever had been found, or, do you like to craft our own artistic feeling and content in our work?

Should it always be like push the button and everything is automatic created?

 

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@ErrkaPetti well this is not all features, but why it is good you wanna know! let's say you wanna make an object using an isometric grid, and wanna join 2 shapes to create its middle object. Right now, all you have to do is take a pen tool, and do click, click and click > union both the shapes. By using a blend mode can create this middle guy automatically. It's quite useful and a time saver. I hope others feel the same way.

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On 7/16/2019 at 5:06 PM, Abinash Mohanty said:

@ErrkaPetti well this is not all features, but why it is good you wanna know! let's say you wanna make an object using an isometric grid, and wanna join 2 shapes to create its middle object. Right now, all you have to do is take a pen tool, and do click, click and click > union both the shapes. By using a blend mode can create this middle guy automatically. It's quite useful and a time saver. I hope others feel the same way.

A blend tool, fx, is indeed a time saver that anyone that makes complex work or who charges customers (!) for their work appreciates.

High estimates - no customers.


"Men are like sheep, of which a flock is more easily driven than a single one."

"Experienced vector artists and infographic designers will find a noticeable lack of the more advanced tools found in Illustrator CC." (source)

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On 7/17/2019 at 12:27 AM, ErrkaPetti said:

In the same time, do we really need all kind of features that ever had been found, or, do you like to craft our own artistic feeling and content in our work?

Should it always be like push the button and everything is automatic created?

 

Blend shapes are a staple feature of all previous popular drawing engines. And they're amazing, and essentially something that only software can do well. It's not just some random feature. And, once you've used it, it's quite limiting to operate without this facility. It is multi-faceted and able to do all sorts of things that can't be done in other ways, or can't be done as well in other ways, or are uniquely a feature of blending shapes. There's many reasons folks might want it, and much that it can do.

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Yeah, to be able to blend shapes – at least with those options Adobe Illustrator has been offering for ages – seems like a must-have for Affinity Designer for me, too.

I really don't want or expect Affinity Designer to become a fullgrown Illustrator replica or clone, as it has a fresh and original approach which I really do like.  But on the other hand there are certain features or tools which are such useful and versatile timesavers for designers doing vector graphics that you just miss them dearly when they're not there and you really feel the program not offering them is lacking something vital. It makes it hard to love AD as much as I actually want to. Come on: even FreeHand had a tool like that and that's ages ago...

So please, please incorporate that feature in a (not all too distant) future release of AD. Or maybe in due time offer some kind of API to enable third party developers to come up with supplements/plugins for AD that maybe not everybody using AD needs or wants, but a sufficient number of users will be glad to add (and yes: for a moderate fee, if it's worth it).

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I suspect they have done their path creation in a way that makes it difficult to offer this feature, and compromised in how they do their path creation early on, for other benefits. Further, it doesn't seem like they have anyone on their staff that understands the appeal of design oriented tools, that their focus is on illustration tools, instead.

 

Perhaps the best example of this mindset is in the chamfering (Corner tool) being destructive. Imagine how useful a non-destructive chamfer would be...

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2 hours ago, deeds said:

Perhaps the best example of this mindset is in the chamfering (Corner tool) being destructive.

Where are you seeing this?

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3 hours ago, fde101 said:

Where are you seeing this?

On every shape I use the Corner Tool. There's a hidden step. It's converting to curves the moment the tool is used on a vertex, thereby destroying the original shape.

 

A chamfer tool shouldn't do this, ideally.

 

The dream: ability to add curvature and retain original geometry/shape qualities for subsequent editing.

 

 

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14 minutes ago, deeds said:

On every shape I use the Corner Tool. There's a hidden step. It's converting to curves the moment the tool is used on a vertex, thereby destroying the original shape.

Is this new behaviour? I’m pretty sure the Corner Tool used to be non-destructive, leaving it to the user to ‘bake corners’ if they had a good reason to dispense with the flexibility of parametric shapes.


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Affinity Designer/Photo/Publisher 1.7.3.481 • Windows 10 Home (4th gen Core i3 CPU)
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19 minutes ago, Alfred said:

Is this new behaviour? I’m pretty sure the Corner Tool used to be non-destructive, leaving it to the user to ‘bake corners’ if they had a good reason to dispense with the flexibility of parametric shapes.

No, I understand now what he is complaining about, and it has always been this way.

The corner tool doesn't work on "smart" shapes, only on paths.

If you try to apply it to a shape object, it does convert the shape to a path before you can use the tool.

I don't really consider this "destructive" - it is simply a helpful mechanism that turns the shape into something the tool can actually work with.

 

@deeds, note that if you are working with rectangles, you don't need to use the corner tool to get the same effect - you can set the corner type for each corner (either all of them at once or separate corners individually) using the context toolbar while using the node tool with the shape selected.  This keeps it as a shape, but it only works for rectangles.

I'm not sure how that tool would even begin to work with some of the other shapes as not all of them have sharp edges anyway.  For those that do, what are you trying to do with them that still keeps them as that shape?  For the kind of adjustments I can think of offhand where you would use that tool on one of them it wouldn't really be the original type of shape any longer (unless you can already make the adjustment using the properties of the shape, using the node tool), so I'm at a loss as to why you seem to think it is unreasonable that this would convert to curves?

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12 hours ago, fde101 said:

No, I understand now what he is complaining about, and it has always been this way.

The corner tool doesn't work on "smart" shapes, only on paths.

If you try to apply it to a shape object, it does convert the shape to a path before you can use the tool.

I don't really consider this "destructive" - it is simply a helpful mechanism that turns the shape into something the tool can actually work with.

 

@deeds, note that if you are working with rectangles, you don't need to use the corner tool to get the same effect - you can set the corner type for each corner (either all of them at once or separate corners individually) using the context toolbar while using the node tool with the shape selected.  This keeps it as a shape, but it only works for rectangles.

I'm not sure how that tool would even begin to work with some of the other shapes as not all of them have sharp edges anyway.  For those that do, what are you trying to do with them that still keeps them as that shape?  For the kind of adjustments I can think of offhand where you would use that tool on one of them it wouldn't really be the original type of shape any longer (unless you can already make the adjustment using the properties of the shape, using the node tool), so I'm at a loss as to why you seem to think it is unreasonable that this would convert to curves?

"complaining". Quaint.

 

Not everyone is limited to what Illustrator does in terms of design software experiences:

 

https://knowledge.autodesk.com/support/3ds-max/learn-explore/caas/CloudHelp/cloudhelp/2019/ENU/3DSMax-Modifiers/files/GUID-E64D7D23-D10B-4E53-AD9B-559599565833-htm.html

 

 

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13 hours ago, Alfred said:

Is this new behaviour? I’m pretty sure the Corner Tool used to be non-destructive, leaving it to the user to ‘bake corners’ if they had a good reason to dispense with the flexibility of parametric shapes.

Unfortunately it was never like this. I would have thought that a drawing application, or design program, especially when starting from a blank slate, would have learnt from the massive rise in parametric, procedural and stack based creativity software, and made it this way. But Affinity didn't. 

 

This is much sadder because the corner tool is actually pretty good, and their non-destructive booleans show they certainly understand why non-destructive editing is so creatively empowering.

 

 

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4 hours ago, deeds said:

Unfortunately it was never like this.

It has always been like this when working with path objects (curves), which are the bread-and-butter objects for many workflows in which the shape objects may well be ignored completely.

As it currently stands, the tool in Designer only applies to path objects, not to shapes.  When you try to use it on a shape it gets converted to a path so that it is compatible with the tool.

 

As I previously indicated, you can get the equivalent for rectangle shapes by using the node tool.  Supporting the use of the corner tool directly on the shapes is a perfectly reasonable feature request, but the fact that it is not there now does not make the tool "destructive" - simply not supported for the type of object you are trying to work with, and as a convenience, if you try to apply the tool to an object that it is not supported for, Designer is converting the object into a type that is.  That conversion may be thought of as "destructive" in the sense that you lose access to the other control points of the shape (while gaining the ability to adjust the individual nodes using the node tool instead), but the tool itself is not unless you ask it to be.

 

 

4 hours ago, deeds said:

would have learnt from the massive rise in parametric, procedural and stack based creativity software, and made it this way. But Affinity didn't. 

Considering all of the options they have already placed into the shapes, I am forced to disagree.  I think they offer quite a lot in this category (control points on shapes, adjustment layers, etc.) and have set themselves up well to add even more in future releases, but pushing too far in this direction would actually reduce the flexibility of the product.  Sometimes you just need a hammer instead of a screwdriver...

That said, what you are effectively asking for here is not impossible to do without losing the existing flexibility, either by adding additional control points to the shapes in the way that they are handled now using the node tool or by supporting the corner tool directly on shapes, but it's not there yet.

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Path blends have been a basic feature of Bezier drawing programs since the very early days. So I'm sure it will be added to Affinity. Blends are one of the primary ways to achieve accurately controlled shading in vector-based illustrations.

But once again; those only familiar with Illustrator need to understand that program is very often not the model to which to aspire. Illustrator's basic blend function has chronic problems which corresponding features in other programs don't; especially when it comes to blends on a spine path.

For one example, in Illustrator, the spacing of the interpolated objects is always affected by the curvature of the spine path. In other programs, the spacing is uniform along the length of the spine path, regardless of its  shape. Both are useful, but the latter is more commonly needed than the former. In Illustrator, to achieve what looks like uniform spacing requires the cumbersome workaround of adding a ridiculous number of nodes to the spine path. That, of course, negates much of the purpose of blends along a spine: the ability to adjust the shape of the spine while the blend is attached.

Both spacing methods should be provided and controlled by a an object-level setting (not application- or document-level preference). And a setting for progressive spacing should provide its own adjustment handles. That would be far more useful than just adjusting the spacing by moving the node curve handles of the spine.

Like many other things, though, a blend feature should be as thoroughly integrated with other features as possible. For example, to give credit where credit is due, Illustrator's blend feature works on stored Symbols used as key objects, not just single paths or groups of paths. That is both powerful and versatile. Moreover, it also works with the "higher construct" of instances of its 3D Effect. That is very powerful, enabling construction of things that would be very difficult to achieve otherwise.

In other words, a well-integrated blend feature should certainly be expected to blend between instances of higher constructs of the same type. For example, one would never logically expect a blend feature to blend between, say, a vector-based path and a raster image. That's functional nonsense. Likewise, one shouldn't expect it to "blend" a live Star object into a live Cylinder object, because those parametric objects have different setting attributes. But it should be expected to blend between multiple Star objects which have their shape adjustment parameters set differently.

And while I'm no "insider," it just makes legitimate sense to me that "well-done integration" may very well be part of the reason why a blend feature has not been added yet. There are many object-based features which are still very much works-in-progress, and I, for one am happy that everything existing is not yet "set in stone." My favorite example of something already existing that I very strongly hope will undergo dramatic change is Arrowheads. It seems to have been rushed out the door in response to very loud and impatient user demand. I hoped for —and still hold out hope for—something much more innovative and powerful.

JET

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3 hours ago, JET_Affinity said:

one shouldn't expect it to "blend" a live Star object into a live Cylinder object

Ultimately these shapes are still formed from bezier paths behind the scenes, so the tool could simply generate the intermediate shapes by substituting a "converted to curves" version of the endpoints for its calculations and using its arbitrary-path algorithm in cases like this.

 

3 hours ago, JET_Affinity said:

Arrowheads. It seems to have been rushed out the door in response to very loud and impatient user demand. I hoped for —and still hold out hope for—something much more innovative and powerful.

The team from Serif has already hinted that they developed this feature with future expansion in mind.  Evidently we will eventually be able to customize the arrowhead shapes, for example.

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17 hours ago, JET_Affinity said:

Both spacing methods should be provided and controlled by a an object-level setting (not application- or document-level preference). And a setting for progressive spacing should provide its own adjustment handles.

This is CorelDraw, since as long as I can remember. At least as far back as the early 1990's.

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