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17 hours ago, JET_Affinity said:

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.

I'm afraid these are all indicative of the exact opposite of your desires. 

The "rush" on arrowheads was over multiple years. Yet it feels tacky, wacky and hacky. And is just that. So are dashes. And these are the most simplistic of line endings and line features. To me, these are yet another indication that the product design constraints and compromises favoured illustration, not design. As a result, it's years between requests for primitive design features and their implementation, for things (like blends) that are integral to iterative, creative and exploratory digital design, but of almost no use to illustrators.

The features you're talking about in Adobe Blends, that are useful for iterative and explorative design, came about as a byproduct of the desire to provide complex gradient creation and editing - via blends - something blend shapes are only tangentially suitable for. It was Adobe's way of saving time by repurposing focus on heavy blends gradients rather than creating a good set of gradient tools. I remember when this was first brokered to the world of designers. Adobe already owned the design media, so got them to parrot their beliefs, despite how clunky it was/is.

 

So I completely agree, looking at Adobe blends for inspiration should only be done from the perspective of their integration... for blend mechanics of operation, other means and methods are far superior. And there are big issues to solve, like unwinding direction and origin, interpolation when vertex counts are different, rate of change curves, etc. But to do that kind of discernment requires a designers eye and experience, just as knowing integration well requires utilising it, and learning to lean on that integration for creative empowerment, deadline targeting, deliverables and differentiation. I don't think anyone at Affinity does this kind of product feature testing and consideration, let alone being capable of separation wheat from chaff.

When Adobe Illustrator is viewed through the prism of vector based illustrative endeavour, an improved version looks like Affinity Designer. 

When Adobe Illustrator is viewed through the tunnel of programmer art creation requirements and thinking, you get Sketch, from Bohemian Coding.

When viewing Adobe Illustrator through the prism of creative design requirements, it looks abhorrent. Because it is. Freehand, Xara and CorelDraw were better for general design, Fireworks was in a class of its own for UI design, and Flash was an innovative set of odd ideas that sort of worked.

We are now at an odd spot. 3D design programs have superior 2D design features than those apps pretending to appeal to 2D designers, yet those 3D design apps have the 2D features as a byproduct of providing ways to prep for 3D.

 

Affinity Designer has somewhat gotten the effects right, but the rendering is bad, particularly in things like gradients and glows, shadows and blendings between them. And the lack of ability to reorder and add extras is beginning to look as it is: antiquated. Then there's the two different ways of interacting with them, neither of which is good. A fair indication that the features were checkpoints rather than considered and internally desired.

 

Affinity Designer vector node editing remains its strongest point (please excuse the pun), as a byproduct of the fascination with illustration, not as an end and goal in and of itself. This is borne out by the fact that the points aren't anything like capable of the elastic adjustment possible in CorelDraw or soft selection in 3D apps both of which date back to the early days of digital creation wherein vertices are considered parts of meshes that make up shapes.

I'm using less than 10% of Affinity Designer because I don't have a Wacom device, is how I view this. For anything complex in design, I turn to a PC and Corel and 3ds Max.

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On ‎10‎/‎26‎/‎2019 at 3:08 AM, deeds said:

To me, these are yet another indication that the product design constraints and compromises favoured illustration, not design.

Sorry, but I don't follow your seeming elevation of design over illustration. Realistic or technical commercial Illustration is a far more exacting discipline, requiring precise detail editing at the level of precisely shaped freeform paths; not just upper level constructs with automatic parameters.

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The features you're talking about in Adobe Blends, that are useful for iterative and explorative design, came about as a byproduct of the desire to provide complex gradient creation and editing - via blends - something blend shapes are only tangentially suitable for. It was Adobe's way of saving time by repurposing focus on heavy blends gradients rather than creating a good set of gradient tools.

Gradients are entirely different constructs from object blends. Gradients are "canned" algorithmic rendering commands. In terms of commercial print reproduction, they are specific PostScript objects understood by the printing engine. They actually vary according to the resolution of the imaging device.

Path blends are means by which to automate creation of a series of separate objects expressly defined by the illustrator or designer. You can't do the kinds of blends needed for realistic illustration with  a canned grad command. You can do it with gradient meshes, but that is usually far more tedious and less predictable.

In serious illustration work, one often creates blends between gradient fills in order to render such things as shading and reflection.

Path blends interpolate node-to-corresponding-node in the order of path direction. This gives illustrators the necessary control over shaping the shading results for everything from convincing metallic reflections and transparent plastic to human flesh.

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When Adobe Illustrator is viewed through the tunnel of programmer art creation requirements and thinking, you get Sketch, from Bohemian Coding.

Well, when I think of vector-based "programmer art", I think in terms of ECMI-based FlashScript, another important product line which was basically wrecked under Adobe's handling, setting a whole powerful creative medium back by decades. On the other hand, I have yet to see a better or more thoroughly-documented application-specific user scripting implementation in a suite of 2D vector-based illustration and design programs than what Adobe branded as ExtendScript. That's another whole world of potential for using graphics software as something more than a mere interface, the advancement of which has been hamstrung by Adobe's abusive marketing.

But all that's getting far off-topic from an at least next-step-more-innovative blend feature.

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When viewing Adobe Illustrator through the prism of creative design requirements, it looks abhorrent. Because it is. Freehand, Xara and CorelDraw were better for general design, Fireworks was in a class of its own for UI design, and Flash was an innovative set of odd ideas that sort of worked.

Again, I don't get your "design over illustration" fixation. The "big four" historic competitors since the early days of the PostScript "desktop publishing revolution" were FreeHand, Illustrator, Canvas, and Draw; all intended as the vector graphics (illustration first; design second) leg of the raster/vector/assembly three-legged publishing platform. In that model, the assembly program (be it print or web-centric) has always been regarded by conventional-wisdom as the "design" environment. In fact, it still remains a frequent battle to make many freelance document designers understand that most of the projects they handle in a given year are better suited for completion in the drawing program than in the repetitive-layout-focused feature set of the page-assembly program.

In a nutshell, the differences between the still more fleshed-out 2D Bezier drawing programs boils down to the user interface, of which I consider Illustrator's worst-of-class.

Fireworks drawing model was sort of "spun off" from that of Flash (which came from Macromedia's acquisition of upstart SmartSketch) in order to serve as (primarily) a web-centric design tool. But the illustration power of Flash is not its drawing interface. It is programmed interactive animation of not just buttons and such for web effects, but of programmed illustrations themselves; things like interactive simulators of mechanical systems. For example, I replicated the actual programming logic of a bus's multiplex diagnostic system as an interactive training solution for mechanics. A technical illustrator could branch into that kind of stuff with commercial-quality results using Flash far more easily than via raw JavaScript and SVG, because it is a full-blown development environment complete with its own graphics layer and scripting model (FlashScript).

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Affinity Designer has somewhat gotten the effects right, but the rendering is bad, particularly in things like gradients and glows, shadows and blendings between them.

Again, to a serious illustrator, path blends are not merely for canned effects. They are a means for efficiently creating very deliberate node-by-node control over shading to render realistic surfaces, objects, shadows, reflections, etc. Blends are essential to realistic 2D Bezier-based illustration.

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Affinity Designer vector node editing remains its strongest point…

I have to disagree there, too. It's "getting there," but there remains work to be done in that regard. FreeHand was not perfect, but its Bezier handling interface has yet to be matched in terms of powerful elegance.

While you say you consider Xara "better [than Illustrator] for general design", its Bezier path handling is sub-standard, basically limited to the "click-click-bend" method, which, while useful for certain reasons, is inefficient and tedious otherwise. So yeah, Affinity's Bezier editing is already vastly better than that; but that's not really saying much.

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I'm using less than 10% of Affinity Designer because I don't have a Wacom device, is how I view this.

I have little to no use for a stylus as a pointing device. I don't even have one connected to my primary workstation. And I have no interest at all for "finger painting" on a tablet. Perhaps that's where we miscommunicate. Maybe when you say "illustration" you're just thinking of the cartoony styles of illustration in which people try to mimic so-called "natural media" by swiping freehand with a stylus, trying to mimic painting in a vector-based drawing program. To my mind, that is actually antithetical to the intent and purpose of vector-based illustration.

JET

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@deedsNails it.

In an effort to refresh both design and software skills (dormant since art school over a decade ago), I purchased the suite. I've been fiddling, running through tutorials on Skillshare, seeing what still works in my artistic brain. Sadly, AD is technologically incapable of allowing users to complete a frustrating majority of elementary design projects. I think this is generally where @deedsfinds the pillar of his argument that AD is much more for illustration than design. There's too much that it cannot do that anyone who expects to work seriously will need it to do.

AD is a 20th century solution to 21st century design problems. Until it grows up, the only aspect of all-things Adobe where an argument can be made for it is through the pricing model, which seems wonderful, until tripping over the inability to execute a specific, relatively fundamental design technique leads to the asphyxiation and stymieing of the creative mind.

The "roadmap" that a prospective buyer might peruse before deciding to make a purchase is a well-manicured cul-de-sac.

 

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On 10/29/2019 at 12:06 AM, JET_Affinity said:

 

On 10/26/2019 at 5:38 PM, deeds said:

To me, these are yet another indication that the product design constraints and compromises favoured illustration, not design.

Sorry, but I don't follow your seeming elevation of design over illustration.

 

You got this right. Then built.a straw man, anyway.

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On 10/29/2019 at 6:13 AM, jstnhllmn said:

@deedsNails it.

In an effort to refresh both design and software skills (dormant since art school over a decade ago), I purchased the suite. I've been fiddling, running through tutorials on Skillshare, seeing what still works in my artistic brain. Sadly, AD is technologically incapable of allowing users to complete a frustrating majority of elementary design projects. I think this is generally where @deedsfinds the pillar of his argument that AD is much more for illustration than design. There's too much that it cannot do that anyone who expects to work seriously will need it to do.

AD is a 20th century solution to 21st century design problems. Until it grows up, the only aspect of all-things Adobe where an argument can be made for it is through the pricing model, which seems wonderful, until tripping over the inability to execute a specific, relatively fundamental design technique leads to the asphyxiation and stymieing of the creative mind.

The "roadmap" that a prospective buyer might peruse before deciding to make a purchase is a well-manicured cul-de-sac.

I always said this - Affinity Designer is an advanced paint tool and will probably never evolve into much more.

Just monitor Affinity Spotlight articles... and uninspiring, light updates like 1.7 and 1.8.

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I'd just like to add another vote for this feature. It's important to our work and we are in the process of switching from Adobe to Affinity. The lack of this feature is a bit of a stumbling block. In the process of trying to find a workaround, I came up with an idea for another tool as well. In Photos, the grow/shrink option under the Selection menu allows one to expand or contract the selection marquee by a specified number of pixels. It would be great to have a similar option in Designer that grows/shrinks a closed path or shape by a specified distance. It should be easy to implement since they've already coded this for selection marquees.

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2 hours ago, David in MA said:

It would be great to have a similar option in Designer that grows/shrinks a closed path or shape by a specified distance.

Hello @David in MA,

wouldn't it work to type into the transform panel's field 'W: 200px-2' and set aspect ratio to locked? To me this seems to be pretty much the same.

d.


Affinity Designer 1.8.2.620 (beta 1.8.3.641)   |   Affinity Photo 1.8.2.620 (beta 1.8.3.641)   |   Affinity Publisher 1.8.2.620 (beta 1.8.3.641)
Affinity Designer for iPad 1.8.2   |   Affinity Photo for iPad 1.8.2

Windows 10 (1809) 64-bit - Core i7 - 16GB - Intel HD Graphics 4600 & NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M
iPad pro 9.7" + Apple Pencil

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1 hour ago, dominik said:

Hello @David in MA,

wouldn't it work to type into the transform panel's field 'W: 200px-2' and set aspect ratio to locked? To me this seems to be pretty much the same.

d.

Not exactly. That would work for a square or circle, but for irregularly shaped paths/objects it would scale the whole shape toward the center, even if locally at a point on the curve the interior is away from the center. For example, the outline of a thick letter 'C'. Your method would reduce the size of the whole shape proportionately. What I'm thinking is if you shrink the outline so the C becomes skinnier, ie, the outline of the C moves toward the interior, not toward the center of the whole object.

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1 hour ago, David in MA said:

Not exactly. That would work for a square or circle, but for irregularly shaped paths/objects it would scale the whole shape toward the center, even if locally at a point on the curve the interior is away from the center. For example, the outline of a thick letter 'C'. Your method would reduce the size of the whole shape proportionately. What I'm thinking is if you shrink the outline so the C becomes skinnier, ie, the outline of the C moves toward the interior, not toward the center of the whole object.

I did a little test with multiple strokes on a letter C (converted to curves). Visually a wider outline is close to an offset path. I compared it to a copy of the letter that I shrank by the same amount of pixels as the stroke width. And, yes, the result is not the same, only somewhere in that area.

Too bad that my idea doesn't work 🙁

d.


Affinity Designer 1.8.2.620 (beta 1.8.3.641)   |   Affinity Photo 1.8.2.620 (beta 1.8.3.641)   |   Affinity Publisher 1.8.2.620 (beta 1.8.3.641)
Affinity Designer for iPad 1.8.2   |   Affinity Photo for iPad 1.8.2

Windows 10 (1809) 64-bit - Core i7 - 16GB - Intel HD Graphics 4600 & NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M
iPad pro 9.7" + Apple Pencil

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this drive me nuts.  NO blend tool to morph objects from one to another!   I had heard that it could be done in affinity photo.  Downloaded a trial to see.  While there IS object manipulation (thank ffing god!), there is NO MORPHING features that I could find.  What the hell?  This is something that is not a new idea (go back 15+ years ago and look at FREEHAND MX)  Now both designer and photo have been recently updated with Jack S in them!  Guys!! You want to compete with Adobe?? Get with the program!  This feature should have been a priority ages ago.

ScreenHunter 93.png

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Maybe if you yell more stridently they'll put it into their programs for you more quickly! 


I like turtles!

Windows 10

Pentax K3 and K3-ii

Sony RX10 Mkiii

Canon G5x

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5 hours ago, Phil_rose said:

Maybe if you yell more stridently they'll put it into their programs for you more quickly! 

ya think?  OK  :)

Just venting about the lack of this feature I guess.  It's been recommended by many.

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3 hours ago, Oval said:

No.

True.  But (not being a fan of the murderer of MacroMedia Freehand) I would like Affinity to step the game up.

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