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Workarounds for Distortion, Warp, or Perspective distort?

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Someone had suggested an app in development called "Vectorstyler" that is in free public beta right now. I have tried it out and find it super promising. I've been testing things in it and the developer is very friendly and on top of things. It offers a lot of control over text warping and the like.  Right now it's mac only but they plan to eventually offer it to windows users as well after they get it out of beta. I can see myself utilizing both Affinity Designer and Vectorstyler in the future for each of their strengths. Having multiple vector app options is a good thing, not a bad one. 

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4 hours ago, Boldlinedesign said:

Someone had suggested an app in development called "Vectorstyler" that is in free public beta right now. I have tried it out and find it super promising. I've been testing things in it and the developer is very friendly and on top of things. It offers a lot of control over text warping and the like.  Right now it's mac only but they plan to eventually offer it to windows users as well after they get it out of beta. I can see myself utilizing both Affinity Designer and Vectorstyler in the future for each of their strengths. Having multiple vector app options is a good thing, not a bad one. 

WoW

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 (…) "Vectorstyler" that is in free public beta right now. 

EXcellent! Just what I needed! Just hope they don't go overboard in their final pricing, and I can ditch Adobe for good…

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Find new solutions out there, all right. But I think that "running away" to other products is a defeat for everyone, starting from Affinity that continues, despite our complaints, to do nothing.

For my part the result is not having bought Affinity Publisher and not having bought Affinity Photo even with the discount.

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I'm sure Affinity is prepping big updates in 1.8 - with these features and others we've been begging for. We know they've been improving the expand functionality for example... They have us all frustrated with the slow pace of necessary additions. I've been hanging on to CS6 and using that most of the time for the things I need that Affinity lacks, but I always worry Adobe will find some way to deny me my license rights if the computer crashes and I need to reinstall it. Knowing there are options like vectorstyler helps me feel better if the worst case scenario occurs.

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I for one do not believe that [Serif/The Affinity Team] is "doing nothing", only that they have either…

  • bigger fish to fry (ie following through with APub Printreadiness and the DTP revolution they are building towards)
  • are doing the necessary work, but it is slower or more complex than we can fathom (eg because of infinite zoom?)
  • have made a calculus as to how urgent these features are, compared to others (like debugging some existential features today)
  • have a higher standard than we understand, and prefer measuring twice, cutting once (eg infinite zoom again)
  • OR other issues we don't know about

…rather than just "not caring", as was the point with so many Adobe decisions, imho.

AD's infinite zoom (while extremely important and a gamechanger to pro users) might make a quick rough pseudotool a lot less feasible. (unless you don't care about precision, which the infinite zoom was all about)

I'd rather have a *good* feature later (well coded, well integrated, following the same logic as other features), than the plethora of "shoddy" features that bloat so much of the Adobe apps.

Also, let's not forget they are actually working on an "app-space" 3 times as big now, instead of the Adobe way of having teams "go off do their own thing", which produced gems, but also some of the most egregious UX/UI conflicts/differences ever seen (search for "Adobe gripes" to know what I mean)

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13 hours ago, Boldlinedesign said:

They have us all frustrated with the slow pace of necessary additions.

No they don't. Speak for yourself.

I for one am impressed by the pace that they're constantly improving their products and how far they've come in just a couple of years. I know that software development takes time. They are a small company and have launched three major applications (Photo, Designer and Publisher) and are working with three platforms at the same time (Mac, Windows and iPad) and still they manage to deliver.

Yes, there are still "obvious" features missing here and there and there. Yes, there is imperfections and some subpar implementations (expanding stroke for example). On the other hand some new features and ways to do things are pleasant improvements over the old (Adobe) ways. The unified file format is a game changer. And at least on Mac all three apps are very stable (hardly ever a crash) and I've used them all extensively last year and really appreciate working with them. 

Also, what duckrabbit said above.

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We didn't tell him to make 3 different software, to go on Mac and Windows and also on iPad. The desire to expand has to be faced with its own strengths. If they have 5 programmers, it's useless to jump on several fronts without completing important functions. First you complete a product and then move on to another product. Where is the sense in creating so many incomplete products? We are here to support them and we could buy all the products they make but there is a parameter called "SATISFACTION" and "CUSTOMER ATTENTION". If you' re asked to create a function, Affinity team have to stop eating and do everything  to create that function (the other one is basic). Instead they do not consider you at all and so the answer is that people like me will not continue to buy their products because they are afraid to buy other incomplete products...

 

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GT70 if all the software houses waited to complete a product in all its components before moving on to another we would only have Adobe Illustrator which was born in 1987. it seems obvious to me that to be competitive in the world of graphic design they have to develop the three main software  almost simultaneously ...

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At the cost of basic functions that are missing? No, my friend, that's not going far. I repeat, if you don't listen to the users, you're not going anywhere...
This post was opened on the 21st of February, 2018. In about 5 weeks it will be 2 years since the request for a tool for distortion, perspective and warp. Two years my friend are GEOLOGICAL ERE in the computer field. 2 years, not 1 month! Shameful.
The great thing is that no one from Affinty puts his face here to tell us what's what. As far as I'm concerned, if this is the treatment, I don't buy their products anymore.

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7 minutes ago, GT70 said:

At the cost of basic functions that are missing? No, my friend, that's not going far. I repeat, if you don't listen to the users, you're not going anywhere...

Publisher was awarded by Apple as Mac App of the Year last month, so yeah, I do think they are going somewhere… even if they didn't prioritized you're pet peeve missing feature in Designer.

But hey, we can come back to this thread say two years from today an revisit you're "Affinity is doomed" sentiment. Maybe you're right and it was the missing distortion warp that was the final nail in their coffin. Me, I think they will do just fine and most of their users will be very happy, as so many are already today. 

16 minutes ago, GT70 said:

As far as I'm concerned, if this is the treatment, I don't buy their products anymore.

Feel free to go back to Adobe and their prices and treatment of customers…

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1 hour ago, AdrianB said:

Publisher was awarded by Apple as Mac App of the Year last month, so yeah, I do think they are going somewhere… even if they didn't prioritized you're pet peeve missing feature in Designer.

But hey, we can come back to this thread say two years from today an revisit you're "Affinity is doomed" sentiment. Maybe you're right and it was the missing distortion warp that was the final nail in their coffin. Me, I think they will do just fine and most of their users will be very happy, as so many are already today. 

Feel free to go back to Adobe and their prices and treatment of customers…

It is certainly not a reward that can save a company from disappointment of its users. I don't think I'm asking for the Moon or are we all wrong? That Affinity is rewarded is fine, but I repeat, it must be interested in the requests of its users because if they exist it is thanks to those like us who have paid for their software. The day you add the features we need, we will all be very happy. At the moment we are not.

1 hour ago, AdrianB said:

Feel free to go back to Adobe and their prices and treatment of customers…

Don't worry, I'm currently locked into Adobe which allows me to do things that Designer doesn't do at the moment.
Then as you've already seen from other people's interventions here, new alternatives start to appear on the horizon and Affinity was once an alternative too...
You'll see how pulling too much rope doesn't get you anywhere.
Or maybe it just brings a prize...

 

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Some corrections:

Quote

We didn't tell him to make 3 different software, to go on Mac and Windows and also on iPad.

Actually they didn’make 3 softwares then “go on Mac & Win & iPad”.

They made one software (one codebase) in three apps, that was easily portable to mac, win & ipad.

All their features get implemented on three platforms in three apps nearly instantaneously.

Quote

If you' re asked to create a function, Affinity team have to stop eating and do everything  to create that function (the other one is basic).

Nope. That’s not how intelligent software development works.

Otherwise you become an Adobe 2.0

And keep implementing slapdash features costing more to maintain.

Quote

Instead they do not consider you at all and so the answer is that people like me will not continue to buy their products because they are afraid to buy other incomplete products...

Adobe, while pumping billions in advertising and PR, still can’t debug essential features like their corner tools and “paste inside”, (both differently implemented in all three main dtp apps) and InDesign still has the same lousy datamerge and GREP find/replace dialogue & engine as when they were implemented.

It costs them more to update their help files & forum discussions than it would cost them to finally fix the damn things, yet they keep putting out new features “cause people have been asking for them”, just to abandon them a year later. 
As PS, AI and ID *still* use (part of) the same main codebase as when they were first launched (ie when they belonged to other companies), and QuarkXPress nearly went bankrupt when it needed to do an overhaul of their main codebase, I reckon Serif is smart paying attention to how they can build the best version of their apps from the start.

All at a reasonable price. 

Hell, you can even afford to buy the Serif apps *while* still working in Adobe apps, and unless you’re teetering on the brink of bankruptcy, it would only cost you 50 bucks per app. 
I decided to buy them one by one over months and years, and haven’t felt it in my wallet. 
 

Now some year later, I’m getting comfortable in them, and just need some small (albeit important) features to get done. 
If I can get them for a reasonable price in a third party app, I can’t complain.


But if I (and others) push Serif to start putting out slapped together patches and shortcuts, and their apps degrade instead of growing, I’ll just shoot in my own foot in the long run.

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On 1/13/2020 at 7:30 AM, fde101 said:

less if you watch for one of the sales that come up now and then...

Picked up Designer fo $35 a year or so ago. Got Photo for the same price last month. I’ll get Pub at some point after an update or two

Regarding the topic. This functionality is sorely needed though I personally don’t miss it much.  I’m still pimping CS6 though so not in a hurry... yet.

At the risk of sounding like a fanboy I’ll defer to Serif as far as their gameplan. They’ve run a successful graphics software company for 20 or 30 years now which is 20 or 30 years more than I. 

It’s clear that their goal was to create a graphics suite rather than an “Illustrator killer.” That’s the only reason I’m interested in them. I can’t dump Adobe if I still need 2 or more of their programs. I suspect if they’d spent all their resources making Designer a killer it would still be no more popular than the many programs listed in this thread by critics. If the alternatives were up to snuff  I suspect the critics would happily be using them rather than posting on this forum. The Suite is how Adobe captured the market in the first place and is very effective at locking people in now. 

I actually think their approach to development is brilliant. The workflow between Designer and Photo is a game changer for me and extremely satisfying. The interaction between the apps is revolutionary and can only be understood with all three apps in play. Putting the apps on mobile allows them to compete in a wide open platform that Adobe doesn’t dominate. Look at Adobe announcing vaporware and releasing a half baked Affinity Photo “killer” for the iPad. Look at the reaction from their customers.

That’s worth the price of admission all by itself.

 

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I'm pretty sure the AD dev team is aware of that and also recognizes that other newcomer vector software (like Amadine, Vectorstyler, etc.) do offer this from ground up. So they are probably or maybe are already working on these things.


☛ Affinity Designer 1.8.3 ◆ Affinity Photo 1.8.3 ◆ OSX El Capitan

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3 hours ago, v_kyr said:

Amadine, Vectorstyler,

While each of those programs offers a few things that are currently missing in Designer, they are also a bit lacking on core functionality themselves.  As far as I can tell, neither one of them currently supports spot colors, for example, nor do they appear to offer the ability to export PDFs compliant with standards required by professional print houses, and those are both critical features for some users.

Vectorstyler does seem particularly impressive for a first version, but I've been playing around with the beta a bit and have already found and reported a number of bugs that didn't take long to find...  the person who I was in contact with was very responsive and they have already fixed most of them, but if I could find them as quickly as I did that tells me that a stable release is probably not just around the corner.

I don't think Amadine is anywhere close to being serious competition for Designer, and while Vectorstyler may be for some subset of the AD user base, we still don't know what pricing will be like or how long it will take to stabilize and polish it to be release-ready.  Even then there are other large subsets of the AD user base who would find about as much missing from Vectorstyler as others are complaining is missing from AD... just a different mix of things.

 

So no, I don't quite think this is enough motivation to give the Affinity team a serious push.

At the same time, I don't think they needed one anyway - they are most likely just waiting until they can implement these features the right way.  With their existing support for spot colors, raster manipulation capabilities, three applications using a common file format, and so on...  Serif has a much more solid foundation to build on, but that also likely complicates some of these features compared to those other programs.

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3 minutes ago, fde101 said:

While each of those programs offers a few things that are currently missing in Designer, they are also a bit lacking on core functionality themselves. ...

I didn't categorized those tools and also didn't said that those are possibly great full blown Ai, Inkscape, CD or AD replacements, or real big competition tools etc., instead I just said that there are new vector software apps which have (to some degree) support for vector based distortions (warping, perspective distortion). If I would have to categorize those, I would probably say they do fall into the category of Graphic, iDraw etc. here.

20 minutes ago, fde101 said:

So no, I don't quite think this is enough motivation to give the Affinity team a serious push.

Then I'm pretty sorry for the team and their common attitude for progressive software development, if they don't have the motivation to push their software.

28 minutes ago, fde101 said:

At the same time, I don't think they needed one anyway - they are most likely just waiting until they can implement these features the right way.

Honestly, I'm a little bit tired of hearing this lame statement all the time since 2015 for some by people here over and over desired functionality, which often sounds more like a sort of excuse than anything else to me.

34 minutes ago, fde101 said:

With their existing support for spot colors, raster manipulation capabilities, three applications using a common file format, and so on...  Serif has a much more solid foundation to build on, but that also likely complicates some of these features compared to those other programs. 

That's the way it is (the way of cookie crumbles) when you have ambitious goals, and they have chosen these design goals and functionalities themself (so to say the route they want to go). But hey they are not newcomers to this graphics software segment (since 1987) and should therefore have known what they were getting into then. In addition, they can also fall back on sufficient algorithms and experiences they made from their previous developments (about ~33 years).


☛ Affinity Designer 1.8.3 ◆ Affinity Photo 1.8.3 ◆ OSX El Capitan

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6 hours ago, v_kyr said:

Honestly, I'm a little bit tired of hearing this lame statement all the time since 2015 for some by people here over and over desired functionality, which often sounds more like a sort of excuse than anything else to me.

It *looks* like a lame excuse but it isn’t.

I for one was *seriously* hesitating for more than two years about switching to an Affinity-based workflow, not because of some feature it lacked from their Adobe counterparts, but because APub *still* wasn’t out yet, and AD and AP had serious « bleed » probs (which messes with the entire professional print process)

Then they released APub.

It was (from day ONE!) printready, while all the bleed probs were resolved, stable, fast, and intègratèd nicely with AD and AP.

Contrary to most people here, I was an early adopter of the first versions of InDesign. Their version 0.5, then 1.0, or 2.0, and made my first large school project in it. It was being touted as the QXP killer, because Adobe had PS and AI (nothing more!)

And already they were hideously expensive compared to AD & AP today.

Well, InDesign 2.0 was unstable, buggy, had still a *lot* of problems integrating PS and AI files. And its main redeeming factor was its UI that felt fresh and modern. But it was far from professional. I lost my work through a corrupted file, and had to redo 50 pages of custom lay-out in QXP. When I tried again later (the UI had me sold), I couldn’t get my files to print professionally. I survived, because I was only a student, so pressure was relative, and doing allnighters or bulshitting your teachers to explain for missed deadlines comes with that territory, I guess.

Yet InDesign blew QXP out of the water only two years later.

But some printshops and professionals held out for yet another 10 (TEN!) years, because trusting Adobe too soon (or just taking on a large “no-frills” project, which was QXP’s forte in those days) may have cost them an important client, a job, an expensive print run, or just plain old cash.

Serif’s experience in the graphic/dev biz is relative. Most coders they hired to pull this off either are too young to have known those days consciously, or if they aren’t that young, well, chances are they aren’t the best coders for the job (who can keep updating their code skills every year to switch to the latest fad?)

What they exude however, is pure old *wisdom*. They have  the serenity to accept the things they cannot change (ie they can’t please everyone from the start), courage to change the things they can (ie they can make sure their apps work as advertised), and wisdom to know the difference (eyes on the prize).

Yes, their communication could be better attuned, but at the moment, and after having them seen deliver with APub, I’m glad they let their apps do the talking.

AD will get better. AP will get better. APub will get better.

But the three of them together are *already* awesome. At *LESS* than the price of *one* app of their mainstream competition.

Just to put things in perspective: a Blast from the past in 2003

Quote

Adobe Photoshop CS will be available for an estimated street price of US$649. Registered users of any previous version of Adobe Photoshop can upgrade to Adobe Photoshop CS for an estimated street price of US$169. Photoshop CS is also available as part of the Adobe Creative Suite. Registered users of any previous version of Photoshop can upgrade to Adobe Creative Suite Premium Edition for an estimated street price of $749, or the Standard Edition for $549

Now let’s adjust that for inflation… hmmmm…

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I started the Graphic Designer business when the computer was not yet used, so I experienced the whole digital epic.

I have used the triad of Adobe products from their very first versions including PageMaker and QuarkXpress ... good versions and bad versions could be the plot of a book!
I also miss the warp distortions and much more, but not being a programmer I don't know if they are so simple to write.

What I know and appreciate is that the Affinity project has adopted a philosophy consistent with the work of the Graphic Designer.
1 - the files are readable and editable by any of their software, keeping the levels and their characteristics intact.
2 - in each of their software I have a direct manual drawing level without having to use another software. With a Wacom or an iPad I can explore modifications and shapes of my projects through sketches ... sorry for the presumption, but this is the basis of an analog-digital graphic project.
3 - have created a layout software that brings them all together into one tool (StudioLink). This point has been dreamed of and coveted by many professionals for over thirty years.

For Affinity to be complete it will take many years, and it will never be complete, but I can say that today it is probably the software suite most consistent with the graphic designer's operating spirit. Take a blank digital sheet, the pen of your iPad, Cintiq or graphics tablet, and start sketching your idea, without changing software, start transforming it into a vector or bitmap executive and then move on to the print file ... let's give time to time, but this is a great thing and Adobe still doesn't offer it after 33 years of software development.

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I agree with you but

57 minutes ago, duckrabbit said:

Well, InDesign 2.0 was unstable, buggy, had still a *lot* of problems integrating PS and AI files. And its main redeeming factor was its UI that felt fresh and modern. But it was far from professional

ID 1.0 was unusable, ID1.5 barely usable, but for me ID 2.0 was really good and professional and it had all the tools I needed. For me, modern version of ID is just refinement, 2.0 was complete design solution. (OK, if I had to use it now I guess I would be shocked..)

And ID was cheap (compared to QXP).

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5 hours ago, duckrabbit said:

It *looks* like a lame excuse but it isn’t.

I for one was *seriously* hesitating for more than two years about switching to an Affinity-based workflow, not because of some feature it lacked from their Adobe counterparts, but because APub *still* wasn’t out yet, and AD and AP had serious « bleed » probs (which messes with the entire professional print process)

Then they released APub.

It was (from day ONE!) printready, while all the bleed probs were resolved, stable, fast, and intègratèd nicely with AD and AP.

Contrary to most people here, I was an early adopter of the first versions of InDesign. Their version 0.5, then 1.0, or 2.0, and made my first large school project in it. It was being touted as the QXP killer, because Adobe had PS and AI (nothing more!) ...

All fine and good, but what has that Publishing context to do with the request/support for just a vector based distortion (envelope, warp and/or perspective) function? - Further, since you dived into the publishing tools theme here, BTW even their older PagePlus seemed to had some support for such things (though probably more bitmap based).

5 hours ago, duckrabbit said:

...And already they were hideously expensive compared to AD & AP today...

Well AFAIK their Serif DrawPlus software was cheap too, but already offered some functionality in this regard years before (from a DrawPlus X6 PDF doc) ...

env_distort.jpg.a13a2dca64103957edfaa27c53e0e729.jpg

 

... so that's no argument. - You do digress from the actual thread topic here, the main point here is, just adding some vector function for further object distortions, in AD nothing more.

 


☛ Affinity Designer 1.8.3 ◆ Affinity Photo 1.8.3 ◆ OSX El Capitan

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