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Workarounds for Distortion, Warp, or Perspective distort?

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This:

On ‎1‎/‎10‎/‎2020 at 9:55 AM, Boldlinedesign said:

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. 

Not this:

On ‎1‎/‎11‎/‎2020 at 3:12 PM, GT70 said:

I think that "running away" to other products is a defeat for everyone

It's not 'running away' to use multiple programs of the same genre.

It's smart to be familiar with multiple programs. That's how you avoid becoming a Captive Creative to one particular vendor.

Ever since the beginning of the 'desktop revolution' of the mid 80s, I've considered it a matter of simple professionalism (and professional self-preservation) to maintain at least working familiarity with as many of the mainstream softwares applicable to my work as I practically can. How can one claim to 'compare', let alone 'prefer' one software over another, if only really having experience with one?

Before software, my primary graphics tools were airbrushes. I had (actually, still have) Pasches and Iwatas and a handful of other brands. I certainly had my favorites. The Pasche AB was my fine detail go-to; the Iwatas were my workhorses; the Badgers and other brands of various sizes for knock-it-out automotive, signage, etc.

In the early wars between users of the 'big four' vector drawing programs, people got all emotional over this stuff largely because they were deathly afraid of a little learning curve in a different software. So it was defend Illustrator or FreeHand or Canvas or Draw as if you were fighting for Mother Russia or something.

It persists to this day in (frankly mundane) 2D graphics. But in 3D modeling, video, CAD, etc., people routinely use a variety of programs, and consider it advantageous.

JET

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On ‎1‎/‎11‎/‎2020 at 11:44 PM, Boldlinedesign said:

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.

I'm not frustrated with the pace. I'm frustrated with some of Affinity's truly fundamental directions; things like the dependency upon lame bounding box handles for routine transformations, and the 'a page is a layer is a clipping path' thing.

Like you, I still use CS6. But not because of what Affinity lacks; simply because I paid for it as a perpetual license. That's what perpetual licenses are all about; not being held captive to every machination of the vendor. The moment Adobe announced its Captive Creative licensing crap, I did two things:

  • Stopped buying Adobe software.
  • Started deliberately letting my use of Adobe apps gradually wither on the vine.

I can get my work done in any of several non-Adobe programs.

7 hours ago, jgarza said:

YEARS and no standard tools in AD. I had to switch to [Xara Designer] for a full set of features.

A full set of features? You mean the program that still (as of the last version I bought, just prior to its "365" licensing) doesn't even have a decent Pen tool? Xara's click-click-bend path drawing method is its only method. Other programs can do that, too. In FreeHand, it was called "bendomatic". It's nice for some things. But most of the time, it's inefficient, cumbersome, and sub-par. In a Bezier-based vector drawing program, there's nothing more fundamental than a good pen tool.

JET

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9 minutes ago, JET_Affinity said:

...You mean the program that still (as of the last version I bought, just prior to its "365" licensing) doesn't even have a decent Pen tool? Xara's click-click-bend path drawing method is its only method. ...

Xara applications (at least XDP and XP&GD) have a pen tool.

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14 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!)

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

Now let’s adjust that for inflation… hmmmm…

The problem with people endlessly comparing Serif's products with those from Adobe, or Quark Express is that it suggests that they are actually comparable with the exception being that some companies are greedy, and others are not.  It's extremely misleading.  Serif has never in it's history made a product that compares to Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, or Indesign.  Or Quark Express.  5 years after Affinity Designer, there's still no reason to think that this has changed.  And really, there's really nothing wrong with that.  Serif makes a low cost product for people who don't actually need what the expensive stuff offers.  This is generally the case no matter what kind of product you're buying.  The more money you spend, the more "stuff" you get. But with software, for some reason it's easy for people to suspend this reality and begin to believe that software companies aren't playing by the same rules as everyone else.  But they are.

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Serif makes a low cost product for people who don't actually need what the expensive stuff offers.

image.png.92420a3fee81ca145b42f24595dc9020.png

"Low cost" AND "pro-end" ?

So with Designer Serif are targeting pro-end customers who don't actually need pro-end features? They go by another name... 


I gave up using Designer for hobby use - a "professional" vector drawing program without actual vector features. Customers waiting for five years in vain is more than any company can ask for. Maybe if Affinity Designer 2.0 gets real and advanced vector features I can use it. Until then... I am a customer, a potential upgrader and an active observer with an opinion. Currently I am slowly finishing a project I started in Designer.

Further... give up and please hire an UX (usability designer), Serif. It is how professional software is made in this century.

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My work around is to either stick with Corel Draw, or go to Xara.

Mesh, is simply not going to happen in Affinity Design.  Serif does not care for it and will not devote any time for it.  If Serif wanted it to happen, this tool would have been included, years ago.  Its clear it will not happen, and Serif has chosen to limit itself to photo and publishing tools.  Its old Designer application just never had the energy to compete with other applications, and Affinity Designer never will either.

Mesh and distort tools have been on their roadmap - FOR 5.5 YEARS!.  The first post by Serif about the Affinity Design roadmap, listed "Mesh fill tool" as the FIRST design and illustration tool, immediately followed by "Mesh warp/distort tool."  ON AUGUST 21st, 2014!  It was roadmapped during the original beta.

roadmap so old, use the wayback machine to see it

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7 hours ago, wjgo said:

If Serif wanted it to happen, this tool would have been included, years ago.

If Serif wanted Publisher to happen it would have been released years ago.

Oh, wait...

 

You are talking about a relatively small company with a small development team whose products are used by many people who are constantly requesting all kinds of features and there simply isn't time to do all of them at once, so they need to prioritize.  Just because it hasn't happened yet doesn't mean it never will.  Your priorities are just that - yours - they may not match those of other users, or of the developers.

 

A polygon tool was added to CorelDRAW after it had been around for over 6 years.

Adobe Illustrator was around for 6 years before it supported layers.  About 2.5 years later they started supporting gradients, then after another four years they added support for transparency (more than 12 years after the product was first released in order to get transparency support!).

It took Adobe over 7 years to support table styles in InDesign after it was first released (Affinity Publisher had these basically from day one).

QuarkXPress was around for 9+ years before they started supporting bézier curves.

 

Compared to what the now "major players" offered when they first came out, the Affinity apps are off to a running start.

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9 minutes ago, fde101 said:

A polygon tool was added to CorelDRAW after it had been around for over 6 years.

Adobe Illustrator was around for 6 years before it supported layers.  About 2.5 years later they started supporting gradients, then after another four years they added support for transparency (more than 12 years after the product was first released in order to get transparency support!).

It took Adobe over 7 years to support table styles in InDesign after it was first released (Affinity Publisher had these basically from day one).

QuarkXPress was around for 9+ years before they started supporting bézier curves.

Adobe Illustrator started 1987 - 33 years ago
QuarkXPress started 1987 - 33 years ago
CorelDraw started 1989 - 31 years ago

So another bad example and therefore an Apple & Oranges comparisons, since there were pretty much other times those days 33 years ago, so limited hardware/software (CPU, GPU, HDDs etc.), much worser development tools, available frameworks and APIs for coding etc. In other words, other times other hardware/software capabilities. - Development tools speed and overall capabilities, techniques changed a lot over 33 years hear too.

Today none of them (Ai, CD, QXP) would miss those from start up, nowadays they couldn't afford not to have these things, as these are today pretty usual/common standards and most of that is even supported by every OS graphic APIs nowadays. - The only thing I accept here is, that the development team is probably small, but that was what the others were at those former times too.

 


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

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3 minutes ago, v_kyr said:

development tools, available frameworks and APIs for coding

While this may be applicable to some of the features I listed, consider that those features required a lot of work on the part of the application programmers way back then.

The features being requested on this thread relate to manipulation of core features of the application's document model, which Serif is unlikely to be getting from an API or framework.  Much like those other features I listed (which were likely "revolutionary" at the times they were introduced) would have been at the time, the requests in this thread are things that require effort on the part of the team developing the application and thus I don't think it is really a bad example (though I will admit I overplayed it a bit).

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18 minutes ago, fde101 said:

The features being requested on this thread relate to manipulation of core features of the application's document model...

Doc model, how that? - All here is requested is based on some specific algorithmic for Shape/Node distortions, aka ...

drawplus_distort.thumb.jpg.2ed308ae71aac5d9f0ab97ac77c7af64.jpg

... that's all. They had such vector based node support before in their former software, as can be seen above. - Further it's similar like applying such node manipulations here, just other algorithmic coordinate transformations for the nodes then.

 


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

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So in conclusion. I can safely continue my Adobe Creative Cloud subscription for the next decades and then check the status of Affinity by then. Maybe JPG output is optimized by then. Finally.

I am so happy my employer makes this possible... I have REAL pro-end software. I feel sorry for others waiting.

Maybe Serif could dial down the terms used in marketing materials until then.

The blazingly fast Publisher fx ... ain’t.

And @v_kyr is right. You can’t compare those scenarios.

 


I gave up using Designer for hobby use - a "professional" vector drawing program without actual vector features. Customers waiting for five years in vain is more than any company can ask for. Maybe if Affinity Designer 2.0 gets real and advanced vector features I can use it. Until then... I am a customer, a potential upgrader and an active observer with an opinion. Currently I am slowly finishing a project I started in Designer.

Further... give up and please hire an UX (usability designer), Serif. It is how professional software is made in this century.

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21 hours ago, MikeW said:

Xara applications (at least XDP and XP&GD) have a pen tool.

Yes, I know it has one. Go back and read what I said. It's very lame compared to the status quo, lacking the near universal interface of mousing down and dragging to extract handles from nodes as you place them, and using momentary keyboard options to fluidly control node type and handle behaviors as you go, which is far more efficient and productive than the tedious process of click, click, clicking to place nodes and then going back to bend, bend, bend segments.

James

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1 hour ago, JET_Affinity said:

Yes, I know it has one. Go back and read what I said. It's very lame compared to the status quo, lacking the near universal interface of mousing down and dragging to extract handles from nodes as you place them, and using momentary keyboard options to fluidly control node type and handle behaviors as you go, which is far more efficient and productive than the tedious process of click, click, clicking to place nodes and then going back to bend, bend, bend segments.

James

James,

You are referring to what Xara calls the Shape tool...It's the tool above the one I highlighted in the screen shot. 

Capture_000395.png.44cabc3920d60cff0b8c478beb8188f9.png

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On 1/15/2020 at 1:32 PM, v_kyr said:

So another bad example and therefore an Apple & Oranges comparisons, since there were pretty much other times those days 33 years ago, so limited hardware/software (CPU, GPU, HDDs etc.), much worser development tools, available frameworks and APIs for coding etc. In other words, other times other hardware/software capabilities. - Development tools speed and overall capabilities, techniques changed a lot over 33 years hear too.

If you (I believe you are my age, or older, but I don't know why I suppose this... maybe as you have deep knowledge in many areas) remember how these apps were... the features were extremely poor comparing what is produced today. Those were bulky, inefficient, over simplistic compared to anything of today. So, till some degree, it balances with the poorer hardware, today's libraries and etc. A lot was super basic. Today's complexity (even counting on the tech advantages) is enormous in comparison. Many more cards in the cards castle (making the development proccess a tad more complex).  For example, the field I know more, games... A game of the times could be built by three guys and enough pizza. I had a huge friend being one of those 3 in one those teams making internationally famous games. So, is apples to oranges, but in both directions.

I ... have some problem in thinking of Adobe as a similar or smaller company in staff numbers. As money wise, it has been huge since quite early years. Sure, in the very first moments in the 70s, when John Warnock and Chuck Geschke somewhat initiated it, surely the funding and revenue was small (have no solid data about it), but we should realize that many of the features so much requested around here were implemented WAY after these initial years.

Now, I don't know for certain what the Serif numbers are (and I hope I don't piss off anyone at the company or outside it, I never wish so for anyone in the planet), but with the bare raw data I can access... It seems to me here's were it's really apples (still nobody has made the joke) to oranges. I'm almost sure external sources are never accurate ... but looking at those... "MAYBE" Serif anual revenue is now around 13 million $. Which is EXTREMELY, CRAZILY low, while indeed competing  (yep, it is, even if the staff says it isn't and the hardest critics come from the comparison... and not because part of the marketing implied so, but as people has placed Affinity as a competitor) with the giant. The staff, and this is obviously not just the developers, but also marketing people, logistic, accountants, maybe even legal department, etc, etc : 190 souls, only, according to one of the sources. Maybe it's 50 developers in there ?? I might be even being too optimistic. Adobe is not 190. Is well past 21.000. From other source, it says 101 -250. In comparison, really low numbers.  In yet another source (sorry if not linking: pure lazyness after lunch, u can google and all that),  the annual revenue is estimated a bit higher, yet only 17 million $.  And 155 estimated employees. As you see, more or less the numbers stay in certain range. Which is pretty low for all what they have achieved. I very safely can confirm the mega epic paladin rank, here. 

Now, let's go to numbers about the giant. And not to diminish all what Adobe has achieved! . Again, am lazy/tired at the moment, not going into my more usual depths about both companies, so, only grabbed a few stats, but imo, are relevant enough for at least give a tiny chance to my main point (I'd be glad if only considered during one minute of impartial and honest thought) :

When many of the features that are today claimed as done by Adobe with same or less staff, that is, from late 80s.... :

-  In 1989 the company counts with $121 million annual revenue. Yes, this is not per app, but the numbers above are also global. Also, please consider a KEY matter. Most of you have worked at IT, design, or similar companies. You know how revenue and funds can be focused in the area of most interest/need for the company. IE, if at some point, Photoshop was the one needing more attention, they could put most of the money there, or in the initial times, with postscript, and so on... So... already , and , very importantly, considering here inflation as a huge factor (more to my point, but don't quote me on that as am terrible at economy and numbers, in general) you get that really, we cannot compare the power of Goliath versus our epic David. 121 million is already quite different to 17 in the best estimation about Serif's annual revenue. Let alone that by that time, a lot of what is being requested, was not on the table, and the apps had terrible lacks in every possible sense.

1993 ...  $313 million in revenue.
1997:  $917 million in annual revenue.
1999 Acrobat 4.0  alone was making $129 million in annual revenue.
2009: Adobe acquires the analytics company,  Omniture. This makes the company get into big data and open the company to marketers as customers, and... well consolidate the giant into a demigod. For the future, for income, for everything.
2017 Total revenue was $7.3 billion.

Currently... it seems annual revenue is $11 billion, counting on 21.000  employees.

In some occasion I have heard from some of the staff members around here, that the staff of actual developers is around 50 people. Of course, that was long ago, and Serif have made great progress, so, dunno the situation now, but in a total 150 -190 staff, I wouldn't be surprised if is 50 or a bit more. 

Yeah, it's apple to oranges. But IMO, in the other sense.

I... don't pretend to generate any war here. Just stating things as I see them, sincerely. If u knew me, would know for certain that I prefer to agree than disagree in a debate,  believe it or not. I just don't see the other take, here.

I know the anxiety of desiring your critical feature developed or being improved and bug-free. But, every single time I get that frustration, I remember what are we dealing with here. Is David vs Goliath all the way.

That despite this difference, there's still a large chunk of users  purchasing permanent Affinity licenses versus staying (or going for a first time) to the CC cloud, and surely this tendency with an increasing growth (I sense more awareness about the tools in several media and colleagues of the job) is more than relevant to me.

 

On 1/15/2020 at 1:32 PM, v_kyr said:

Adobe Illustrator started 1987 - 33 years ago
QuarkXPress started 1987 - 33 years ago
CorelDraw started 1989 - 31 years ago

 

No doubt on that, they had poorer technology and less implementations to base on, at hand (also less high end standards to match)... but also to be considered they had quite some years to develop same features, the number of years for Affinity, much shorter.

 

On 1/15/2020 at 1:32 PM, v_kyr said:

Today none of them (Ai, CD, QXP) would miss those from start up, nowadays they couldn't afford not to have these things, as these are today pretty usual/common standards and most of that is even supported by every OS graphic APIs nowadays.

In a way, Affinity is not allowed (by public opinion, pros and the market) to not have those, today. I think this is an advantage for the pioneers. When there is nothing and you are generating the features a) You are not being compared to anything previous, you hit first and so hit twice, getting the narrative and prestige, and you neither have the shadow of competitors (they were pioneers in many things) b) you can afford to focus in what you believe is best, not so many industry standards you must fully match instead of driving  the company to what is convenient or affordable. And also, is not like the API provided features make it that easy. Yes it is a huge advantage, but you still have a hell of work of building from there, besides they have chosen hard (but quite convenient for us) routes as making universal formats (not so much the case in Adobe), adopting technologies that are innovative but hinder performance a bit, like the graphic engine, as are thought for the future, and from start supporting iOS, Windows and Mac (ie, look at Photoshop for iOS now, despite being the giant it is!). Yes, today there's a ton of advantages, but doing that with a small team is no short of epic, even today.

That's my 2c. Sorry to disagree.


AD, AP and APub.  Ryzen 9 3900X, 32 GB RAM, GTX 1650 4GB, 500GB m.2 SSD, 1TB HDD 7200rpm. Wacom Intuos 4 XL.

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3 hours ago, SrPx said:

... the features were extremely poor comparing what is produced today. Those were bulky, inefficient, over simplistic compared to anything of today. So, till some degree, it balances with the poorer hardware, today's libraries and etc. A lot was super basic. Today's complexity (even counting on the tech advantages) is enormous in comparison. Many more cards in the cards castle (making the development proccess a tad more complex) ...

That's what I implied, other times, other hardware/software capabilities and their restrictions, other software development techniques etc. Nowadays we can do all those things faster on a smartphone than years ago. Some actual smartphones have more processor and GPU power than some desktop hardware still laying around here. Nowadays common people can quite easily build the one or other software or certain tools (be it for desktop computers, smarthphones etc.), there is a huge pool of working things they can just reuse, enhance or modify in order to overcome with the possible envolved complexity. Add to that the evolution of what operating systems and third parties do offer today and give you into your hands for reusage (APIs, frameworks, libs ... and so on), all the stuff that wasn't available in the past to such an extent.

I'm myself a software architect and developer, although working in/for completely other IT domains, but in timeline I went more or less through most related dev based infrastructures till today. So I believe I know one or two things about software development and software in paticular. Further I wouldn't have been skeptical about some comments from people here, if I wouldn't be sure if what they tell is not relevant to what is the main theme here.

In order to be more concrete here, in this case for a "vector based warp, distort function" it doesn't matter that much if Serif might have only 50 or 150 developers here, it's more a matter of putting it on a priority of their agenda and then adding it. I say this especially given the fact that they already had this functionality in their previous software. This would allow them to adapt and reuse their algorithms, which shouldn't be that big deal. - Everything else above that other people bring here in as arguments, like comparisons of Adobe's employee size vs that of Serif etc. is pretty much more like an unnecessary defense of something end users usually either way have no internal knowledge of and have no idea about.

4 hours ago, SrPx said:

In a way, Affinity is not allowed (by public opinion, pros and the market) to not have those, today.

Allowed is not the overall right wording or sense here. so more that the common market (potential buyers, customers) and software competition might to some degree dictate what base functionality would be expected (ultimately then, as always, the customers and their complaints).

4 hours ago, SrPx said:

I think this is an advantage for the pioneers. When there is nothing and you are generating the features a) You are not being compared to anything previous, you hit first and so hit twice, getting the narrative and prestige, and you neither have the shadow of competitors (they were pioneers in many things) b) you can afford to focus in what you believe is best, not so many industry standards you must fully match instead of driving  the company to what is convenient or affordable.

Sure if there is nothing comparable you can't compare, though not always what you believe is best is also what your customers believe, they might have a different view or opinion on it than you. They might have other usage scenarios than you thought and thus maybe aren't satisfied with what you offered so far and thought to be best etc.

 

4 hours ago, SrPx said:

And also, is not like the API provided features make it that easy. Yes it is a huge advantage, but you still have a hell of work of building from there, besides they have chosen hard (but quite convenient for us) routes as making universal formats (not so much the case in Adobe), adopting technologies that are innovative but hinder performance a bit, like the graphic engine, as are thought for the future, and from start supporting iOS, Windows and Mac (ie, look at Photoshop for iOS now, despite being the giant it is!). Yes, today there's a ton of advantages, but doing that with a small team is no short of epic, even today.

They already reuse a bunch of APIs for, RAW/lense/Exif conversion, several file format read/write support libs, tons of Apple and MS and other third party (freeware and commercial) libs ... etc. Without those you won't go nowhere today, since you would have to reinvent the wheel again and again and need 10 years more for development. - Related to the small team, other software teams in this domain (most of those newcomer software) are even smaller, some are even a single fighting developer to whome then Serif would be a giant in comparison.

Also what most of you don't seem to take into account here, Serif is no newcomer, they are nearly 33 years in that business and already have done a bunch of such software before, which also already had many of the features (and thus the algorithms behind those, vector distortions in this specific thread case) sometimes demanded here. Also there have been many things already taken over from those former legacy products, it's not always the case for everything that they had to start at point zero, one have to differentiate among those.

 


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

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3 hours ago, v_kyr said:

(…) which also already had many of the features (and thus the algorithms behind those, vector distortions in this specific thread case) sometimes demanded here.

Exactly this I am doubting somewhat though.

While most libraries (EXIF etc) are quite basic fodder for a company of Serif's experience, I am convinced their way of handling things (different from Adobe, who adapted tons of proprietary software into one ecosystem), is what made it *easier* (not harder) to make an iOS/Mac/Win version in parallell.

But as it comes to vector transformations, contrary to pixel warping (which AP can already do better than PS imho), vector warping is often a complicated weighing of performance/speed, upper vector limit, filesize, limits etc… Even 500 pound gorilla AI still has some weird bugs in its essential vector warping tools. (only visible when working on extremely fine detail) Mainly because AI's vectors are much more granular than you'd think (ie not as precise)

Also, contrary to the Adobe way, they want/need the exact same vector handling in all their apps. Who has manipulated vectors in PS or Acrobat knows how clunky they work/react even in extremely simple files. No library can help you with this.

While having more dev's at your disposal is no guarantee (see QXP's debacle, or read the excellent The Mythical Man Month), but having a large team *does* let you focus on two things at once! Serif has chosen to not pool their efforts into its vectorwarping (yet! Or matbe they're on it, but have bugs to fry that were unforeseen)

But it is not the only "necessary" feature they are lacking.

Datamerge, eg, is to many print publishers as essential in APub, as vectorwarp is to digital vector users.

I have ceased judging software companies for their internal decisions (even though Duke Nukem took a looooong ass time) because there is a reason software isn't devolped by voting in a democratic election. I just have to add that —compared to almost any large-ish company— Serif scores low on expectation management, but extremely high on delivery.

But there are worse cases (eg Duke Nukem, or how Adobe managed Flash & Acrobat)

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Also, contrary to the Adobe way, they want/need the exact same vector handling in all their apps.

Adobe (and too many of its neophyte users) love to go on about the 'integration' of its applications. Assigning the same trendy graphics designer to rework the styling of windows and toolboxes is not functional integration. Nor is marketing word games. (Remember the 'PDF is now Illustrator's native format' hype?)

How many know that InDesign can't really import an Illustrator file (as of CS6; I don't rent software)? It just imports the dumbed-down PDF version of the content (if there is any).

Bear in mind that many 'Adobe' apps were acquired from other companies.

To refocus on the topic; Illustrator's redundant warping (vector enveloping) features too much target instant gratification for pre-set shapes. This is largely due to one thing: They are initially created with their curve handles already extended. Much less flamboyant but far more elegant FreeHand envelopes provided for user's choice in that.

As with everything else yet to appear in Affinity, I hope Illustrator is not the 'us, too' model. We need to get over Illustrator, so we can get beyond Illustrator.

JET

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Meanwhile, anyone here (Devs included) are once again invited to contribute to this thread, in order to have a discussion for the better (not just expressions our own concerns and pain points) regarding for Vector shape manipulation.

Best regards!


You'll never know what you can do until you get it up as high as you can go!   

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11 hours ago, duckrabbit said:

...I am convinced their way of handling things (different from Adobe, who adapted tons of proprietary software into one ecosystem), is what made it *easier* (not harder) to make an iOS/Mac/Win version in parallell...

It's always a difference if you can start an architecture design from scratch considering these things, or instead have to care, update and restructure a long time existing monolith. So no surprises here.

Quote

But as it comes to vector transformations, contrary to pixel warping (which AP can already do better than PS imho), vector warping is often a complicated weighing of performance/speed, upper vector limit, filesize, limits etc… Even 500 pound gorilla AI still has some weird bugs in its essential vector warping tools. (only visible when working on extremely fine detail) Mainly because AI's vectors are much more granular than you'd think (ie not as precise). ... Also, contrary to the Adobe way, they want/need the exact same vector handling in all their apps. ...

The way they deal with vector transformations is mostly algorithmic implementation depending, they already do a bunch of vector plane oriented transformations (translate, rotate, skew, mirror, reflect ... etc.) via their below graphics/rendering engine, which also supports several individual or selected node transformations etc. And since they share their engine, file formats, layers etc. among their apps that's no theme to add this.

Quote

I have ceased judging software companies for their internal decisions ...

I don't judge the company, that's more what others did here with their in contrast to Adobe etc. comparisons, statements and the like. I also don't excuse them for certain decisions they make or don't made, that's all (or lies in...) their responsibility and handling not mine. Further I also really don't care if Serif is a big or small company etc., that's overall irrelevant for me to this software tread theme here, were I agree with others that it would be time and fine to add a specific missing feature/functionality.


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

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I have never loved Adobe's transformation and warp tool because it is inaccurate with the result I would like to get. Before Affinity, with Ai I used the warp tools as a starting point, then I rasterized them and took them to Ps to draw on them with the Cintiq. Once I got the desired sketch, I imported it to Ai to retrace them. Now with Affinity I create my writings on Publisher, transform them with the tools of Photo as a sketch and redesign them with Cintiq until you get the desired design and then retrace it. All this with a single software thanks to StudioLink.

I can not be satisfied and for this I hope in a more precise and sophisticated instrument from Affinity ... with the digital pencil and today also that of iPad I can draw by hand what I really want.

Forgive me but I'm too tied to the accuracy of my sketches and for this I thank Affinity for including them in a single graphic tool. I'm probably too old, but what a creative can do with pencil is basically better.

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On 1/16/2020 at 11:17 PM, v_kyr said:

In order to be more concrete here, in this case for a "vector based warp, distort function" it doesn't matter that much if Serif might have only 50 or 150 developers here, it's more a matter of putting it on a priority of their agenda and then adding it. I say this especially given the fact that they already had this functionality in their previous software. This would allow them to adapt and reuse their algorithms, which shouldn't be that big deal. - Everything else above that other people bring here in as arguments, like comparisons of Adobe's employee size vs that of Serif etc. is pretty much more like an unnecessary defense of something end users usually either way have no internal knowledge of and have no idea about.

(...)

Also what most of you don't seem to take into account here, Serif is no newcomer, they are nearly 33 years in that business and already have done a bunch of such software before, which also already had many of the features (and thus the algorithms behind those, vector distortions in this specific thread case) sometimes demanded here. Also there have been many things already taken over from those former legacy products, it's not always the case for everything that they had to start at point zero, one have to differentiate among those.

Exactly!!!

It is essentially a debate about what is important and when, it should be known territory to all adults here with a job with a bit of responsibility in a medium complex setup, but when someone actually notifies Serif here that these features are important to them and their work, apologists immediately destroy any attempt at starting a discussion about the features themselves. Suddenly we get heated arguments about software development from people who (unlike @v_kyr) know nothing about software development, project management and implementing a business strategy for that matter.


I gave up using Designer for hobby use - a "professional" vector drawing program without actual vector features. Customers waiting for five years in vain is more than any company can ask for. Maybe if Affinity Designer 2.0 gets real and advanced vector features I can use it. Until then... I am a customer, a potential upgrader and an active observer with an opinion. Currently I am slowly finishing a project I started in Designer.

Further... give up and please hire an UX (usability designer), Serif. It is how professional software is made in this century.

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On 1/14/2020 at 7:16 PM, Jowday said:
Quote

Serif makes a low cost product for people who don't actually need what the expensive stuff offers.

 

On 1/14/2020 at 7:16 PM, Jowday said:

image.png.92420a3fee81ca145b42f24595dc9020.png

"Low cost" AND "pro-end" ?

So with Designer Serif are targeting pro-end customers who don't actually need pro-end features? They go by another name... 

Be careful to not get caught up in marketing speak.  There is no useful definition for the term "pro" that you can base an argument on.  The beauty of it for marketing is that the consumer will use his own imagination to fill in the details, which is what you're doing.  You have an idea of what Pro means, and you believe it to the point that you would try to refute my comment based on it.  But what I've done is to compare products based on price and features without using useless words like "pro" or "pro-end".  The fact is that Affinity Designer, or any of Serif's software does not have the same stuff that is available in expensive, similar products.  And if people adore it as much as they say they do, then they can't simultaneously be missing or needing all of the stuff that is in the expensive product. I would have to guess that the bulk of Serif's customers are people who don't need full blown Illustrator, or Photoshop, or Indesign.  They're saying that they hate Adobe in the strongest terms.  They're saying that they love Serif in the strongest terms. 

You say that "Serif is targeting "pro-end" customers."

This is also likely incorrect.  Serif, like Adobe should be targeting anybody with enough money to pay for the product.  Meanwhile, they are actually not providing the tools that a certain group of users would actually need to get their work done, and that directly contradicts the marketing quote that you posted above.  I can think of another product that fits that description, stripped back/pro-end, perfectly.  Apple iPad Pro.  Depending on who you ask, it is either a toy, or a tool for professionals.  Now you can see why Pro is a wonderfully flexible term for marketing.

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On 1/17/2020 at 7:48 AM, JET_Affinity said:

Adobe (and too many of its neophyte users) love to go on about the 'integration' of its applications. Assigning the same trendy graphics designer to rework the styling of windows and toolboxes is not functional integration. Nor is marketing word games.

I agree with this, except the part about neophyte Adobe users.  The neophyte users are not an Adobe phenomena. People go on about application integration and ascribe more meaning to it than it should have.  What matters in terms of getting work done is whether or not it's difficult to get something done.  I hear that the way Illustrator does something, is different than how the same thing is done in Photoshop.  It's not meaningful unless it is difficult to do in one application.  I would ask the question, would it still be bad in one application or the other, if only one application existed?  Would it be bad if one of the two applications was owned by another company?  In other words, what matters is how well the feature is implemented to make it easy as possible to achieve the task.  I don't care that things are different.  They're not even the same kind of programs.  Layers in Photoshop are very different than layers in Illustrator but I've no problem navigating either.  That last part is what matters.  Of course, if I see a great feature in one, I do wish to have it in another program.  I just want access to it if it's good.

On 1/17/2020 at 7:48 AM, JET_Affinity said:

To refocus on the topic; Illustrator's redundant warping (vector enveloping) features too much target instant gratification for pre-set shapes.

This is incorrect.  There are two different kinds of envelopes available in Illustrator.  One is made with warp and the other is made with mesh.  You're describing warp here only.  Mesh based envelopes do not have a preset shape.  It simply applies a box envelope with user determined control handles/points around the object.  It's completely up to the user to shape it how they want.

On 1/17/2020 at 7:48 AM, JET_Affinity said:

As with everything else yet to appear in Affinity, I hope Illustrator is not the 'us, too' model. We need to get over Illustrator, so we can get beyond Illustrator.

No.  Illustrator is a good enough goal for Designer to shoot for.  Illustrator has the features that most people seem to want so who are you to say that it's not a good enough goal, for everybody else?

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23 minutes ago, Kuttyjoe said:

I hear that the way Illustrator does something, is different than how the same thing is done in Photoshop.  It's not meaningful unless it is difficult to do in one application.

Actually it *is* meaningful, because at the level I sometimes have/choose to work, (extremely large files, in dpi, in Mb/Gb/Tb, in number of layers, pixels or meters, …) when two programs do the same stuff in *slightly* different ways, means that to be certain of a result, I have to note *every* step in detail.

Whether I rasterise and transform in AI, or rasterise and transform in PS, or transform, THEN rasterise in either, or export to PDF, then open in AI to rasterise,… all these have extremely different results (quality-wise, in how color is managed, precision-wise,…)

These switches might seem anodine, but can have serious consequences when ad campaigns are worked out, and several sizes/formats co-exist.

Even their swatches aren't truly compatible (as of CS6/CC1 at least…)

What is even more frustrating (and I'm glad Affinity has decided to solve this once and for all) is the abhorrent "file recognition" between the Adobe apps. If you lose the extension to a file, PS can't recognise it, when even Apple's Preview can. If you open an Adobe Prefs file or Swatches file, PS just shrugs, AI opens them (when they should be able to recognise them as swatches and load them as a swatch library), and AI still can't make up its mind on what the difference is between PDF or AI files… So much for integration between their apps.

I risk sounding like a ranting grumpy old man here, but these things are extremely important to me, as it directly impacts the way I work. Every time I have to switch between apps, I have to save (which takes time & space), re-open in another app, then re-save (which takes time & space), then re-open in the original app, or (in InDesign) use the clunky "Edit in…/Edit original…" context menu.

If I don't keep my full attention on what I'm doing, work gets lost, results differ oh so slightly, and non-destructive workflows become destructive workflows.

24 minutes ago, Kuttyjoe said:

It's completely up to the user to shape it how they want.

Ummm… nope… Mesh (as it is implemented in AI) is horribly imprecise, and has a clunky/murky UI (just try to grab those handles, or try to fathom what each handle actually does)

The "Warp" functions, are simple Meshes with concrete numbered inputs (and as such give the necessary control). "how they want" it is not (yet).

24 minutes ago, Kuttyjoe said:

Illustrator is a good enough goal for Designer to shoot for. 

I too would like AD to aim higher. Not just "emulate" what AI can do (although some functions are sorely missed at the moment), but go its own way, adding the features that matter most to Affinity users.

eg the Infinite Zoom, or the way the Export Persona works, or how AD doesn't imitate the clipping path nonsense from AI, and lets you "paste inside", or the integration with AP and APub… They are *already* moving beyond what AI is… or ever *will* be…

 

 

On 1/15/2020 at 1:16 AM, Jowday said:

image.png.92420a3fee81ca145b42f24595dc9020.png

"Low cost" AND "pro-end" ?

As to what market Affinity is actually targetting… it *is* the Pro-end segment. At a price that may be approachable to amateurs.

Let's compare this to PS, that always *was* Pro-end (in scope AND in price), but was so widely pirated it became the de facto tool to make lousy image manipulations and became a verb (as in "I photoshopped Donald Trump's head onto Barney the Dinosaur's body"). So much for "pro" tools.

Now what if PS were actually sold at a price similar to AP's… would it be less "professional"?

 

 

On 1/15/2020 at 2:10 PM, Jowday said:

So in conclusion. I can safely continue my Adobe Creative Cloud subscription for the next decades and then check the status of Affinity by then. Maybe JPG output is optimized by then. Finally.

I am so happy my employer makes this possible... I have REAL pro-end software. I feel sorry for others waiting.

Maybe Serif could dial down the terms used in marketing materials until then.

The blazingly fast Publisher fx ... ain’t.

Actually, APub (on my older iMac AND my new MacBook Pro) actually is *faster* than InDesign on a similar set-up, for similar tasks.
"Stripped down" is because it doesn't have all those bloated features, and makes a lot of features more context-dependent.

You pride yourself on an employer that makes an Adobe CC subscription possible. I wonder if you'd be more at ease or less at ease when software (AND hardware) costs are counted in "colleagues"…

When working solo, software costs weigh. When working in a large studio, software costs weigh heavily.

Affinity software can pride themselves on the sobriquet "Pro", once it is capable of producing print-ready files (which it can), and is compatible with regularly used file formats (which it is).
Low prices are actually a boon when it comes to wanting to buy an app professionally.

It's a pity companies have defaulted to (expensive) PR presentations when it comes to buying/approving software, instead of reading/consulting trade journalists (as they too were bought by marketing firms & lobbyists)

I hope Affinity might change some of this "bottom up", instead of becoming the next QXP or Adobe, (spending more on PR & training than on actually improving their product). In the meantime, I hope, Jowday, that you don't have to start over on your own, and have to shell the subscription fees every month.

Serif has chosen to break the "Holy Rule" of picking as large a price as the industry has decided it can/will pay. And they should be applauded for it. Pick just about any type of software (spreadsheets, or accountancy, or timelines,…) and you'll notice that app #1 asks  whatever they want, then app #2 through #9 ask about the same sum of money (wether they're a one-man company, or a firm of hundreds).

It's actually a scam, unless all these apps or services are worth exactly the same. They just want to avoid being "too cheap" or "too expensive".

Kudos to Serif for choosing the high road. It certainly attracted my attention, and when they add the stuff on their roadmap, Adobe will have to review their own pricing. Chances are, though, they have (in the meantime) built such an empire based around their brand (ads, PR, licensing deals, certified training courses, sponsored user meetings, sales reps, app development teams, research teams, etc…).

I wonder what'll happen when Adobe has to lower the price of their flagship assets to 1/8th their former prices. (or go out of business)

Back to the reason for this thread, however, it is not the whistles & bells that make the value of an app, but its reliability. When I need a whistle or bell (once in a blue moon), and there's a cheap app that offers this service, and I can import the result back into my main (print-ready) app, that is enough for me.

I do not want an AI or PS or InD clone, that falls short on reliability. I want a reliable app, that regularly adds features that make it easier t work with. At a price I can live with. Adobe's apps aren't "more" professional. They just have a dominant position in the market, just as "Word" or "Windows" or "IE" weren't more "professional".

 

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