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lettergothic

offset tool/capability in Designer

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Hello lettergothic,

If I understood the question correctly, while waiting for a dedicated tool, there is a workaround (not always practical) using the fx "Contour". You can add multiple outlines by grouping the set after each new outline is added.

Offset.png

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reglico–

Thanks so much for responding.
Your drawing does address my question but, unfortunately, I can't seem to figure out how to do it from your description. When I open the Layer Effects panel, with an object selected, I don't see a "contour" option. Basically, though, if I found a "contour" option, there would then be some evident way to stroke an object and then inset the perimeter stroke "into" the object?

Thanks,

lettergothic

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In the "fx" tab of the studio is "Outline".
Draw the shape with a normal contour (inner alignment), then apply an fx "Outline" (inner alignment) of the desired color. Adjust the thickness of the shape and fx lines.
If you want a yellow shape with a black outer contour and a red inner contour, draw by inverting the two colors of the contours, this way the size of the shape will not increase. (I seem to remember that @Bri-Toon had published something about this).

Outline fx.png

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On 7/31/2018 at 11:13 AM, MEB said:

Go to Affinity Designer Preferences, User Interface section and untick Show Lines in points. They should then display the units you have chosen for the document.

Or directly enter value with "mm".


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This is not a real outline, it's just a line width. A real outline works like the Offset Path in Illustrator. Especially for logo design, you have a lot more possibilities if you have an additional shape.

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10 minutes ago, tersmuse said:

This is not a real outline, it's just a line width. A real outline works like the Offset Path in Illustrator. Especially for logo design, you have a lot more possibilities if you have an additional shape.

It also works with several forms, or there's something I don't understand..

Contour unique_formes multiples.png

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2 hours ago, tersmuse said:

Interesting. What does it look like when you press Cmd + Y ? Have you got more than one frame?

No, because the contour is added to the shape resulting from a Boolean operation between the copy of the shapes and placed under them.

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12 hours ago, reglico said:

No, because the contour is added to the shape resulting from a Boolean operation between the copy of the shapes and placed under them.

That's exactly what I mean. It's not a real outline, it is no more than a line width. That's it.
For vehicle and display lettering, especially for logo design you need a real outline. This must then be done with another App.

For the logo that I am currently developing I used Designer for the first time, a pity that I quickly reach my limits.

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You are correct that an Outline fx does not create a true vector object, but is a visual effect suitable for raster output only.

In many situations this will suffice, but for certain applications, particularly those involving a real-world cutter which requires a vector line to follow, it is not appropriate.

A true outline tool is in the Affinity Designer roadmap, and will arrive some time before version 2.0, but there has been no sign of it so far, so it will be many months, even years, away.

You can work around the shortcomings, but it is long-winded and runs up against other long standing bugs in Affinity…

  1. Design your logo using Outline fx to give you a visual impression of how things will look with the outlines.
  2. Once happy, duplicate the logo, remove the Outline fx.
  3. Boolean add all the shapes to get a single Curves object.
  4. Add a stroke of the required width, aligned to the outside of the object.
  5. Use Expand Stroke to convert this into a vector object.
  6. Add the expanded stroke to the Boolean add and put behind the logo.

Of course you would need to do this more than once if you require more than one vector outline! And it all has to be redone if you change the logo design!

Also note that Expand Stroke is not accurate for very small shapes!
Work around this by increasing the size of the whole object by x10, expanding, then shrinking by /10.

And Boolean add tends to leave behind stray nodes when the two shapes have an aligned edge.
Work around this by using a center aligned stroke in step 4, with double the width of the outline that you need.

In short - if this is a one off job, you can do it in Affinity, but if this sort of thing is a daily requirement for you, sadly Affinity just doesn't cut it right now.

I am confident that these bugs will be fixed and the Outline tool will arrive, but for now you probably need to look elsewhere.

 

 

 


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I've recently used the contour effect. It's great, but unfortunately it crashes too often when editing multiple grouped objects at the same time.

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Nice that it is on the roadmap. It's not easy to program a clean outline function. Good outlines usually has type design apps, like Glyphs or Fontlab. Because I still have Illustrator I will continue to use Illustrators Offset Path for Outlines, everything else i will do with Designer.

Thanks for all the answers.

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Are you serious.  Affinity Designer is really NOT a vector tool at all, but a pixel tool made to look like vectors?  That is really unfortunate!  I cannot believe you have the bravado to publish it this way.  I'd give up all pixel features in designer if it were truly a vector tool - NOT being able to output to a cutting tool renders it nearly useless to me and forces me back to AI.  Awful!

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