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Muppet64

Affinity Designer Outline Issue/Bug

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I've had Designer for several years now, but only recently started to devote time to learning it.

Whilst working on a test 'Logo' I was very happy to find the Erase option for layers, as it makes creating complex transparent areas that are made up of several shapes a breeze. (see Attached)

However, what I've noticed is that there's an issue where the clipping mask applied to the over-all object structure leaves a faint but perceptible outline which is visible on screen & PDF files, so I imagine this would also appear on final prints - even if only as a faint spiders-web sort of effect.

After going round in circles I finally found the cause & a solution - but it's one I can't help but think of as a 'Bodge-Job'...

The issue is caused by the fact that in Designer (even if you select 0pt from the stroke menu & click the 'None' option) if you check the "Brush Selection" panel you will see that it never goes lower than '1px'. This causes it to display a very thin & faint outling of what should in reality be an invisible clipping path, even if the shape has no fill or outline.

The solution that I've found is to select the offending object and then in the 'Layer Effects' panel tick the 'Outline' option, with a setting of '1px'. This has no other effect than that of making the problem disappear.

I've not gone so far as to print this, but it's clearly visible on the attached PDF and Designer file.

It was bugging me all weekend, so I'm probably going to be told it's not important... ;-)

Bird Logo Fault.afdesign

Bird Logo Fault.pdf

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Hi @Muppet64,

Welcome to the forum.

It seems to be a bug, indeed. But it does not interfere with the brush. The brush tool is not used when creating a shape. You're technically masking out the shape. I suggest you use the compound boolean operations for this process as they are much better. See attached for an example. 

To create a Compound:

  1. Select multiple objects.
  2. Do one of the following:
    • From the Layer menu, select Create Compound.
    • Hold down the ALT key and, on the Toolbar, select Add, Subtract, Intersect or Combine.

To change the compound mode of individual objects:

  1. In the Layers panel, click the object's compound mode icon.
  2. Select a compound mode from the pop-up menu.

To add an object to a Compound:

  • In the Layers panel, drag the object on top of the compound object.

The object is included in the Compound using the default Add mode.

To remove an object from a Compound:

  • In the Layers panel, drag the object from inside the compound object to a layer.

To break up a Compound:

  1. Select the Compound.
  2. From the Layer menu, select Release Compound.

When creating a compound, make sure that your base shape is at the bottom of the selection, and the cutout shapes are on top.

Moved to bugs. 

Thanks,

Gabe. 

Bird_Logo_Fault_2.afdesign

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Hi GabrielM,

I totally agree with you that the brush should not be affecting the problem I've outlined, and I may indeed be making a false assumption in this respect, but when I saw that lower limit it at least got me looking along the right route to eliminating the problem.

My suggested routine for the solution was intended to solve the issue as quickly as possible, whilst also keeping the editability features for what was still a sort of work-in-progress file. I'm not up to speed yet on compunds...;-)

I shall go over your suggestion regarding compounds later, thanks.

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My Apologies, I did not notice the attached example file you provided...

I can see how that is a much more elegant solution to the issue I was having, so I shall have a proper look at it later.

Thanks for your help. B|

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Hi,

After your help with this issue, I've been getting to grips with other features, but I opened a previous experimental file from a few weeks ago and it reminded me that the issue is not so easily overcome. The attached file was an attempt to understand the potential of the Symbols panel and its reiterative features.

As you can see, the clipping frame of each of the panels I was using to produce the repeating pattern effect is clearly visible, creating a noticeable hairline between the panels, and this is cannot be overcome using the compound solution. At the time of working on this I took it as visual glitch, only later finding it's replicated on PDFs as well.

I'm posting this file as an example of how this seemingly small issue can impact different requirements. I'm not in a position to run actual printed materials to fully test, but the hairline fault is visible on both print ready .PDF and .PNG files.

 

Cheers!

NEW-Fancy-Wide.afdesign

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Hi there. I've had a look again and that hairline you see now it's because you did not work on integer pixel values. Your shape falls in between 2 pixels, and therefore you will see some of the background colour. 

image.thumb.png.202471b2bfd08381dafd759fe6b5fa41.png

With the correct values, you get this. 

image.thumb.png.a5ea25daf99e82d6337ef35cecd9ca8e.png

I have turned them white just to see the seam better. It's not a bug, it's how you've designed your artwork. It has gaps between the shapes. I suggest you work on PX in document settings rather than mm to get pixel perfect artwork. :) 

Thanks,

Gabe. 

 

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Hello Gabe,

Thanks for the speedy reply. I see what you are meaning, but to get to that point you have had to remove almost all of graphics in the artwork making it only necessary for the software engine to be be blending white into white.

I have experimented with what you suggested (having first made sure to reposition the 'panels' so that the snapping is having the influence you suggested) the show-through of the underlying colour is still apparent.

I'm sure I can get around this in the future now that I'm aware of it just by slapping in a suitably coloured base layer or border for the repeating panels where it occurs. I just did this and it took only seconds, so it's not a huge problem for me, but thanks again for addressing it. I shall make sure to be aware and not create the problem in future - I thought it might be further information for the issue above, and I shall keep it in my 'trick-bag' for future reference.

PS: Side note  - I prefer not to use pixel snapping if the end result is not pixel based. It comes of having done this since 1987, when our pixels were much bigger, we traced logos with cross-haired 'pucks', and no-one had heard of a mouse or Bezier curves... Old Habits etc. ;)

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Without pixel snapping, you will have gaps unless you overlap edges, or work on very precise measurements. I have disabled all the adjustments to see the edges better. Even with them turned on, you will not see the line. :) If you attach the new adjusted file I can have a look for you. 

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Good Morning,

The issue I was originally highlighting was not with regard to the actual shapes in the pattern itself, I was referring to the consistent appearance of a show-through line at the edges where the rectangular panels containing the patterns abutted each other. This produces a noticeable 'grid' effect of 1 central vertical line & 5 horizontal lines, which suggested to me that it might have a similar cause as my original issue on this thread with the circular clipping path/mask.

I've attached a new example of the file which has a base layer called 'Underlying Colourway', and if you click on this layers visibility tick-mark you will see that as the chevron shapes change colour, the pattern of lines I describe above becomes more noticeable.

My intention was that this would be a useful piece of extra information that would show that the clipping paths are the source of the original problem.

Please do not think I am ignoring your help on this, I've taken all of it on board and I shall create any new files with this in mind. :D

"...you will have gaps unless you overlap edges, or work on very precise measurements." - I do, and your edge-snapping tools are an excellent help for doing this. ;)

NEW-Fancy-Wide.afdesign

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In your new document, you've got the same issue as before. Your edge falls in between 2 pixels. It's not a boolean operation issue, not a clipping path/mask issue. Check below

image.thumb.png.c3f5451222cec484b404ac7643a6741d.png

1- I have resized it so it's got an integer value for position and size. No seam visible

2-Your size is 1151.6 x 498.6 PX. Unless you use integer values and work in PX, you will have gaps. 

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Hmmm, that's odd then, because following your advice I:

1) Turned the pixel snapping on, with both options ticked.

2) Moved the top 4 panels off the page.

3) Moved the panels manually back to where the should be. (So that they snapped to each other & page)

4) Zoomed in and checked for any difference in alignment across all boxes.

Let me try this process again by creating a new document blank document. Bear with me.

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Your document units were MM, not PX. Set the to PX in File > Document Setup, and check the Transform Studio to make sure you use integer values. 

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5 minutes ago, GabrielM said:

Your document units were MM, not PX. Set the to PX in File > Document Setup, and check the Transform Studio to make sure you use integer values. 

But that means I'm working in pixels, which I don't want to do if I'm intending to work for printed material.
If that's a pre-requisite, then you're saying that the program is not resolution independent.

I'm attaching Screen-grabs and the new file, which is showing no improvement even after I have followed all your suggestions. Pixels as Units with snapping. Gaps are still visible...

My issue here is that even minute gaps like these can spoil a print run depending on what rendering engine the print company is using, as well as the print companies in-house settings. (Trust me on this, I've worked for several companies where I've had to fix huge files because the designers have drawn white rectangles to cover over their multiple mistakes, and then started again...)

If it's a known problem I can address it with workarounds, but it's rather self defeating if the solution ends up as "Change your working practices and methodology to get around inaccuracies in the software..." :$

Screen Shot 2018-07-25 at 10.56.52.jpg

Screen Shot 2018-07-25 at 10.56.03.jpg

Screen Shot 2018-07-25 at 11.07.35.jpg

New Test.afdesign

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In the background, the software would be working in PX, not MM. MM is not a standard value, because it's influenced by DPI. Digitally, real-world measurements (like mm, cm, etc) do not exist. The software emulates that using your Pixel values and the specified DPI. When you preview your design, you're seeing pixels, not DPI. When you print a file, it will be rasterized upon printing, converting it to Pixels, not MM. The DPI will then dictate the actual resolution when printing. If your objects fall in between pixels, you will have gaps, but that really depends on the printer accuracy and the DPI value if the gaps show up on the paper.

You came up with an issue, we identified the cause (pixels not being aligned properly and edges falling in between pixels) and advised on how to fix it. It would be down to you if you want to take this into account or not. 

Thanks :)

Gabe. 

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That's a very off-hand reply.

I understood every point you have made in the above statement - before you posted it.

I'm fully familiar with Raster Image Processing systems (RIPs), so I understand that their handling of any graphics sent to them is based on the underlying software that they use, but that it is also influenced by the screening capabilities of the final output device they are connected to. To use your analogy, I could create artwork at a pixel resolution of 10,000,000 pixels-per-mm, but that would be a waste of processing power and memory if the final imaging device was not capable of resolving imagery of that detail, because the RIP would end up downscaling. The idea of resolution independence is so as to not need to design artwork for a single 'known' output. What your describing is fine if it works, but so far it appears not to be doing so to a reasonable and reliable standard. Yes, if your software is chained to pixels, then that is the basis that the user is constrained to, but just as you suggest that mm/cm don't exist (they do, and there's an internationally recognised standards body that defines them) , I'm fairly sure you would be hard pressed to point me to the internationally recognised measurement for a standard pixel as this is the one that is different on every range of devices - this has been going on so long that even the term you use, DPI, is based on the outdated imperial standard of Dots-Per-INCH.

All of which leaves us at the same point that I raised originally, and your last reply (aside from berating me for not using pixel snapping, even though I showed you it was on and I had been using it to create a whole new file) consists of "ignore measurements and just do it our way...".

OK, I shall continue to find uses for the software, but it seems I'm on my own as far as support is concerned.

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I think the point is that you need to ensure that all your objects are (a) aligned on pixel boundaries and (b) an integer number of pixels in size.

You have done (a). The only way you can ensure (b) is to work in px units, not mm units, so you can see the px dimensions accurately. As GabrielM mentioned above your sizes are not integer px values. Therefore you will get gaps.

I think it isn't a question of being "resolution independent" but of recognizing that when objects that are not an integer number of pixels in size they won't align properly to give you the seamless texture you need.


-- Walt

Windows 10 Home, version 1909 (183623.476), 16GB memory, Intel Core i7-6700K @ 4.00Gz, GeForce GTX 970
Affinity Photo 1.7.3.481 and 1.8.0.486 Beta   / Affinity Designer 1.7.3.481 and 1.8.0.486 Beta  / Affinity Publisher 1.7.3.481 and 1.8.0.502 Beta

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3 minutes ago, walt.farrell said:

I think the point is that you need to ensure that all your objects are (a) aligned on pixel boundaries and (b) an integer number of pixels in size.

You have done (a). The only way you can ensure (b) is to work in px units, not mm units, so you can see the px dimensions accurately. As GabrielM mentioned above your sizes are not integer px values. Therefore you will get gaps.

I think it isn't a question of being "resolution independent" but of recognizing that when objects that are not an integer number of pixels in size they won't align properly to give you the seamless texture you need.

Yeah, I understood what he was getting at, but when the solution to such a seemingly small misalignment consists of a process that can be (light-heartedly) summarised as: Throw that all away, open up a fresh document, start from scratch, work in a new arbitrary measurement system that is intrinsically linked to the size and resolution of an output device as yet unknown, and then recreate every single object...

It's sort of off-putting. ;)

Whereas my solution of just adding a base layer that makes a suitable colour fill in the gap for safety seemed a reliable quick solution. :D

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10 minutes ago, Muppet64 said:

Yeah, I understood what he was getting at, but when the solution to such a seemingly small misalignment consists of a process that can be (light-heartedly) summarised as: Throw that all away, open up a fresh document, start from scratch, work in a new arbitrary measurement system that is intrinsically linked to the size and resolution of an output device as yet unknown, and then recreate every single object...

It's sort of off-putting. ;)

Whereas my solution of just adding a base layer that makes a suitable colour fill in the gap for safety seemed a reliable quick solution. :D

Yes, if you wanted a "patch" for your current file, and that layer works for your puposes for that specific file, it might be useful.

On the other hand, if you're going to be doing many of those patterns you really should think about starting to do them the right way, so you don't one day find a case where your workaround fails :)


-- Walt

Windows 10 Home, version 1909 (183623.476), 16GB memory, Intel Core i7-6700K @ 4.00Gz, GeForce GTX 970
Affinity Photo 1.7.3.481 and 1.8.0.486 Beta   / Affinity Designer 1.7.3.481 and 1.8.0.486 Beta  / Affinity Publisher 1.7.3.481 and 1.8.0.502 Beta

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That's an interesting number of points owenr, I'm attaching a screen grab and document illustrating a totally new file, created with pixels as default and I've reset the units to defaults as well. Snapping still leaves a hairline gap.

Is there something I'm missing?

Screen Shot 2018-07-25 at 13.34.49.jpg

Faulty.afdesign

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4 minutes ago, walt.farrell said:

Yes, if you wanted a "patch" for your current file, and that layer works for your puposes for that specific file, it might be useful.

On the other hand, if you're going to be doing many of those patterns you really should think about starting to do them the right way, so you don't one day find a case where your workaround fails :)

Oh yes, I agree that's certainly sound advice. I was just making that comment so that you could see how things had panned out.

In reality, I chose to mess with a pattern like this specifically to find out where things would fall over.
I do have rather a tendency to press the big red buttons that are labelled "Do Not Press!":D

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In My Defence: There's a lot of things that the software handles admirably, and I get the impression that the 'Big A' company will have thoroughly copyrighted all the features they could have to make competition as hard as possible. B|

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