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Char_Zard13

Affinity Photo Pen Stabilizer

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I love drawing! and i know photo isn't really made for it but i still use it like that because i like the lay out etc! And i know there already is a pen stabilizer but is there a future update or plugin that will add more control to how strong the stabilizer is?

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@Char_Zard13 Could you be more specific on what you feel would adjust the strength of the stabilization? I use Photo primarily for illustration and feel the stabilization strength is adjusted exactly how I would expect a strength option to affect it with the 'length' parameter. I might have missed another way of thinking of what a strength adjustment should do and perhaps a more detailed explanation would help in understanding.

A little off topic but regarding:

On 7/21/2018 at 2:06 AM, Char_Zard13 said:

I love drawing! and i know photo isn't really made for it...

I'll happily disagree with this. I'm still using Photoshop for various tools that have yet to be realised by Photo but I've moved over to Photo entirely for my illustration work. I was a Corel Painter user a few years ago too but none of them can rival the responsiveness of canvas manipulation that Photo has. With a trackpad in my left hand and a pen in my right I can slide and zoom and spin a large canvas to exactly where I need to make the next mark in an instant without lag. It's smooth and bridges the gap between the pros and cons of doing similar on traditional mediums. A few more brush parameters would be welcome but I'd rather have the responsiveness over a few extra parameters. If I can't make good work with the brush options already there, more options won't cure that.

The built in brush stabilization suggests Affinity are pretty interested in the software for illustration. It would be too much of an afterthought if illustrators were not in mind. Though there's a little bit to go yet, the amount of parameters in brush and mixer brush provide a great platform for professional work that holds its own.

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I think the brush has yet some issues (painting when zoomed-out jitter, lag in small details or at start of strokes, and the 2 things I mention in my signature to improve it greatly...), but is becoming better... It can be used for illustration, already. I would be more than happy to do so because the advantages found in specific drawing and painting apps like Clip Studio Paint (yet my main painting tool), Art Rage, Rebelle, Krita or Paintstorm Studio, (and etc) are typically not as important as to have a full raster editing application as your illustration tool . IE, I rather prefer to have the flow and opacity control for the brush (by pressure and not, depending on the project type and stage), and that'd be it, not even counting super cool premade brushes, traditional painting like, paper-like canvases, refs sticky, or even not having symmetry painting and etc, but having a text tool ! A bunch of those apps don't even have it ! , and the ones that do, have it very poorly implemented, with some exception. There's always some huge lack in all and any of them, like in 2 of those, you can really go very high in canvas size (terrible if your output is print), in one of them, being a ridiculous limit, or no possibility of doing a final conversion to CMYK or any color management operation. And a bunch of other things that includes your image preparation for export, PDF export, etc, etc. The amount of things is enormous. The other apps are fine for very specific painting tasks. Fine if you only do those. But if you do a wide range of illustration and graphic works (ie, game maps, textures, UI decoration, books covers, etc, etc, etc) a tool like Photo (or PS ) is of much greater value, imo. This is why I'd love to see (the mentioned fixes) that happening...That said, if all the software available now for raster based illustration would be PS or Photo, I'd be doing all my illustration (and general graphics) work in Photo, already. As it is indeed possible.


Affinity Designer and Affinity Photo licenses, Windows 7, i7  860 (2009) 2.8 GHz,  8 GB RAM, GTX 1050 2 GB, HD 7200 RPM.  Wacom Intuos 4 XL.

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@SrPx I do agree with you that having it all in one application would be nice.

But all the issues I encountered today while doing some drawing in Photo tell me that Photo isn't able to make the cut at this point. I mean, in other painting apps and image editors a simple free transformation is possible, which is still unavailable in Photo. And that is just a very small simple missing requirement.

Yes, Photo is nice for image compositing, but if the drawing tools and performance and quality thereof won't cut it, I prefer to do all my digital inking, drawing, and painting in a dedicated application like ClipStudio and Krita.

Photo's GUI is rather counter-productive for drawing, inking, and painting in my opinion. I really gave it a try, but the one thing I love about Krita for example, is its artist friendly GUI, meant to get on and focus on illustrating, drawing, etc. Right-mouse click gives me everything I need to work quickly, even without a keyboard. Nothing gets in the way, while Photo's GUI kept on getting in the way.

That's why I use a combination of various tools to do my artwork. In the past 30 years I have not encountered one app that does it all equally well, or even on a level that would make me stick to that one application only, and that includes Photoshop.

Here's a specific example of comic work: I need to create a conversion of 1200ppi black and white of my line art and create a PDF that consists of a layered colour art at 300ppi and that 1bit 1200ppi artwork. Can't do it in Photo or Photoshop. I can accomplish this in either InDesign or PhotoLine, so I use those for the job.

What I am trying to say here is that any general-purpose image compositor is going to have to limitation in terms of specialist usage. I used to work in Photoshop exclusively, until I realized years ago that there were far more convenient drawing and inking apps out there.

As an illustrator, I love inking in ClipStudio, and while it doesn't offer all the compositing whistles and bells of Photo, Photoshop, or PhotoLine, that particular step of the illustration process is (for me) far more preferable, efficient and just plain NICE to do in CS. I mean, the cleanup tools for inking are terrific! And vector-based, if required.

Now, Photo (for me) can't even get the basics right at this point in time. I hope it will in the upcoming version, or the version after that. But I can't see it ever replacing dedicated drawing software. And I also work on game textures, assets, various graphic jobs, just like you. I wouldn't touch Photo for pixel art either, and use other software. Just another example: 3d texture painting work I do in 3d Coat: I could possible do this in Photo, but that would be severely limit the process and workflow. Even Photoshop's 3d painting tools are pretty terrible, and I personally know of no 3d artist using it (unless extended with plugins).

Users here have been clamoring for extensive animation tools in Photo/Designer. Why? I understand the need for simple animation tools, but once the job requirements go beyond a certain scope, a dedicated animation tool is the right tool, not a half-hearted attempt like the one in Photoshop, for example.

I can't see any image editor or graphics app do it all and do it in a proficient manner. I don't even think it is possible, honestly, nor do I see the point, because its GUI would overload itself.

Not having a good text tool in a painting app is really of secondary concern, I feel. How often do we actually use text? At the end for lettering. I wouldn't use either Photo or Designer for that job either: the lack of threaded text boxes and other typography limitations once again urge me to use other tools.

I realize I am an extreme pragmatist: I use the tool that gives me the nicest workflow and best result, and that depends on the job at hand. This automatically precludes applications that attempt to do it all.

Now... having said all this, and having veered off the trodden path here...

The stabilizer in Photo is unusable for me in its current state. Without the stabilizer zoomed out on a larger canvas the line wobbles terribly, and I get kinks in the round corners. With the stabilizer and the default settings it behaves like one of those Lazy Nezumi stabilizer where the brush follows a lasso. Urgh. Lowering the setting to 1 or 2 px re-introduces wobbles and kinks.

Needs more work. I prefer to draw without a stabilizer myself (yes, I have a very stable hand!), and none of the stabilizer settings I tried provided me with a satisfying drawing experience in Photo. And I don't mind, really, because dedicated drawing apps blow general image editors out of the water anyway.

Although it would be nice if the devs fix this in an upcoming release. Because SrPx is correct in stating that for simple quick inking jobs you don't always want to switch to a dedicated app, and just do it in Photo itself.

And please devs, get that free transform tool in order.

PS on a positive note: really loving Photo for the HDR bracketing and tone mapping!

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@SrPx I do agree with you that having it all in one application would be nice.

But all the issues I encountered today while doing some drawing in Photo tell me that Photo isn't able to make the cut at this point. I mean, in other painting apps and image editors a simple free transformation is possible, which is still unavailable in Photo. And that is just a very small simple missing requirement.

 

 

 

As I mentioned in the other thread, I have my workarounds about that, and other issues... I have a much more positive view about AP for painting, as PS serves for painting, too.  Indeed, AP has some advantages for actual painting over PS, due to the actual UI,  but this would be too long to explain.    I only need the 4 mentioned (which I am mentioning too much lately, I'll stop that....)  fixes. At least 3 of them are requested by everyone having tried to paint with AP, or almost everyone. What i am seeing is that... maybe, just maybe, there is a misconception. AD is the tool to draw and paint, and Photo the one for image editing/photo manipulation. The issue is that illustrators, comic creators, pixel artists, texture artist, concept artists, etc, do work majorly in raster (ps, painter, psp, etc), there are legions... they arrive, find these 4 issues, and after 5 minutes with the trial, uninstall and leave. They've often even mentioned this very thing in a one post thing, and left. if one looks at the masses in Deviantart, wow, very huge number. And that's just one of the many communities. And a bunch of hobbyists and pros are in no community, association or forum. But it's a massive number drawing and painting in raster tools. And yeah, illustration can't be done in apps where there's not even a text tool, or not a proper one, there's a ridiculous canvas size limit, can't handle CMYK for print, etc, etc. Not for serious and varied stuff to depend on it for a living, certainly.  But that's the status of most "specializing painting" tools. And they wont make an entire 2D editing app, ever. Is not their focus, and too much of a task for , generally, a single individual coding, a bedroom coder or small team.

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Yes, Photo is nice for image compositing, but if the drawing tools and performance and quality thereof won't cut it, I prefer to do all my digital inking, drawing, and painting in a dedicated application like ClipStudio and Krita.

This is what I've been doing, and can keep on doing. But it would be so much more interesting to do it in AP. I don't see the other two so much better, either. Yes in the brush system, but features and UI... not so much. krita has quite some issues, I'm realizing that in latest weeks... Even while I wish for it the best.

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Photo's GUI is rather counter-productive for drawing, inking, and painting in my opinion. I really gave it a try,

It has a way... but gotta get used to certain workflow.... and build certain custom UI distribution. Is not as configurable as CSP, but stuff can be done.

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but the one thing I love about Krita for example, is its artist friendly GUI, meant to get on and focus on illustrating, drawing, etc. Right-mouse click gives me everything

I believe one of the problems is you, probably, are not comfortable either illustrating in PS, while I always was. I handle anything not on reach by shortcuts, I don't even use context menu by RMB in any app, not even krita, the movement is slower for me, my left hand is already always in the keyboard. Keys are always faster to me, set up in the tablet buttons, or specially in the 2 pen side buttons, and the rest in the good old keyboard. It's speed of light. This allows to be a lot more independent and free from the UI, only needing the core functioning (ie, brush) being solid.

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That's why I use a combination of various tools to do my artwork. In the past 30 years I have not encountered one app that does it all equally well,

I do... PS. At any company, I can do absolutely everything with it, and extremely comfortable. What I like about AP and AD is how close it feels to that. See? There lays the difference... I am very comfortable painting in PS, and I do every sort of drawing and painting style.... is probably for having two very different ways of work, even if the activity is surely very similar in terms of drawing and painting. This is an old story. A ton of people has always disliked PS for painting, and usually moved to Painter. Others, like me, can't stand to loose the extra features one has in PS that are not in Painter. Like the inability to even do a CMYK conversion. Heck, this has been like for ever in Corel Photopaint ! Most painting tools don't have it (CSP is a rare exception) And Photopaint is a tool for raster image editing (despite the mixed name, lol)....Not their painter (which is, obviously, Painter, lol)

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or even on a level that would make me stick to that one application only, and that includes Photoshop.

Yep. Here resides really the problem. You are trying it not to be PS, because you don't want to paint in sth like PS, by any means, you almost hate it for that, which is the opposite case of mine. But a ton of concept artists, illustrators, and etc which I knew at game companies, do use Photoshop for drawing and painting, of course, AAA quality work. Reason why I have no issues with the UI for painting, but yep with the brush system and color picker, as these issues are not in PS, neither in CSP, SAI, not even in Gimp, these days !  But the UI, I don't need anything, all is shortcut-able, you can pretty well set certain color panel for fast picking color (there's a great tut out there in a good setup for painting with AP, from certain user), you have even a latest colors used extra panel, and several other smart details. But  those 4 issues are right now a barrier. I am neither in a real hurry. I believe they might get fixed, or might not, as this is a private project, they decide as they see fit, obviously, and it could be very well leaving the brush and painting status as-is, no change. It is very much their call ! We cannot really complain there. Even less when the tool is good for a subset of what PS does, if not for illustration and etc, till those (or if) get fixed.

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Here's a specific example of comic work: I need to create a conversion of 1200ppi black and white of my line art and create a PDF that consists of a layered colour art at 300ppi and that 1bit 1200ppi artwork. Can't do it in Photo or Photoshop. I can accomplish this in either InDesign or PhotoLine, so I use those for the job.

Or CSP, isn't it ?

Yep, I remember this as being your workflow. Photoline, in my tests, did also the zoomed-out jitter drawing issue, too, and had other painting-related issues... I know, you use it only for that....

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What I am trying to say here is that any general-purpose image compositor is going to have to limitation in terms of specialist usage.

Indeed, the 1 bit requirement is definitely not in every illustration gig.... ;) Sometimes, not even in comic.

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I used to work in Photoshop exclusively, until I realized years ago that there were far more convenient drawing and inking apps out there.

It's a glove, for me. I don't even notice it, it's natural.  I don't have any issues with it for painting (therefor, neither with AP UI...), sorry....

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As an illustrator, I love inking in ClipStudio, and while it doesn't offer all the compositing whistles and bells of Photo, Photoshop, or PhotoLine, that particular step of the illustration process is (for me) far more preferable, efficient and just plain NICE to do in CS. I mean, the cleanup tools for inking are terrific! And vector-based, if required.

Yep, this concept varies outstandingly from one artist to another. In games, I've seen, and worked with, full armies of artists using exclusively PS for painting and drawing, me included

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Now, Photo (for me) can't even get the basics right at this point in time.

I believe it will never do for you, as you require a "painting" dedicated UI. I don't... only the fixes in the brush and picker....Which is way less than an overhaul on the UI and whole structure...luckily, as I was saying, a lot of other artists are used to PS for painting.... Both pros and hobbyists.

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I hope it will in the upcoming version, or the version after that. But I can't see it ever replacing dedicated drawing software.

For what you look for in a painting tool, you should not hope for that, IMO... And indeed, stick with CSP, Krita, Rebelle, Paintsotrm Studio, Art Rage, Sketchbook Pro. Those are specialized UIs for painting. I am in a massive other group who does not need it, and need the powerful raster editing capabilities, like AP has... Again, this ain't bad or good. Is old as the Spectrum and Amiga... there have always been people hating painting in PS, and people not willing to miss features by opting for the more comfortable Painter. And in its day, was around 50%, or more for the PS people... (today, at least in studios, etc, I believe the PS portion is even bigger) . Among other reasons, because the same person that does the concept art, drawing for splash screens, pixel art, is also told to do the UI pieces, and graphics for the web, etc. having worked in small studios, I used to have to do everything (in my case, including modeling, animation, video edit, etc) . You are a thousand times better off with a full work horse that makes everything. I am also a defender of the specialized tools, though. But what sth like PS or AP gives you, and it being capable to allow you the whole production with that main integration tool... that's extremely good specially with tight deadlines and the crazily varied nature of certain jbs in certain small companies (in games, but also in regular software developers and web design / agencies...been at all those, and a few more types...)

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And I also work on game textures, assets, various graphic jobs, just like you. I wouldn't touch Photo for pixel art either,

I already have, with nice results. Two of my 4 brush-core issues disappear in that use case due to the only typical way one works in pixel art (zoomed in, often not needing large lines like in inking, etc). Pixel art is already in the list of things I can do already with AP...I can even do it with just the reduced set that is Pixel Persona in AD.

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and use other software. Just another example: 3d texture painting work I do in 3d Coat:

I never really liked the UI, althou prefer it to ZB's, and I see it pricey (even if about 50% of ZB, but ZB is the standard always requested for every job !, even for freelancing, too) for the % of gigs I get (I don't tend to take them) in that area...

I meant textures for low pol, or basic VR, abit old school, low res... for current gen games, is all PBR based, need to use sth like Substance painter and Designer in combination with ZB , Mudbox or 3D Coat. I was thinking more of 2D textures for design, etc, and low pol 3D games (I also model, high and low) , or textures for high res 2D games.

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I could possible do this in Photo, but that would be severely limit the process and workflow. Even Photoshop's 3d painting tools are pretty terrible,

Agree, terrible.

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and I personally know of no 3d artist using it (unless extended with plugins).

Blender and Wings 3D for the win. And Max at any company, it is still the habit in the local companies around here. Have handled Maya when requested. Not my cup of tea, tho.

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Users here have been clamoring for extensive animation tools in Photo/Designer. Why?

Agree... I don't even see that much of a point in introducing that in Krita. Is frakensteining a bit a tool, which can have a varied focus, but not that much. And I love the krita anim features, they are nicely built, and convenient for me, though. But is cramming a  lot of extra functionality, and UIs are limited in space... Plus, diveting too much the implementation effort, IMO. But having a bit of painting, and image editing in same app.... I know is not your case, but believe me, is massive out there... PS artists out there....tons. "They are legion". And more importantly, they are a critic mass in the companies (not just in game developer studios). IMO, it is one of the keys to throw a deadly torpedo in the top dog's floating line....

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I understand the need for simple animation tools, but once the job requirements go beyond a certain scope, a dedicated animation tool is the right tool, not a half-hearted attempt like the one in Photoshop, for example.

I don't see the point of those. And even less when there are a big variety of tools, free and cheap, out there, doing exactly that, which are very complete, often not needing anything else for whole projects. I don't get it. But do realize how this is almost never requested by animation professionals. 

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Not having a good text tool in a painting app is really of secondary concern, I feel.

For you....then. ;)

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How often do we actually use text? At the end for lettering.

It would be very long to explain, but there is a lot of projects, a lot of people, that need a mix of graphic design and illustration, as a whole pack, and where the tasks are so connected that one is doing, and often, has to do so, almost all at a time. Or mixing the two graphic areas very tightly, making having a text tool a need. Among other things. I don't typically do comics, lately. But it seems is your case or a big part of it...I do comic like illustration (a lot) as one of the styles requested. 

Anyone doing collage art mixed with illustration ( it is illustration as a whole, indeed) needs this too, even if as a mere base.

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I wouldn't use either Photo or Designer for that job either: the lack of threaded text boxes and other typography limitations once again urge me to use other tools.

It seems you are thinking mostly in comics creation.... I do a wildly varied set of tasks.... 

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I realize I am an extreme pragmatist: I use the tool that gives me the nicest workflow and best result, and that depends on the job at hand. This automatically precludes applications that attempt to do it all.

If you get to be able to use one for all, and be pretty fast with it ( I do illustration, game textures and all sort of assets for games, graphic design, etc, with PS at companies) it gets the huuuge advantage of not having to go to other tools, and have less issues, speed up the process due to other reasons. This while my current setup is using CSP, a bit krita and a bunch others. But only as I don't want to get into a subscription system, to be brutally sincere... Meaning, I only need a PS-like for everything. Even making coffee. Or tea. Of any flavor.

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The stabilizer in Photo is unusable for me in its current state. Without the stabilizer zoomed out on a larger canvas the line wobbles terribly, and I get kinks in the round corners. With the stabilizer and the default settings it behaves like one of those Lazy Nezumi stabilizer where the brush follows a lasso. Urgh. Lowering the setting to 1 or 2 px re-introduces wobbles and kinks.

A lot of ppl liked Nezumi... never my case...CSP has the best one, followed by Krita's, imo. But I have tried latest CC 2018 trial (the app eats hardware resources for breakfast, now, but I guess is totally fine in a modern machine. Indeed, it can work in a very low machine with certain key adjustments, loosing some of the new features) one... really a work of art, its stabilizer (about time)  That one is really good, and the entire brush system. If the latest you tried was a CS PS, it is now another world. Still, CSP's stabilizer is better.

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PS on a positive note: really loving Photo for the HDR bracketing and tone mapping!

IMO, Photo is amazing for practically anything image editing related. I maintain my main purpose... To use it for illustration, too...

 


Affinity Designer and Affinity Photo licenses, Windows 7, i7  860 (2009) 2.8 GHz,  8 GB RAM, GTX 1050 2 GB, HD 7200 RPM.  Wacom Intuos 4 XL.

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Thanks for the (long) response! It's an interesting discussion: like you, I've worked as a graphics artist since C64 times (C64 Koala Paint + pad!), Amstrad CPC 664 (love the bright colours compared to the C64), then Amiga for a very long time until work reality forced me into getting my first Windows machine. Also used Macs a lot, but no longer do. Macs slow me down too much (personal workflow thing).

You do have a couple of misconceptions about me and my 'relationship' with Photoshop: I started using Photoshop at version 3.5, and (together with Illustrator) it was my main app for not only painting and drawing art, but also general graphics and illustration work, game related art/texturing, and more. I loved it. Taught it to thousands of students, and wrote courses for it (as well as most other Adobe apps).

I lived and breathed Photoshop and Adobe apps.

Then, around the time when Adobe first introduced their rental business model, aside from my dislike of renting software (at the time Adobe still offered traditional licenses, but I saw the signs on the wall from miles away), some of the intrinsic limitations of Photohop's workflow, which had bothered me for a longer time, began to really frustrate me and work against the way I wanted to work. 

It's too much to get into here, but suffice to say that Photoshop's core workflow hasn't really been updated since version 4/5 (aside from the addition of smart objects). One of my pet peeves with Photoshop is the way it handles layer masks, for example. Another being the silly separation of colour picking GUIs for bitmap and vector (shape) editing. Or the gradient editor/way gradients are used in Photoshop. Or the 15+1 "16bpc" mode in PS.

There were many other things. I and other long-term PS users actually got into a couple of discussions with Chris Cox (now retired lead PS developer) and instead of tackling these long-standing issues, more often than not concerns were brushed off with reactions along the lines of "it's a feature, not an issue". Many of these things still haven't been resolved at this point.

It was around that time when Adobe introduced rental options that I decided to look around for alternatives. And discovered that other tools would provide me with a (much) more pleasant workflow, even at the cost of having to create a pipeline which incorporated multiple separate applications. And even though you'd think that that might slow someone down, it's done the opposite for me.

However, I completely understand the reasons for many professionals to stick to one consolidated environment such as Photoshop. It's more of a hassle to do otherwise, and I agree with you that for most it would only slow them down. But speaking for myself, whenever I am working in Photoshop I hit these proverbial brick walls: it won't let me work the way I want to work. I outgrew Photoshop at some point, silly as it may sound. Again, it is my personal experience. I realize most users won't even get so close as to see or feel that wall. But I did. Might have something to do with all the VFX work I did at the time and my exposure to nodal compositing.

Mind, I rent the CC suite to be 'compatible" with job and client requirements. But aside from InDesign for layout work (yes, that includes brochures, books, not only comics!) I use Photoshop and Illustrator as conversion applications, and once in fortnight a particular plugin.

Anyway, we seem to share similar veteran backgrounds (I noticed your Spectrum button the first time I read a message of yours last year). Just two sides of the same coin, really.

And as far as the drawing tools/experience in Affinity Photo goes:

1) hiding the brush outline: agreed.

2) zoom thing when alt-clicking for colour picking: hadn't noticed this yet, but it gets in the way. Agreed.

3) essential: drawing on a zoomed out (high-rez) canvas is REALLY problematic. With thin brushes/lines and the stabilizer turned off or set to a 1~3 pixel length the lines produce wobbles and kinks.

4) essential: the current stabilizer is (sorry) unusable for me. When I set a short pixel length the drawing feels laggy and slow (aside from issue 3). When I use a longer length, Photo used that horrible lasso-type stabilizer technique. Ideally we would have a basic stabilizer which resolves the kinks and wobbles, and just draws smooth strokes. Similar to CSP, Photoshop, and Krita. And more control options.

5) allow the user to select brushes and control basic brush settings with a contextual right-click menu. Yes, I use shortcut keys as much as anyone, but many users love to stay put and just quickly change some settings visually. Even Photoshop allows for this. Better: why not allow for a custom pie menu which the user may adjust themselves?

6) laggy painting with somewhat larger brushes (~300px) when zoomed out. The longer the stroke, the less controllable it becomes. The performance of larger brushes I will not mention here.

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Because we agree in many points, but mostly so not to force you to read another wall of text :D, I'll keep it a bit more brief as a reply here.

Yep, we both have a history with graphics, it seems, like a lot of people around here. My first "computer graphics" were drawn in a grid traditional paper with ballpoint filling the quads and using READ/DATA cords for BASIC based games. I tend to keep computers for long time, till they freaking get destroyed, I believe all I have had in my life has been a Spectrum 48 k, many many years a 286 with expanded ram, a Pentium 4 (many years too), a Celeron (even longer), and this arcane i7. That's it, lol. First PS version, even older... The 2.0 in a Mac Classic, and 2.5 in a Quadra, at an agency in 95, first job.  

The main difference is in later on professional route. Seems you (and I applaud that) were able to establish your own business since very early. I did a bit of an opposite way : Totally an employee, just had to handle a lot of profiles, as in my area there's an extreme lack of IT or art related jobs , since always, I needed to jump to the next field once the offers would dry up for everyone. Good for learning, tho. Also, as in small companies -really small ones- but handling big contracts, one had to be a Jack of all trades. So I learnt many profiles also due to that. That has meant to be actually forced to : Use open source yes or yes , at companies were they wouldn't want to purchase the expensive Adobe or Corel licenses, and I was left with no chance. Was not sth I could have a choice for (using open source in some, Adobe in most of  them, Corel in a few). The brochures, event posters, whatever graphics, game stuff, etc, had to be done, I had to build my workflows for CMYK, etc. But actually, most of the cases Adobe apps were the thing to use. I had to adapt to them, even with the quirks you mention -and probably a lot that we have not spoke about-  and got so very much used to them (PS, AI, Premiere, etc) that well, a non optimal tool can become very fast in the hands of people that are forced to use those yes or yes. Is only 5 years ago that I became freelancer, really small portion of time in proportion (again, I started working in '95 , is 23 years now, while I was already quite versed in graphics and art way longer before). 

So, I very much did welcome Photo and Designer. Might be far from even similar, but they have something that goes with these UI standards, that make not a problem, at all, at least in matters of UI and workflow, to use them for illustration,  painting and drawing.  

I mean, I don't disagree with you: I have been testing Rebelle, Art Rage, etc, and see how well fit are those for painting. Heck, right now my main tool for all painted and drawn is CSP (late years my freelance work has been mostly painting and drawing), and even CSP has some features for regular image editing. Indeed, the combination of Gimp and CSP (cmyk mode supported, etc) made it a good fit enough for the non drawing projects, together with Inkscape and a bunch others, free and commercial, that I still use.

It is just that I have an extremely built-in habit to PS weirdness, if we call it so, so much that even feels strange a different UI paradigm, which might be surely much better. Also, I am used to all that raster editing power to use it in my favor... Photo makes a hell of a great tool in my hands, there... I was avoiding to purchase it waiting for certain improvements, the ones we are exactly mentioning here, but as it is worth it anyway, and I am going to be needing cmyk workflows soon, and my other set of tools are not gonna cut it anymore , as a freelancer, will need this. I could do with the other apps, as I did with more occasional work for what is not painting,  but is slower. Is like everything...when a task becomes as a more frequent thing, u need to improve the workflows there... As an employee which I have been most of my life, it was all adobe, so, CMYK (I mention it and all related to it, even just anything DTP related, because is typically stuff ignored by many alternatives, for some weird reasons), other advanced editing tasks, were never a problem. Anyway, I might leave the freelance status pretty soon (thinking of getting back to some company, as before, but with the right offer).

About the drawing probs in Photo: We mostly agree. But am gonna prove to myself that I can overcome those issues on my own, without fixes... I like challenges, lol... Let's see how far it gets me.  :D 

Nice to find other graphic dinosaurs around, anyway.  :D

Cheers, 

 


Affinity Designer and Affinity Photo licenses, Windows 7, i7  860 (2009) 2.8 GHz,  8 GB RAM, GTX 1050 2 GB, HD 7200 RPM.  Wacom Intuos 4 XL.

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Oh, some notes, though  :

1) We agree, yep.

2) " zoom thing when alt-clicking for colour picking: hadn't noticed this yet, but it gets in the way. Agreed."  No zoom involved, I guess you mean the magnifier, (I might have used a wrong word, before) , which I would really like to have the option to disable in preferences, even if comes from default. Also 'cause might be the cause of sometimes not picking the color, flashing in the middle, and adding some extra delay. And have it be just an alt color picker, just like in Adobe PS, that you alt click and grab so a color at speed of light. This is essential for blending while painting, instead of using a blending pass with a blending brush, which can be a tad slower and less focused, as a process.

3) We fully agree, and many people have detected this. Is not a perception from some.

4) You don't mention the lag at start of stroke, or in small features, without even activating the stabilizer(smoothing). This is a major issue that several have given feedback about. It seems it only happens in Windows, or at least this I take it from some reports from Mac users. Then, it could be related to the .Net related libraries, directx or sth, not really to the base code. So, might be a matter of optimization. But I don't think this leads anyone to think that so is any better situation, as we don't know the difficulties there.

Is very few cases those where stabilizers are well done (I only like CSP's, Krita's, SAI's and PS 2018's. Surely in this order. But I have tested a lot more.). I confess I really did try very little this feature in the trial, as my worry with the mentioned lag in Windows lead me to think I'd better test all without smoothing. I haven't played with the actual later stable, as just purchased yesterday. A bit like you, probably less as you seem to have done a lot more work in the comics area, I have had a very varied scenario, and long years as a mere graphic designer.But still, lately am needing almost never stabilizers, when even one year ago, wasn't fully the case. I know I might need them yet for very mechanical-like lines, maybe some long perfect curves, etc. In any case, mostly to compensate any jitter caused by software or hardware (most of us don't have "jitter" when inking on paper). It is a very good thing that it was added, I need to test it fully at its current stater. What I could test in its moment, I actually liked it....

5) "allow the user to select brushes and control basic brush settings with a contextual right-click menu."   Yep, here is where we divert. But because we have taken very different routs in software, although spent many years with the same tools. And I have got extremly used to non on-screen menus and all keyboard. Consider I am heavily influenced and with created habits by using intensively Blender(the best speed workflow is through all key shortcuts, although that's been changing, to help newcomers, but still it's ultra fast with mostly keys. And using a lot of Adobe merely with keys.

"Even Photoshop allows for this. Better: why not allow for a custom pie menu which the user may adjust themselves?"  See? I neither use the context menu, rmb or f5 for brushes... IMO, is mostly habits... And if you saw me, I'm quite fast... I've been told to go slower by some bosses, as you know how many want to follow what you are doing, in certain moments....What I mean is that without the contextual, on-point menus, one can also be lighting fast. I know the other approach is surely better, but I am really fast doing this other way. I use contest menus all the time in the almost UI-less Wings 3D, for all my character modeling and props/3D print modeling gigs. So, I know the advantages of the concept. I just found my way since many years with shortcuts only,  and no context menus, in PS.It's habits...

6) "  laggy painting with somewhat larger brushes (~300px) when zoomed out. The longer the stroke, the less controllable it becomes. The performance of larger brushes I will not mention here." 

To be brutally sincere, I have not tested this too much yet, with latest stable AP at least. I tried latest trial, and large brushes were fine in my old machine, bu the canvas was only 5.000 x 5000 pixels.

Anyway, I'm hoping to find "my way" with it for painting and drawing, too. have done with pre-alpha open source, so, I'm not worried.  :D


Affinity Designer and Affinity Photo licenses, Windows 7, i7  860 (2009) 2.8 GHz,  8 GB RAM, GTX 1050 2 GB, HD 7200 RPM.  Wacom Intuos 4 XL.

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I drew my first C64 sprites on graph paper templates I printed with that old Commodore matrix printer. Still have them archived (a wonder really: must have been around 13 years old at the time, and I lost a lot of digital art throughout the years due to hardware accidents).

Presenting the very first sprite I ever drew (and it's animated!): the terrifying Demon Skull (original C64 mid-grey) 1148063534_DemonSkull.gif.40932fab3ef16cd9f42ce2531480a32f.gif

demonskull.jpg.93f378c425fbf0d1c29b6bcadf5e4b8f.jpg

Btw, your conjecture about myself working as a freelancer since the very beginning is entirely correct: my sole attempt to work a 9 to 5 job for about a year in my late twenties taught me it wasn't for me. Almost killed me (literally). Once a freelancer, always a freelancer, I suppose. Have worked with quite large teams, though - but mostly from the comfort of my own workplace setup.

 

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4) Haven't noticed the initial lag when first laying down strokes, to be honest. I didn't experience this myself, and I did try to replicate the behaviour. The wobbles and kinks caught my eyes immediately, though, since it's a shared issue with other software. Windows and Wacom don't interpolate smoothly on zoomed out canvasses in most software unless the software takes care of this itself.

6) laggy painting: it's a weak point of a lot of digital painting/image editing software, as can be expected. Krita solved it with its "instant preview" mode, which turns out to be quite useful when I do want to use more complex brushes or very large ones on a large canvas. Doesn't occur often, but when it does Krita allows me to draw large strokes smoothly with no lagging. Drawback: after drawing it's best to wait a bit until Krita is done calculating the final result.

Having said this, working on high bit depth 10.000 px large canvases compared to 160x200 16 colour ones, I don't mind the occasional lag here and there xD

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hehe

Yup, I did those, too, redefining the Spectrum keys to handle those as game sprites. I was 15, instead...

Then, yep, we're verrry different in job matters... I've been quite a company grunt (orc) for very long time. 7 years in a row in the latest one, doing every imaginable task. Before that, rarely more than a year (most cases: game studios don't survive longer in my area. And small games--> per project stuff, a single contract with a distro, etc), but 10 places in total. Yet tho, I've freelanced in the side since almost always, only full time latest 5 years.

About problems being at a company...It was complex, indeed, in several problematic places. In one, the stress was so high I got dangerous levels of blood pressure (being actually quite low pressure, normally). But... after some time (middle of those latest 7 years , developed a "zen mode", stopped feeling stress, from 200 to zero, no matter what, even the most heavy pressure. Kind of did grow a very thick skin. And started to enjoy a lot the journey. Reasons to begin as a freelancer, definitely not as to be wasted from company work.. as That couldn't really happen , anymore.  :-]  And also, was a remote worker for long time, so, is kind of great way of working. (although most of my years I've been in-site)

4) Yep... PS and CSP do a magnificient job in that regard. (no jitter in lines when zoomed out). The lag... might show up in some machines, not in others (mine is definitely older and way less powerful, could be that)

6)  is more related to hardware power than other issues, and yes, is a more common thing to find in other applications (like with other performance issues, in my machine CSP is king there, too). Many manga artists complained about this in older PS versions, and most cases I checked were really very low end machines (much lower than my current old i7). One trick of mine has always been to do the large brush composition in screen res or even smaller, as anyway, at that moment you are only doing large brushes for general values and masses of color, composition. You go detailing, and once it is all medium detail, you scale up to final canvas size. This trick also helps for avoiding the wobbly lines inking /penciling in zoomed out (after all, I don't know your process, but a lot of comic artists do all in lines since start, not large brushes blocking as in digital painting). Still, Is a lot better when able to paint, draw and everything directly in zoomed out at the final size since the beginning.


Affinity Designer and Affinity Photo licenses, Windows 7, i7  860 (2009) 2.8 GHz,  8 GB RAM, GTX 1050 2 GB, HD 7200 RPM.  Wacom Intuos 4 XL.

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Actually... after painting a bit (not inking), I mean, digital painting...my main grip is not having the possibility of avoiding the (alt+click) magnifier as a whole. It definitely is distracting that flash (and I don't need that zoom-in, I know which color am picking), it also adds some important (from time to time, but very often) delay in color picking (I do that very fast, and constantly, for blending), even not getting the color, often. Sometimes it paints a dot, but this could be a conflict with wacom panel's assigned keys to the buttons, or sth. (I always have alt modifier to pen's side button, for speed's sake).I have completely killed the X-Button app to avoid any possible interference. (as now u can set wheel zoom at Ap preferences, and middle buttom (wheel click) pans.  )

About performance with large brushes. Remember my machine is many times older and less powerful than yours (and most people)...even so, I got to paint reasonably well (although this perception/threshold varies per person) with a quite tweaked certain 512 brush (maintaining powers of 2, lol, just in case is easier for the cpu, lol) , BUT, deactivating a chunk of things, not using textures (I don't need that for very realistic painting, even) . I mean, starting from the only brushes I saw fast at big sizes : the basic round ones. Also, helps in focusing, as then the always visible brush cursor shape outline is way less distracting and less covering: just a circle. (I'd prefer to remove it also, but I have found the worst is the magnifier issue in alt + clicking to pick colors, by several reasons)

Thing is, at least in this super arcane machine, a 5k x 5k canvas (I often work in this size, lately), a 512 brush with certain settings seems to do quite well. Of course, the experience in painting in CSP is way superior, but is quite good for me to know that I can perfectly paint over any file imported, and it being not a terrible experienced (hoping the engine to improve quite with time, though).

The brush would not work at all in a satisfactory way without having certain settings varied (and probably neither with other way of configuring AP general preferences, I've been a while tuning this up today, to  my liking in everything) . For this "magic brush" -for me- I needed also to tune up the sensitivity to tip pressure in global wacom panel (but only for AP, of course), so it detects more, and so that I could set the AP brush curves (choosing certain ones instead of a straight diagonal)to start more subtle,  but having range to set more paint at other moments, allowing me a better paint-blending while using these round normal brushes. So, I adjusted the sensitivity in Wacom panel ONLY for AP, only just 1 point (one mark)  less that 100% of the maximum sensitivity to pressure . Wacom alternatives usually have a rougher pressure sensitivity range, so, dunno if doable with one of those. I have a Wacom Pro 4 XL . I guess u can play with settings in both ap and wacom panel to get same results.

For actual first blocking (concept, local basic colors, or flats), I would use a different brush, also starting from a basic round one too, a much simpler one, knowing that setting various aspects to be affected by pressure, and/or setting some texture, and/or decreasing the interval between dots (spacing) seems to always add lag everywhere. (even just when setting up at the sliders) . So, one brush to block colors, first moments of composition (first minutes only), and the "magic one" to paint in detail (and later on vary size dynamically as needed, with the tablet disc dial). It seems after adjusting the wacom dial speed, and setting to it my keys for increase and decrease brush size, it works well for AP to be constantly changing brush size with this brush. So to go adding smaller detail as I go. Other tablets might not have a dial (the cheap golden purchase, Deco 03, has one).

I see doable some painting here.

Even if for me is yet quite more productive to paint in CSP, then import here. But as mentioned, I like challenges. Will force myself in painting with ap, see how it goes....

Stabilizer, for line work.... I found it good (specially the second mode)....sorry.... :s . The issues in zoomed out line jitter, and no stabilizer (with it on it disappear. I could deal with it so, somehow), are definitely there. But seems I can deal it with a low level of stabilizer, using the second mode.

The lag I mentioned before, in small features (without stabilizer), or start of line, at least again using basic round brushes, only configuring size variation by pressure, in this just-purchased Aphoto desktop version, seem gone to me, here. Doing so, I don't notice that lag. Not in zoomed out, neither in zoomed it. Might be EVERYTHING -bad- happening when not using basic brushes, at least in old Windows machines?    Dunno if I try this now with specific high end, textured brushes for ink, I'll notice then delay (it definitely happens so for digital painting! ). With the basic ones, not at all, and that's all I need. (in PS, I used to use only basic round brushes, and play a lot with flow and other settings and my painting tyechniques)

So...slowly it is all leaving the magnifier forced thing (and its lag moments/eventual moments not catching up, or even painting a non size-pressure affected random big dot) as my only big issue....And I am guessing is not only a matter of showing it (the magnifier lens) up or not, but being the processing of it too much for fast alt-clicking to pick colors like u do in PS , CSP, Gimp, etc, etc. (well, at anything).

To say that this is an i7 first gen, really old, a 860. Only the 2gb card is modern, and low end, even.Only 8 gbs of main  ram(ultra slow ram). I mean: if I can work with it (seems so), this is really a very low end test machine... :D :60_sweat::$9_9B|

 

PD: All this is probably not a matter of concern in way better machines, or in Mac machines. So, keep it in mind....


Affinity Designer and Affinity Photo licenses, Windows 7, i7  860 (2009) 2.8 GHz,  8 GB RAM, GTX 1050 2 GB, HD 7200 RPM.  Wacom Intuos 4 XL.

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Been doing a deeper test (with these tricks, brushes and settings)... soon to say , yet... but  I personally could find it usable...will wait till I get to a bit more detailed work... I gotta do other tasks now, but I'll keep updated this with final findings.I think a lot should be improved (in the brush-painting system) in the future, but finding it usable (if not actually comfortable) for painting, somehow.


Affinity Designer and Affinity Photo licenses, Windows 7, i7  860 (2009) 2.8 GHz,  8 GB RAM, GTX 1050 2 GB, HD 7200 RPM.  Wacom Intuos 4 XL.

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1 hour ago, SrPx said:

Even if for me is yet quite more productive to paint in CSP, then import here. But as mentioned, I like challenges. Will force myself in painting with ap, see how it goes....

Stabilizer, for line work.... I found it good (specially the second mode)....sorry.... :s . The issues in zoomed out line jitter, and no stabilizer (with it on it disappear. I could deal with it so, somehow), are definitely there. But seems I can deal it with a low level of stabilizer, using the second mode.

The lag I mentioned before, in small features (without stabilizer), or start of line, at least again using basic round brushes, only configuring size variation by pressure, in this just-purchased Aphoto desktop version, seem gone to me, here. Doing so, I don't notice that lag. Not in zoomed out, neither in zoomed it. Might be EVERYTHING -bad- happening when not using basic brushes, at least in old Windows machines?    Dunno if I try this now with specific high end, textured brushes for ink, I'll notice then delay (it definitely happens so for digital painting! ). With the basic ones, not at all, and that's all I need. (in PS, I used to use only basic round brushes, and play a lot with flow and other settings and my painting tyechniques)

 

On my side I can't reproduce those lags at the start of a line (so far), and Iv'e tried low-res and high-res canvasses to draw on in Photo.

Lasso-based stabilizers I find dreadful to work with. I just need a basic one to reduce wobbles and kinks produced by Wacom and Windows interpolation issues, and that's it. The ones in Photo prove to be rather a hindrance while drawing than anything else (sorry). And when I do use a very short length setting the drawing "feel" is quite heavy and more indirect (which is another reason I dislike most stabilizers).

In Krita and CSP this is not the case, and both avoid the lasso-type of stabilizer. In Krita I just use the first basic stabilizer option, and it works fine. In CSP I often turn off the stabilizer altogether, and it still works fine for me - even on zoomed out canvasses and thin strokes.

Anyway, something I noticed in Photo (compared to Photoshop, Krita and CSP) is that a lower-res canvas, when zoomed in at an odd 147% settting (for example) results in terrible aliasing while drawing. There's always going to be some reduction in quality, of course, but compared to the other three Photo's anti-aliasing is eye-strainingly painful to look at. That alone is a primary reason to avoid Photo for drawing. Not sure if this is a Windows thing, but I do recall Krita's developers mentioning that they had a heck of a time getting the screen anti-aliasing right. It's not as simple as it sounds, it seems.

So that would be number (7) on the list of drawing improvements.

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Hi! I'm sort of busy right now, but will reply in more detail at another moment, or will just integrate into the conversation later on if the thread grows. Overall, I kind of think that I can compensate those problems with extra tricks and techniques (until those get improved/solved).  I'm performing a sort of test. It makes it all slower and less comfortable that it should be, significantly, I agree, but what I am trying to prove to myself is that is usable, at least by me (each use case is a world apart) . I'm positive, seeing how my test is going, that it will end well. Even if mostly painting with CSP, I want to be very sure I could paint as well with Photo Windows version - with some reasonable comfort and result quality- in case I need it for other certain projects. As you know, the more apps one can use to the wider extent possible, the better, even if it all keeps you using heavily other tools as well, in this sort of apps orchestra that a lot of us use....


Affinity Designer and Affinity Photo licenses, Windows 7, i7  860 (2009) 2.8 GHz,  8 GB RAM, GTX 1050 2 GB, HD 7200 RPM.  Wacom Intuos 4 XL.

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