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I didn't know where else to put this topic so I figured "Feature Requests" was as good a place as any.

 

I just recently answered a question helping a user move his AD assets to After Effects and felt the overdue need to post this statement:

 

Just remember one thing....Affinity Designer is NOT Illustrator and Affinity Photo is NOT Photoshop. All of the functionality that Adobe put in most of their products was simply to make the user buy more than one of it's products. "Release to Layers" was put there so that they could sell Flash and AE to Illustrator users (and the inverse is also true). "Smart Objects" was created to increase sales of Photoshop and Illustrator for InDesign and GoLive users (not to mention that Adobe was in bed with whomever owned Maya at the time; there were video tutorials at the time that have long since vanished about using Maya with Photoshop and smart objects to dynamically adjust content in InDesign and GoLive).

 

The point is that there are certain features that Adobe popularized in their products that are NOT ever likely to be included in Designer and Photo because they are ADOBE features.

 

Smart Objects: STOP asking the devs if "Smart Objects" will ever be included in Affinity Designer or Photo. While I do understand the question (like many of you, I also have a ton of work previously done in AI and/or PS that may/may not have utilized Smart Objects), it's time to realize that Adobe left us behind and we chose to move on with Affinity. Designer most likely (unless the devs are working on something I don't know about) will never have "Smart Objects." That being said, it DOES have Embedded Document Editing for artwork created in Designer.

 

Release to Layers: This was a feature that Adobe hijacked from Macromedia Freehand when they acquired Macromedia over 10 years ago. It was originally created to move animation-ready artwork from Freehand to Flash. Adobe used it to move artwork from Illustrator to Flash and After Effects.

 

Affinity--from what has been stated on this forum--is not looking to create animation/motion graphics software (although, personally, I think this is a mistake...but have to respect their position. NOT video editing--motion graphics). Therefore, those of you who can, I suggest looking into Motion, HitFilm, or--an open source newcomer with an interface similar to Nuke--Natron (http://natron.inria.fr). Ronnie McBride has already put up a tutorial on moving assets to Motion from AD. I can testify that the same technique he used--AD to PNG ("Selected without background")--works just as well on HitFilm and Natron. I have used both. You may have to now animate the assets yourselves, but they work.

 

In the old days BEFORE Release to Layers/Smart Objects, the user base would have had to come up with workarounds. I am, unfortunately, old enough to remember when Path Text was not part of Illustrator. How did one make it happen? They studied their tools and came up with new ways how to use them. Adobe has spoiled everyone and, in doing so, made it harder for some designers and users to detach themselves from Adobe's teet. The artists will find workarounds...everyone else may just be an "adobe user."

 

The ONLY way I understand the situation if you HAVE to continue using the Adobe product is if--truthfully--there is no (reasonably priced) equivalent/alternative, then you're stuck.

 

Thank You For Your Time.

Edited by Quarian

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I agree with your statement: I guess it is difficult because Adobe ruled the roost for so long now that comparisons will always be made, for better or worse. Look at all those people still angry about having to use illustrator instead of freehand. In DTP Quark was the big player when I started, so when Indesign became bigger, it was compared to this, and users still sometimes prefer certain Quark features over ID. But now it has established itself and is the benchmark for other applications. Affinity Products are very good, but they are also very much in development, and it is good for developers to have a clear objective for what they want to archieve with the software. The difference to Adobe programs like Illustrator and Photoshop is that the have been with us for ages, so there is a lot of stuff put into it, some good, some not. I think the benefit of a new start should be to have a clear objective for the software, even if this seems limited in some respects. I hope Affinity keeps this firmly in view.

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Unfortunately Affinity is already doing the same - instead of putting the Liquify and Development personae into AD, they made it AP, so you'll have a second app to pay for. I'd rather pay twice the price for AD and have it all in one package.

What will be next? Maybe an Affinity Painter app - instead of giving us custom brushes and full Wacom support in AD with a "natural media" persona, they might put it in even one more extra package. I hope I'm not giving them ideas here ...

But maybe the planned layout app will make my wish come true and include all personae under one roof - they could even make the different personae available as in-app purchases, so they'll be kind of "plug-ins".

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Postmadesign, I'm waiting impatiently for Affinity Publisher. As I have stated before in this forum, for Affinity Publisher to be taken seriously as a Publishing tool in 2015 and going forward, IMHO, it must accomplish four of the following seven tasks:

1. It must output solid PDF/X-1a, PDF/X-3 and PDF/X-4 compliant files for high-end printing.
2. It must be possible to introduce PMS colors (among other palettes) into it's workflow.
3. It must be able to export some form of interactive PDF (if not, see #4 and #6)
4. It must be able to export ePUB 3 inclusive of the fixed layout properties.
5. It must get to the point that printers will accept ".afpublisher" files if variable data printing calls for it.
6. It must export .ibooks. (This last would make it INDISPENSABLE on the Mac) with the ability to import HTML widgets and Collada files. (Okay, now I'm just reaching...)

7. It must import .IDML files just as Designer imports .AI and .PSD files

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r10k, I would agree about using Fusion except that Fusion requires a powerful video card and I was able to get Affinity Designer working on a 2007 Macbook with 64MB of VRAM on an old Intel 950 IGP and an old 2006 MacBook Pro with 128MB of VRAM. The "free" part works; it's just that part of the user base Serif is targeting is not ALWAYS going to necessarily have that type of Mac that you would need to run Fusion. Natron works via the CPU and, therefore, is closer for use on older hardware.

 

You get an "A" for effort, though...

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Achim63, I think you may have missed the point. While it is true that Serif/Affinity is VERY responsive to the needs of their user base--moreso, I dare say than MOST of their competitors--this is still a business. Also, while I can appreciate either not wanting to pay for separate software packages (Canvas immediately comes to mind) or wanting an all-in-one solution, there is merit to the separation of disciplines into different packages.

 

My point being that Designer's paradigm appears to be (devs step in here if I'm wrong) Illustration; to this end, Affinity started with a vector package and put in the bitmap persona because so many users--myself included--have started a piece in Illustrator and taken it into Photoshop to finish it to get all the special effects into it that Illustrator didn't have. Also, they added a drawing/sketching mode to the software. And--to put the cherry on top--as any Fireworks and/or Sketch user will tell you, it's best to work in vector with your web graphics and export to larger sizes. Designer is mainly there for Illustration.

 

The featureset that comprises Photo is one that would be attractive to a photographer without completely alienating the illustration crowd that creates their pieces by using existing photos and/or digital imagery as a base. As a photographer myself, believe me when I tell you that you wouldn't want to put the Develop persona in a software like Designer. This is also why, I think, that the Liquefy ("Liquify"?) persona is included in photo. The devs said a while back that the featureset in Photo was going to concentrate on a photographer's workflow to include retouching and color correction.

 

Just as the userbase has requested features in Designer that are being held for Publisher with good reason. Your Illustration software should NOT completely cross over to where it's a layout software (think about the differences between the open source software packages Scribus and Inkscape). The multipage layout feature, comprehensive text editing and formatting, and pre-press capabilities SHOULD be in Publisher.

 

In other words:

 

Designer = illustration specialists

Photo = photographers and 3D conceptualists

Publisher = Layout and production artists

 

Also, in closing, I ask you to look at the following point: If Adobe hadn't moved forward with their subscription plan, how much would it have cost for each corresponding software to Affinity's offerings? As it is--with the subscription plan--each one alone would average about $20.00/month which comes to $240/year USD. Affinity is charging $50.00, period, per package. Granted, I don't know how much they are charging in Europe, but I would hope that the pricing at least puts Affinity within reach of a fair amount of users. As I said at the beginning, it is a business.

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@Quarian

 

I completely agree to your points. The one point where I think it could be interesting is the shared file format. I also would like to add that Typography options (styles are essential) and especially accessibility of Open Type features will be one of the most important things to me. Adobe dropped the ball in this respect by making a panel that is not very user friendly and that hides many aspects of the font in the interface, so if Affinity Publisher can come in with a good interface and rich features, it will get my vote!!

 

To sort of respond to the price issue: I think Affinity Products at the moment are dead cheap compared to Adobe. I would say Adobe is about 10 times more expensive (at least if I compare it to the fact I paid around 1500€ for PS, AI & ID at the time, and if the other Affinity products are prized in the same way as AD). Of course the one is market leader and the other an upstart, but still the difference is huge, and if developments continue as they do at this time it will make the Affinity Suite very attractive.

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[...] and especially accessibility of Open Type features will be one of the most important things to me. Adobe dropped the ball in this respect by making a panel that is not very user friendly and that hides many aspects of the font in the interface, so if Affinity Publisher can come in with a good interface and rich features, it will get my vote!!

 

Have you looked at the interface currently in Text > Show Typography ? OpenType features go in there, when the font supports them.

 

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Yeah I know this, and this is fine for a program like AD, which is a drawing app first and foremost. I also think it works quite well, but does not yet support all features yet, or not clearly enough. What I find more concerning is that Kerning does not or not always work, even when know for sure the font has it. I would also wish for some more advanced options like glyph selection...

What is not so clear in the current Typography panel, is that I don't know if the features like superscript or small caps are generated by the program (fake) or are real OT features inside the font. 

 

I am not to crazy about the idea having to go through 3 panels to change my type settings, I would rather have a more advanced contextual menu with more features directly accessible, or customizable so I can have all the options I need all the time. It does not make much sense to me to put font selection and size in a separate menu to spacing. These two are always linked. I know this is the way Adobe apps handle this, but with more consistency, and with more contextual options. The typography panel is quite alike the panel in Apple applications... I wish Affinity will improve this area and have a more coherent approach that is all his own. I have read many designers complaints about the incoherent way Adobe apps handle this, and I think it is an area in which Affinity could really make a big positive difference.

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Designer = illustration specialists

Photo = photographers and 3D conceptualists

Publisher = Layout and production artists

 

 

That's how Adobe does it - why should that be the best approach? The three have much code in common - e.g. the prepress and printing capabilities are a necessity for all of them, as are typography features. So what I'm thinking of is more of a publishing framework, where you can switch to the specialized part whenever needed. Remember the OpenDoc philosophy Apple introduced years ago? It resembles the personae approach we see in AD. So I really don't see the necessity to have three programs when the transitions between them are so fluent.

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@Achim63

 

I see what you mean. I also think that perhaps a suite which would include the three programs as one might be a good idea in the future. For now I think it would be best to concentrate on the core strengths and objectives of the individual apps, and worry about the rest later. If the individual apps are good, I don't mind switching, for now.

 

Actually, thinking about it some more, I think the persona is really the core of the what makes Affinity unique. Following up on this it could be the basis for one suite to integrate all personas in one. And regarding my thoughts on Typography: I think the most logicl thing to do is to make it its own persona: this way you get the uncluttered UI I like, but with all the options needed. I think Type was not really a big concern until now and is a bit underdeveloped, making a typography persona might solve this problem. I also see that AP is primarily intended for Photo editing, but this is what PS is as well, but still people do a lot more things with it, especially pixel based illustration. So it would make sense to me add a Paint/Illustration Persona to AP. This could of course also be added later :-)

 

What Personas would be required for me to make the suite complete? I guess something like this:

 

-Vector Illustration

-Pixel Illustration

-Photoediting (may be split up into different elements as it is in AP)

-Typography

-Layout

-Interactive (for ebooks, pdfs etc, not websites)

-export/import

 

plus perhaps some kind of organisation persona that takes cares of things like links, embedding, packaging for print, colecting files, detailed info about document etc.

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@ postmadesign

 

You know, until you stated it, I hadn't even considered that Typography will probably be it's own persona (in Publisher) given that personas are the very paradigm upon which Affinity's software operates. VERY interesting thought, indeed.

 

@ Achim63

 

Basic typographic features are necessary for most applications, but how often--for example--would you encounter needing copyfitting tools in a photography program? Still, the user model that you and postmadesign present would be, in fact, intriguing. A modular suite wherein you have the option of purchasing only the personas you want? hmmmm....

 

Or outright buy the kitchen sink...don't know how it would work as a business model but it's nice to think about.

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Thanks for the feedback, Postmadesign. Not showing whether typography features are genuinely OpenType is something we planned to do, and it's really an oversight that we didn't. I've fix this now. In the next beta, non-OT features will be listed in italic.

 

Incidentally, many of the "fake" features in the Typography panel are implemented by switching characters. For example, if the font doesn't support 'frac' but does provide ½ (U+00bd), then we can use it to replace 1/2. So the result is a genuine fraction glyph, designed by the author of the font, even though the feature is implemented by the program. I'm not aware of any other program that takes this approach, so you can see we are not just copying Apple or Adobe.

 

For auto-kerning, we support the OpenType 'kern' and 'gpos' tables. If you have a font which provides either of these, but doesn't auto-kern in Affinity, that sounds like a bug, and if you let me know which font it is I'll investigate it. So far as I'm aware, the only fonts for which we don't support auto-kerning are in the old Apple Advanced Typography format, which is a completely different standard to OpenType.

 

I agree the current organisation of text formatting panels is not ideal, and we'll overhaul it for Publisher. Almost certainly we'll use dockable Studio tabs that are more space efficient. As you say, typography would be a natural area for a Persona to focus on.

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Hello Dave,

 

Thanks for your reply. It is good to see you are working on improvements, I am very much looking forward to them, as well as Publisher!

 

About the kerning Problem: it seems to be a problem with the alternates (contextual, all, swash etc.): when I deactivate them the kerning is fine, but when I switch them on, kerning is gone... It seems not specifically font related as it is the same for all that have these features.

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I actually have the feeling and I hope I will be wrong but AS copies Adobe already.

 

Why have an illustration tool and then a publisher tool? Ever worked on multiple page documents?

Try that in InDesign it is a disaster when you need to work on something that is not a book.

 

Freehand was perfect for that and Illustrator at one point got the artboard feature but of course lacking the master page tools.

 

And I feel AS does the same some illustration here some layouting in a different app enjoy pushing your data between the apps.

 

I really hope I will be wrong with this fear.


Claas Kuhnen

 

 

 

 

Faculty Industrial Design  -  Chair Interior Design - Wayne State University

 

 

Owner studioKuhnen - product:interface:design

 

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You get an "A" for effort, though...

 

 

Haha, thanks :) Although, I'm sure not too many animation hungry designers would be running systems like what you were...

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This is very good point and I think affinity shouldn't have to need to support ALL of Adobes features.. However support is good. We still (unfortunately) live in an age where Adobe rules in the business sector. This means no matter how much I want to use Photo or Designer if a client has a photoshop file with smart objects I'll still need a a copy of photoshop to get to those high res picture / vector files. This has happened to me a lot!

Another example is After effects only shows vector layers from illustrator files. Unfortunately .ai files are private so Affinity cant make an exporter for it. Maybe Adobe will one day give layer support to SVG files and we'll all be happy :D 

One of the things Affinity promises is that there is no subscription however as long as features like 'Smart object' or 'save as .AI' etc aren't supported people will unfortunately have to keep it. (Or tirelessly re-download trial copies until they have to reinstall there Mac again :( ugghhh)
 

 As people are moving from one app to the next support for features like this will always be asked because its a pain to switch from app to app.

I'm personally glad Affinity is trying to support adobe files and more, it would make my work imposable otherwise. I think Affinity is also being smart too by not letting adobe stuff compromise Affinity's performance and development.

One day there will be requests for Adobe to support Affinity files, hopefully that day is soon :)

 

just my 3 cents

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Ps. I too wish for an after effects equivalent for motion graphics. So far I've not found one. There is definitely a hole in that market. 

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As I was getting my cup of coffee this morning I was just thinking about some things I read on the forum and about my own needs in using AD. I realized we basically all are asking for AI features in AD but at a cheaper price point. Also in a v1 of AD. It know I can be impatient for features to be rolled out, and maybe some of you too, but the developers are very gracious and informative about their goals with this software and the eventual suite. I personally am still dipping back into AI to get some things done but when I think about it there are definitely workarounds in AD if that "tool" is not available. I guess the bottom line, as Quarian stated so well, is that AD will never be AI nor is its' goal to be. AD will be its' own animal and judging from v1 it looks very promising. I do think things need to be added to make it production ready where houses will be willing to integrate it in their pipeline but this will also take a mind-shift. That, to me, will be the biggest hurdle, not the capabilities of AD.

 

For me, I'm dying to see a viable AE replacement. It gets tougher and tougher, especially with some of the new features just rolled out in AE at NAB. I poured my heart into Motion, starting in v4, but there doesn't seem to be a desire by Apple to really compete with AE. Therefore I am constantly using AE and paying Adobe :(. Yes, Motion is very capable of doing somethings that AE can do, and some ever easier, but if you want to do anything somewhat "interesting" in motion graphics, you will be disappointed. I know that is not really what Motion is for, I understand it's purpose and integration with FCP but I just wish it was so much more. And, the new M5 update, which I haven't downloaded yet seems just about 3D titles so unless that's all you do..... :-(. Again it's wanting M5 to be AE but at cheaper price point.

I just realized I cannot type to a forum when drinking coffee....I just start to ramble......good day to everyone, you are all what makes this forum so informative and entertaining :)

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Affinity, I know that Serif just discontinued MoviePlus...so, if you guys don't see yourselves coming out with an "affinity animate" app, here are some alternatives you might be willing to suggest to take the heat off. BTW, except for HitFilm and Motion, all of these are "node-based" solutions and most of them require a discrete GPU (except for HitFilm, Motion and Natron...Intel HD 4000 ain't gonna cut it).

 

Nuke Non-commercial edition (free w/limitations)

Blackmagic Design Fusion (free version)

Resolve Lite 11/12 (free)

Natron 1.2 (open-source)

HitFilm 3 Pro ($299)

Apple Motion 5 ($50)

 

Hope this helps.

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In other words:

 

Designer = illustration specialists

Photo = photographers and 3D conceptualists

Publisher = Layout and production artists

 

It is absolutelly wrong. No one designer uses only one kind of app. Everyone needs something from all these 3 apps. And so it will be absolute need for only one app that will merge all the three of them. It is very irritating to jump from one to another app just to do a portion of the job and then to continue to the third one, and so on.

I completelly agree with Achim63, and I have posted this same question a month or two, ago.


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