Jump to content

Recommended Posts

I think there's a naming convention problem, and that this problem is foundational to the problem of understanding the differences between the two apps.

 

Affinity Designer should be named Affinity Illustrator...

 

wait for it....

 

Adobe Illustrator should be named Adobe Designer

 

________________

 

Adobe tacked on illustrative style functionality, and then spent a decade (or more) pursuing that because they weren't willing to make a Painter style competitor to Corel Painter, and thought their combatant with Corel Draw (Illustrator) could do both things well enough to counter.

 

And then they began figuring out how to control the media, and became a monopoly.

 

But that doesn't change the fact that Illustrator is the first app every designer reaches for to do vector design work. (with the exception of those that use alternatives from competitors).

 

Illustrator is a design app.

 

Affinity Designer is an illustration app, and not well suited to the iterative processes of design.

 

But it's called "Designer" and posited (by the media and many of the press releases and undertones of commentary from the makers) as an Illustrator rival.

 

It is possible to use AD for design, but it's a painful slog, very restrictive and not anywhere near Illustrator for this avenue of creativity. But Illustrator isn't any kind of benchmark, Illustrator has the worst workflow of any design app. Ask anyone that's used Freehand or CorelDraw, they'll give you a ream of reasons why Illustrator's workflow is horrid.

 

But AD is currently far more limiting and stunted for creative design processes.

 

So, yeah, I agree, Affinity is not Adobe.

 

But Adobe isn't much of a benchmark.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That said, the name Designer is better suited for the name of all three aplications joined together.


Windows 10 x64 Pro
Dell Inspiron 7559 i7
Intel Core i7-6700HQ (3.50 GHz, 6M )
16GB Dual Channel DDR3L 1600MHz (8GBx2)
1TB HDD + 128 GB SSD Hard drive
UHD (3840 x 2160) Truelife LED- Backlit Touch Display
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M 4GB GDDR5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Why do you think Adobe is not a benchmark? If it is not, then who is? Serious designers use Illustrator not because it is too easy to learn, but because of myriad of options it has. My opinion is that Affinity devs must have all the competiting software and see what is the best in them and put it in their app but done in their way.


Windows 10 x64 Pro
Dell Inspiron 7559 i7
Intel Core i7-6700HQ (3.50 GHz, 6M )
16GB Dual Channel DDR3L 1600MHz (8GBx2)
1TB HDD + 128 GB SSD Hard drive
UHD (3840 x 2160) Truelife LED- Backlit Touch Display
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M 4GB GDDR5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, it is, for them. But I'm suggesting that the best way is to think outside the paradigms of existing design software's methodologies about what needs to be designed by modern day designers.

 

Given that designing for the screen is now the predominant activity of designers, and that all existing design software was fundamentally created with print as the primary consideration, it's time for a rethink.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very interesting points about not copying Adobe yet splitting the roles up along the exact sames lines as Adobe's products. Our shop primarily uses Illustrator to produce web layouts. It's currently our best option because we can keep related layouts together in a single file with multiple artboards/pages, but still have complete drawing capabilities and more freedom to move things around than in InDesign.

 

We don't want a tool just for making single illustrations, and we don't want a tool just for publishing long documents with master pages and text flowing. We want a tool we can do layout and design in.

 

We own Sketch, and have used it, but the lack of print support is a serious drawback -- designers don't want to have to move assets between two similar but different tools. There aren't any other current, viable options that support multiple artboards/pages (one of many features that Freehand nailed so many years ago). Gravit might become an option at some point, though it needs to gain a lot more traction, and I'm disappointed that they are dropping the dedicated desktop version in favor of a purely browser-based cloud service. Or maybe iDraw will step up and add this feature.

 

I am hopeful that once development of Affinity Publisher is underway in earnest, Designer will gain support for multiple artboards/pages without the need to switch back and forth to another app. If that's not going to happen, and the only way to use multiple pages in this suite is to flip back and forth between Designer and Publisher, quite frankly we will never switch to it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am hopeful that once development of Affinity Publisher is underway in earnest, Designer will gain support for multiple artboards/pages without the need to switch back and forth to another app. If that's not going to happen, and the only way to use multiple pages in this suite is to flip back and forth between Designer and Publisher, quite frankly we will never switch to it.

 

 

Designer will definitely be gaining multiple artboard/page support in the fairly near future, so your patience will be rewarded :)  It has been promised on our roadmap and also I want to use it, so I'll make sure it goes in no matter what! Hehe ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just start with the space around the document. It's incredibly annoying to not be able to move something off the page and do some iterative "DESIGN"!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think there's a naming convention problem, and that this problem is foundational to the problem of understanding the differences between the two apps.

 

Affinity Designer should be named Affinity Illustrator...

 

wait for it....

 

Adobe Illustrator should be named Adobe Designer

 

________________

 

Adobe tacked on illustrative style functionality, and then spent a decade (or more) pursuing that because they weren't willing to make a Painter style competitor to Corel Painter, and thought their combatant with Corel Draw (Illustrator) could do both things well enough to counter.

 

And then they began figuring out how to control the media, and became a monopoly.

 

But that doesn't change the fact that Illustrator is the first app every designer reaches for to do vector design work. (with the exception of those that use alternatives from competitors).

 

Illustrator is a design app.

 

Affinity Designer is an illustration app, and not well suited to the iterative processes of design.

 

But it's called "Designer" and posited (by the media and many of the press releases and undertones of commentary from the makers) as an Illustrator rival.

 

It is possible to use AD for design, but it's a painful slog, very restrictive and not anywhere near Illustrator for this avenue of creativity. But Illustrator isn't any kind of benchmark, Illustrator has the worst workflow of any design app. Ask anyone that's used Freehand or CorelDraw, they'll give you a ream of reasons why Illustrator's workflow is horrid.

 

But AD is currently far more limiting and stunted for creative design processes.

 

So, yeah, I agree, Affinity is not Adobe.

 

But Adobe isn't much of a benchmark.

 

This. Thank you, deeds. You surmised most of my, err, little beefs with AD. *Iteration* is key!

 

As I said: because AD shows dragged objects as fully rendered instead of phantom shapes (you know, much like the old outline window dragging behaviour in Mac OS Classic/Windows 3.x vs. the full “show contents while dragging” behaviour of OS X/Windows 9x), it doesn't support self-snapping of objects. If I want to iteratively produce a regular texture by exponential duplication in AD, I will have a hard time snapping things together (you could argue that I should use something like symbols or pattern fills instead, but what if I wish to manipulate areas of it?).

 

And while AD's vector tools are, in many ways, more intuitive than Illustrator's, and snapping seems to be an area where Serif is investing a lot, it seems to be too spotty to be relied upon for rigorous, geometric drawing. I know that some killer features (central node – hopefully with snapping support? –, rotation with custom centre, etc.) are already in the official pipeline, but AD doesn't provide, by design (!!), some features that are essencial for a user to give it that extra rigour, like being able to easily drag a selection from a specific node and have it snap to another node (and not dragging it aimlessly around the target node, waiting for AD to guess where exactly you want to have it snapped and having it fail miserably at it).

 

I know I am beating a dead horse here, but transform handles should be hideable in some way when initiating draggind operations (and nodes could and should be selected as preferential snapping candidates, a la Smart Guides behaviour) or, alternatively, the node tool should select automatically all nodes on a previously selected object for more precise dragging, *just like in Illustrator*. And that wouldn't, in and of itself, make AD “too much like Illustrator” (hey, the vector drawing would still be far better, hands-down) while both making the designer's camp *very* happy and not being detrimental in the least bit to the illustrator's camp. Oh, and when can we expect snapping to curve intersections? That would be a godsend, IMHO…

 

deeds, you have pretty much nailed it. AD has, first and foremost, a bit of a naming problem (or maybe a problem of positioning, too, because there is, indeed, more of an overlap between AD and AP – namely the pixel brushes, which are, as you pointed out, more useful to illustrators than vector designers – than there is between Ps and Ai, and also because Affinity Publisher will attract even more people from the strict, hardcore vector design crowd, and those two factors will make AD's shortcomings become all the more evident), and Adobe Designer / Affinity Illustrator would, indeed, be more fitting monikers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I also expect to have all this available in Affinity Designer. Most of the features described are fundamental in a vector application and others are great additions/suggestions, but that's not the point. We can't compare software applications as if they were comparable directly in the current circumstances (Affinity /Adobe). There's a little gap between the two: 25 years. A comparison between a version 1.0 versus v18.0 isn't fair. People talk about Affinity apps as if they were done. They aren't. We just started...  :)

 

Brushes are already present on both applications because they share the same code, and because Designer will allow to mix both types of data: raster and vector. Since the code was ready to be included, it's there already. But, it doesn't define the scope of Designer or Photo; neither means the application's goals overlap. It's just a small part of both that's common. They will be defined more for what's have yet to come that for what's already there. If it seems that they look similar now it's because they share the same foundations. The differences will come with their growth. And for that we need time. The gap nobody seems to care about is precisely the point here.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"We can't compare software applications as if they were comparable directly in the current circumstances (Affinity /Adobe). There's a little gap between the two: 25 years. A comparison between a version 1.0 versus v18.0 isn't fair. People talk about Affinity apps as if they were done. They aren't. We just started..."

 

Hence, the point of this post. As stated before, all of the little conveniences that Adobe put in their software has made us as designers so lazy that we "can't" use anything else...I flatly reject this way of thinking.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

None of the guys involved in Affinity are what we might consider to be "designers" in the more traditional sense that this is used for those specialising in Vector Design.

 

As a result, considerable effort was put into making AD a great illustrative application, but nearly no consideration was given to what vector based designers do, and need, rely upon and consider essential.

 

The benefit of making an app after Illustrator has gone through 25 years of iterations is that you can lean on the conventions that work, and discard the ones that don't.

 

And you can see what designers require/desire and shape your application accordingly.

 

But you haven't done that. You've largely acted as though Illustrator doesn't exist, but pinched some of the things that are least useful and make the least sense. The "M" key as a shortcut for Rectangle is a classic example. Who would have considered this to be anything to do with shape drawing if they hadn't first looked at Illustrator?

 

Colour picking is atrociously horrid (both mechanically and functionally) in AD. In this day and age there's no possible excuse for the colour picking and application processes to be this bad in a design application... unless no designer was involved in designing the processes and mechanics of its use. 

 

The way Snapping works is equally odd.

 

Creating a new entry into an existing market that's been heavily rationalised (economic term) and is the very definition of a monopoly means that utmost consideration must be made of the best aspects of the market leader.

 

But taking a leaf out of Adobe's book, and adding a pixel editing "mode" care of the personas as though that's going to sell more of a vector app is just weird. That kind of massive feature creep at the cost of improved and ideal base functionality is the least beneficial thing to copy from Adobe.

 

Copy the snapping from 3ds Max, Corel Draw and AutoCAD. No need to reinvent the wheel, these three apps have absolutely mastered the various types of snapping and are leagues ahead of anything in Illustrator's "Smart Guides", and Smart Guides are better than AD's snapping.

 

You are making something that enters a pre-existing world of designer user paradigms. You can't pretend Illustrator doesn't exist when it suits you, and copy the worst aspects of Adobe's behaviour when you think it's going to lead to more sales and still plead out "we're only at version 1...." whilst concurrently marketing yourselves as an Adobe alternative.  It's disingenuous and will come back to bite you. The media are donkeys.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's too late for Affinity to make this kind of choice, but holistic design of a design application might start something like this.

 

Ask questions of what is known but not yet expressed e.g.

 

How best to integrate snapping, alignment, distribution and generation?

 

- because all these things are fundamentally related but not currently integrated and interoperable in all existing software.

 

- because each ability evolved over time and were never consciously considered in terms of their inherent relationships and ability to empower the end user as a cohesive whole

 

- because end user empowerment is important, and has not been the central tenet of existing design software companies and their products for a long time

 

- because having a massive point of difference means the industry and its participants will always have reference points from which to discuss AD other than  "it's not Adobe"

 

- because resolving the inherent relationships between snapping, alignment, distribution and generation might reveal other instinctive relationships that only software can provide to creative design processes, and therefore reveal ever more superior ways to create and iterate on a computer.

 

- because discovery is a part of design, and being creators of a design software suite one should eat one's own beliefs, not just replicate and iterate.

 

blah blah blah... etc etc etc.

 

Tim Sweeney is probably one of the top ten best designers of creative software on the planet. Part of the reason he's uniquely gifted in creating creative software is his utmost consideration of the end user's objectives and desires.

 

Take a look at how much consideration he gives the users in this interview, and this is by no means an exception, just about all his communications and thoughts align with what you'll read here:

 

http://www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/189074/the_old_guard_an_interview_with_.php

 

That kind of fundamental (lowest possible level through to absolute abstract) design consideration of users has never existed in 2D creative software, nor programming languages, APIs or graphics hardware, either.

 

It's as if the rush to 3D in the late 80's and early 90's completely sidelined any further consideration of 2D processes, mechanics and paradigms, relegating it to always be stuck in a legacy environment from the late 1980's.

 

And design software, including Affinity Designer, is self sabotaging itself by adhering to the stale and not considering where we are and what innovation and creativity in 3D has shown us is possible in 2D.

 

The greatest irony being that it's vastly more productive, effective and fun to create 2D artwork in today's 3D design software than anything that's 2D oriented.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi deeds,

 

I'll be the first to confess that I haven't read all of your posts, so please forgive me if the point I'm about to make is moot.

 

In your opinion we have missed a trick - and one that we could so obviously have not missed if we'd just asked someone. Okay. In reality, great things come down to people and their passion... I like to draw things with vectors, I always have - right from being little I've been writing vector drawing programs so I'm sorry to say that it's just in my blood to write a program that I want to use - and for me, it's illustration where my passion is. So, when you start from scratch and you build the program up you're going to end up with something that reflects the passion of the person pouring their heart into it. Without a purpose we would've lost focus. Affinity is at its strongest for vector illustration right now - but the key point here is that that is the situation right now... If I'd had to split my time onto other areas like UI design, web design, print design then Designer would have been diluted and that means it actually would've just either been released as a damp squib or just not released at all - potentially ever. So I think it's a fantastic thing that we chose to do one thing and do it really well and also lay the foundations for the future. We called it Designer deliberately, not Illustrator because illustration is just the start - we are adding everything modern Designers need and the package that they bought will turn into something that can genuinely be used as a stable, solid alternative to any other design tool out there - and it's not that far away. You have to start somewhere and a good place to start is by making it work well and fluidly for people who throw down hundreds of thousands of shapes with different effects - it exercises our renderer's tech, our Document Object Model and command architecture and puts us in an extremely strong and stable position for adding the other features. What I'm trying to say is that we did what we did because it actually makes sense from a development perspective and a personal perspective.

 

The 'M' Rectangle tool shortcut is good example of exactly what you think we did, that we actually didn't... No, we didn't slavishly copy Illustrator's more ridiculous nuances - we actually had it as 'R' for Rectangle because that makes sense but early in beta we had so many people saying 'if you don't copy the shortcut for something as simple as a rectangle, then how do you expect my years of muscle memory to cope with using your application professionally?' that we were actually forced to swallow our pride and accept that some things are the way they are because it's what the customer wants - and they're the ones we're trying to attract! Why do we appear to do snapping wrong in your opinion? - well, it's actually because we deliberately don't look at what other people are doing and slavishly copy it. Ben has great plans for snapping and I'm looking forward to him having the time to get there and show that his method is actually better.

 

I know that probably won't make any difference to the fact that you think we're being stale and adhering to the past - but actually it's just a start and if you don't do the basics at the start then you never get them right! Wouldn't it be great to add everything fancy straight away - sure would, but then we probably still wouldn't have released anything at all - and the fact that people are doing such amazing work in Designer is testament to the fact that what it does fundamentally offer is a solid base set of tools from which to develop.

 

Thanks,

Matt

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I get it. I see the directions you've compromised in favour of, but I also see enormous failures of consideration.

 

The lack of customisable keyboard shortcuts is the single most weird of all. How is it that you didn't instantly consider making a customer option to edit shortcuts?

 

Why not?

 

That's the single best solution to any and all usability problems, particularly if ANY function can be bound to ANY key. Add the ability to share those shortcuts between machines and other users, and you're done.

 

You (Affinity) must have the ability to change shortcuts. So why isn't that ability customer facing?

 

This, in isolation, would be an enormous oversight.

 

But that the canvas area around a document can't be seen (content moved to it disappears) is equally odd. That these two problems exist, that are fundamental to the workflow of using any creative software. How hard is it to switch on "off document area" screen rendering so that users can see the content outside their docs?

 

Even as an illustrator, have you never duplicated something off the page to work on an iteration idea, then compare the results? This is so commonly done in design software that I can't imagine it's unique to design processes, surely illustrative types do it, too. Right?

 

These kinds of fundamental failures to consider the best possible work practices for anyone using the software are really striking. In my case, both of them mean that I'm not using AD for anything other than primitive vector design on a Mac, because you have pretty much nailed vector design tools for primitive shape modifications and the corner roundings are fantastic.

 

As I've stated elsewhere, I think AD is grossly underpriced, and I'd pay $200 USD just for the ability to edit vectors and round corners in the way that it does, on a Mac, so that I don't have to fight with Illustrator when I have an idea.

 

But it's constantly sad (to me) that I can't use AD faster, for more, more often, because of the above two issues, key bindings and a canvas outside the document.

 

I'm simply baffled as to why these two hallmarks of ALL forms of creative software aren't the first part of the criteria of making new creative software.

 

And... why isn't there a persona that's an entirely accurate "muscle memory" reflection of Adobe Illustrator? It seems like the most logical thing to provide. Sell it as an add-on for $150 USD so you get that price to $200 ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi deeds,

 

Thanks for trying to see things from the other side. The two specific things which you point out (for now!) are both things which we are well aware are desirable and we have, from the outset, publicly committed to adding.

 

Why did we ever think it would be acceptable to offer a professional package that doesn't have customisable keyboard shortcuts? Well... that's because I've never (and I mean never) customised a keyboard shortcut in any other graphics software... I just want to use it the way it came - it's easier for tutorials, easier for support. But that's just me... So then we asked the Creative team (and I mean that we have an actual real world team of illustrators and designers - not just a hypothetical one or some random guess work) and in a world of reality where you can only do so many things before a certain date, they also agreed that it would be absolutely fine if customisation could come after a number of other things were finished. Our decision was not an oversight, or one based on some bad information - the people that we were aiming the software at actually value the feature, but would require it to do other things first and could manage in the meantime. As for why we don't make 'what we currently have' customer-facing... it's because we're typing in the code, updating xib files to match and then rebuilding the project - not something that we can give to the customer and expect them to do! This is not a terribly difficult feature to implement - and I refer back to what I said before that it is just this way right now and you know that we have already made clear that it is an important feature that we will add as soon as we're able to.

 

How hard can it be to just turn off the view clipping? Anyone sat in this office would know not to ask me that until I've had quite a few drinks... ;) You would not begin to believe how much is going on with our view to make it pan and zoom the way it does: I think you'll find it's pretty unique in its fluidity for large documents in particular. This is at the absolute core of the experience you will receive in all of our applications in the future so there was no option other than best in class (and then some). I wrote it at least 6 whole times (seriously) from start to finish and everything always had a problem until this variant. Turning off clipping actually means changing the areas we render and how we present them in OpenGL (by this I mean the clipped polygons I generate for each tile and the pixel shaders that I run on the card) - it's not dreadful, it's just not trivial. If I mess it up, I destroy the experience for everyone in all our products. I will do it - and it will be in the space of the next few months, but it needs me to be free and not in the middle of ten other things for it to be given the attention it deserves. Your question of whether I have never dragged a design variant off to the side for comparison/reference whilst working on a copy - well, the answer is that I don't do it. That may be hard for you to believe as that's obviously the way you work, but I just don't work that way. I'd either clone and hide the object then toggle one or the other to see them in place with different versions, or I'd simply lay them side by side on a larger canvas to see and work on either. There's something in my head that can't cope with the background being different and I see the design very differently, so I don't find it a workable solution for me - but that's just me. As I've said with the keyboard shortcuts, we do realise that our customers want this and we are adding it. Why wasn't it there from the start? Again, it's down to the extra time it takes to add these things and simply asking real-world creatives if they want feature x or feature y first.

 

The things that you want are coming. You think that we play up to the fact that we're a version 1.0 software and that we try to get away with not having these 'essentials'. The honest reality is that we are version 1.2 software (although we released at 1.1, so I'm not sure how that works) and we're at the start of the road. The order in which our features have appeared so far have largely been down to practicality - sometimes you'll get a feature you don't expect at a time that seems weird, but that's normally because it's actually just a small tweak of some other thing, or uses the tech introduced by something else. We aren't stupid, we aren't arrogant, we aren't too proud to admit when we make mistakes, we're just actually trying to make something that we want to use at a price we want to pay for it (yes, I did buy Designer for myself the day it came out, just like everyone else!) :)  I don't think we're doing anything so dreadful here that we need to be reprimanded or held up as thoughtless individuals writing an inept clone of something else. The reality of what's achievable with the resources you have in the time that you have available - that's what sets the stage... Start by writing something you can be passionate about to give it a soul and a purpose - make it really good at something. Then flesh out the features when you actually have more time and resources.

 

Hope you can understand my perspective too :)

 

Thanks again,

Matt

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for trying to see things from the other side. The two specific things which you point out (for now!) are both things which we are well aware are desirable and we have, from the outset, publicly committed to adding.

 

 

Yes, for now. I’ve pointed out some other oddness in these forums, and much more to your compadre on email, so will leave that suff, for now ;)

---------- 

Why did we ever think it would be acceptable to offer a professional package that doesn't have customisable keyboard shortcuts? Well... that's because I've never (and I mean never) customised a keyboard shortcut in any other graphics software... I just want to use it the way it came - it's easier for tutorials, easier for support. But that's just me... So then we asked the Creative team (and I mean that we have an actual real world team of illustrators and designers - not just a hypothetical one or some random guess work) and in a world of reality where you can only do so many things before a certain date, they also agreed that it would be absolutely fine if customisation could come after a number of other things were finished. Our decision was not an oversight, or one based on some bad information - the people that we were aiming the software at actually value the feature, but would require it to do other things first and could manage in the meantime. As for why we don't make 'what we currently have' customer-facing... it's because we're typing in the code, updating xib files to match and then rebuilding the project - not something that we can give to the customer and expect them to do! This is not a terribly difficult feature to implement - and I refer back to what I said before that it is just this way right now and you know that we have already made clear that it is an important feature that we will add as soon as we're able to.

 —————————

 

 

I disagree with the bit I’ve underlined. It is bad information. You are both insufficiently informed of the need for keyboard customisation of shortcuts amongst early adopters, professionals and those that are seeking to change from existing apps, and you weren’t asking around outside of your comfort zone… plus you had your own (rather odd) personal behaviour as a steering committee (of one) bias.

 

This lack of customisation of shortcuts is a truly odd decision in design software, based on bad and incomplete information. Further, it seems you don’t have an easy way for yourselves to do shortcut changes as a result of this decision. Which is even stranger. Next to UNDO, keyboard shortcut customisation and optimisation is the single biggest speed improvement digital creative software provides over analogue design processes.

 

It's daylight to the next best.

 

You are an exceptional user because you are both a creative and a coder, so you like to learn and study what others have created in terms of their software and its shortcuts, perhaps (wrongly) assuming that there’s some wisdom to be found in their shortcuts. There isn’t a cohesively designed shortcut system in a design application on this planet, and they all provide customisation because they recognise that they’ll never get it right, and that they get ever worse with feature creep and legacy issues.

 

The only place you’ll find well thought out shortcuts and combos is within games. And even that’s not always the case.

 

I come from the exact opposite approach to your own, living in an Asian country, and coming from a design first understanding of software, but with some knowledge of coding. From this perspective (after UNDO) there is nothing more important than keyboard customisation for every single function of any given app.

 

So, to wrap up on shortcuts, let me say this, please deeply consider how you place keyboard shortcut customisation so that every single function of the app can be bound to a key or key combo or key combo chain. In this manner you will have made the ideal situation for customisation and scriptability of the app, too, without needing to make a scripting faculty for the app.

 

One more caveat: please make sure it’s possible to save the file that represents all shortcuts so it can be shared between machines and users. In this manner a refined pattern of use will evolve and be shared amongst the gurus and thought leaders of tutorials, training and productivity within the various enclaves of Asian design software use. 

 

And… in this manner, since nobody seems willing to use Personas to provide a “muscle memory mapping” for Adobe Illustrator diehards, someone can make a perfect shortcuts file with all the keys mapped to Illustrator shortcuts for those that need it, post it in the forum and keep it updated as the app evolves.

 

Given that you guys come from the PC world and have likely seen that (for decades) CorelDraw has had an Illustrator user emulation mode, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to expect Personas be used to make an AI impersonation mode. I don’t want it, nor need it, but I’m sure everyone coming from that world would love a QUICKSTART into a rival product.

 

Nobody loves Adobe. Not even the people that work for them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
How hard can it be to just turn off the view clipping? Anyone sat in this office would know not to ask me that until I've had quite a few drinks… ;)

 

My fault, I should have at least provided you a bottle of scotch before this question!

 

You would not begin to believe how much is going on with our view to make it pan and zoom the way it does: I think you'll find it's pretty unique in its fluidity for large documents in particular. This is at the absolute core of the experience you will receive in all of our applications in the future so there was no option other than best in class (and then some). I wrote it at least 6 whole times (seriously) from start to finish and everything always had a problem until this variant. 

 

 

I’m incredibly grateful you got to this level of performance and for the work done to get there. I can only imagine how unfun that was. Painful, in the extreme. My other comments in an earlier part of this thread about frameworks and hardware having never been optimised for (nor considerate of) 2D stem from my understanding of the issues you would have dealt with to get this performance.

 

Yes, I can see and do greatly appreciate the performance you’ve achieved. In combination with the fantastic vector creation and editing tools and the rounding tool it is a revelation in Mac, line based creativity. Utterly compelling and well worthy of 4x the price just for this alone. The time it saves and the creativity it permits vs the alternatives on a Mac mean that the current price is ridiculously cheap.

 

And I really do mean this, just those vector editing speedups, fluidity and the corner roundings in conjunction with infinite zooming are worth $200 USD to anyone vaguely professional, so utterly horrid and dire is the situation for all other Mac based 2D software.

 

In light of the failure to price your app at $200, you could, I imagine, make considerable money just selling a vector creation and editing tool (with the rounding feature) that’s a “lite” version of AD at (let’s say) $20 USD with Illustrator copy/paste compatibility. Not only as an entry point to the AD world, but also as a genuine shortcut to doing better, faster vector work for those in the AI world. If that same “lite” app could paste paths into Photoshop, all the merrier. And Indesign.

 

And as a gateway drug to the future of Affinity’s range, I can’t think of a better way to bring folks from Adobe’s world slowly over to ever more use of Affinity products.

----------------

Turning off clipping actually means changing the areas we render and how we present them in OpenGL (by this I mean the clipped polygons I generate for each tile and the pixel shaders that I run on the card) - it's not dreadful, it's just not trivial. If I mess it up, I destroy the experience for everyone in all our products. I will do it - and it will be in the space of the next few months, but it needs me to be free and not in the middle of ten other things for it to be given the attention it deserves. Your question of whether I have never dragged a design variant off to the side for comparison/reference whilst working on a copy - well, the answer is that I don't do it. That may be hard for you to believe as that's obviously the way you work, but I just don't work that way. I'd either clone and hide the object then toggle one or the other to see them in place with different versions, or I'd simply lay them side by side on a larger canvas to see and work on either. There's something in my head that can't cope with the background being different and I see the design very differently, so I don't find it a workable solution for me - but that's just me. As I've said with the keyboard shortcuts, we do realise that our customers want this and we are adding it. Why wasn't it there from the start? Again, it's down to the extra time it takes to add these things and simply asking real-world creatives if they want feature x or feature y first.

 

 

I’ll ignore the inference that I’m not a real-world creative, for now, but reserve the right to come back and haunt you with it ;)

 

As to your comment about the canvas/background being different to the work area, that should also be a matter of choice. I tend to work with a background that’s only very slightly different to the work area, by a matter of maybe one or two percent so that it’s barely discernibly different. Most others work with it exactly the same, some with it polar opposite. 

 

I think this is something that designers do far more than illustrators. It’s probably so rarely necessary for illustrators that I can see why you have had your experiences. But iteration is so inherent to design that it’s almost impossible to work outside of system that encourages it in the easiest and fastest way possible. 

 

On performance, there might be a nice compromise. You could make a key combo that reveals the content of the canvas around the document, much like the space bar permits panning for AI. In this manner the existing performance is never compromised, and when the external art is needed for grabbing or comparing it’s only a sticky key shortcut away, and we (end users) can and will know that turning this canvas view on results in a performance hit.

 

Perhaps [shift + space] is a good initial shortcut for this feature as an on/off sticky switch.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

I’ll ignore the inference that I’m not a real-world creative, for now, but reserve the right to come back and haunt you with it ;)

 

Haha! Not my intention at all, sorry!  ^_^ We'd obviously asked some creatives - not all of them (otherwise you would doubtless have been quizzed, hehe)

 

I like the idea of a sticky-shortcut key stroke for the canvas clipping toggle, thanks! :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow.... my eyes are bleeding.


SerifLabs team - Affinity Developer
  • Software engineer  -  Photographer  -  Guitarist  -  Philosopher
  • iMac 27" Retina 5K (Late 2015), 4.0GHz i7, AMD Radeon R9 M395
  • MacBook (Early 2015), 1.3GHz Core M, Intel HD 5300
  • iPad Pro 10.5", 256GB

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

...

 

These kinds of fundamental failures to consider the best possible work practices for anyone using the software are really striking. In my case, both of them mean that I'm not using AD for anything other than primitive vector design on a Mac...

...

 

If all what you are looking for is issues in the software, that's issues you will find. Most people have accepted that neither customisable shortcuts nor the pasteboard area are available yet - knowing they will be added soon -, have moved on and are actively using the software to create and find solutions to move their projects forward until those features become available.

 

If in your case, this is not enough for anything other than primitive vector design, there's nothing stopping you from going back to your previous software and try Affinity again a few months later when those features are probably available if you want. 

 

Trying to argue based on your assumptions of why things work the way they work in Affinity will not lead to anything productive. You're not aware neither the motivations nor the constraints the developers find/found during the development.

 

Meanwhile we are seeing illustration work being showcased, icons and websites being designed and even printed material/finished products being shown on the Share your work section despite the fact there's also still professional printing features missing. This is not just about software, it's also about people's attitudes.

 

Both customisable shortcuts, and the pasteboard area were acknowledged and added to the roadmap even before you have signed in here - because we also recognise their importance and the inconvenience they may cause when missing - but they are far from being "fundamental failures" and they didn't stop people who have embraced the software to create things and move forward.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If all what you are looking for is issues in the software, that's issues you will find. 

Thanks for the mantra of status quo huggers everywhere. It's not what I'm doing, I've picked just two of a myriad of fundamental workflow issues with the software within the context of both it's name "Affinity Designer" and the use of it for design.

 

 

Most people have accepted that neither customisable shortcuts nor the pasteboard area are available yet - knowing they will be added soon -, have moved on and are actively using the software to create and find solutions to move their projects forward until those features become available.

Also, thanks for this, Captain Obvious! However it's probably important that you remember that many professionals will have discovered these two issues and considered them sufficiently quirky failures as to give them a bad taste in their mouths regarding the direction and future of Affinity. So they will have, as you say, moved on. Elsewhere. And won't be back the moment these features are added as there's many other issues, and that bad taste in their mouth.

 

I know you probably don't understand or consider market momentum, but you should. That's exactly what this kind of oversight impacts, heavily, negatively. If these were the only two such issues it would be bad. But these are not isolated examples of a general failure to design the design software.

 

And you're not the only company making this kind of mistake. There's zero evidence that any other new 2D design software has considered design paramount, either. However the incumbents have had 25+ years to work through some of their un-design issues. So you do have an issue. You must be better. Giving lip service to the few that get around to expressing their disquiet in here isn't marketing, nor is it solving the problems.

 

As to your condescension towards those that work around foibles in your software, that's an entirely different issue, and probably symptomatic of a much more worrying cause for many future problems within the market. You can't lean on the user's apathy and animosity towards Adobe indefinitely because you've probably already saturated that market. At some point (soon) you simply have to make a better product. A much better product.

 

Your mistake was probably positioning yourselves as a "buy me once" product. How on earth are you going to make a compelling case for ever more consumers if you're only doing steady incremental updates to a product with huge gaping holes in its armoury?

 

Don't answer that... we all know the answer is Affinity Photo and that Affinity Designer will whither on the vine in much the same way Illustrator has for 20+ years in the shadow of Photoshop. Sadly it looks like AD will be the AI of Affinity. And 2D design and creative software will continue to stagnate and atrophy.

 

 

 

If in your case, this is not enough for anything other than primitive vector design, there's nothing stopping you from going back to your previous software and try Affinity again a few months later when those features are probably available if you want. 

 

Again with the obvious. I've already stated that this is what I'm doing... with the odd exception that whenever I need vector design on a Mac, I reach for Affinity if I can't be bothered booting up a PC. But this does serve to add an exclamation point to my comments on your attitudes towards the market and end users.

 

 

 

Trying to argue based on your assumptions of why things work the way they work in Affinity will not lead to anything productive. You're not aware neither the motivations nor the constraints the developers find/found during the development.

 

 

I have not argued, yet. I've simply pointed out what is objectively obviously wrong, flawed and/or possibly symptomatic of potential underlying issues. As to the motivations of the developers, we (end users) only have your marketing, advertising and public relations to go on... that's on you.

 

 

 

Meanwhile we are seeing illustration work being showcased, icons and websites being designed and even printed material/finished products being shown on the Share your work section despite the fact there's also still professional printing features missing. This is not just about software, it's also about people's attitudes.

 

 

Yeah, and that's that resentment towards Adobe's pricing mechanisms and that company in general. That's the attitude that's gotten sufficient resilience in some of your customers to leap over some of the issues they're facing with the software. That's not something to be proud of. That's something to be grateful to Adobe's management for. Without that you wouldn't have a chance in hell in the 2D creative market. And, as previously stated, you've probably saturated that market for design, but have the Photoshop market to look forward to. Where you'll probably lean on the some tropes and attitudes.

 

 

 

Both customisable shortcuts, and the pasteboard area were acknowledged and added to the roadmap even before you have signed in here - because we also recognise their importance and the inconvenience they may cause when missing - but they are far from being "fundamental failures" and they didn't stop people who have embraced the software to create things and move forward.

 

 

 

The use of the term "fundamental failures" was contextual to the rest of the sentence. It can't be plucked out and used as an argument against my overriding points in an attempt to frame those points as Affinity making "fundamental failures". Perhaps you are, and I don't know about it, but you do ;)

 

And, as I've made clear throughout all my comments on this matter, my concerns are not for the market that has already accepted and/or adapted to the foibles of your software.

 

There is little point discussing marketing of creative software to those that have already bought it unless you're going to consider the nature, extent and quality of their referrals. Which you, very interestingly, have avoided discussion of, I assume because you're aware that any recommendation of your software in its current form comes with serious caveats.

 

However, and in complete opposition to your utterly inaccurate assessment that I'm only "looking for issues", you might want to make a mental note of the fact that I've continually harped on the strong points. It is, in fact, you that's looking for issues. I'm attempting to be both impartial and objective. You're inherently biased.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I need popcorn.

 

I think we have extracted the most we can out of this thread. It's great to see everyones opinion but it's time to close this one.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.

×

Important Information

These are the Terms of Use you will be asked to agree to if you join the forum. | Privacy Policy | Guidelines | We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.