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Vector Magic is still one of the best options. The Desktop app however is a little expensive.

 

Thanks for the info MEB.


Andrew
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the command line free utility potrace (inside many of the UIs (ie: inkscape) today) works super well...

 

Edit: And is multi platform, Win/Mac/Linux.

 

Edit 2: I know a lot of people dislikes command line, console utilities, but in the other side, the GUIs that use existing command line applications often reduce flexibility in what you can do, and even do not implement every feature of the original tool capabilities. Happens with potrace, also with ffmpeg (utility to record, convert and stream video), and surely with imagemagick (batch processing among many other functions).  These wont substitute ANY graphic user interface application for your every day design or photo edit work (let alone painting, lol...), at all, but can be amazing helping tools.


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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Streamline was so much better than Illustrator's Live Trace. I don't know what they changed, but the results just aren't nearly as good.

Anyway, hope this feature comes to Designer soon.

 

Hey, do you remember Adobe Streamline?
Illustrator had eaten it.

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Hello smithlogotype,

Welcome to the forums,

This feature was already suggested and its coming later eventually. More info at this thread

Cheers

 

Hello MEB,

I was looking for tracing feature in Affinity Designer for billions of time. I found some answers from 2014 and I'm wondering If developers figured something out since then. Few moth ago you guys had realise of new version of Designer and I got just one simple question. Did you fixed this issue in Affinity Designer?  It would be absolutely amazing and I bet some of yours user would definitely say bye to Adobe Illustrator which has this feature. 

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It would be cool if a Vector Trace tool would have a feature for converting flat(ish) areas of colour to a mesh gradient layer (when this feature is completed) + a conventional "inked" linework/detail layer above it.

 

To make this easier, Designer could put the input image through a frequency separation process first, to separate details and colour.

 

This feature would be amazing for vectorizing simple marker and ink scans of design illustrations.

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Hello MEB,

I was looking for tracing feature in Affinity Designer for billions of time. I found some answers from 2014 and I'm wondering If developers figured something out since then. Few moth ago you guys had realise of new version of Designer and I got just one simple question. Did you fixed this issue in Affinity Designer?  It would be absolutely amazing and I bet some of yours user would definitely say bye to Adobe Illustrator which has this feature. 

 

I'm afraid this feature is still several years away. It will take a lot of time to do well, and attempting it now would delay too many other things we want to do first. It will probably not be a 1.x feature. I'm sorry, but that's how it is.

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So use other tools for autotrace. It is such a separate task it should not bother too much as you can import the result to AD immediately.

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Indeed ! Potrace is AMAZING for this. (I've used it both command line and its integrated version Inkscape (highly recommended for non freaky users not so willing to deal with console command line tools). But Inkscape doesn't cut it for me in color management, color profiles, CMYK... So, I find my self triggering it lately only for some rare case of tracing -I very infrequently need any tracing at all- or some fast vector work for which a certain feature is conveniently done there )

 

I believe a problem people have is not being used to multiple tools workflows. In video games production, this is a total must. Even today. In the past, I used one tool for sketching my character idea, another for modeling the basic organic model (Wings3D), another for uv mapping it (Unwrap 3D or Blender), another one for texturing (Blender, krita, etc), another for rendering (Max, Blender Cycles, kerkythea, etc) , another for importing into a game engine, another for generating high quality lightmaps... I don't know. In a project of certain type, the list can be almost endless. And the only issue is deal a little with graphic formats and utilities. Of course, is more comfortable using mostly a main tool, but for specific cases, using a helper tool, is even recommended in most workflows.


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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JesusSheep,

 

Your request, as well as others who have been requesting a raster to vector tool, hasn't been ignored. If you are new to vector programs then it might be hard to imagine why it isn't included in Designer but Dave, one of the developers here, wrote three posts up and explained why it is not going to be included anytime soon. Think about Adobe. Illustrator didn't have it until version 12 (CS 2), it took them 18 years to add it to Illustrator so you can imagine the complexity and the difficulty of writing the code for a tool like that. The developers have stated that they don't simply want to add a tool that doesn't work well just to say that Designer has the tool and I applaud them for that. They are doing things the way that they should be done. I suggest, as others have mentioned, using Potrace as it is a decent alternative that may help to tide you over until the developers are able to add it to Designer. Give Potrace a try and see if it works for you.

 

Hokusai

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On 12/7/2015 at 0:38 AM, Herbert123 said:

I use Inkscape's built-in bitmap trace. Works really well for black and white line art conversions. Save as SVG, and import into Affinity.

 

That's just silly, if I need Inkscape to get it traced, why not just use Inkscape and forget Affinity altogether?

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2 hours ago, Wizaerd said:

 

That's just silly, if I need Inkscape to get it traced, why not just use Inkscape and forget Affinity altogether?

Because it is silly to expect any illustration application to do everything? Each app has its own strengths. I agree with @SrPx : a modern workflow more often than not entails many helper tools aside from the main ones. To limit oneself to just one illustration tool is akin to being the frog in the well.

zaba-bunar.jpeg

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4 hours ago, Wizaerd said:

 

That's just silly, if I need Inkscape to get it traced, why not just use Inkscape and forget Affinity altogether?

If you have ever used Inkscape then you'd know exactly why someone would not want to use Inkscape all the time. 

 

Hokusai

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On 12/2/2017 at 2:10 PM, Medical Officer Bones said:

Because it is silly to expect any illustration application to do everything? Each app has its own strengths. I agree with @SrPx : a modern workflow more often than not entails many helper tools aside from the main ones. To limit oneself to just one illustration tool is akin to being the frog in the well.

zaba-bunar.jpeg

 

Unless one is a Pro, it is highly unlikely people will have multiple applications.  For example, I am not a pro, strictly a hobbyist, and I most certainly not going to install a application for just 1 feature, that's not only ludicrous, but it's cost not effective regardless if the app is free.  There are other considerations, and installing a bunch of applications because they do one thing isn't something I'm going to do.  Guess since Designer is lacking in so many areas, it is indeed time to put it away and get myself an illustration application that will do it all, instead of waiting for a feature that may or may not ever be implemented here.  Call me when the software is actually finished, maybe I'll reconsider.

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59 minutes ago, Wizaerd said:

 

Unless one is a Pro, it is highly unlikely people will have multiple applications.  For example, I am not a pro, strictly a hobbyist, and I most certainly not going to install a application for just 1 feature, that's not only ludicrous, but it's cost not effective regardless if the app is free.  There are other considerations, and installing a bunch of applications because they do one thing isn't something I'm going to do.  Guess since Designer is lacking in so many areas, it is indeed time to put it away and get myself an illustration application that will do it all, instead of waiting for a feature that may or may not ever be implemented here.  Call me when the software is actually finished, maybe I'll reconsider.

Wizaerd,

 

I can't help but feel that you've made up your mind and nothing that anyone says is going to change it. Just in case I'm wrong (about your unwillingness to change and I hope that I am wrong and that you'll listen to reason) I'll point out that there isn't any logical reason not to install a free app that takes up a very small amount of space on your hard drive. Why wouldn't you? It is free, so what is holding you back? The application Potrace was mentioned before is free and it is very small ( in terms of size). You don't have to worry about it taking up much hard drive space so what's the reason not to use it? If you aren't a pro and you want a software package that does everything, get your wallet out because it is going to cost you an arm and a leg. There aren't any software packages out there that come close to what Designer has to offer for anywhere near the price with the exception of Inkscape. While Inkscape is free, I'd gladly pay money for something that is a little more polished. It is obvious that you haven't tried Inkscape but go ahead and give it a try. I wish you the best of luck with your search to find a vector app that is a fully featured, powerful, cheap, and as easy to use as Designer. I don't think you'll be able to find one but good luck. 

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2 hours ago, Wizaerd said:

 

Unless one is a Pro, it is highly unlikely people will have multiple applications.  For example, I am not a pro, strictly a hobbyist, and I most certainly not going to install a application for just 1 feature, that's not only ludicrous, but it's cost not effective regardless if the app is free.  There are other considerations, and installing a bunch of applications because they do one thing isn't something I'm going to do.  Guess since Designer is lacking in so many areas, it is indeed time to put it away and get myself an illustration application that will do it all, instead of waiting for a feature that may or may not ever be implemented here.  Call me when the software is actually finished, maybe I'll reconsider.

Well, it is your own personal choice, of course. I know of no illustration software that "does it all". Illustrator, CorelDraw, GravitDesigner, ... they all have limitations. Illustrator's trace option I almost never used, instead opting for third party solutions. No vector illustration app can import 3d models as vector  either, for example.

I feel your argument that only "pros" will have use of multiple applications to accomplish illustrative work quite short-sighted. People use many different apps on their phones and tablets for tasks, correct? No different on a desktop. Best to be software agnostic: they're just tools.

Having said that, I wish you well in your well (I made a pun!). ;) Let us know when you find that magical application that does it all.

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3 hours ago, Wizaerd said:

it's cost not effective regardless if the app is free

 

If you were a pro I could understand that argument, since time is money and switching between apps takes time, but if you're strictly a hobbyist I can't see how cost effectiveness comes into it where a free app is concerned.

 


Alfred online2long.gif
Affinity Designer/Photo/Publisher 1.7.3.481 • Windows 10 Home (4th gen Core i3 CPU)
Affinity Photo for iPad 1.7.3.155 • Designer for iPad 1.7.3.1 • iPadOS 13.2.2 (iPad Air 2)

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2 hours ago, Alfred said:

 

If you were a pro I could understand that argument, since time is money and switching between apps takes time, but if you're strictly a hobbyist I can't see how cost effectiveness comes into it where a free app is concerned.

 

Because it takes time to download a new app, and a learning curve to try and learn that one special function you downloaded it for, and then don't touch it again for several months, so that when you do need to use it again, you're once more having to re-learn it. 

 

I'll probably switch back to ACD Canvas X, which handles most of what illustrator does, as well as most of what photoshop does all in one single application.  Yup, vector and raster capabilities in a single application.

 

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44 minutes ago, Wizaerd said:

I'll probably switch back to ACD Canvas X, which handles most of what illustrator does, as well as most of what photoshop does all in one single application.  Yup, vector and raster capabilities in a single application.

 

ACD Canvas X is expensive for a hobbyist. Even the upgrade price is high. For that kind of money you might as well go for Illustrator and save yourself some money. If going with Adobe will save you money, then something is wrong! You talk like being able to do vector and raster in a single app is limited to Canvas X only. Did you use Designer? It does both quite well. 

Screen Shot 2017-12-11 at 4.30.01 PM.png

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21 hours ago, Hokusai said:

ACD Canvas X is expensive for a hobbyist.

 

ACD Canvas X is expensive for anyone! PhotoLine is a tenth of the price.


Alfred online2long.gif
Affinity Designer/Photo/Publisher 1.7.3.481 • Windows 10 Home (4th gen Core i3 CPU)
Affinity Photo for iPad 1.7.3.155 • Designer for iPad 1.7.3.1 • iPadOS 13.2.2 (iPad Air 2)

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On the Mac I use SuperVectorizer (€ 0.99) and DragPotrace (a free GUI frontend to potrace) often, sometimes also Delineate as an frontend to AutoTrace. - On Win I use also potrace, autotrace and some custom own made GUI trace apps, which in turn do reuse some C++/C# tracing library code here.

sv_600.jpg.a08dd0d7a96ac33ef0ac08654ac571c7.jpgdragpotrace_600.jpg.683ea5f582abc28955e75a174d689bbf.jpg

So there are also some cost efficiency solutions available one can use instead. And once you dived into some of those progs and learned how to get the most out of them, by adjusting settings and preparing input files etc., you can get quite good results. Often much better than some common commercial drawing/vector apps do offer here by their build-in tracers!


☛ Affinity Designer 1.7.3 ◆ Affinity Photo 1.7.3 ◆ OSX El Capitan

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9 hours ago, Wizaerd said:

Because it takes time to download a new app, and a learning curve to try and learn that one special function you downloaded it for, and then don't touch it again for several months, so that when you do need to use it again, you're once more having to re-learn it. 

I'll probably switch back to ACD Canvas X, which handles most of what illustrator does, as well as most of what photoshop does all in one single application.  Yup, vector and raster capabilities in a single application.

You can't be serious about Canvas X, right? The bitmap editing tools are dreadful! The GUI is terrible outdated in many places, and the developers still insist on using "SpriteEffects". And that dialog isn't even scalable. The layer panel is a relic from the beginning nineties, no bitmap previews. Tiny icons.

The bitmap drawing tools are incomparably limited to what current applications offer. The vector drawing tools are okay, but again pale in comparison to the user-friendliness of Designer and other current vector illustration tools. Bitmap editing is a pain in Canvas. The new "Dynamic Effects" they've just implemented in the latest version are inconsistent in regards to UI design, and the late and limited implementation is typical for Canvas development.

Canvas is an odd beast: it has interesting features, a lot of half-assed ones, the GUI is neurotic (part of it is somewhat modernized, although a lot of its GUI design still lingers from two decades ago). The developers are aiming it at engineers, architects, CADCAM, etc. users, and don't really try to compete with modern illustration software. I am not saying Canvas isn't an interesting application, but for hobbyist and professional creatives Canvas is too limited and awkward. It's targeted at a very different audience.

If you want try an application with great bitmap editing tools and reasonable vector tools combined at a tenth of the price of Canvas, you are better off installing PhotoLine. But the drawing tools, although much better than Canvas X, still can't compete with the likes of Affinity or Krita.

I also don't understand your statement that hobbyists shouldn't be installing multiple applications, and then you suggest Canvas X: a tool that is obviously marketed at professionals working in technical design industries, rather than creatives. And the pricing is definitely not aimed at hobbyists either. Just makes no sense.

Your argument about having to re-learn an almost never used option sort-of undermines your argument for a built-in auto-trace option in Designer. And with very focused auto-tracing tools such as the ones mentioned by V_kyr, you wouldn't have to re-learn anything at all.

I would suggest to crawl out of your well, and find a good combination of tools that cater to all your needs. At this point I feel you are merely digging in your heels.

Of course, you are free to spend $600 on one somewhat antiquated application with limited bitmap editing tools and a very confused GUI.

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10 hours ago, Medical Officer Bones said:

You can't be serious about Canvas X, right? The bitmap editing tools are dreadful! The GUI is terrible outdated in many places, and the developers still insist on using "SpriteEffects". And that dialog isn't even scalable. The layer panel is a relic from the beginning nineties, no bitmap previews. Tiny icons.

The bitmap drawing tools are incomparably limited to what current applications offer. The vector drawing tools are okay, but again pale in comparison to the user-friendliness of Designer and other current vector illustration tools. Bitmap editing is a pain in Canvas. The new "Dynamic Effects" they've just implemented in the latest version are inconsistent in regards to UI design, and the late and limited implementation is typical for Canvas development.

Canvas is an odd beast: it has interesting features, a lot of half-assed ones, the GUI is neurotic (part of it is somewhat modernized, although a lot of its GUI design still lingers from two decades ago). The developers are aiming it at engineers, architects, CADCAM, etc. users, and don't really try to compete with modern illustration software. I am not saying Canvas isn't an interesting application, but for hobbyist and professional creatives Canvas is too limited and awkward. It's targeted at a very different audience.

If you want try an application with great bitmap editing tools and reasonable vector tools combined at a tenth of the price of Canvas, you are better off installing PhotoLine. But the drawing tools, although much better than Canvas X, still can't compete with the likes of Affinity or Krita.

I also don't understand your statement that hobbyists shouldn't be installing multiple applications, and then you suggest Canvas X: a tool that is obviously marketed at professionals working in technical design industries, rather than creatives. And the pricing is definitely not aimed at hobbyists either. Just makes no sense.

Your argument about having to re-learn an almost never used option sort-of undermines your argument for a built-in auto-trace option in Designer. And with very focused auto-tracing tools such as the ones mentioned by V_kyr, you wouldn't have to re-learn anything at all.

I would suggest to crawl out of your well, and find a good combination of tools that cater to all your needs. At this point I feel you are merely digging in your heels.

Of course, you are free to spend $600 on one somewhat antiquated application with limited bitmap editing tools and a very confused GUI.

 

When I first started dabbling with illustrations and image editing back in 1999-2000, I used Canvas exclusively.  I am quite familiar with how it works, and has very little learning curve for me.  It also features some critical features that Designer does not (selection to path, path to selection, autotrace, and the ability to create my own plugins since it's also a COM enabled application, to name a few).  So a one time purchase for an app that I know, and does what I need it to do versus an app that doesn't do what I need it to do, as well as requiring other applications to cover its failings.

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57 minutes ago, Wizaerd said:

 

When I first started dabbling with illustrations and image editing back in 1999-2000, I used Canvas exclusively.  I am quite familiar with how it works, and has very little learning curve for me.  It also features some critical features that Designer does not (selection to path, path to selection, autotrace, and the ability to create my own plugins since it's also a COM enabled application, to name a few).  So a one time purchase for an app that I know, and does what I need it to do versus an app that doesn't do what I need it to do, as well as requiring other applications to cover its failings.

I realize now that I wrote my previous reply in a bad mood, so I apologize for the tone.

Just wanted to mention that if you used Canvas before, you might as well want to download the trial of PhotoLine for comparison. It's similar in intent as Canvas, but more powerful in regards to image editing. And has all the features that you mentioned (well, the latest beta has scripting and a com interface, and is not yet released): including an auto-trace option. Much more affordable too.

Although the result of auto-tracing is much better/cleaner in dedicated tools, of course.

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