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zstekovic

Expand stroke still sucks

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10 minutes ago, zstekovic said:

Just to report that Expand Stroke function still sucks.

That’s entirely to be expected. I’m sure there will be a big announcement when they finally fix it!

The best workaround for now is to enlarge the stroke by a factor of ten or more, expand it and then shrink the object back to its original size.


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Affinity Designer 1.7.0.367 • Affinity Photo 1.7.0.367 • Windows 10 Home (4th gen Core i3 CPU)
Affinity Photo for iPad 1.7.0.135 • Affinity Designer for iPad 1.7.0.9 • iOS 12.3.1 (iPad Air 2)

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Yes, I know that they will announce when it's fixed, but for vector program this is unacceptable. I'm using CorelDraw to do my work (with Adobe CS6, SAi Flexi, and other specialized programs for rip/print/cut/engrave stuff), so I do not use Designer for serious work, but I bought it, and support it in my place of business. But this bug is now running joke. Vector program that is not precise is not good program, especially if your work depend on it. Even free programs that come with cutters nail this down (Graphtec, Roland, Gerber Omega...).

I hoped they did mitigate the problem with all other improvements they did (program is 400MB bigger in size then 1.6.1 version).

Also, you would think that you can bypass problem with this method, but I'm doing machine cutting, and regardless that you see clean line in Designer, it's broken at export (for other programs that follow standards it's unusable).
Look kind of OK, but it's not OK, not at all OK.

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I use expand stroke a lot in my illustration with apple pencil pressure curves (i have to expand all of my outlines for microstock).

Expand stroke is an issue i run into constantly. This is the problem i usually have, curved lines will create areas that have huge amounts of superfluous nodes upon expansion. My fix is to just select them all, delete them and reshape the points to redo the shape, but it gets annoying having to reshape 1 out of every 3 objects you draw after expansion because they look like the attached, it definitely muddles the fluid experience of drawing with the pencil in vector. 

1575616955_ExpandStroke.thumb.jpg.e7989ffe8526acd818950c19dc361c0f.jpg

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1 hour ago, TonyO said:

I use expand stroke a lot in my illustration with apple pencil pressure curves (i have to expand all of my outlines for microstock).

Expand stroke is an issue i run into constantly. This is the problem i usually have, curved lines will create areas that have huge amounts of superfluous nodes upon expansion. My fix is to just select them all, delete them and reshape the points to redo the shape, but it gets annoying having to reshape 1 out of every 3 objects you draw after expansion because they look like the attached, it definitely muddles the fluid experience of drawing with the pencil in vector. 

1575616955_ExpandStroke.thumb.jpg.e7989ffe8526acd818950c19dc361c0f.jpg

This is a problem that Serif, apparently, is not going to solve :( For these purposes, I personally use Ai, copying the curve from AD to Ai, then back.

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I've been lurking on this forum for years now, and i've noticed the developers are very responsive to customer input. I wouldn't post here if they just ignored everybody like Adobe. Just remember they are actively developing the third part of the Affinity Trinity (publisher) and that is probably taking much of their manpower to get that application ready for launch.

The affinity apps are only in the 1.xx version range, the amount of polish and  the nearly complete feature set in such an early release of a full design suite is amazing. I find it's worth being patient. I'm confident they will iron out the quirks eventually. 

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That is true. Affinity Designer is young product, but it's not made by standards, and because of that I personally can't use it.
My shop accept Affinity user files, but for now only for printing (first i need to export them as tiff or something).
Just this step (rasterizing) defeat the purpose of owning it, and I'm sorry about that because I generally like product.
It's advertising precision, but it's simply not there when you need it (or be in standard to work).

Amount of nodes is crazy, and any devices cutter have limited amount of memory for cutting, and go crazy with stuff like that.

Just try to send that in any kind of production and you have a really big problem.

Just drop everything else and fix foundations of program, adopt it to standards and you're going to have one awesome product.

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11 minutes ago, zstekovic said:

Just this step (rasterizing) defeat the purpose of owning it

Can’t your shop accept PDF files? :/


Alfred online2long.gif
Affinity Designer 1.7.0.367 • Affinity Photo 1.7.0.367 • Windows 10 Home (4th gen Core i3 CPU)
Affinity Photo for iPad 1.7.0.135 • Affinity Designer for iPad 1.7.0.9 • iOS 12.3.1 (iPad Air 2)

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From the way they market AD, its seems they are geared more toward visual artists and not cutting or screening shops. When i worked in that industry, the defacto format was CorelDraw (how i miss those days, LOVED corel draw).

Affinity files can be exported between apps if you use the SVG format, just make a custom profile under the AD SVG output to disable all rasterization, save it and use it every time, and the svg will output fully vectorized with no masked fills or raster elements. That's how i output my microstock images to open in AI for Eps conversion. Microstock agencies are almost as anal as cutting machines when it comes to format (AI8 Eps 3.0 ONLY, no effects, no strokes, no open curves, no rasterization - makes for a HIGHLY compatible file)  

As for the bad nodes on outline expansion, I find it's usually easy enough to fix with the node tool before finishing. Takes a few extra minutes to fix everything up, but it would take double that time to design the same image in Illustrator with it's 15 janky bezier editing tools.

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12 minutes ago, αℓƒяє∂ said:

Can’t your shop accept PDF files? :/

I can relate to this. I wouldn't accept PDF for vinyl cutting either. PDF files when converted out to AI or Corel Draw are always awful. Hundreds of repetitive clipping masks, unnecessary rasterized fills, split lines of type (even down to the letter) - it makes technical print setup (especially for vinyl cutting which needs precisely made shapes with no layering) really, really difficult. PDF is just the worst!

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6 minutes ago, αℓƒяє∂ said:

Can’t your shop accept PDF files? :/

Yes, I can... but did you see PDF export options in Designer (compare it to Illustrator/Corel)? My shop accept bunch of different formats, but PDF that you got from Designer is really not useful in production (sometimes RIP, sometimes just hang in cue/rip process), I just got broken print (that cost money).
When is Corel/Adobe (pre CC) PDF - it's smooth sailing.

Like I said, fix the curve/expand stroke glitch, make program follow standards, and they are fine :)
Corel did it, and all GNU/Linux stuff did it... and PDF is open standard.

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My workaround is to use Inkscape's Path > Simplify tool. I copy the expanded stroke, paste into Inkscape, apply Simplify, copy and paste back into Designer. The clipboard copying behaves well (on Windows at least) and the result is normally fairly accurate. Of course if you've got a copy of Illustrator handy there's a more sophisticated simplify option available.

simplified.png


Windows Affinity Designer and Affinity Photo. Windows 10 Home (v1809). Windows scaling 115% 

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I did one that I imagine is going to be "big but quick job" in Designer, oh boy, I was wrong.
All the fonts where big, really big (20 inch +), outlined. On screen look OK.
But then I exported all that out, PDF X3, EPS, SVG (cleaned background before export, so I don't have clipping, masking, etc.), font to curves. I try to open it (to check everything before cut) in Corel... it open the file, looks ok.
Turn on wireframe, and look it closely - and I'm screwed. Illustrator would not smell the file. Ok I try same thing in Flexi, and for some reason result is better, not perfect, but better. I remind you that font is 20 + inch, so small irregularities won't show - perfect.
Wrong again. It did not show on the screen, but in production sure did (I blame it on screen rendering in Flexi because it does not show smallest details). Lot of time and material vested, need to recreate everything in Corel. 

But let's think just a little bit.
You have font that's already vector by itself, and it show perfectly on the screen. You can parse it directly to vector. Then you have outline/contour of the font, that is also already perfectly good curve, why you do not just parse it in place?
Also I have feeling that Designer have 2 different "mesh" system. One for standard stuff, like fonts and images, and other one for curves. When you try to translate from one to another they probably have rounding errors. IDK.

Keep it stupid and simple.

On 11/29/2018 at 11:33 AM, TonyO said:

From the way they market AD, its seems they are geared more toward visual artists and not cutting or screening shops.

My wife is visual artist, she is pissed when her art is changed in the way she did not intend to be changed :D.

WYSIWYG - that's how she roll :)
 

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I just ran across a workaround for messy expand stroke output. (first video attached)

The amount of superfluous extra nodes is affected by miter limit settings.
(regardless of joining, the miter limit affects all 3 - rounded, bevel and miter alike)
The higher the miter limit the fewer junk nodes, the lower the limit the more you get.
 

This isn't a fix for what I'm dubbing the "sawtooth overlap bug" (second video attached), that is the major problem I'm running into with nodes. When a large stroke overlaps itself it renders a sawtooth that vectorizes that way and looks very strange.  This sawtooth is unaffected by any of the stroke settings, it just happens in tight corners with large strokes.

 

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17 hours ago, TonyO said:

The amount of superfluous extra nodes is affected by miter limit settings.
(regardless of joining, the miter limit affects all 3 - rounded, bevel and miter alike)
The higher the miter limit the fewer junk nodes, the lower the limit the more you get.

I can see that very clearly in your video, Tony, but I can’t replicate it here. It may be relevant that the initial ‘Expand Stroke’ didn’t give me the huge number of nodes that you show, but there were still many more than needed when the mitre limit was set to 1.5 and there were no fewer when I tried again with a mitre limit of 10.


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Affinity Designer 1.7.0.367 • Affinity Photo 1.7.0.367 • Windows 10 Home (4th gen Core i3 CPU)
Affinity Photo for iPad 1.7.0.135 • Affinity Designer for iPad 1.7.0.9 • iOS 12.3.1 (iPad Air 2)

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On 11/29/2018 at 12:48 PM, TonyO said:

I've been lurking on this forum for years now, and i've noticed the developers are very responsive to customer input. I wouldn't post here if they just ignored everybody like Adobe. Just remember they are actively developing the third part of the Affinity Trinity (publisher) and that is probably taking much of their manpower to get that application ready for launch.

The affinity apps are only in the 1.xx version range, the amount of polish and  the nearly complete feature set in such an early release of a full design suite is amazing. I find it's worth being patient. I'm confident they will iron out the quirks eventually. 

Sorry, I'm discouraged on this one.... I've been requesting contour / offset since the BEGINNING of AD - back in 2014.  Yes, we keep getting told that it will come, they just don't now when.  In the mean time, we can use expand stroke (not good) or do that part in another program.  Really?  And this is what's going to take business away from Adobe?

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On 11/29/2018 at 1:33 PM, TonyO said:

From the way they market AD, its seems they are geared more toward visual artists and not cutting or screening shops. When i worked in that industry, the defacto format was CorelDraw (how i miss those days, LOVED corel draw).

Affinity files can be exported between apps if you use the SVG format, just make a custom profile under the AD SVG output to disable all rasterization, save it and use it every time, and the svg will output fully vectorized with no masked fills or raster elements. That's how i output my microstock images to open in AI for Eps conversion. Microstock agencies are almost as anal as cutting machines when it comes to format (AI8 Eps 3.0 ONLY, no effects, no strokes, no open curves, no rasterization - makes for a HIGHLY compatible file)  

As for the bad nodes on outline expansion, I find it's usually easy enough to fix with the node tool before finishing. Takes a few extra minutes to fix everything up, but it would take double that time to design the same image in Illustrator with it's 15 janky bezier editing tools.

This seems so true!!!  I'm just a hobbyist, (who switched to Mac when AD first was in beta)  Oh how I miss CorelDRAW some days!!!!!)

 

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