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Some workflow/production problems

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Hi, I am trying to use AD/AP for as many tasks as possible at my job. Here are some everyday problems that I have discovered:

• Parenting a layer to another can only be done in the layer panel :( There has to be a shortcut for that, I can't be bothered looking for objects. Even with CTRL K, it takes too long for the tasks. In Modo (3D program), you select a bunch of objects and hit P (last object is the parent).

• Parented layers are hard to select with the box or layer selection. Selecting one with the modifier key is easy, but it is a nightmare if you have 2 or 3 levels of parents with multiple children. Even select all command fails to select children.

• CorelDraw (we use this one for many tasks because it is a graphics design + production company, so lots of plotting/cutting/engraving etc.) has a contour tool, which allows to easily expand or shrink the object. No such tool in AD, even if you do expand-stroke, it requires re-merging objects because it expands the outline only, as opposed to growing the entire object.

• Color picker is fast for a single object, but it is slow for multiple. Corel allows you to sample a color, and the fill whatever objects you want. Combined with the difficulties of selecting multiple parented objects, it is very slow. If you could add the modifier for the color picker tool to apply the color (instead of sampling it), it would be great.

• Selecting export slices - impossible. Sometimes you want to move or resize them instead of drawing a perfect one...

• No perspective transformation. No, AP does not do it either, it doesn't understand how to transform non-pixel or multiple layers at all.

• Global colors force a different color panel which has opacity only, even though I was told it is a feature, it is a useless feature making the global colors useless for any project for me.

• Toggling shortcuts on AP are bizarre, nothing else works this way, always hitting the wrong brush/erase/box selection tool. Then I have to undo and select the right one...

• Different units for stroke size could be useful, although not a problem if they aren't.

• +1 to the linking images request!

•  Exporting a PDF usually leaves white lines on the edges, and it isn't the pixel-perfect issue. The exporter just fails to export the correct bounds, sometimes by a few pixels.

• No visible bleed area... Have to make an entire project with the bleed on the artboard, and then resize it prior to export. Or draw an export slice 2mm smaller if I want to send the design to the client.

• Knife tool would be nice.

• AP is only good as a photo editing tool once you have a photo selected. It is way too slow for previewing RAWs...

• Publisher is not a solution for not implementing linked images, visible bleed, correct export settings. A program like AD has to be able to do one-page project without relying on another app.

A knife tool or vector perspective tool are major tools and I don't expect them to make their way to AD soon... However, I think that the small things like toggling, selection, parenting, color picker, slice transforms, global colors fix, linking images, PDF export issues or visible bleed should be easy to implement/fix. 


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Mistaken on the slice tool. The Slice Select Tool doesn't allow any modifications (what is it for?), the top slice tool does everything like positioning or resizing (including selection).

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Hi Fantomasas,
Welcome to Affinity Forums :)
Thanks for your feedback. A few notes regarding your points:

1. The latest Affinity Designer Customer Beta includes commands to Move Inside/Outside which should help a little here - both commands have (customisable) shortcuts.

2. Double-click the children object you want to select until you get it selected (each double-click goes on level down in the layer's hierarchy). Another way is to press and hold ⌘ (cmd) to select the children object directly on canvas ignoring the layer structure.

3. Currently there's no Contour Tool in Designer. Was requested by a few users too.

4. The Colour Picker Tool (left toolbar) lets you apply the sampled colour directly to the object(s). Make sure Apply to Selection is ticked in the Context toolbar

5. Use the Slice Tool (the first tool) to edit slices. The second is just for selection them.

6. No perspective/mesh distort tools in Affinity Designer yet. This should come in upcoming versions (see Designer's roadmap)

7. Not sure I understood the issue here. You can edit/define the global colour using other methods clicking the Edit Global Colour button and changing the dropdown option in the opt-ip that will appear.

8. The latest Photo Customer Beta already include an option in the Preferences, Tools section to disable the toggling for the shortcuts (Use ⇧modifier to cycle tools). Tick it to disable the toggling. Affinity Designer should have it in an upcoming Beta as well.

9. Go to Affinity Preferences, User Interface and untick Show Lines in points

10. Linking images is still being worked on.

11. Please report this in the respective Bugs section and attach a sample file so we can reproduce and fix the issue.

12. Check my reply above. For specific issues/bugs please fill a bug report in the respective section.

13. [Knife Tool] Thanks for feedback. This is something that was already requested by some users.

14. Affinity Photo is strictly a RAW Developer/converter and photo editing app. It doesn't provide any DAM (digital assets management/library management) functionality relying on OS previews to display thumbnails in the open dialogs.

15. Affinity Publisher is still in development and its integration and some its functionality is still being worked on or ported to Designer/Photo where applicable.

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Thank you for your response.

1. I don't understand how it works. I have 2 shapes selected, hit "Move Inside", and it just drops them into Artboard. I guess there is no command to Move Inside one another without the layers panel?

2. For the example where selection fails me, let's say I wanted to apply the stroke or color (or whatever) to all, or a lot of objects with children, like a blueprint drawing where all lines are 1pt, but for some reason, I need to make them all 2pts. There is no good way to select them all. If you select all, or shift-select start-end of the layer stack, you don't get any children is the selection. You will have all parent layers as 2pts, but all children will remain at 1pts.

4. The way color picker works in CorelDRAW: you start it as an eyedropper tool, but as soon as you sample the color, you get to morph it into the bucket/flood fill tool (or don't, depends on the keys you press). It is rather convenient when you aren't sure about colors or objects, you can iterate really fast without actually selecting any object, just pointing on it with the tool.

7. Added sequence of images to describe the problem. (Discovered a bug while trying to screenshot the color menu change. If you select an object to add its fill as a global color, it only works on the first selected object. If you select another object with a different color, it will not do anything with the right-click add fill as a global color option. )

11. Could have been my error, or bug, but I have just tried re-exporting the cards and there is no white edge this time. I will submit the file into the bug reporting section if it happens in the future.

12. Added a picture about visible bleed. For example, if I have multiple images at the edge of the design, I would appreciate if I could see the visible indication that they indeed go beyond the cutting line into the bleed area. Not a big issue, but it is nice to visually error-check the design without selecting specific components to see their outlines.

14. In LR or Rawtherapee, the speed to open any RAW file is much much faster. I have Honeyview to preview RAWs as if they were Jpegs, but I feel like opening RAWs in AP is only if I am going to edit the images with brushes or liquid tools.








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1. Regarding the Move Inside/Outside command, the object you want to place inside another must be immediately above it in the layer's structure (which is what happens when you draw an object after another). From your reply seems you are placing objects individually outside the artboard's layer which isn't the best practise unless you have an explicit reason for that (like for storing objects/elements you may want to have quick access/can quickly drag to an artboard).

2. This all depends on how you have the layers structured. If the objects you want to select are clipped inside another object (shape) then no it's no possible to select them directly using the process you described. But why are you placing the "children" objects clipped inside a shape? Why not place them inside Layers instead (the first icon on the right group on the bottom of the Layers panel)? There's different behaviours depending on the type of object that you are using as a parent: Layers get all children's objects selected when you use the Select ▸ Select All command for example. Groups and clipping shapes don't - only the parent group or clipping shape is selected since they act and are single objects on their own.

4. Maybe it's worth creating a new thread in the Feature Requests section (one request per thread) to request improvements here since it may get lost/it's harder to track down when mixed in a thread dealing with multiple suggestions/points as this one.

7. Have to check this one (the bug where it only works for the first object). Regarding the Global Colour panel displaying when you select an object with a global colour applied, this is by design. What where you expecting to see here? If you want to edit the global colour for that object (and all other that use it), click the Edit Global Colour button in that panel and then the dropdown on top of the pop-up that will appear to select other ways to define/edit the global colour (RGB., HSL, CMYK etc Sliders, HSL Colour Wheel etc etc).

global_colour_1.jpg.a5db1c599ed56958b27812cc45ae11b6.jpg   global_colour_2.jpg.92dbe38dfba32ba1b8ae7619338a475e.jpg

11. Please do so in case you find the issue again. Thanks.

12. This was improved already in the latest Affinity Designer Customer Beta. Just make sure View ▸ Show Bleed is ticked in the menus (with a bleed set in document setup).

14. Affinity Photo 1.7 Customer Beta already uses GPU acceleration for several functions (including opening RAW files). Hopefully we will also see improvements in Designer later as we move forward.

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1/2. In the case why I want clipping of layers, it is because some of the shapes in the portrait go into each other, and the smaller ones extend beyond the bigger. This allows me to modify the points of the bigger without worrying about the smaller shape not extending enough. I can also finish drawing the small shape with the massive square back instead of matching the outline of the shape it is on.



4. The first minute of the video shows how the color picker tool works in Coreldraw:

12. The bleed bounds are visible, but the contents inside them are not. I am attaching an illustrator bleed screenshot, bleed is also visible in CorelDraw.


7. It wouldn't be a problem if it reverted back to the wheel after you deselect the global-color object. If I know that multiple shapes will be the same color, I tend to tag them with the color whether for future refinement or preparing easy color iterations for the client. However, I still want to have the color wheel for all the other design elements which don't need linked colors. I work back and forth: applying color, tweaking shape, moving objects around, changing color, adding outline, deleting objects etc.

This is the case of the app predicting or using the context-sensitive option in a negative way. To answer the question directly: I don't want to keep switching back to color-wheel every time I touch a global-color object or a group.

Just tell me straight: is this an unreasonable request? Is this something wrong with my workflow and I should just adapt somehow?

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