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Cloonix

Overlapping shapes and shadows (e. g. graffiti letters) in Designer

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Hello Affinity users,

I'm new to designing and i despair on a (i suppose) simple task. I try to create a graffiti and have issues with overlapping letters/shapes with shadows. I need a small hint how "one" would do that. I attached a sample which should show my problem.

Left is a hand-drawn sketch what i try to achieve: A letter "D" with an arrow which drops its shadow to the rest of the shape with a gradation from light blue to dark blue. 

Thanks a lot for your help!

Claus

graffiti_letter.jpg

graffiti_letter.afdesign

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There is probably a better way to do this (& a better execution of this way), but what I did in this Ebene1.afdesign file was to cover the base of the arrowhead shape with a small patch & match (more or less) its gradient to the gradient of the surrounding area.
patch.jpg.9e2ee4c1bbb8d69fd5ac0b7fae4067c6.jpg


Affinity Photo 1.6.7 & Affinity Designer 1.6.1; macOS High Sierra 10.13.6 iMac (27-inch, Late 2012); 2.9GHz i5 CPU; NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M; 8GB RAM
Affinity Photo 1.6.11.85 & Affinity Designer 1.6..4.45 for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iOS 12.1.1

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Thanks a lot for your reply.

So that means i have to precisely match the gradient of the patch? Is it even possible to be done perfectly?

And the size of the arrow shaft? I use the boolean operations to "cut out" a perfectly sized patch-shape? 

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Yeah, the hard part is perfectly matching the gradient for the patch. Making it no larger than is needed to cover the shadow cast by the arrowhead onto the shaft makes it somewhat easier. Getting the angle of the linear patch gradient the same as for the shaft is important -- I didn't really try to do that but one way would be to create a pair of temporary lines to use as a guide since I don't think there is any way to set the angle numerically.

As for creating the patch shape, I just drew it with the Pen Tool using snapping to set the size to the width of the shaft & its height to the intersection with the arrowhead shape, & then moved the two top nodes upward slightly one at a time, using the edges of the shaft below as a guide to make sure everything stayed aligned. It is harder to describe than it is to do, but if you experiment a bit, particularly at high zoom levels, I think you will get what I mean.


Affinity Photo 1.6.7 & Affinity Designer 1.6.1; macOS High Sierra 10.13.6 iMac (27-inch, Late 2012); 2.9GHz i5 CPU; NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M; 8GB RAM
Affinity Photo 1.6.11.85 & Affinity Designer 1.6..4.45 for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iOS 12.1.1

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Hi, Cloonix,

I came at it in a slightly different way.  I took a base shape, duplicated it a couple of times, and applied color gradients and transparency fades. It is a bit fussier than one might like to do.

DSweep.afdesign


iMac 27" Retina, c. 2015: OS X 10.11.5: 3.3 GHz I c-5: 32 Gb,  AMD Radeon R9 M290 2048 Mb

iPad 12.9" Retina, iOS 10, 512 Gb, Apple pencil

Huion WH1409 tablet

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6 hours ago, R C-R said:

[...]

I realize that illustrating the hand-drawn sketch needs a re-thinking on my side. Thanks for your explanation. It's helping me. 

3 hours ago, gdenby said:

Hi, Cloonix,

I came at it in a slightly different way.  I took a base shape, duplicated it a couple of times, and applied color gradients and transparency fades. It is a bit fussier than one might like to do.

DSweep.afdesign

Thanks. I have to try that too. It looks promising and doesn't need so much positioning of extra shapes (i guess). 

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Hi @Cloonix 

To take the guess work out of matching up gradients use it on the group or layer.
That way each element inside will have the exact same gradient fill to start (as opposed to copy > paste style. That won't work here). Then just tweak the nodes on individual objects. What you don't touch will continue to match up perfectly.

So, in the example:
Made the master gradient on the parent Layer. 
Changed the top node (and added a second a little lower) just to the arrow.
Changed the shadows to black.
So.... the bottom two nodes never change and the transition from arrow to the D shape is seamless.
(oh, and as you can see, I treated the shadows as separate objects instead of using FXs)
415566543_gradientarrow10.png.b0612d53c270b5319ca4d0f5b3b0820b.png

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1 hour ago, JimmyJack said:

Hi @Cloonix 
oh, and as you can see, I treated the shadows as separate objects instead of using FXs)

Good move.


iMac 27" Retina, c. 2015: OS X 10.11.5: 3.3 GHz I c-5: 32 Gb,  AMD Radeon R9 M290 2048 Mb

iPad 12.9" Retina, iOS 10, 512 Gb, Apple pencil

Huion WH1409 tablet

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Thanks @JimmyJack. That's a very nice solution.

One further question though: If i change the gradient of the group/parent layer, i change the gradient of the black shadows again. Meaning, i have to set them back to black again every time? 

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1 hour ago, Cloonix said:

Thanks @JimmyJack. That's a very nice solution.

One further question though: If i change the gradient of the group/parent layer, i change the gradient of the black shadows again. Meaning, i have to set them back to black again every time? 

Yeah, changing the master/parent will cascade to what's below. One of the drawbacks of a stack system. 

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1 hour ago, Cloonix said:

Thanks @JimmyJack. That's a very nice solution.

Note that his solution includes something that may not be obvious: the top level arrow shapes are not just a triangular shapes but include some of the 'D' shape, & the angle of their lower right edges are the same (more or less?) as the angle of the gradient fills:
2025622445_Dshadow.jpg.73cfaeaf5b9f128ebd7cb2604f2f8fd6.jpg
This allows a (nearly?) seamless gradient along that edge, which otherwise might be very difficult to achieve.


Affinity Photo 1.6.7 & Affinity Designer 1.6.1; macOS High Sierra 10.13.6 iMac (27-inch, Late 2012); 2.9GHz i5 CPU; NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M; 8GB RAM
Affinity Photo 1.6.11.85 & Affinity Designer 1.6..4.45 for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iOS 12.1.1

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11 minutes ago, R C-R said:

Note that his solution includes something that may not be obvious: the top level arrow shapes are not just a triangular shapes but include some of the 'D' shape, & the angle of their lower right edges are the same (more or less?) as the angle of the gradient fills:
2025622445_Dshadow.jpg.73cfaeaf5b9f128ebd7cb2604f2f8fd6.jpg
This allows a (nearly?) seamless gradient along that edge, which otherwise might be very difficult to achieve.

That angle has no bearing on the "shared" gradient.

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14 minutes ago, JimmyJack said:

That angle has no bearing on the shared gradient.

Yes, you are right about that but what I meant is your solution involves a different arrow arrow shape than the one @Cloonix used in the OP.


Affinity Photo 1.6.7 & Affinity Designer 1.6.1; macOS High Sierra 10.13.6 iMac (27-inch, Late 2012); 2.9GHz i5 CPU; NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M; 8GB RAM
Affinity Photo 1.6.11.85 & Affinity Designer 1.6..4.45 for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iOS 12.1.1

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Thank you all for your help.

Thanks to the different ways of solving my problem, I've learned a few new things. Thanks. 

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