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I'm new to Designer but I'm looking to make the switch from Ai.

I specialise in making complex isometric illustration and I've heard word of the addition of "Isometric Studio" to the latest Designer beta but I've not been able to find out what this is.

Is there any word what this may include?

 

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Phew! My head's spinning with 26 pages of posts! ;)

As I'm a total noob and not that sure of forum etiquette, should I make a suggestion here or add it to the thread that GarryP kindly pointed me to?

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Yeah, a lot of stuff to read in that thread, sorry.
Having said that, it gives you some idea of the passion that some users have for the software and those new features. (If no-one cared there wouldn't be 26 pages of posts.)
You should be able to pick out only the videos posted by Ben to get an idea of the new features without necessarily reading all of the comments and suggestions but there's still quite a bit of reading/scrolling to find them. (Try going to the thread and doing a search for ".mov" (without the quotes) within that thread only, see attached image.)

I would say that making your suggestion - or asking a question - here rather than adding to the pre-beta thread would be best.
You're generally more likely to get a response to a new thread than adding something to an old one.
Also, the more specific you are, the more relevant the response(s) will be.

search-dot-mov.png

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5 minutes ago, GarryP said:

You should be able to pick out only the videos posted by Ben to get an idea of the new features without necessarily reading all of the comments and suggestions but there's still quite a bit of reading/scrolling to find them. (Try going to the thread and doing a search for ".mov" (without the quotes) within that thread only, see attached image.)

If you search for .mov you’ll also find a couple of videos accompanying suggestions posted by Alex (@A_B_C) but they’re worth seeing, too. :)


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Thanks guys.

I did go to the search from the off but it didn't turn that much up "isometric, studio". 

Probably my bad. I can be impatient at times.

 

I skimmed through all 26 pages so excuse me of this has been said as I most likely missed a lot. ;)

I even needed several rum and cokes to recover. :D 

 

I might be shooting myself in the foot here (almost didn't post it as I intended to design a plug-in for Ai) but I do a hell of a lot of isometric illustration and I reluctantly use Ai to do this which is very time consuming so anything to speed up the process would be a real game changer for me and others.

(Images attached for illustration purpose, not self promotion.)

Behance.thumb.jpg.24d4eab34dc435612c6d000711921ab3.jpg

CBRE-Office.thumb.jpg.67c7fac78c79d4280a085ac28d167480.jpg

There tends to be two approaches to doing iso illustration. The first being the grid method which is not my personal choice because I find it a bit primitive, clunky and it's not that good for accurate proportions and complex shapes like text and curves.

Most vector app's use this approach but they're not always made by iso practitioners so I think they're missing the game here a bit. A lot.

The other is the SSR method which is what I use.

In this way you can take a plan elevation and accurately transform it to an isometric projection retaining the proper proportions.

Here's a linky, link.

The thing about the SSR method is that you have to input the scale, skew and rotation every....#$£&'ing....time to achieve this which is very time consuming, confusing,  boring and repetitive as hell so what I did is write a set of simple actions in Ai to do this with one click. (Top. Right. Left and a reverse option for each). DONE!

I'm sure I didn't invent this but it's a bit of an isometric illustration secret. ;)

 

Those simple set of actions made my iso workflow go through the roof and the lack of this option has been the one thing that has stopped me from converting to Affinity Designer.

Having the ability to write actions or even better, having an isometric transform button for each elevation would be like BOOM!

I'm no software Dev but this must be SO simple to incorporate and wouldn't necessarily need it's own widow or menu. It could be tagged onto transform or distort.

Top is like: Scale > 86.062. Skew > 30 degrees. Rotate > -30 degrees.....and so on.

Just a bit of code.

499e6b99e3cd9bb15c764bd93d969a85.jpg.4c379e99e93d5b80b3def158ba85bf36.jpg

Ai doesn't have this as standard, only the ability to do so if you know how. ;) 

I know that this tiny addition would not only make my life easier but make me ditch Ai, move to Affinity and open up iso illustration to a lot more people because people like easy don't they?

If you combine this with Affinity Designer's cool way of snapping stuff together,  the iso grid and even better, at a 30 degree angle (optional) it would make it the go to app for anyone wanting to do iso stuff by a long mile.

Isometrics have become very popular in recent times due to infographics, animation and games and so on so the market here is HUGE.

They're just a bit of a ball ache to do at present with current software.

 

There you go...... Phew!

Here's the small print:

 

Note. If you do incorporate this feature I'd like a new iPad Pro, Apple Pencil, the new improved Affinity Designer app with isometric transform and some rum and coke in return. ;)

Oh...and a yacht as well which I shall call "The Mighty Scotty".

(If this has been suggested before please tell me and I'll crawl into a hole with my rum and coke but without the above items.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Wow, some really amazing isometric work there.
I have no idea if Designer can do what you would like it to do but maybe someone else can give you more information. One of the developers would be a lot more suited to answering this.
Sorry I can't be of much more help on this but this level of work is way above my pay grade.
Again though, fantastic work.

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Disclaimer: I've never drawn an isometric image in my life, so apologies if I've misunderstood.

However, from playing for a few minutes with the Iso Studio in the current beta it appears that it can essentially do the SSR method for you.

  1. Set up an iso grid / cube.
  2. Draw you image face on.
  3. Snap it to the correct plane / face.

Done.

709456686_AffinityIsoStudio.gif.26cea2b59df6b416466fdf1de275c75d.gif


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On 3/24/2019 at 8:32 AM, GarryP said:

Wow, some really amazing isometric work there.
I have no idea if Designer can do what you would like it to do but maybe someone else can give you more information. One of the developers would be a lot more suited to answering this.
Sorry I can't be of much more help on this but this level of work is way above my pay grade.
Again though, fantastic work.

That's very kind of you Garry and I really appreciate that. :D

 

Fact is, isometric work is more about having the patience and tenacity as it's based on simple shapes and very basic rules.

That's why having the SSR option could be a game changer for people that do iso work.

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On 3/24/2019 at 12:25 PM, Aammppaa said:

Disclaimer: I've never drawn an isometric image in my life, so apologies if I've misunderstood.

However, from playing for a few minutes with the Iso Studio in the current beta it appears that it can essentially do the SSR method for you.

  1. Set up an iso grid / cube.
  2. Draw you image face on.
  3. Snap it to the correct plane / face.

Done.

709456686_AffinityIsoStudio.gif.26cea2b59df6b416466fdf1de275c75d.gif

Hey Aammppaa,

 

I did see that when I was looking through the long thread although it was not set to iso.

That's kind of what I was looking for but taking a different path to get there.

That does look like an amazing function as you can spin the shape after applying the it to the isometric plane and it remains editable unlike with Ai where you'd need to undo it. turn it and then re-apply the SSR.

Out of interest (I don't have the Beta) can you expand the image/shape after applying it to the plane so it's an independent, workable shape?

If so then this is a very similar thing to what I was asking.

 

If there were the addition of some SSR transform buttons to this feature then I'd pee my pants with joy! ;)

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@iamscotty I suggest that you try the beta for yourself. It is free, and installs in parallel with v1.6 allowing you to use both.

At present you have to undo the SSR by hand (entering zeros in the transform panel), but I just made this post

This would allow you to do as you ask, and edit the object in a flat projection before snapping it back onto the grid.

Isolating objects to work on them is very poorly implemented in Affinity at present. There are threads about this on the forum.

 


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I think it's worth noting that you need to already have an installation of the commercial release to be able to download the beta.
This means that people can't try the beta - with the new functionality - without already owning Designer. (This isn't the same for Publisher as there is no commercial release yet, at time of writing.)
I thought I'd say this in case people were thinking they could try the beta instead of a trial version of the commercial release.

iamscotty, I don't really know what you mean by "can you expand the image/shape after applying it to the plane so it's an independent, workable shape". You can certainly edit the shape after it's been fitted to a plane but this might not be what you mean. See the crude attached GIF for some very basic examples of what's possible. I haven't used the Isometric features much myself so I don't know what the limitations are. The "Remove from Plane" function as suggested by Aammppaa certainly looks like it would be very useful.

iso-editing.gif

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I learn a lot by redoing what others have done. I’m not into isometric illutration but I will try to do some things like the ones @iamscotty shared. 

Best regards!


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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, GarryP said:

I think it's worth noting that you need to already have an installation of the commercial release to be able to download the beta.
This means that people can't try the beta - with the new functionality - without already owning Designer. (This isn't the same for Publisher as there is no commercial release yet, at time of writing.)
I thought I'd say this in case people were thinking they could try the beta instead of a trial version of the commercial release.

iamscotty, I don't really know what you mean by "can you expand the image/shape after applying it to the plane so it's an independent, workable shape". You can certainly edit the shape after it's been fitted to a plane but this might not be what you mean. See the crude attached GIF for some very basic examples of what's possible. I haven't used the Isometric features much myself so I don't know what the limitations are. The "Remove from Plane" function as suggested by Aammppaa certainly looks like it would be very useful.

iso-editing.gif

Hmmm. On the face of it it seems to be the thing so thanks SO much for taking the time to make and show that walk through.

It's hard to explain so I made this which is similar to yours to show how I start pretty much every object and thing in isometric all I do is create one face which is usually the top and work down to get my basic iso shape.

I then just add the details and for things that would appear on the right or left faces I'd do the same but use left or right SSR for those.

Here's a tutorial I made on my blog to explain but using the grid method instead. ;) :D

Iso-Shape.thumb.jpg.c74fc436fcc5255c218c7f36a72db159.jpg

As you can see, the basis for isometrics is insanely simple

You can see that I need the shape as a stand alone thing where I can select, edit, copy, join paths to others to get a basic, 3D, isometric shape.

I just manually extrude it.

The "project to plane" appears to be a kind of live filter rather than a proper transform but I can't really tell without having a go.

 

 

Edited by iamscotty
Missed something

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That's how made it in PS, back in the day...


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Exploring…

49715992_AffinityIsoCheese.gif.8bbd46ea023063e650bab9b5126a682d.gif

This is the first iso drawing I've ever made.

Took a couple of minutes, using Fit to Plane, Draw in Plane, and the regular iso grid.

Very easy, and fun!


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10 hours ago, Aammppaa said:

Exploring…

49715992_AffinityIsoCheese.gif.8bbd46ea023063e650bab9b5126a682d.gif

This is the first iso drawing I've ever made.

Took a couple of minutes, using Fit to Plane, Draw in Plane, and the regular iso grid.

Very easy, and fun!

That's AWESOME! :D

Once you get the basics you can push the envelope like you've done here and it can get quite rewarding and addictive.

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Hi all.  Just spotted this thread.

 

The isometric tools (should be called axonometric) are in their first phase.   If you want to get the best out of them, I'd recommend using the Grid Cube for specifying the Isometric grid.  It includes better features for correct scaling when using "Fit to plane". 

 

I will be adding a "return to 2D" button - but it will only work with Cube defined grids as I cannot determine an inverse scaling for custom grids.  I might also be able to add a flip between planes option (it's just a sequence of transforms after all).  The key thing is that you need to know what plane your object exists in before returning it to 2D (as the layers have no knowledge of what plane they belong to).

 

With "Edit in plane" enabled, a lot of tools will provide plane aware editing - including creation tools, and the new Point Transform Tool.

 


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@iamscotty

Nice isometric work!  I would be really interested to hear your thoughts on the way the new 1.7 iso tools work.  I have bigger plans, but having useful feedback will help!

 


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Our Isometric tools should deal with all the SSR calculations for you.  The power will be when you mix other axonometric axes.  For example - use the Cube, and rotate it about the vertical to  produce another set of axes for objects rotated out of conventional isometric, but using the correct scale and shear.

 

And, of course, our snapping and constraining play massively into all this.

 

Screenshot 2019-04-05 at 16.28.26.png


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On 4/5/2019 at 4:17 PM, Ben said:

@iamscotty

Nice isometric work!  I would be really interested to hear your thoughts on the way the new 1.7 iso tools work.  I have bigger plans, but having useful feedback will help!

 

Thanks Ben, that's very kind of you. :)

 


Must admit that I'm really impressed that you guys take such close notice of all the posts on here so thanks for taking the time to acknowledge this thread and my suggestion/concern.

I doubt that would be the case with the competition. (cough, wink). ;)

 

I'd be more than happy to give feedback but I have to admit that I'm at a bit of a disadvantage in not having my own copy of Designer so can't get the 1.7 beta and try the iso/axo tools so I'm kind of relying on you guys that have. :(

I have tried Designer before but I had problems with the trial version as it told me it had expired on installation. Probably my bad as I may have tried it before at some point.

I think I have the old beta and an old machine but without the iso stuff.

 

What I'm seeing looks awesome.

I did write a bit of a long winded reply over the weekend but it all got a bit confusing when I read it back so I've been doing a little work through to illustrate and I'll post that once I've sorted it.

All the examples I've seen on this thread have been based on a cube and/or projecting images and shapes onto it's facets.

If I can use Ai's '3D extrude' as an example as I occasionally use that for iso's but try to ignore the 3D, extrude aspect as I only want to focus on the original shape/facet being made isometric.

 

In 3D extrude, you start with a 2D shape and then apply the 3D extrude which you can set to iso and you get a 3D render based on the original shape.

At this point it is still a live effect that doesn't react as it would if it were made up of regular paths and nodes.

It's not until you 'expand appearance" that you can get to the paths and start building on it.

 

What I'm saying is can you expand or release the iso object from "Edit in plane" so it behaves the same as any other shape path would?

In the examples I've seen above, you can pull node handles, punch shapes, bend paths but they 'seem' to be as a distorted projection of the original. Like there's an iso effect on the shape.

I guess you could call what's talking about as a "destructive effect" where you can finally expand the shape from it's isometric plane.

 

 

Sorry if this is a bit rambling.

It's not as bad as the original. ;)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Sorry....Just to clarify @Ben.

 

Without the ability to end up with an shape that has been warped into isometric (SSR) that has no live transforms or effects applied to it (a bog standard vector path) then it's dead in the water at that point and just looks isometric but you can't do much with it from then on.

Making isometric illustrations is a little bit like Lego as you need to build it and shapes that have had the SSR applied to them are the bricks.

 

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@iamscotty

We do something very different to other apps.  The shapes in the examples are just regular layers - they have just had the SSR transform applied to them.  They still function as normal shape layer or curve objects - fully editable.  You don't have to bake in your changes.  The objects don't lose the edibility as a result of being transformed onto an isometric plane.


Our axonometric tools are not 3D though - objects/layers have no knowledge of the logical plane they belong to.  It is up to the user to select the "editing plane".  This then applies the correct SSR adjustments when using the various tools.  So, for example, new shapes can be created directly onto an isometric plane. Bitmap fills can be created with correct scale and shear.  Rotations can be performed on objects that will correct the SSR calculations through the rotation, for the chosen plane.  A number of tools in our next release will be axonometric aware.

 

Also, because we use a general grid system - now with the addition of a cube to define the grid with correct scaling of each axis - you are also not stuck in Isometric - you can apply the same tooling to any axonometric grid.

 

The basic calculations in the documents yo have linked to working with SSR only apply to Isometric.  Affinity can make using arbitrary axonometric axes simple because we do all the accurate calculations for you.


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Hey @Ben, thanks for the reply.

 

I really need to have a go myself as it's difficult to explain and understand via a forum but I think by looking at the work through that @GarryP did and what you've said the isometric function and edit in plane look great if it has the option to expand the SSR effect.

I understand that Designer has a different approach to handling the SSR formula but SSR has only one task and it's super simple.

To take an existing shape and convert it to an isometric/axonometric projection. Either top, right or bottom.

The reason of this is that the original shape, dimensions and scale may be very important to the end (isometric) result.

All the important making and doing is done in the flat elevation and then converted not the other way around.

It's kind of the fundaments of working in isometrics.

That could have it's use but it's like putting the horse behind the cart if you get my drift.

You make flat,  then convert and then build.

That shape is then the basis for building whatever you want to make and you've left SSR behind at that point.

Creating in the isometric plane is okay but you're already in a distorted view so it can't be accurate from the start.

I've been working making isometric designs and illustrations for 32 years now so I can see it from a practitioners view point and although these tools look great they do seem to be missing the point a little from what I see but enough to render it almost useless to build complex shapes and designs that are faithful and accurate to the original.

I started off doing isometrics on a drawing board using pens, iso guides and rulers and then Mac Classic's came out and someone worked out the SSR formula in Freehand.

That was the big transformation but the rule has stayed the same: Make your flat shape. Apply SSR. Build your isometric object.

 

To show you how I work and use SSR to build isometrics I wanted to take something that's original (flat) appearance is very important so I chose the Affinity Designer icon/logo.

I made a flat, paths version of it, converted it to iso using SSR and only then started to build the 3D.

All the information I needed is in step 1.

All the conversion is done in step 2.

Everything after that is just embellishment, faffing about and building using the same principles as the "cube with a punched out corner" I did above.

I can't imagine recreating the Affinity Designer logo using "edit in plane" with any degree of accuracy.

Please don't get me wrong here.

I have HUGE respect for you guys that put these packages together and I'm telling you this with the very best intentions (I want to use Designer for isometrics) but when it comes to this area I do feel you may be missing the point a little and that would be a great pity.

 

Step1.jpg.728b7be2544d3d8d1bbeebf1d808c994.jpgStep2.jpg.e5329958dc45449bd33e4a3d711d9eb8.jpgStep3.jpg.fcc13f3245d98c2d2ec614a412835647.jpgStep4.jpg.40d3e7764b755beb05f232957f64c93b.jpgStep5.jpg.2f6da5a10258334d33eccc6c41a3a59f.jpgStep6.jpg.e2096d4de49944bbbf7aada71e4d9328.jpg

 

 

 

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