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The project I'm working on will need to use 'tiling patterns' for some of the graphics.

Currently the only option for patterns in Affinity Designer is to use the Fill tool to import a Bitmap. This may be saved as a style.
The bitmap will not and cannot be updated, and the size and tiling will scale relative to the object, rather than the document.

Working with patterns this way is so terrible that it's definitely not fit for the task, so Affinity Designer is starting to really drag down the project.

Does it seem likely we will see any sort of patterned area fill in the next six months, or should I abandon Affinity Designer for now and go for Illustrator?

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Got that messed up lol

I find the fill tool a bit of a mess, there should be a dedicated gradient tool and a fill tool that can fill either solid, vector pattern or bitmap pattern, much less confusing


iMac 27" Late 2015 Fully Loaded, iMac 27" Mid 2011 both running High Sierra 10.13.6 - Affinity Designer/Photo, Publisher Beta 1.7.0.140, Illustrator CC, Inkscape, Blender, Sketchup, Pepakura Designer, MTC, Pixelmator & Pixelmator Pro + more... XP-Pen Artist-22E, - iPad Pro 12.9 B|  

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Hello Dock,

I don't know if this is right for you, but you can create a vector pattern and insert it inside the shape, it will simply be clipped. This allows its subsequent modification independently of the shape itself.  Instead of putting the pattern in styles you can put it in assets so that it is always available.

Asset pattern.jpg

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1 hour ago, reglico said:

Hello Dock,

I don't know if this is right for you, but you can create a vector pattern and insert it inside the shape, it will simply be clipped. This allows its subsequent modification independently of the shape itself.  Instead of putting the pattern in styles you can put it in assets so that it is always available.

Asset pattern.jpg

I was intending to do polka dot style patterns... should I really create hundreds of circles? I know about the trick of using symbols for pattern clusters, but this is clumsy too. 

What do do you mean regarding putting the pattern into assets?

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40 minutes ago, dock said:

What do do you mean regarding putting the pattern into assets?

There is an Assets Panel:  View > Studio > Assets and it is used to create reusable elements.

 


iMac 27" Late 2015 Fully Loaded, iMac 27" Mid 2011 both running High Sierra 10.13.6 - Affinity Designer/Photo, Publisher Beta 1.7.0.140, Illustrator CC, Inkscape, Blender, Sketchup, Pepakura Designer, MTC, Pixelmator & Pixelmator Pro + more... XP-Pen Artist-22E, - iPad Pro 12.9 B|  

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Draw a first circle, "Ctrl/Cmd + J", move it to the desired place and repeat "Ctrl/Cmd + J" as many times as necessary to have a complete line. Select the entire line (all circles), "Ctrl/Cmd + J", move the resulting copy down and make "Ctrl/Cmd + J" again as many times as necessary to cover the desired area.
Group the whole thing together. Go to "View", "Studio" and tick "Assets".
The assets panel opens on the left side of the screen.
With your selected circles, click on the "hamburger" to the right of the name of the category in which you are going to place them. Choose "Add from selection".
Then, to use an asset, click on it in the panel and simply drag it over your drawing.
IMPORTANT: do not forget to group all your circles before putting them in the assets. If you do not do so, they will be placed individually.

I made a quick example, without shifting the points.

Assets.jpg

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4 hours ago, firstdefence said:

I find the fill tool a bit of a mess, there should be a dedicated gradient tool and a fill tool that can fill either solid, vector pattern or bitmap pattern, much less confusing

I am not so sure separate gradient & fill tools would make things less confusing but it would be nice to have a dedicated vector pattern tool that could be used to create custom vector patterns, & integrate that with the Assets panel.


Affinity Photo 1.7.1, Affinity Designer 1.7.1, Affinity Publisher 1.7.1; macOS High Sierra 10.13.6 iMac (27-inch, Late 2012); 2.9GHz i5 CPU; NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M; 8GB RAM
Affinity Photo 1.7.1.143 & Affinity Designer 1.7.1.1 for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iOS 12.3.1

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9 hours ago, R C-R said:

I am not so sure separate gradient & fill tools would make things less confusing but it would be nice to have a dedicated vector pattern tool that could be used to create custom vector patterns, & integrate that with the Assets panel.

Agreed, that would be a nifty feature, I think the fill tool is a bit confusing, the icon absolutely points at a gradient fill tool and that's what the icon is called gradient tool_lightui.png: gradienttool_lightui.png.8b40060a5252ad5dbdc3dc8f250c3c96.png 

The fill tool icon is generally a paint tin tipped over flood_fill.png.a1d207e11599e4778014d6622339d13a.png  this icon could be modified to include a pattern to indicate a pattern fill 1344344112_Patternfillconcepticon.png.2ff7c981243f6cc1c6c31981e791b737.png 

I think although gradients are fills they are worthy of being distinct and separate from other fills.


iMac 27" Late 2015 Fully Loaded, iMac 27" Mid 2011 both running High Sierra 10.13.6 - Affinity Designer/Photo, Publisher Beta 1.7.0.140, Illustrator CC, Inkscape, Blender, Sketchup, Pepakura Designer, MTC, Pixelmator & Pixelmator Pro + more... XP-Pen Artist-22E, - iPad Pro 12.9 B|  

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59 minutes ago, firstdefence said:

I think the fill tool is a bit confusing,

So do I. To begin with, the tool's icon is too small to clearly see that the 45° line is supposed to represent the line & end color stops of a linear gradient, & of course a bitmap type fill isn't necessarily a gradient. I am not sure why that fill type is called "Bitmap" in the dropdown menu instead of "Raster" -- some users associate the former with 1 bit monochrome images, so that is yet another potential source of confusion.

The tool also has both a fill & stroke context, but like the Pixel Persona's Flood Fill Tool, in the Draw Persona it can be used on Pixel layers, which we don't usually think of as having vector-like fill & stroke properties ... & if I set the tool to the Stroke context & change the type from "None" to anything other than "Bitmap" I immediately get a non-adjustable default white to grey gradient that covers the canvas, regardless of the original size of the pixel layer. Worse, choosing the "Bitmap" fill type with the Stroke context crashes the app! :o

Personally, I think the Stroke context should be disabled when a pixel layer is the target to avoid these problems.

I don't think the paint bucket icon is right for any of this tool's functions -- too easy to confuse that with the Flood Fill Tool icon -- but I have no idea what would be any better than the current one, other than maybe making the 45° line larger & extending it over all of the circular rainbow imagery.

I also think maybe even the developers don't quite know what to call this multi-function tool or what a better icon for it would be -- consider for instance that the same tool is named "Fill Tool" in Designer but simply "Gradient" in Photo (with no "Tool" in the name) & as you mentioned the png icon resources have "gradient" in their names.


Affinity Photo 1.7.1, Affinity Designer 1.7.1, Affinity Publisher 1.7.1; macOS High Sierra 10.13.6 iMac (27-inch, Late 2012); 2.9GHz i5 CPU; NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M; 8GB RAM
Affinity Photo 1.7.1.143 & Affinity Designer 1.7.1.1 for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iOS 12.3.1

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Thanks for the advice, everyone! I see that it's a matter of juggling different techniques to get the result I want. It's disappointing to think we might never see embedded patterns but I'm glad to see the other methods employed here.

@reglico I've used the 'many dots' approach in the past, but it always felt really clumsy, especially if I wanted to make any changes or make an alternative.  I guess that's what I need to use, nevertheless!

The workaround I've ended up with relies on a combination of Affinity's Assets for easily placed objects and Inkscapes 'Transform Each' for modifications. I may end up using Inkscape's tiling pattern too, because the Ctrl+J cloning can be clumsy.  The middle example is a pattern I made in affinity, and the left and right are transformations of this pattern thanks to Inkscape.

Using Assets seems to help a lot, although it's a shame there's no easy way to update those. 

Designer_K7LalbcN4T.png

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27 minutes ago, dock said:

The workaround I've ended up with relies on a combination of Affinity's Assets for easily placed objects and Inkscapes 'Transform Each' for modifications.

FWIW, the Designer 1.7 customer beta now includes a 'Transform Each" feature on the Move Tool's context toolbar.
1042006964_Xformseparately.jpg.d45bc0bef5c6a4f58142a1ce63ee4579.jpg

So that feature should be available in the retail update.


Affinity Photo 1.7.1, Affinity Designer 1.7.1, Affinity Publisher 1.7.1; macOS High Sierra 10.13.6 iMac (27-inch, Late 2012); 2.9GHz i5 CPU; NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M; 8GB RAM
Affinity Photo 1.7.1.143 & Affinity Designer 1.7.1.1 for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iOS 12.3.1

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59 minutes ago, dock said:

Using Assets seems to help a lot, although it's a shame there's no easy way to update those. 

Designer_K7LalbcN4T.png

Before noticing the "transform each" in the beta version, I went through the trouble of making various dot arrays out of symbols, and saving those as assets.  I used 10 - 12 symbols. I used the polygon tool, and made several differently ordered groups, such as all horizontal, or concentric. That way I can get various patterns where the polygon form rows that taper, of the color fades/changes.

A sample from 1

SymbolAsset.jpg.77b79291a5bbc22a469daf51512d348f.jpg


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