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I'm new to Affinity and am working through it for the first time having come from Freehand.

Am I correct in thinking that every object is a layer? But these can be arranged in groups in the Layers palette?

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44 minutes ago, Andrew Smithers said:

I'm new to Affinity and am working through it for the first time having come from Freehand.

Am I correct in thinking that every object is a layer? But these can be arranged in groups in the Layers palette?

Yes.


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There are different types of layers. By default, each object is its own layer (curve). To have them nest inside one, click the New Layer button and drag the curves inside that new parent layer. There are parent layers (nested layers) and child layers (curves). Be careful to not drag a curve inside another curve, or that will clip the object.


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4 hours ago, Bri-Toon said:

To have them nest inside one, click the New Layer button and drag the curves inside that new parent layer.

Note that (confusingly!) "Layer" with a capital L is a specific type of container layer, similar in many respects to the "Group" type of container layer. The "Add Layer" button in the Layers panel & the Layer > New Layer menu item create this type of layer.

One of the differences is that capital L layers have their own layer color property which affects the color of the selection/bounding box of objects in it, not the color properties of those objects themselves. This can be useful when selecting individual objects on the canvas with the Move tool since each object's bounding box will use that color so you know which capital L Layer it is in by that color ... but if you select several objects on different capital L Layers at the same time, the bounding box (I think) uses the last used bounding box color for the bounding box that surrounds all those items, like I hope this makes (slightly?) clearer:
1235738793_Layersbbcolorexample.jpg.5fe9c33233499ab5df3714b206331ff2.jpg


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2 minutes ago, R C-R said:

like I hope this makes (slightly?) clearer

I’m disappointed that you didn’t use egg shapes for your ‘Layer’ demonstration.

(I’ll see myself out!)


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5 minutes ago, Alfred said:

I’m disappointed that you didn’t use egg shapes for your ‘Layer’ demonstration.

Egging me on to do something silly, are we?


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Hi R C-R, thank you for the explanation. Yes, each layer can be identified by the set of parentheses that follows it, and "Layer" with a capital L works as a layer container like you said. Very useful.

And that's interesting what you said about each "Layer" getting their own color property. Is that a default behavior for you? Because my files are made up of dozens of capital L Layers, and the color properties are all blue by default. I do have the option to change the color, but they don't change automatically when creating new layers.


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3 hours ago, Bri-Toon said:

And that's interesting what you said about each "Layer" getting their own color property. Is that a default behavior for you?

No, it is not a default behavior. The default is blue, so I had to change the Layer 1 & Layer 2 colors for the screenshots in my other post.


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Okay. I gotchya.


The website is still a work in progress. The "Comics" and "Shop" sections are not yet ready. Feel free to connect with me and let me know what you like or what can be improved. You can contact me here, on my contact page, YouTube channel, or Twitter account. Thanks and have a great day!

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Hi there, Andrew,

I'm not trying to promote my stuff, but last year I did make a video on a beginner's guide of the software. This part of video at 7:38 explains the layers. Just in case it helps. Good luck on your journey!


The website is still a work in progress. The "Comics" and "Shop" sections are not yet ready. Feel free to connect with me and let me know what you like or what can be improved. You can contact me here, on my contact page, YouTube channel, or Twitter account. Thanks and have a great day!

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Hi Bri-Toon!  I just finished watching your video.  I'm prob gonna have to watch it several times because there are a few things I'm still not understanding.  Not that you didn't make it clear...it was very good, but I'm coming from photoshop where the layers and groups are so different and I still don't know alot about vectors.  So, after saying that, I have been working on a large document for a client.  Its made up of many web elements.  Now this is the first time I've done everything in AD instead of using photoshop for different things, but the client only wants vectors.  I have been trying to sort the layers today...I just finished the document.  The layers are a mess!  I didn't have any curves because I've used the web elements before to create pages, but just changed colors and fonts.

So, whenever I'm moving a layer to go above another, I almost always get an arrow where it nested into another layer and I don't want that.  I see the blue line which is where I'm dragging layers.  I'm trying to understand...can i save several things to a layer then put that layer into a group?  I'm confusing myself.  I will attach a screenshot of this mess..maybe you can see my layer panel and tell me that I just need to start over..LOL  I hope not!  Thank you!    image.thumb.png.a9b486f4c8acbf257f87801a3b2e3106.png 

image.png

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Hi Kconkling, thank you for your reply. And it's okay if my video is confusing. It's an adjustment from what you're used to.

Yes, the layers are very different from Photoshop's for sure. You basically get to choose how you want each layer to appear. A layer can be a curve, a group, text, pixel, layer container (what R C-R mentioned), or etc. You're the one who gets to choose on the organizational part.

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Now this is the first time I've done everything in AD instead of using photoshop for different things, but the client only wants vectors.

If you look at what is in parentheses next to each layer, it will say what layer type it is. It seems that you have a lot of pixel layers. If your client only wants vectors, then some web elements may not work. You can click on the arrow next to each group layer to expand it and see what layer types are nested inside.

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I have been trying to sort the layers today...I just finished the document.  The layers are a mess!

You do definitely have a lot going on there, but the good news is that you can have layers inside layers. So rather than try to sort everything in the Layers panel first, I would first start on your canvas. Group any like elements, so all of your parent layers are groups. (If you don't want everything in groups, you can change that later.) The first step would be to start small, the Home button, About Us button, all of those can be in one group. Then the next step would be to have groups within groups. Assuming you grouped the magnifier button, navigation button, and etc., that group and the group of the Home, About Us, and other button can now be part of a larger group. Now I know you don't want everything to be in groups, but this is a way to start building a tree structure. Once the layers look more sorted, you can go into each group and create a new Layer that serves as a container only; not group. Then you can move all grouped object from the groups and into the layer containers. Does this make sense?

Quote

I see the blue line which is where I'm dragging layers.  I'm trying to understand...can i save several things to a layer then put that layer into a group?

Yes. When the blue line is the same distance as the other layers, you are changing the order. If it is indented under a layer, you are putting the selection inside. Again, do be aware of what is in parentheses, because if you nest an object inside a Layer, you get a different result as oppose to nesting inside a group, a pixel, or a curve. You can only get Layers (with a capital L) by clicking on that New Layer button. And then they will only serve as containers, a way you want to organize your smaller layers. Then inside those, you can choose what to group.

I hope this makes sense, because I know I said a lot. Let me or anyone here know if you need something clarified.

 


The website is still a work in progress. The "Comics" and "Shop" sections are not yet ready. Feel free to connect with me and let me know what you like or what can be improved. You can contact me here, on my contact page, YouTube channel, or Twitter account. Thanks and have a great day!

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16 hours ago, kconkling said:

So, whenever I'm moving a layer to go above another, I almost always get an arrow where it nested into another layer and I don't want that.  I see the blue line which is where I'm dragging layers.

In addition to what @Bri-Toon said about this, watching the Affinity Photo - Clipping vs Masking video tutorial may help clarify the different blue indicators you get when dragging layers around in the Layers panel & where to drop the dragged layers to get different results. (The video is done in Affinity Photo but it works the same way in all Affinity apps.)

Note in particular that both clipping & masking involve dropping a layer onto another layer, the difference being where on the layer it is dropped (like onto the thumbnail image for masking). As shown in the video at 1:43 (for masking) & at 2:49 (for clipping), initially the nested 'child' layer is shown collapsed into the 'parent' layer with a disclosure triangle (the arrow) you can click on to 'open' the parent layer to show its children.

Note too that in addition to grouping layers to organize them, you can also sometimes instead use clipping for this, even when there is no obvious need to clip anything. For instance, in this simple group vs clip example.afdesign file the two heads are composed of exactly the same shapes but their layer structures are different:
1090682609_simplegroupvsclipexample.jpg.c62d5dc60ddde058ea13cc9dc096e672.jpg      1714017594_simplegroupvsclippanel.jpg.f47884c92f879dfdb12da8a641ed3846.jpg


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Wow...that was quite a bit of info!!  Thank you so much.  I will watch both videos again.  Also, so if it says pixel, that is a raster image or text?  Most of the images like the email, home, about us icons, etc. I drew as a shape and saved it in the shapes pallet in photoshop.  Those are supposed to be vectors :(  Ok, well, now I have to figure out the pixel layers and redo them.  Isn't text shapes when you type in AD?  I'm gonna watch the videos again.  I thank you both so much for the info...Hopefully this will sink in soon!!

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R C-R...I completely understand about the blue line now.  I've never noticed it before...only saw the blurred light blue.  So, yay, I got that...thank you for the video.  

Bri-Toon...I didn't think a group could go into a group.  I googled that question and I thought I read that the group it the top layer with only layers inside.  Ok, so obviously you know what your talking about.  So, when I separate the icons, text, buttons, etc...start small and work up.  So, when I am done, will everything be in a group or layer?   Yes, this is confusing...  Since I don't have AI, where is a good place to look at my document when I'm finished to make sure everything comes out correctly?  Thanks again!!

 

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One more question..so sorry to bug you.  I went through my layers and there are a bunch of (pixel) layers.  What I did was save all these as png, so if I redraw my icons, I should save them as svg, correct?  And how do I keep text as a vector?

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10 hours ago, kconkling said:

Also, so if it says pixel, that is a raster image or text?

Anything that reads "pixel" is raster based. Text made in Affinity is always vector.

Quote

I drew as a shape and saved it in the shapes pallet in photoshop.  Those are supposed to be vectors :(

There is something I learned from a digital artist that can be very controversy to graphic design. Raster based software like Photoshop, although is said to support vector layers, really support something called "vexel." Vexel layers support the same functions as vector, but they appear more pixelated. To my understanding, raster based software cannot support pure vector files. The quality will always be slightly off.

It all depends all what your client is looking for, but I just thought I'd share that little something I learned.

10 hours ago, kconkling said:

So, when I am done, will everything be in a group or layer?

You just have to make enough groups so you can track your layers easier. From there, you can create layer containers to put the objects in, and then you can remove your groups as needed.

10 hours ago, kconkling said:

One more question..so sorry to bug you.  I went through my layers and there are a bunch of (pixel) layers.  What I did was save all these as png, so if I redraw my icons, I should save them as svg, correct?  And how do I keep text as a vector?

Not a problem. PNG is indeed raster based, which is why they appear as pixel layers. I think converting the original files to SVG would be a better option. And looking at your screenshots, it looks like some text is vector and some are pixels. I would recommend not exporting your files as PNGs but a recognizable vector format.


The website is still a work in progress. The "Comics" and "Shop" sections are not yet ready. Feel free to connect with me and let me know what you like or what can be improved. You can contact me here, on my contact page, YouTube channel, or Twitter account. Thanks and have a great day!

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Hi, kconkling,

Just to clarify a little. Text, parametric shapes, free-hand pen shapes, etc, when saved as .svg remain vectors. This means they will be displayed at any size up to the resolution the display device can manage. The exception is if a bitmap has been used as a fill. That will be scaled more or less successfully depending on the image.


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I thought I had it handled, but when I saved it to SVG, it said some things will be rasterized.  I went through all layers and there is no (pixel) anywhere.  I tried opening it in Inkscape and buttons were wrong color, some missing, etc.  Everything is vector..didn't use photoshop once!

  Any ideas?  I'm really bummed now...

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Did you use any of the effects on the layers?


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On 4/8/2019 at 11:52 AM, Bri-Toon said:

You can only get Layers (with a capital L) by clicking on that New Layer button

Or the Layer menu: Layer/New Layer.

On 4/9/2019 at 9:46 AM, Bri-Toon said:

To my understanding, raster based software cannot support pure vector files.

Well, there's Affinity Photo.


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13 hours ago, kconkling said:

I thought I had it handled, but when I saved it to SVG, it said some things will be rasterized.  I went through all layers and there is no (pixel) anywhere.  I tried opening it in Inkscape and buttons were wrong color, some missing, etc.  Everything is vector..didn't use photoshop once!

  Any ideas?  I'm really bummed now...

Okay, let's see what we can figure out. What is the original program you used to create the elements? Was it Inkscape, or are you just testing the results in Inkscape? Because if there is no (pixel) shown in your Affinity file, then hopefully it's just Inkscape having a hard time reading the file. Does everything else appear okay when you read the file in Affinity? Or, are the colors off in there as well?

9 hours ago, casterle said:

Well, there's Affinity Photo.

Correct, but when vector files are brought into Photo, its quality slightly becomes pixelated. The part that I find impressive is that when they're brought back into Designer, it's pure vector again.


The website is still a work in progress. The "Comics" and "Shop" sections are not yet ready. Feel free to connect with me and let me know what you like or what can be improved. You can contact me here, on my contact page, YouTube channel, or Twitter account. Thanks and have a great day!

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13 hours ago, kconkling said:

I thought I had it handled, but when I saved it to SVG, it said some things will be rasterized.  I went through all layers and there is no (pixel) anywhere.  I tried opening it in Inkscape and buttons were wrong color, some missing, etc.  Everything is vector..didn't use photoshop once!

  Any ideas?  I'm really bummed now...

Judging from the above shown AD screenshots, there were a buch of pixel and FX effects applied layers included. - Make sure you don't use pixel based aka raster images for any web based symbols/icons here. Also note that when you apply certain FX effects to vector shapes, that these effects then will be included as raster image portions into your vector drawing format (let's say SVG) here. - For sureness you can always also open SVG files (SVG is just a textual vector descriprion of commands and settings) inside some text editor and inspect there, if something has been applied as an raster image inside then.


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