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Affinity Designer feature roadmap

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I don't leave store reviews whether it is Amazon or the MS Store or ... Nor do I ever make a purchase based upon reviews on such sites. I do trust my peers' comments to a degree but I'll make up my own mind. I view those places as sales vehicles only.

 

I have no quibble at all with the progress Serif has made on squishing bugs nor adding features. There's only one such company (well, maybe two) that I level such criticism towards. That one's name begins with an X. Terrible progress on the development of features and can be extremely slow to fix what are for my work critical bugs. In fact, last year at this time, I made 20 or whatever number of ads. Most were done in XDP due to the PDF issues in AD. In fact, I only used AD for a few reasons, one of which was to exercise the brain and hands. This year it completely reversed...except I did all in AD or in conjunction with Q because they broke PDF output and rather than using a previous version I used AD.

 

I do want to point out the flip-side of the same "narrow-minded" coin. That is, 5 out of 5 stars in combination of a glowing yet shallow review is also a disservice to Serif and potential customers. Because of those types of reviews (and the other end of the spectrum) I believe that "store" reviews are themselves a poor choice to rely upon to make any decision on software.

 

As well, the phrase all press is good press has never really been true. There are reviews and Serif customer's perceptions that Serif's Affinity products are all but the Savior of Mankind and are the only true alternative to Adobe products. This is false and can lead to customer dissatisfaction.

 

Anyway, I should get ready do a product shoot this afternoon. I thank you for your response, Ben.

 

Mike


My computer is a nothing-special Toshiba laptop with unremarkable specs running Windows 10 64-bit.

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14 minutes ago, Ben said:

We have had a number of people using that phrase.  Some on App Store reviews, which have been quite unfair - such as giving 1 or 2 out of 5 stars because we don't have one particular feature, while at the same time stating that everything else is pretty good with the app.

 

Of course, this kind of narrow minded perception of what makes the app fit for professional (or non-professional) work will skew the perception of other potential users, perhaps unfairly.

 

From our point of view that is very frustrating, because we know how much work goes into creating and refining the tools we have - we are hardly sitting on our laurels!  It seems a lot of criticism comes from people who really don't have the first clue how much real work is involved in writing some "simple features".

Some features we find quicker to write, but that is usually because they can piggyback on frameworks that we already spent a lot of time creating.  That might skew peoples' perception of why we don't produce things on the road map in the order which seems priority.  But, the only people who really know how much effort a feature will be is the dev team, and we are very careful not to promise things in advance for reason that sometimes a feature might not work out and require rewriting a number of times until it is good enough to be included in a release.  We don't want to get into a situation where a badly conceived feature becomes ingrained because it got released too soon (as is very clear what has happened with certain other apps).

@Ben Hi Ben I can share your feelings fully and add my support to your sentiments: being a software developer for over 30 years for companies such as Motorola, Smiths Aerospace, Cardinal Health - Carefusion (Medical technology) etc.. people casually making sweeping disparaging remarks because of a single point of functionality (which might be important to them) is painfully and outrageously unfair, especially if it's on a Beta release. Like my fellow developers in the Affinity team, in all my time we have always been super careful about releases, the amount of testing and retesting in all phases of the development cycle is staggering. This is hard work especially if you have a small team (we can't all have the resources of Motorola, Apple, Microsoft, Adobe ... to name a few ). Software engineering is not just about coding, Architectures, Frameworks, design (yes it really is designed), their are standards to conform to, then there's unit testing, integration testing, system testing ... and oh talking of testing all this done for testing frameworks and tests too ... then there is the constant software configuration issues .. so yes I can understand your frustration and I think you are doing great work.


Please don't mistake my opinion for expert comment :) for no way no how am I an expert on anything. However I am curious and willing to learn. 

 

Affinity Photo (latest I promise)

Affinity Photo Beta (I have a lot of time on my hands)

Affinity Designer (Also the latest; promise)

Affinity Designer Beta (Because I like new things)

I need to get out more - Yes :)

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Not to get nosey and jump in, but in the marketing world in general, it is very easy for viewers and customers to not stay up to date with all that goes on in the works of products. As they say, there is more than meets the eye. Yes, a lot of the reviews are unfair, and it is because the customers may not always have the same knowledgable background or understanding. Many people left a bad review to a video editing application I use saying that there is a watermark on the trial version. That is quite common and understandable, but it's unfair to the team who is just doing the standard thing. So what I'm saying is, I wouldn't take it too heartedly. You guys make great software. Some criticism may often sound different from what is meant to be general advice while other types of unfair criticism is due to lack of understanding. The best I can say is, keep up the great work, and try to not let the complaints bother you. :)


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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On 21/12/2017 at 2:48 PM, Philippe BOIS said:

Bonjour,

Il faudrait ajouter un outil plus précis (ex :une règle) pour les contraintes entre 2 objets.
avec la possibilité de pouvoir choisir le point d'origine des différents objets.

et surtout l'entraxe entre les deux points d’origine.


.

In english:

I'd like to have a more specific tool for constraints between 2 objects (compared to what we have for now), and be able to choose the origin point of the selected objects.

And mostly the spacing between those origin points.

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On 21/12/2017 at 5:34 PM, Ben said:

I know a lot of people still want to see Affinity as a low cost complete alternative to the more expensive established alternatives.  But, is that reasonable?  A lot of features that are being asked for didn't appear in other apps for many years.

Well, why not? A soft must be expensive to be the best (or one of them) of its category? It's odd, because your message seems to say: "Our program is cheap, so don't wait good stuff too much". Sorry, but I respectfully don't buy that.

But in the same time, the sneak peak about 1.7 is very hot, and it's obviously a great addition that I can't wait to play with.

The basis of the Photo/Designer are very, very, VERY strong. There are bugs, instability sometimes, but you have the opportunity to become a standard, and kick off other "well known" products that many users can't stand anymore (too expensive, no real progress since years...). Don't say "for the price, don't hope too much". (And I'm pretty sure you don't). Clip Studio Paint, a Japanese "Photoshop" dedicated to illustrations and comic, is becoming a standard in the industry, no other program can compete with it imho, and is cheap (not that cheap, but waaaay cheaper than photoshop). It did it within very few years, because many needs (and sometimes very disparate needs from users) were quickly included. I don't say that you are lazy or something. I just say, people would be grateful to pay a bigger price (not too big, of course ^^) to have a "bigger" program with 95% of their needs, and not just a program "good enough" for a "majority" of professionals who bought it. And I'm talking about price because it's the only way to hire more programmers.

(Again I didn't want to be rude or anything, english is not my native language.)

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AD & Photo need a better way to select color. Right now there seems to be no way to display PMS numbers on the pull-down menu. You have to scroll blindly. Entering the PMS#, when you know it, doesn't automatically select it. And I don't really know the difference between a global color and a swatch. And I don't know why clicking on a shape doesn't select it (in order to add or modify form and/or color.} Finding the shape in the layers menu can be arduous. 

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Hi Nivrams,

There will be improvements to the Swatches in future versions. Regarding global colours - when you edit a global colour, all objects that use it will be updated accordingly. Regulars swatch colour are just that - colours that you have added/saved to a palette but that are not "linked" to the objects that use them.

 

Clicking on a shape should select it unless it's inside a group or more complex layer's structures (clipped or placed deeply inside several groups for example): if inside a group double click it to enter the group and select the object immediately - other objects on this group can be selected with a single click since you are already working inside the group. For more complex layer structures you can "force select" an object pressing and holding ⌘ (cmd) and clicking the object on canvas. It will be selected no matter its position in the layer's hierarchy.

 

To quickly locate an object in the Layers panel you can either right-click on it on canvas and select Find in Layers Panel or go to the Layers panel, click the small menu icon on the top right of the panel and tick/enable Auto-scroll to highlight/scroll to the respective object in the Layers panel when you select one object on canvas.

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1 minute ago, MEB said:

Clicking on a shape should select it unless it's inside a group or more complex layer's structures

 

Clicking on a shape doesn't select it if it's locked, but I know I'm not alone in thinking that it should.

 


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Affinity Designer 1.6.5.123 • Affinity Photo 1.6.5.123 • Windows 10 Home (4th gen Core i3 CPU)
Affinity Photo for iPad 1.6.11.85 • Affinity Designer for iPad 1.6.4.45 • iOS 12.1.4 (iPad Air 2)

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30 minutes ago, MEB said:

I didn't mention that because i believe that's expected... If the object is/was locked it's because you have locked it/don't want to edit/change it.

 

Yes, of course, but locking an object should only prevent the user from transforming or deleting it. As things stand, if we want to unlock an object we can't simply right-click it on the canvas, so we have to go through the tedious process of finding it in the Layers panel and unlocking it there.

 

30 minutes ago, MEB said:

Maybe we should display the bounding box with the crosses as we do when we select it in the Layers panel...

 

Except that you don't usually see the bounding box unless you select the object, which we can't currently do other than via the Layers panel....

 


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Affinity Designer 1.6.5.123 • Affinity Photo 1.6.5.123 • Windows 10 Home (4th gen Core i3 CPU)
Affinity Photo for iPad 1.6.11.85 • Affinity Designer for iPad 1.6.4.45 • iOS 12.1.4 (iPad Air 2)

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45 minutes ago, Alfred said:

 

Clicking on a shape doesn't select it if it's locked, but I know I'm not alone in thinking that it should.

 

 

Personally, I'd rather have a locked shape do nothing if it's selected on the canvas. It would get in the way when I try selecting something else which would defeat the purpose of locking it. I do very frequently either hide or lock layers so I don't accidentally select them when I try to select something else.


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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1 hour ago, Alfred said:

Except that you don't usually see the bounding box unless you select the object, which we can't currently do other than via the Layers panel....

As you probably know, that isn't always true: clicking or dragging on an area of the canvas where only a locked layer is present selects it, displaying its bounding box with the crosses that indicate it is locked & can't be edited ... but from what I can tell only if it is the bottom-most layer. Oddly enough, in this situation the Arrange buttons on the main toolbar are active so the selected, locked layer can be moved up in the layer stack. At that point, it remains selected but once deselected it can't be selected again until it is unlocked. O.o

 

And it isn't completely true that a locked layer selectable in this situation can't be edited -- while you can't resize or move it, you can apply fx or live or destructive filters to it, & apply most of the items on the Arrange menu or Align toolbar to it.


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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3 hours ago, Bri-Toon said:

Personally, I'd rather have a locked shape do nothing if it's selected on the canvas. It would get in the way when I try selecting something else which would defeat the purpose of locking it. I do very frequently either hide or lock layers so I don't accidentally select them when I try to select something else.

 

As you say, Brian, you can make a layer unselectable by hiding it. I don't see any particular advantage in also making it unselectable, and therefore difficult to unlock, if it's locked.

 

55 minutes ago, R C-R said:
3 hours ago, Alfred said:

Except that you don't usually see the bounding box unless you select the object, which we can't currently do other than via the Layers panel....

As you probably know, that isn't always true: clicking or dragging on an area of the canvas where only a locked layer is present selects it, displaying its bounding box with the crosses that indicate it is locked & can't be edited ...

 

Quite so, which is why I included the word "usually". ;)

 

55 minutes ago, R C-R said:

And it isn't completely true that a locked layer selectable in this situation can't be edited -- while you can't resize or move it, you can apply fx or live or destructive filters to it, & apply most of the items on the Arrange menu or Align toolbar to it.

 

I don't have a problem with that. As I said in my previous post, I think locking an object should only prevent the user from transforming or deleting it.

 


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Affinity Designer 1.6.5.123 • Affinity Photo 1.6.5.123 • Windows 10 Home (4th gen Core i3 CPU)
Affinity Photo for iPad 1.6.11.85 • Affinity Designer for iPad 1.6.4.45 • iOS 12.1.4 (iPad Air 2)

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3 minutes ago, Alfred said:

I don't have a problem with that. As I said in my previous post, I think locking an object should only prevent the user from transforming or deleting it.

Would that not cause a problem (or at least an annoyance) when a locked layer or layer group completely covers several unlocked ones that users want to marquee-select instead?

 

The only reason I lock layers or layer groups is to prevent them from being selected when I want to marquee-select several unlocked ones without having to bother with using any modifier keys to prevent the first item(s) under the pointer from being included in the selection.


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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1 hour ago, R C-R said:

The only reason I lock layers or layer groups is to prevent them from being selected when I want to marquee-select several unlocked ones without having to bother with using any modifier keys to prevent the first item(s) under the pointer from being included in the selection.

 

As Brian pointed out, you can hide layers to prevent them from being selected. My main reason for wanting locked layers to be selectable on the canvas is that it would make it easier to unlock them.

 


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Affinity Designer 1.6.5.123 • Affinity Photo 1.6.5.123 • Windows 10 Home (4th gen Core i3 CPU)
Affinity Photo for iPad 1.6.11.85 • Affinity Designer for iPad 1.6.4.45 • iOS 12.1.4 (iPad Air 2)

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I share the frustration in having to hunt through layers to unlock, but also value being unable to select, so i can get to the main action easily. 

 

Surely the the solution is obvious? Have a modifier key to overide lock to allow selection.  Whether that merely exposes the object in the layers panel pending unlocking OR allows editing (until... what...?) is relatively moot - but some user option to select on the canvas rather than the layers panel just makes sense.  I think even ai does this - which normally disqualifies an idea from the 'makes sense' label, but there are exceptions....  


one planet, one chance

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23 minutes ago, Alfred said:

As Brian pointed out, you can hide layers to prevent them from being selected. My main reason for wanting locked layers to be selectable on the canvas is that it would make it easier to unlock them.

I would find it annoying to have to hide layers to prevent them from being selected. As for making it easy to unlock layers, my preference would be a right-click context menu option to unlock all layers under the pointer on the canvas.


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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33 minutes ago, R C-R said:

I would find it annoying to have to hide layers to prevent them from being selected. As for making it easy to unlock layers, my preference would be a right-click context menu option to unlock all layers under the pointer on the canvas.

 

Your context menu option sounds good, although I suspect some users would want to be able to cycle through the layers and pick just one instead of unlocking them all.


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Affinity Photo for iPad 1.6.11.85 • Affinity Designer for iPad 1.6.4.45 • iOS 12.1.4 (iPad Air 2)

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54 minutes ago, Tim Gummer said:

I think even ai does this - which normally disqualifies an idea from the 'makes sense' label, but there are exceptions....  

 

LOL. :D

 


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2 hours ago, Alfred said:

Your context menu option sounds good, although I suspect some users would want to be able to cycle through the layers and pick just one instead of unlocking them all.

I doubt cycling would be practical because it would not scale well -- imagine having to cycle through twenty or thirty nested layers to find the one you wanted to unlock.


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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Regarding the selection of locked objects directly on canvas you can check out my workarounds:

 

It might be useful until this area of the program gets improved.

 

What I would like to see is temporary (non-destructive) Unlock all:

unlock all - but remember what was locked - and let me lock these items again when I am done with editing

And also temporary Show all.

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I want write something acording to speed of progress. I get e-mail with Affinity Forum digest about:

On 21.12.2017 at 7:22 PM, Reggie1958 said:

@Ben Hi Ben I can share your feelings fully and add my support to your sentiments: being a software developer for over 30 years for companies such as Motorola, Smiths Aerospace, Cardinal Health - Carefusion (Medical technology) etc.. people casually making sweeping disparaging remarks because of a single point of functionality (which might be important to them) is painfully and outrageously unfair, especially if it's on a Beta release. Like my fellow developers in the Affinity team, in all my time we have always been super careful about releases, the amount of testing and retesting in all phases of the development cycle is staggering. This is hard work especially if you have a small team (we can't all have the resources of Motorola, Apple, Microsoft, Adobe ... to name a few ). Software engineering is not just about coding, Architectures, Frameworks, design (yes it really is designed), their are standards to conform to, then there's unit testing, integration testing, system testing ... and oh talking of testing all this done for testing frameworks and tests too ... then there is the constant software configuration issues .. so yes I can understand your frustration and I think you are doing great work.

 

Because lack of some functionalities (like image tracing) I bought Corel Draw 2017 and QuarkXPress 2017 and I have to say after using Affinity Corel and Quark are a lot of pain from learning curve (here I prefer Adobe CS6 suite, but is not available without monthly price so is not option). A lot of things are not intuive like layers operation in Quark. In my current job graphic is additional  not primary task. I bought both mentioned programs with big discount, but I am not satisfied. After my advanture with Affinity I'll be prefer them because I make a lot of things faster.

 

I want for now a lot of features in current Affinity products like massive RAW development, improve moving between layers because sometimes is confusing and I can't move something where I want, guides locking pernament, because a lot of times I moved them incidentally and etc. etc. For the investment price Affinity is a winner for me, because is the best quality to price service. I bought both Affinity team books to get them money to make better software.

 

My wish on 2018 on the feautures is growing team to make things faster. IMHO Affinity is going to make great application if in the next ten years get few times bigger team, so best wishes for developer. I am happy that find your software. I think version 3.0 will make me fully satisfied :)

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18 hours ago, Alfred said:

 

As you say, Brian, you can make a layer unselectable by hiding it. I don't see any particular advantage in also making it unselectable, and therefore difficult to unlock, if it's locked.

 

In my case, I do this for tracing purposes. I trace pixel sketches with vector tools. And in other cases when drawing characters, I have an arm layer on top of a body layer. Therefor, I know the exact position, but I suppose everyone has different methods.


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 Affi,

 

Welcome, and I wish you a happy new year. To paraphrase your post:

 

You hope that Serif will increase the size of the affinity development teams to help speed up development, to include many more major features as well as improving the current functionality's robustness, reliability and usability.

 

Version 3.0 you say?  Can I ask what are you expecting in version 3? also when do you expect version 3?

 

We are still on version 1.6.x and has 1.x versions bring significant change I can't really imagine what version 3.x would have. 

 

My opinion of increasing the size of development teams is that it helps in the short term but there is a point of demising returns on investment. Is this a sensible strategic business plan for Serif? I can't tell but I do know that the opposite is true. That is diminishing the team to a certain point would render it ineffective for new feature development too. The balance of team resource strength versus commercial achievement is a tricky one for the business to get; but of course this also depends on the actual level of funding the business has at its disposal; which might not methinks be as much for say Apple or Adobe.

 

There is no harm in asking for features, in fact it is healthy but I also think we need to keep in mind the size of the company too.

 

By the way what exactly do you want for RAW development? You say Massive RAW development; I'm just interested what that might be.

 

Best regards

Reggie


Please don't mistake my opinion for expert comment :) for no way no how am I an expert on anything. However I am curious and willing to learn. 

 

Affinity Photo (latest I promise)

Affinity Photo Beta (I have a lot of time on my hands)

Affinity Designer (Also the latest; promise)

Affinity Designer Beta (Because I like new things)

I need to get out more - Yes :)

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On 30.12.2017 at 4:56 PM, Reggie1958 said:

You hope that Serif will increase the size of the affinity development teams to help speed up development, to include many more major features as well as improving the current functionality's robustness, reliability and usability.

 

"What one programmer can do in one month, two programmers can do in two months." - Fred Brooks :D

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