Jump to content

Recommended Posts

Can anyone tell me if Affinity Designer has a bitmap tracer or tracer in general? This feature is offered a lot in vector based software - but with all the great functionality of AD - is it available?  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No, Affinity doesn't have a Bitmap tracer. 

You could use a few free tracers, Inkscape has a tracer. 

https://www.vectorizer.io


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|  

Affinity Help - Affinity Desktop Tutorials Instagram & Flickr

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Disappointingly, AD does not have a tracing function.

I have only just discovered the Affinity brace of apps (soon to become a trio), having hithero been a FreeHand, Photoshop & Quark Xpress user, and I am quietly impressed with my new acquisitions.

I am gradually compiling, however, a growing wish list of missing functions that I think would benefit the apps by their inclusion, and a trace facility for AD is definitely one of them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is often asked after in this forum and so there are already a bunch of threads which deal with this theme in the one or other way ...

 


☛ Affinity Designer 1.7.0 ◆ Affinity Photo 1.7.0 ◆ OSX El Capitan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So, Affinity... can you give us a real answer as to the future of producing a raster trace to vector option within your suite of tools? You've variously forecasted, promised, recognized it was the #1 requested feature since at least November 2017. I don't believe you've actually "promise" we would get it but it seems like, with the links gathered above and the many questions/suggestions that you have to know 1) Will you incorporate it? 2) Will it be robust? 3) Some sense of when? Or do I need to invest in the ridiculously expensive Adobe tools? I know there are some better and worse 3rd party solutions... but they are 3rd party solutions because, well, they aren't the best and even when they work, its usually not a flawless transition to the Affinity suite. Please, please give some clarity... and if the answer is "we have no idea" then could you say so? Nov 17 to now is eons in the IT world. cheers, Jim

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have been following the Affinity forums pretty closely since the beginning of 2015. From what I can tell, a bitmap tracer has never been the #1 most requested feature. It is hard to pick just one feature for that distinction but if I had to choose just one, I think it would be a vector warp tool, or possibly a vector outline feature (one that did not rely on the flawed 'expand stroke' method).

As for what they have said about adding a bitmap tracer to Affinity Designer, it always has been that they will do so only if & when it is at least as good as what is already available from other sources. From what I can tell from my own experiences & from what others have said, the various tracers based on the potrace algorithm all have serious flaws, so the one to beat is the very pricey Vector Magic, a 'one trick pony' that costs about 6 times what Affinity Designer does.

Beyond that, the 'at least as good as' criteria is a moving target. It isn't quite there yet but there have been several promising attempts at using so-called artificial intelligence (really machine learning, or ML for short) to train software to 'see' images more like humans do to (among other things) create vectors from images that mimics how skilled humans would do that manually.

Anyway, all things considered I doubt that we will see a bitmap auto-tracer in Affinity Designer anytime soon, probably not until after version 2 is available for purchase.


Affinity Photo 1.7.1 & Affinity Designer 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 1.7.0.135 & Affinity Designer 1.7.0.9 for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iOS 12.3.1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, R C-R said:

probably not until after version 2 is available for purchase

... or released to public beta.


Alfred online2long.gif
Affinity Designer 1.7.0.367 • Affinity Photo 1.7.0.367 • Windows 10 Home (4th gen Core i3 CPU)
Affinity Photo for iPad 1.7.0.135 • Affinity Designer for iPad 1.7.0.9 • iOS 12.3.1 (iPad Air 2)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Considering that potrace has been in development for 15+ years, and is available free in Inkscape, or on the web at Vectorization.org (and in other forms), seems to me like there are other features that should be built into Affinity well before a bit map tracer,


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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, gdenby said:

Considering that potrace has been in development for 15+ years, and is available free in Inkscape, or on the web at Vectorization.org (and in other forms), seems to me like there are other features that should be built into Affinity well before a bit map tracer,

From what I can tell from the changelog, the development in recent years has focused on increasing portability, improving performance, & eliminating bugs. But the problem I have with apps that rely on it for tracing is that it remains a 'dumb' algorithm that, to get anything that resembles the look of the original bitmap, requires a huge amount of trial & error tweaking of its parameters to avoid producing way too many vector shapes with a ridiculous number of nodes.

From what one of the developers said in an old post, I get the impression that this is one of the things they would like to address before considering adding their own tracer to Designer, & that they had some ideas about how to do that. But they never explained what those ideas might be, how they might be implemented, or how long it would be before we could expect to see anything like that added to the app.


Affinity Photo 1.7.1 & Affinity Designer 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 1.7.0.135 & Affinity Designer 1.7.0.9 for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iOS 12.3.1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been fussing around in APhoto, working on emulating hatched drawing routines. I've had some luck getting a more hand made look for the bitmap. Here's a sample of a sort of wood cut look that is the results of 3 .svgs from Image Vectorizer, a product from the potrace creator's commercial venture. Put them together in AD. Still a little too busy, and I didn't bother filtering out enough of the noise. But I'm getting some decent results.

JulesVern-tint.thumb.jpg.72c40c149f5b82c7fa7a176f1bbd2b12.jpg


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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, gdenby said:

working on emulating hatched drawing routines

I’m disappointed that your example doesn’t depict a bird or a reptile which has just emerged from its shell.


Alfred online2long.gif
Affinity Designer 1.7.0.367 • Affinity Photo 1.7.0.367 • Windows 10 Home (4th gen Core i3 CPU)
Affinity Photo for iPad 1.7.0.135 • Affinity Designer for iPad 1.7.0.9 • iOS 12.3.1 (iPad Air 2)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
24 minutes ago, Alfred said:

I’m disappointed that your example doesn’t depict a bird or a reptile which has just emerged from its shell.

Now, don't make me cross X


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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, R C-R said:

From what I can tell from my own experiences & from what others have said, the various tracers based on the potrace algorithm all have serious flaws, so the one to beat is the very pricey Vector Magic, a 'one trick pony' that costs about 6 times what Affinity Designer does.

All tracing algorithms have the one or other problem or flaws with certain bitmaps, thus it always also highly depends on the sort of input bitmap drawing and it's overall quality. The one mentioned which originated around 2007 from a Stanford University project (aka Vector Magic) also isn't better or gives that better results than Potrace here, further it's a very slow performer when dealing with some of it's more promising adjustment settings. - Most of these available automatic tracing tools are all longer time around and thus are based on some older algrorithms for vectorization. Meaning, there hasn't changed that much in >10 years here in terms of image vectorization algorithms and also in the related OCR field there have been only few newer approaches in this direction. The long time vector tool field players have nowadays mostly build-in bitmap tracers (Adobe's AI based on Streamline, Corel uses it's PowerTRACE, Inkscape a build-in modified Potrace), which do offer more or less similar capabilities than some of the seperate/standalone tools here.

Having some build-in tracer is a good comfort feature, for quick in-app turnarounds, which can be useful and valuable to have, especially for icon and font creators, or those who want to digitize their analog drawings etc.

8 hours ago, gdenby said:

I've been fussing around in APhoto, working on emulating hatched drawing routines. I've had some luck getting a more hand made look for the bitmap. Here's a sample of a sort of wood cut look that is the results of 3 .svgs from Image Vectorizer, a product from the potrace creator's commercial venture. Put them together in AD. Still a little too busy, and I didn't bother filtering out enough of the noise. But I'm getting some decent results.

Good usage, when I played around with some color quantization algorithms and the potrace code, I've often got some nice looking posterization effects here.


☛ Affinity Designer 1.7.0 ◆ Affinity Photo 1.7.0 ◆ OSX El Capitan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/17/2019 at 5:59 AM, gdenby said:

I've been fussing around in APhoto, working on emulating hatched drawing routines.

Looks like Andrew Sullivan when he had hair.


Windows 10 Pro, XP-Pen Deco 03, AP & AD

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×