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Designer: Is there a tool to make rough edges on vectors?


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I don't want my vectors to be so flat and smooth, but I can't find a simple way to make them rougher. In Illustrator there is a transform option called roughen, which is nice and simple, but I really don't want to use Illustrator because their subscription service is stupid. and I love Affinity too much to use Adobe products. I just really can't figure out how to go about getting this effect on my vectors.

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Welcome to the Serif Affinity Forums, @NaterXander. :)

A Roughen Tool has been much discussed over the past two or three years, but (sadly) we’re still waiting for it to be implemented.

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Affinity Designer/Photo/Publisher for Windows 1.10 • Windows 10 Home/Pro
Affinity Photo for iPad 1.10 • Designer for iPad 1.10 • iPadOS 15.6.1 (iPad Air 2)

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Thanks for the warm welcome!

I assumed that was the case. Hm, guess I'll have to find another program to do it in that isn't Adobe. Or is there something in Designer that can sort of mimic the look of roughen? Have they mentioned anything at all about wanting to make it a feature after hearing the requests for it?

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  • 1 year later...
43 minutes ago, Lorox said:

BTW: "14,551 posts"??? How on earth is that possible?

Easy if, like me, you spend wa-a-ay too much time on here! Higher post counts are available. ;)

Member: R C-R

Moderator: MEB

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Affinity Designer/Photo/Publisher for Windows 1.10 • Windows 10 Home/Pro
Affinity Photo for iPad 1.10 • Designer for iPad 1.10 • iPadOS 15.6.1 (iPad Air 2)

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  • 3 months later...
On 6/15/2019 at 6:47 PM, NaterXander said:

In Illustrator there is a transform option called roughen

This is the major reason why I still can't leave Illfrustrator CS5 behind. As much as I've always despised it, for me this is its "killer feature", in particular since it's applicable on live text! For decades now! I've created gatefold vinyl album sleeves and full CD booklet layouts in Illustrator only because of this functionality. And one of the reasons I'm still keeping El Capitan as my "mission critical" partition is that Illustrator CS5 still is able to launch here, albeit with caveats. (Not to speak of the hassle to install it and apply all bug fixes on El Capitan in the first place.)

On 6/15/2019 at 6:47 PM, NaterXander said:

I really don't want to use Illustrator because their subscription service is stupid

Yep, I never joined the CC sheep either. Although as a previously buying customer, I do have an Adobe ID account, of course…

On 6/16/2019 at 3:32 PM, NaterXander said:

I'll have to find another program to do it in that isn't Adobe.

I've tried many but never found one.

On 6/16/2019 at 3:32 PM, NaterXander said:

is there something in Designer that can sort of mimic the look of roughen?

Nothing that I'm aware of.

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Hi loukash,

I'm 100% with you here. Exactly the same with me in every respect! As long as certain must have vector graphics features don't find their way into AD and Adobe is out of the question because of their subscription policy I highly value having Illustrator CS5 on a Mac running El Capitan... I'd so much like to fully switch to Designer but unfortunately there's still a couple of feature and tools I'd miss dearly if I did.

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5 hours ago, Lorox said:

unfortunately there's still a couple of feature and tools I'd miss dearly if I did.

Sadly, same for InDesign vs. Publisher. My personal InDesign "killer feature" is XML import and connecting XML tags directly to character and paragraph formats. Heck, it's been there since at least vCS3: layouting complex brochures based on dozens of tables by importing XML files from an online server takes me just a few hours, including double-checking the XML files for possible errors and subsequent proof reading of the finished layout. Can't do that with Publisher yet. :( Or perhaps I could, but the client couldn't pay me.

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  • 1 month later...
6 minutes ago, Nakos said:

The Roughen tool from Illustrator is one of the few things I really miss. 

It would be awesome if something like that could be added to Affinity Designer. 

Not only the tool (from the Toolbar) but something like the (vector-)"Effects" (Filters; from the Menubar) in AI, as well!

The „Effects“ in Designer are just those standard pixel effects like Drop Shadow etc. (which are certainly useful, nevertheless) but nothing like the (supposedly) scripting based vector „Effects“ (as opposed to „Filters“ which Illustrator has – i.e. ”Roughen“, ”Scribble“ etc.). I'd be very happy indeed, if something like that could find its way into Affinity Designer.

Maybe, however (I'm no expert at this), this is sort of related to the question of scripting which is being discussed elsewhere in this forum?

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  • 9 months later...

I agree. It is one of the reasons why I am still a slave to the Adobe masters. I'd also like more support for Photoshop actions. I have a ton of them and use them all the time. Is there any way to easily convert them to Affinity? Sorry if this is the wrong thread.

However I just had a thought on making the edges rougher. Has anyone tried using a stippling brush or shader brush (vector based) for the line? That might give you a little of what we're all after. Going to try that right now. It works. It softens the edge and if you find just the right brush (maybe a lino cut type brush might work too?) it should look less clean and more hand drawn,

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Edited by Sybille Sterk
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8 hours ago, Sybille Sterk said:

a stippling brush or shader brush (vector based) for the line?

Keep in mind that the actual brush pattern is bitmap. It will be rasterized on export. (This is definitely not what I'd want.)

9 hours ago, Sybille Sterk said:

making the edges rougher

In the meantime I've figured out a few vector workarounds as well. They are buried in other threads though.
In short: it also involves strokes, e.g. Dash Line Style or using Pressure (beware of export bugs!), and then optionally adding multiple strokes via Appearance.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I do frequently use some kind of brush to rough the edges of shapes a bit, yes, but as loukash says, that's something of an imperfect solution. 

On 12/4/2021 at 8:54 PM, loukash said:

In the meantime I've figured out a few vector workarounds as well. They are buried in other threads though.
In short: it also involves strokes, e.g. Dash Line Style or using Pressure (beware of export bugs!), and then optionally adding multiple strokes via Appearance.

Hmm... I hadn't considered Line Style of Pressure, those might help me a bit. Thanks! 

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  • 10 months later...
23 minutes ago, Narsilion said:

does anybady know if this feature is AT LAST implemented in the V2 vesion?

In the videos and on the Affinity website I haven't found anything so far regarding this useful feature, which I would like to be at hand in Designer, too. It has been possible to do these things in Illustrator for ages and I have to admit now that I was expecting so much more from V2 than what it actually offers... Shape Builder and Envelope Distortion are certainly cool, but these, too, have been present in competitor apps for so long that they should have also been in Designer already years ago...

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No. This is not a feature of V2.

The new knife tool can be used to rough up shapes somewhat, but I know that this isn't what you are hoping for.

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