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AffinityBrah

Sewing Pattern Functionality Request

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Hey got a request to speed up pattern making with these functionalities seen in Adobe Illustrator

 

Video is long, but here are the functionalities that would speed up workflow.

1) 3:52 When a line is selected you can press "Return" and the Move menu Pops Up with fields already highlighted so you can tab through and enter your desired measurement. What I am doing now: clicking on the fields in the Transform field is very inefficient. I believe CAD programs also have this functionality

2) 5:13 Quick Dimensioning with new shapes. When a new shape is made, you can quickly enter dimension of the new shape with a pop up screen. Much better than clicking the Transform box.

3) 9:32 Offset Path (something I already mentioned in different thread), but this pop up offset path is significantly faster than the Affinity workaround.

4) 17:41 Scissor Tool (Cutting Lines of a Closed Shape) - Right nowI have been selecting the node breaking the curve and then deleting the node. The scissor tool in adobe does not require doing all this.

4) 18:08 Measuring Path of Curved Line (Document Info)

I know there are workarounds, but they are just too slow and inefficient. Thanks

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I strongly agree with all the above functionality requests.

I checked the details of the most recent Designer update and it seems none have these requests have been added?

Outside of dedicated pattern cutting software, Adobe Illustrator is the most widely used software by pattern cutters in the fashion industry to create patterns. My main reason for buying Designer was for pattern cutting, then I discovered it was really lacking in the features used for pattern cutting that Illustrator has! If Designer is trying hard to compete against Illustrator these features would get even more converts.

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When a line is selected you can press "Return" and the Move menu Pops Up with fields already highlighted so you can tab through and enter your desired measurement.

Actually, the Move dialog opens when you tap Enter because you have the Move Tool selected. If you had one of the other transform tools selected, its corresponding dialog would open.

When you re-invoke one of Illustrator's transform tool dialogs, it opens with the previously used values still there. it's something I and countless other longtime AI users leverage constantly.

It's arguable whether this is really a deliberately intended feature, or more a "happy accident" inherent to the modal dialogs. After all, as soon as you use the same dialog with a different value, the previous one is lost. And if you enter a transform value, perform it, and then Undo, the value you just entered is lost. Would a seriously intended 'value storage' feature for often-needed values be implemented in such a way as to only work for the last-used value and not survive an Undo?

Regardless, being able to store and recall a repeatedly needed transform value is quite useful and Affinity, as yet, doesn't provide for it. And more's the pity because Affinity does provide something closely related that Illustrator doesn't: The value fields of its (non modal) Transform Panel can interpret math expressions far beyond the simple addition or (not even and) multiplication that Illustrator's can.

Affinity's help document lists 80-plus sizing, relational, document, typographic, and math variables and sample expressions supported by the program's value fields. This seriously begs for a feature by which we could store and recall our own project-specific values and calculations.

What I'd love to see added to Affinity's Transform Panel value fields is something FileMaker Pro users know as User Defined Value Lists. I've actually built a working mockup of the idea built in FileMaker, from which the screehshots are taken:

Imagine Affinity's Transform Panel value fields being given unobtrusive popup icons:

image.png.af16a4f7ce3da9a8fa9110f357f01bcd.png

The popups list expressions which, when selected, are applied to the current value:

image.png.e34c97fbb80df1da372cee0a4298d739.png

In each of the popups, the bottom selection is always Edit…:

image.png.bdb7a2800dda21ca7bfd89d5a4f15eb4.png

Selecting Edit… invokes the dialog in which the user adds, removes, or edits the expressions listed in the popup. Ideally, the dialog would provide two columns: one to contain the actual expression as to be applied to the value field; the other would be a name by which the user could refer to the expression:

image.png.0896dc9fd16b329455259c464cdea063.png

Document-specific Stored Expressions would be applicable to all kinds of illustration and design tasks. They would also:

  • Serve to showcase Affinity's already existing, but as-yet under-appreciated competitive advantage of supporting a wide variety of expressions in its value fields.
  • Be a gentle segway toward the potential of data-driven graphics for illustrators and designers without their having to dive into full-blown scripting.

JET

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On 6/16/2019 at 11:39 AM, AffinityBrah said:

2) 5:13 Quick Dimensioning with new shapes. When a new shape is made, you can quickly enter dimension of the new shape with a pop up screen. Much better than clicking the Transform box.

This is one I don't really find hugely significant. In Illustrator, you can:

  1. Select the tool (or key its shortcut)
  2. Click (don't drag) in the document window to invoke its modal dialog
  3. Key in the desired value(s)
  4. Dismiss the dialog

In Affinity, you can:

  1. Select the tool (or key its shortcut).
  2. Drag in the document window.
  3. Key the desired value(s) in the already visible non-modal Transform Panel (assuming you always have it open, as I do, in any drawing program). That also gives you access to position, rotation and skew transforms in the very same place, without having to invoke separate transform modal dialogs.

Don't get me wrong; I'm not at all a fan of Affinity's dependency upon bounding-boxes for on-page transformations, but improvement in this is still possible if Affinity just continues to resist providing individual transform tools. I'm just saying that even though I was as habituated to invoking the dialogs as anyone, I'm not finding their absence an issue regarding shape dimensions.

Affinity provides far more live shape primitives than AI. And through version CS6, even the 5 basic ones were not even live shapes. So the dialogs were needed for a few shape-specific inputs (e.g., rounded rectangle corners).

JET

 

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On 6/16/2019 at 11:39 AM, AffinityBrah said:

3) 9:32 Offset Path (something I already mentioned in different thread), but this pop up offset path is significantly faster than the Affinity workaround.

Expand Stroke is, of course, a workaround as you said. But I'm sure the Affinity team knows that, and am confident a proper offset path command will be added. Hopefully it will be better than AI's; in that it will have options for intersection intelligence like Draw's Contour.

I also hope it will have an option to require an offset path to have the same number of nodes as the original, even at the sacrifice of strict geometric 'accuracy' when rendered impossible by that option. The reason is, one of the most common uses for offset paths is to serve as base paths for object blends (which also has yet to be implemented in Affinity). Taking care to have the same number of nodes is key to controllable and predictable path blends used for shading.

JET

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On 6/16/2019 at 11:39 AM, AffinityBrah said:

4) 18:08 Measuring Path of Curved Line (Document Info)

Agree. Every vector drawing program should provide path length (and area, for that matter) for a selected path. Illustrator's was for much of its history hidden away in an undocumented 'Easter egg' programmer's window, the shortcut for which became known to users who in turn demanded its being added to the normal interface. So it ended up rather awkwardly in the catch-all Document Info panel.

JET

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2 hours ago, JET_Affinity said:

Key the desired value(s) in the already visible non-modal Transform Panel (assuming you always have it open, as I do, in any drawing program). That also gives you access to position, rotation and skew transforms in the very same place, without having to invoke separate transform modal dialogs.

Keying in the desired value(s) in the already visible non-modal Transform panel means making a trip across the screen to wherever you keep that dialog open.  That trip represents an extra step.  Dismiss the dialog (press enter just like Illustrator), is another step.  Then make another trip back across the screen back to your object is another step. That's 5 steps in Designer, and 4 in Illustrator.  Plus two of Designer's steps are time consuming movements across the UI.  It's much faster to do it all right there on the spot.  It's not really a big deal for me personally because lots of things in every program require trips all over the UI to enter values, but where we can avoid those trips, we will save a little time.  In this case, Illustrator is doing it faster and also doing it with less steps.

I also do not believe that this is some kind of happy accident since Illustrator works this way with other dialogs including things like the character or text dialogs.  With a single key command, you can not only open a text palette which may currently may not even be visible, but simultaneously placing the cursor in the box, and highlighting the current font name, so you can simply type the name of the font you're looking for.  That's not likely a mere accident.  Coreldraw does similar things.  With key command you can pop up tiny dialog boxes right on top of your object to enter sizes, or change text characteristics, etc.  None of that is likely to have been done by accident.  But if it was, I'm not sure why it matters.

2 hours ago, JET_Affinity said:

And through version CS6, even the 5 basic ones were not even live shapes. So the dialogs were needed for a few shape-specific inputs (e.g., rounded rectangle corners).

That's incorrect.  Rounded rectangles were indeed live effects in CS6 and the whole live effects system was very mature by CS6.  And because Adobe does tend to revisit and improve existing features, Illustrator currently has the best rounded corner implementation of any popular vector software, by far.  Any corner can be rounded at any time.  Even if you just take the pen tool and draw a path with 3 points.  If the one in the middle is a corner, you can grab it and round it, chamfer, fillet, or straight, directly on that point.  And there's a setting that determines how the rounded corner behaves when you scale the object.  It's thorough.

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Rounded rectangles were indeed live effects in CS6 and the whole live effects system was very mature by CS6. 

CS6:
You mouseDown and drag with one of the shape tools:

image.png.fd0dff82858dae5c4a6444eb551857fb.png

During mouseDown, you can use arrow keys (and on some, other momentary modifier keys) to modify the parameters:

image.png.461f671788cc4bdfabab2c1fee0cb432.png

But upon mouseUp, you just have ordinary paths:

image.png.62d31dbbc08e540d4adcc2ea45009284.png

These are not live shape objects. They do not have adjustable parameters after creation, like most programs do (including Affinity). That came later in Illustrator, after the rental-only licensing.

Illustrator was very late to the live shape primitives game, even with the limited functionality shown above in CS6.

JET

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I quoted, and responded very specifically to your comment about "rounded rectangle corners" being live or not in CS6.  In Illustrator CS6, you could create an ordinary shape, rectangle or otherwise, and apply rounded corners as a "live effect" through the effects menu.  You could turn it on or off, or make adjustments to it after the fact, or even apply it to a layer, or to other objects.  That's very much a live rounded corner.  I did not comment on any other features or functions.  I only pointed out that "rounded rectangle corners" was indeed a live effect in CS6.  Nothing more.

 

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On 3/25/2020 at 7:40 PM, Kuttyjoe said:

Keying in the desired value(s) in the already visible non-modal Transform panel means making a trip across the screen to wherever you keep that dialog open.

I would argue that a better solution to this would be allowing us to map a keyboard shortcut that focused one of the fields in the transform panel with its content selected, so we could hit that keyboard shortcut and start typing without needing to move the mouse or open a pointless new dialog box.

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I quoted, and responded very specifically to your comment about "rounded rectangle corners" being live or not in CS6.

I said: even the 5 basic ones (clearly referring to the 5 basic shape tools) were not even live shapes. The subject is the dialogs that open for each shape tool.

Effect Menu>Convert To Shape is an entirely different subject. It has nothing to do with the shape primitive tools. Yeah, it could be used as a poor man's workaround for Illustrator's total lack of any editable LBO objects before even the lame "during mouseDown only" adjustment was added. The Effect 'converts' any object to display as either a rectangle or an ellipse (i.e., three shapes: rectangle, rounded rectangle, ellipse). It's main use is for applying as an Effect to an object's Appearances in the Appearance Panel.

JET

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On 3/25/2020 at 5:07 PM, JET_Affinity said:

So the dialogs were needed for a few shape-specific inputs (e.g., rounded rectangle corners).

Right there, you mentioned (rounded rectangles) in particular and stated that it was not a live effect in CS6.  But it was absolutely live, elegant, and have great functionality.  It did everything that is expected of a "live" effect and did it well.  If you wish to characterize it as a workaround, then that's fine.  I can't disprove or prove opinions, just the facts.

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3 hours ago, fde101 said:

I would argue that a better solution to this would be allowing us to map a keyboard shortcut that focused one of the fields in the transform panel with its content selected, so we could hit that keyboard shortcut and start typing without needing to move the mouse or open a pointless new dialog box.

Yeah, that would take it up another notch.  To be able to choose for yourself when to focus the cursor inside a dialog would be even better.  I wonder if anything has that level of customization.

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2 hours ago, Kuttyjoe said:

I wonder if anything has that level of customization.

Actually, I was able to rig this fairly easily using Keyboard Maestro (Mac) to do it in the Affinity applications, as long as the transform panel is visible on the screen when hitting the key combination:

image.png.9f37f86017699b23acdf6e0a6bd6e0e9.png

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