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4personnen

performance issues, feature requests, general commentaries about AD

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Hello!

 

I have had a few issues recently that seems to be performance related (serious lag and erratic behaviour of node tool and move tool)

I have attached a video of a work session (sorry if it's long and tedious, it's a realistic snippet of how I, and probably many others, have to work)

I don't know how to put subtitles on a video so I will put a list below with the issues I found.

Now, I must say, as it have been pointed out multiple times a smooth and/or simplify option on path and nodes would be greatly appreciated. I know that I will receive comments on the fact that I should learn to be proficient with a pen tool before trying to smooth paths, because that what I have been reading a lot on these forum.
I get that most people who answer here are "creators", but I suspect a lot of us Designer users are what we call "artworkers". Meaning we have to work on files given to us by others (who don't care if their files make sense or not - they don't give a crap, they couldn't be bothered, don't even try to talk to them :) )

The case I am presenting here is a 146 kb .eps file provided by the studio in charge of digitizing the assets from Schultz estate. They provide those files (take it or leave it) to those who buy the licensing rights. My work here is to smooth out the jagged lines, because the scan was probably done, digitized via livetrace (and converted to .eps) from a small/damaged/blurry line drawing.

So if you have the patience to go through the video, you'll see that the file has 81 layers (which I tried to organise a bit prior to recording the video). You'll see that I really lack the availability to use a smooth tool or a simplify option. I tried to use the "smooth" function in the contextual menu, but it makes little difference to the end result.

so the list of issues with the timecode are below:

  • 0.06: trying to use the space key to pan the canvas, it's either slow or simply not working (it sometimes does)
    have to use the navigator instead
  • 0.14: Same with using the zoom (Space bar + CTRL)
  • 0.38: Trying to select a shape with the node tool (it sometimes works)
    end up using the layer panel (wading through 81 layers)
  • 1.24: The node tool now has a mind of its own. At the particular moment I am not even touching the tablet with the pen. I am just hovering over the drawing after clicking the node and the node tool has now picked up the node and travels with it. I get the same behaviour with a mouse. (but who would use a mouse?). Again, I am not clicking, nor click/draging the node.
    I have to do a number of CTRL+Z to restore state.
  • 3.10: Happens again.

As I said, the original file is 810 KB. It's 146 kb when saved as an afdesigner file.

Beyond the lag/performance issue, I would like to plea for artworkers workflow to be taken into account in the development of the software. When I do an inventory of all the features I'd like to add (select similar for example) I can see that these are features aimed at modifying shapes and paths as opposite as creating new ones. It seems to me that the project managers had "creators" in mind and not artworkers (simplifying here), meaning that if you are working on a generic .eps or .ai file created by someone else, it's infinitely easier do it in Adobe Illustrator (because those feautres exist in .ai),  whereas I have no trouble using all the - very well - thought-out tools of Affinity designer if I want to create a design from scratch (I am someone who is naturally very neat with her layer stack, and I always name and group my layers, it's even a breeze if someone has to work on my files :) ). 
But if you decide that your software isn't aimed primarily at artworkers, then I think you're losing out (particularly given the price and licencing model, artworkers are AD natural customers.

Apologies for the Sundays ramblings....

Hope everything makes sense...

 


Windows 10
XP pen graphic tablet

Datacolor Spyder 4

Affinity Designer/Affinity Publisher/Adobe Photoshop & Lightroom/Inkscape

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On 7/14/2019 at 9:45 AM, 4personnen said:


Now, I must say, as it have been pointed out multiple times a smooth and/or simplify option on path and nodes would be greatly appreciated. I know that I will receive comments on the fact that I should learn to be proficient with a pen tool before trying to smooth paths, because that what I have been reading a lot on these forum.
I get that most people who answer here are "creators", but I suspect a lot of us Designer users are what we call "artworkers". Meaning we have to work on files given to us by others (who don't care if their files make sense or not - they don't give a crap, they couldn't be bothered, don't even try to talk to them :) )

This comment is interesting.  Creators vs artworkers, or production artists.  I agree with everything you've said here because I'm a production artist.  Affinity software is not geared for that kind of work.  It's exactly as you described it.  It's good for built a design yourself, but it lacks the tools needed for edting any random art that you might receive from someone else.  Even Coreldraw falls short of that kind of work.  Only Adobe truly gets it done.  Regarding the smoothing tools though, it's ironic that Serif's older product DrawPlus actually had not 1 but 2 smoothing tools, both brilliant and uniquely implemented.  It's so sad that those tools are now lost forever along with quite a few other good things that were in DrawPlus.

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Hi @Kuttyjoe

 

Thanks for your answer: I am both things so I think for me it was obvious to see it as a different target audience. I am not a coder, but it does seem to me that a "select similar" would be a rather simple feature to implement (it looks like a set of "filters" to me - you choose a set of parameters that can be abpllied to a path, and you filter all the paths having that same parameters). Now that's my common sense talking, maybe it's way more complicated than I think it is. But I guess to choose to implement such and such function in any new version, before what I would think as more pressing/simpler ones - for my usage (Being very selfish here :) ) is merely to cater for creators first and foremost. I may be wrong though...

Tools exists as you said:

- An auto trace can be implemented from "free to use" solutions (I really understand they'd want to invent their own solution first though,  I keep Inkscape for that very purpose)
- A smooth tool was part of Serif legacy software, so the solution - in theory - already is created (ie: the algorithmns are in place)

- A "select similar" tool doesn't seem like the end of the world to implement (after all I see that as a "find and replace" for paths. When I see the complexity of the find and replace function in publisher!)

All these 3 tools (and some others) would be the first major step in making like infinitely simpler for production artists. They would be less than useful for someone who does create from scratch from an .afdesign file (and not taking over from an .eps, with its layers created on the fly)

My partner is an IT developper so I understand it's not an easy job, and I absolutely don't want to make it sound easy while I don't know what I am talking about :), I am just reflecting on the particular choices from the big wigs here :) (most likely project managers than developpers choices though), which makes the software less a good choice for a whole chunk of the population for whom it would be most beneficial.

 

 


Windows 10
XP pen graphic tablet

Datacolor Spyder 4

Affinity Designer/Affinity Publisher/Adobe Photoshop & Lightroom/Inkscape

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15 hours ago, 4personnen said:

I am not a coder, but it does seem to me that a "select similar" would be a rather simple feature to implement (it looks like a set of "filters" to me - you choose a set of parameters that can be abpllied to a path, and you filter all the paths having that same parameters). Now that's

I can't really say, but people have been pleading for Select Similar/Select Same in Coreldraw for much, much longer than in in Serif software and Corel still hasn't implemented it.  In the meantime, there are a couple of 3rd party macros that do it in Coreldraw.  They're of course not as good as a built in solution, but they work.  If it can be done by a 3rd party, then it certainly would seem that Corel could manage the same, even better.  They're just choosing not to do it.

Auto trace is currently in Serif's old discontinued software although, it was very poor quality.  Sometimes though, you could get a good result with it.  Mostly it works well for me when I created an image in DrawPlus such as using the brush tools, then rasterize it and vectorize it.  Imported images tended to turn out terribly.  But in this case, Serif is not having to use anyone else's solution. They could just improve their own existing solution. It's their choice though to do it or not.

The smoothing tools are already there and they are honestly very well implemented.  I still use DrawPlus because those old tools are more useful to me than the new stuff they added to Affinity Designer.

DrawPlus also has a true vector eraser, which people have been asking for in AD.

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Thanks,

I guess they don't have to explain their choices?
Inkscape "trace bitmap" to vectorise has been an invaluable replacement for autotrace, although just launching the program is a nightmare...
I also keep it because apparently the svg export is the best, that's what I have been consistently been told by web developpers when they ask for assets. AD coming close second, and .ai files being dreadful (don't ask me, I can't see a difference myself).

It's the customers choice to see what fits them or not. I am not tied to any brand in particular but since there is a forum dedicated to this I thought I'd share the particular needs of an artworker (and I don't doubt that I am read by more people than just you and me :) ).

Now if AD would accept macros, I would entice my partner to work on them, and hopefully could come up with features that don't make me regret illustrator...
 

 


Windows 10
XP pen graphic tablet

Datacolor Spyder 4

Affinity Designer/Affinity Publisher/Adobe Photoshop & Lightroom/Inkscape

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