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I miss the feature a while now and im wonder why Affinity don't want to implement a halftone effect filter. A halftone effect filter is nothing you use everyday but if you want to use it you don't want to create all dots manually this cost a lot of time and looks still not like the halftone effect we know from Illustrator. Pls give us a TRUE halftone effect filter! 


Paul Knight 

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...looks still not like the halftone effect we know from Illustrator. Pls give us a TRUE halftone effect filter!

While I'd wholeheartedly agree with the practical usefulness of a vector-based halftone feature, Illustrator's is not a "true" halftone effect.

In a true halftone, the black round dots do not simply become larger as they transition across the 50% threshold and then start to overlap each other. That results in 4-point convex "star" shapes beyond the 50% level, which are not round at all.

In a true halftone, dots in both the highlight and shadow areas are round. As the round black dots approach the midtones, they begin to change shape and merge into what is sometimes nowaydays called "meta balls," so that as they continue beyond the 50% value, they transition into white round holes in a black "background."

Since its early years, Aldus FreeHand provided halftone fills at the individual object level. These were actually based on true PostScript halftoning. Back in those days, they did not actually render to the screen in FreeHand's interface; to conserve resources, they displayed on screen as a pattern of "PS" letters. But they provided control over frequency, shape, and angle and printed as true resolution-independent halftones on a PostScript printer or imagesetter. They were immensely practical not just for special effects, but for low-res repro methods like screen printing or flexography.

Despite its being a full-blown PostScript interpreter, Adobe Illustrator has never provided that kind of halftone control at the object level; only at the whole document level.

FreeHand even had a feature in which you could code your own PostScript for other PostScript fills, not just halftones. Olav Martin Kvern demonstrated examples of that in his excellent Real World FreeHand book.

Nowadays, faux halftone effects (which merely scale the "dots") can use any piece of artwork as the "dots." I devised some Javascripts for Illustrator that let me use any kind of little shape ("atoms," a logo, even Lens Flare objects) stored as a Symbol as the "dots."

As always, we need to set our sights higher than the current implementation of some feature in Adobe Illustrator.


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12 hours ago, JET_Affinity said:

As always, we need to set our sights higher than the current implementation of some feature in Adobe Illustrator. 

I disagree.  The current implementation of some features in Illustrator is a perfectly good goal to set sights on.  I suppose you just hate Adobe, or hate subscription or whatever you hate, but this comment makes no sense. Designer is skeletal.  Serif's marketing is largely based on getting away from the subscription model (read Adobe) so that's logically what should be reflected in the software.  But it's not.

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I'd rather have a halftone tool that creates vector based halftones based on preset parameters and a drawn shape, versus a filter. I'm into microstock, so files need to be super basic, filters never export in a usable way when you're uploading files to Adobe Stock or Shutterstock.

Art director by day, illustrator by night: Check Out My Shutterstock Gallery

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I haven't seen a vector program that does that but there's an Illustrator plugin that creates actual halftone dots.  It creates real dots rather than a halftone effect filter.  But creating and managing actual vector halftone dots creates a ton of points and makes a document very difficult to manipulate.  That's why Freehand and Coreldraw didn't display dots but a PS pattern instead.

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  • 5 months later...
On 7/17/2019 at 4:56 AM, Boldlinedesign said:

I use an app on the mac called "vectoraster" to create custom halftones that are vector and can be copied and pasted back into Illustrator or Affinity, etc. 

Hi, I'm actually the developer of Vectoraster that you mentioned, and it sure does generate vector halftones and you can copy the results into designer (or illustrator or whatever) to continue working with them. It's macOS only though, but free to try out. You can check out a little bit of how it works here:


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