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In each of the two Affinity Publisher video tutorials demonstrating StudioLink interworking (Designer Persona: Vector Brush and Pencil ToolPhoto Persona: Paint Brush Tool), at one point the presenter selects a brush from a set of brush categories:

1499384693_Designerbrushes.jpg.a004949804bb949b84c60414a0c71a31.jpg 2039826839_PhotoBrushes.jpg.5a3e611f8e41c89ca4bc4b56d4c6b324.jpg

Q1: Are these brush categories included by default when Affinity Publisher is installed, automatically created when StudioLink becomes available for access to either or both of the personas, or what?

Q2: What happens if in Preferences > Miscellaneous I click "Reset Brushes"? Is there any difference if StudioLink is available (IOW, if Designer and/or Photo are installed)? Is there any difference if "Reset Brushes" is ticked using the Control key factory reset instead of the preference?

Q3: Are these brush categories the same as the defaults in the 1.7.x versions of Designer & Photo?


Affinity Photo 1.7.2, Affinity Designer 1.7.2, Affinity Publisher 1.7.2; macOS High Sierra 10.13.6 iMac (27-inch, Late 2012); 2.9GHz i5 CPU; NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M; 8GB RAM
Affinity Photo 1.7.2.153 & Affinity Designer 1.7.2.6 for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iOS 12.3.1

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I reset the brushes via Preferences, and via a Ctrl runup, and those are the default sets of brushes I see for Publisher's Designer Persona and Photo Persona after both kinds of reset.

I uninstalled Publisher beta (1.7.3..475) and deleted its application data (Windows %AppData%\Affinity\Publisher Beta directory).

I then reinstalled 1.7.3.475, looked in the %AppData% folder, and there was no information. I then started 1.7.3.475 and Publisher populated the %AppData%\Affinity\Publisher Beta directory. In the user directory, I see a raster_brushes.propcol and vector_brushes.propcol file.

Some points:

  1. Those files are significantly smaller than the corresponding files located in Publisher's Resources folder in Windows Program Files\Affinity\Publisher Beta directory. I had expected that starting Publisher would copy those files into the user's application data, but that did not happen. Instead I got much smaller files.
  2. As there are no 1.7.3 beta versions of Photo and Designer I cannot yet activate their Personas. so I can't see what brushes are actually in the files that I have in Publisher Beta. Perhaps they are placeholder files of some kind, and will be replaced by the larger files when the Personas are activated. I'll have to wait to find that out. (Or possibly someone from Serif will comment. )
  3. I may try uninstalling 1.7.3.475 and reinstalling the 1.7.2 beta to see how it behaves, since I an activate the Personas there. But I am more likely to wait for 1.7.3 betas of Designer and Photo :)

I haven't tried resetting the brushes in Photo 1.7.2 Beta or Designer 1.7.2 Beta to see if their default brushes are the same as in Publisher. I may get to that later.


-- Walt

Windows 10 Home, version 1903 (18362.239), 16GB memory, Intel Core i7-6700K @ 4.00Gz, GeForce GTX 970
Affinity Photo 1.7.2.471 and 1.7.3.476 Beta   / Affinity Designer 1.7.2.471 and 1.7.3.476 Beta  / Affinity Publisher 1.7.2.471 and 1.7.3.475 Beta

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@walt.farrell, thanks very much for testing this!

I don't know if the results would be any different in the Mac retail version, but I can confirm that the Mac Publisher beta has what seems to be just placeholder vector_brushes.propcol & raster_brushes.propcol files, 8 & 11 KB respectively, on my Mac.

I am still hoping for a comment from Serif staff about the behaviors for the retail version, particularly regarding Q1 about when the defaults are created.


Affinity Photo 1.7.2, Affinity Designer 1.7.2, Affinity Publisher 1.7.2; macOS High Sierra 10.13.6 iMac (27-inch, Late 2012); 2.9GHz i5 CPU; NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M; 8GB RAM
Affinity Photo 1.7.2.153 & Affinity Designer 1.7.2.6 for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iOS 12.3.1

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43 minutes ago, R C-R said:

just placeholder vector_brushes.propcol & raster_brushes.propcol files, 8 & 11 KB respectively, on my Mac.

I'd rather think these .propcol files on mac in a folder named "user" contain only user-installed brushes. For instance these two .propcols have in my Designer Beta also just 14 + 6 kB. The application default brushes might be in frameworks inside the app package. But, as you mention, it's just guessing.

Actually your question sounds a little like "Does one Affinity.app installation contain the other apps, too?" (for instance to work faster or to avoid app-hopping on system level when using StudioLink)


macOS 10.12.6,  Macbook Pro 15" + Eizo 24"

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44 minutes ago, thomaso said:

I'd rather think these .propcol files on mac in a folder named "user" contain only user-installed brushes. For instance these two .propcols have in my Designer Beta also just 14 + 6 kB. The application default brushes might be in frameworks inside the app package. But, as you mention, it's just guessing.

A couple of thought on that:

  1. I've just installed Publisher Beta after deleting those folders/files before the reinstall. After the install, but before starting Publisher, the files did not exist. After starting Publisher, and before I have any opportunity to add any brushes, they do exist.
  2. The files installed in the Resource folder (outside the user's application data) must be the default set of brushes, and they're needed if the user is ever going to "Reset Brushes" to get back to the default state. But they can't be what are actually used while the program is running, because the user can delete brushes that Publisher provided, and change them.

    It would be very complicated, on the fly, to merge info from the Resources copy and info from the user's copy, and would be much simpler to keep everything that the user is using in one place.

But yes, it's all guessing until one of us does a full reinstall of a Publisher version that can use the Personas, or Serif comments :)


-- Walt

Windows 10 Home, version 1903 (18362.239), 16GB memory, Intel Core i7-6700K @ 4.00Gz, GeForce GTX 970
Affinity Photo 1.7.2.471 and 1.7.3.476 Beta   / Affinity Designer 1.7.2.471 and 1.7.3.476 Beta  / Affinity Publisher 1.7.2.471 and 1.7.3.475 Beta

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1 hour ago, thomaso said:

I'd rather think these .propcol files on mac in a folder named "user" contain only user-installed brushes.

I think they contain whatever the user sets for the categories & the brushes in them, including the order the categories appear in the popup menu & the order of the brushes in each category. At some point yet to be determined, they are set to the defaults from the app's resources (like @walt.farrell said) but after that, unless they are reset, they could contain anything in any order.

There are several reasons I think this is how it works, not the least of which is (also like Walt said) we can edit or delete brushes from the default set. In fact, one of the things that inspired me to start this topic (& the Managing Brushes topic I started a few days ago) is currently I have two pixel brush categories in Publisher's Photo persona, one named "DAUB Watercolors" & the other named "Watercolors" (both with US English spellings). The DAUB one has 12 brushes, which I believe are the same as the defaults of the same named category in Affinity Photo 1.7. But the other has 18 brushes, 12 of which are the same as in the DAUB one but in a slightly different order plus 6 others. The extras are:

  • Dense Watercolor 128px
  • Tiling Wash 200px
  • Fine to Wide Smooth 128px
  • Fine to Wide Spongy 128px
  • Dynamic Soft Watercolor 128px
  • Dynamic Hard Watercolor 128px

I am not at all sure where this 18 brush category came from or even if I have an appropriate license to use the above 6. :(


Affinity Photo 1.7.2, Affinity Designer 1.7.2, Affinity Publisher 1.7.2; macOS High Sierra 10.13.6 iMac (27-inch, Late 2012); 2.9GHz i5 CPU; NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M; 8GB RAM
Affinity Photo 1.7.2.153 & Affinity Designer 1.7.2.6 for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iOS 12.3.1

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In the Pixel Persona in my installation of AD on iPad there is a ‘Watercolours’ category including ‘Simple Watercolor’ and ‘Smooth Watercolor’ brushes. The other brushes with ‘Watercolour’ in the name (viz. the ‘Dense’, ‘Dynamic Soft’ and ‘Dynamic Hard’ brushes) are spelled with a ‘u’.

In the Photo Persona in my installation of APh on iPad there is a ‘DAUB Watercolours’ category including the ‘Simple Watercolor’ and ‘Smooth Watercolor’ brushes. There are no brushes with ‘Watercolour’ in the name.


Alfred online2long.gif
Affinity Designer/Photo/Publisher 1.7.2.471 • Windows 10 Home (4th gen Core i3 CPU)
Affinity Photo for iPad 1.7.2.153 • Designer for iPad 1.7.2.6 • iOS 12.4.1 (iPad Air 2)

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1 hour ago, Alfred said:

In the Pixel Persona in my installation of AD on iPad there is a ‘Watercolours’ category including ‘Simple Watercolor’ and ‘Smooth Watercolor’ brushes. The other brushes with ‘Watercolour’ in the name (viz. the ‘Dense’, ‘Dynamic Soft’ and ‘Dynamic Hard’ brushes) are spelled with a ‘u’.

Thanks for that. It explains where the 18 brush "Watercolors" category comes from in my desktop apps -- I must have exported that set from my iPad & imported it to them. FWIW, for me they all use the US English spelling.

1 hour ago, Alfred said:

In the Photo Persona in my installation of APh on iPad there is a ‘DAUB Watercolours’ category including the ‘Simple Watercolor’ and ‘Smooth Watercolor’ brushes. There are no brushes with ‘Watercolour’ in the name.

On my Photo app on my iPad, there is a 12 brush "DAUB Watercolors" category (no u). That category has the same name & 12 brushes as on my desktop apps, so that one I suppose is 'universal' among all the apps, give or take spelling localizations ... except that on my desktop in Photo it is named "DAUB Watercolours” but "DAUB Watercolors” in Publisher, even though all the brush names use US English spellings in all of them. :S

Regardless, the 18 brush "Watercolors" category from AD on iPad is (I think!) a superset of the 12 brush "DAUB Watercolors" one, so the 12 brush version is redundant. I have no idea why there is no "DAUB" in the name of the 12 brush version -- it just makes it harder to see that it is a subset of the 18 brush one.

Speaking of names, on my Photo app on my iPad I also have the 52 brush "DAUB® Watercolours & Washes" category I bought from the Affinity Store (all UK English spellings). I have no idea why only that one merits the ® symbol & the others don't.

For the curious, the names & weights of the 18 brush "Watercolors" are as follows, with the 6 extras listed in bold:

  • Simple Watercolor 80 px
  • Smooth Watercolor 96 px
  • Low Absorption Bristles 80 px
  • Dense Wash 80px
  • Diluted Grainy 80px
  • Tapered Large 128px
  • Tapered Hard 80px
  • Fine Fibers 128px
  • Smooth Round 128px
  • Chisel Shaped Wash 64px
  • Light Wash 128 px
  • Grainy Large 96px
  • Dense Watercolor 128px
  • Tiling Wash 200px
  • Fine to Wide Smooth 128px
  • Fine to Wide Spongy 128px
  • Dynamic Soft Watercolor 128px
  • Dynamic Hard Watercolor 128px

Affinity Photo 1.7.2, Affinity Designer 1.7.2, Affinity Publisher 1.7.2; macOS High Sierra 10.13.6 iMac (27-inch, Late 2012); 2.9GHz i5 CPU; NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M; 8GB RAM
Affinity Photo 1.7.2.153 & Affinity Designer 1.7.2.6 for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iOS 12.3.1

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While we're looking at brushes, I just noticed something that I don't understand. In Publisher, looking at the Brushes panel, I see this as the heading:

image.png.4fc33f8bd8006e21de911005b9ddd65c.png

What is the purpose of that icon I've marked? It's always grayed-out in Publisher, and always "active" in Photo and Designer:

image.png.d4f72a27f7b8182f4d1141d7821f5a6e.png

But clicking on it doesn't do anything. So, what purpose does it have?


-- Walt

Windows 10 Home, version 1903 (18362.239), 16GB memory, Intel Core i7-6700K @ 4.00Gz, GeForce GTX 970
Affinity Photo 1.7.2.471 and 1.7.3.476 Beta   / Affinity Designer 1.7.2.471 and 1.7.3.476 Beta  / Affinity Publisher 1.7.2.471 and 1.7.3.475 Beta

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9 minutes ago, walt.farrell said:

In Publisher, looking at the Brushes panel, I see this as the heading:

image.png.4fc33f8bd8006e21de911005b9ddd65c.png

Histogram and Brushes panels in Publisher?? :/


Alfred online2long.gif
Affinity Designer/Photo/Publisher 1.7.2.471 • Windows 10 Home (4th gen Core i3 CPU)
Affinity Photo for iPad 1.7.2.153 • Designer for iPad 1.7.2.6 • iOS 12.4.1 (iPad Air 2)

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17 minutes ago, Alfred said:

Histogram and Brushes panels in Publisher?? :/

Sorry. Photo Persona in Publisher. Or Designer Persona.


-- Walt

Windows 10 Home, version 1903 (18362.239), 16GB memory, Intel Core i7-6700K @ 4.00Gz, GeForce GTX 970
Affinity Photo 1.7.2.471 and 1.7.3.476 Beta   / Affinity Designer 1.7.2.471 and 1.7.3.476 Beta  / Affinity Publisher 1.7.2.471 and 1.7.3.475 Beta

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33 minutes ago, walt.farrell said:

While we're looking at brushes, I just noticed something that I don't understand. In Publisher, looking at the Brushes panel, I see this as the heading:

image.png.4fc33f8bd8006e21de911005b9ddd65c.png

What is the purpose of that icon I've marked? It's always grayed-out in Publisher, and always "active" in Photo and Designer:

image.png.d4f72a27f7b8182f4d1141d7821f5a6e.png

But clicking on it doesn't do anything. So, what purpose does it have?

You need to select a Brush then click the Icon to get the brush Properties dialogue box to pop up.

But there appears to be a bug where nothing happens when you first select a brush in any category.

You need to select a different brush (same category) or select the same brush again then click the Icon 


Due to the fact that Boris Johnson is now our Prime Minister, punctuation, spelling and grammar will never be worried about ever again.  We now have far bigger problems to be concerned about.

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Thanks, Carl!

And yes, that's an interesting bug. Here's another aspect of it: In Photo and Designer, the icon is "active" even with no brush selected. Clicking on a brush then makes the icon inactive (grayed-out), and clicking on another brush activates it.


-- Walt

Windows 10 Home, version 1903 (18362.239), 16GB memory, Intel Core i7-6700K @ 4.00Gz, GeForce GTX 970
Affinity Photo 1.7.2.471 and 1.7.3.476 Beta   / Affinity Designer 1.7.2.471 and 1.7.3.476 Beta  / Affinity Publisher 1.7.2.471 and 1.7.3.475 Beta

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2 hours ago, carl123 said:

You need to select a Brush then click the Icon to get the brush Properties dialogue box to pop up.

But there appears to be a bug where nothing happens when you first select a brush in any category.

I don't think I am seeing that bug in either Pub persona, but this is odd behavior may be related:

Select a Brush in Photo persona, open the Properties dialogue window, & then without closing that window switch back to the Publisher persona. When I do that, the dialog window title changes to "Brush - Document Defaults" or "Brush - Selection" & it is always shows the settings for the last selected brush from the Designer persona, as if I had clicked the "More" button with a vector brush selected in that persona.

I also managed to get a nice crash by clicking the "Reset" button in the dialog window when it was still open in the Publisher persona, & that is repeatable.

EDIT: Reported here in Publisher Bugs on Mac OS.


Affinity Photo 1.7.2, Affinity Designer 1.7.2, Affinity Publisher 1.7.2; macOS High Sierra 10.13.6 iMac (27-inch, Late 2012); 2.9GHz i5 CPU; NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M; 8GB RAM
Affinity Photo 1.7.2.153 & Affinity Designer 1.7.2.6 for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iOS 12.3.1

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