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Hi everyone

I'm completely new to vector editing (so you'll have to bear with me if I use the wrong terminology to describe what I've done/am trying to do or need to ask you to clarify what you're telling me) but I said I'd help my wife create a logo for her blog and potential YouTube channel, and have dabbled a bit with Affinity Photo, so here I am, giving the trial version of Designer a whirl. My aim is to export the end result as an SVG and in a bitmap format so she can do with it what she wishes (or as is more likely to be the case, tell me what she wants me to do with it)

So, what I'm trying to do is create a stylised ball of yarn, with the lines depicting the strands transparent so that if there's something behind the ball of yarn it will show through. I've managed to do this but I think I may well have done it the hard way, and my result is a bit scruffy in places, so I want to find out if there's a better way to achieve what I want before I do any further editing.

I started out with a fresh document with no background and created a circle. Then, in a new layer, I drew a white curve which I copied & pasted & rotated to form the outlines of the strands of yarn.

This is the first point where I got stuck and may have chosen the wrong (or at least, a non-optimal) way to go about things. I needed to remove parts of some of the curves where the "strands" they were being used to depict needed to look like they were going underneath other strands. From my limited understanding of such things, I thought I should just need to add some additional nodes to the curve either side of where I needed to remove it and then delete the section of curve between those. I can't quite remember what it was I tried (this was last night) but I couldn't seem to get this to work.

After a quick google, the only method I could seem to find that worked was to go into the Pixel persona and use the Erase tool to remove the parts in question, but that's where things got a teensy bit scruffy.

Having completed the erasing, I had my pattern of defining lines I wanted to use to cut out of the circle. Again, I got quite stuck here. From another quick google, I thought that if I grouped the lines all together into one shape, I'd then be able to cut that shape out from the base circle by selecting both layers and using Subtract. But when I had both layers selected, Subtract wasn't an option, only "Divide", and clicking this didn't appear to have any effect.

I tried various different things, including selecting individual curves rather than the whole lot (but that didn't achieve the desired effect and one of the things I did appeared to remove a "D" shaped section rather than the shape of the curve, although I've a theory as to why that was) but wasn't having an awful lot of joy.

In the end, what I've done this morning on my commute to work, is create a selection from the white curves and then I (somehow, can't quite remember what I did now) managed to select the base circle layer and use the Eraser tool again to erase the bits of the circle within the selection. The end result looks right, apart from some scruffy areas from when I erased parts of the white curves, but I'm sure there must be an easier way to achieve the same result.

I've attached the design as it stands so far. Any tips or pointers towards tutorials that'll help me figure out the best way to do things will be much appreciated.



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Ok, first of all, looking at your design this should be fairly easy to create using vectors alone, without the need for pixel layers. As always with graphics software there's normally several ways to achieve the same result, so what I say may not be the best or fastest method.

So first of all, get rid of the pixel mask, that isn't necessary in Designer, as the circle itself can be used to clip the other items by simply dragging the other layer within it (be careful when you drag - note that the blue highlights change position as you drag it over or around another layer, and each of these positions has a different effect when you release). What you want to do is simply drag your curves within the circle so it's just a nested layer within it (so the blue highlight should be showing from the bottom of the purple circle layer with a gap on the left hand side). Once this is placed like that all the inner parts will be clipped by the 'parent' layer - the circle.

Secondly, get rid of the pixel layer masks within the individual curves - you won't need any pixels here! Once you've done that (you may want to delete the masks one at a time to keep track of what goes where and edit the curves each time), select one of the indivudal curves and switch to the node tool. Where you want the curve to stop and go 'under' the other curves, simply hover over the curve at the intersection of the two curves and you should see a highlighted yellow confirmation that let's you know it's snapping to the intersection. Click to add a point here. Then add another point in the same way where you want the curve to begin again. Then you can select one of these points and choose 'Break Curve' from the context menu at the top of the screen. Then do the same for the other point. (you can actually select both points and do the break curve in one go). You should notice now in the layers panel that your curve has now become three curves. Simply select the one that is the middle of the original curve and delete that layer. Do this for all the remaining curves and you should be good to go, with totally vector, scalable shapes that are very clean and accurate.

Hope that helps!


Edited by Dazzler
spellers and more clarification on some points.
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There is a further step you could take to make this more of a 'standard' vector without utilising the 'erase' layer mode (you may find layer modes can be a bit of a problem with certain printers etc, so I normally remove them if possible). You would select all the small curve layers, then from the menu choose Layer > Exand Stroke. Now the strokes will be shapes with a fill rather than single lines with a thickness. You can now use the Add or Subtract functions quite easily to subtact these shapes from the circle (you'll may need to pull the inner layer back out to the top level to be able to combine it with the circle). I tried this, doing an add first of all to join all the little lines into one shape, then selected the circle and the lines layer and chose subtract to remove the lines layer from the circle leaving the shape you wanted without any funny stuff going on anywhere. There was one little hiccup where the end of one of the lines went beyond it's curve that it joined to, but this can be cleaned up easily enough, either choosing a different end cap setting in the stroke options or by simply editing the end result and removing the little nodes in the damaged area. I think fiddling with the stroke end cap options to avoid the overlap in the first place would probably be the best method.

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Just now, cerebros said:

 (although I wasn't getting the yellow confirmation highlight you mentioned)

Check you have your snapping turned on (the magnet button should be depressed), and then if you click the little arrow next to the magnet, check you have 'snap to object geometry' checked. That seems to do it for me.

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