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benllegan

Trying to add a second line 0.2 inches in the "perpendicular" direction of the first in Affinity Designer.

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So I've been working on a logo in Affinity Designer 1.6 for an upcoming project I'm working on. I'm very new to graphic design and don't know my way around the software too well. It's a typographic logo, and I've been drawing all the letters myself (haven't been typing with a font), but have been struggling when trying to make myself a letter A and N. So far each letter is 1"x1" (fits into a square) and have been made to all have their arms, stems, bars, etc., to be the same width. At first, I was having no trouble, as all of the letters were made up of straight lines (like I, T and H), but now that I've come to the letters A and N, I have a dilemma: they contain diagonal parts. At first, I thought this wouldn't be an issue, as I thought I could just make the part as a vertical rectangle, and then rotate it to make it diagonal, but as I went along I found shapes won't snap while rotating. So while I could rotate it and get it close to the angle I needed for it to fit perfectly, it wouldn't be perfect (and as I'm trying to make it a professional logo, I need it to be perfect). I thought the best way to do do it would be to make an angled line, copy it, and move the copy 0.2 inches in the direction perpendicular to the original (as shown in the images below), but haven't found a way to do it in this program. Does anyone have any idea how to make this work? Or have a similar solution using a different method?

 

 

Screen Shot 2019-09-15 at 6.24.32 PM.png

Screen Shot 2019-09-15 at 6.24.45 PM.png

Edited by benllegan
Labeled my example images "A" and "N".

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There may be a better way but one approach is to duplicate the line, set its stroke width to twice the desired offset (so 0.4 inch in this instance), set the Cap type to "Butt" (important!), use Layer > Expand Stroke to convert it to a tilted rectangular shape, & then delete the two nodes on the 'wrong' side of the original line.

You will also need to set the stroke width of the resulting curve to match the original line. You can do this easily by selecting the original & copying it to the clipboard, selecting the new curve & from the Edit menu, select "Paste Style."


Affinity Photo 1.7.3, Affinity Designer 1.7.3, Affinity Publisher 1.7.3; macOS High Sierra 10.13.6 iMac (27-inch, Late 2012); 2.9GHz i5 CPU; NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M; 8GB RAM
Affinity Photo 1.7.3.155 & Affinity Designer 1.7.3.1 for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iPadOS 13.1.2

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Why not create a 0.2 inch square, rotate to the correct angle and use the bottom left corner node to snap to the bottom node of the solid line. you can then duplicate the line make it dashed and move it into place.


iMac 27" Late 2015 Fully Loaded, iMac 27" Mid 2011 both running High Sierra 10.13.6 - Affinity Designer/Photo & Publisher - Illustrator CC, Inkscape, Blender, Sketchup, Pepakura Designer, MTC, Pixelmator & Pixelmator Pro + more... XP-Pen Artist-22E, - iPad Pro 12.9 B|  

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4 hours ago, firstdefence said:

Why not create a 0.2 inch square, rotate to the correct angle and use the bottom left corner node to snap to the bottom node of the solid line.

How would you determine the correct angle?


Affinity Photo 1.7.3, Affinity Designer 1.7.3, Affinity Publisher 1.7.3; macOS High Sierra 10.13.6 iMac (27-inch, Late 2012); 2.9GHz i5 CPU; NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M; 8GB RAM
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What you are seeing in the tooltips is the variation in the X and Y directions/axis, not the perpendicular distance. Rotate the whole group of objects until the lines become verticals and compare the distance again that way if you want - you will see the variation is now equal to the desired distance.

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You can't get it wrong with a square, but it's a bit hit and miss with a circle. If you notice Pixel pests red line isn't at right angles with the line when using a circle, it's off probably by about  2 or 3 degrees.


iMac 27" Late 2015 Fully Loaded, iMac 27" Mid 2011 both running High Sierra 10.13.6 - Affinity Designer/Photo & Publisher - Illustrator CC, Inkscape, Blender, Sketchup, Pepakura Designer, MTC, Pixelmator & Pixelmator Pro + more... XP-Pen Artist-22E, - iPad Pro 12.9 B|  

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12 minutes ago, MEB said:

Rotate the whole group of objects until the lines become verticals and compare the distance again that way if you want - you will see the variation is now equal to the desired distance.

How do you ensure that the whole group of objects is rotated until the lines become exactly vertical? I could not figure out how to do that.

Also, using a 0.2 px square like in the second @PixelPest gif, I found it very difficult after moving the transform origin to the lower left corner of the square to get that corner to snap to the line, even with both snapping options for the Point Transform Tool enabled. It wasn't impossible, just very touchy, & required zooming in quite far to make sure it was snapped to the line.

When I did get that part right, I could rotate the square while holding down the CMD key to make sure the scale did not change; otherwise, even tiny changes in the scale while rotating would throw the results off.

When I got all that right, I could duplicate the line, & finally snap it to the right edge of the rotated square.

To be honest about it, I found it much, much easier & less error prone to use the expand stroke method I mentioned earlier.


Affinity Photo 1.7.3, Affinity Designer 1.7.3, Affinity Publisher 1.7.3; macOS High Sierra 10.13.6 iMac (27-inch, Late 2012); 2.9GHz i5 CPU; NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M; 8GB RAM
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25 minutes ago, firstdefence said:

You can't get it wrong with a square...

Perhaps I am just more 'gifted' than most but I found it very easy to get it wrong without using the CMD rotate option I mentioned in my last post, because it is so easy to change the scale otherwise. :P


Affinity Photo 1.7.3, Affinity Designer 1.7.3, Affinity Publisher 1.7.3; macOS High Sierra 10.13.6 iMac (27-inch, Late 2012); 2.9GHz i5 CPU; NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M; 8GB RAM
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1 hour ago, R C-R said:

Perhaps I am just more 'gifted' than most but I found it very easy to get it wrong without using the CMD rotate option I mentioned in my last post, because it is so easy to change the scale otherwise. :P

Without the Cmd option it does take ninja level rotation skills :ph34r: lol!


iMac 27" Late 2015 Fully Loaded, iMac 27" Mid 2011 both running High Sierra 10.13.6 - Affinity Designer/Photo & Publisher - Illustrator CC, Inkscape, Blender, Sketchup, Pepakura Designer, MTC, Pixelmator & Pixelmator Pro + more... XP-Pen Artist-22E, - iPad Pro 12.9 B|  

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R C-R,
Take a look at the respective help topic. There's more to the Point Transform Tool than meets the eye. You can translate/snap nodes to other objects/geometry without the need to move the Transform origin point first, although there's no issues if you do it. You can also snap to other objects without the local snapping options enabled - check the global snapping options for this. It's much quicker than you think. If you prefer to expand the stroke instead go for it.

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1 hour ago, MEB said:

There's more to the Point Transform Tool than meets the eye. You can translate/snap nodes to other objects/geometry without the need to move the Transform origin point first, although there's no issues if you do it.

I know that translating can be done but without moving the origin point, but how can one rotate the square to the appropriate angle to align with the line unless the origin point is moved?

1 hour ago, MEB said:

It's much quicker than you think.

As I said, rotating the square was not quick because I had to zoom very far in to make sure the edge of the square snapped to the line & not to some other nearby snapping point (& that the origin was on the edge of the square). This might have been easier if I was trying to get a larger offset, but with a square just 0.2 inches on a side & my usual snapping options enabled, it was very fiddly.

 

4 hours ago, firstdefence said:

Without the Cmd option it does take ninja level rotation skills :ph34r: lol!

That is part of the reason I prefer the expand stroke method. Every step can be done without even touching the keyboard & there are no extra shape like the square that would have to be deleted afterwards.

Of course, it only works with Designer (or with Publisher if the Designer persona is available) so sometimes using that method might not be possible.


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30 minutes ago, R C-R said:

Of course, it only works with Designer (or with Publisher if the Designer persona is available)

This morning I had tried the square workaround in AfPublisher with no success – and I haven't even thought that snapping would be more convenient in AfDesigner. – No I wonder why there is such a difference in snapping between these two apps. As if Affinity magazine or book layout has to be more rectangular/perpendicular compared to single page flyers, business cards or letter heads ... :35_thinking:


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4 minutes ago, thomaso said:

This morning I had tried the square workaround in AfPublisher with no success ...

FWIW, I can detect no difference between using the Point Transform Tool for this in Publisher's Designer Persona & in using the same tool in Designer's Designer Persona.

In either one, for me success depends on how far I am zoomed in so I can make sure I am snapping the transform origin point to exactly where I want it, & of course to make sure I use the CMD key to prevent accidental rescaling as I do the rotation.


Affinity Photo 1.7.3, Affinity Designer 1.7.3, Affinity Publisher 1.7.3; macOS High Sierra 10.13.6 iMac (27-inch, Late 2012); 2.9GHz i5 CPU; NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M; 8GB RAM
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2 hours ago, R C-R said:

As I said, rotating the square was not quick because I had to zoom very far in to make sure the edge of the square snapped to the line & not to some other nearby snapping point (& that the origin was on the edge of the square). This might have been easier if I was trying to get a larger offset, but with a square just 0.2 inches on a side & my usual snapping options enabled, it was very fiddly.

Sorry but I don't get your issue. There's no need to zoom in or out. The snapping/highlight works both when you are zooming in and only see one of the nodes of the square and part of the line as it does when you are zoomed out as see the whole square and most of the line. You certainly have to move the Transform Point origin to be able to rotate the square and align it with with the line but it's a trivial operation with snapping's help.

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1 hour ago, MEB said:

Sorry but I don't get your issue. There's no need to zoom in or out. The snapping/highlight works both when you are zooming in and only see one of the nodes of the square and part of the line as it does when you are zoomed out as see the whole square and most of the line.

Try it with several other objects in the vicinity or zoomed far out enough that you can't be sure that when you release the mouse button what was highlighted is where the translation ends up.

I can't explain it any better than that.

Edited by R C-R
Edited for clarity

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8 hours ago, MEB said:

The snapping/highlight works both when you are zooming in and only see one of the nodes of the square and part of the line as it does when you are zoomed out as see the whole square and most of the line. You certainly have to move the Transform Point origin to be able to rotate the square and align it with with the line but it's a trivial operation with snapping's help.

Is there a special setting to make the rotation cursor appear? I can see the yellow snapping lines but don't get the rotation cursor as in @PixelPest's screencast.
I can rotate with move tool but that does not show the yellow snapping lines.

My snap setting for the screencast above:
593805082_snapsetting.jpg.8389e7a143452d20f379cab5a6911693.jpg


macOS 10.12.6,  Macbook Pro 15" + Eizo 24"

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Hold cmd-key down - the rotation indicator will appear when cursor is near a corner - then rotate till it snaps - release cmd-key.

And Point transform has its own Snapping properties which are more than sufficient.

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12 minutes ago, PixelPest said:

Hold cmd-key down - the rotation indicator will appear when cursor is near a corner - then rotate till it snaps - release cmd-key.

You don't have to hold the CMD key down unless you want to make sure you rotate without changing the scale. But without holding that key down, there is no rotation cursor, just a solid black sort of barb shaped cursor when it is over one of the nodes of the shape, like at about 0:14 in the video @thomaso posted:

597141147_rotationcursor.jpg.753141437831b5d02fafeddd2664035c.jpg

@thomaso, try clicking & dragging when you see the cursor change to that shape & you should be able to rotate & snap to the line.


Affinity Photo 1.7.3, Affinity Designer 1.7.3, Affinity Publisher 1.7.3; macOS High Sierra 10.13.6 iMac (27-inch, Late 2012); 2.9GHz i5 CPU; NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M; 8GB RAM
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3 minutes ago, R C-R said:

You don't have to hold the CMD key down unless you want to make sure you rotate without changing the scale.

And that´s what this thread is all about - maintaining a given offset - that´s why holding cmd is necessary.

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41 minutes ago, PixelPest said:

And that´s what this thread is all about - maintaining a given offset - that´s why holding cmd is necessary.

I think it is also about helping @thomaso & anybody else wondering about it understand that there is no rotation cursor (or status bar indication) that will appear unless the CMD key is held down.

EDIT: Actually, I think the cursor changing to the barbed arrow shape instead of to the rotation cursor shape like it does with the CMD key held down should be considered a bug, if a minor one.

Edited by R C-R

Affinity Photo 1.7.3, Affinity Designer 1.7.3, Affinity Publisher 1.7.3; macOS High Sierra 10.13.6 iMac (27-inch, Late 2012); 2.9GHz i5 CPU; NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M; 8GB RAM
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@PixelPest, thank you !!!  And also to @R C-R for the interesting note. 

51 minutes ago, PixelPest said:

And Point transform has its own Snapping properties which are more than sufficient.

Ah!, the Point Transform Tool even shows snapping if I have snapping disabled in the snapping options window. Very good to know! – How did you get that info, just by try and error? The help article appears rather poor with such secret but important knowledge, doesn't it?


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