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Dave Vector

Affinity Designer 1.8 New features list?

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Hi,

I have read the "fixes, improved, and added" bullet list in the top post called "Affinity Designer Windows Customer Beta - 1.8.0.486"

Is this the official place to find a list of all the proposed new features for Affinity Designer 1.8?

Or is there a better place I can find a proposed new features list?

Thanks,

Dave.

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There is no proposed new features list for 1.8, Dave. [Edit: Rather, I'm sure Serif has one, but we can't see it :) ]

It will contain what Serif wants it to contain, based on what they feel is complete and stable enough to ship, and we will find out what it contains when they make it available to us.

 


-- Walt

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Affinity Photo 1.8.3.641 and 1.8.3.641 Beta   / Affinity Designer 1.8.3.641 and 1.8.3.641 Beta  / Affinity Publisher 1.8.3.641 and 1.8.3.627 Beta.

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1.8.0.486 is the first beta in the 1.8 series of betas

Additional 1.8 betas should contain some new features (so we can test them). 

Only the final 1.8 beta will be representative of what we can expect in the final released version of 1.8

Only Serif know in advance of what features will be added to each beta, we mostly just have to wait until they are released to find out.

 

 


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 worried about.

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It wasn't necessarily that, it was that we didn't keep the roadmap up to date, and we started shipping new features which never appeared on the roadmap, and then customers (understandably) asked about why the particular feature they were interested in, that was still on the roadmap, hadn't shipped it yet. The roadmap was a vision of where we thought the software would go, 5 years ago, but over time, our vision has changed slightly (well, individual features have got re-prioritised).

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On 10/18/2019 at 11:42 AM, Mark Ingram said:

It wasn't necessarily that, it was that we didn't keep the roadmap up to date, and we started shipping new features which never appeared on the roadmap, and then customers (understandably) asked about why the particular feature they were interested in, that was still on the roadmap, hadn't shipped it yet. The roadmap was a vision of where we thought the software would go, 5 years ago, but over time, our vision has changed slightly (well, individual features have got re-prioritised).

One would hope that fixing the utterly broken document/pasteboard/layer/artboard/group/object model – from the viewpoint of someone coming from Adobe apps and used to do complex, single-document projects with universal layers, that is – would be one of your priorities for 1.8, which would also explain the outright lack of forward file compatibility (i.e. kind of like older versions of Photoshop can open files created with newer versions as long as they don't make use of feature x), but judging from past experience here in the forums and with beta upon beta and GM upon GM of AD, I'm not holding my breath…

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On 10/30/2019 at 4:15 AM, JGD said:

fixing the utterly broken

With all due respect: there is nothing broken. It just doesn't work as you wish. It is fair to ask for improvements but I find it a bit unfair to call it broken.

d.


Affinity Designer 1.8.2.620 (beta 1.8.3.641)   |   Affinity Photo 1.8.2.620 (beta 1.8.3.641)   |   Affinity Publisher 1.8.2.620 (beta 1.8.3.641)
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On 10/18/2019 at 5:42 AM, Mark Ingram said:

It wasn't necessarily that, it was that we didn't keep the roadmap up to date, and we started shipping new features which never appeared on the roadmap, and then customers (understandably) asked about why the particular feature they were interested in, that was still on the roadmap, hadn't shipped it yet. The roadmap was a vision of where we thought the software would go, 5 years ago, but over time, our vision has changed slightly (well, individual features have got re-prioritised).

Is there any chance that we will have a new version of the Roadmap?

Best regards!


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On 10/31/2019 at 6:19 AM, dominik said:

With all due respect: there is nothing broken. It just doesn't work as you wish. It is fair to ask for improvements but I find it a bit unfair to call it broken.

d.

Just a quick edit (to those who reacted, I am sorry for adulterating the content of this post, and to Serif I am doubly sorry for not having checked, you know, the actual functionality): this entire post was originally a big bag of unfairness [Edit: nope, still valid], so I erased it [Edit: maybe I shouldn't have, but I didn't keep a backup] (my comments on universal layers and their philosophical implications are available elsewhere on the forums, anyway [Edit: well, I wasn't wrong about this bit]), but I'm leaving the original post you responded to.

In my defence, my criticism was not unfair back when it was still valid [Edit: it's still valid, and still fair]; it didn't work not just as I wished, but as I and many designers actively needed it to in order to be able to work with it at all. Apparently, Serif fixed that, which was one of my biggest gripes with Designer, and in version 1.7.3, no less. [Edit: nooooope] There are likely still some rough edges, as my list of pet peeves was rather long, but I'll refrain from even comment on those before further testing.

In closing, I'll tell you what: maybe I could've been nicer about the way I put my criticism to Serif, but I also like to believe that it helped steer them in the right direction [Edit: sadly, it didn't, or at least not yet]. If you're content with the app as is, by all means don't refrain from praising them, but please take a moment to appreciate how criticism by others may also benefit you without you even knowing. One day you may need universal layers, and you never know how soon that day may come. ;)

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Now, the TL;DR version for Serif devs and management (pardon my bluntness, but that is indeed what you asked me for not too long ago):

1. For me and my studentsAD does and will suck until proper universal layer support is implemented.

2. I got fed up of waiting for it.

3. I haven't seen any students of mine using Affinity products this year, which is a bad sign and seems to confirm my earlier suspicions.

[Edit: 4. All my considerations about artboards pulling objects into them notwithstanding, I figured a way to avoid that, by disabling “Edit All Layers”; the thing is, it's good for moving already created objects but doesn't work in a real-world setting, either, as AD doesn't respect the OBVIOUS convention of adding new objects to the currently selected layer, even in that segregated, single-layer editing mode – which would make it doubly obvious, especially how it now disables said behaviour, thus forcing one to drag. every. single. new. object. into. the. desired. layer.

It boggles the mind how not even this works in a sensible, predictable manner. Why, Serif, WHY? :40_rage: I was actually happy with Designer for once but, once again, I was sorely disappointed soon after. This layer model is completely shambolic. It didn't make sense before, and it makes even less sense now. Fix this thing, please! I feel… offended by it, really. It insults my intelligence.]

Here's to me not having to post the exact same thing 12 months from now! :)

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4 hours ago, JGD said:

Maybe not for you. But it isn't making the inroads in higher design education I expected it to do during the pre-1.0 beta days, so unfortunately I was indeed right in my last assertions. It. Is. Broken. Unintuitive. Appallingly useless for quite a few use cases. Totally non-standard and non-compliant with +20-year-old conventions followed across the entire creative software industry (just because they're standard, likely created by Adobe and Adobe=baaad, that doesn't mean all conventions are inherently bad and all “reinventions of the wheel” are good). The lack of universal layers, even in a v.1 piece of software, is completely ridiculous by 2019 standards (nay, it's almost 2020 now). 

We're now also reaching the v.2 milestone – probably a paid one – rather quickly and that “feature”, which could already be here, as I've demonstrated before, by giving us some lousy checkboxes and/or a slightly reworked Layers panel, is still nowhere to be seen. Also, I'm calling it a “feature” when, in fact, it's a model. A mental model that Serif turned literally – on its head for no good reason, and it shows; you just can't work outside of the “box-within-a-box” object model, as Designer insists on pulling objects into artboards the moment they touch them. 

No other software does this, and I believe I know why Serif decided for it: to make Affinity more “intuitive” or something. To make the Layers panel neater or something. Except they outright killed the concept of universal layer in the process, when it would already work if it wasn't for that small detail of its insistence on automatically organising objects for the user. Why not at least allow them the option to MANUALLY do so to their liking? 

Layering your artwork isn't like organising thousands of photos in a DAM or tracks in an audio player; sometimes there's zero benefit in having your software do it for you, or it may be even counterproductive, as it's a very involved process that differs a lot from document to document. 

Besides, I know for a fact – yes, I tested it – that if that choice was there, Designer's engine would still export its artwork properly in vector and bitmap formats, because it already does so regardless of where in the layer/artboard/object tree the objects are “stored”, as long as they are sitting atop the desired artboards. You know, just like on Ai and its ilk. Except you can't work that way at all because Designer won't let you, as I've explained above. 

You see, that's the issue with Serif devs, i.e. the engineer mentality that clouds their judgment and priorities, which they'll refuse to admit; they see Artboards not as sheets of paper at the bottom of the z axis and atop which content sits and outside of which it may also exist and be visible, but as abstract boxes/windows at the top of said z axis which must always contain and crop objects by automatically sending them below themselves, anthat's what makes Designer non-WYSIWYG! (philosophically and functionally speaking, that is; I know that what you see is indeed what Designer will print/export, but in terms of UX it makes too many assumptions and it's too aggressive with your content and too invasive – by default and without a choice – towards your document structure). And what's more ridiculous is that these two models needn't bee mutually exclusive; all Serif had to do was offer us one checkbox, “Automatically move objects into artboards”, to rule them all, as Designer is already technically ready to deal with layers above/outside artboards without issue. Boom, problem solved. 9_9

Look, this is deeply philosophical stuff, and I could quote you Rosalind Krauss about the way modern western artists may have a centripetal (i.e. self-contained) or centrifugal (i.e. a cropped part of an infinite whole) conception of their artwork, or Jack T. Williamson on their obsession with windows and with regarding the canvas itself as a metaphorical window but, at the end of the day, I know for a fact that Serif's model is functionally broken for a lot of people – including, but not limited to, yours truly –, even if the dev team isn't aware of that. 

Whether people regard their artwork as being a “window” or a literal sheet of paper, they'll sometimes want to see and work beyond the limits of the canvas, and information designers will always think of their work as systems with layers of meaning that can and will be repeated across different media, thus justifying universal layers above/outside artboards.

Bear in mind that I'm not saying Designer isn't any good for any use case. Just that the document model is broken and rigid (heck, even Adobe is more lenient when it comes to workflow and tool customisation), as it precludes by default entire sets of use cases. That isn't unfair, it's a fact.

Check my other threads and video demos for some proof. And play around a bit with Ai, CorelDRAW, FreeHand and Inkscape (the first two offer trials, FH is abandonware by now so it's very easy to test on a VM and the latter is open source).

As I've said time and time again, maybe this model works best in simpler documents on iPads or smaller laptops, for vector illustrators, etc., but it sucks on multi-artboard layouts for information design and other more complex design projects.

Again, I have to agree.

The model Affinity currently employs is "closed box thinking" system while designers tend to think "outside the box".
Affinity users are sadly forced to be limited and work inside the box with the current Affinity workflow, which goes completely against the basic design principles.

Look at Designer in example - how come you cannot see/view the bleed area when you're working with multiple artboards?
How can you design something when you can't see part of the artwork, that despite being cut off at the later stages is necessary to have a complete picture of the design you're working on? Where is WYSIWYG there? Why is Designer obfuscating your work?
What's the logic in that? Who made this very design decision? Why was it never reconsidered? It does not make sense at all...

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43 minutes ago, CLC said:

Again, I have to agree.

The model Affinity currently employs is "closed box thinking" system while designers tend to think "outside the box".
Affinity users are sadly forced to be limited and work inside the box with the current Affinity workflow, which goes completely against the basic design principles.

Look at Designer in example - how come you cannot see/view the bleed area when you're working with multiple artboards?
How can you design when you can't see part of the artwork, that despite being cut off at the later stages is necessary to have a complete picture of the design you're working on?

What's the logic in that?

Hah. You saved that nugget of history, thanks. As for your own comment, I added emphasis. THIS. A MILLION TIMES THIS. I've said this so many times here in the forums.

The guys at Serif just don't get it, and what I find even weirder is how the designers they work with still haven't pointed this out to them. It boggles the mind.

And all of this comes down to these stupid artboards. I get it, they crop stuff that's inside them so that if you have two side by side, the objects won't bleed into the adjacent one. Sure, if people want to work like that, let them. But if they want to work with universal layers, for Pete's sake let them as well. And if they want to drag an artboard along with universal layer content… well, let them select both the artboard and the objects.

THINK, people, THINK. There are better, more sensible ways of working with objects and with a layers list. Presently, Affinity's model isn't the right way. I just figured out another fundamental issue: when you click on a layer on Affinity apps, you're not selecting that layer in a “modal” way, but only selecting its contents.

The Affinity Layers palette is basically dumber than a sack of bricks, a simple “shortcut” for selecting stuff, and not modal in any way. It does not in any way influence your workflow, because when you create new objects they will just go to the nearest place in the stack (atop the selected layer if you're working on the pasteboard, or into… some artboard – I didn't even understand the logic or reason behind which if you straddle more than one – when you touch one), but always outside any layer structure you might've created.

Basically, in Affinity, layers outside of artboards are indeed glorified groups you create after the fact, not stuff you create beforehand and work inside of. That is indeed their behaviour when you create them inside artboards, but WHY on Earth should't their behaviour be consistent when created outside of artboards? This doesn't feel like a feature, and if Serif developers think it is, they should be ashamed of it.

Hey, you know what, screw Designer's broken artboards and layers! I'll start creating an artboard the size of the entire pasteboard and use rectangles as fake artboards – in a fake, “Artboards” layer, no less – and guides for slices instead. Boom, problem solved. Insta-powdered-Affinity-Illustrator-in-a-can: you only have to add some water and stir. The only thing you lose, really, is having a discernible document preview thumbnail/icon and QuickLook view regardless of actual document size… No biggie, as long as you use a sensible naming scheme for your files, and it's not like Affinity's QuickLook plugin respects macOS's multi-page thumbnail icon and QuickLook conventions when opening multi-artboard .afdesign files anyway (instead of presenting you with the first page and selector arrows, it just lumps everything together, which, again, just goes to show the level of respect – or lack thereof – Serif has for Apple's HIG). Oh, and you lose artboard-specific ruler origins, too, but I guess zeroing them every now and then is probably less of a burden than all the crazy shenanigans all the other workarounds entail.

I guess I'll even create some template documents so I don't have to do it all by hand every time I need one. As a matter of fact, the easiest way will be to make a single document with all the relevant format sizes, one for paper sizes and another one for screen sizes, and just drag and duplicate the ones I need, à la Apple Lisa with its document-oriented stationery pads (yes, I know my stuff when it comes to UX history). Heh, who said designers weren't resourceful? That's what I call thinking outside the box.

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Everything is going to take longer to implement. The Affinity team is smaller by the Adobe team by thousands of people so it's not hard to see that things are going to take longer. At the price point, I'm happy to wait and use my imagination and that of my fellow designers here to use workarounds and incorporate other software into my workflow until Affinity matures, which is going to be a VERY long time from now because (see 2nd sentence).  It's not a broken project, it's an immature one, not unlike this conversation. There's always Adobe and Corel and their thousands of employees to help you out if Affinity isn't for you.

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10 hours ago, Pariah73 said:

Everything is going to take longer to implement. The Affinity team is smaller by the Adobe team by thousands of people so it's not hard to see that things are going to take longer. At the price point, I'm happy to wait and use my imagination and that of my fellow designers here to use workarounds and incorporate other software into my workflow until Affinity matures, which is going to be a VERY long time from now because (see 2nd sentence).  It's not a broken project, it's an immature one, not unlike this conversation. There's always Adobe and Corel and their thousands of employees to help you out if Affinity isn't for you.

Forget it. This is a complete shambles.

I finally get it. Serif devs' mental model is utterly simplistic and misguided when it comes to UX, modality, etc. Basically, the Designer document model/engine is just a bunch of nested clipping masks. I never took the time to really figure out how it worked, but now that I played around with it a bit, it hit me. It's just boxes within boxes within boxes, with no real regard for current or future usability either on the editing window or the ancillary Layers panel.

What saddens me the most is that this state of affairs doesn't come down to any shortcomings in their layering engine per se; it's just due to shambolic UX. While using clipping masks in Ai may be a bit of chore, Adobe absolutely got it right. For real. Even if in-painting – i.e. a different kind of automatic, simplified clipping mask – absolutely had to be a feature, the least Serif could do would be to implement a decent isolation mode for all of those (maybe by double-clicking the actual object and not the corresponding instance in the Layers panel? In a drilling down, “Layer > Group > Object” hierarchy just like in Ai? Or “Artboard > Object” if you were so inclined to isolate an artboard which contained stuff? Basically when double-clicking anything that has nested elements, isolate from there and unclip its contents?) and for artboards as well, not to mention universal layers. They could outright lift the UX from Adobe and no one would bat an eye.

Also, the supposedly reduced complexity for creating clipping masks actually makes it much harder to use the Layers panel; you basically have to take an intensive course just to understand where objects will go (under an object, inside an object, as a clipping mask…). And while creating clipping masks is indeed easy, the other targets are way too small and the indentation between nested elements should be at least the same width as each object/layer/artboard's square. It's so frustrating to use that it would always feel inelegant even after years of practice.

In closing, why the heck are said objects-turned-into-clipping-masks nested under the objects they clip instead of nesting them? It's completely non-sensical from a hierarchical standpoint… That makes sense for in-painted objects, but completely bass-ackwards for clipping masks and even inconsistent with, love it or hate it, the nesting “Artboard container” model itself, and would prevent a sensible, workable isolation mode. Here's the thing: the Layers panel even lacks internal consistency, let alone consistency with established and sensible standards.

The more I play with it, the more convinced I get that Affinity's UX is FUBARed by design and its much needed reset would (will?) anger and confuse a lot of people. That's quite the nasty corner Serif [in-]painted themselves into, and if the ultimate course of action is not doing anything, you'll lose me for good. I'd much rather deal with a monthly subscription and Adobe's crufty codebase than with this.

You absolutely need a Steve Jobs-, a Brent Simmons- or a John Gruber-like character to tell you the plain truth about your software, and to communicate with your users and own up to its shortcomings in a no-BS, non-defensive manner. I know I pale in comparison, but I and others try our best here in the forums. I also know you invested a lot of time, money, blood, sweat and tears in getting tools to work and your engine to render stuff right, and your effort is absolutely commendable; but your UX, which should be the heart and soul of any app… ooooh boy. It's so sad that I wish I could laugh instead, except I can't, because I've invested a lot of time in this and a lot of people are eager for you to keep this thing current and relevant. It's sad to think that you could be the next Adobe/Macromedia, and you'll end up instead being the next Corel, i.e. the butt of all professional designer jokes (and, no less, in a world where there is still a Corel, whose software is, incidentally, more usable and well-structured by comparison and even as optimised on the Mac at this point… :( ).

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Not a doubt that JGD has all the right to say what ever he wants we are in a free world. Maybe we need to consider that Serif is new as an Adobe competitor that shakes a bit the industries. At least for freelance. Im not one of those but i tested myself with packaging design at professional level. Yes been use to illustrator since version 2 using designer sometimes might be clumsy but when you learn how it works you can achieve a lot both on mac an iPad (although we don’t have an exact copy of the desktops version).

Just a little consideration on this whole conversation that is going on. When we facing new things it is always complicated. You have just to get used. I said to the my team's designers that sometimes things aren’t the way we want and if we are not happy if we don't like them than the door is open to leave. 
the same here. There is always illustrator. I personally find affinity products really really good and well constructed and most important really reliable and performing really really well.

total respect though to JGD opinion. And total respect for Serif team.

Please just add our own spot colour and overprint option on ipad as well :D. Ihhihiihihhi

M

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1 hour ago, marcoborghesi said:

Not a doubt that JGD has all the right to say what ever he wants we are in a free world. Maybe we need to consider that Serif is new as an Adobe competitor that shakes a bit the industries. At least for freelance. Im not one of those but i tested myself with packaging design at professional level. Yes been use to illustrator since version 2 using designer sometimes might be clumsy but when you learn how it works you can achieve a lot both on mac an iPad (although we don’t have an exact copy of the desktops version).

Just a little consideration on this whole conversation that is going on. When we facing new things it is always complicated. You have just to get used. If not like i i said to the designer of my team sometimes things aren’t the way we want and if we are not happy the door is open to leave. 
the same here. There is always illustrator. I personally find affinity products really really good and well constructed and most important really reliable and performing really really well.

total respect though to JGD opinion. And total respect for Serif team.

Please just add our own spot colour and overprint option on ipad as well :D. Ihhihiihihhi

M

indeed JGD does, as we all do, hopefully while keeping perspective.

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On 10/30/2019 at 12:18 PM, JET_Affinity said:

What in Sam Hill is a "universal layer" in Adobe apps?

JET

... that's I want to know too...

 

16 hours ago, marcoborghesi said:

Just a little consideration on this whole conversation that is going on. When we facing new things it is always complicated. You have just to get used. If not like i i said to the designer of my team sometimes things aren’t the way we want and if we are not happy the door is open to leave. 
the same here. There is always illustrator. I personally find affinity products really really good and well constructed and most important really reliable and performing really really well.

Totally agree!


PS: If you like maps you might also have a look at this community!
PPS: Want to know more about me and my ways? Head over to an Affinity Spotlight article about me and my maps!
PPPS: Do you love public transit and transit maps too? Then have a look at my home-made collection of transit maps under www.instagram.com/transitdiagrams or www.twitter.com/chrissmere

PPPPS: Other works than transit maps can be found here www.behance.net/chrissmere 

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1 hour ago, Pattou said:

I'm not sure 100% but I've understood that concept of universal layer as a layer in which you can add as many objects as you wish. Any Affinity app is object-oriented : it creates a layer per object, and you can only group them but not include more than one object in the same layer. But I can be wrong...:/

Both Designer and Publisher have a kind of layer called a Layer (capital L), that can hold as many objects as you want (each is still it's own layer (small L)).

My understanding of the idea of a universal layer is that it would appear on all Publisher document pages, and probably on all Artboards, but in some ways it would act differently from a Master Page layer on Publisher.

I'm unclear on all the different ways it would act.


-- Walt

Windows 10 Home, version 1909 (183623.476),
   Desktop: 16GB memory, Intel Core i7-6700K @ 4.00GHz, GeForce GTX 970
   Laptop:  8GB memory, Intel Core i7-3625QM @ 2.30GHz, Intel HD Graphics 4000 or NVIDIA GeForce GT 630M
Affinity Photo 1.8.3.641 and 1.8.3.641 Beta   / Affinity Designer 1.8.3.641 and 1.8.3.641 Beta  / Affinity Publisher 1.8.3.641 and 1.8.3.627 Beta.

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2 hours ago, CLC said:

@ChrisSmere @walt.farrell @Pattou I think @JGD was quite clear about the universal layer concept in its own thread, so I'm linking it:

 

thanks! hmm, okay, now I think I have understood it and also what he wants. With all these long (emotional) comments I got lost over time why or where is the issue here. Thanks for pointing me at the source, @CLC!

As I have encountered a situation to need such a functionality I wasn't aware of this (obviously).

Is it really a function that is so desperately needed?

Chris

Edit:
Can't you achieve what is discussed with Slices in the Export Persona? Just wondering...


PS: If you like maps you might also have a look at this community!
PPS: Want to know more about me and my ways? Head over to an Affinity Spotlight article about me and my maps!
PPPS: Do you love public transit and transit maps too? Then have a look at my home-made collection of transit maps under www.instagram.com/transitdiagrams or www.twitter.com/chrissmere

PPPPS: Other works than transit maps can be found here www.behance.net/chrissmere 

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1 hour ago, ChrisSmere said:

Is it really a function that is so desperately needed? 

It is, indeed. Current layer system is basically an "object" system. I know the thread and posts in it are log, but it's worth reading and understanding.

1 hour ago, ChrisSmere said:

Can't you achieve what is discussed with Slices in the Export Persona? Just wondering... 

Not at all. Not even a bit. The issue is way deeper than that.
Basically, for simple, one page scenarios the current system is ok. Once you're doing something more complex, you're lost in layers and have to move/order every layer all the time inside the layers panel.

Also, layers are currently working only for a single artboard (or page in Publisher) while they should be working globally. So you could be able to have say German and English text layers globally for the whole document and switch between language versions just by hiding irrelevant language layers. You can't do that currently without creating separate language layers in each artboard/page instead of showing/hiding a global layer across all the artboards/pages which is time consuming and error prone. Having separate documents for each language variant and constantly applying changes in each of them would be irrational, you would certainly introduce errors and the work would be a bit too complicated.

Currently you have to constantly keep an eye on  the hierarchy and layer order all the time to avoid getting lost.
Instead of designing you should focus on, you have to manage your project's layers all the time.

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