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Working with vector art using Affinity Designer and Cartoon Animator 4 Pipeline?

Posted By Wilby 9 Months Ago
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Working with vector art using Affinity Designer and Cartoon Animator 4...

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Wilby
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Hi there! I'm planning to get Affinity Designer and thinking of retiring my old Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator CS5. But before I do so, I have these questions that I hope someone can clarify:

Is it possible to work with vector art and be able to import/export changes directly from Affinity Designer to Cartoon Animator 4 Pipeline and vice-versa? Just like how Cartoon Animator 4 Pipeline currently works and can launch Adobe Photoshop inside the software when a part of the image is modified... But this time, updates are done by editing vector art in Affinity Designer instead of a raster image. Has anyone ever tried this and have worked with Affinity Designer and Cartoon Animator 4 Pipeline? How is it?

Note: I also already posted this in the Affinity forum and just awaiting any reply.

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9 Months Ago by Wilby
Peter (RL)
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Hi...

You work with Affinity Designer (or Affinity Photo) in the same way as Photoshop using PSD sync and raster layers.

If you are working with vectors you will need to Rasterize first to flatten the layer otherwise Cartoon Animator will ignore it when saved.

Please also remember to activate the "Enable "Save" over imported PSD files" check box under the General setting group of Preferences in Affinity Designer or Photo.

                                                                

Peter
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www.reallusion.com


Wilby
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Peter (RL) (1/11/2021)
Hi...

You work with Affinity Designer (or Affinity Photo) in the same way as Photoshop using PSD sync and raster layers.

If you are working with vectors you will need to Rasterize first to flatten the layer otherwise Cartoon Animator will ignore it when saved.

Please also remember to activate the "Enable "Save" over imported PSD files" check box under the General setting group of Preferences in Affinity Designer or Photo.


I see. hmm... I don't have much info yet on Affinity Designer. But I am guessing the workflow will then be: Every time I modify a character's body part by launching Affinity Designer inside CA4 Pipeline, it will open up the Raster image. I then have to edit the specific body part in another Vector file backup that I have and copy-paste the changed image parts as Raster to the opened PSD file in Affinity Designer which is connected to CA4 Pipeline. Lastly, I then have to save it in Affinity Designer so updates will get reflected in CA4 Pipeline. Is that right?
Wilby
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In addition, I was wondering what "vector-based character or prop" means in this page (or see image below) and how can I import them in CA4 Pipeline so they would also work with Render Style?

https://forum.reallusion.com/uploads/images/2af74afc-b8f9-4b44-a6df-fdc1.jpg
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vidi
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SWF File format is the only one of vector support 

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liebe Grüße vidi
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jlittle
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Render Styles are associated with G2 characters and props which are created using SWF files (as Vidi mentioned).
Render Styles consists of several predefined groups that you can assign the various vector drawings of a character or prop to.
You can then change the color of the group which in turn changes the colors of  all the vectors assigned to that group.

Jeff



See my CTA Tutorials on the YouTube channel CTAStepByStep
Check out EZColors for CTA. The easy way to change Render Styled (RS) colors.

Wilby
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Thanks Vidi and Jeff! That answered my question. :-)  But didn't Adobe stopped supporting Flash software and the SWF format already? If that's the case, are there any good alternative design software you know that can export SWF and is fully compatible with CA4 PipelineAffinity Designer, it seems, is not capable of exporting to SWF file format according to this thread. I hope CA4 Pipeline will soon support more vector file formats.

Furthermore, I have tested the trial version of Affinity Designer and tried working with CA4 Pipeline. I encountered an error when launching a PSD in both Stage and Composer Mode. If editing, the only thing that worked is using the "Launch External Image Editor" when an object part is selected inside Composer Mode. Meaning, I was only able to edit one object or body part and cannot open the full PSD file for editing. Creating a new Character in CA4 Pipeline by opening a PSD file generated by Affinity Designer using a layered template seems to have worked too. Kindly refer to image below.

https://forum.reallusion.com/uploads/images/34a540f0-b77e-4309-8c42-2cf2.jpg
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9 Months Ago by Wilby
jlittle
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Wilby (1/12/2021)
But didn't Adobe stopped supporting Flash software and the SWF format already?

Here is something that Ibis said that is pertinent:
Ibis Fernandez (11/20/2020)
Keep in mind this flash player nonsense has nothing to do with animation and the actual production of animated content. That's just for browser based webstuff which no one is really making any more anyway. 

The SWF format is still the best format for animated vector based toons (at least during the development phase) Maybe not as a publishing format. There are some apps that are trying top work with svg but they are still a long way from achieving what swf does.  Flash is not going away any time soon, it's still the most relevant production format for this type of content. 

In terms of documentation all you need to know is that you can drag and drop swf into cta. Everything else just read the adobe Flash/Animate docs themselves. 


Wilby (1/12/2021)
If that's the case, are there any good alternative design software you know that can export SWF and is fully compatible with CA4 Pipeline?
The one I use is Serif DrawPlus x8 BUT use version
V14.0.0.19 and DO NOT UPGRADE to V14.0.1.21 since SWF export for CTA is broken in that version.
Adobe Flash/Animate can also be used.

Jeff






See my CTA Tutorials on the YouTube channel CTAStepByStep
Check out EZColors for CTA. The easy way to change Render Styled (RS) colors.

Wilby
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jlittle (1/13/2021)
Wilby (1/12/2021)
But didn't Adobe stopped supporting Flash software and the SWF format already?

Here is something that Ibis said that is pertinent:
Ibis Fernandez (11/20/2020)
Keep in mind this flash player nonsense has nothing to do with animation and the actual production of animated content. That's just for browser based webstuff which no one is really making any more anyway. 

The SWF format is still the best format for animated vector based toons (at least during the development phase) Maybe not as a publishing format. There are some apps that are trying top work with svg but they are still a long way from achieving what swf does.  Flash is not going away any time soon, it's still the most relevant production format for this type of content. 

In terms of documentation all you need to know is that you can drag and drop swf into cta. Everything else just read the adobe Flash/Animate docs themselves. 


Wilby (1/12/2021)
If that's the case, are there any good alternative design software you know that can export SWF and is fully compatible with CA4 Pipeline?
The one I use is Serif DrawPlus x8 BUT use version
V14.0.0.19 and DO NOT UPGRADE to V14.0.1.21 since SWF export for CTA is broken in that version.
Adobe Flash/Animate can also be used.

Jeff


hmm... At this stage, I don't plan on subscribing to Adobe so Flash/Animate is not an option for me. :-(   I will check out Serif DrawPlus x8... Thanks for the suggestion! :-) But it's kinda worrying that the later version is broken with regards to SWF export to Cartoon Animator. Would you know if there is a high chance that bug will still be fixed on future versions?

I have actually sort of accepted that I will probably just work with raster and create the initial artwork in vector. Based on videos I've seen, I like how Affinity Designer looks like and how fast some stuff can be done using its shape tools that seem to work similarly to CorelDraw. What's keeping me from getting Affinity Designer is that I'm not sure how compatible it is with CA4 Pipeline. There seems to be an error launching a PSD file from from CA4 Pipeline into Affinity Designer with all the character body parts available to be edited therein. 
jlittle
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Wilby (1/13/2021)
Would you know if there is a high chance that bug will still be fixed on future versions?
No, Serif moved on to developing the Affinity series and is not supporting the DrawPlus, PhotoPlus, etc series anymore.
You should be able to find a copy online, just check the version first.

Wilby (1/13/2021)
What's keeping me from getting Affinity Designer is that I'm not sure how compatible it is with CA4 Pipeline. There seems to be an error launching a PSD file from from CA4 Pipeline into Affinity Designer with all the character body parts available to be edited therein.
Not sure what you are doing wrong but many, including me, are using Affinity Designer and Photo with CA4 without issues.

Jeff


See my CTA Tutorials on the YouTube channel CTAStepByStep
Check out EZColors for CTA. The easy way to change Render Styled (RS) colors.




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