Affinity Designer Week Three: Symbols, Continuous Export & Marvel App.

It's Symbolic innit? Harness the power of symbols. Prince did and look at him. Wait no...

Wow this week I noticed that my Adobe Creative Cloud subscription expires Jan 7th of next year so perfect timing...the race to change over completely to Affinity Designer and Photo now has a firm deadline.

Well, I still need After Effects. We'll see how it goes.

So this week I got my hairy palms on the Affinity Designer Workbook. And what a beautiful book it is, it's classy, well designed and of course packed with loads of information and tips. I learned a lot already from it.

I have learned so much since last week. The previous post's video is so ham-handed and stiff looking AND it took me ages. Now I have a better workflow for inking illustrations, comics and game assets in Affinity Designer:

You'll see in the video above and the gif below that I have some curvy lines to the right of Benji. These are some brush strokes which I constantly re-use. So instead of adding new nodes with the Pen every time and then messing with the stroke weight I can just drag over and dupe one of my little pre-made curves.


Above you'll see how I am gradually building a set of reusable Symbols for Benji's ear, nose etc. It's an amazing feature, so imagine I created a whole set of Benji character rigs and then the game story dictates that he changes his haircut or gets a nose ring: one change to the Symbol will update all the other instances.


Another cheat with Symbols can be seen in the gif above. I made a quick "pub quiz machine" Symbol and then could edit and see how it looks in the scene at the same time. It's the future people. Dogs on the street with little space helmets.

Affinity Designer and Marvel App

I discovered another little workaround this week while experimenting with Continuous Export for exporting assets to After Effects.

You can set up Continuous Export on the entire artboard, set them to a Dropbox folder, then add these to a Marvel App project.

Then you can link them all up and rapidly make a prototype. When you make changes to elements in your Affinity file it automatically whacks them out to Dropbox whereby the molecular particles are shot back into Marvel instantly. So in effect you can have your Marvel prototype open on your mobile device and see the changes more or less straight away.

I use Marvel App for everything. I love it. Besides web and app design stuff, I use it for testing out level ideas quickly. Here is a sample.

And finally, my partner in rhyme Abban (Big Bad Spanish developer and more) went nuts this week experimenting with Affinity Designer and Spine. Next week we'll do a post specifically dedicated to Affinity and Spine antics, including the source files etc.


Bob @clamnuts

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