Affinity Designer's core functions include vector pen and shape-drawing tools, support for custom vector and raster brushes (including the ability to import Adobe Photoshop (ABR) brushes), dynamic symbols, stroke stabilization, text style management, and vector/pixel export options.
While Affinity Designer is primarily for working with vectors, you can make use of a selection of raster editing tools within its Pixel persona. This is incredibly useful if you need to make quick retouches to images. Alternatively, if you illustrate with vectors and are also interested in digital painting, combining the two can yield some interesting results.
Or, after all these years of feature requests, they could just replicate Illustrator's Image Trace tool. We could stop this foolish journey of workarounds. Yes, it took Adobe several versions to include in Illustrator. Corel Draw had it years before Adobe. I used their raster to vector conversions in the early 1990's. Affinity has a good vector app with Designer and a good raster app with Photo. They have all the parts and knowledge needed.
If Serif isn't going to add something designers expect to find in Designer when they buy it (like I did) - and are used to having it in other vector drawing programs - can you at least tell us why not?
Boolean operations are some of the most powerful vector illustrations tools, as they allow you to use multiple shapes to create other unique shapes. The boolean toolset can be found inside the Edit menu, allowing users to Add, Subtract, Intersect, Divide, or Combine on more more shapes.
The selections here span a variety of needs: raster image editing, vector editing, typography, interface design, and page layout. Read on for our top picks. And for more help in picking the software that's right for you, see our guide after the product entries.
Graphic designers who work with raster images and need compositing layers will have a hard time doing their jobs without Photoshop. It's the industry standard, so any clients or vendors you deal with will accept files from Adobe's class-leading image software. There are other options that support its formats, but sometimes you don't get 100% compatibility, and those tools lack Photoshop's slick interface and cutting-edge image-manipulation tools.
Illustrator is the premier vector editing and drawing application bar none. Yes, you can edit vector graphics in some other products included here, particularly CorelDraw, and that app can even pull off some effects that are harder to do in Illustrator. But most graphics designers are best served by the industry-standard Adobe Illustrator. With it you also get impressive type support and companion tablet apps for creating digital drawings.
Like Adobe Illustrator, Corel is for drawing and editing vector illustrations, but it brings along some capabilities that would require add-ins in the Adobe app, and it's both easier to use and less expensive.
PaintShop Pro is a longtime Photoshop competitor, and while it offers a great many of the tools found in Adobe's market-leading application, it costs a lot less. As a plus, you can work with vector images as well as raster.
For example, while Photoshop is the go-to photo-editing tool, it also creates awesome photo-realistic text effects. In 1989, no one could have guessed Photoshop would become the favorite front-end web design tool (with nods to Sketch, XD, and other capable newcomers). Though CorelDraw's forte is in the production and service bureau industry, it also lets graphic artists produce astounding photorealistic vector art and illustration using blends, gradients, and transparencies. (Of course, Illustrator is the most famous name in vector art.)
Affinity Designer is a vector app, however, unlike other vector-based software, you can effortlessly create raster assets too using the Pixel Persona. This allows you to do things with vector you could not do in the past.
Drawing inspiration from the mystery encompassing the plot of Oxenfree (an indie game) and my love for Stargate (hence the pyramids), the illustration used mix media as a texture with the vector shapes. I started by creating all the vector assets, then applied sand/rock textures and pixel brushes by Frankentoon to add more grunge to the objects, followed by shadows. I then polished it off with some colour correction.
The illustration used a real photo of a park with some people and objects within it, so I started by using the Inpainting brush to remove those objects. Then I created the monsters, bench, background bushes and other vector objects, then applied raster textures and pixel brushes to them like in the previous illustration. After that I applied overlay particle effects and colour corrected it. In this image, I also started to play around with the filters in Affinity Photo such as Depth of Field and Noise.
Use this persona to produce painted raster images set to a specific pixel resolution. For maximum impact, enrich your bitmap images with rasterized vector objects like logos and other artwork you previously created using the Draw persona.
For context, graphic designers work on two types of static image formats: vectors and rasters. Vectors are made from lines, curves, and shapes (plus some machine learning magic). Rasters are comprised of pixels.
Compatible with other tools in the Corel graphic suite including Photo-Paint, a Photoshop competitor, CorelDRAW gives you a robust set of vector illustration tools. Get vectors ready for print fast and easy, edit multi-page documents, convert bitmap to vector non-destructively, and generate QR codes.
Gravit Designer is a free vector graphic design app geared toward professional designers. Choose from a wide library of shapes, illustrations, etc., and export infinitely scalable vector graphics. The paid PRO version has even more vector graphic features, including cloud file syncing and offline mode, as well as way more file import/export options.
While raster graphic files use square pixels, vector images are dictated by mathematical formulas to create paths, curves, circles, and more. Vector images are also more flexible to use, as they're scalable, not dependent on resolution, and smaller in size.
Affinity Photo is a value-priced alternative to Adobe Photoshop or Adobe Illustrator for touch-up jobs on existing images. It works with layers and filters to create stunning effects, with both vector and raster images. The software also supports the SVG file format like CorelDRAW. While you can create templates, none are included with the program. However, it is lightweight with a generous 90-day free trial.
Price: $49.99Pros: A powerful design app at a good price; has better bitmap editing abilities than most vector-based tools; good replacement for Adobe Illustrator.Cons: Built for designers, not developers.
PNG stands for Portable Network Graphics. It is a raster graphics file format that supports lossless data compression and transparent backgrounds. The image trace technology inside Vectornator allows you to transform high-resolution PNG images into vectors. It can also do the same for JPGs.
There are some image trace websites that offer to convert raster graphics into vectors for free. However, the outcome isn't always as precise as you'd like. Vectornator is free to use for anyone with an iOS device, and the quality of our Auto Trace functionality is something we're proud of.
The most popular app for editing and creating vector graphics is Adobe Illustrator. Illustrator has been around since 1987 and is still going strong as the industry standard application when it comes to vectors and illustrations.
Within one solution, customers are enabled to succeed with illustrations, print projects like brochures and posters, web design elements, including icons, mockups, web banners, and more. Precision-driven tools will come in handy for creating variable vector lines and adding a lot of brightness and juiciness to them.
The learning curve is a breeze, but a special manual book (which you can find on Apple Books) makes it even smoother. Moreover, in mid 2021 iCloud syncing with Vectornator was added. In addition, the service provider offers access to the full online documentation and video tutorials to make beginners professional vector graphics designers as fast as possible.
- Seamless switching between tools and editing modes for frustration-free design.- Advanced Lanczos 3 image resampling plus Bicubic, Bilinear and Nearest Neighbor methods.- Live effects, blend modes, image adjustments, and raster and vector masks for any part of your design.- Use the strengths of vector and raster behaviours for the best of both worlds.- The best pen tool, pencil tool, corner tool, curve editing, geometry operations, and smart shape tools available.- High quality raster tools for texturing, masking and finishing artwork. Create your own brushes too.- Artboards, symbols, constraints and stored assets give the ultimate flexibility for UI and graphic design.
Then I use Ground, Weeds and Grass brushes to add and uneven and organic feel to the ground where my main characters are interacting. This contrast between flat vectors and more realistic raster graphics, adds a nice sense of depth to cartoony illustrations.
Affinity Designer is capable of opening many raster and vector file formats directly. Designer also imports PDF and Adobe PSD files, and exports a range of raster file formats and the PSD file format.
Price: $240 annually. Available on a monthly basis for $21.Difficulty: Hard. Steep learning curve.Best for: Professional artists & designers. Creating vectors.Available for: Mac & PCWebsite: 2b1af7f3a8