iPad Surface Design in Affinity Designer: Vectors, Textures, Artboards, and Repeat Patterns
For years I made repeat patterns in Photoshop and Illustrator, but I have been dying to switch to an iPad version of these programs. I really prefer working on my iPad because it’s so much more “couch and pajamas” friendly than sitting at a desk with my laptop, and obviously I don’t like paying the subscription fees for the desktop based programs.
Enter Affinity Designer for iPads. When I first discovered this program, I was a bit overwhelmed by all the options and features. So I spent the next few months learning everything I could about the program, and testing all kinds of surface design techniques.
There are a few things that make this app so perfect for surface design and a ton of other projects:
- you can see a live preview of your pattern as you create it, so it’s easy to place your repeat elements in the right place, and move them around as you add elements to your pattern
- Affinity designer has no image size limits, so you can create large images for print on demand sites, client work, or large art prints
- you can easily make changes to the colors, sizes, and textures of your images without losing image quality
- you can set up artboards so that your inspiration, repeat block, and finished repeat square are all on the same document
- you can also work with both vector and raster images, so whatever project you’re working on, you can create the exact image type that you need
- Affinity Designer makes it easy to export your files in all of the common file types, so you can easily move files you make in Affinity programs like Procreate, Photoshop, and Illustrator
- you can save the vector shapes you create, so you can quickly use them in other illustrations
- you can also use text in Affinity designer, and you can even import your own fonts
The best thing about this app is that there is no subscription fee, it’s a one time purchase, and it isn’t much more expensive than Procreate.
In this class, I’ll show you everything you need to start designing patterns in Affinity Designer, and share all of my vector assets with you as free downloads, so you can start designing patterns as soon as you get the app.
I’ll also share with you a set of 70 images of textures that you can turn into raster or vector texture patterns for your repeats.
We’ll talk about the differences between vector and raster images, so you can choose the file type that works best for your project. First I’ll show you how to create color palettes, and how to set up your document for live pattern previewing.
Then we’ll cover how to create vector shapes using the pen, brush, and pencil tools. We’ll go over how to create any shape you can imagine, and how to turn a photograph into a detailed vector. Next we’ll create a basic repeat pattern using vector shapes, and adjust the colors, sizing and spacing using the live repeat preview.
Next we’ll create a detailed floral repeat combining textures, hand drawn elements, and vectors made from photographs. I’ll show you how to change the color and scale of your repeat elements, so you can tweak your pattern to fit your vision and personal style.
Last we’ll create a half drop repeat with detailed vectors made from a photograph, combined with hand drawn vector elements. Half drop patterns help hide the repeat block seam, so your patterns flow seamlessly rather than appearing blocky and predictable.
We’ll look at ways to add variation and movement to your pattern, so the repeat blocks are virtually invisible.
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