Let’s delve into some of the most notable new features in Version 2 and how to get the most from them.
1. Vector Warp
This hugely powerful and highly requested feature allows you to apply a non-destructive warp over any vector artwork or text using a range of fully customisable presets, including mesh, arcs, quad, perspective, fisheye, twists and bends.
When editing a warp, you get a super-fast live preview, even on complex illustrations, and the end result is a true vector you can go back and make changes to at any time. You can even apply multiple warp layers to the same object, which our Product Expert Matt demonstrates in this video.
Watch the demo:
2. Shape Builder Tool
As you might expect, the Shape Builder Tool allows you to add, subtract and create new shapes in a much easier and more interactive way than using Boolean operations alone. By simply dragging between segments to combine or holding a modifier to subtract, you can create some really interesting and useful shapes. This is one of our most frequently requested features for Affinity Designer and we’ve worked hard to make sure our version of it is both highly effective and intuitive to work with.
Watch the demo:
3. Knife Tool
The Knife Tool is another highly requested addition we were keen to get in Version 2. It allows you to draw a freehand or straight cutting line through any shape, curve or text to break it into component parts with ease. A stabiliser enables you to cut with even greater precision, while scissor functionality allows you to click on any node or segment of a curve and split it.
Watch the demo:
4. Measure Tool and Area Tool
The new measure and area tools in Version 2 enable you to measure line lengths, segments, distances and areas of any objects to scale. The Measure Tool allows you to measure the distance between two points/objects, while the Area Tool allows you to determine the area, perimeter and any segment length of a closed shape. This is useful for a wide variety of projects, including architectural and interior planning, product design and mural making.
5. DWG/DXF Import
If you use DWG or DXF CAD files in your design work, you’ll be pleased to know that you can import and edit these files inside Affinity Designer 2. On import, you have the option to change the DPI and background colour and override the line colour. You can also apply a drawing scale, remove hidden items, display entity handles, fit the model to your page and override the line weights, which is particularly useful when working with complex CAD files.
Watch the demo:
And that’s not all…
We’ve crammed many more new features into Affinity Designer 2, along with a raft of feature enhancements to make everyday tasks such as working with layers and applying effects even more intuitive. Here’s a quick run-down of our favourites that we really wanted to tell you about!
Revamp Layers Panel
We’ve made some big improvements to our Layers Panel. Groups and other nested layers are much easier to navigate. There are now handy layer icons, so you always know what layer types you’re working with at a glance. The drop areas have also been greatly improved, making it a lot clearer when you’re clipping, masking or reordering your layers. Available in desktop version only.
Quick Grid allows you to quickly and efficiently replicate shapes, picture frames and text frames in the shape of a grid. This functionality has many different applications, but it is particularly useful for placing elements that need to be arranged in a standardised layout. Available in desktop version only.
Style Picker Tool
We’ve also added a new Style Picker Tool, which works in a similar way to the Colour Picker Tool, but allows you to copy and paste attributes such as Layer Opacity, Stroke, Fill, Layer Effects, Object Settings, Character Settings and Paragraph Settings. It provides a quick way to apply existing attributes to other areas within a design and can help you achieve a cohesive look throughout your work too. Available in desktop version only.
Quick bitmap fill
When working with shapes and fill layers, you can now drop bitmap images from files, assets or other layers directly onto the fill icon in the Context Toolbar or your selected object. Click-drag sets the scaling and rotation of the fill, with all changes happening instantly, in real time. Available in desktop version only.
Select Same/Select Object improvements
New functionality allows you to scope your selection based on your current artboard or from within your current selection. Select Same now has options for width, height and rotation, as well as to select hidden objects or not. Available in desktop version only.
A new view mode shows the makeup of your work, which is particularly useful for selecting a specific curve or object within a complex artwork.
Nominate key object
You can now nominate a key object to align to and subtract from as well as other functions.
Force scale everything
This new option in the Transform Panel allows you to override any individual scale settings so you can force all strokes, effects and fills to scale with whatever your currently selected object is set to.
Redeveloped Boolean operations
We’ve made some useful improvements to Boolean operations. Divide can now use an open curve to slice a shape or split another open curve. It can also punch out holes using a fully overlapping object.
Improved brush engine
You can now re-order nozzles by drag/drop and use any swatch for intensity brushes, including gradient and bitmap fills. There’s also a new distance controller and brush tip interpolation. Plus, the overall performance and accuracy of brushes has been improved.
Pencil Tool improvements
We’ve introduced a new straight-line mode and auto-close option to the Pencil Tool, the latter of which now allows you to automatically connect the final node with the first node by releasing the mouse button.
Multiple layer effects
You can now apply multiple instances of Outline, Inner Shadow, Colour Overlay, Gradient Overlay and Outer Shadow to the same object. Previously you could only apply them once.
Get 40% off Affinity V2 for a limited time!
To celebrate the release of Version 2, all Affinity apps—including Affinity Designer—are currently on sale with a substantial 40% launch discount!
You can buy them individually for macOS, Windows or iPad or purchase an Affinity V2 Universal Licence covering the entire suite on all platforms—which is very cost-effective for those wishing to purchase more than one app or the same app on multiple platforms. Whichever option you choose, it is a single one-off payment, no subscription.
The launch discount is available for a limited time, though. So don’t miss it—check out our purchasing options and buy Version 2 now at affinity.serif.com.
Watch more tutorials
Head over to the Affinity YouTube channel and you’ll find a vast bank of video tutorials covering all the new features and core tools for each app. We’ll be posting new videos regularly, so make sure you’re subscribed to our channel to see the latest V2 demos, tutorials, tips and tricks and more.
Find out more about Affinity V2
More information about Affinity V2, including details of the new features and learning resources for each app, can be found here:
- 5 things we love about Affinity Photo 2
- 5 things you should know about Affinity Publisher 2
- Create incredible layouts on the go with Affinity Publisher 2 for iPad
- Get the most out of Affinity V2 with our new Learning Portal