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2.3 Node Types and Pen Drawing Modes

In this lesson you’ll learn how each of Affinity Designer’s node types behave and how to identify them. You’ll also learn how to use the Pen Tool’s different drawing modes to determine the type of nodes you add to the canvas, as well as how to convert nodes from one type to another.

2.3 Node Types and Pen Drawing Modes

Hi, welcome back to Affinity Designer Quick Start. In this lesson, we're gonna go through the three different types of nodes that you can use to make up your curves. There are smooth nodes, sharp nodes and smart nodes. Each one of those has a different look on your canvas, so you'll be able to identify what type of node you're working with and they behave slightly differently. Let's have a demonstration of each type. Would just grab the pencil and just draw out any old shape to work with. Now by default, you can see here, we've got these little circular shape nodes. And when you see those little circles, that means that you're working with smooth nodes. Now, I'm gonna highlight all these nodes. And then up here, you can see that we have this convert menu and you'll see this convert menu come up any time you highlight nodes using the node tool. We have the three different types of available here that we can work with. So we can convert all of these nodes to shop nodes and now you'll see that each of these nodes no longer has any curvature on it. We just have sharp corners on every single node and you'll also notice. That each one of these nodes uses a square shaped node now, so you can identify. The circle shaped nodes are smooth mode and the square shaped nodes are sharp made and the third type of node is the smart node. Now what that does is it automatically calculates a smooth curve of best fit for you depending on where you've put your nodes down. So normally, if you have just regular smooth notes. When you wanna control the curvature on this node, you have to do it manually. So you have to select the node that you wanna work with and then it's up to you to figure out how these nodes should be placed, how the handle should be moved around in order to give you the type of curvature that you want. If you use a smart mode, all of that would just be handled for you and you'll get smooth flowing shapes as you move through a curve. So if I switch this now to smart mode, it's just smooth that off automatically for me. So if I select all of these curves and convert smart node, you'll see that the icon has changed. It's still circular, but you have a dot inside. That's to let you know that, that is a smart node. That's order calculating the curvature. If you edit any one of these nodes at this point and change its curvature, you'll see it switch from being in smart mode to smooth mode. So watch this node here carefully. There you see it switches, because it's no longer being automatically calculated. So the dot in the middle of this node has now disappeared to let you know that it's no longer in smart mode and you can actually draw from scratch using smart mode. When you select the Pen tool by default, it would typically just be in regular pen mode. And this means that you can, if you want, you can draw your lines all out as shop mode. Or if when you click down to add a node, you drag at the same time, you'll also be able to create Smooth nodes. So that's the default pen mode, but if you come up here and switch away from pen mode and switch into smart mode, then as you put down nodes, a flowing curvature will be automatically calculated for you as you're going along. In the same way, if you definitely know you don't want to have any curves, you want only sharp nodes on your shape, then you can switch to sharp mode up here with the Pen tool and now gonna accidentally drag and add curves where you don't want them and the last type of mode of drawing that's available with a pencil is line mode. With line mode, you're gonna be adding down two nodes and nine more to make a single line. So you put down one node and then you put down another node and that's it. It's just designed to make it very easy for you to put down a single line r ather than a whole shape. In the next lesson, we're gonna learn how to use the Corner tool, which is a really fantastic tool for quickly and easily rounding off corners and creating different shapes in your corners. I'll see you there.

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