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4.1 Working With Fills

Fills can be affected by several different panels and tools, and the ways to control your fills differ slightly depending on which panel or tool you’re using. Learn how to navigate fill tools and controls in this lesson.

4.1 Working With Fills

Hi, welcome back to Affinity Designer Quick Start. In this lesson, we're gonna learn how to work with fills in Affinity Designer. So we'll start by grabbing the pen tool and just jotting out a shape, any shape at all will be fine. When you first put out the shape on the canvas with the pen tool, it will have no fill and it will just have a black stroke around the outside. And there are two ways that you can edit the fill, add in a flat color or some other type of fill, and that is either with this little fill sub context menu up here or using the fill tool. Now this context menu here will only show you this fill window here if you're using the select tool, the node editor, curve editor, pen or any one of these shape tools here. First we'll add a fill in using the context menu. So you have a few choices here. You have a preset selection of swatches that you can choose from and just tapping any one of these will add in a fill for you. You also have a series of color selectors that you can work with and we'll talk more about how color selectors in Affinity Designer work in a later video. And you also have an option to set a gradient, we're also gonna talk about gradients a little bit later as well. So basically, this context menu is the easiest place to set a field if you want to do something fairly standard, fairly quick and easy. But if you're wanting to get a little bit more complicated with your fill, that's when you gonna wanna use the fill tool. The fill tool gives you access to a couple of extra things. So up here you can choose what type of fill you're gonna be working with. So solid is just flat color. If you're just sitting a flat color, you probably don't really need to use the fill tool, you can just use that context menu that we just went over. You also have a variety of gradients, so I've got linear, elliptical, radial and conical gradients. And we're gonna go through how you actually create and edit gradients in a later video. But, once you do have a gradient set up with the colors and the stops that you want, the fill tool allows you to really easily manipulate the direction and the positioning of your gradients. So, we can just draw out our gradient to go in any direction that we want, which makes it really easy to tweak and work with this gradient and get it running in the exact way that we want it to be. And the other extra that you find under the fill tool that you won't find in that context sub menu is bitmap fill. So if we select bitmap fill, we can then choose a file, a pixel-based file that we can use as sort of a texture to fill in our shape. So I'll pick out this wood texture, and now we have a bitmap acting as the fill for our shape. And we can manipulate this bitmap in same way that you just saw with gradients. So you can redraw the bitmaps out, and you can work with these handles to change the way that the bitmap is laid out or tiled in your shape. You also have some extra settings up here that you can work with. So you can change the way tiling works or you can have the bitmap not tile at all. And these bitmaps are really great for adding some more complex texture into a scene. Sometimes you want a flat, clean look with vector art, but sometimes you wanna add in a bit more complexity into your texturing in a way that you really do need to use bitmaps to achieve. Now, that said, Affinity Designer does also give you another non-bitmap way to add texture into your fills. So just head back and put in a flat color, so I'll make this a sandy sort of a orangey yellow. Now you'll see down here, we have a noise slider. So we're able to add noise in and still maintain a completely vector-based design or you can zoom in and still maintain the same degree of quality. And this noise can be used in all sorts of different ways, it's great for creating rocky textures, woody textures, even fabrics. If you use in the right way, you can add a lot of life into your artwork. So that covers the fill tool, the context menu for working with fill, and adding texture into your designs with bitmaps, and with noise. In the next lesson, we're gonna go through working with Stroke in Affinity Designer. I'll see you there.

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