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Jörn Reppenhagen

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Everything posted by Jörn Reppenhagen

  1. Open a picture. Open another picture. Start adding a New Live Filter Layer, but don't close the dialog. Switch to the other picture by clicking it's tab. Switch back to the second picture. Game over. Video:
  2. Hi there, Affinitists! I do some astrophotography (deep sky objects, not milky way) somewhere between bloody beginner and intermediate level, would love to use Affinity for most if not all tasks except taking the photos. Now Affinity is no specialized tool for astrophotography purposes, I am quite aware of that fact, so my expectations don't go ballistic. I experimented a bit during the last days, things like stacking, stretching, and all that other tasks all around processing - but found myself reverting to Deep Sky Stacker for stacking; and surprisingly using Luminar for further processing. I just got the better results using that combination. But I am a bloody Affinity noob - thus I might just have overlooked some vital features. Thus I wish to collect some opinions, hints, suggestions for Affinity use with AP challenges; and of course also consolidate feature suggestions. I guess that's better than just flooding the respective threads with streams of thoughtless suggestions. First suggestion: Gradient removal tool/filter. I know there's a plugin for PS, GradientXTerminator, also found a feature in Luminar (Remove Color Cast) doing quite a good job; at least sometimes. But I didn't find anything similar in AP; did I just overlook it?
  3. Jörn Reppenhagen

    A few infrareds

    Some willows in Haldern, Germany, taken a month ago. Fujifilm X-T20 + Fujinon XF 18 – 55 mm , cheap (7,50 €) Neewer IR filter, 720 nm
  4. Old but still nagging problem. If using a German keyboard, you need to use Alt Gr + 8/9 for the [brackets], feels quite uncomfortable. Adding to the misery: Alt Gr is a key for use with the right hand which usually is eagerly occupied with taming the mouse. Of course we could also use Ctrl + Alt + 8/9 for the [brackets] - but that would also mean taking the hand off the mouse – as only Chuck Norris is able to press that key combination with just one hand. Ah, sorry, it’s Chuck Norris – so of course he’d do it with a single finger. So nothing gained if you don’t have a fulltime Chuck at hand. Problem surely is the same for keyboard layouts other than German. So here's two suggestions: Let us globally define two keys for all kinds of brushes in one go. It’s a pain in the you-really-know-where ferreting out all single brush size settings and changing the keys one by one. Workaround could be a tiny application doing those global changes in that XMLs lurking inside the AFSHORT files. A one-hour programming job for an experienced coder. Use the scroll wheel of the mouse for changing the brush size. My preferred option. I know there’s an implementation already (Alt, right and left click and drag), but that’s far away from being real beneficial, too much fiddling. How about holding down a modifier key (selectable, like Alt), then being able to control the brush size using the wheel? Plus a second modifier key (like Shift) for 10-step size changes. I guess that would feel real natural – like zooming with Ctrl + wheel which we all can do even asleep. Of course a combination of both suggestions would be an ideal solutions for all kinds of tastes and working behaviors.
  5. Please allow quoting myself: "But the wheel spin alternative would be an addition, no replacement." And of course I second SrPx: Zooming with the wheel is the most intuitive and best way. This has nothing to do with habits of "old dogs". If cars feature a steering wheel, that's not because old dogs are used to it. It's because it's the best solution. If shoes are the way to go, it's not because old dogs just like walking in their shoes. It's because shoes are a proven means. Like the mouse wheel for zooming/changing sizes. Add some "innovation" by utilizing the spin speed for achieving coarse and precise changes, see happiness in the faces of old dogs and puppies alike. End of barking.
  6. Of course not. I'd use the three-modifier-keys variant for "exotic" changes, only. Like flow. Main action (size): Alt. Secondary action: Alt + Strg - because it's a no-brainer hitting those keys blindly. Alt + Shift and Alt + Strg + Shift for "exotic", seldomly used parameter changes, only. But I understood that as a matter of course.
  7. Sure, flow and transparency are quite vital parameters - while I have to admit I don't change the flow settings too often. For me, size is THE brush parameter, of course your mileage may vary. But I don't see any problems with implementing changing that other brush parameters also using the wheel - modifier keys. Like Alt (size), Alt + Ctrl (parameter 2), Alt + Shift (parameter 3), Alt + Ctrl + Shift (parameter 4) - just because we all find that keys blindly.
  8. Personally, I dislike the drag options; too much fiddling and moving the mouse. Sure that's a matter of taste and habit. But the wheel spin alternative would be an addition, no replacement. I would be real happy if I could change the brush size with the wheel, as that's my mostly used brush customization. Would be okay for me to use drag options for changing other parameters (while using the wheel with modifier keys would be preferred) - but size is just predestined for being changed by spinning the wheel. Like zoom. Would you ever think of changing the zoom via dragging the mouse? It's just clumsy. By the way: Zooming would also benefit from a more dynamic handling of the wheel input. We all know the problem: We wish to zoom to a specific level - but the steps are too coarse, the picture either gets too small or too larger. Steps in between are missing. Wouldn't it be great if you could control the zoom stepless with pixel precision if needed? No problem if using dynamic increase/decrease by wheel. Only drawback: Needs a high-performance system as the number of redraws dramatically increases, would also slightly raise your electricity bill.
  9. That's no greater problem: Spin the wheel slowly - precise setting, increment/decrement by 1. Spin the wheel fast - factor 10. Spin the wheel real fast - factor 50. Just natural and intuitive. Or even easier: Dynamic increase/decrease, no fixed factors, just one multiplicator and a "curve". As mouse wheels are quite different (fast "free" spinning versus slow and clicky "step-by-step"), menu settings for defining the factors and ranges (impulses per time unit) could make this feature work properly for all wheel types. If working with dynamic increase/decrease, a multiplicator and "curve" setting would be sufficient. And it's easy to do; I am a former programmer, would guess half an hour of programming effort would be sufficient to make it work.
  10. @Mark Ingram - Indeed, stupid me ! Thank you for moving it to the right place.
  11. @haakoo - Ah, I love spinning the wheel as it is a no-brainer. Dragging needs more focus, you need to make sure your movement remains horizontal/vertical for not changing other paramaters you didn't wish to change. Spinning the wheel using modifier keys doesn't need that precision, just intuition. (At least that's how I see it.)
  12. Fully agree. We already got Ctrl + Wheel for zoom, I guess we're pretty used to changing "sizes" using the wheel. That's why I find it real natural changing brush sizes with the wheel, too. In fact I sometimes find myself spinning the wheel, trying to change the brush size in vain - but out of habit. And of course that option needs to be selectable, or better configurable. German saying: "Jedem Tierchen sein Pläsierchen" - different habits, different preferences.
  13. @Guzzi: AP offers such a tool; it looks like the magic wand, it's called "Flood Select Tool". You click and hold e. g. on the sky area, then move the mouse to select more or less areas of a similar color. The range of movement controls the tolerance, you may choose if this affects the full picture or just the area around the place you clicked. Here's a quick'n dirty video:
  14. Ahh, sorry, I don't like that idea too much. Reason is severe interruption of the workflow, a major hindrance. Example ... Let's take a typical masking workflow, as usual you wish to isolate the sky in a picture, trees in the background. You grab the masking brush, easily mask the coarse elements, but then the fine work starts - like masking the space between twigs where the sky should shine through. In that situation, you constantly need to change the size of the masking brush, adapt it to the size and other properties of the area to mask, also need to quickly switch between Snap to edges and regular behavior. And you like to do that without interrupting your workflow, without moving the brush away. You constantly need to compare the brush size with the area to mask, you need to see the proportions, thus you always need to see the picture and the brush. And you need to see the brush exactly at the place where you wish to use it. Easy to accomplish if you use keyboard keys (if it's not "[" "]" with non-English keyboards) or mousewheel. But *impossible* to do if you need to go though a complex selection dialog with every single change of the brush size. Might take hours, you cannot compare the proportions of brush and area to mask, position of your brush also changes. A sound configuration might be: Mousewheel always changes the brush size if a brush is selected and the pointer is hovering over a picture. Fast spin: Quick and coarse size change. Slow spin: Pixel-wise size change. Configurable modifier keys, like Alt for changing the hardness or Shift for changing opacity and the like. Or Q, W, E for Opacity, Flow, Hardness - up to your taste. Mouse wheel button controls switches like Snap to edges, doubleclick for wet edges, keeping pressed for using a third switch etc., also configurable according to the features you need most. Just imagine that way - would feel just natural. Like changing the zoom using CTRL + mouse wheel. An intuitive no-brainer. (Yes, I am fighting for that idea. )
  15. @Guzzi Just open the Layer Effects panel. Now click on "3D". You'll notice the controls now use the whole panel's vertical space which appeared empty before. With a dynamic window/panel size, there would be sudden size changes according to the contents of the active tab. Believe me: You would deeply hate it if the panel would happily cover more or less of your picture according to the setting selected. Similar reason. Some settings need more horizontal space to be displayed correctly or to provide ample space for fine tuninng of e. g. sliders. Again, a dynamically changing width would cause real disturbing effects. Could be. But the question is: Should be? Some more line spacing allows precise and easy hitting each line with the mouse pointer, you don't need to concentrate too much on the click action, you can still focus on the effects on the picture displayed without shifting your view for precisely hitting the right line. Luckily that's the case. That way, you can pick the floating panel and move it to another screen of a multi monitor setup. You can even choose "Float All" in the Window menu, move all your tools to a secondary monitor while having just the image (without any controls or other UI elements) fullscreen on the main display. So that "issue" indeed provides a lot of flexibility. Partly agree. Can be disturbing, can also be quite neat. Example: I often need a blue/red color channel swap for processing IR photos. Thus I saved that as a preset which displays as a preview thumbnail in the list. A simply click does the swap. Unfortunately, this only works with the Adjustment tab, it's not possible to select previously saved presets in the single panels, like Channel Mixer. WHY ? Would be fine if there was a way of deactivating those thumbnails - and/or restrict that thumbnail display to my own presets. It's also a real nuisance that a simple click on an adjustment's name immediately applies the first displayed option to the picture - but a second click does not revert that action. Just try the "Invert" adjustment. Tipp: If you wish to avoid those thumbnails, just switch to the Layers tab, select the adjustments via the Adjustments icon at the bottom: That way, there's no thumbnails at all.
  16. Jörn Reppenhagen

    A few infrareds

    Three more. Same rig.
  17. Jörn Reppenhagen

    Three rather cosmetic suggestions ...

    Fixx: Of course, that's the technique behind it, changing the container size. But adapting the visual size would still be a sound idea - the human brain is a quite strange thing. Even if we knew there's some tolerance around the visual "knob", we'd still try to hit it straight in the middle; thus not much gained as it would take a quite similar degree of concentration. I guess developers chose that tiny sizes for two reasons: Looks highly professional - and gives enough room for clicking left and right of the "knob" (someone please tell me the correct technical term ) for being able to select an absolute value with a single click - without creating a large deadzone around the "knob". Regarding the professional look, there's always a chance of overdoing it - just take that tiny LR triangles as an example. At least for me, it's a kind of hindrance, as I wish to concentrate on the picture, not on sharpshooting the UI elements. As for that left and right clicks: I always find myself choosing relative values by moving the sliders, just rarely clicking left or right. But that's just my personal habit. That's why it might be a nice idea being able to select the "knob" size - all according to working habits. - But of course I am aware of the programming effort behind such "simple" requests. Reminds me of my days as a programmer ... Customer: "Hey Jörn, there's just this itsy-bitsy tiny little mini change we like you to do on the UI - matter of seconds!" Me: "There goes my weekend ..."
  18. No big deals. Missing blanks, like in "23.97MP", "XF18-55mmF2.8-4 R LM OIS". Using blanks at the correct places just makes reading and recognizing the data at first glance easier: "23.97 MP", "XF 18 – 55 mm, F 2.8 – 4, R LM OIS". – Looks far better, hmm? It's a common problem, seen almost everywhere. Stil nice if done right. No focus change if moving the mouse pointer to a different area after using a slider. Example: Changing the opacity of a layer or size of a brush. When done, I need to click somewhere outside the slider panel for closing it. Causes two problems: After changing opacity, I always find myself clicking the next UI control for using it, but it doesn't react. Because the first click after setting opacity is needed for closing the slider. After changing the brush size, I need to see the new size. But Affinity doesn't show the new size until I close the slider by clicking somewhere. Of course I click into the picture. Causing the slider to close - but at the same time activating the brush function: Voilá - selection changed, or a big fat blob of color in the picture, which I don't want. Would be nice if the sliders close as soon as I move the mouse pointer away. That way, I'd be able to click the next UI element without doing that slider-close-click, and without applying the newly sized brush at places where I don't wish to apply it. Size of the (how it's called?) "slider knobs" . I am aware of the fact that tiny "knobs" look nice and highly precise. And I am quite at home with using a mouse. But an option for changing the "knobs" size would still be great. We usually concentrate on that "knob's" effects on the picture. Thus we click that "knob", but at the same time our eyes swing back to the picture for watching the effect. And in quite some cases, there's no effect because we missed the tiny "knob". Maybe it's just me? As said: No big deals, just cosmetic improvements.
  19. Fixx: If I wish to include pictures into a catalogue, I am happy to import them. But I wish to be able to use the organization features with all files and folders, without being forced to first import them into a catalog. Just quickly open a folder, pick a file for editing - while being able to e. g. display RAW files only, use tags, ratings, color codes, and the like.
  20. Jörn Reppenhagen

    Lightroom alternative

    There's another point to consider ... Recently, Skylum added "DAM" functionality to their "Luminar" product, obviously concentrated on nothing else than creating that addition. The outcome became a disaster. Why? They announced working on a DAM - thus people demanded seeing progress, increasing the pressure on the developers. User's voices got louder, demanding the launch of that DAM version. "ON THE DOUBLE!" Thus the results of an over-hastingly work got launched to calm down that voices. Rendering the software close to useless for a great deal of owners (including me, which of course is the worst part ). Providing a "DAM" reminding of cheap smartphone gallery apps, a rag rug with almost no practical use, a toy with severe lack of a solid base for building. Not even showing file names or file types, not even being able to exclude pictures from child folders. You can imagine the chaos. And killing all your work if you added a drive which was not present at the time of initial installation. All catalog data gone, all edits gone, pictures uneditable. And more, more, more. No support anymore because all support guys were busy with calming down angry users. Then the same voices previously demanding a quick DAM launch went ballistic because of that problems. As usual. And that's still the present situation. So let developers do their thing, don't demand a clear yes or no or a roadmap. Either statement would put pressure on them. I see developers taking great care of a sound evolution of Affinity Photo. So I guess if there will ever be a DAM, it will be a well-thought-out one. Sometimes patience is a better driver of progress.
  21. Unfortunately, my preferences regarding a DAM were not among the choices. It's quite simple: Like in LR, but without being forced to import pictures (or to pay a monthly fee ).
  22. Jörn Reppenhagen

    A few ideas...

    3) Or (suggestion for Windows): Alt + Mousewheel changes the size, Alt + Shift + Mousewheel changes the hardness. Far more natural.
  23. Haha, IanSG ! To start with astrophotography, you need to stash away about 3000 to 4000 Euros clandestinely from the control of your spouse or bank. Advertizing tells you slightly different things. "300 Euros for this brilliant telescope including sturdy mount of the professional grade - and you're all set." Accompanied with various photos taken by the Hubble telescope, of course. You're indeed set. For a heart attack after having a look at your first pictures. Typical novice dialogue in expert forums: Me: I've got [SUPERPRO-EXPERT-ALL-IN-ONE-PACKAGE] for 300 Euros. Can't get into focus. They: [facepalm] Throw away that sh... Buy a real telescope. Everybody knows that. Except you. 300 Euros plus. Me: Got the real scope. Can't see much in the pictures. Theys: [facepalm] Buy a larger scope. Everybody knows that. Except you. 500 Euros plus. Me: Got the larger scope. Mount does not hold it, always tips over. Makes funny crunching and grinding sounds. I guess that's normal? They: [facepalm] Forget that sh... mount. Buy a real one. Everybody knows that. Except you. 1500 Euros plus. Should have tried the Scotch mount. Me: Got that real mount, bank is after me. Can expose up to 30 seconds. After that, stars become lines. They: [facepalm] Two options: Buy a pro mount for just 15.000 Euros. Or buy an autoguider. Everybody knows that. Except you. 800 Euros plus for the autoguider, 150 Euros plus for the smaller scope the autoguider needs. Me: Got the autoguider. Can expose for centuries. But stars outside the picture's center get blurred, look like comets. They: [facepalm] You need a coma corrector, stupid! Everybody knows that. Except you. 200 Euros plus. And so on ... It's an endless story. But at least you've got something to do and to burst out in tears about after having a shy look at your bank statement. But it still is a real fascinating hobby. Nothing compares to freezing four hours in the backyard protecting the blinking and whirring, that way shouting "steal me!" equipment from theft. Shotguns get pretty cold in winter. I'll have a look into the LAB thing. And will try my first milky way pictures as soon as the eternal German rain (you can tell the seasons by the rain's temperature, only) starts to fade. Thank you.
  24. Oops! Didn't even notice this thread got replies. At least till now. Thank you for your hints - but unfortunately it does not help. firstdefence: The Dehaze tool does not remove a gradient. Lee D: This is indeed a real helpful video (as most works of James "the voice" Ritson) are, but also does not deal with gradients. I also liked his amazing video about pin sharp stars. John: I did, several times before opening this thread. By the way: You really should try astrophotography; it's one of that hobbies which really conjure a big fat smile on your face. Which sometimes even replaces the memories of the previous hours when you pondered about shattering all your equipment into pieces. I also wrote a little poem about that hours in the dark. Unfortunately, it's very German, so I fear you cannot really enjoy it. But you never know ... Doch manchmal am Abend vergess ich die Welt, erhebe die Augen zum himmlischen Zelt, schau Sterne, den Mond, die Planeten, das Licht, in weiteste Fernen reicht dann meine Sicht. Nah wie der Tisch scheint die funkelnde Pracht, undenklich fern in unendlicher Nacht. Ich schaue so weit, ich schaue das Sein, das All und die Schöpfung und fühle mich klein. Ganz klein im Anblick der Unendlichkeit, ganz klein im endlosen Raum und der Zeit, ganz klein unter dem, was die Schöpfung erfüllt, ganz groß, weil es sich meinem Auge enthüllt. Erm ... Back to topic. I guess I should explain the term "gradient" in the light of astrophotography a bit. Gradients are discolorations and brightness variations (similar to vignetting) often caused by light pollution (usually giving them an ugly yellowish color) and the special characteristics of the telescope/additional lenses/camera combination, often caused or increased by irregular sensor illumination. There are means ("flat frames") for reducing that "picture pollution", but these sometimes are just impractical. Thus a software-based solution often is the key. I'll show you the ugly face of a gradient. First picture (lunatic settings for highlighting the problem) clearly shows the culprit. Second picture appears to be a bit better. (That picture got just about 14 minutes of exposition, thus the quality is still very low.) That gradient seems to be almost gone - but at the same time the fainter stars and masses of details also waved farewell. Just note the nebular object in the upper left, the "running man" nebula. Almost gone; and not really for good.
  25. (Hope this is no repeated suggestion - quick use of the search function didn't reveal anything; at least not to me.) There's some lengthy operations like stacking. (I do some astrophotography at novice to intermediate level, so there's masses of RAW files to process for checking out if Affinity might replace Deep Sky Stacker. At present, DSS seems to be a bit better suited for that task.) Now there's no progress indicator. I need to listen if my lazy cooling fans wake up, or fire up Windows' task manager for having a look at the CPU load. Otherwise I wouldn't have any idea if Affinity is working, twiddling thumbs or taking a guru meditation in crash country. Thus a progress indicator would be a fine addition.
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