Wanted to make a thread with a more comprehensive list of stuff I would like to see changed/added into Affinity Photo that goes beyond just the features being tested in 1.7, but also addresses them as well. In no particular order, let's begin!
To get more details on this point, go to this link where I and a few other artists discussed the issues of transparency and how soft brushes in AP create jagged transitions when working with transparency. I made a few brushes in that same thread using the new 1.7 feature sub brushes that were able to fix some of the issues, but I still had to use settings like flow instead of transparency to do so. It was honestly a lot harder to recreate my soft brushes in AP than in Photoshop, so it would be nice to get this looked into when soft brushes are such an important tool in any image editing program.
More shortcuts need to be added. Especially to the R click menus. For instance, merge selected, rasterize & trim, rasterize to mask, and create new fill layer are all absent on the R click layer menu. There are so many useful tools that are hidden away because they are not where you expect them to be. Just adding features isn't enough if people can't easily find them in your context sensitive menus.
While I can create and make my own shortcuts while using my keyboard, the main issue here is that I am a Wacom tablet user. I don't have enough buttons to map out all the hidden tools, so having the option to R click for menus with these shortcuts are pretty important to me. It would speed things up significantly by having these menus actually have the features the program is capable of.
As a side note, another solution to this would be for users to actually customize their own R click menus to add these things on your own. However, it's not a feature I think is a necessity, and is only a band aid to fix simple UX and UI problems.
The export persona needs more love overall. Right now it is not possible to create actual presets for changing things such as export size. You have to always type in stuff like "1000w" or "5000h" to actually export an image with resolutions 1000 pixels in width or 5000 pixels in height . Also, it is not actually possible to see a preview of an export setting with the right dimensions before exporting, so you can only see the final results once the export is done. I like the potential of this feature, but as of now it feels less developed compared to the other personas in AP.
It's not possible to create a brush nozzle from a selection inside AP. Instead you have to export an image first, then create a new intensity/image brush, edit the brush by going to the texture tab, find the exported image, and then you have a brush with the actual texture. In Photoshop you just select a layer/make a selection using any selection tool, and then go to a menu to create a brush. I'm not saying that Photoshop is perfect in this regard either since it's also hidden away in a menu instead of being a part of the brushes windows, but it's a feature that I have come to expect in other programs as well that can create custom brushes.
R click when using the brush tool does literally nothing right now. You can't assign a new functionality to it like adjust brush size and/or hardness by holding down the button, instead you have to hold down ctrl+alt+L click+R click to do so, despite there being a button that is completely freed up for use to make things a lot simpler. Another option would be to add a brushes panel like how it's done in Photoshop, but also in other programs like in ZBrush (it's a 3D program, but you get my point). Either way, just make use of the button for something useful at least, as well as address the issues regarding the overly complicated keyboard shortcut, since there is no way to actually click all those buttons on a tablet at the same time without making a macro for it, which shouldn't be needed as I mentioned before.
Now, for the new 1.7 feature, symmetry. Very useful tool, and I can't wait for it to be officially released. However, there are a bunch of things that could be done to improve this particular feature.
First off, it's too easy to move the symmetry lines while working, and you can't lock them in place. Second, the lines need to be able to snap to your grid using snapping, since you can't align it in a precise manner. Third, you can't reset it back to its starting point with a button, so I have had to close down my entire file to reset it back again. Fourth, if you shut down symmetry, make changes, and activate symmetry again, there is no fast way to mirror to the other side/sides of the symmetry lines, therefore making it difficult to add the new changes to the rest of the image. To show what I mean, here's an image where I started off using symmetry, but because I deactivated it I can't mirror the entire thing over to the other symmetry side/sides without going through a rather complicated process.
On a side note, I would recommend moving the symmetry feature out of the brush tool menus and put it in the toolbar alongside quick mask, selection, snapping, etc. It's a feature that really shouldn't be hiding under a few specific tools.
Speaking of mirroring, it would be nice if when you use the move tool ("v") and then go R click menu->transform, there was a menu shortcut so that when you flip a layer, say horizontally, the layer actually mirrors over to the opposite side instead of just flipping it right on the spot, like in this example where the layer just flipped the layer in one place.
Another thing that would be nice to have in the transform menu would be shortcuts to mesh warp tool and perspective tool. As an old Photoshop user I liked having all the transformation tools in one spot (changed the keybindings so that "v" also include the other two tools, but it still would be nice to have). Either way, I think my overall message about more shortcuts in AP menus have been hammered down in this thread pretty extensively.
Add an icon for add fill layer next to add pixel layer on the layers panel. Brought up earlier that this should be done as well when using the R click menu, but considering that this feature is hidden in a menu at the top of the screen is pretty odd. It's actually a pretty useful tool since it actually changes colour on the fly when picking up a colour, so it's a bit of a shame that it's not easily accessible on the layers panel.
The alt key for colour picking doesn't work when using the fill flood tool and gradient tool. Would improve their usability a bit if you could use it.
Create two shortcuts for the move tool when using R click that combine cut/copy from one layer and paste onto a new layer called "copy to new layer" and "cut to new layer" respectively. While on a similar note, while using a selection tool like the lasso tool, make R click show the exact same menu as when you are using the move tool, to make it a bit faster to get access to the earlier features.
Along with the above point, add an R click shortcut for invert selection when using any selection tool. While on that note, add this to the R click menu when click on layers as well, like when working on masks.
Lastly, I would like to bring up the issue of no proper straight lines for brushes when using shift. While I would just be content with just having the ability to create 90 degree angles, what I would I think could be done to improve this altogether is to allow you to create a ruler from a point using shift and then be able to rotate the line from 0 to 360 degrees that you can then draw on across the entire canvas, while also take into account as pen pressure for size and other brush settings. The usability for drawing in this program would skyrocket through the roof with this feature alone.
Those are most of the things I can think of as of now. I also have an older feedback thread where I made some other points that are still relevant to improving AP. If I think of something else, I will try posting them here.
Anyway, Happy New Year from Sweden btw!