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Thanks @Patrick Connor :) It seems TGA from what I understand is a relatively easy format to read/write, do you know why support for importing TGA was added without export at the same time? It seems like such a trivial amount of work for a huge gain. 

Regarding the roadmap, is the first post updated regularly? it says at the bottom "after 1.5" but we are well past that now so it's a little vague.

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Just now, MattyWS said:

do you know why support for importing TGA was added without export at the same time?

No I do not know, the code paths are independent and unrelated so we are no closer to exporting this file format having implemented import. 

4 minutes ago, MattyWS said:

is the first post updated regularly?

Regarding the roadmap. The first post is updated when items are removed (or added), making following the discussion harder, but "regularly" is not a word I would use in that context. It should be updated when items are taken off the roadmap, so for example any 1.7 features that are also listed there.


Patrick Connor

Serif (Europe) Ltd.

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2 hours ago, MattyWS said:

Of course adding TGA wouldn't meet everyones needs, it's not the only feature stopping people from using Affinity. It is one of many important features needed to meet peoples needs. But it is still a needed feature and if I'm honest, it's a small ask. By no means at all is support for a widely used image format "baggage" either. Not sure why you would think it is. Maybe it's the mentality "if I don't use a feature, it's pointless to have". I don't use .raw file formats but I still understand the need for that in APhoto. I don't use .TIFF but it's still a feature, should I consider TIFF support to be bloating APhoto with useless stuff? Of course not, people use it even if I don't. And a lot of people use TGA.

There are a few things I want to make clear(er) about my thoughts on this:

1. I don't have any issues with adding support for TGA exports as such; my issue is with making it a priority when there are so many other things I believe would benefit far more users that should have a much higher priority. Among them are fixing the many bugs in the apps, adding more macro capabilities, improving the functionality of some of the existing tools, shortening RAW file opening & development times, & most if not all of the things already on the road map.

2. Regarding bloat/baggage, every added feature does that to some extent, even something seemingly as simple as adding a few TGA export options. If nothing else, the File > Export window will need another set of icons for the TGA export tab (set because there are usually several needed to support the light & dark interface modes & 1x & 2x versions for regular & higher resolution retina displays), support for the appropriate options and presets for the "More" button (including at least some of the options mentioned here), & whatever is needed to implement the same options in the Export Persona. Since TGA 2.0 supports optional metadata, extensions, & footers, if they are supported there will need to be additional code for that.

3. If there were no alternative ways to create TGA files from the ones Affinity can already export, I would be more in favor of making those in-app exports a higher priority, but since that is not true (& some of them are 100% free), I personally would very much prefer to see the developers concentrate their efforts on the bug fixes & the other things I mentioned above.


Affinity Photo 1.6.7 & Affinity Designer 1.6.1; macOS High Sierra 10.13.6 iMac (27-inch, Late 2012); 2.9GHz i5 CPU; NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M; 8GB RAM
Affinity Photo 1.6.11.85 & Affinity Designer 1.6..4.45 for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iOS 12.1.1

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I could make those icons in less than an hour, I'd be extremely happy to do that for free if Serif would let me. :P Realistically though implementation of TGA would be fairly straight forward (I think it's only a few hundred lines of code) but admittedly most of the time would be spent on QA I think (which I'd also happily give up my spare time for testing file formats if they released an alpha or as experimental features). Either way though it's not a big ask, you're blowing it out of proportion a bit by saying it'll take so much development time but I do agree there are other things like bug fixes they could be focusing their time on more.

As a feature though I would say supporting various file formats should be considered high priority. As you said it's a feature that other free programs do for free... but I paid £50 for this one expecting (like many others) TGA to be an obvious feature and again like many others I was pretty surprised to find it not supported. Why did I expect TGA support I suppose you ask? Well on the windows store where I purchased it I saw this;

"Work with all standard formats like PNG, TIFF, JPG, GIF, SVG, EPS, EXR, HDR and PDF"

little did I know that that meant it only supported exactly those formats and WMF ... But TGA is a standard format so I was a little confused after my purchase, since that "like" part kind of insinuated a bit more. I'll admit though that's on me for being a little assuming. 

To be clear though I am in no way insulting the devs or pinning blame on them for anything, like I said I get that development time can be slow with a small team but I am still going to voice my opinion that TGA support is a must and I really hope they hear it.

EDIT: When I said I think it was only a few hundred lines of code;

https://github.com/madebr/libtga/blob/master/src/tgawrite.c

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Quote

little did I know that that meant it only supported exactly those formats and WMF

I'm curious...didn't you test the trial, at least for the essential features you need?  (and it would seem to me (or you make it look like that) TGA full support is show stopping material, for you) . This is a must, even if just to complain, later ;);) . I know there's a useful acronym for the manuals (RTFM !) , but there should be one for trials, TTFT ! (Test the f* trials !  ;)   )

 

On 10/30/2018 at 6:35 PM, MattyWS said:

EDIT: When I said I think it was only a few hundred lines of code;

https://github.com/madebr/libtga/blob/master/src/tgawrite.c

Problem is, we don't have a single clue (well, I don't) what are the implications and structural changes or whatever that would require that. I do agree TGA full implementation would be a great addition (tho definitely not one of my main "wishes", which are on a more "core" line) but without knowing anything about their code base, neither the implications of supporting so many platforms, a native format for all apps (which the competitors do not have to support) , etc, etc, I would say it is at least adventurous to consider that it would be easy to make a particular change, whatever it is. My take at it and all similar other petitions, is as simple as probably can be considered captain obvious material: They are fixing a ton of bugs of any kind. If it'd be an easy/fast thing to do as you suggest, I bet it would had been implemented a very long time ago.


Affinity Designer and Affinity Photo licenses, Windows 7, i7  860 (2009) 2.8 GHz,  8 GB RAM, GTX 1050 2 GB, HD 7200 RPM. 
Affinity PHOTO 1.7.x --> AMAZING. Getting there for painting. Temporary trick  (Windows - only) for better "alt" key color picking configured in a Wacom Intuos Pro pen's side button.

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2 hours ago, SrPx said:

Problem is, we don't have a single clue (well, I don't) what are the implications and structural changes or whatever that would require that.

The only people who actually know anything about that are the Affinity developers. The rest of us can only guess about it but it seems reasonably obvious there is more to it than just adding some version of libtga to the apps. Like you said, if it was that simple it is hard to believe they would not have done it long ago.


Affinity Photo 1.6.7 & Affinity Designer 1.6.1; macOS High Sierra 10.13.6 iMac (27-inch, Late 2012); 2.9GHz i5 CPU; NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M; 8GB RAM
Affinity Photo 1.6.11.85 & Affinity Designer 1.6..4.45 for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iOS 12.1.1

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20 hours ago, SrPx said:

Problem is, we don't have a single clue (well, I don't) what are the implications and structural changes or whatever that would require that.

You can assume they've been bad software architects if you want, I'm still choosing to believe it's lack of man power as opposed to limitations of their own software as a reason for not implementing it fast. The devs are skilled people, I doubt they'd start a fresh only to accidentally limit themselves like that (especially since Serif is only 5 years younger than Adobe). There's maybe only 70 ish people at serif, not all devs, across 3 applications including iOS versions so I imagine they've very stretched. That's fine though.

I can wait for TGA support but I wouldn't mind an answer from the devs even to say "yea at some point we will add it in but not anytime soon" rather than wondering will they or wont they. xD 

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3 hours ago, MattyWS said:

 

You can assume they've been bad software architects if you want,

Oh. Wow. That'd be quite a lot to assume,  and in the wrong direction, and, please excuse me if I give my opinion so freely (well, as you do), and am being so sincere, but I believe at some point in the future you will regret for expressing such opinion...

I mean... c'mon,  we need to at least slightly put ourselves in the shoes of a development group who aims to mostly fill the gap of a photography [Photo] focused application. This category or specific industry have specific needs, and of an incredible depth in its own. All you can asume, IMO, is that they are not considering a (really, really old, archaic even) format that is totally in the area of game development, but even of actually a niche inside video games (even if counting on big numbers, but not ALL game development orbits around TGA format like if it were a Silmaril stone. If anything, AAA games production's (not produced with Unity, and in very few cases with some descendant of Unreal) main technical aspects are things like PBR workflows, Zbrush, high polygon count geometry, ultra advanced shaders, next to come RTX technology, which's gonna be a total revolution (probably) once the machines are up to all this real time raytracing stuff (and I love it, as I like rendering and high end stuff, non games high res rendering)) ....So, if anything, TGA is very important (but sorry, not so show stopper as you paint it to be, I strongly disagree, and I have worked at 4 game companies producing those kind of games!) for games mostly based on Unity and Unreal, which are very very far to be the solely manner to produce middle size (and small) games, meaning, I have quite a few colleagues that worked with me at game studios in their early years, now at some of the biggest AAA companies at Europe and a pair on the US, and definitely, it's not freakin' all about TGA (many don't use that at all , is all about dds or the like, and direct hooks), lol. Their pipelines are often using other formats, plus, way more complicated, when most cases are direct hooks with pure C++ and C# code from in-house made engines, direct to Maya and Max, and hefty use of Maya's Mel script, among many other things. That's where the huge money is being moved, indeed (in triple A games). If anything, it's YET also very important for video editing. Photography is not in the picture related to TGA. And THIS IS THE FIELD they aim to since the beginning. Oki, but again, even in video related matters, real core features, much much more important than whatever the format. In companies I have worked at and for, with this level of programmers, they'd code any sort of plugin to fil any format gap, ( they were/are no script kiddies, lol) or heck, even 3D/2D package functionality, extended.  No game company of that level would be stuck for just the lack of I/O of whatever a freakin' format in whatever the 2D or 3D package. If output was provided as whatever the format from there, they'd deal with it, no issues. This is one of the bad things of depending on just some old engines. The issues would be of much, much higher end. They wouldn't EVER be tied to what a particular old and glorified specific engine would let 'em do. Among other things, 'cause they could (and can) code an entire engine and any app from the ground up !. 

And what I was telling before,  Sorry, don't mean to sound harsh, but nobody did fool you.  You had a trial to test. The least you should have done was testing at least a very basic workflow. Your most common pipelines. As a very minimal thing to do whenever you purchase ANY software. If you did not, there's only one person to blame about that.  This is an extremely basic rule in software, since I dunno, always. I've been using software since 1985, and I can tell you since very early years, you have a demo or shareware version to test your basic needs. If you don't do that, well, you have not gone with the minimal part on your side, even.

They offered you a trial. You don't like the direction of their development, fine. It's their business and their call, in absolutely any case. Then just pick another app. Is not like you invested a ton of money, lol( and again, you had a trial to test AT LEAST if you could export in your so absolutely essential format (in your view).

I don't pretend to sound harsh, but wow, I think those statements were way out of the line. At least some commenting might put some extra views in your discourse. If not, or not at all, then, such a pity.  :( 

 


Affinity Designer and Affinity Photo licenses, Windows 7, i7  860 (2009) 2.8 GHz,  8 GB RAM, GTX 1050 2 GB, HD 7200 RPM. 
Affinity PHOTO 1.7.x --> AMAZING. Getting there for painting. Temporary trick  (Windows - only) for better "alt" key color picking configured in a Wacom Intuos Pro pen's side button.

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Guys,

Processing depth maps for idiots please

I know nothing of 3D software, but is it not fair to say that TGA export with transparency would not be the end of this request? Is it just the start of the work being required ?... let me explain.

From what I understand, 32 bit TGA is used as RGB+depth not RGB+alpha. Consequently all the alpha calculations that Affinity Photo is currently doing to represent transparency are not pertinent to this use of our software. For the 4th channel to represent "somewhere to hide depth information" would it not need new functions adding to Affinity Photo to stop processing that channel to mean transparency and focus only on the RGB channels ??? Or perhaps create and use a spare channel for depth (instead of the alpha channel) and then have an option in the TGA export dialog to use that spare channel for the alpha in the TGA file.

What is your expectation of creating TGA export and how would the depth map bit work in Affinity Photo please? (A good video would probably do if explaining is hard).

 


Patrick Connor

Serif (Europe) Ltd.

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1 hour ago, Patrick Connor said:

would it not need new functions adding to Affinity Photo to stop processing that channel to mean transparency and focus only on the RGB channels

If correctly understood, that would be nice to have as an option since the current workaround is a bit tedious.
workaround-affinity-photo-view-a-channel-without-alpha-as-transparency

1 hour ago, Patrick Connor said:

create and use a spare channel for depth (instead of the alpha channel) and then have an option in the TGA export dialog to use that spare channel for the alpha in the TGA file.

What is your expectation of creating TGA export and how would the depth map bit work in Affinity Photo please? (A good video would probably do if explaining is hard).

 

My ideal expectation would be the workflow from the below video;
direct editing of each channel and being able to ctrl+V images directly into each channel.
Saving the image out as an 32bit TGA file to have 4 included intact greyscale images to use.

 


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2 hours ago, SrPx said:

Oh. Wow. That'd be quite a lot to assume,  and in the wrong direction, and, please excuse me if I give my opinion so freely (well, as you do), and am being so sincere, but I believe at some point in the future you will regret for expressing such opinion...

You misunderstand me, I already stated that I don't think they are bad at their jobs, quite the opposite, my point was that I don't think they'd make it hard for themselves and that I'm sure they are working in a smart way. The way you worded your statement that I was quoting made it sound like you think it's possible they were developing in such a way that they'd have problems implementing new things that they likely knew they were going to implement. I can't imagine the formats they support now are the only formats they ever plan on supporting, thus they must have a functional or smart way of implementing more. My other point being that even though they probably do have a smart way of implementing new things like that, they probably don't have the man power to focus on that right now. I was purely complimentary the whole time and I'm being optimistic, so I apologise if you thought I was trying to be insulting here, maybe I could have worded my reply is a different manner. I'm not amazing at social interactions so if I say something that sounds like I'm trying to be a d*ck, I'm genuinely not intending to be and I harbour no ill feelings toward you. :)

Yes TGA isn't the only format used in games, but it's still widely used because it's basic and works with everything game devs need it for. The reason people are asking for TGA in Affinity is because Affinity doesn't have many alternatives. TIFF was recommended but not supported by Unreal, PNG was suggested but not great for transparency, this may have been a photoshop problem but you couldn't edit an alpha channel directly, it was stored as transparency and thus leaves little control over the colours in the image and the transparency or alpha channel we may need to use. So the formats we can use start to dwindle when there isn't much to choose from in APhoto. 

With regards to the trial, like I said I wasn't pinning blame on anyone for me buying the software as I use it for stuff, but it was an unpleasant surprise that caught a fair few off guard. I am in no way saying I was scammed or regret my purchase. I love APhoto and I want more features so the software can grow and become better! :D

@Patrick Connor interesting question, as I come from using photoshop from what I always thought about the format was 24bit meant RGB and 32bit allowed for RGBA (when saving out, if you had an alpha channel and chose 24bit it would simply save without the alpha channel) 

As for usage, in terms of transparent textures that use RGBA, the alpha channel would be a black and white mask as normal, you wouldn't see any transparency in photoshop (or APhoto) like you would a png or something,  you'd only see the colours normally and an alpha channel with it's mask. in terms of VFX sometimes each channel (RGBA) might be used to hold 4 black and white effects in each channel. Naturally if you are using the alpha channel you'd want to be able to save out as RGBA (32bit)  but if you aren't using the alpha channel you'd expect to be able to save out as just RGB (24 bit). editing individual channels is a must. :)

The uses this has is;

Saving RGB as normal coloured images or individual masks 
Saving as RGBA for textures that might have height maps (for parallax, or tessellation or even blending textures together in game)
Saving as RGBA for coloured images that might need alpha (GUI, foliage cards)
Saving as RGBA for vfx as each channel for an individual mask

MyClay just ninja'd my post. :P

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i would like to have that TGA/TARGA support too. Im doing lots of 3D or game engine projects (older and newer).

SlipperyBrick: To me Affinity Photo at this stage is something between Lightroom and Photoshop and its use cases tuned more for photographers. Its not yet prime Photoshop alternative. And what is bit sad is that roadmap till 2.0 feels kind of weak in this regard (if you take into account how long it takes to reach it). Maybe less free updates after 2.0 and use additional money for bigger Photo team if it would help?


Core i7 4770 - AMD R9 290x (Driver 18.2.3) - 32GB RAM - Asus z87-Pro - Asus Phoebus - Windows 7 x64 ultimate SP1 (monthly rollup)

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MattyWS hit the nail on the head there in terms of usage, manipulating each channels content is what makes this workflow so useful, you can pack 4 different images into one file along with TGA having RLE compression (that's lossless) is what makes this so popular and still strong in the games industry.

I am beginning to wonder if most of the community on here use Photo just for touching up images and maybe Serif didn't expect their application to become a potential alternative for customers in other areas (areas other than photography). I really hope that Serif take this opportunity and consider that Photo may well become an application for more than what they intended the more potential customers that get to see it and hear about it. I've recommended it to my whole University class, my wife (who actually does photography) and friends I know who do game development as a hobby and nearly everyone who got back to me to say thanks said that the application wow'ed them and they were thinking of switching, it's the price point and non subscription model you guys have along with the professional grade tools that make it such an attractive application.

Please consider the rest of your user base other than the guys who use it for what you intended because that is what's gonna make your application really shine and your company image, it shows you are acknowledging your user base and supporting it, people will love that. I'm not saying that Serif already aren't a well known and popular company (I'm not out to hurt anyone's feelings.)

I really hope people stop flaming posts in here and stop asking why we want TGA export, or why we are still using it, or why this is such a big deal, and also taking opinions out of context thinking we are bad mouthing the developers because it's getting pretty lame now.

If you don't need TGA support why are you even commenting on this thread, also it's not even constructive. I just want to know in this thread if TGA export is a possibility and if it will get implemented, not to talk about development methodologies or where people used to work and what other games studio workflows there are. TGA export as a feature I feel has been fully justified and there is enough demand for it.

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2 minutes ago, SlipperyBrick said:

I really hope people stop flaming posts in here and stop asking why we want TGA export, or why we are still using it, or why this is such a big deal...

I agree, it's not helpful. I believe that Serif staff are not asking why anymore, I have not seen that if it is happening, but I would say that this format has not made it into the 1.7 alpha of Affinity Photo that I am looking at, sorry.


Patrick Connor

Serif (Europe) Ltd.

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I'm sorry if that was understood as flaming.

No worries, I'm out.


Affinity Designer and Affinity Photo licenses, Windows 7, i7  860 (2009) 2.8 GHz,  8 GB RAM, GTX 1050 2 GB, HD 7200 RPM. 
Affinity PHOTO 1.7.x --> AMAZING. Getting there for painting. Temporary trick  (Windows - only) for better "alt" key color picking configured in a Wacom Intuos Pro pen's side button.

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I generally work with Unreal Engine 4.

I have found that tga is the file format Epic Games themselves use the most.  To the best of my memory, all of the files Epic Games supply in their example content contain tga texture files, not png - perhaps it's just something about how their engine decodes images that makes it the format least susceptible to issues.

 

I have also found that I usually have problems (though it depends on what I'm doing with the channels in the engine) using gimp to export 32 bit pngs (with alpha).

I've been using UE4 full time for 2 years, I can't recall every having a problem with a tga file exported from gimp.  pngs on the other hand are flakey af.

 

Unity is a different story.  It accepts all sorts of file formats, so I can't speak to it.  But, for UE4, tga format is my go-to. 

 

'tis a pity I currently have to use gimp to export my tga's.  Adds at least 10 seconds to every texture export, and that adds up.  Unfortunately, I'm stubborn and refuse to use a different app just to export a specific format. I've never used PS professionally. 

I've used gimp for about 7 years and I still primarily use it for professional game dev because it supports a ton of formats and its channel packing feature is far more efficient than Krita and the current Affinity Photo workflow (imo).  This is all in spite of the fact AP is better on all other accounts (selecting, masking, filters, preview).  

On a related note, efficient channel packing workflows rated in order of efficiency: PS > Gimp > AP/Krita.

 

Really loving Photo otherwise, though! Thank you Affinity!!  Imma still refer all my non-game dev friends to it!

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