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PanicPug

Artboards misbehaving in Affinity Photo

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When working with documents that have multiple artboards in AF Photo some problems arise:

  1. Drawing outside of the artboard is possible, which does not feel intentional (as opposed to preserving pixel data when moving or scaling it outside of the bounds of the artboard, that works as expected).
  2. Selecting via Ctrl+A or the Wand tool only works as long as the artboard was not moved from it's automatically generated initial position. When Moved away from that initial position only the parts that still overlap with the initial artboard bounds are selected.
  3. There might be more problems I'm not aware of but these are the ones I stumbled over.

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32 minutes ago, PanicPug said:

1. Drawing outside of the artboard is possible, which does not feel intentional (as opposed to preserving pixel data when moving or scaling it outside of the bounds of the artboard, that works as expected).

For display puroses, a pixel layer that is a child of an Artboard is clipped to the dimensions of that artboard. Only the parts of the layer that are within the artboard boundary will display, though the data the artboard is preserved. Vector objects, on the other hand, will display whether inside the artboard, outside it, or spanning it.

You should find that is true even in Designer, based on my experience. And I believe this is all intentional.
 

42 minutes ago, PanicPug said:

2. Selecting via Ctrl+A or the Wand tool only works as long as the artboard was not moved from it's automatically generated initial position. When Moved away from that initial position only the parts that still overlap with the initial artboard bounds are selected.

I don't think I understand this one. What are you trying to select? Can you provide a sample .afdesign or .afphoto document to show this? Or at least some screenshots, including the workspace and the Layers panel?

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1 hour ago, walt.farrell said:

For display puroses, a pixel layer that is a child of an Artboard is clipped to the dimensions of that artboard. Only the parts of the layer that are within the artboard boundary will display, though the data the artboard is preserved. Vector objects, on the other hand, will display whether inside the artboard, outside it, or spanning it.

You should find that is true even in Designer, based on my experience. And I believe this is all intentional.

I can see the technical reasoning behind it and I think this wouldn't be as big a problem either if not for the second point I described, namely selection via Ctrl+A or Wand tool.

However, I do not think this is ideal, since it's different from how the canvas works without artboards: Because without artboards it's impossible to paint outside the canvas borders, but possible to move layers (and the pixels on them) outside the boundaries with the move tool or by scaling them.

1 hour ago, walt.farrell said:

I don't think I understand this one. What are you trying to select? Can you provide a sample .afdesign or .afphoto document to show this? Or at least some screenshots, including the workspace and the Layers panel?

I attached a file in which I created three artboards; in this case I used the Insert Artboard button in the context toolbar with the Artboard tool active and then moved the second and third artboard afterwards, however the problem also comes up when creating artboards via clicking and dragging with the Artboard tool somewhere in the document.

To replicate the problem choose one of the artboards in the file and press Ctrl+A. As you can see the selected area does not match the selected artboard as should be the case.

Also choose the Flood Select (Wand) tool and with one of the layers in one of the artboards active, click in the empty area inside that artboard. As you can see, the selection area goes beyond the borders of the artboard, in fact up to the origin point of the document.

AFPhoto Artboards.afphoto

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46 minutes ago, PanicPug said:

Insert Artboard button in the context toolbar with the Artboard tool

There is no artboard tool in Affinity Photo. Can you please attach a screen recording of your workflow? I would be interested to see how that document got into that state. 

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Quote

There is no artboard tool in Affinity Photo. Can you please attach a screen recording of your workflow? I would be interested to see how that document got into that state. 

Oh, I created the artboards in AF Designer (sorry that I forgot to mention that) and then switched back to AF Photo.

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  1. Start AF Photo
  2. Create a document (1920x1080px)
  3. Optionally Save the File
  4. File -> Edit in Designer
  5. Create 3 Artboards with the Artboard Tool (either by pressing the Insert Arboard Button (in the context toolbar) or by click-dragging in the main window)
  6. If you created the Artboards via Insert Arboard Button move number 2 and 3 away from their original positions
  7. File -> Edit in Photo
  8. Create pixel layers on each artboard, maybe paint a bit on each
  9. Press Ctrl+A with one of the pixel layers active
  10. As you can see, instead of the pixel layer inside the confines of the artboard, the original position and size of the artboard are now selected
  11. Ctrl+D to deselect
  12. With the Flood Select Tool click the empty area of the active pixel layer of the respective artboard
  13. As you can see, way more than the pixel layer in the confines of the artboard is selected;

I hope this helps you with replicating the problem :10_wink:

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46 minutes ago, PanicPug said:

Is there a way to avoid it (besides not using Artboards)?

Why are you starting in Photo, then going to Designer to create artboards, then going back to Photo?

Gabe seems to think that it's the round-trip that is causing the problem, so why don't you either:

  • Start in Designer, create the document and artboards, then go to Photo;

    or (perhaps better, since Designer is the application more associated with artboards)
     
  • Start in Designer, create the document and artboards, and stay in Designer.

Yes, you are supposed to be able to work with artboards in Photo, and you apparently can with a slightly different workflow (my first bullet) but you haven't described anything yet that requires Photo. So I'm curious why you're making it so complex, especially if you want to avoid the bug :)

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30 minutes ago, walt.farrell said:

Why are you starting in Photo, then going to Designer to create artboards, then going back to Photo?

I was painting in an AF Photo file (since it offers a few more possibilities than Designer does, even in its pixel persona; one example that comes to mind is the aforementioned flood select tool) and at one point decided that it would be nice to have different artboards for different designs rather than one giant canvas (and yes I know it's primarily the depiction, not the tech behind it). I hope that suffices as an explanation? Be that as it may ->

30 minutes ago, walt.farrell said:

Gabe seems to think that it's the round-trip that is causing the problem

He is wrong though: I just tried creating an AF Designer document, created (and moved) the artboards and layers and then switched to Photo, which results in the exact same problems. And before you ask: the same problems also come up in Designer's pixel persona (at least the Ctrl+A selection (with one of the pixel selection tools active) since the flood select tool does not exist in Designer).

By the way, this took less than a minute to test; but I guess it's good that you ask, so not everyone has to try it on their own :12_slight_smile: (If there's a way to edit my previous post with the step by step description I can add that there as well.)

This should also have answered the rest of your questions and suggestions, right? Which brings me back to my previous question: how long might it take to fix that bug?

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7 minutes ago, PanicPug said:

(If there's a way to edit my previous post with the step by step description I can add that there as well.)

Thanks. That helps make sense of the workflow :)

For editing, look at the bottom of the post for the Edit button/link. And thanks for the added testing and info. Too bad that the simple workaround of starting in Designer doesn't help.

 

7 minutes ago, PanicPug said:

Which brings me back to my previous question: how long might it take to fix that bug?

Serif usually will not commit to a timeframe, and some bugs have gone unfixed for years. Only the developers know their schedule, and priorities for the various bugs that have been reported. And some fixes may depend on other fixes. Or m aybe it will be simple, and done quickly, especially if it's in some area they're already working in.

Sorry.

Anyway, workarounds for you:

  1. Create your document in Designer, and choose Create Artboard in the File > New dialog. Now create your other artboards. Do not duplicate artboard1, and move the new artboard. Moving the artboard is what causes the problem. Just scroll the workspace to a blank area and draw the new artboard. Or draw a rectangle of the needed size (use the Transform panel to get it exact) then click on it with the Artboard tool to turn it into an artboard. If you do not move the artboards, then when you put a pixel layer on one of them, and Ctrl+A, it will properly select that pixel layer.
     
  2. Your issue with Flood Select, if I've recreated it properly, is different and unrelated. And it may or may not be a bug. From your description (and my experiment) the problem is that you're selecting with an empty (transparent) layer as you haven't put anything into the pixel layer. Even in Photo without artboards that would select the complete document. If you were to paint on your pixel layer, and use the flood select tool, it would select only that color. Or, if you were to paint on one of the artboards, then try to flood-select another one that hadn't been painted on, you would select everything except the painted area.

    So that's something different, and possibly working as expected, but possibly a bug. It seems different from how Photo would normally work, but it really isn't. It's just that "the document" includes the artboards and the empty space between them and all that ends up selected if you're trying to select "empty".

    So, this is something different from your first issue, but it has a simple workaround: don't flood select an empty pixel layer.

 

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9 hours ago, PanicPug said:

He is wrong though: I just tried creating an AF Designer document, created (and moved) the artboards and layers and then switched to Photo, which results in the exact same problems. And before you ask: the same problems also come up in Designer's pixel persona (at least the Ctrl+A selection (with one of the pixel selection tools active) since the flood select tool does not exist in Designer).

Indeed. What breaks the artboards is not the roundtrip, but moving them.

9 hours ago, PanicPug said:

how long might it take to fix that bug?

I'm afraid we cannot give ETA for fixes. Sorry :(

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Thanks, Gabe.

Any thoughts on my point 2 above, about the behavior of Flood Select when clicking on an empty artboard in Photo? That ends up selecting the entire workspace, except for any areas that actually have content. I'm unsure if that's correct or not.

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