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Feature Request: Improved Digital Painting Experience


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I've been enjoying my time in Affinity Photo a great deal. And while I know it's primary use case is photo manipulation it's also clearly marketed toward digital artists as a secondary use case so with that in mind I figured I'd ask for some quality-of-life features geared toward the digital painting experience. Specifically geared toward keeping the artist in the zen creative mindset. The more he or she is using the brushes and the less he or she is fiddling with the interface the better for the overall creative experience.

So here we go!

  • It would be great if there was an option in the brushes panel to display the brush's name. It would be more than great, it would be immensely helpful. I believe the IPad version of Affinity Designer already has this feature. Please bring it into the AD/AP desktop versions too. I find it difficult to remember what brush I was just using and it's frustrating. 
  • For some reason the selected brush in the brush panel never stays highlighted. Even when it's still selected. It'd be nice if the last brush I used just stayed highlighted. Even after I switch tools. 
  • Along the same lines it would be great if I could click on a layer and see what brushes have been used in that layer. This would be amazing for remembering how to achieve an effect I've previously created. 
  • It would help that "zen" feeling if a feature along the lines of Krita's "Pop up Palette" was implemented. See how it works here: 

 

 

 

Unlike the Krita version, it would be wonderful to have an option for the Popup Palette to be able to display brush names too. 

It goes without saying that these features would be just as useful in Affinity Designer as in Photo. So having them added there would be great too!

And now here's the part where YOU dear reader chime in with how you don't want to see these quality-of-life features because you fear it will take away resources from features that will help YOUR workflow instead. Because that's what we do here. ;)

Obviously Serif knows what their target market priorities are and will choose the features that are the biggest bang for their buck. These are just things I'd love to see. Your trying to guess what those target market priorities are (and that they just so happen to coincide with your feature requests) is irrelevant but thank you for your concern on the matter future poster!

And yes I know you're going to post anyway. 

 

 

 

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I really don't see how adding painter friendly features is somehow "downgrading" Photo in this case. Last I checked, even photographers use brushes to work. The Krita tool wheel is actually one of those features I think is a very clear upgrade over what Photoshop has traditionally offered with its brush manager with R click. Right now Photo does not offer anything when just pressing R click for your brushes, so why not consider adding this feature?

Besides, I actually want Photo to become a very solid art program. I've used Photoshop to paint for many years and I still haven't found a single program that comes close to what I want out of an art program like Photoshop. Affinity Photo is the closest to that kind of experience, so I will keep giving feedback with that mindset. I am pretty sure the majority of my feature requests will be benficial for most users of Affinity, including photographers.

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2 hours ago, Fritz_H said:

Given the large number of issues the Affinity-Applications still have, I do not support to use developer-manpower to downgrade "Photo" to a Painting-Application.

...but maybe I misunderstood the request.

kind regards
Fritz

If Affinity Photo was meant to just be for photo manipulation (and yes that is it's primary use I freely admit) then why did they just add the Symmetry and Sub Brushes feature? Why did they just add a nice selection of Daub Brushes? Why is there an entire section about their "beautiful brush engine" on the main page for Affinity Photo? 

Besides all these features are low hanging fruit. None of these are resource intensive. 

And bonus! These features would also be very useful in Affinity Designer as well and would be easily ported there. It actually seems like a very efficient use of resources. 

Finally, hobbyist digital art is a major gateway into using graphic design software. Especially the sort of person who wants professional features without paying for an Adobe subscription. These people also don't have to worry about what is "industry standard" since they're not working with or for anyone! Affinity is really missing a trick by not catering to that market at least a little bit. Adobe knows you own the future by getting them when they're still hobbyists. Affinity needs to learn that too. 

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@Frozen Death Knight  @DragonWhimsy 

About Photo-Editing and Brushes:
I have seen that brushes are used for image-manipulation to avoid repetitive patterns etc. when e.g. a the grass/mountains/any background  on a stock-photo
is not wide enough and needs to be "painted/cloned". A brush with texture helps to make the painted area look more natural.

"Krita" which is mentioned in the beginning of this thread, is marketed as Painting-Application for Mangas etc.
To me that´s not serious Image-Editing, its more of child-stuff. (I think the same way about comics, cartoons and superhero-movies etc.)

But since I have to admit that this is just my personal opinion, we can agree in having different points of view.
In the end only the Serif-Management will decide which features they are going to implement.

If you take a look to the beta-Feedback-Forum-Section you will see that there are still a lot of bugs in basic-features to be fixed
and important but missing features need to be implemented.

kind regards
Fritz

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9 hours ago, Fritz_H said:

Image-Editing, its more of child-stuff

It is not image editing at all, it is digital painting, and that is far from "child-stuff".

It is simply a different type of application with a different set of requirements from the one being discussed here - more in line with the purpose of Corel Painter than with Photoshop.

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@Jarrod70 
I just expressed my opinion that I do not support the idea to use Development-Manpower on Painting-Features instead of fixing bugs and delivering missing core-features.
I did in no way claim that my opinion is more important than others.
Where exactly did you read this?
 

Quote

they decide what best for their app, not you!

well, that´s exactly what I wrote in a posting above... see?
Do you have a problem, with people having a different opinion than yours?
 

Quote

How about we all fight together so we get what we want instead acting like a pack of hungry wolves fighting over a dead carcass?

Very interesting wording: "fight" "fight" "hungry wolves" "dead"... 
Did you notice that this was a peaceful exchange of different points of view.. before your posting?

Perhaps this off-Topic-discussion is a mentality thing?
May I guess that you are from the USA?

kind regards
Fritz

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@Fritz_H You may have meant well, but your posts have so far come off as pretty condescending. Drawing/painting art is one of the oldest skills in human history, yet you come in here and tell a bunch of artists what is valuable or not and belittle the entire craft in a provoking manner. What other kind of reaction were you expecting of us? Not to mention completely dismissing the feature suggestion as "unneeded" and giving some vague explanation as "there are more important issues to tackle".

Well, I would like to agree with you that there are other issues I would like to get addressed first, but no one here has demanded that it should be prioritised over everything else. It was simply a suggested request. You know, written on a forum literally called Feature Requests & Suggestions. I would like to be nice towards you, but you are making it very hard not to take your attempts at being "friendly" as being pretty hollow and insincere.

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@Frozen Death Knight 
I just do not support the idea to focus on painting-features - that´s it.
just an "I do not agree" - opinion.

I don´t think there is a "agree or remain silent"-Forum-Policy in place, since this would be pretty fascistic.

To cover all requests posted around here, Serif would have to create a Photoshop+Lightroom+Painter+"whatever" - Monster Application.
I don´t think, that this will work.

Summed up: some (like you) request more/better painting features, I do not.

nothing more, nothing less.
Fritz

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On 1/2/2020 at 10:05 PM, Fritz_H said:

I do not support to use developer-manpower to downgrade "Photo" to a Painting-Application.

It'd be an "upgrade", in any case.  :P

Anyway, I didn't take the statement too seriously.  :) 

I'm both trained in retouch/image edit (and graphic design, 3D, etc) and painting. And... indeed it kindda all is related. A recent fix on the brush system (actually, more of a fix to how the  tablets are handled, as have affected positively many other tools) IMO will help with accurate masks and lasso selections, freaking key in image editing (we all know it, but not all image editing is photo retouch).

The problems are more related to the core than being a matter of a super specialized field's features, than one would think, IMO.

All that said, am not crazy about that RMB wheel menu feature. I never use it in Krita, indeed. All my requests are related to actually consolidate the already VERY powerful painting features in Photo. I don't think we badly need more than that. A solid brush system, that is, without problems, in its very basic features (it has flow, opacity, stabilizer... not that basic) is all one needs to create a master piece. I don't need one-key  instant mirroring or symmetry painting, that wheel, or perspective guides (I'd paint without those anyway in any real canvas). Only what they are already doing: Like the fix in the precision issue for tablets; which, as I was saying, has surely helped a lot of other tools' precision with tablets. And most of the people seriously working in retouch for magazines, photo labs or etc, it seems they heavily use tablets (I've used it a lot during years in image editing). So.... the CORE issues of a brush system, or the tablet issues, or issues when working zoomed-out, etc, are needed as well in image editing; would benefit image editing largely.  Just keeping in that track (in which they seem to be now) would rock, for me (and any other similar digital painter). My 2c , in what relates to painting,  before worrying about anything else, IMO, the priority should be that the brush system is error/problem-free. For the benefit of... practically all fields, even if painting is the one getting more out of it.  In retouch, is super common to touch up those ugly spots here there in the skin, with the brush, not only with the healer or clone stamp.

I'd see the wheel a great feature, for those who need it. I... dunno, I'd fix the brush issues first....As if not, what would be the point... Anyway, that's a bit of a dumb statement from me, as I don't think is as much "this vs that", or "this before  that", but a more complex matter. So... while I believe not every painter (speaking from experience) would love the wheel, as is optional, no harm, and what I just meant is that I kind of suspect it's not fix the brush or add a wheel. Or... do the image editing features or add the wheel. But more of following an established plan, in order, or how possible is this or that with the current code base, libraries, and I'm guessing a huge etc. ( ...although, yeah, a big factor surely is that they don't have an Adobe staff's size.... )

AD, AP and APub. V1.10.6 and V2.0.3 Windows 10 and Windows 11.  Both are regular Windows,  I'm not in the Windows Insider program.
Ryzen 9 3900X, 32 GB RAM,  RTX 3060 12GB, Wacom Intuos XL, Wacom L. Eizo ColorEdge CS 2420 monitor. Windows 10 Pro.
HP Omen 16-b1010ns 12700H, 32GB DDR5 (corsair), nVidia RTX 3060 6GB + Huion Kamvas 22 drawing screen, Windows 11 Pro.

 

 

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On 1/3/2020 at 11:45 PM, Jarrod70 said:

Again, your opinion isn't wanted (...) Obviously you feel you're opinion is worth something and is important enough to drop your pants and push it out here. What's your purpose of negating someone's request?

@Jarrod70
I do not think it makes any sense to continue communication with you.
...and its already very far off-topic.
Bye.

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A solid painting engine is utterly pivotal to retouching. I agree with @SrPx on that point. That said, I don't think people providing their own perspective on what should be considered "core" features for AP is them trolling or attempting to re litigating a feature request. Maybe a little off-topic. I've had my own feature requests poo-poo-ed I think and it is what it is. I don't really care.

These other features are nice, but I do agree with Photo being 1.x and the brush engine still being rough around the edges, there are higher priorities, but it doesn't mean they can't expand the painting side later on. I wouldn't be surprised if they do add something similar down the line, but it may come to fruition in the form of Affinity's vision, not necessarily exactly as we suggest. They may yet surprise us. We already have concept of Personas, so I wouldn't be surprised to see a Painting Persona down the line.

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2 hours ago, Jarrod70 said:

"Krita" which is mentioned in the beginning of this thread, is marketed as Painting-Application for Mangas etc.
To me that´s not serious Image-Editing, its more of child-stuff. (I think the same way about comics, cartoons and superhero-movies etc.)

Yeah, well, about that... I keep thinking you are not fully serious with these statements, so, am not offended in any way.... :) .... In Japan, manga (a style which is not my cup of tea) comic production is a huge industry. Is not only read by the young ones, Japan is different in that to other countries. And another example of content for the younger ones, games could also be considered kind of a product mostly for younger people (even if today there are legions of 20-30s yr old gamers, still the consume is more massive with teens) and yet it has been said in several occasions to move more money than the film industry. Heck, half of the companies I've got a job at. An art director (and each specialist of these) needs to master Zbrush, Photoshop, 3DS Max and or Maya, or if in charge of the cinematic, maybe is Houdini, After Effects, etc. Serious as heck tools, very technical and moving mountains of money. There's nothing more, er, serious than doing well a complex UV Mapping of the mid or low res cage of a 3 million triangles model, or a complex face rigging, or a full PBR workflow.

Yep, a logotype and visual style guide for the corporate image of a company, or photo retouch for magazine covers (been there, too), or even the company brochures for their latest products might sound like "more serious", but in the sense that both can move a lot of money, and the level of professionalism can be high or low, but only depending on the individual in charge, then, there's no point on considering an entire field more a case of child stuff. I respect your opinion, though, if you think so, but cannot agree, from all what I have seen and experienced. Even in the area that kind of would "sound" as more of a  total teenagers' land, the actual manga comics creation (except in Japan), which has been mentioned when speaking about Krita... The other day I watched an EXTREMELY interesting video (I'd post the link, but we're all already off topic ;) ) of an interview to the director of a Manga comic studio, and the several workers there, and it tells you since minute one, how much of a serious and successful business is manga there. Not only because these people work non stop since 6 in the morning, full day non stop, but for the level of production, money involved, discipline, etc.  It is is having even a greater moment than what I knew back in the 80s in European comic. 

What is even funny about this aspect of the conversation:  (having worked at both types of stuff) I would TOTALLY say game art (2D or 3D) gets in some details way more technical, with more depth and more complex workflows and pipelines than the most complex projects I needed to solve as a graphic designer, of just in image editing roles. Of course, graphic design requires a certain perspective and background. But so does painting. Painting usually requires deep studies in anatomy, perspective, color theory, lighting, composition, etc. Typically BFA's level studies, at least. I have taught people how to do some basics in design and image editing, in months, and the person(/s) has become a good piece of a team, even if needing to supervising/polishing. Is a ton harder and longer to teach the art matters, to improvise that, usually impossible even in a full pair of years. And to good level... fully impossible unless solely dedicating all your energy to teaching that to that person, for quite more years.

I know is off topic, but we're all gone that path, and that one statement, even as a light joke, I believe deserves a comment... As is not the first time I read or hear about it. For quite some people there are some misconceptions about the whole thing of "seriousness" in a particular field.

AD, AP and APub. V1.10.6 and V2.0.3 Windows 10 and Windows 11.  Both are regular Windows,  I'm not in the Windows Insider program.
Ryzen 9 3900X, 32 GB RAM,  RTX 3060 12GB, Wacom Intuos XL, Wacom L. Eizo ColorEdge CS 2420 monitor. Windows 10 Pro.
HP Omen 16-b1010ns 12700H, 32GB DDR5 (corsair), nVidia RTX 3060 6GB + Huion Kamvas 22 drawing screen, Windows 11 Pro.

 

 

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Imho: Serif should add normal extension/plugin interface, so such wheels and stuff could be added by separate developers only for those who need it. This "not-usefull-for-all" stuff is perfect for third-party addons

Without such extension scheme AP will quikly turn into bloated monster... and this is not good, imho. It possibly will kill Serif eventually, because constantly handle huge codebase will require gradually more resources for coding, testing and managing -> Serif (as Adobe) will switch into subscriptions for new stuff -> and that`s all. This days app can not be supported infinitely by "pay once - use forever" system. This system require new users and eventually there will be no more new users. Even today AP known almost as well as Photoshop, so this limit is not that far away. So better to keep core apps tight, to delay reaching this limit

Better to ask developers for open, extensive plugin system :) This will cover much more needs than asking Serif for partially-usefull stuff

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On 1/4/2020 at 1:09 AM, IPv6 said:

Imho: Serif should add normal extension/plugin interface, so such wheels and stuff could be added by separate developers only for those who need it. This "not-usefull-for-all" stuff is perfect for third-party addons

Without such extension scheme AP will quikly turn into bloated monster... and this is not good, imho. It possibly will kill Serif eventually, because constantly handle huge codebase will require gradually more resources for coding, testing and managing -> Serif (as Adobe) will switch into subscriptions for new stuff -> and that`s all. This days app can not be supported infinitely by "pay once - use forever" system. This system require new users and eventually there will be no more new users. Even today AP known almost as well as Photoshop, so this limit is not that far away. So better to keep core apps tight, to delay reaching this limit

Better to ask developers for open, extensive plugin system :) This will cover much more needs than asking Serif for partially-useful stuff

An extensive plugin system may be the solution for the pop-up palette, if that is indeed something they have an interest in creating in the near future. Though an extensive plugin system is a lot more resource intensive than the simple pop-up palette I'm asking for if plugin's were not something they were planning until much later. And the pop-up palette could be used for other tools besides just the brushes so it doesn't seem like bloat to me. 

But there are three other things I asked for above, all of which are actually more important to the digital painting experience than the pop-up palette. In fact the lack of first two are so painful to the experience of using the Affinity products that they actually seem like bugs. Why won't a brush stay highlighted? WHY?!!!!!!! Oh please just stay highlighted if I've selected you. Why can't I see the brush names? I can't remember squiggly lines. I need to see the names. I don't want to wait and hover over each brush until the name pops up. Together these two items make for a horrible user experience and it effects everyone who uses brushes for any reason, not just digital painters.

Finally the third request is more of a bonus I suppose, but I'm often creating an effect that I can't remember later how I created it. Sometimes if I'm trying a lot of different approaches, one right after another, I don't even remember how I did something just moments ago. Being able to click on a layer and have something tell me exactly what brushes I've used would be a godsend. Yes I could name each layer after the brushes I used in it I suppose but that's another thing taking me out of the painting experience. 

  

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  • 1 year later...

Going to throw in my +1 to more powerful painting workflows like those suggested here along with supporting some of the other commonly used workflow tools in Photoshop used by the concept art and matte painting communities who all are still heavily tied to Photoshop.

While purely digital painting apps are great, one of the reasons the Concept Art and Matte Painting communities use Photoshop is also due to all the powerful Photo manipulation tools which are part of the average arsenal of digital painters in production nowadays. Adobe has mostly forgotten about this segment of its user base over the years and done next to nothing to fulfill their requests.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I can't believe I just posted this same suggestions...

Brush label names and keep the brush selection... among other suggestions... and your post it's from 2019! I hope devs see this, because there are a lot of digital art users that need a decent painting workflow.

You can't even paint if you don't know which brush is already selected!

 

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