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Lorox

Something like P-Shop’s "Free Transform" – it's missed!

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I – surprisingly – couldn't find anything substantial on this topic here, so I'll start a new one... (and I hope I haven't overlooked some feature of the app that actually would have made this request unnecessary)

As it is, I dearly miss something like Photoshops's "Free Transform" in Affinity Photo. In AP the whole transformation business is – to me – rather clumsy and really not ergonomic at all. It can be really tedious to sort of "model" a pixel selection to certain shape by using a combination of scaling, rotating, shearing and distorting (free or in perspective).

In Photoshop – which I'd really want to give up in favour of AP – it's all under your fingertips: just press CMD-T and with that context-menu "Free Transform" provides, you can do almost ANYTHING to your pixel selection (either including the selected pixels or not). It's all there under the right mouse button (or just a keyboard shortcut away if you're using a graphics tablet with a pencil) and you can go between ALL the different types of transformations I mentioned above without once returning to the menu bar or some palette. And when you're ready, you hit ENTER and you're done.

This is simple, intuitive and just ergonomic and it's been there for years and years. With AP complex transforming is just annoying and unpleasant work to me. I my opinion it's really a strange idea to "hide" transformation options like shear and distort in the "Filters" menu – as these very ARE basic transformations and should be accessible (at least) from the "Transform" panel, if not – as in Photoshop – actually from a context menu on screen right next to the selection you're working on. I personally think it is quite an unreasonable demand in AP that – e.g. – for shearing you have to pull at some abstract lines in an extra panel far from the actual selection on the screen.

If this could be adressed some time soon, working in AP would be so much more pleasant for me.

FreeTransformContextMenu-in-PS.jpg

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I don't have Photoshop for comparison, and am no Photo expert, but…

  1. Make a selection.
  2. Press V to switch to the move tool.

You now have Rotation, Scale and Shear handles available.

 


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13 hours ago, Aammppaa said:

You now have Rotation, Scale and Shear handles available

Yeah, of course it's possible to Scale and Rotate (as basic as it is) – not different as in any design app I know. How to Shear with those handles escapes me, nevertheless. As far as I see I have to revert to the Filter menu to bring up that special Shear panel. Am I missing something here?

For anyone who knows what you could do with Photoshop here, the options given by AP must be very disappointing. The workflow to accomplish more complex transformations seems to be really tedious and un-ergonomic to me. If it were just possible to move each corner point of a selection marquee independently to acchieve a free distortion (including "fake" perspective) this would already be a huge improvement over the current status quo. Given all the good features Affinity Photo is offering it's too bad we still have to wait for this very basic function...

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1 hour ago, Lorox said:

How to Shear with those handles escapes me, nevertheless. As far as I see I have to revert to the Filter menu to bring up that special Shear panel. Am I missing something here?

Looking at the bounding box, you have the round rotation handle at the top, and below it the middle handle that is actually on the box. Put your cursor on the rotation handle, and move it slowly down the line toward the middle handle. Part-way down it should turn into a pair of arrows, which are the shearing cursor.


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1 hour ago, walt.farrell said:

Part-way down it should turn into a pair of arrows, which are the shearing curs

You can actually do that with any of the handles that are along the sides of the object (not the corners), it is not limited to the one with the rotation handle.  Just place the pointer over one of the handles and move it away from the object slowly.

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I’m not a Photoshop user either, so I don't know the exact functionality there, but if you use menu “Select→ Edit Selection as Layer” or toggle the Quick Mask on (toolbar button) you can use the Move Tool to do all kinds of manipulations on the selection. Use the same menu selection, or toggle, to go back to the marching ants.
See the video here:

 

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12 minutes ago, fde101 said:

You can actually do that with any of the handles that are along the sides of the object (not the corners), it is not limited to the one with the rotation handle.  Just place the pointer over one of the handles and move it away from the object slowly.

Thanks a lot – you're right! Seems like I accidentally never hit that sweet spot near the side handles where those double arrows appear... So that sort of works.

It can be argued, though, if making the different transformation options directly (and temporarily "isolated") accessibly through a context menu isn't probably a more "general" and/or more easy to learn and eventually more ergonomic way. I always felt that properly equipped (naturally) context aware context menus are such a great help for an easy and effective workflow. They also speed up the learning of a new program as they – in the best case – offer you a good selection of options you might need just where and when you actually need them. In this respect the Adobe apps have done things mostly right, I'd say.

Well... that said it should be stated that the whole (free) transformation business is not quite as bad as I thought before. My apologies to Affinity! BUT (as I said before): please add that option to move a selection's cornerpoints individually in order to allow distort freely – this is so useful in many situations! Sometimes you want to be quite drastic at distorting and sometimes you have just to make that little correction at one corner to get a selection aligned properly to some given perspective. It would be so easy IF any corner could be manipulated individually.

 

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Hi GarryP,

thanks or pointing this out, but I actually already knew this is (currently) the (only) way to do it in AP when it comes to modifying just the selection boundaries (and not the pixels). I must say, however, that this procedure seems unnecessarily clumsy to me: going back and forth to the menu and so on...

It would really be much more convenient if the function of "editing the selection as a layer" could be accessed by way of a context menu right at your active selection. This way you wouldn't be forced to leave your current area of work to travel across a 27" screen (or even to a second display where your menu bar is...).

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Ah, thank you. I keep forgetting that. Maybe it's also some clashing of nomenclature: ”Quick Mask" and "Edit selection as a layer" – both used in AP for rather the same thing – at least sound quite different...

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On 3/31/2020 at 4:06 PM, Lorox said:

please add that option to move a selection's cornerpoints individually in order to allow distort freely

Mesh Warp and Perspective tools do almost what we need... if devs added just some options to behaviour it would be perfect.

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42 minutes ago, Fixx said:

Mesh Warp and Perspective tools do almost what we need... if devs added just some options to behaviour it would be perfect.

In a way... I'd say, though, that Mesh Warp is a actually bit too "delicate"  – you'd be forced to adjust too many handles and or anchors to achieve those rather simple "straight" distortions I was thinking of. Perspective comes nearer but as you always have those 2D planes here (with several points interacting) it appears too difficult – to me at least – to adjust these to the actual (or rather represented) 3D perspective of the image. It would be so easy if for a quick and dirty rule of thumb distortion (or "perspective") adjustment you could just move each corner point separately. I guess anybody who's done this with Photoshop in all those past years will most certainly agree. You don't really want to resort to more or less complicated workarounds once you've experienced ways to do things straight and sipmle...

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