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While I do not profess to know how AP is structured under-the-hood (bonnet!), it seems like a lot of the tools are implemented in a real-time, live way that seems as if they would work in a node-based workflow.  For example, the node editor in Blender or Davinci Resolve.  If this is the case, it would be an incredibly terrific feature if the user could select between the current "traditional" interface and workflow for AP, or a node-based interface.  I would love to be able to create an image-processing pipeline with a network for nodes with preview renders along the way to see each stage of the workflow and variations of the node chain.  It would be terrific if node groups could be saved as "presets" that became single nodes themselves, which could be expanded and the contents exposed for tweaking and customization.  

Please consider this approach, if it is possible.  Rendering low-res preview proxies during node assembly would hopefully be a lot less taxing on the interface than the current full-res rendering of Live Filters that tends to get laggy when there are even a modest amount of layers in the stack.  You could save full, non-destructive workflows as a pre-built node chain, you could have a single node chain branch into multiple variants, and have a batch node that feeds an entire directory of images into the node chain for processing.  Maybe even macro nodes, etc.  It would be so much more flexible and serve to further differentiate AP from PS.

The output of the node-based workflow could be fed into the "traditional" photo persona (a Photo persona node) for local, destructive edits, painting on masks, etc.

One can dream....  LOL

Thanks for pushing the boundaries with your applications.

Kirk

 

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Good to know I’m not alone!:)

Some mind map (XMind8), allowing stacked node map (multi-layer)This is a common means of double sided PCB(Printed Circuit Board).
I think it would be extremely foolish to have only one layer of node map. It limits the ability of node map space!
Using a 3d stacked node map, you true make the most of 100% of the node potential.

low-res preview agent.

This proposal is very good. I support it!

 


The more restricted you put on the program, the closer you program is to idiot.

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I would be happy  with just any way to provide non destructive image editing.  Node based or not.   Up to Photoshop level at least   where you can use "groups clipping"  and separate stack  of smart objects as non-destructive masks for another smart object.   Recent addition of  accessing smart object internal layer compositions  up to main document  layer comps also adds to this .  

In fact Photoshop in its current state could be truly and completely non-destructive.     If it would be supporting of 32 bit floating point image editing  same way Affinity photo does at least.   

Still Photoshop  is slow as hell once your stack is complicated enough to be doing anything  non destructive. That's my guess why nobody use it this way.   Affinity shows much more hope in that regard but lacks even basic features like "chain" transform links.   Layer comps, live  effects/filters are also pretty limited comparing to Photoshop.

So yeah, if we could have a live filter same as "procedural" one  with node based UI  it would be super helpful.     But at first for such new nods driven layer    we need the soft getting access to content of other layers as initial inputs  for such new node based layer calculation flow.

My main soft of image editing is Substance Designer  currently .  But my gosh  it's so monstrously , so tremendously inconvenient  in its every piece, every detail.  You have to redo every node and every tool with "pixel processors" and recollect long forgotten vector algebra and trigonometry to do so.   It's so monstrously artist unfriendly in its every UI detail  I am always feel nostalgic  about layers there.     A macaroni monster Gordian node as I call it.          So my hope we could have best of both ways  layers and nodes  in both Photo and Designer  

  

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1 hour ago, kirk23 said:

In fact Photoshop in its current state could be truly and completely non-destructive.     If it would be supporting of 32 bit floating point image editing  same way Affinity photo does at least. 

In my experience no layer-based image editor is perfect. PhotoLine does support pretty much a full non-destructive workflow with 32bpc images, and, like Photoshop, fully implements a "smart objects" ("placeholder layers") workflow, up to the point of allowing external PS plugins to be applied as live filters, and using placeholder layers as masks for other placeholder layers, and live instancing of layers. Krita also supports instanced layers, and a non-destructive filter layer.

The thing that really bothers me about Photoshop is its reliance on clipped layers to create stacks of combined masks. It just works better to allow multiple (grouped) layer masks.

But the issue remains that layer-based editors do slow down at some point, and things become rather complex fast: a nodal approach is often easier and more effective to work with when things heat up in terms of complex compositing. I would love to see a nodal layer of some sort to be implemented.

If memory serves me, I recall a mac-based image editor that (years ago) implemented a kind-of stackable puzzle approach on top of the traditional layer stack. I forget its name; it was quite intriguing, but development stopped at some point.

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1 hour ago, Medical Officer Bones said:

In my experience no layer-based image editor is perfect. PhotoLine does support pretty much a full non-destructive workflow with 32bpc images

Thanks Medical Officer Bone     for reminding me  about Photoline.  It's promising  for sure.    They probably have done quite a progress since last time I tried it.   And I agree Phs "group clipping"  is a clunky way to introduce non-destructiveness.  I often couldn't figure out a thing in my own mess of groups and smart objects there.    Photoline  was definitely a touch of simplicity and elegance  in that regard.

  I recall a lack of transform "chain " links  what have annoyed me.  I tried to perform typical   depth based objects/layers combine trick  and lack of  "chains"   made it fall apart every time I need to re-compose something.  

Same problem  in APhoto , no links or multi selection, and if you touch something  accidentally  it's breaking.  I re-subscribed back to Photoshop because of that.

Still  every time I work in Substance Designer  I miss an ability to select  some object of screen  instantly,  move/scale it around,  paintbrush a mask or vector shape and scatter some vector based particles along a vector spline  manually.      SDesigner svg and bitmap paint nodes are absolutely  horrendous and unusable.

Whatever mess of group clipping Phs may have   a Gordian node of those  SDesigner nodes with its connection lines is just on totally different level.

I wish Affinity Designer  could simply use Substance Designer  sbs   files  or Filter forge ones  as live filters.   But  the issue of inputs still stays.    We usually need inputs from other layers too  to do something meaningful with nodes

I also use Blender compositing mode a lot since they introduced   "cryptomatte"  last year .  Perhaps some kind of a bridge  with Affinity soft  could be  cool too.   In general  I love Blender's approach to node editors. Imo they are the best I saw.  Much easier to work with  than both SDesigner and FForge ones.

I suspect one day Blender may become quite a solution for image editing too.  2d or 3d, it's all the same basically     

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14 hours ago, kirk23 said:

...

I also use Blender compositing mode a lot since they introduced   "cryptomatte"  last year .  Perhaps some kind of a bridge  with Affinity soft  could be  cool too.   In general  I love Blender's approach to node editors. Imo they are the best I saw.  Much easier to work with  than both SDesigner and FForge ones.

I suspect one day Blender may become quite a solution for image editing too.  2d or 3d, it's all the same basically     

Exactly.  This is the model I would love to see Affinity follow.  I have no problem with nodes that render the output to a low-res proxy throughout the node tree.  This speeds up the editing process and gets you where you need to be so that you can then put a full res output node at the end of the tree.  Blender is terrific for so many reasons and is an example of how an application can evolve with feedback from an incredibly diverse user base and a bunch of really talented designers and programmers who have support.

I am also a fan of Photoline, for many reasons, but the interface can be klunky and a little obtuse, which adds to the learning curve. 

Kirk (t, not 23 - LOL - how many times does a Kirk run into another Kirk?!  I've met three in my lifetime.  Now, virtually, four.)

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@kirk23 - Also - I have noticed the increased number of CG/3D artists that are suggesting more and more features, or tweaking of existing elements of AP.  This is great, in my opinion.  I have dabbled in 3D rendering but I am primarily a photo/image processing person.  I think the input from the 32bit, multi-channel, OCIO folks who deal with these things regularly in their workflow is solid gold.  This is where image processing needs to go.  Thank you!  From someone who shot HDR mirror ball images and used Paul Debevec's HDRShop decades ago to light his CG scenes!

Kirk

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Gonna bump. 
I'm a gamedev - primarily a texture/material artist.  I use Substance Designer and Painter regularly which I both l love.  That said there are some things that I think both pieces of software don't necessarily lend itself well to. 

Currently I'm actually using afp for scan processing.  Other than artomatix art engine (which might be good for inspiration as well) afp is the only other software I know of that would allow me to easily copy/clone multiple layers to create a tileable material. 

That coupled with a simple 3d viewport window would go a long long way.

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3 hours ago, arvinmoses said:

Gonna bump. 
I'm a gamedev - primarily a texture/material artist.  I use Substance Designer and Painter regularly which I both l love.  That said there are some things that I think both pieces of software don't necessarily lend itself well to. 

Currently I'm actually using afp for scan processing.  Other than artomatix art engine (which might be good for inspiration as well) afp is the only other software I know of that would allow me to easily copy/clone multiple layers to create a tileable material. 

That coupled with a simple 3d viewport window would go a long long way.

I don't agree with you. I object to this.
These are two very different things.


The more restricted you put on the program, the closer you program is to idiot.

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On 7/17/2020 at 1:25 AM, kirkt said:

Kirk (t, not 23 - LOL - how many times does a Kirk run into another Kirk?!  I've met three in my lifetime.  Now, virtually, four.)

Sorry to disappoint but in my case it's just  a combination of my initials, not actual Kirk here :)

 

13 hours ago, arvinmoses said:

Currently I'm actually using afp for scan processing.  Other than artomatix art engine (which might be good for inspiration as well) afp is the only other software I know of that would allow me to easily copy/clone multiple layers to create a tileable material.

That's what I use Affinity photo for  too.   They have best patch tool I ever seen . Would they make it flipping  the source too it would be absolutely terrific.

A company I work for  had  Artomatix  subscription last year and I used it a lot .    I especially loved their content aware fill that worked for  color/height/roughness/normal etc  at sync.    But in the end I found  myself using  Affinity patch tool instead.   To an extent   Artomatix guy asked  us why we stopped  to log in.

Artomatix  always did it in some robotic way,  same Substance Designer  smart auto-tile does,   often ignoring obvious patterns  even  having special node input to follow a per-defined pattern .  And being fully node based  it was always slow, clunky and not very intuitive . Being node based  is not  making it instantly better unfortunately.           I hope they would advance their soft further since we want to re-subscribe  at some point.    Their  AI based selection looks very promising .   I am totally disappointed by Photoshop one.

 

 

 

 

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Yup totally agree on the visual graph not always being better.  I used artomatix as well and while it was good, I did find myself wanting something more akin to afp and patch tools.  I just wish there was a way to height blend the patches.  Currently I use the feather and border search method to breakup the patch edges

Some type of hybrid would be really cool. Maybe something as simple as being able to add a layer that does a series of processes that is non destructive and procedural.  In a sense it's not much different from a filter stack or a series of image adjustments.  If anything it would make it a bit more stream lined.  

Further more within each "procedural" layer you could add another image or af file that serves as another input.  

I agree with you though.  Maybe rather than a node based attack, other things would be better and more universal. I think I might start a new thread for this but on thinking about it top things would probably be 

Multiple channel support a la substance painter ( useful for things other than cg)

3d viewport for visualization

Integration of Embarks texture synthesis running in 16bit (which works amazing btw.  Just not in 16 bits)

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On 7/25/2020 at 10:50 PM, arvinmoses said:

Yup totally agree on the visual graph not always being better.  I used artomatix as well and while it was good, I did find myself wanting something more akin to afp and patch tools.  I just wish there was a way to height blend the patches.  Currently I use the feather and border search method to breakup the patch edges

Some type of hybrid would be really cool. Maybe something as simple as being able to add a layer that does a series of processes that is non destructive and procedural.  In a sense it's not much different from a filter stack or a series of image adjustments.  If anything it would make it a bit more stream lined.  

Further more within each "procedural" layer you could add another image or af file that serves as another input.  

I agree with you though.  Maybe rather than a node based attack, other things would be better and more universal. I think I might start a new thread for this but on thinking about it top things would probably be 

Multiple channel support a la substance painter ( useful for things other than cg)

3d viewport for visualization

Integration of Embarks texture synthesis running in 16bit (which works amazing btw.  Just not in 16 bits)

Nuke has recently improved their node channels
Now, defeat any opponent of the same kind(node channel).


The more restricted you put on the program, the closer you program is to idiot.

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On 7/25/2020 at 4:51 AM, kirk23 said:

being fully node based  it was always slow, clunky and not very intuitive 

Anything that can be done layer-based can also be done node-based and then some.  There have been indications elsewhere on the forum that have suggested that the engine behind the Affinity products is in fact node-based behind the scenes (the layers you work with in the interface are translated into nodes to be rendered) so I don't think you have a case that being node based automatically makes it slow.

I personally find node-based interfaces to be VERY intuitive to work with.

That said, I also think node-based interfaces are most optimally applied to non-destructive data pipelines, while the Affinity products by nature are organized around destructive editing, particularly of pixel layers, so I am suspect of this request as a general interface mechanism for the Affinity products - though an image processing filter from within the Affinity products that allows a node-based approach to defining a custom filtering algorithm could potentially work quite well.

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