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mayfly

Why is it so hard to rotate something?

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I often think that the designers of Affinity Photo have looked at how things are implemented in other applications and then deliberately done something else. I don't mind that they've done something different, but it shouldn’t make theoretically simple tasks really hard...

I wanted to rotate a layer by a degree or two... There's no rotate tool. There are rotate options in the menus, but they only do 90º steps. Maybe the move tool has a rotate mode? Nope... Try the help... Ah - there's a transform panel... but it is greyed out and there is no obvious way to enable it... Google search... find a forum thread from when the application was in beta and nobody could figure this out... Right - so you have to select the move tool for the transform panel to do anything. That's just illogical.

So - please remove the connection between the transform panel and the move tool. There is nothing in the interface or the help to suggest there is one, and I can't see any reason why there should be one. And please turn the move tool into a more general transform tool, with modes for move, scale, rotate and skew. People will probably be able to figure that out without all the frustration.

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I actually saw that help page, but I couldn’t get the move tool to do anything but move stuff. There’s either more to it than that page suggests or it doesn’t work properly. There isn’t any visual feedback to suggest that it should be do anything or why it isn’t.

But the point stands - the transform panel shouldn’t be connected to the move tool. And you really should be able to perform basic transformations without even having to think about it.

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If you want to rotate the canvas it will be only the view not the canvas itself.
Only quick shapes are to be rotated also by the nodetool
All other layers can be rotated in the transform panel or by the object handles.
And yes this has to be done by the move tool as the name implies to transform/move the object.

 


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Win10(1909)Home / Photo / Designer / Publisher & latest (beta) versions

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Moving, scaling and rotating are easy with move tool, but shearing I cannot do.

Transform panel works fine if you have selected the right layer.

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10 minutes ago, Fixx said:

Moving, scaling and rotating are easy with move tool, but shearing I cannot do.

Transform panel works fine if you have selected the right layer.

Why not?

Put the mouse pointer at the middle handles and watch it become two parallel lines with arrows in both directions and drag it up/down when on left or right handles.
Or drag left/right when on top/bottom handles.


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Win10(1909)Home / Photo / Designer / Publisher & latest (beta) versions

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10 minutes ago, haakoo said:

Why not?

Put the mouse pointer at the middle handles and watch it become two parallel lines with arrows in both directions and drag it up/down when on left or right handles or left/right when on top/bottom handles.

OK now I got it. Temporarily did not show.

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"And yes this has to be done by the move tool as the name implies to transform/move the object."

But it's bad interface design. If the controls in the Transform Panel are tied to the move tool, then they should be contextual controls which appear when you select the move tool. The fact that they are in a panel which has no obvious connection to the move tool suggests that they are not connected to the move tool.

The move tool doesn't even give any obvious indication of why it isn’t working when you try to use it on a locked layer, so there is clearly work to be done with its visual feedback.

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4 hours ago, mayfly said:

If the controls in the Transform Panel are tied to the move tool

No, the transform panel works regardless of the selected tool, with the exception that if you have a curve selected then with some tools the panel works on the selected node(s) rather than the selected object(s).

Similarly if you are using the node tool and have transform mode enabled then the direct rotate/scale on the canvas would work on a set of three or more selected nodes rather than on the entire object.

 

4 hours ago, mayfly said:

The move tool doesn't even give any obvious indication of why it isn’t working when you try to use it on a locked layer

First off, you can't select a locked layer except from the layers panel, so that should be your first clue (the lock icon in the panel).

Secondly, the handles of the locked layer are "X"s instead of the normal blocks, so there is another indication.

Thirdly, the pointer does not change as you roll over the handles of a locked layer, so there is another BIG clue - for other layers it will change to show what is about to happen.

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I can see the controls in the Transform panel enable and disable as I change tool. Clearly, the panel only works when the Move Tool is selected.

The rotate and skew functions are working today, so I guess whatever stopped them working yesterday has gone away. The areas where those functions active are quite small and hard to find though.

It wouldn't hurt for the move tool to display a little padlock if you try to use it on a locked layer. The icon in the layers panel is easy to miss, and since locking a layer doesn't stop you editing it in some ways, it is easy to forget that a layer is locked. Also, if you open a JPEG, you start off with a locked layer that is selected, so that's a way to be working on a locked layer without having actively selected it.

Why are people so set against this application being made easier and more intuitive?

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On 5/14/2020 at 2:19 PM, mayfly said:

Clearly, the panel only works when the Move Tool is selected

Oh...  Affinity Photo, right... gotcha.

The Transform panel applies to a vector-based selection, while most of the tools in Photo ignore that and work with raster-based data, which is treated separately.

The Transform panel works with most of the vector-oriented tools, such as the shape tools, pen tool, text tools, and so on, though its exact meaning changes depending on the context.

With the raster-oriented tools there is no valid vector selection so it makes sense that the controls in the panel would be disabled.

I actually do find that to be quite intuitive.

 

On 5/14/2020 at 2:19 PM, mayfly said:

The areas where those functions active are quite small and hard to find though.

I agree there could be some improvement here to the sizes of the zones in which these work.  I think the overall behavior is good, but as you indicated, the sizes of the target areas can be a bit of a problem.

It is a double-edged sword though, as making those areas too large can make it difficult to work with multiple objects when they are close together - instead of selecting a nearby handle you might windup transforming the already-selected object, so it could get somewhat frustrating in the other direction if they make those zones too large.

I can actually find them fairly quickly, quite consistently by now, so it is not a problem for me, but it did take a few times before I got there - and not all pointing devices are made equal; I could imagine hitting that target would be more difficult with some than with others, and for users who are newer to the application.  Thus I believe the size of these target zones should really be made into a preference.

 

On 5/14/2020 at 2:19 PM, mayfly said:

It wouldn't hurt for the move tool to display a little padlock if you try to use it on a locked layer.

It wouldn't hurt, no.  I'm not sure how much it would help either, as the handles of the layer do turn into "X" indicators, so there is already visual feedback to indicate the layer is locked...  but it wouldn't hurt.

 

On 5/14/2020 at 2:19 PM, mayfly said:

Why are people so set against this application being made easier and more intuitive?

We're not.  Sometimes different users have different ideas about what is easy and what is intuitive.  There are definitely areas where the application could be improved, but many of the things you are pointing to as problems were done the way they were for a reason which makes perfect sense and improves the overall flexibility of the program.  Some of the things you are asking to change would actually make the program less intuitive rather than more.

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Hi @mayfly

Stiff opposition or the like from a small core of forum users is quite normal here and I know for a fact that new users (customers) simply quit the forum because of it. I would be surprised if Serif didn’t care. They do.

I also know Serif do read forum posts here and thus also your legitimate concerns and good suggestions. So you have been heard. You just won’t get an official answer to your suggestions. You will get support though from their staff. Perhaps they will take your suggestions into account, perhaps not.

My personal advice to Serif for v2 of Photo is not new features but a complete usability overhaul. It really, really needs it.

Thank you for taking your time to share your thoughts. You are not alone. And as I said the right people in Nottingham will read your post.
 

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