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Gradient Colour Editor: Ways to open?


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Which version?

This is one of my minor niggles with Affinity apps, that there isn't a gradient panel with advanced gradient editing features, editing gradients is a convoluted process of multiple clicks. You have a colour panel, you have a swatches panel, logically there should be a gradients panel.

With a dedicated gradient panel, things like dragging colours from the swatch panel to the gradient being edited would be a major boon and considering how much gradients are used I'm very surprised a dedicated gradient panel hasn't been created.

By example, illustrator can do drag and drop to gradients see image below.
image.png.aff7db4cc2a117e920ff4dbe5429ffc5.png

 

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14 hours ago, deeds said:

What are all the ways to open the Gradient Colour Editor in Affinity Designer?

maybe I am just dense but I'm not sure what you mean by "Editor" here. Gradient colors are applied to the stops created by the Fill Tool & their extent depends on the type (linear, radial, etc.) of gradient & location of the midpoints between the stops. Any stop's color can be edited by selecting it & using the Swatches, Color, or Color Chooser panels, but there are no separate presets or other provisions for globally storing the colors of particular stops, if that is what you are looking for.

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10 hours ago, R C-R said:

maybe I am just dense but I'm not sure what you mean by "Editor" here. Gradient colors are applied to the stops created by the Fill Tool & their extent depends on the type (linear, radial, etc.) of gradient & location of the midpoints between the stops. Any stop's color can be edited by selecting it & using the Swatches, Color, or Color Chooser panels, but there are no separate presets or other provisions for globally storing the colors of particular stops, if that is what you are looking for.

This is the Gradient Colour Editor:

image.png.a7d8c93c06dabf4cbcd97663ee6c0ef6.png

 

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22 hours ago, firstdefence said:

Which version?

All of them. It pisses me off in all of them how I have to keep opening this thing to do refinements... Like you, I want one open, permanently somewhere, or a shortcut (keyboard, at the very least) to keep popping it up when I instantly need it.

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To edit a gradient, you can do that directly in the document window using the Fill Tool. No need to open the Gradient color window. See also https://affinity.help/designer2/en-US.lproj/pages/Clr/gradientEditor.html for more about that.

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34 minutes ago, R C-R said:

directly in the document window using the Fill Tool. No need to open

That's the point: "directly" versus "pop-up":

Quote

gradienthelppop-up.jpg.d1850e18e9f3d151684f33cc8e78f0e5.jpg

In my understanding a Gradient Panel is missing indeed, permanently available like Swatches and Colours panel. And, if not as a separate panel of its own it maybe expected at least within the Colours panel which includes already various nested interface options: space, slider, hsl, tint, wheel, swatch creation … but just not gradient.

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1 hour ago, thomaso said:

In my understanding a Gradient Panel is missing indeed, permanently available like Swatches and Colours panel. And, if not as a separate panel of its own it maybe expected at least within the Colours panel which includes already various nested interface options: space, slider, hsl, tint, wheel, swatch creation … but just not gradient.

If you are talking about applying a gradient fill and/or stroke to a selected object, setting the gradient type for its fill and/or stroke, and/or placing its stops and midpoints on that object, I am having a hard time imagining how that studio panel would look or what advantage it would have vs. the current implementation. To me, it seems like it would most likely just duplicate what we can already do now using the Fill Tool & its context toolbar, use more screen space, & require just as many or more steps to set or change any of the gradient properties.

Could you explain more about what you have in mind for that?

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7 hours ago, R C-R said:

require just as many or more steps

No. The various Context Toolbar options reuire extra clicks to open their various menus. This can make its use a lot more cumbersome if you want to adjust the gradient of several objects. Just note the different handling between applying a swatch (or stroke) via the Context Toolbar versus via the opened Swatch panel (or Stroke panel).

Also note, we may have a palette for gradient swatches but the Swatches panel does not enable us to edit its gradients – although it makes us believe it would by its offer "Edit Fill…" that, if used, simply deletes the current gradient and replaces it by a plain colour … in a not undoable procedure.

swatchespaneleditfillgradient.jpg.33b9b285ef0ac41dac5ea9dfb8aa45b3.jpg

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42 minutes ago, thomaso said:

No. The various Context Toolbar options reuire extra clicks to open their various menus. This can make its use a lot more cumbersome if you want to adjust the gradient of several objects.

But I think to have all the options available in a separate Gradient Studio panel without also having similar popup menus in it would mean the panel would be quite large, maybe so large that on smaller screens it would not be very practical, so could you perhaps show a mockup of what you have in mind? For instance, how would it include setting all the stops, midpoints, colors, opacities, etc. without using popup menus for at least some of that?

I'm also not sure about how often anyone would want to change any or all of the properties of several different gradient fills and/or strokes to the same values, so can you say more about when that would be desirable or maybe provide an example file?

1 hour ago, thomaso said:

Also note, we may have a palette for gradient swatches but the Swatches panel does not enable us to edit its gradients – although it makes us believe it would by its offer "Edit Fill…" that, if used, simply deletes the current gradient and replaces it by a plain colour … in an undoable procedure.

OK, that does seem like a place a separate gradient panel might be useful but it still seems to me that it would have to be very large or include some of the same popup menus the context toolbar has.

BTW, I was playing around with this stuff in AP V2 & it eventually crashed after trying to edit the size of a pixel layer with a gradient applied to it, so I'm not sure what else I can say about how this should or could work in the V2 apps.

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11 minutes ago, thomaso said:

No. It could stay with its current UI design but as panel ... just like other panels that don't close by themselves.

Fine for a linear gradient fill but what about for the other gradient types & for setting the gradient of the stroke instead of or in addition to the gradient applied to an object's fill?

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2 minutes ago, prophet said:

I don't follow. As I change the gradient type in the existing pop up, no changes in the UI happen. I should think the same would hold for a panel.

That's the point. In the existing editor UI, you can't choose where to place the stops or mid points for anything other than linear gradients, nor can you choose to set gradients for strokes. The only way to do that currently is in the document window using the Fill Tool.

So even if the window is a separate studio panel & doesn't close it still offers very limited options vs. using the Tool.

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6 minutes ago, R C-R said:

That's the point. In the existing editor UI, you can't choose where to place the stops or mid points for anything other than linear gradients

I'm still not following. I can set the points for any gradient type in the context pop up.

 

Screenshot 2023-08-07 at 2.45.46 PM.png

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9 minutes ago, prophet said:

I'm still not following. I can set the points for any gradient type in the context pop up.

How do you choose where to place the origin of a radial or conical fill on the object, or any of the parameters of a bitmap fill, or setting the locations of the elliptical gradient's origin or either of its extent handles, or choose between applying a gradient to a stroke instead of to the fill of the object? What about rotating either gradient, or maintaining the aspect ratio?

All I'm saying is there is no way to put all this into a single, reasonably sized studio panel; there will always be a need for using the Fill Tool directly on the object & for some way of choosing among the options currently available from the Context Toolbar of that tool.

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25 minutes ago, prophet said:

The Gradient tool would still be the way to initiate the gradient, but we would just have the context pop up be a panel instead. Maybe like this…

But what practical advantage does that have vs. using the tool & the context toolbar? Imagine trying to add 5 or 6 stops to a conical gradient, offsetting its origin to somewhere other than the default center of the object it is applied to, or creating/editing a stroke gradient.

As a separate panel with just those limited options in it, it still is large enough that there may not be much room for it when other panels are more important for a particular workflow, & even as it is you still need a popup to select the color.

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I'm not suggesting any functionality of the Gradient tool be moved or changed in any way. Merely, that rather than having to make the extra click to pop open the fill (or stroke) gradient context toolbar editor, that interface could live in it's own panel.

It would make my workflow a bit quicker as it would align those options with existing panels in the Right Studio rather than appearing on the opposite side of the workspace. But to each their own.

12 minutes ago, R C-R said:

even as it is you still need a popup to select the color

Valid, but a panel could give more options in that regard without taking up much more space. Or remove the color popup and use the existing Color Panel in the same way as one does when just making adjustments with the tool itself.

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21 minutes ago, R C-R said:

Imagine trying to add 5 or 6 stops to a conical gradient, offsetting its origin to somewhere other than the default center of the object it is applied to, or creating/editing a stroke gradient.

Don't confuse the current Gradient Tool's interface on an existing & selected object with a Gradient Panel for general gradient creation & edit, independent of a certain object.

Simply imagine the current pop-up interface as a panel, maybe plus the known two colour wells to switch between fill & stroke.

If you're bothered by the idea that the Context Toolbar already provides access to gradient options, just consider the various Affinity panels, whose properties can alternatively already be set in the Context Toolbar for selected layout objects.

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3 minutes ago, prophet said:

Or remove the color popup and use the existing Color Panel in the same way as one does when just making adjustments with the tool itself.

But then you (the user) need to interace with two different panels at the same time, which will be cumbersome whether they are on the same side of the studio or opposite sides of the studio, and especially if they're in the same row of the studio.

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