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tulpen

First impressions as a Photoshop User

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First of all: I'm super excited to get my hands on this although I do still have one of the last perpetual licenses for CS6 and have therefore not been bullied into the cloud. But it's time Adobe gets some more competition with their products, it looks like that corporation is doing with their employees and customers whatever they just feel like.

 

It does appear that you were really aiming to create more or less a clone of Photoshop with this software. I hope you stick with the perpetual license model. This subscription pandemic is getting out of hand. On first glance, everything seems familiar: my hotkeys and keyboard controls work as expected, hardly any tools appear missing or even out of place... it could almost pass as a UI skin of Photoshop itself. Of course this means easy entry for the Photoshop crowd. Does make me wonder about legal repercussions, though. But I'm sure you guys know what you're doing. Of course, Adobe is sitting on a pretty long lever with creative cloud. There are some tools you only get with the complete cloud subscription and if someone needs that tool, he or she might as well use the whole adobe suite. So if you guys want to pry that business away, you'd better offer alternatives for all of their tools. Good luck with that!

 

Here's my first batch of comments while going through the UI:

 

Pros:

  • I like the tooltip bar at the bottom that I know from Maya.
  • I love the implementation of photo stock. Sooooooo much faster than browsing their websites. Can't wait for support of other sites (stockphoto secrets, adobe stock?, vectorstock?). If account login will also be supported so that you can license an image from within the UI, that would be dank.
  • this is only minor but I like your UI design. That refers to UI elements and icons. I like that you don't go with the flow and implement all single color vector icons. Microsoft has pushed this pandemic way too far.
  • Your vector shapes implementation is great. Even Adobe's CC live shapes toolbox can't beat your control of the shapes with these little control points. However, i don't see my boolean tools that allow me to add, subtract, intersect the shapes. I'm thinking that it should be possible to perform these operations amongst the shapes while at the same time keeping their history / top level edit control the way you can do it in Maya: Create a tear drop, subtract a rounded rectangle, intersect a star shape, and then always be able to go back and change the corner radius of the rounded rectangle.

 

Cons:

  • Off the bat, the UI seems to perform more slowly than expected from Photoshop. the tile redrawing when moving objects or making adjustments is pretty sluggish. And that on a 64bit i7 CPU with 32GB RAM and a GeForce GTX 980 card. Renderer was automatically set to hardware but neither hardware nor "warp" seemed to perform any differently.
  • There doesn't seem to be a way to expand the tool panel into two columns. That's usually the first thing I do, feels claustrophobic otherwise. But that's just me.
  • When entering quickmask mode, it appears that the histogram picks up the red shift of the mask. What possible purpose could that have? Is that a bug?
  • Rulers don't allow calibrating the zero point.
  • I feel like there should be a way to resize the shape fill control window. If you are modyfing a complex linear gradient, for example, you want to make it as large as possible for accurate placement of stops
  • you might need some more visual feedback when things are happening in the background. I opened an NEF file twice because I couldn't tell that it was already working on the first one.

 

Opportunities:

  • One of the areas where Photoshop has left me unsatisfied is the ability to find fonts I like. Without proper organization, finding the right font still requires scrolling through tons of them until you find what you like. The font browser you have looks like it's at the level of my CS6 installation. Photoshop CC does actually have categorization, faving, show similar fonts, etc. Google fonts has great tools for font selection as well. The perfect UI would implement (maybe crowd sourced?) font categorization, large font previews, font recognition with automatic substitution suggestion, web font API implementation and, who knows, maybe even a font editor?
  • Ruler management in Photoshop is just solala. In Illustrator, they actually show up in the layers. It would be great if you guys would provide a way in which you can do things like grab a bunch of guides and use alignment tools on them like distribute.
  • Spline (mesh) deformation has always had room for improvement in Photoshop. A tool that would really stand out would allow you to put down any number of bezier curves over a raster graphic, then lock them to the graphic and start destorting the underlying graphic by adjusting the bezier curves. I've been waiting for such a feature for ages.
  • Also look at how in Maya, you can middle mouse drag to adjust number values of various attributes. I know you have slider bars available in most locations, but it might come in handy here and there.
  • I also find that Silhouette Studio has done a great job of interpreting exisitng tools in new ways that make them pretty easy to use instead of just sticking with the standard. Might be worth taking a look at.
  • The Affine tool is interesting. But a tool that could be very useful is a kaleidoscope tool. And it would basically turn your work area around your canvas into a live kaleidoscope of your canvas, either in mirror or repeat mode. This could be very handy for texturing artist who need to make seamless textures. Possibly, you could even tweak the boundaries of the Kaleidoscope tunnel via draggable guides to any part on your screen.
  • It's nice to see the develop persona providing another alternative to editing raw camera output. Currently, I use the importer in Photoshop and like it overall. But one huge thing that's missing from their tool is the ability to simply copy and batch paste all adjustments of one image to another. You guys don't even have the thumbnail scroll pane if you drag multiple images in. If you were to implement those two things, I might consider switching tools for photo editing. But for that, render performance also has to improve.

Alright, I have to get back to work. Looking forward to watching this tool evolve. Thank you for your hard work!

 

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Hi tulpen,

Welcome to Affinity Forums :)

Thanks for your feedback. Very appreciated.

 

Some comments about your points:

You can perform boolean operations selecting two or more shapes and going to menu Layer ▸ Geometry. If you press and hold ALT GR while doing so you will create a compound instead (non-destructive boolean operation) which you can expand in the Layers panel to access and modify the original shapes and boolean operation.

 

To customise the toolbar on the left go to menu View ▸ Customise Tools.... You can change the number of columns there.

 

You can use the mouse scroll wheel to change the input field values. Just mouse over them first. You can also drag the mouse over the labels to change some of them. This is still being polished/completed.

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