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Brian_G

Multiple Selections using Pen Tool

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I have a requirement to make multiple selections more accurately than using the selection brush or selection tools, so I tried using the Pen tool, which has the accuracy I require.

I can draw the outline just fine, and pressing the "Selection" button changes it to the "Marching Ants."
However, I need to make multiple selections, and as soon as I make my next one, it cancels the one I already drew.
I've tried pressing "SHIFT", "CTRL" and "ALT" (separately, not all at the same time!) when pressing "Selection, but each time it cancels my previous selection.

Is there a way of making mutiple selections when using the Pen Tool?

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You can save your Pen Tool created selection as a Spare Channel, or To File.. that you can load later. Using the Spare Channel option allows you to create multiple selections and save them as channels which you can then load/activate by clicking on those channels in the Channels Panel.

 

5a8a874df2f3d_ScreenShot2018-02-19at08_13_38.png.01d1d797824fe59d8b3a15c259175b33.png

 

5a8a874d766a8_ScreenShot2018-02-19at08_13_25.png.58ef5caa98188cf92fa4f317d6d8573e.png


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10 hours ago, Brian_G said:

Is there a way of making mutiple selections when using the Pen Tool?

 

There are two solutions

 

1 You can draw multiple paths and then combine them using a Boolean operation to make one curve. Select the curves then go Layer > Geometry > Combine. That makes one curve, select the Pen tool and click on Selection or Mask

 

2 There is another way, which I think is better. Draw the paths, then group them. Fill them with a colour (you can fill them all at once as a group) and press Ctrl (Cmd on a Mac) and click on the Group layer icon, that turns all the shapes into a multiple selection. You can turn off individual layers so they wont be part of the selection, or add new paths inside the group, adjust them etc..

 

That has the benefit of keeping them all as separate paths, so you can edit them at any time. Unlike using the Selection option with the Pen tool, the paths are all kept as paths, 

 

owl.jpg.15cd5c83f82d6f339d56aa37246d197f.jpg

 


Windows PCs. Photo and Designer, latest non-beta versions.

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I'm rather puzzled by this reply.

As I said, I can not draw multiple paths, since as soon as I start a second one, it cancels the one I just drew.
It's all very well sayng "draw the paths" but that's the problem, I can only draw one at a time.

What am I doing wrong that prevents me from drawing multipe paths with the pen tool?

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You should be able to draw as many paths as you like, hundreds even.  As you can see, below (well 5).

 

Are you pressing Selection on the Context Toolbar after one path ? Don't do that, draw all the paths first and follow the instruction in the post above.

curvy.jpg


Windows PCs. Photo and Designer, latest non-beta versions.

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1 hour ago, toltec said:

You should be able to draw as many paths as you like, hundreds even.  As you can see, below (well 5).

 

Are you pressing Selection on the Context Toolbar after one path ? Don't do that, draw all the paths first and follow the instruction in the post above.

curvy.jpg

Ah! Yes - That looks like it's my problem.
I drew one path and then pressed "Selection" and when I started the second path it cancelled the first.
I will try drawing all the paths (eight in total) and then press "Selection."

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9 minutes ago, Brian_G said:

I will try drawing all the paths (eight in total) and then press "Selection."

 

That wont work (unless you combine them first  (Boolean),

 

Follow my instructions below.

 

Draw the paths, then group them. Fill them with a colour (you can fill them all at once as a group) and press Ctrl (Cmd on a Mac) and click on the Group layer icon, that turns all the shapes into a multiple pixel selection.


Windows PCs. Photo and Designer, latest non-beta versions.

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It seems we have a difference of opinions here.

I will be at the program later so I can experiment.

One thing that puzzles me is, after I have grouped the paths, why is it necessary to fill them with colour?

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1 hour ago, Brian_G said:

One thing that puzzles me is, after I have grouped the paths, why is it necessary to fill them with colour?

 

Like any software, there are different methods to do any job. I am merely showing you a method that works

 

There is no need to have a difference of opinion. In fact I don't have any opinion on it, other than the fact the method works very well for me. I use that method all the time, I never use "Selection" on the Context Toolbar because it deletes the path when it makes a selection. I don't like that approach as you can only create one path at a time (as you discovered) and also, I prefer to keep the path in case I want to edit it later.

 

It is necessary to fill the paths with a colour because Photo uses pixel information to create masks, or selection. No pixels (i.e. transparent), no selection.


Windows PCs. Photo and Designer, latest non-beta versions.

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23 hours ago, Brian_G said:

I have a requirement to make multiple selections more accurately than using the selection brush or selection tools, so I tried using the Pen tool, which has the accuracy I require.

Don't forget that the selection tools also have Add & Subtract modes (& shortcut keys to toggle on-the-fly between them) & some have an Intersect mode as well. There are also 3 available "type" modes of the Freehand Selection Tool (freehand, polygonal, & magnetic), & the "Refine" feature that can save a lot of time once you learn how to use it.


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9 hours ago, R C-R said:

Don't forget that the selection tools also have Add & Subtract modes (& shortcut keys to toggle on-the-fly between them) & some have an Intersect mode as well. There are also 3 available "type" modes of the Freehand Selection Tool (freehand, polygonal, & magnetic), & the "Refine" feature that can save a lot of time once you learn how to use it.

Thanks to everyone for their replies so far, I'm learning some good stuff here.

I had said previously that I was using the pen tool to outline my selection, so the modes of the "Freehand" tool are irrelevant.

If it is of any help, what I'm trying to do is selectively colour specific areas of a photograph, using a different colour in each selection.

I've been experimenting and I've found that I can simply outline the shapes I need with the pen tool.
Once I've drawn an outline, I need to fill it with colour.
I can do this by drawing and filling one outline at a time, so thats OK.
~HOWEVER, when I draw the first outline I can see the start point, the outline and the nodes as I'm drawing, so when I get to the end of the shape I can simply click on the start point to close the shape.
This seems to work OK for the first 3 or 4 outlines, but when I keep adding outlines, the program no longer displays the path I'm drawing.
This seems to happen sooner for paths with a large number of nodes, and eventually the path is not displayed at all, making it very difficult to find the start point to close the outline. It also seems to miss out some nodes, so that if I can successfully close the shape by guessing where the start point was, when I try filling the shape with colour, it's not the shape I thought I had just drawn.

Is this a bug in the program, that limits the number of pen drawn outlines or nodes in those outlines?


 

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41 minutes ago, Brian_G said:

This seems to work OK for the first 3 or 4 outlines, but when I keep adding outlines, the program no longer displays the path I'm drawing.
This seems to happen sooner for paths with a large number of nodes, and eventually the path is not displayed at all, making it very difficult to find the start point to close the outline. It also seems to miss out some nodes, so that if I can successfully close the shape by guessing where the start point was, when I try filling the shape with colour, it's not the shape I thought I had just drawn.

Is this a bug in the program, that limits the number of pen drawn outlines or nodes in those outlines?

 

Hi Brian_G,

Welcome to Affinity Forums :)

There's no limit to the number of nodes you can use on a path. Are you sure you are drawing the whole path in a single operation without deselecting it at some point? If you do deselect it is some way (accidentally or not), the Pen Tool starts drawing a new one, but the previous path still remains there. You can't simply see it because it probably doesn't have a stroke applied and so there's nothing to render/display on screen but if you look at the Layers panel the incomplete open path should be there as a layer.

 

If this is not what's happening can you please record a small clip so we can see what you are doing exactly. Maybe we are missing something here.

Thanks.

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1 hour ago, Brian_G said:

I had said previously that I was using the pen tool to outline my selection, so the modes of the "Freehand" tool are irrelevant.

I suggested using the selection tools (including but not limited to the Freehand Tool) as an alternative to or in addition to using the Pen Tool to make "marching ants" selections. This was based on your comment that you were using the Pen Tool & the Selection button to make these selections. Among other things, using the selection tools in the Add mode allows you to make multiple selections & the Subtract mode allows you to trim away unwanted parts of existing selections.

 

But from your last post, I don't know if you mean you are using "marching ants" selections to control what on a photo your paint tools color or creating vector shapes you then fill with colors as part of a non-destructive workflow.


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I really like this way by tooltec. "Saving" semi-transparant shapes as pseudo-paths for later use as mask is exactly the easy way i like.

I just have to remember select the path-tool again to get the mask-option in the toolbar;-) 

But its a one-way-ticket, isnt it? After doing once (shape to selction) the shape gets nirwana???

However thank you! Just cmd+j before doing this.


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Don't turn the path into a selection by clicking the "Selection" button. Just click on the thumbnail of the Curve-layer or the Curve-layer group while pressing CMD, then AP creates a selection without removing the shape(s).

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9 hours ago, MEB said:

 

Hi Brian_G,

Welcome to Affinity Forums :)

There's no limit to the number of nodes you can use on a path. Are you sure you are drawing the whole path in a single operation without deselecting it at some point? If you do deselect it is some way (accidentally or not), the Pen Tool starts drawing a new one, but the previous path still remains there. You can't simply see it because it probably doesn't have a stroke applied and so there's nothing to render/display on screen but if you look at the Layers panel the incomplete open path should be there as a layer.

 

If this is not what's happening can you please record a small clip so we can see what you are doing exactly. Maybe we are missing something here.

Thanks.

Yes, I am drawing the whole path in one operation.
The first two or three times I use the tool, everything works fine, I can see the path and the path nodes, but when I reach the fourth or fifth outline I see the initial starting node, but as I continue adding nodes they don't show up and the path also dissappears, making it very difficult to close the shape.
How do I ensure the path I'm drawing has a stroke applied?

I'm not turning the path into a selection, so no "marching ants,"  I'm creating a vector shape to fill with colour.

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2 hours ago, Imaginary said:

Don't turn the path into a selection by clicking the "Selection" button. Just click on the thumbnail of the Curve-layer or the Curve-layer group while pressing CMD, then AP creates a selection without removing the shape(s).

Couldn't get this to work on my Mac. Do you have a Mac?

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1 hour ago, Glenar said:

Couldn't get this to work on my Mac. Do you have a Mac?

Mac or PC, it should work if the shape has a fill color. If it has both a fill color & a stroke, the selection will include the stroke; if only a stroke, it should select just the outline of the stroke. IOW, it selects all of the colored parts of the shape.


Affinity Photo 1.7.0 & Affinity Designer 1.7.0; macOS High Sierra 10.13.6 iMac (27-inch, Late 2012); 2.9GHz i5 CPU; NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M; 8GB RAM
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OK. Back again.

I've managed to do what I wanted, but I'm not sure if it was by accident or design.

I drew my outline using the pen tool and then filled it with colour, one shape at a time. This worked fine and I now have all the shapes I wanted.
What I was originally trying to do was draw ALL the outlines first and then, having drawn them, fill them with colour.
Doing them one by one seems like a slightly long-winded method, since in Photoshop you can draw all the outlines, save them as a separate layer and then work on them as much as you want.

Two things I did want to ask: When I'm drawing the outline with the pen tool, some nodes appear as squares and others as circles.
What's the difference?
The other thing is, how do I add a node to an existing outline?

Thanks for all the help so far.

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Hi Brian_G,

You can draw all shapes with the Pen Tool at once if you want. If they don't have both fill and stroke applied you will not be able to see them on the canvas but you can still select them all through the Layers panel - each one will have a Curve layer there. Select them all then go to the context toolbar and select the fill or stroke colour/attributes you want. They will be applied to all selected shapes. 

 

Nodes with a square shape represent Sharp nodes. Nodes with a circle represent Smooth nodes (Bézier). Nodes with a circle with a point inside are Smart nodes. To learn more about the different types of nodes check this Help topic: About lines and shapes.

 

To add a node to an existing curve/shape, select the Node Tool and click over the curve/shape where you want to add the node. To delete a node select it with the Node Tool and press Delete on your keyboard.

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2 hours ago, Brian_G said:

What I was originally trying to do was draw ALL the outlines first and then, having drawn them, fill them with colour.
Doing them one by one seems like a slightly long-winded method, since in Photoshop you can draw all the outlines, save them as a separate layer and then work on them as much as you want.

You can organize your shapes into Group layers, like for all you intend to have the same fill and stroke properties, & edit their properties collectively at the group level.


Affinity Photo 1.7.0 & Affinity Designer 1.7.0; macOS High Sierra 10.13.6 iMac (27-inch, Late 2012); 2.9GHz i5 CPU; NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M; 8GB RAM
Affinity Photo 1.7.0.135 & Affinity Designer 1.7.0.9 for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iOS 12.3.1

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On 22/02/2018 at 6:13 PM, MEB said:

Hi Brian_G,

You can draw all shapes with the Pen Tool at once if you want. If they don't have both fill and stroke applied you will not be able to see them on the canvas but you can still select them all through the Layers panel - each one will have a Curve layer there. Select them all then go to the context toolbar and select the fill or stroke colour/attributes you want. They will be applied to all selected shapes. 

 

Nodes with a square shape represent Sharp nodes. Nodes with a circle represent Smooth nodes (Bézier). Nodes with a circle with a point inside are Smart nodes. To learn more about the different types of nodes check this Help topic: About lines and shapes.

 

To add a node to an existing curve/shape, select the Node Tool and click over the curve/shape where you want to add the node. To delete a node select it with the Node Tool and press Delete on your keyboard.

Thank you for the link explaining lines and shapes.
I obviously need to spend some more time practicing this subject and I was initially in a bit of a hurry.
I have a tutorial on what I'm trying to do in PS, and I'm trying to apply it in Affinity, so there are differences in technique.
I cannot group the shapes, since each one is filled with a different colour and density, although the Blend Mode is the same.

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