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Alt Color Picking (When using brush tool)

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X-Mouse Button to the rescue... I'll explain in a bit....

Affinity Designer and Affinity Photo licenses, Windows 7, i7  860 (2009) 2.8 GHz,  8 GB RAM, GTX 1050 2 GB, HD 7200 RPM. 
Affinity PHOTO 1.7.x --> AMAZING. Getting there for painting. Temporary trick  (Windows - only) for better "alt" key color picking configured in a Wacom Intuos Pro pen's side button.

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EDIT ( 18-FEB-19 ) : I will make a short video to graphically show the trick, no text. The essay below is stupidly long, I'll delete it.
Dang it :DDDDD

All this time (years ? ) with the solution in front of me....and didn't think of it....

[   TL;DR version (you should really read the detailed one) :
Summary :  Download X-Mouse Button Control and install it if you hadn't already (update to last version if you had it). Configure your wacom with the settings I explain below. Use the config I explain below, inside the X-Mouse utility.    ]


Cool version below :

Now is so super fast (with this trick I found) that I'd be to believe REALLY Photo is gonna become my painting tool (specially as I got Paolo's brushes/not sure how many of those are now included by default in Photo.....  ). Works with Wacom Intuos Pro 4 XL (the swimming pool sized one). Dunno with other brands (driver is identical, tho...) or other drivers. And other tablets can be just another world. (doesn't hurt to try, tho)    :

Okay, will try to explain my settings. Again, we're talking about a 2009 i7 860 machine, crap HD, 8gb old slow ram :

- As I said, I suspected is sth related to how the Wacom driver (maybe any other brand, too) works together with AP for that side pen button, and/or an issue with the timming in triggering the loupe/amplifier or not. Because fast clicks of color picking with ALT key, IF nothing (that is, wacom driver or sth Affinity's in relation to that) gets in the middle, seems fast in the app, as the "pure" ALT key + pen tip clicking was somewhat working well.

- Tested many things this evening, nothing was really FULLY (to my, kind of, high expectations... those of anyone willing to paint seriously tho)

- Finally decided to override partially the wacom driver for that function, meaning, using a different button emulation, instead of telling the wacom driver is emulating a key modifier. It works PERFECTLY with any other app, but maybe Photo calls a different library for that, or whatever.

- So, told (not verbally, but you can do so to feel better) it to make the upper, "second" side pen button to instead emulate the "button 5" ( For this, you select "CLICKS" ,for that side button configuration, then choose from the list, " 5th click (forward) ", it might say) of a mouse. My mouse is only 2 buttons and the clickable mouse wheel (mid button). But it seems it refers to that super ugly function of click to scroll down or scroll up, mostly a "virtual" button function of the middle mouse.  Funnily enough, I wasn't being able to make it work with "button 4". So, set the button 5 in my wacom panel, for this secondary , pen side button. 

- IMPORTANT: set , at least for this Wacom panel app customization for Photo, in ADVANCED OPTIONS (button at the bottom in the window) to use  CLICK ON AIR. (usually the first option in your driver panel. Also, do not activate the forcing pressure compatibility with old apps not supporting more than 1024 levels of pressure. Is not the case of Photo, so, leave that one unchecked.

- To share more of my settings, I have always double click distance in the pen as OFF, deactivated. In all the apps customizations, including Photo. Don't worry, you will still be able to double click with the pen.

- Now, while I was always disabling the fabulous (recently updated, very improved) , and open source (time to donate...) tool called X-Mouse Button Control, as was willing to put away anything affecting performance ( I have zero reasons to think it affects it, I just was willing to eliminate any possible suspect) , as it does seems I don't have serious problems of performance in the brush anymore (I mean, I have, this is not csp, of course, but is quite workable, I don't need 2500 px brushes, can stay well below my machine's threshold in most apps except csp : 300 -400 px) . So, now is not a prob to have a profile for Photo, in X-Mouse. So, added a profile in X-Mouse for Photo,  deleting previously the old one I had for the stable. Just to eliminate factors. Remember you don't need to exit the tray utility: if at some moment want to disable it for Photo  ( I can't think of any reason) you can un check it in the X-Mouse apps list, easy peasy.

- The final solution working so well, is this in what relates to X-Mouse settings :

   - "Mouse Button 5" is the one you want to configure. Set there to use "Simulated KEYS", and hit the gear for settings in it, if doesn't trigger by its own.

   - In that new window,  choose the OPTION 1 As Mouse Button is pressed.

   - In the field that is labeled "Enter the custom keys", just type exactly (no spaces) the following, with the brackets included, literally :  {ALT}{LMB}
      And please... no LMBD, as is done for specifying that is while the key is down. Wont work. USE  the {ALT}{LMB} I just mentioned.

-NOW... the only thing to wire into our habits is to remember this is not any more a pen click to pick a color!!! Is just a side button press. Wacom Intuos pro (surely regular intuos, too) allows quite a generous distance between the physical tablet surface and the pen tip, and still having the side buttons working and tracking of the tip. Just as I never see that as a limit when undoing, I undo everywhere , everytime, as I don't put my hand a meter away while I'm drawing, lol.


I made a test... I started picking colors like a crazy man... no lag, no delay, I can get really "arcade-machine clicking" with  this trick, ZERO lags, zero issues wth this trick.

The issue has kept me very away from even thinking of using AP (while I think it's great for that) for painting. Now a new world opens... so, thought I'd share. :)

NOTE: Once you understand it, and follow the steps carefully, is DUMB SIMPLE. Super fast to set, you set once and forget, you can leave the X-Mouse thingy to load in start in Windows. It does not consume real resources, not even in this arcane crappy machine, overloaded, badly fragmented disk, etc, etc. 

Shall I remove my crying lament from my sig....?  Hmmm....nah... is better once it works without tricks... But for everyone willing to do great paintings meanwhile, without the annoying color picking issues and delays in the work... now u can fully focus !  :)  

PD: Got work to do... Will typo-correct / missing parts later on or tomorrow. The clever ones and patient readers will be able to apply the trick, tho....

PD: test done in an A3, 300 dpi, using basic brush , the super smooth ones (varying levels of brush hardness), in this super crappy machine. All WORKS GREAT. Latest Photo customer beta.  Edit: Paolo's brushes, using this beta, and this trick. Work great. been having fun with its oils and watercolors, right now. Even while I probably will use mostly basic round smooth brushes, for a bunch of my digital painting works.

PD: URL of the utility :   https://www.highrez.co.uk/downloads/xmousebuttoncontrol.htm

PD: YUP.... Sorry, I realize this ain't solution for Mac OS users... Sorry folks. I dunno if this issue happens also in Mac OS. All I can say is, if you know of an utility that does something similar (X-Mouse button is not the only one, autohotkey was another, just I believe that other one is way harder to config for average users... And can't remember if counts on Mac OS version: It could be so. EDIT: Nope... is Windows only, too. Well, a utility that is good in performance (X-Mouse button is hard to match in that, tho ) that allows you to override mouse 4th/5th button (which seems are inherent in any regular mouse wheel button, is kind of the clickable lower and upper sides of the wheel, I believe..Anyway, you don't need to touch them, we use it only as a virtual vessel, like a "programming variable") and assign it a combined left lick + alt key function in single button press. Gonna be hard to find one of those for Mac, I fear.

Affinity Designer and Affinity Photo licenses, Windows 7, i7  860 (2009) 2.8 GHz,  8 GB RAM, GTX 1050 2 GB, HD 7200 RPM. 
Affinity PHOTO 1.7.x --> AMAZING. Getting there for painting. Temporary trick  (Windows - only) for better "alt" key color picking configured in a Wacom Intuos Pro pen's side button.

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