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Great software, but why the odd workflow choices?

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14 hours ago, SrPx said:

PS does little to nothing as a live  filter...

Hmm, Photoshop already in CS6 from 2012 that I'm still using gave you all Filters as Live Filters on Smart Objects.

14 hours ago, SrPx said:

I'm just getting used to avoid those here [slow Live filters in Affinity Photo]

Yeah, that might be useful with weak hardware, but it really should not be required on modern hardware. It makes me scratch my head when I read recommendations to collapse all nondestructive Image Modifiers when happy with the result. This may be valid as a workaround for as long as performance problems exist – but this by no means should get called best practice.

14 hours ago, SrPx said:

I don't know... for me, all inconveniences, differences in UI, lack of comfort for not being used to it etc.. still worth it to avoid a subscription system

I also avoid subscription –I buy and test Affinity products + give feedback.
For  work I stick to what performs best. That's for the time being my last perpetual license of Photoshop / the Creative Suite.
Hopefully this will change at some point.

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On 1/22/2019 at 9:33 AM, hifred said:

This is understood by likely everyone and a statements that's getting stale. The issue in this particular case is that you lose something in principle very good when removing the default hotkey from the brush group. Consolidated similar tools and cycling through them generally makes sense, you'll have to spend more hotkeys for no proper reason. Also when you remove the default mapping and hit the B-key a second time (with the Brush still active) you'll now run into into another oddity, as Affinity  switches to other tools, seemingly at random (with no way to turn this behaviour off).

Hi @hifred, I have written out a post explaining that the feature is working as intended, but then as I was testing, have noticed a bug... The first part of my post details how it *should* work, then in the second part of the post I'll explain the bug (which should be easy to fix).

When you press 'B' it will cycle through any tools which have 'B' as their shortcut. You can see this by going into Preferences | Keyboard Shortcuts. If you choose Photo | Tools, you can scroll down to 'Paint Brush Tool' and see the shortcut, as well as hovering over the green and white arrows at the end of the text box, which will show you what other tools are assigned to this shortcut. By default that is 'Colour Replacement Brush Tool', 'Pixel Tool', and 'Smudge Brush Tool'. 

If you choose a tool which *doesn't* have the same shortcut, e.g. change to 'Flood Fill Tool' / 'Gradient Tool' ('G'), and then press the 'B' shortcut again, it will take you straight back to the last tool that you used from the 'B' shortcut group (e.g. if you were on 'Pixel Tool' it will return to 'Pixel Tool').

----------------------------

The bug: If you have 'Pixel Tool' selected, for example, then use the mouse to choose 'Paint Brush Tool', then switch to another tool (e.g. 'Flood Fill Tool'), then press 'B', you would expect to go back to 'Paint Brush Tool', but instead you will go back to 'Pixel Tool' (as that was the last tool that was activated with the 'B' shortcut).

----------------------------

We will look at fixing this for 1.7.

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Hi @Mark Ingram
thanks for your answer :o) I think I understand the intended behaviours, but I'm convinced that they are not as userfriendly as they could.

Grouped similar tools, calling them with a single key and cycling through them is efficient, no question. But the current implementation lacks a protection from ending up with the wrong tool. In speed editing sessions under time pressure the user realistically makes a lot of little mistakes. It sure happens  a lot that I press B a second or third time, although I still have the Brush tool active. Maybe there was a phone call or one of my other screens had focus and I can't see the Brush cursor. Photoshop groups similar tools in the same way and allows cycling through them – but I can be sure that the last used brush tool is still active even after pressing B ten times in a row. The cure to unwanted tool change is dead-simple – one has to hold Shift to cycle – this automatically makes tool change a -still quick- but deliberate action.

My issue with your jump back to previous tool behaviour is not the bug you found but the feature implementation itself (even in its corrected form). What you do here is unconventional without discernible good justification, + one can't turn this pretty impactful feature off + there's established  much stronger implementations of Toggles between  two tools. The alternative implementation I described doesn't only give the user more control, it is also impossible that the feature gets in the way.  Just give yourself a nudge and hook this up properly ;o).

 

I described the functionality here: 


 

 

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Ah OK, I understand. This change in behaviour would have consequences for how all keyboard shortcuts work. The use of SHIFT would now be reserved to mean "cycle through groups", and would not be available as a sole modifier on a keyboard shortcut (i.e. any user with SHIFT+B as a shortcut would now find that it wouldn't work). This change would need to be carefully considered.

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40 minutes ago, Mark Ingram said:

The use of SHIFT would now be reserved to mean "cycle through groups", and would not be available as a sole modifier on a keyboard shortcut (i.e. any user with SHIFT+B as a shortcut would now find that it wouldn't work).

That's a valid point :o)

As a counter argument one could possibly count that with such a change you could keep a lot of people from dismembering all your consolidated under one single key collection of tools. That way there were a lot more options left for their other custom hotkeys so that they don't need the Shift- Letter hotkeys after all...

 

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I think there is probably a way to keep everyone happy, but I'm not sure what that option is... perhaps something in the keyboard shortcut preferences to enable the use of SHIFT for cycling through groups, which would then disable SHIFT+<Key> modifiers...

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6 minutes ago, Mark Ingram said:

I think there is probably a way to keep everyone happy

You’re obviously quite an optimist, Mark! :P


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Affinity Designer 1.7.0.367 • Affinity Photo 1.7.0.367 • Windows 10 Home (4th gen Core i3 CPU)
Affinity Photo for iPad 1.7.0.135 • Affinity Designer for iPad 1.7.0.9 • iOS 12.3.1 (iPad Air 2)

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40 minutes ago, Mark Ingram said:

I think there is probably a way to keep everyone happy, but I'm not sure what that option is

Currently you afaik do not provide options to the users to create custom stacks of tools anyway, do you?
I'm getting an error traffic sign shown when assigning the same key twice and while the Double Assignment appears in the Menus it seems that only the first assignment actually registers.

With that scheme (no custom stacks of tools) unchanged you could reserve the Shift key Toggle for the few letters needed to control the default stacks and keep Shift + Letter available for any other letter. The Shift+ Letter event could become available after completely disolving any of your default tool groups – but that's very likely what only a handful of Nerds will do.

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19 hours ago, Mark Ingram said:

I think there is probably a way to keep everyone happy, but I'm not sure what that option is...

Another option would be a check box that would completely disable tool cycling. I usually use just the basic tool of each group and when I sometimes need to select another one I do it with my pen.

Just my two cents...

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29 minutes ago, Gunny said:

Another option would be a check box that would completely disable tool cycling. I usually use just the basic tool of each group and when I sometimes need to select another one I do it with my pen.

Just my two cents...

In that case can't you just change the shortcut for the other tools? i.e. remove 'B' from 'Pixel Tool', etc.

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Having worked in a bunch of profiles, I have to say rarely use any tools cycling. IMO, is more the benefit (even if just an optional, non default preference check box) of not accidentally switching to latest tool, than what you could cause by loosing that functionality. You can always set a shortcut for each. Also, maybe yep with smudge<->brush, but not so common to be constantly jumping to pixel tool. In photography, you rarely need edgy hard pixels, and in pixel art, you never do smooth edges of a brush. (anyway, that's a side note of mine, digressing from the point)

Also, about the "go back to prev tool if you happen to hit the key twice" , being the access to each tool so random, and with so many tools, that going to previous tool  might prove useful only in a handful of scenarios.

Anyway, I actually mentioned the idea of adding as a preferences' option. But perhaps is a too core thing as to disable or enable in preferences (the going back to the previous tool thing if hitting the key twice).

ppl with a very fast workflow in painting, extensively using key shortcuts for everything, we often double tap by error or habit.... Or are just constantly switching (but not with any "pattern", so, the going back to prev. tool, not so useful) between eraser and brush. In that fast use, is super normal to hit twice the same key. If can be added as a non default option in prefs, that would rock. Other than that, is nothing that really worries me. I see other things as more important...


Affinity Designer and Affinity Photo licenses, Windows 7, i7  860 (2009) 2.8 GHz,  8 GB RAM, GTX 1050 2 GB, HD 7200 RPM.  Wacom Intuos 4 XL.

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8 hours ago, Mark Ingram said:

In that case can't you just change the shortcut for the other tools? i.e. remove 'B' from 'Pixel Tool', etc.

Sorry - actually I already did that long time ago so you are right it can be solved without additional option. =}

Unfortunately I can't find any way how to get rid of switching between "Brush" and "previous tool":

1. "V" sets "Move Tool"

2. "B" sets "Paint Brush Tool"

3. "B" now sets "Move Tool" and it's rather confusing. =(

I suppose this behaviour could be made optional without breaking other hot keys etc.

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15 hours ago, Gunny said:

Sorry - actually I already did that long time ago so you are right it can be solved without additional option. =}

Unfortunately I can't find any way how to get rid of switching between "Brush" and "previous tool":

1. "V" sets "Move Tool"

2. "B" sets "Paint Brush Tool"

3. "B" now sets "Move Tool" and it's rather confusing. =(

I suppose this behaviour could be made optional without breaking other hot keys etc.

If you press a keyboard shortcut that isn't in a group, pressing it a second time will toggle back to your previous tool. It's meant for quick access to tools, e.g. in a tool, press 'V' to switch to move tool, move your object, press 'V' again, and it switches back to your previous tool.

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@hifred, just to let you know, we've started work on optionally allowing SHIFT to be reserved as a tool cycle modifier. We will probably default this behaviour to Off, so that it won't change the experience for existing customers, but it should be easy enough to switch it on in Preferences.

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9 hours ago, Mark Ingram said:

If you press a keyboard shortcut that isn't in a group, pressing it a second time will toggle back to your previous tool. It's meant for quick access to tools, e.g. in a tool, press 'V' to switch to move tool, move your object, press 'V' again, and it switches back to your previous tool.

I understand your intention but it doesn't really work for me. =(

While I'm sketching I usually place my left hand on hotkeys for Brush and Erase and I am totally focused on the picture. From time to time I take a short break to analyze the latest changes and then I'm not sure what tool is selected. Instead of looking at tools I just press B and I start painting - only to find out that I am actually erasing. It might not sound like a big problem but it happens to me quite often and it's really distracting.

Please make this behaviour optional - I'm sure there are more people who would be pleased with such change. (I have seen several threads discussing this feature.)

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2 hours ago, Gunny said:

I understand your intention but it doesn't really work for me. =(

Same here, when I'm only using 2 tools, it's easy, but when I switch between more tools, I end up with the Color replacement brush tool instead of the simple Brush, and it's a mess when working on a mask… Since I'm focused on lightening or darkening something, I need to check flow, opacity, hardness, etc. before understanding I've got the wrong tool. I need to switch to the history to go back in time, since I'm not sure how many "errors" I did, and hitting ctrl+z isn't always sufficient.

I tried to use this in a smart way, but it seems I make more errors with it that I find it usefull :S

 

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On 1/25/2019 at 12:25 PM, Mark Ingram said:

@hifred, just to let you know, we've started work on optionally allowing SHIFT to be reserved as a tool cycle modifier. We will probably default this behaviour to Off, so that it won't change the experience for existing customers, but it should be easy enough to switch it on in Preferences.

Good to know!

While we are on the topic of shortcuts, can you please take a look at your context sensitive menus like R click while using the layer window? It's missing a significant bunch of shortcuts that exist in your layer menu at the top of the screen. Merge selected, rasterize & trim, rasterize to mask, and create new fill layer do not exist in the R click menu, which are commands I use a lot while working, especially merge selected.

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On 1/25/2019 at 12:25 PM, Mark Ingram said:

@hifred, just to let you know, we've started work on optionally allowing SHIFT to be reserved as a tool cycle modifier. We will probably default this behaviour to Off, so that it won't change the experience for existing customers, but it should be easy enough to switch it on in Preferences.

It's really nice to see that the new option "Use Shift key to cycle tool groups" in 1.7.0.231 also disables switching to "previous tool".

Thanks! :)

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On 1/22/2019 at 7:14 PM, Willabong said:

People should try to understand that Affinity Photo is NOT Photoshop and Affinity Designer is NOT Illustrator! These are totally new Applications and even though they cover everything that Photoshop and Illustrator can accomplish and do this much better, neither application is trying to emulate Adobes dinosaurs. If Serif listened to every complaint about "this feature and that button doesn't work like Photoshop/Illustrator does", we would end up with Photoshop/Illustrator clones, lets hope that never happens!!! 

Of course, a lot are not after an emulated Adobe Dinosaur.

Just two simple things which would make life easier and...I don't think the point 1 below is even an opinion, it should be default behavior in any professional program!

1) Affinity Photo to remember tool settings between sessions

2) Brush tool, which would be the most popular tool in the entire program, to have it's own dedicated shortcut button by default.

I do like the idea of using SHIFT + shortcut to toggle between tools ,that makes a lot of sense.

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On 2/9/2019 at 10:32 PM, Gunny said:

It's really nice to see that the new option "Use Shift key to cycle tool groups" in 1.7.0.231 also disables switching to "previous tool".

Thanks! :)

Thanks a lot ! I was not aware of that detail. (very important for illustrators and d. painters)


Affinity Designer and Affinity Photo licenses, Windows 7, i7  860 (2009) 2.8 GHz,  8 GB RAM, GTX 1050 2 GB, HD 7200 RPM.  Wacom Intuos 4 XL.

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On 2/9/2019 at 9:32 PM, Gunny said:

It's really nice to see that the new option "Use Shift key to cycle tool groups" in 1.7.0.231 also disables switching to "previous tool".

Thanks! :)

I wouldn’t have expected anything less. ;)


Alfred online2long.gif
Affinity Designer 1.7.0.367 • Affinity Photo 1.7.0.367 • Windows 10 Home (4th gen Core i3 CPU)
Affinity Photo for iPad 1.7.0.135 • Affinity Designer for iPad 1.7.0.9 • iOS 12.3.1 (iPad Air 2)

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I don't understand the level of anger at the "professional" discussion. I've a professional designer for over 30 years, both organizations and freelance. I think the Affinity tools are good ones. I also think the Adobe, Corel and other tools are good. And in fact, if you use carbon paper and pencils and turn out a product your client likes, who cares?

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On 1/22/2019 at 4:14 PM, Willabong said:

People should try to understand that Affinity Photo is NOT Photoshop and Affinity Designer is NOT Illustrator! These are totally new Applications and even though they cover everything that Photoshop and Illustrator can accomplish and do this much better, neither application is trying to emulate Adobes dinosaurs. If Serif listened to every complaint about "this feature and that button doesn't work like Photoshop/Illustrator does", we would end up with Photoshop/Illustrator clones, lets hope that never happens!!! 

Actually as a new wannabe-professional, the biggest complaint I have is that the software and all its naming conventions seems to be trying too hard to be Photoshop, instead of some simple and easy to use software for normal people, that's CAPABLE of going much deeper for professionals.

I work in marketing, including User Experience or "UX", and my experience so far has been one of "Wow, this is great, if only I knew all about alpha frequencies or whatever the &%$# he's talking about..?"

The "wow it's great" bit is very real. That's why I'm trying so hard to figure it out.

The WTF? bit is all too real too.

 

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Photoshop is a super standard in the image industry. Using "some" (is quite more different than you might think it is, a lot of pros complain for it not being not similar enough !) of its ways , shortcuts and UI style is not a failure but the smartest thing to do. Adhering to the market standards is just clever, and the right thing to do, in the industry. I believe...(correct me if I am wrong in this) you are speaking about naming conventions, and that is indeed the smallest issue. It's professional jargon, it can be learnt fast if there's top motivation, and you are going to find it in any pro tool of the competition. So, is not about Affinity... One needs to decide if wants to get into a pro field, or stay hobbyist, but, if the former, the jargon comes with it. And... adaptability to whatever the UI of the package offering the best deal or the higher quality,  or both,(edit: or an absolute must to get used to the industry standard software, the top choice, if at a company) is a must, imo. I personally have needed to adapt to Corel Draw, Photopaint, PS, Fireworks, Freehand, Illustrator, Premiere, Sony vegas...back in the day Adobe hadn't so much domain, so, each company would make its pick....despite of already having all my habits, naming, and UI familiarity with a total different tool, every time the change was a challenge. But IMO, doing so is how you learn more, how your brain becomes more adaptable, how it grabs the essence, both in 2D and 3D. So, I'd say doing so becomes a very strong advantage, given the time. 

I mean, it is part of the process, no matter what tool you use (I was once a wannabe-professional...). I am sensing in some fields, not necessarily only from new people, but definitely yep from people from UX that are less inclined to get into high detail graphics (high fidelity they call it now? lol, talk about jargon...I feel they are requesting it more (a lot...lately...at least in my area) now in the job offers as finally they've detected that at some point they do need that, too, they can't get rid fully of ye good ol graphic designer <evil grin>) , and are somewhat forced to it, are often reluctant to get into depth in that sort of thing, which is far from the task of prototyping, in a way... But you need depth, the jargon, getting very technical in every area... In its main facets, UX requires reading many entire books about usability theory and many other matters/disciplines. So.... I believe tho, they are concentratting way too many tasks in the UX/UI expert. I do believe there should be a separate profile, the graphic designer, or technical graphic artist if you will. Thing is, small companies don't give a cr4p of all the new "cool" stuff... They want someone solving all... Ok, I've gone off topic, here (for the very first time).


Affinity Designer and Affinity Photo licenses, Windows 7, i7  860 (2009) 2.8 GHz,  8 GB RAM, GTX 1050 2 GB, HD 7200 RPM.  Wacom Intuos 4 XL.

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