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[1.7.0.258] 'Show Rotation Center' influences rotation point

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When trying out the new Point Transform Tool and move the rotation center of an object I bumped into the following issue:

The 'Show Rotation Center' checkbox influences the rotationpoint:
when enabled it's rotating around the new custom rotation center which is what I would expect, but when disabled rotation is suddenly around the center of the object (?) and so ignores the custom rotation center completely. (Also as a side effect of this when rotating the object with 'show rotation center' turned off, we seem to even rotate the rotation center without even knowing it. Which is pretty confusing, because suddenly our rotation point is somewhere on a completely different location than where we just set it)

As shown in the video below:

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1 hour ago, Sean P said:

Hi wigglepixel,

This is actually by design, and allows the ability to quickly toggle between a custom rotation point, and the object's rotation.

Thanks for your fast response @Sean P. It could indeed be a useful extra functionality to be able to do both, but than the tooltip on the button is not right and there is a lack of functionality the way it is build now. To me this is pretty counterintuitive and confusing.

The button now says 'Show Rotation Center'. That's odd to me, because 'Show' implies that we show or hide the center point in the viewport with this button. But instead it's also toggling the rotation mode and causes some states to be impossible to be in. For example: how can we hide the rotation center and still rotate around our custom rotation center? It's not possible like this. Or how can we show the rotation center and rotate around the objects center?

Sorry, the way it is build rightnow is just weird to me and not a very intuitive design and different than all other software I know of. It feels messy. I would expect the interface to be instead:
- One toggle to show or hide the rotation point (that is currently active in the current rotation-mode)
- One toggle to switch the rotation-mode, so between 'rotate around custom center' and 'rotate around objects center'

Then we...
- Can show and hide the rotation point independently of the mode (which obviously isn't possible right now). So we can also hide the rotation point and still rotate around our custom center or show the rotation point and still rotate around the objects center.
- Can switch the visibility of the center independently of the mode
- Don't get confused by the wrong text in the tooltip-text and can see the state of the mode and visibility directly in the interface. And also be more aware that we are actually rotating our own custom rotation point when we rotate in the 'object center'-mode. Which can be very confusing when we are not aware that there are actually two different modes and we cannot see the custom rotation center move with the object when we rotate in object-center mode, because than the custom point is always invisible.
- Can also view the rotationpoint in the viewport when the mode is set to 'rotate around center' and that's a very welcome and wanted visibility

 

Also rightnow there is no visible indication our custom rotation center is actually being rotated when we  rotate the object in 'object center'-rotation-mode. That is confusing. It would be nice if there would be some indication of our custom point changing /rotating with the object. Rightnow we can't see that and get confused if we switch to the 'custom center'-mode where suddenly the custom center point has moved to a different location in the viewport.

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@wigglepixel

I'm going to respectfully disagree with you.  It is pretty unintuitive to rotate or transform about an invisible point - so having two toggles makes no sense at all.  Ok - so you've not understood that having the rotation point visible also enables the functionality.  That is just a learning issue - not a functionality issue.

 

No other users have stated any problem with this. We will not be changing this behaviour.


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20 minutes ago, Ben said:

Ok - so you've not understood that having the rotation point visible also enables the functionality.

Since ‘visible’ means ‘enabled’ here, why not change the label from ‘Show’ to ‘Enable’? :/


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I guess.... ;)

 

We can change that one word, but the functionality is as intended.


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And please please please give us a way to toggle the "Enable Rotation Centre" via a keyboard shortcut, or on canvas shortcut.

Having to search out a tiny 16x16 icon that moves location depending upon the current tool is insane!


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I've just discovered that you can also double click (or at least click a 2nd time) on the rotation centre grid in the transform panel to show the rotation center!!

This is significantly better than the Show Rotation Centre icon in the toolbar because it is always in the same place and twice the size.

However - I'd still prefer to set a keypress, or have some sort of toggle on the canvas.

Xara Designer uses a double click, on the object, but Affinity already uses that to quick select the relevant editing tool. Perhaps something like a double click on the sticky out rotation handle?


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On 3/22/2019 at 11:10 AM, Ben said:

@wigglepixelI'm going to respectfully disagree with you.  It is pretty unintuitive to rotate or transform about an invisible point - so having two toggles makes no sense at all.  

That's unfortunate. Maybe I put too definite words in my post that make me hit a wall with you and therefore failed to get my points across. I hope you understand I am trying to let you know, as a user and a customer, the best I can, what I found on this and where the workflow is lacking in my opinion, and how to make the product even better with an idea for a solution.

[edit] But the way it is build right now we ARE rotating around an invisible point. That's exactly part of the points I'm making here (see previous post). It seems like somehow we're not on the same page here

 

On 3/22/2019 at 11:10 AM, Ben said:

@wigglepixel

Ok - so you've not understood that having the rotation point visible also enables the functionality.  That is just a learning issue - not a functionality issue.

Somehow I obviously failed to get my points across to let you understand what mean. This is not about me misunderstanding the interface, but rather it seems we have a different opinion about how the interface on this matter should be. In my opinion in the current interface some things aren't lined up as I would expect and could be improved. But I think it's not very effective to repeat my previous posts. It's all said above. Because I already wrote two posts above to explain myself I am not sure how to write things differently to get my points across. I can only hope you to really read and try to understand my posts, you ask me if something isn't clear and that you are open to professional customers' opinions. Please understand I am asking this to help eachother. I could also leave out my concerns here if that's not appreciated. But I hope you're open to suggestions and customers' views.

Could you please re-read my post and tell me which part isn't clear? I'm happy to explain. Thanks!

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I did read your posts carefully.  I still disagree with the suggestion that we have two separate toggles - for showing the rotation centre and for enabling its use.   You then have two competing options which doesn't add anything in terms of usefulness.  Why do I want to rotate about a point that I cannot see?  And why do I want to see the custom rotation centre if I am not using it?  It's superfluous.

 

As I said, we can see that renaming the button to "Enable custom rotation centre" (or similar) mitigates that lack of clarity.  For me, I'd find it incredibly irritating if I had to enable two separate options to be able to (i) see and (ii) use a feature.  Surely this would just reduce speed of use.

 

As for the rotation centre moving while invisible.  Yes, it does.  Objects have a persisted rotation centre, which is used by Move tool and Point transform tool.  If you transform an object (or its parent), their custom transform point will also move.  This is intentional as it allows the custom point to be retrieved after a selection or tool change, and also saved with the object, but it means the point is transformed relative to its layer, and that is also affected by its compound transform.


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36 minutes ago, Ben said:

I did read your posts carefully.  I still disagree with the suggestion that we have two separate toggles - for showing the rotation centre and for enabling its use.   You then have two competing options which doesn't add anything in terms of usefulness.  Why do I want to rotate about a point that I cannot see?  And why do I want to see the custom rotation centre if I am not using it?  It's superfluous.

 

36 minutes ago, Ben said:

For me, I'd find it incredibly irritating if I had to enable two separate options to be able to (i) see and (ii) use a feature.  Surely this would just reduce speed of use.

I agree. On second thought it's no improvement to have two toggles.

 

36 minutes ago, Ben said:

As I said, we can see that renaming the button to "Enable custom rotation centre" (or similar) mitigates that lack of clarity. 

That would definitely help and fix the most important issue here. Thanks

 

36 minutes ago, Ben said:

As for the rotation centre moving while invisible.  Yes, it does.  Objects have a persisted rotation centre, which is used by Move tool and Point transform tool.  If you transform an object (or its parent), their custom transform point will also move.  This is intentional as it allows the custom point to be retrieved after a selection or tool change, and also saved with the object, but it means the point is transformed relative to its layer, and that is also affected by its compound transform.

I think it perfectly makes sense the rotation point rotates and moves with the objects center rotation as it's build now. Also from a developers point of view. So no problem with that and I would expect that too. The point I was trying to make is that we can't see that this rotation center is actually moving, because when rotating the object around itself, the custom rotation point is hidden. Therefore I suggested to make the custom rotation point visible (maybe as some semi transparent ghosting, some other icon or something else) while rotating the object around itself. That way designers can always see and are informed that the custom rotation point is moving and to which point. Just to hint the designer the point is changing and so to prevent confusion. Because we only see that the custom rotation point has moved when going to the other mode. Which can be on some other day with us forgetting we moved it. I think that it can be confusing, because we changed something we were maybe not aware of.

Would this perhaps be possible?

 

The other thing I tried to get across is that there is no visible rotation point when in 'rotate around object center'-mode. I can understand why you did this (to show the mode we're in) but it feels inconsistant to me and it would be great to know where the rotation point is in that mode too. When designing it would help to see the rotation point in every mode, also when rotating around itself. It's not always that clear where that point is. It would be great if there would be some way to visualise that point in the viewport. 

Would it be possible to show the 'center' point in the viewport too (only in that mode ofcourse)? Perhaps with some other symbol than the custom centerpoint-symbol to still know the mode we're in from the viewport?

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Rotation about centre - we don't show the point because it is always the centre of the selection box.  We do show the widget while the rotation is happening though, so during relevant actions (including scale and shear) you can see the point.

 

As for showing a ghosted custom rotation point.  It only makes any sense for a specific and simple example case.  But, imagine if you select a number of objects, or you transform a parent object - do you show all the custom rotation points??  I could select a massive group, and each child object could have a custom rotation centre.  The act of transforming the group will in turn affect the custom points for all those child objects.


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@wigglepixel @Ben

I'm sympathetic to Wiggle's point here. The current behavior is counterintuitive and confusing. Each object should have one Rotation Center Point, either the default geometric center point, or the user defined center point, not both.

If I move the Rotation Center Point for an object, I expect it to remain where I've placed it, regardless of whether or not it's visible. The Show Rotation Center button should simply show or hide the Rotation Center Point. 

If you wish to offer the user two alternative Rotation Points, they should be uniquely named, and separately addressable through clear and unambiguous interface elements.

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@Ben I wonder, do we really need two different rotation points? Having just one would solve all above problems in my opinion.

Wouldn't all this be a lot easier, clearer, less confusing and more consistent if there would only be just one rotation point? Which per default should be the object's center, but can be moved by the user to a different location. Then we don't need modes or visible/invisible anymore (which are obviously causing confusing right now). And if there would be a 'reset rotation point to object's center' button to reset a moved rotation-point to the object's center we can have everything, but much simpler and less confusing I think.

In my opinion that way everything would be clear to the user, it wouldn't be overly complicated and confusing, keep the interface clean, be consistent and we don't have any problems with modes and visibility on/off is easy 'cause there's only one point. We just have one rotation point, we can move it and reset it to the center. I believe that way we could do everything we want and keep things clean.

What do you think?

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We still come back to the point I made earlier.  If an object has its own point that is relative to itself, the point is influenced by the transform of its parent.  If you select and move the parent you still won't see the point of the child also being moved.  So, the thing you are asking for only gives you what you want in one situation, but still doesn't in others.  The same is true if you do a selection of multiple objects.

 

We've had this functionality for a numbers of years, and we've not had many (if any) complaints about it so far.  The only new feature is that the Point Transform Tool now also uses the custom rotation point.


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18 minutes ago, Ben said:

We still come back to the point I made earlier.  If an object has its own point that is relative to itself, the point is influenced by the transform of its parent.  If you select and move the parent you still won't see the point of the child also being moved.  So, the thing you are asking for only gives you what you want in one situation, but still doesn't in others.  The same is true if you do a selection of multiple objects.

Sorry Ben, your reactions are so fasts that you didn't even take the time to let words sink in and try to understand and embrace what the point is here and why a customer puts time in this to help you help us. It seems to me you are missing the points we are making completely and only try to defend something while there's not even an attack. I was trying to help you help us and to get to you that some customers don't ask things just because they can, but actually have some good reasons for it and maybe have some experience too. All I read from you on this is 'can't do', but I don't see any solutions or things to get closer to a solution from you. It gives me the strong feeling you believe strongly everything in Affinity is already perfect and great and you're just not open to critisizm.

18 minutes ago, Ben said:

We've had this functionality for a numbers of years, and we've not had many (if any) complaints about it so far.

I'm sorry. This to me is really a non-argument. Not everybody uses software the same way, not everybody reports, not everybody is an advanced user and not everybody was even aware this was happening and times are changing. This could even be a strong hint the other direction: maybe it wasn't even clear to people this was even possible.

I stop participating in this discussion now. I don't feel heard and get the strong feeling you're not open to any suggestion or way to get us closer to a solution to make your product better on this part. I have other things to do too.

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No. I have read what you said, I have thought about it, and I do understand what it is you are asking.  I'm trying to explain the wider ramifications of changing things in the way you are suggesting, and pointing out how the changes you envisage would negatively impact in other ways (in exactly the way you are saying is a problem now - having a rotation point change when you cannot see the change happening).

 

There is no "can't" here. There is the fact that we have a system already in place that is being used, as designed, by a wide user base.  Having two or three users saying they have an issue with something isn't going to directly push us into making a change.  Any change now will impact on how many users are already (happily) using the software. Changes like this would not be welcomed by seasoned users.

 

Believe it or not, I/we do spend many hours trying out different approaches before we settle on a method that suits the majority of use cases.  The thing you see will have gone through numerous revisions before it goes live.  It will not have just been settled on because we can't be bothered to do better.  There are often wider usage issues beyond your use cases.


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@Ben

I understand better now what you've intended. I can appreciate the usefulness of toggling back and forth between a User-Defined Center Point and a default Geometric Center Point. 

Still, the point of confusion for the user could be resolved by making a clear distinction between the two different center points. In this case the Center Point visibility toggle button in the Contextual Toolbar really controls the visibility of the User-Defined Center Point, not the fixed Geometric Center Point. 

Perhaps the simple correction here, for the purpose of clarity, is to alter the tool-tip label for the visibility toggle button from "Show Rotation Center" to something like "Show User Rotation Center", or "Show Custom Rotation Center", or "Show User-Defined Center Point".

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Yes - that is what we are going to do.  Clarity on the tooltip is simple enough.  As ever, we are just debating the exact working to use - which is never that easy.


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