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I may have requested this already... but sometime down the road, some sort of isolate function would be awesome.  Basically to aid in tweaking or working on a selected object or multiple selected objects in isolation from the rest of the piece. By invoking a key short everything that's not selected disappears until the key short is invoked again. 

 

Blender has this feature and it's extremely handy for isolating a particular object or group from an otherwise complex piece. Everything disappears and the selected object fills the screen for manipulation.

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Some sort of isolation works already (found that by chance) … hold Alt and click on a layer or a group in the layers list … the only way to get back is to hit Cmd+A as far as I can see …  :unsure:

Isolate.mov

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Wow, A_B_C thanks for the tip.  I didn't know it would do that.  That's very handy.  Cool, it even works on groups.  Wow!


iMac (27-inch, Late 2009) with macOS Sierra

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Yeah, it’s a great feature … as I said, I found that by chance … hidden gems …  :)

 

 Lucky (for me) that you found that cmd+A to get the rest back.


iMac (27-inch, Late 2009) with macOS Sierra

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Hmm, interesting, thanks for pointing that out.

 

But for me everything comes back if I click anywhere in the file or click on another layer without option held down... which means it only isolates the view, until you click on something or another layer... Cmd+A brings everything back as well.

 

I guess it's a start but it would be more useful if we could do some work on the element we've isolated while it's isolated, because that's why we've isolated it. :-)

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If it would be acceptable that you only have one 'root' node to the isolation that you're interested in, I could probably add proper support for that fairly trivially - but if it's necessary to have multiple disparate nodes which you want to isolate then it's definitely possible, but requires more time. Is the former actually useful?

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But for me everything comes back if I click anywhere in the file or click on another layer without option held down... which means it only isolates the view, until you click on something or another layer... Cmd+A brings everything back as well.

 

Oh my, you are right, retrograde … manipulation works only as long as you use the Move Tool. Well, Matt, it would definitely be nice if we could isolate multiple layers and work on these as well …  :)

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Hi Matt, thanks for considering this.

 

Just so I understand what you're asking, one object with one set of nodes would be easier than multiple objects with multiple sets of nodes? Correct? Yes that would work, basically you're hiding everything except the one object you have selected. Then the ability to make adjustments on that one object until a key short is pressed again to "unhide" everything else.

 

Of course the ability to work on multiple objects multiple objects - for example a head where you can still see the facial features, eyes, nose, ears etc... while you adjust the main head shape would be the preferable option but anything to start with would be a welcome addition. 

 

It might be an idea to have the layer stack indicate which layers are hidden (uncheck mark), so if you need to "manually unhide" one layer at a time you could. Of course I'm not sure what kind of behind the scenes magic you would be doing to make something like this work. 

 

Cheers guys!

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Retrograde,

 

Are you talking about something like Illustrator's Hide/Show all? In Illustrator I normally select all then shift click  and deselect the items that I want to isolate and the short cut command + 3 to hide everything but what I want to work on. Then to bring them all back it is another simple short cut. It is very fast and it is easy to isolate things. Or are you talking more about locking all and then unlocking all? 

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Yes Hokusai, basically the ability to hide everything except what I have selected to work on. Locking and unlocking as you describe would be ideal as well.

 

I hesitate to mention illustrator or any other app sometimes because I'd like the Affinity team to come up with features that maybe work better for Affinity's lineup of products as opposed to emulating Adobe's or any other apps way of doing things. ;-) but essentially you are correct.

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I think the easiest way would be to simply select the layers (or objects individually) both on canvas or on the Layers panel directly, press a isolate button in the Layers panel and all the rest, would be hidden. The hidden layers would appear greyed out/faded in the layers panel while the isolate button is active. Only the isolated layers would appear as they do normally (not faded). We can still hide and unhide isolated layers individually, using the check boxes in each layer (this can be useful to view/hide references that we also want to isolate but not always visible).

 

The isolate button could also be enabled/disabled via a shortcut. So you can select the objects on canvas (the corresponding objects would appear selected in the layers panel), then pressing the shortcut, would enable the isolate button without you having to move the cursor to the Layers panel. Pressing the same shortcut again would disable the isolation mode (and the button in the layer panel), and everything becomes visible and editable again.

 

We could go a step further if we also have a modifier key that we can press while clicking on a faded layer (hidden layer) in the Layers panel to add it to the isolation mode (since the corresponding objects aren't visible on canvas).

Pressing that shortcut and clicking in an already isolated layer or object would remove it from the isolation mode (fadding it's layer in the Layers panel).

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retrograde,

 

Thanks for clarifying. I wasn't sure if that is what you were talking about or if you were talking about something else. I agree with you, it would be nice to have a way to lock/hide and unlock/show items in a more efficient manner. Right now it can be done but it isn't very efficient (in my opinion). Hopefully the talented Affinity team will come up with a good solution that is just as good or better than what is currently out there. 

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I must confess, I didn’t understand exactly what Matt wanted to say … I thought he was speaking about (logical) nodes in the layers hierarchy … at the moment isolation does not seem to work on (logical) nodes that do not share the same ancestor or are not combined in a group …  :unsure:

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MEB, you speak of perfection!  :D  Both a layers panel workflow and a key short workflow would be brilliant.  

 

It's good to have multiple ways of doing things as long as they don't confuse users and I think this makes sense.

 

Dare I suggest an opacity slider for those hidden layers so one could adjust the amount they are visible...? Okay I've gone too far. :P

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Sorry if I wasn't clear... The option to isolate to one parent object and all of its children, whereby you can work on any of the children without exiting the 'isolation' mode is a much smaller addition than to be able to isolate to a number of different objects from arbitrary points in the document structure. It depends whether that would actually add much value? If it's what you want most of the time then it has value, but if it's not what you'd usually imagine doing, then it's much better to wait and do it the other way when time permits.

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I think or I assume, the parent/child scenario you describe Matt would most likely be the case. As it seems the most logical to me because that's often how one would work, parent layer with child layers below... now having said that I can see how perhaps the application wide solution, where it doesn't matter where the selected objects you want to isolate are in the document layer stack would be a much stronger solution in the long run and less restrictive... comments anyone?

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Personally I prefer the most advanced one. I do intersections between objects from different layers frequently (e.g. the main shape/body with smaller parts within their own layers, while also keeping reference layers available etc) so i think the most robust solution adds value to the application. Also i don't mind to wait for it, but i see how a more restricted approach can suit other workflows.

 

 

Dare I suggest an opacity slider for those hidden layers so one could adjust the amount they are visible...? Okay I've gone too far. :P

That would also be useful for keeping a visual reference of the rest, if needed. Yes, you're a dreamer!  :lol:

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Oh a boy can dream.... can't he? :rolleyes:

 

I'm with you on waiting for a more robust solution as well, sorry Matt  ;)

 

Incidentally I just gave a presentation/Q&A session at a local design school and of course the conversation got around to you know what...  :D

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No problems at all - we always like to implement the 'best' solution where possible, it's just a case of whether the other option would've offered enough value for the time-being - but it sounds like it's best to just get it right first time when we have chance :)

 

Oooh, that's great to hear Kevin! Was it received well? It's always interesting to get a fresh pair of ears and eyes on things and hear the feedback because quite often the things that niggle at someone and would stop them using it are actually trivial to address. The bigger problems are the responses that say "But, it's not Adobe?" - that's a harder one to win, but hopefully in time we'll get some way towards breaking down those barriers :)

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This all sounds so positive! I was going to put in a very similar request but retrograde has nailed it :) I'd also vote for the more complicated solution.

 

I've got a couple of cents to throw in, ever so slightly off topic(Sorry in advance), but the make sense in a broader context:

 

  • If it's application wide, would this also apply to editing non-destructive compounds? If you've got an opacity slider you could just jump it to 30% for the constituents and the result at 100% opacity. Very slick.
  • I've always been a fan (Sorry) of the illustrator/fireworks breadcrumb. I don't like spending time in the layer stack unless I have to and it gives me a good idea of where I am. (Not sure how to represent this if you had multiple parents/children off the top of my head)

Also with Miguels great ideas, it'd be great if you could specify selection sets, so you could instantly recall selections to isolate. I think selection sets are a great general concept, but I'll do a separate thread on it so as not to derail this one too much.

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Selection sets or saved selections is an awesome idea Ash. Would love to see something like that eventually. Especially with the above isolate workflow... go to saved selection list > select group > isolate > bam!

 

Matt, yes it was well received, particularly by the students. Who inherently seem more open to change. Personally I think it's just great to finally have a choice. It may open up some opportunities for the teaching staff out there as well to have another design suite they can teach... but yes I think it's gonna take some time to get into all of the service bureaus, print shops, studios and industry workflows. 

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