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Max N

Pencil tool. Invisible lines.

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Different reaction to the lack of stroke in the pencil and pen tool.

1202950178__2019_04_15_16_21_09_823.thumb.gif.fe70f1ed4815c4ff3edc23320c115e5e.gif


If you do not select the fill, during drawing you don’t see what you draw. After the drawing is finished, the curve turns blue. It would be correct if the curve in the process of drawing was already painted in blue.

 

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I believe Designer is working as I would expect it to in this case.
You have told it that you don't want to see the curve - you have deliberately removed the STROKE colour - so it's not showing you the curve when you are drawing it.
If you want to see the curve while you're drawing it, set a stroke colour before you start drawing.
You can always remove the stroke colour afterwards - it's the same amount of user interaction, just the other way round.
I believe this is correct behaviour.

If you want to see the FILL of the stroke while using this tool you can check the "Use Fill" checkbox on the context toolbar.

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38 minutes ago, GarryP said:

I believe Designer is working as I would expect it to in this case.
You have told it that you don't want to see the curve - you have deliberately removed the STROKE colour - so it's not showing you the curve when you are drawing it.
If you want to see the curve while you're drawing it, set a stroke colour before you start drawing.
You can always remove the stroke colour afterwards - it's the same amount of user interaction, just the other way round.
I believe this is correct behaviour.

If you want to see the FILL of the stroke while using this tool you can check the "Use Fill" checkbox on the context toolbar.

Maybe I'm wrong. I do not work much in AD, and could not imagine a situation where I would like to draw blindly.

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Without putting a lot of thought into it, I cannot come up with a situation where I would not want to be able to see what I was drawing either. It does sound like a strange thing to want to do, but I’m no expert.

However, I do think that Designer should accept what the user tells it to do, and if that means drawing something ‘invisibly’ then that’s probably what it should do.

I don’t use the Pencil tool myself much so there might be some good reasons why the current behaviour is actually useful in certain cases.

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11 minutes ago, GarryP said:

Without putting a lot of thought into it, I cannot come up with a situation where I would not want to be able to see what I was drawing either. It does sound like a strange thing to want to do, but I’m no expert.

However, I do think that Designer should accept what the user tells it to do, and if that means drawing something ‘invisibly’ then that’s probably what it should do.

I don’t use the Pencil tool myself much so there might be some good reasons why the current behaviour is actually useful in certain cases. 

According to my assumptions, the user indicates that he does not want the line to have a stroke after it is drawn, and not that he should not see what he is drawing.
Perhaps the line is needed in order to start the text along it. Then I don't need a stroke, but I need to see what I draw. Drawing a line with a stroke first, and then deleting a stroke does not look very logical, in my opinion.

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I think there should be some temporary shadow/dotted line shown, it doesn't make any sense to me from an usability point of view. On the other hand, you can switch to outline mode and see the base line.

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I don’t see any reason for any kind of temporary “shadow/dotted” curve or anything like that.
If the user wants to see the curve when they draw it they should make sure it has a stroke colour, and if they don’t want to see the curve when they draw it they can remove the stroke colour before they start drawing.
Max N said that they couldn’t see the curve after they had deliberately told Designer that it should – in essence – not be seen. That’s not a software problem, it’s a workflow problem.
If you want to see the curve make sure it has a colour, if you don’t want to see the curve - for whatever reason(s) - remove the colour. That sounds quite simple to me.
Designer does – or should do – what you tell it. If you tell it not to use a colour for the stroke of a curve then, when you draw that curve, you will not see it and I don’t think anyone should be surprised by that.

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3 hours ago, Max N said:

Perhaps the line is needed in order to start the text along it. Then I don't need a stroke, but I need to see what I draw. Drawing a line with a stroke first, and then deleting a stroke does not look very logical, in my opinion.

If you put text on a curve, the stroke disappears automatically when the curve is converted to a path.


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Affinity Designer/Photo/Publisher 1.7.1.404 • Windows 10 Home (4th gen Core i3 CPU)
Affinity Photo for iPad 1.7.1.143 • Designer for iPad 1.7.1.1 • iOS 12.4 (iPad Air 2)

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41 minutes ago, GarryP said:

I don’t see any reason for any kind of temporary “shadow/dotted” curve or anything like that.
If the user wants to see the curve when they draw it they should make sure it has a stroke colour, and if they don’t want to see the curve when they draw it they can remove the stroke colour before they start drawing.
Max N said that they couldn’t see the curve after they had deliberately told Designer that it should – in essence – not be seen. That’s not a software problem, it’s a workflow problem.
If you want to see the curve make sure it has a colour, if you don’t want to see the curve - for whatever reason(s) - remove the colour. That sounds quite simple to me.
Designer does – or should do – what you tell it. If you tell it not to use a colour for the stroke of a curve then, when you draw that curve, you will not see it and I don’t think anyone should be surprised by that.

When I draw a curve without a pen fill, I see it.
When I draw a curve with a pencil, I don’t see it.
Baseline data alone, the behavior is different.

1718087263__2019_04_15_16_21_09_823.thumb.gif.032b2022f242f1aef20d31066ff18cc4.gif

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I think you might be comparing two different things, which could be why you are seeing different behaviours.
As I understand the situation, the Pen and Pencil are for different ways of drawing.
As per Serif documentation:

  • “The Pen Tool is used to precisely draw curves and shapes.”
  • “With the Pencil Tool you can create a hand-drawn look by drawing freehand, variable width, lines as if you were drawing on paper.”

Therefore, when you’re drawing with the Pen you normally want to see how the curve has been constructed as you draw so you can get everything exactly as you want it.
On the other hand, when you draw with the Pencil, it’s like you are drawing with a real pencil/brush on real paper and in that case you will not normally want to have ‘construction artefacts’ getting in the way of the work being done.

As I’ve said before, I believe the Pencil tool is exhibiting the correct and expected behaviour for what it has been designed to do.

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Of course the tool should display its path as dragged, as in most every other program with a similar tool. By the same rationale, as soon as you mouseup after creating the path, it would be selected. You would expect it to be displayed so long as it is selected, regardless of whether it is painted.

JET

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34 minutes ago, JET_Affinity said:

Of course the tool should display its path as dragged, as in most every other program with a similar tool. By the same rationale, as soon as you mouseup after creating the path, it would be selected. You would expect it to be displayed so long as it is selected, regardless of whether it is painted.

JET 

I think so too.

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Designer shows you what you are drawing with the Pencil – in real-time – while you are drawing it.

I don’t understand how also having an overlaid path partially- or fully-obscuring what you are drawing would be useful. I don’t see any useful information coming from where the mouse pointer has been while I am drawing something with a Pencil. I can’t do anything with the path while I am drawing so I can’t see any point in being able to see it while I am drawing.

Isn’t it better to see what you are drawing rather than having something over the top of it?

I just don’t see how this would be ‘better’.

As per the attached image, I would prefer to see what’s on the left while I am drawing rather than the other two.

pencil-path.png

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Garry, the issue is clearly depicted in Max N's first post. He is talking about seeing the path he is drawing with the Pencil Tool being previewed even if the current fill, stroke settings are none, and he contrasts it with the {expected) preview behavior of the Bezier Pen.

Again; preview of the shape you are dragging with a Pencil too—even if unpainted—is standard fare. In principle, it's the same thing as dragging with a Lasso Tool to make a freeform selection marquee.

JET

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Surely the path of an invisible curve drawn with the Pencil tool is irrelevant? It doesn’t matter if the curve is a simple straight line, or squiggles all over the page, or anything in between, the result is the same: a curve you can’t see. And if you can’t see the curve then the path it takes is irrelevant.

Maybe, instead of just saying that the functionality is different or missing, if you gave a concrete example of when a user would want/need to draw an invisible curve with the Pencil tool it might help to clarify the situation.

Simply saying that it should work the same as another tool – which does a different job - or that another application does it isn’t a good enough reason for me to agree that the Designer Pencil tool should do it.

If you can give a good enough reason then I’d be happy to change my mind but, at the moment, I haven’t seen anything that proves that the Pencil tool should work any differently to how it currently does.

So, to clarify, please:
1. Give a real-world example of when a user would want/need to draw an invisible curve with the Pencil tool, and;
2. Give some idea of how often a user would want/need to do this, and;
3. Explain why this process can't or shouldn't be done with another tool which already has the different/missing functionality.

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Surely the path of an invisible curve drawn with the Pencil tool is irrelevant?

If it were irrelevant, why would I be drawing it?

You need think no further than the simple situation of intending to freehand draw a closed path. You don't think you'd want to be able to see where you started, let alone how you've weaved around and between other pre-existing objects?

Sorry, Garry, but this is a no-brainer. Any freehand drawing tool should visibly trace the typical bitmap preview of the resulting path as it's being dragged.

JET

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But why would I want to draw an invisible curve around/between an object or objects, or for any other reason? That’s what I don’t understand.

I can understand why I might want to see where the curve started if I wanted to draw a closed curve but I don’t know why I would want to draw a closed – or otherwise – invisible curve in the first place.

I’ve been playing around with graphics software for quite some time but I’ve never drawn an invisible curve because I’ve never needed to draw one and that’s why I don’t see the use of being able to see the path of an invisible curve.

If you could give me an actual real-world example - what you would use an invisible curve for and why you would need to use the Pencil tool to draw it - then I might be able to understand, but at the moment I just don’t see the purpose of it.

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I’ve been playing around with graphics software for quite some time…

Not to engage in playground bravado, but I've been making my living full-time with graphics software (primarily mainstream vector drawing programs) since its early days in the mid-80s.

Quote

I don’t know why I would want to draw a closed – or otherwise – invisible curve in the first place.

I may be drawing a freeform irregular shape surrounding or in relation to other objects for any of countless reasons. I may be drawing a "background" shape which I intend to send to the rear of a collection of other paths and apply a fill  to it after. I may be simply drawing a path that I will compound with a pre-existing path in order to make a hole in it. I may be drawing a path to use  as a clipping path. I may be drawing a path to use in a Boolean punch operation. I may be drawing a cut line for a vinyl cutter. I may be drawing in outline mode. I may be drawing a temporary construction path.

OR, I may have simply switched to the Pencil tool to scribble out a path for any reason whatsoever, when the current stroke and fill just happens to be set to none or white. I still expect the tool to behave the same, by previewing the expected bitmap breadcrumb trail as I drag it. I can apply a stroke to it after mouseup, if I want to. It would be rather annoying for the program to "slap my hand" by simply refusing to preview the path I'm scribing, just because I haven't applied a stroke yet.

Take a look at the corresponding tools in any of the mainstream drawing programs, Gerry. Let me put it to you this way: What is it going to hurt for the Pencil's interface to simply behave consistently, regardless of the current stroke and fill settings?

I rather expect this "invisible drawing" behavior is just a bug, not a "feature."

JET

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Apologies for the lateness of this reply. I’ve been regularly checking my forum activity stream that is supposed to tell me what’s been posted to threads that I’ve been part of but it’s only today that I get a notification on this one, for some reason.

Anyway, thanks for giving some examples of when someone might draw an invisible curve. I have done plenty of those things myself but I have always made sure that the stroke has a colour before I started drawing so that I was sure I could see what I was drawing. That’s just something which I’m used to doing and I’m not saying that it should be a practice that everyone should adopt.

It seems like there are quite a few reasons why someone might draw an invisible curve with the Pencil tool so, with that in mind, I now agree that there probably should be a way for the user to see the path of the curve even if it has no stroke or fill.

That might sound like a total turnaround but I don’t have a problem with changing my mind if I’m proved wrong. What I wanted to do was make sure that there was a real need for something before the developers put a lot of time and effort into making it happen. Time spent on something that isn’t needed is time wasted and time lost from more important things. To take one example, in ‘a previous life’ I had someone come to me asking for some fairly large changes to be made to part of a system that, once the requirements had been properly discussed, were not necessary at all as that part of the system was found to be redundant and was subsequently removed. Approximately five weeks of design, programming and testing were replaced by 10 minutes of simply deleting stuff – and we saved a couple of reams of paper each week into the bargain.

All I needed was to be convinced by having some good real-world examples showing that the changes would actually be needed, and you’ve now done that as far as I’m concerned, so thanks again for that.

So, to clarify, in short, yeah, lets see the curve while it’s being drawn if no stroke and no fill have been set.

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