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Allow objects to snap to their “ghost”, initial position during drag operations

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14 minutes ago, Ben said:

I'm considering rejecting any post with a word count over 100.

If only we could get the government to do that when evaluating what laws to pass...

There should be a requirement that no laws can be passed which exceed a certain number of words.

 

Regardless, yes, that seems like a sensible limit for a forum.  If someone has a legitimate need for more than that they can put it in an attachment.

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If you can't say it with 100 words, and possibly one attached video to illustrate the issue....


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Out of curiosity I did a word count and came up with the figure of ~8% 'somewhat on topic reply' in a 1200 word response to three questions, one of which was ignored though quoted.


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Yeah, whatever.

@Ben, I'll post it when it's done, it'll likely be more than 100 words long (I mean… two tweets long? Come on…) but hopefully shorter than 500 (abstract-sized; just right and standard). Per individual post, sorry. Regardless, I'm confident that you'll love it, thank me, implement the feature, and everyone will win in the end.

I'd rather be blunt like this and save your collective time. It's not like you people are being super nice to me anyway (you reap what you sow, I guess), and it does seem time is the most important commodity here. Modern times, indeed.

Also, as @Mithferion said, yay for videos! Video screen caps and still screenshots for everyone.

P.S.: Sorry for the revisionism, guys (and for replying to someone above their post, with an edit). It was either that, or another big-a$$, whiny post, and a pointless, shorter one below it.

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Attached videos are worth it, I must say.

Best regards!


You'll never know what you can do until you get it up as high as you can go!   

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Ok, screw the white paper thing. I'll show it as I go, in separate posts, but it will make complete sense in the end. This is how it will go:

1. I'll show off the feature in Ai, in its most basic manifestation.

2. I'll demonstrate how cumbersome – or even useless, as they don't work in all scenarios – the proposed workarounds for Designer are.

3. I'll show off the feature, once again in Ai (and also the workarounds in Designer), in complex, real-world scenarios, that should lay to rest the entire debate around its usefulness, once and for all.

4. Finally, because I'm a positive, constructive, well-intentioned and selfless guy, I'll show off possible implementations of the feature in Designer, in a way that stays true to the current UX and actually improves upon Ai's implementation, instead of just aping the latter wholesale (that stage will take longer, as it entails producing UX mockups, even animated ones; the other three stages will have to serve as teasers for the time being, muhahaha ;) ).

Easy enough?

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1. Basic stuff. Snapping a hexagon onto itself, without duplication.

ezgif-2-0d439e745c60.gif

So, an explanation of naming: the WYSIWYG part is the original position, hence the thick, black outline. The non-WYSYIWG part is the blue, mid-drag outline. Effectively what I've been calling the “ghost”.

Notice how the “ghost” snaps to the original position's nodes. Yeah, that's what I've been getting at. Does it seem that exotic and weird now?

Also, I deliberately rotated the thing ever so slightly, so that smart guides and constraints would be useless/unnecessary. It's not common, but sometimes it does happen in the real world.

That's the gist of it; snapping to points should be something extremely easy (however, Designer won't do it with polygons unless they are converted into shapes, whereas Ai does it straight away, but I digress; except me to plop that up in a separate thread as yet another feature request), and snapping to “ghosts” (or whatever you call them) is useful and works (as I'll eventually show).

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2. [Really] cumbersome workaround in Designer:

I wasn't even trying to demonstrate flaws in the snapping (or lack thereof) of polygon nodes and, yet, I did just that by accident. And yes, I had “snap to key points” and “snap to object geometry” activated, that was most definitely not an oversight on my part, and the latter snapping operations prove just that.

Still, you can see how the duplication step would have to happen even for the most basic of shapes, like rectangles. For stuff like, say, striped patterns, that can really become a massive burden.

Also, by mistake, I called the Node Tool by the name Adobe calls it, “Direct Selection Tool”; they work somewhat differently, yet are conceptually similar enough for that to be a honest mistake and you to understand what I was referring to, but I thought that I should point that out.

I've fought here in the forums, for months/years, for Designer to expose the nodes a bit more even without having to use that tool or having to press multi-key shortcuts (for precisely this kind of scenario), and likely still will (Ai's Command shortcut to expose and select all nodes at once while on the Selection/Move tool is an absolute boon), yet I'm satisfied enough with this current “select objects > switch to node tool > press Command+A” workaround for that not to be a complete deal-breaker (though it does suffer from some additional and serious flaws, and I'll go into a little bit of detail about them in the next Designer demo and corresponding post).

For “ghosts”, however, there's no workable substitute, as you'll also soon see.

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3-A (as in “exhibit A”; there will be more coming), part I. A complex, real world scenario (in Illustrator):

3-A, part II. – A complex, real world scenario (in Designer):

I won't even comment further on either video as far as the implementation details are concerned, as the work proper, my narration and especially the video duration speak for themselves.

The Designer demo is 6x longer (!!!), and while I've made a lot of mistakes on that one, the fact of the matter is that the AD workflow would still be 4x slower in the best case scenario and the Illustrator workflow wouldn't even allow for those mistakes to happen in the first place, so… “ghosting” – and the self-snapping behaviour it enables – is a useful feature, as it makes certain tasks around at least 4x fasterQuod erat demonstrandum. [does a little victory, ghost dance :76_ghost:]

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

As for the differently coloured nodes* (because I won't beat the dead – nay, decomposed –, “ghosting” horse any more today), well… I just confirmed that, yes, I did indeed run into that issue before, and someone (maybe even @Ben himself?) instructed me back then to chose “All Layers” from the Candidates drop-down menu in the Snapping manager. You see, I did remember about “snapping candidates”, so there's that.

PEBCAK, you might think? Well, yes, and no. You see, when I mentioned on some other thread (or was it this one?) that Designer could have a “Like Illustrator” kind of “workspace”/default settings pack kind of thing, this is what I was talking about. The whole having testers with cameras pointed at them might help in this camp, too.

While some people may feel that it's the best invention ever since sliced bread, and while I also fully admit that I may one day get to rein it in and put it to good use, I personally feel that Designer's Snapping Manager is a bit… well, over-engineered. It feels overkill, and its default settings are insanely complex and unpredictable when compared with the (maybe arguably also cumbersome) “everything snaps onto everything” behaviour of Ai (well, I might even go one step further and say that even for its intended use, I fail to understand the advantage of having a snapping candidate cap; is that yet another digital illustration thing that I'm missing?). And yes, this coming from someone who keeps asking for “MOAR CHOICE!!!!1!!1one!”, hah; the irony isn't completely lost on me.

So, the best course of action would be for maybe “All Layers” to be the default setting (confusing as it might be for certain documents)? And once the user got used to the application, they might take out the training wheels and start playing with the more advanced features of Snapping Manager? The default setting (if it is “Candidate List”) doesn't seem to be very intuitive for a crowd which will, in their majority, come from the CC camp. Just my €0,02, as I keep coming back to Designer (as if I was effectively a “newbie” of sorts) and forgetting to set it “correctly” for my tastes.

____________________________

[(*) Also, if that wasn't bad enough and as a bit of an aside/extra which you can ignore if you don't have the time, as I'll get back to it later on – and that's why I'm writing it in smaller text as a note, to which I'll link later on, as if this was an academic paper proper, with cross-references and all –, it's extremely jarring for type designers, already used to the “blue vs. red, unlocked vs. locked guideline” convention used in FontLab Studio and Glyphs.app alike. That's more of a personal thing, but still; it's something to consider, and since you guys aren't yet giving users advanced layer customisation choices like layer label colour (and the corresponding selection outline colour), that could even be a more useful convention for locked objects in the future – maybe you could leave the outline colours to the universal layers, like in Ai, and still have those default node colours, instead of colouring everything the same, nodes and outlines alike, according to the layer label like in Ai? Yeah, I'll be posting screenshots and mock-ups of that on the Universal Layers thread or on a dedicated new one, that's for sure.]

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Millions of people of today can't digest long messages. Then Trump came along and there was much rejoicing. With no end in sight.

I have no problem with avalanches of text - but video examples do work better here and there.


"Men are like sheep, of which a flock is more easily driven than a single one."

"Experienced vector artists and infographic designers will find a noticeable lack of the more advanced tools found in Illustrator CC." (source)

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So yeah, that's all for today. I'm going off to beautiful, sunny Algarve, to meet my family and finally go to the beach, so I'll have to gtho, pack my stuff and have a good night's sleep, like any sane person would. :27_sunglasses: That was fun, though.

Stay tuned for episode 3B, where we'll meet our teapot friend again (oh, it will have an important role, I can guarantee you that) and other fun geometric shapes, as I make yet another… hopefully strong case for this feature (if you thought that a 600% inefficiency factor was bad enough, wait until we get, as I warned before, into a different order of magnitude).

Byeeeeeee!

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57 minutes ago, Jowday said:

Millions of people of today can't digest long messages. Then Trump came along and there was much rejoicing. With no end in sight.

I have no problem with avalanches of text - but video examples do work better here and there.

Yeah, I feel your pain. Yay (“yeeeeei”?) for the Holy Grail reference, too. :D

But sometimes I wonder how I ever could digest the torrent of information and, err… “information” coming from both sides of the pond and write that goshdarned MA dissertation thing without going into a mental breakdown.

You see, it's not like “shorter” means “better”; it's death by a thousand cuts, really, and that's also why I think people can't digest long form anymore (me included, except by my standards; I can still read long stuff, but it does take me longer and I need bigger breaks in between). Much like video killed the radio star, YouTube and Twitter killed most people's attention spans. :P

Oh, you thought I didn't do (and consume) short form? Think again. I've logged in waaay more YouTube hours than I'm proud to admit, and if you saw me on some Facebook meme groups I'm on you'd see I'm no stranger to really short, one-liner quips. Yeah, maybe that's why I then dish out my repressed long form impulses here [where they might be more useful to society], hah.

Anyway, it's going to be videos and GIFs only from now on, worry not. ;) Not of kittehs or memes, but still. And if you want to skip the written comments, for the most part you can, yet you'll still capture the essence.

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And before you people tell me I'm not fair (yes, I may commit mistakes and jump to conclusions, but I am fair, will own up to them and correct them), here's the optimised version of the earlier demo:

3-A, part II. – A complex, real world scenario (in Designer, except fixed this time):

So, as you can see, this task takes around 1m40s total in Designer in a near-best-case-scenario, as opposed to a little under 50s in Illustrator.

Still: it requires considerable more precision and feels way more cumbersome, requiring a ridiculous amount of extra clicks. And while this example isn't as terrible as I made it out to be, once we get into polygon territory and have to deal with other objects also on the selection level, all hell breaks loose.

Also, the “All Layers” setting does introduce some – necessary – noise, whereas in Ai, snapping to nodes is usually more “sticky” than other Smart Guide candidates. Perhaps Designer should follow its lead and increase the “hit box” on nearby nodes over other farther candidates?

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Another aside: I'm only now realising that for self-snapping to fully work when duplicating (as in, to be as useful as selecting with the node tool and the Command+A workaround already is, and the “ghosting” feature will be), we must be able to duplicate via dragging and pressing Command/Option (whatever you pick, or both). Currently they are unused, and I see no reason why they shouldn't work.

Actually, this would be doubly useful; what would, then, stop you from besides duplicating the entire thing(s) if all nodes are selected, as I'm proposing, also duplicating only certain selected sections/paths of [a] certain curve(s)? That would make Designer way more powerful than even Ai currently is for regular vector and especially geometric work (if you select a few nodes in Ai and duplicate via dragging, it will duplicate the entire object(s), not just the selected nodes/paths, and since Serif hasn't implemented that behaviour yet, there's no set user expectation to be broken… which is just golden, for a change).

I will be sure to add that as a separate feature request, with its own included visual demos. Once you see it, you'll realise it can actually be predictable and intuitive.

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12 hours ago, JGD said:

3-A (as in “exhibit A”; there will be more coming), part I. A complex, real world scenario (in Illustrator): 

 

3-A, part II. – A complex, real world scenario (in Designer):

 

...

 

Hi @JGD

In this mentioned case, using Transform Feature in Illustrator would do the same trick in seconds (with optional instant preview if you check the Preview tickbox). Image courtesy of webdesign.org.

2.gif

As you can see below, the Power Duplicate feature in Designer can handle the trick as well, in matter of seconds, see following .gif (sorry, 5 mb), so maybe it's a workflow issue instead in this case?

Don't get me wrong, I get your point and agree that the Ghost Feature would be a very nice and attractive addition (as your hexagon example below clearly depicts).

Have a nice day.

youre-doing-it-wrong.gif.e8b33651ea9db3d0b1f53081fa0e4bd6.gif

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@JGD ok - you failed to understand "concise", and I think you are underestimating our ability to understand things.  Anyway....

 

1) This is a completely pointless usage example - and exactly what I thought you were trying to describe anyway, and illustrates entirely the point I was making.  Why would you ever need to move an object relative to itself in complete isolation?  If there are no other reference points in your document, that you can also snap to, and you are not cloning, how will it ever matter where the object used to be?  As I already said, I completely understand the mechanics of this, but totally disagree that there is ANY justification with this usage example alone.

 

2) Have you not seen our Point Transform Tool?  Minus the ghost position, it does exactly the thing you are trying to do - transforms a object with snapping referenced from geometry points.  Bingo - turns out we already thought of this one.  Incidentally, it also does exactly the kind of snapping you are attempting in example 1 (with cloning, no ghost). I'm not making videos - we have enough tutorials and examples elsewhere.   I also know what a ghost is - but we put processing power into showing you the immediate effect of your changes, rather than the 1980's way of AI doing a delayed update (which I'd assume most non-elite users would find the AI way not so useful).  If I implemented any sort of "ghost" it'd only be to show where the object was, and only for purposes of snapping to its original position - as a visual cue to show what snapped.  Again, I'm still unconvinced of the need to compromise the general use of these tools to fit these use cases.  It's also been shown that what you are demonstrating can already be achieved with other work flows.  You are insisting that these workflows are so much slower - but how often do you actually do these things????  Enough to justify compromising the majority use cases?  I am not convinced.  So, I spend time catering for the use case that in reality will only get used 0.01% of the time??  I asked you to prove to me that this use case is as "CRITICAL" (your word) as you are claiming.

 

3) Again, can all be done with our Point Transform Tool.

 

I think you could have saved yourself a few hours there with one video of what you were asking for.  Turns out we already have the tools.

 

I think a lot of what you consider the "correct way that Illustrator does things" is mostly a throwback to the fact that they only update the document when you release the mouse button.  The fact they snap to the original position is probably less a UI/UX choice as a long standing legacy side effect of the limitation of their software.  Because the actual object is still where it was unit the end of the drag.  Not at all WYSIWYG, and not great in a lot of situations.

 

Incidentally, your video example 1 is absolutely NOT WYSIWYG.  It is the complete opposite!!!  You are not "seeing what you will be getting" - you are seeing an outline which later resolves to being "what you get".  What Affinity does is WYSIWYG - you see live updates that show what the result will be as you edit.


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I thought I'd do a video anyway....

How many seconds?  So roughly 4x as fast as your demonstrated AI workflow?

 


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Oh, and here's another using the Point Transform Tool....

 

No ghost, but that would maybe save 0.5 seconds.


SerifLabs team - Affinity Developer
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@JGD I just had to read through all your comments to make sure that I wasn't missing any pertinent points of value.  Turns out I wasn't... but it sure took me a lot of otherwise valuable time. Your videos illustrated enough of what we already knew anyway.

 

Seriously - no more waffle.  I'm getting pretty serious about the 100 word limit.  My time is better spent writing code.  If people want to wax lyrical and go completely off-topic, don't blame us when we fail to read your actual points related to this software.

 


SerifLabs team - Affinity Developer
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  • iMac 27" Retina 5K (Late 2015), 4.0GHz i7, AMD Radeon R9 M395
  • MacBook (Early 2015), 1.3GHz Core M, Intel HD 5300
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12 hours ago, JGD said:

The Designer demo is 6x longer (!!!),

My way to do this in Design would go as follows (I created the third Rectangle with Power Duplicate, that is Ctrl + J):

Also, I always go crazy with the Snapping Settings. Works for my 90% of the times:

image.png.03d7b42a6ea0a053f0ca06537504e0a5.png

Best regards!


You'll never know what you can do until you get it up as high as you can go!   

AMD FX 8350 :: Radeon HD 7870 :: Windows 10 ::  http://mithferion.deviantart.com/

Oxygen Icons :: Free Quality Fonts :: Public Domain Pictures :: iOS 11 Design Resources :: iOS App Icon Template :: Hot to do High Quality Art :: Mesh Warp / Distort Tool Considerations

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Also, notice that unlike the previous examples, I didn't use any square, and yet, the stripes have the same distance between them. I attached the file.

Best regards!

Demo Pattern.afdesign


You'll never know what you can do until you get it up as high as you can go!   

AMD FX 8350 :: Radeon HD 7870 :: Windows 10 ::  http://mithferion.deviantart.com/

Oxygen Icons :: Free Quality Fonts :: Public Domain Pictures :: iOS 11 Design Resources :: iOS App Icon Template :: Hot to do High Quality Art :: Mesh Warp / Distort Tool Considerations

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24 minutes ago, Ben said:

Oh, and here's another using the Point Transform Tool....

How do you move by draggin from one of the Points? I can only get to rotate the Object.

Best regards!


You'll never know what you can do until you get it up as high as you can go!   

AMD FX 8350 :: Radeon HD 7870 :: Windows 10 ::  http://mithferion.deviantart.com/

Oxygen Icons :: Free Quality Fonts :: Public Domain Pictures :: iOS 11 Design Resources :: iOS App Icon Template :: Hot to do High Quality Art :: Mesh Warp / Distort Tool Considerations

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Two methods -

1) You can hold Ctrl to switch to translate mode and drag from a point.  The point you drag is that one that will snap.

2) Or you can drag from inside the object (away from any point).  In this method the snapping point is the rotation centre (crosshair).  You can click on one of your points to set the crosshair to identify that as your snapping preference.

 

Cmd will toggle a clone at any point while translating.

 

Look at the status bar - we use modifier keys to-

1) Cmd - Just rotate

2) Shift - Just scale

3) Ctrl - Just translate

 


SerifLabs team - Affinity Developer
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  • iMac 27" Retina 5K (Late 2015), 4.0GHz i7, AMD Radeon R9 M395
  • MacBook (Early 2015), 1.3GHz Core M, Intel HD 5300
  • iPad Pro 10.5", 256GB

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17 minutes ago, Ben said:

Two methods -

1) You can hold Ctrl to switch to translate mode and drag from a point.  The point you drag is that one that will snap.

2) Or you can drag from inside the object (away from any point).  In this method the snapping point is the rotation centre (crosshair).  You can click on one of your points to set the crosshair to identify that as your snapping preference.

 

Cmd will toggle a clone at any point while translating.

 

Look at the status bar - we use modifier keys to-

1) Cmd - Just rotate

2) Shift - Just scale

3) Ctrl - Just translate

 

The second one works like a charm. But the first one, on windows, only get me to rotate the Object without constrining the size, but without moving the Objec from its position:

Best regards!


You'll never know what you can do until you get it up as high as you can go!   

AMD FX 8350 :: Radeon HD 7870 :: Windows 10 ::  http://mithferion.deviantart.com/

Oxygen Icons :: Free Quality Fonts :: Public Domain Pictures :: iOS 11 Design Resources :: iOS App Icon Template :: Hot to do High Quality Art :: Mesh Warp / Distort Tool Considerations

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