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

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1 minute ago, MEB said:

You have to press and hold the right-mouse button while the cursor is over the node to translate the object without rotating it.

In my case, that prompts to show the Menu that appears when you right Click on the Mouse. The other method works for me, so maybe I will stick to it.

Best regards!


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@Mithferion On Windows the modifiers might be different (or you have to use right mouse).  Check the status bar when dragging to see what the options are.

 

On Windows does it work better starting with left mouse, then adding right mouse during the drag?. If only you had that extra modifier key - life would be so much better.


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2 hours ago, Ben said:

If only you had that extra modifier key

It might be less then undesirable to consider giving users of modifier-deficient systems the option to have the left and right alt keys behave like separate modifier keys?  (Or left and right control or shift for that matter)?

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Not sure if it's possible - I'll ask the Windows guys.  The main problem is how useable it would be.  On the Mac keyboard those keys are nice and close together, and we spent considerable time choosing how the modifiers worked in combination to open up tool features.


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10 minutes ago, Ben said:

Not sure if it's possible - I'll ask the Windows guys.  The main problem is how useable it would be.

On the usability front, I’ve mentioned in other threads that the RMB+LMB thing is physically impossible on my Windows laptop if I’m relying on the built-in trackpad instead of an external mouse or trackball. Other Windows users have indicated that although that button combination is possible for them they nevertheless don’t like it for one reason or another.


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That doesn't surprise me.  On Mac all four fingers lie just nicely.  It's the reason why we picked Command to drill through to Node tool, because your thumb works separately to the other three modifiers - and the main reason we are being stubborn about Alt being used for cancelling snapping (and not cloning).

 

I also hate trackpads in general.  I'd rather be using a mouse.


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9 minutes ago, Ben said:

That doesn't surprise me.  On Mac all four fingers lie just nicely.  It's the reason why we picked Command to drill through to Node tool, because your thumb works separately to the other three modifiers - and the main reason we are being stubborn about Alt being used for cancelling snapping (and not cloning).

Understood, Ben. It’s a great pity there’s no direct equivalent on a Windows keyboard.

Quote

I also hate trackpads in general.  I'd rather be using a mouse.

I’m fairly comfortable with my trackpad. Apart from the obvious size difference, I don’t find it any harder to use than the screen on my iPad. As for mice, I don’t remember when I last used one: I greatly prefer a trackball.


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14 hours ago, MEB said:

I meant the right-mouse button in addition to the left-mouse button (so both simultaneously), otherwise you can't actually move the object. Sorry for not being more explicit.

Ah, I get it. Yes, it worked.

 

13 hours ago, Ben said:

@Mithferion On Windows the modifiers might be different (or you have to use right mouse).  Check the status bar when dragging to see what the options are.

 

On Windows does it work better starting with left mouse, then adding right mouse during the drag?. If only you had that extra modifier key - life would be so much better.

Yes, it works, but it's not that comfortable.

Best regards!


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10 hours ago, Krustysimplex said:

I find using a mouse on a crowded train a little bit awkward.

Try using a rat tiger instead of a mouse. Train will not be so crowded.


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On 7/25/2019 at 10:24 AM, Ben said:

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

I didn't fail to understand; I know full well what being concise is (and if you check some other posts you'll see that depending on the subject, I can be very much so). I just can't explain it any more concisely, threw in the towel and went about my merry business, sorry. Still trying my best, though.

And if you must, as I've said before you can just watch the videos and be done with it. It's probably quicker and less mentally taxing than reading stuff anyway.

On 7/25/2019 at 10:24 AM, Ben said:

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.

Is it though? It's a way of working. And yes, maybe this was not the best example, but the one with the hexagon? Yes. There are practical applications for that, make no doubt about it. And I'm not just telling you that “you'll have to trust me on that”; once I find better use cases I will demo them as concisely as I can. I think that should be pretty much established by now.

Please don't dissmiss or second-guess your users so much. Maybe I'm not working with Designer in the most optimal way, but that doesn't make the use cases pointless per se. It's my (and potentially other users') work and workflows you're talking about, bear that in mind.

On 7/25/2019 at 10:24 AM, Ben said:

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.

Unfortunately, not yet. As I've said, I'm on vacation with my family, but still doing some unexpected office work at the same time (yay for “vacations”), so there's not much time or mental energy left for trying new stuff in Designer. Hey, I did use Designer to do a logo yesterday, and I identified some quirks in the snapping behaviour which I'll address elsewhere, so there's that.

But I'll check it out next week, rest assured, and if I find it's better for *this* particular use case (translations and rotations with duplication, something which I did in Ai before, so I know the drill), I may use it instead; that doesn't change the fact that it may still be quicker and mentally easier to just clone the damn things by hand. It's kind of comparing AutoCAD with vector programs; yes, it can be more efficient for certain tasks, but only after the economies of scale and the extra complexity kick in (if, say, the distance between objects wasn't the same as their width, or half their width, or something, sure, I'd probably use a dedicated tool).

On 7/25/2019 at 10:24 AM, Ben said:

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).

This particular bit caught my eye. You, of course, assumed absolutely right (though “elite” is a bit of a stretch; come on, man, it's more of a multitude of particular niches – mostly related to geometry and otherwise rigorous drawing – which can make use of that behaviour). And I, of course, have been saying as much for YEARS (also on this very thread, incidentally), and criticising you for that choice (or, rather, for your choice of not giving us one). And yes, I know it's a conscious one, and it has its own advantages.

But, as I've said, you can have your cake and eat it too (and I personally would very much would like to have both, as I've always said I don't have anything against WYSIWYG-only approaches in general, only when they hinder me; I don't want you to get rid of it, nor do I wish, for the umpteenth time, that Designer behaved 100% like Ai).

On 7/25/2019 at 10:24 AM, Ben said:

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.

This also caught my eye, big time. That's what I've been suggesting all along. Yes, and no* (oh, I'd be totally happy of having it for this use case of snapping stuff, but I'll sure love to have it on hand for others I could try and demonstrate, yet are maybe too hard to really articulate; that won't stop me from trying, though). Also, that's what I was about to show in a video mock-up, in point #4.

Except, you see, right now I'm in this Southern-Atlantic internet backwater/hellhole that is the Algarve; nothing really works during Summer, so I can't even see your video demos (which I'm very much curious about, by the way). And upload speeds are even worse, so you can forget about those until, as I've said, next week (also, I'm working on a MacBook and I feel constrained enough as it is for regular work; the demos would likely be crappier than my – and your? – standards call for).

Anyway, spoiler alert: I proposed and, thus, will mock-up something like more of a “literal ghost”, i.e. a translucent rendition of the object in its original position, which may have visible outlines in a special non-preview mode à la InDesign. Not only but, yes, especially for snapping objects. That was the entire point of this thread, regardless of the practical application of that functionality (but more on that later, and you did address that and I will, too, as we'll see).

On 7/25/2019 at 10:24 AM, Ben said:

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.

Fair enough. If I do indeed fail to convince you right now, rest assured that I'll keep coming back to this thread with examples until you are.

Again, not to prove some some grand point or come out on top of a discussion or whatever, but because I really miss this functionality and am dead sure that there are more than “0.01% of the time” use cases for it, and also that everybody wins when there's more choice even if it caters to, say, “5%” use case users (I'd say in such a vast application as a vector editor, that threshold is actually rather high; 1% should be enough). I would bet one of my kidneys on it if that sort of thing was legal.

So, yes, for me, personally but also as a designer and teacher who knows a thing or two about the visual creative process, it's absolutely “CRITICAL”, in all-caps and all (not as much as the universal layers and advanced selection tools, I'll give you that, and the fact that you'll be addressing those is great news). Please respect that, even if I didn't  fully make my point across yet.

On 7/25/2019 at 10:24 AM, Ben said:

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.

Absolutely, point taken. That's why I'll be mostly doing those from now on; the accompanying text will be there mostly for clarification purposes if something isn't obvious enough. Still; I can't vouch for those until I try them, and even if they do solve that particular use case, if they are more cumbersome in any way or if there are still others unaddressed, well… as I said, expect more demos.

On 7/25/2019 at 10:24 AM, Ben said:

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.

Ok, this is a big, BIG one. And very important at a deep, philosophical and structural level. Which I've also addressed since long ago in this thread. It is a throwback to that era, because there really was no other way of doing things. But it IS “What You See Is What You HAD (with a hint of what You'll Get)”, and it does allow the user some degree of before/after comparison, on the fly, which they can't have otherwise.

You can't argue against that, as it's just an incontrovertible fact, and while you may very well dispute its real usefulness (because, at the end of the day, you have a big app to manage and every man-hour is precious), I'll stand my ground and claim, point-blank and also for the umpteenth time, that having something as generic and universal as “immediate before/after WYSIWYG-ish” behaviour – even if one of the instances is crippled, in its outlined state, by a throwback to a bygone era, a convention which I never said Designer should stick to – is useful in more than, to quote you, “0.01%” of use cases. (*) Even in cases other than the one that irks the most (the entire snapping to itself thing), hence my “no” above.

I believe you're way off-base there, and maybe not many other users will agree with me because they are either illustrators who work in strictly additive workflows (as opposed to other workflows with lots of tweaking and comparing layouts, object arrangements and whatnot), or are used to the new model and can't even begin appreciate the old one (there's nothing wrong with that, but that doesn't make them right, either). Again, that's why I'm here for: to provide demos. I'm not going anywhere anytime soon.

Yes, I'm all for “structurally WYSIWYG” (or, rather, functionally skeuomorphic) UX models, like a realistic Layer+Artboard model where the former behaved like universal planes and the latter behaved a bit more like paper sheets instead of containers, as I've said many times before. But sometimes our analytical designer minds do need more busy, dirty, information-rich working environments (more than the final output will look like), and stuff like Outline mode doesn't cut it as it's a bit too over the top.

Is that against your apparent “our app and the documents it renders must be squeaky-clean [and WYSIWYG] at all times” ethos? Well, maybe it is. But I'm telling you: this limitation goes hand in hand with others I've mentioned. Most of it revolves around UX and deep philosophical constructs around how a design application should operate. I'm posting here in a more constructive and respectful fashion than I was before, but these latests posts from you didn't get me any less worried than I was two days ago. These are serious issues which require more discussion and less dismissal. No matter how many coding hours they “waste”. I consider that discussion more of an investment, really, as I still stand by my earlier assessment of Designer's limitations, and this omission is yet another nail on its current metaphorical “coffin” (speaking of undead stuff, like ghosts, let's think of it more of like a vampire, as I do believe it'll leave it again sooner rather than later, but still xD ).

To recap and to deconstruct a loaded expression which you've also used: there's no universally “correct” way of doing things. There's a correct way of doing them for each specific project. Some projects call for a strictly WYSIWYG behaviour (per your definition, not even an outlined object preview – like in Ai – or a ghost of the soon-to-be-former position of it – like I proposed and you've just acknowledged as at least viable –, but a live rendition of its final position once you let go of the mouse, and that's both a fine model and a good example of WYSIWYG), and some do call for an alternative (again, you never heard me saying that I wished for the alternative to be fully WYSIWYG; I've always said quite the opposite, and it couldn't be any other way by definition).

Maybe it's not a 50-50 split, but I'd wager the latter's percentage is potentially so high that it would justify being added to an entire dedicated Persona. A “technical drawing” Persona of some sort, if you will. Or a “structural view mode” (not the dumb, 1980s-ish “outline mode”, which we're all very much used to but also has its own limitations, such as making the selection process of filled objects a total pain, but something more in between), as opposed to the one-size-fits-all, totally WYSIWYG “preview view mode” (you call it “Vector”, but that's what it really is as of now, a “Vector [Print] Preview”). Sure, bring it on in v.2 or v.3 or even v.4 of the suite, but at least give it some proper consideration.

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On 7/25/2019 at 11:15 AM, Ben said:

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

 

No ghost, but that would maybe save 0.5 seconds.

Interesting. But there's a lot to unpack here.

Firstly: this does not solve my issue. The fact that you have to duplicate the object and then delete the original doesn't address my main complaint in any way, shape or form. That's where the biggest waste of time lies. And once you see other demos where selecting wasteful objects becomes more cumbersome, you'll see just how longer it takes. So I'd kindly suggest you don't waste your and my time either, looking for workarounds that won't solve my issue, regardless of how bad it might be.

Secondly, the Point Transform Tool betrays an expectation of coherence; you really have to copy Adobe's approach here when it comes to polygons…

So, you're meaning to tell me that the Node tool can't select the hexagon's nodes without first converting them to curves, but the Point Transform Tool can? Well, that's neat and all, in the sense that it's a neat workaround for another issue which I mentioned before and was about to address in a separate thread (and maybe I will, with… an extended version of your own demo, I guess?), but it introduces inconsistency where it really isn't desirable or even necessary.

See how Adobe solved it: all polygons' nodes are fully selectable and editable with the Direct Selection Tool (their equivalent to the node tool), but once you edit the number of sides in any way, poof, they go back to being regular. That's a very nice “having-your-cake-and-eating-it-too” approach to special shapes.

In Affinity Designer, I'm basically forced to use a different tool, with a different purpose, and with a more cumbersome modifier key combination, to achieve something that the Node Tool can do otherwise with any other kind of curve object (even though that “default” approach of sorts forces me to always press Command+A after switching my tool, whereas in Ai I can just be happily working with the Selection Tool – their equivalent to the Move tool – and temporarily press Command before selecting a node, because when the tool switches to Direct Selection, all nodes are selected by default; one less keyboard shortcut multiplied by several thousand times a day adds up very quickly).

You see, when I tell you that even that old dog Ai can really be more elegant (*gasp*!) and easier to use (*double gasp*!) than Designer in some use cases, I absolutely have the data and the prior experience to back that up. I'll be showing just that in a dedicated demo, in another post, later on when I get a decent connection.

Oh, I forgot to address this point in particular in my earlier post:

Quote

how often do you actually do these things????

All. The. Time. And I'm very quick at it, courtesy of Ai's “old” ways. Maybe there are more efficient ways of doing it in Designer (and even in Ai, and I've used them extensively in some projects, especially more complex stuff like radial transformations, as you'll soon see in my next post), and maybe they are contained in those videos I can't load. But if I'm unimpressed, yep, expect more demos. Heck, at this point, I think I should just record myself whenever I fire up Ai and make a supercut of all the relevant parts.

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On 7/25/2019 at 8:55 AM, CLC said:

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

Now, this is interesting.

It's nice that you mentioned Ai's Transform dialog; I'm well acquainted with that beast, and it works great for complex stuff. Indeed, I used it before in the branding I did for some medical events, at this… medical event company I worked for (all the events I worked on range from the “XXV Congresso Nacional de Coloproctologia” [26/27 Nov. 2015] and the “Curso Básico de Colposcopia” [07/08 Nov. 2014], though I didn't have much control over some of the ones with recurrent identities, as you might realise, as the company was extremely conservative and so were some of its clients).

This one was the second one I did, and mostly a scale job:

1447702635_CartazSPACongressoUSP2014(v1).thumb.jpg.6bdda9fc76ba1e808bf8459bfb0b6146.jpg

Here, I basically did an isometrically-aligned sample by hand (three or four rows, IIRC), which I then copied using this manual snapping workflow which, yes, is arguably a bit cumbersome. But then I proceeded to transform each object, row by row, from a centre, 100% referential (a row around the first third line), into ever smaller and ever bigger percentages.

Hah, back then I was young and stupid, and wasn't even wise enough to use symbols (resulting in *massive* files and my colleagues converting the vector background into a horrid, pixelated mess). :facepalm:

But after working there for almost a year, I came up with this:

Programa-A5-X-Congresso-APNUG-2015-capa-b.thumb.jpg.abe7e5e8bc7ac98dfcf767b01b0d1ecf.jpg

Here, each of the background shapes is indeed a symbol, and I would never consider doing this transformation by hand. So I basically did a base ring via rotation and duplication, then made it into a symbol itself (can you say symbolception? ;) ), and then duplicated it consecutively, except rotated by a fraction in every other operation so it would be staggered, and scaled up towards the outside and down towards the centre in every operation.

To say that I know how to duplicate stuff procedurally and achieve decent effects in rigorous fashion is a bit of an understatement. I have the portfolio to prove it, and if and when I choose to do so manually is because I just figured that the shape or pattern I want to make is so basic that I don't even want to bother with thinking in numbers and pressing buttons. Sometimes I just wanna grab my tools, press some modifier keys and do it visually (or, dare I say it, WYSIWYG-y). Is that too much to ask? Can't I choose the way I'll use my brain and my hands to perform something I came up with in my head?

Anyway, maybe the Power Duplication feature achieves just that. Once I get a decent connection and can actually watch video tutorials, I'll be all over those, I promise. ;)

[Edit #1: It's a good thing that Serif's tutorial video player allows you to knock it down all the way to 560p and that all the tourists are probably in bed now. xD ]

Yeah, this does the trick, and though it's a tad less visual than Ai's Transform dialog (in the way that you can tweak the duplicate operation and see a preview on that one), but as long as you plan your transformation ahead, it should allow one to do everything I've just shown, and should at least help with the striped patterns I demoed as well.

[Edit #2: Not really; please check my next post for an explanation.]

However, I just tried it with these, and I realised that unless I'm missing something, I still need the ghosting and self-snapping feature to use the ghost to set the spacing to its own width without having to add extraneous objects that I then have to delete (I don't care that Serif's team feels that as an acceptable compromise; I don't, and I will stand my ground, as I do indeed use this all the time, yes), so… It's only a partial solution (that, arguably, does make things feel a bit easier, even considering the exponential feature of my technique, as you can just press and hold Command+J and let Designer do its thing; I also guess that if you were to combine both methods, Power Duplicate could become crazy fast, but then we'd be entering into pattern creation territory and would be better served with a dedicated tool for just that).

There is one thing I'm just not feeling with this tool: discoverability (or its lack thereof). It feels like some weird, power-user voodoo (I mean, I can do those, sure), whereas Adobe's, while more old-school and heavy, is at least completely “in-your-face” when you open those dialogs.

I know, I know, RTFM, and you can't fault Serif for not posting this on a video tutorial, and can indeed fault me for not having watched it before. But the truth of the matter remains that I found out about this on my own in Ai probably some years before doing those “SPA” and “APNUG” posters, whereas I wouldn't have found this Power Duplication feature [it even has “Power” in its name…!] in Designer in a long, long time (kind of like those cheat codes in Nintendo games; not only would it be hard to find, I might but at least many users would likely not understand the mechanics thereof on their own and be able to reproduce it).

And as for consistency/reliability…? Maybe I'm just tired, but I'd swear that I tried it once and it didn't work, and then I tried it again and it did. I'll have to test it further to check for bugs, definitely.

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2 hours ago, JGD said:

Yeah, this does the trick, and though it's a tad less visual than Ai's Transform dialog (in the way that you can tweak the duplicate operation and see a preview on that one), but as long as you plan your transformation ahead, it should allow one to do everything I've just shown, and should at least help with the striped patterns I demoed as well.

Wrong, spoke too soon! I'm quoting myself because adding this comment to the earlier post would make it even more bloated, and also because this will be the starting point for a new bug reporting/feature suggestion thread (in fact, don't be surprised if I outright excise this entire post from this thread and cross-link them instead to keep things simpler). I tried doing radial transformations just like the ones in that “APNUG” poster, using Command+J, the Point Transform Tool to set the centre using a circle's centrepoint as a guide, and manually inputting the angle values, and guess what, somewhere along the chain Designer becomes amnesiac and the Power Duplication falls completely apart. :(

That's kinda sad, right now that I was half-excited about these nifty tools, but at least it's a start and hopefully the guys at Serif can fix this. Or, you know, they could [also?] add two little “Repeat” and “Duplicate” buttons to the Transform panel when the Point Transform tool is selected (the entire ∆X, ∆Y and ∆R fields already set a precedent for a modal and very intuitive and discoverable dialog on which those buttons would fit like a glove; it would be a “Power Power Duplicate tool for dummies”, if you will, and besides, the panel already has some blank space in that state).

Once again, choice and redundancy aren't inherently bad, if they're added with parsimony; the regular Power Duplicate feature would be just fine for quick and dirty tasks, done by hand (with ghosts or no ghosts, but I'm obviously biased towards them); and the Point Transform Tool and its modified Transform panel in tandem would be awesome for more advanced, fine-controlled operations. And yes, the latter option might even make the bug/limitation I just pointed to a complete non-issue (or even a good thing, as it was a rather convoluted workflow) if it were to remain unfixed/unaddressed.

Edit: it's up in a dedicated post now. If you wish to discuss that bug/feature, please do so there.

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5 hours ago, JGD said:

Wrong, spoke too soon! I'm quoting myself because adding this comment to the earlier post would make it even more bloated, and also because this will be the starting point for a new bug reporting/feature suggestion thread (in fact, don't be surprised if I outright excise this entire post from this thread and cross-link them instead to keep things simpler). I tried doing radial transformations just like the ones in that “APNUG” poster, using Command+J, the Point Transform Tool to set the centre using a circle's centrepoint as a guide, and manually inputting the angle values, and guess what, somewhere along the chain Designer becomes amnesiac and the Power Duplication falls completely apart. :( 

That's kinda sad, right now that I was half-excited about these nifty tools, but at least it's a start and hopefully the guys at Serif can fix this. Or, you know, they could [also?] add two little “Repeat” and “Duplicate” buttons to the Transform panel when the Point Transform tool is selected (the entire ∆X, ∆Y and ∆R fields already set a precedent for a modal and very intuitive and discoverable dialog on which those buttons would fit like a glove; it would be a “Power Power Duplicate tool for dummies”, if you will, and besides, the panel already has some blank space in that state). 

Once again, choice and redundancy aren't inherently bad, if they're added with parsimony; the regular Power Duplicate feature would be just fine for quick and dirty tasks, done by hand (with ghosts or no ghosts, but I'm obviously biased towards them); and the Point Transform Tool and its modified Transform panel in tandem would be awesome for more advanced, fine-controlled operations. And yes, the latter option might even make the bug/limitation I just pointed to a complete non-issue (or even a good thing, as it was a rather convoluted workflow) if it were to remain unfixed/unaddressed.

Edit: it's up in a dedicated post now. If you wish to discuss that bug/feature, please do so there.

I completely agree that a dialog such as Transform in Ai would be more than handy and intuitive for extending/controlling the Power Duplicate feature.
I wouldn't be mad if Serif devs just copied the dialog without attempting to reinvent the wheel again, but I assume they don't want to be called copycats so that's why they want to do things different. Honestly - Power Duplicate feature is useful, but not as intuitive as Ai's Transform dialog, where you can set number of repetitions and all other stuff incl. point of origin of the source object/group you're about to duplicate, in another words: Power Duplicate's ux is simply 2nd grade in comparison to Ai's.
I'm just being honest here, I don't want to touch any dev's feelings, fyi. I have to repeat, again, that Affinity Apps are a bargain for the price and amount of features, and they're doing great job. I just wish it was more user friendly and less buggy.

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12 hours ago, JGD said:

The fact that you have to duplicate the object and then delete the original doesn't address my main complaint in any way, shape or form. That's where the biggest waste of time lies

It's an extra step, but depending on what you are doing, but in the greater view, it's not substantial. In my video, I could achieve the same thing in a fraction of the time in your attempt in Designer.

12 hours ago, JGD said:

So, you're meaning to tell me that the Node tool can't select the hexagon's nodes without first converting them to curves, but the Point Transform Tool can? Well, that's neat and all, in the sense that it's a neat workaround for another issue which I mentioned before and was about to address in a separate thread (and maybe I will, with… an extended version of your own demo, I guess?), but it introduces inconsistency where it really isn't desirable or even necessary.

Here is where I have to agree with... JET_Affinity, in the sense that a single Arrow-Pointing-Selecting-Transforming Tool (as in good old FreeHand) was the best, until Illustrator decided that Two Arrows was a better approach (later, the good People developing FreeHand made a second Arrow just to look more familiar to the Illustrator users).

Now, besides that, the reason behind Serif's choice is another one; Ben can explain it better if I say something wrong: the Point Transform Tool IS NOT selecting Nodes, but a new thing called Points. Maybe the Points are based on Nodes, but they're are extra things like he Point that is in the Rotation Center of the Polygon (even a Triangle):

image.png.258653870a437ceaa49d95c9675c993a.png  image.png.97c8c024bc4b36ecb1c66b050d04d779.png

Is that useful? For some case, yes, it is. And that's the thing: maybe you don't see the value in the little extra feature (and differentiation) comparing it with the Node Tool, but that doesn't make it bad.

Why not make the Node Tool be useful for the Extra Points (that are base on the Smart Shape concept, not in any Shape)? Well... It would be better to have a single Move and Transform Tool that can control all of this... wouldn't it? One can dream.

Best regards!


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11 hours ago, Mithferion said:

It's an extra step, but depending on what you are doing [emphasis mine], but in the greater view, it's not substantial. In my video, I could achieve the same thing in a fraction of the time in your attempt in Designer.

That's the kicker, right there. Depending on what you're doing, and while I may be a fringe case in the sense that I do a lot of operations where clicking stuff and deleting duplicates would be a daily chore, I also know for a fact that a) I'm not alone in that and b) even if most other users will deal with it rarely, the combined wasted man-hours from all those instances, which could be easily avoided if this little thing was fixed, could be put to better use (also, the app would very well feel nicer in those instances, and having the choice there won't hurt those who don't need it).

Quote

Here is where I have to agree with... JET_Affinity, in the sense that a single Arrow-Pointing-Selecting-Transforming Tool (as in good old FreeHand) was the best, until Illustrator decided that Two Arrows was a better approach (later, the good People developing FreeHand made a second Arrow just to look more familiar to the Illustrator users).

Now, besides that, the reason behind Serif's choice is another one; Ben can explain it better if I say something wrong: the Point Transform Tool IS NOT selecting Nodes, but a new thing called Points. Maybe the Points are based on Nodes, but they're are extra things like he Point that is in the Rotation Center of the Polygon (even a Triangle):

image.png.258653870a437ceaa49d95c9675c993a.png  image.png.97c8c024bc4b36ecb1c66b050d04d779.png

Is that useful? For some case, yes, it is. And that's the thing: maybe you don't see the value in the little extra feature (and differentiation) comparing it with the Node Tool, but that doesn't make it bad.

Why not make the Node Tool be useful for the Extra Points (that are base on the Smart Shape concept, not in any Shape)? Well... It would be better to have a single Move and Transform Tool that can control all of this... wouldn't it? One can dream.

Best regards!

Yep, your analysis on the number of different selection tools is very interesting and actually on topic. I've been giving this some thought myself… Designer is closer to Ai than FreeHand in that regard.

For instance, I've always thought that the very existence of the Anchor Point Tool in Ai, which is a subset of the Pen Tool but feels more like a bolted on addition to the Direct Selection Tool to make up for the shortcomings of the Pen Tool when compared to that from FreeHand, was a symptom of Adobe's inability to manage the beast that Ai probably was from its inception.

I mean… I like the Point Transformation Tool, but when I began playing with it in earnest I did start to wonder whether it was Designer's own “Anchor Point Tool” of sorts in philosophy, as in… a bolted-on addition. Then again, you could argue that it is basically Ai's Rotate Tool, only on steroids because it not only allows you to pick the reference point, it also lets you make any kind of transformation conceivable instead of just rotate; indeed, it really makes that tool from Ai feel dumb and limited, like a totally wasted opportunity.

I may grow to like it a lot, but I absolutely must give it its own keyboard shortcut and spot on the toolbox; having it behave like a subset of the Node Tool, tucked in behind its drop-down menu and all, just won't cut it in the long run.

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12 hours ago, JGD said:

That's the kicker, right there. Depending on what you're doing, and while I may be a fringe case in the sense that I do a lot of operations where clicking stuff and deleting duplicates would be a daily chore, I also know for a fact that a) I'm not alone in that and b) even if most other users will deal with it rarely, the combined wasted man-hours from all those instances, which could be easily avoided if this little thing was fixed, could be put to better use (also, the app would very well feel nicer in those instances, and having the choice there won't hurt those who don't need it).

Having the choice would be a nice thing. But in my experience here in the Forums, when discussing with Ben, you need to present really clear (just for not saying extreme) examples when that little feature would be:

  • A sine qua non factor in order to achieve something.
  • The workaround implies much complexity and time.

 

12 hours ago, JGD said:

For instance, I've always thought that the very existence of the Anchor Point Tool in Ai, which is a subset of the Pen Tool but feels more like a bolted on addition to the Direct Selection Tool to make up for the shortcomings of the Pen Tool when compared to that from FreeHand, was a symptom of Adobe's inability to manage the beast that Ai probably was from its inception.

That and other examples make me dislike Illustrator as a Tool. Even if it has tons of very good (and even great) features, the overall experience, for me, is discouraging, to say the least. There are areas where Designer shines in comparison, if you ask me.

 

13 hours ago, JGD said:

I mean… I like the Point Transformation Tool, but when I began playing with it in earnest I did start to wonder whether it was Designer's own “Anchor Point Tool” of sorts in philosophy, as in… a bolted-on addition. Then again, you could argue that it is basically Ai's Rotate Tool, only on steroids because it not only allows you to pick the reference point, it also lets you make any kind of transformation conceivable instead of just rotate; indeed, it really makes that tool from Ai feel dumb and limited, like a totally wasted opportunity.

For some of the things I used to do via using the Node Tool, the Point Transform tool is a better way. I like it but I'm afraid that we end up with the multitude of Subtools scattered everywhere.

 

13 hours ago, JGD said:

I may grow to like it a lot, but I absolutely must give it its own keyboard shortcut and spot on the toolbox; having it behave like a subset of the Node Tool, tucked in behind its drop-down menu and all, just won't cut it in the long run.

You can press the F key to have it selected. Also, this is the way I arrange the Tools:

image.png.99301a2dd007eeb4daf85745cf2fcd80.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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On 7/28/2019 at 3:10 AM, fde101 said:

@JGD, please note that each of your posts has WAY over 100 words in it.

Please give it a rest already. Also, can't we discuss stuff among ourselves as fellow users, now? This isn't just a one- or two-way communication street with Serif (for that, there are DMs), but a public forum. Can't we, fellow users, discuss stuff among each other? And who's to say I wouldn't, as the OP, edit the original post with condensed versions of all the suggestions offered during that discussion?

It's not like I'm the only one here writing posts way longer than 100 words (some are 50% longer, some are twice as long, and have lots of screenshots, to boot), which very interesting, too. Do you not enjoy those, either? It's just that I didn't see you telling @Mithferion@CLC, or other users here and on other equally (nay, some of them way more) important threads to cap their posts at that “magical 100-word mark”, so… maybe that's not your only (or main) criteria here?

As for my answers to Ben, they were the size they were because they had to, not because of some meanness on my part or something. Some of his comments were way off base, and some of what I said obviously wasn't yet clear enough; was I supposed to just accept those lingering misunderstandings and not retort at all? Also, I said what I had to say before, and proceeded to discuss stuff with other people (even though I did ask them to discuss that in the other thread), please let me be. When I have new demos to show, I'll post them here and tag Ben accordingly.

But anyway, if you really want a digested version of this current thread, there you go (with the added bonus that the Serif team will get it as well if they do check out the thread):

• Designer's Move Tool is limited (doesn't snap objects to themselves).

• Ai's Selection Tool is complete (snaps objects to themselves).

Nineteen words. However, how do you expect me to explain that limitation or add any suggestions in only 5x that amount of text (a measly two lines)? Without it coming across as “Ugh, feature x limited, Designer baaad, Ai goooood”? And in a way that convinces the arguably – and self-admittedly – stubborn team at Serif that giving users a choice to have this feature isn't any different than, say, having both Corel's and Adobe's selection models in Designer [1468114033_Capturadeecr2019-07-29s05_27_12.png.5e6aaeec842954401b2a463fb960f423.png], when no other app that I know of does it?

No, really, try and do that yourself if you can, and then tell me how. In under 100 words, of course. ;)

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17 hours ago, Mithferion said:

Having the choice would be a nice thing. But in my experience here in the Forums, when discussing with Ben, you need to present really clear (just for not saying extreme) examples when that little feature would be:

  • A sine qua non factor in order to achieve something.
  • The workaround implies much complexity and time.

Yeah, I know. It's only silver bullets from now on.

But I'll tell you what: even if there are workarounds I'm unaware of, if the guys at Serif are still defensive after a metric ton of real examples I'll probably throw in the towel and jump ship to Corel, Inkscape, Sketch or whatever I can grab my hands on.

There's a third point you (and especially Ben) are not considering:

  • The app feels incomplete and unpolished.

That's the gist of it. I know there are workarounds, and that there are other ways of achieving certain stuff (some of them more efficient in general, and some of them maybe even more efficient in 99% of cases), but… not everyone's mental model is the same, nor is it always the same in every scenario.

As I've said, there's a certain threshold under which using über-advanced automation tools and duplication voodoos may not really feel right, even if you have them somewhere in your muscle memory. And to me, to be denied that choice over some decree of efficiency, for something that really doesn't seem that hard to code (I mean, it's definitely not harder to code than, say, the stuff that's missing from Publisher, or a full-blown tracing tool or whatever) and which could bring other side benefits unrelated to snapping (comparing before/after looks of a composition comes to mind, once again; that Serif devs just ignore this super basic factor, which would make them one-up Illustrator in any conceivable way, completely boggles my mind), just seems really petty, and makes me feel like the app is fighting against me.

It's hard to put that into words and UX concepts, but damn it, that's how Designer feels. It feels wrong. And not because it's different than Ai, since it inevitably would be and always will. Far from it.

For instance, I got used to QuarkXPress, to the point that I could typeset entire documents with it, and yet I felt the same way about it, mainly because its shortcuts and modifier keys were so weird and non-standard; I also feel the same about Designer's completely and deliberately (as stated somewhere here) non-standard and un-Mac-like modifier key behaviour (I'll go back to that one, and ask for further customisation of those so we may one day fix Serif's decisions on those, even if we have to replicate them on any and all machines we may come across).

However, I most definitely did not feel that way when switching from FreeHand to Ai, which almost feels sacrilegious to say. Or when switching from Quark to InDesign (that was, in fact, a total improvement, as I was already starting to use Ai but, IIRC, I switched to it at a time during which I was still using FreeHand to some extent).

17 hours ago, Mithferion said:

That and other examples make me dislike Illustrator as a Tool. Even if it has tons of very good (and even great) features, the overall experience, for me, is discouraging, to say the least. There are areas where Designer shines in comparison, if you ask me.

For some of the things I used to do via using the Node Tool, the Point Transform tool is a better way. I like it but I'm afraid that we end up with the multitude of Subtools scattered everywhere. [emphasis mine]

Yeah, I guess you're right. I'm divided over stuff like, say, the Corner Tool. Serif came up with it first, by creating a dedicated tool; shortly after Adobe aped it but integrated it in the Direct Selection Tool in a way that is at the same time more “elegant”, as you can just edit corners directly, but also more cumbersome, as it kinda screws up with my… Direct Selection Tool-heavy workflow (as those handles get in the way).

So, in the end, even though I'm as worried as you are with the “Subtool bloat”, I'd rather have subtools that work great and don't conflict with one another, than having to deal with too much functionality condensed into a single one. InDesign now also has these frame content editing handles which are visible by default and get in the way, and maybe there's a way to turn those off, but man, what a pain those are. By trying to make an app purportedly easier to use, they screwed it up, and I don't want Serif to do that by adding too much complexity. But I don't enjoy seeing them also do just that by going the opposite route and enforcing too much simplicity (as is the case when it comes to the strictly-WYSIWYG dragging model).

17 hours ago, Mithferion said:

You can press the F key to have it selected. Also, this is the way I arrange the Tools:

Best regards!

Oh, cool. Not having to even edit the defaults would've been good, especially for a novice. Except maybe mine were borked? It's not the first time that happens to me (at some point, the Zoom tool lost its default shortcut in Photo), but I just added it back. Thank you for telling me what the default was anyway; that way, not only did I not have to reset my shortcuts to the defaults, if I ever bump into someone else's installation of Designer I won't be completely lost.

As for the arrangement, if the tools ever stop fitting my 13'' MacBook, maybe I'll have to switch to the two-column view as well; on the iMac, seeing how big its screen is, it really won't be necessary. ;)

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2 hours ago, JGD said:

There's a third point you (and especially Ben) are not considering: 

  • The app feels incomplete and unpolished.

That's the gist of it. I know there are workarounds, and that there are other ways of achieving certain stuff (some of them more efficient in general, and some of them maybe even more efficient in 99% of cases), but… not everyone's mental model is the same, nor is it always the same in every scenario. 

As I've said, there's a certain threshold under which using über-advanced automation tools and duplication voodoos may not really feel right, even if you have them somewhere in your muscle memory. And to me, to be denied that choice over some decree of efficiency, for something that really doesn't seem that hard to code (I mean, it's definitely not harder to code than, say, the stuff that's missing from Publisher, or a full-blown tracing tool or whateverand which could bring other side benefits unrelated to snapping (comparing before/after looks of a composition comes to mind, once again; that Serif devs just ignore this super basic factor, which would make them one-up Illustrator in any conceivable way, completely boggles my mind), just seems really petty, and makes me feel like the app is fighting against me.

It's hard to put that into words and UX concepts, but damn it, that's how Designer feels. It feels wrong. And not because it's different than Ai, since it inevitably would be and always will. Far from it. 

Word.

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TL;DR

Can someone distill the useful points from this thread for me... thanks.

 


SerifLabs team - Affinity Developer
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On 7/26/2019 at 10:59 PM, JGD said:

I'm on vacation with my family, but still doing some unexpected office work at the same time (yay for “vacations”)

It seems that there’s a good reason why the British English phrase “on holiday” is replaced in American English by the phrase “on vacation”! (For anyone missing the subtle distinction, “on holiday” implies that you’re not working, whereas “on vacation” merely indicates that you’ve vacated — i.e. left — your usual location.)


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Affinity Designer/Photo/Publisher 1.7.3.481 • Windows 10 Home (4th gen Core i3 CPU)
Affinity Photo for iPad 1.7.3.155 • Designer for iPad 1.7.3.1 • iOS 12.4.1 (iPad Air 2)

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