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ForestHymn

"ALT" or "CTRL" - FAST Color Picker Shortcut + Fixed Position Option For Color Triangle

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Hello Affinity Photo development team,

I'm a newbie to your program, but have worked as a digital illustrator for several years.

Affinity Photo is a really nice program - a nice alternative to Photoshop.

It could be a great program for digital illustrators and painters... But it is missing a critical option for higher speed efficiency: a fast color picker option by pressing "Ctrl" or "Alt"

This is present in Photoshop, Corel Painter, Krita, OpenCanvas, PaintStorm Studio, etc. 

It is very important to painters to be able to access the color picker quickly. When you hold down "Ctrl" or "Alt" and click on the color - it color picks it. Then when you let go of the "Ctrl" or "Alt" key, it goes back to the tool you were using before. When you have to switch between brush and color picker, this wastes twice the amount of time. An extra second or fraction of a second may not seem like a lot - but it adds up. A painting that would take 2 hours, takes 4 hours. A piece that would take 1 day, takes 2 days. 1 week turns into 2 weeks, etc. 

This would be a great addition to Affinity Photo - for all artists.

One last idea... Is allowing the user to "fix" the color wheel triangle in a fixed position - instead of having it rotate all around pointing at the chosen color. Why? Because having lightness point up, darkness point down, and saturation point right - is far easier for the brain to process than having the triangle flip all around the wheel... it makes picking specific shades across different colors inconsistent.. harder to match the same saturation position on different colors... because it has changed position. It's easier for the brain to map out the color triangle when it's fixed in one position. White up - black down - and saturation to the right.. Would be far easier to remember for artists - who need consistency, and speed in color picking.

Thank you immensely for viewing and considering these ideas!!

Edited by ForestHymn

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12 hours ago, ForestHymn said:

Hello Affinity Photo development team,

It could be a great program for digital illustrators and painters... But it is missing a critical option for higher speed efficiency: a fast color picker option by pressing "Ctrl" or "Alt"

It is very important to painters to be able to access the color picker quickly. When you hold down "Ctrl" or "Alt" and click on the color - it color picks it. Then when you let go of the "Ctrl" or "Alt" key, it goes back to the tool you were using before. When you have to switch between brush and color picker, this wastes twice the amount of time. An extra second or fraction of a second may not seem like a lot - but it adds up. A painting that would take 2 hours, takes 4 hours. A piece that would take 1 day, takes 2 days. 1 week turns into 2 weeks, etc. 

 

6

Well you can already do this in AP. There's just one little thing added. Of course you'll have the paintbrush tool selected. Now when you want to select a color;

  1. Press and hold the ALT key.
  2. Start to drag, (or you can just click over your desired color) you will see the color-picker/magnifying glass
  3. Hover over the color you want
  4. Release the ALT key, color is selected, and you're back to the paintbrush.

 

 

 


Affinity Photo 1.7.2.471 ; Affinity Photo Beta 1.7.2.464; Win10 Home Version:1903, Build: 18362.207: Intel Core i7-4770, 3.90GHz, 32GB Ram, Nvidia GTX 645, 3-Internal HDD (1 Crucial MX5000 1TB, 1-Crucial MX5000 500GB, 1-WD 1 TB), 4 External HDD

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Hi Ron P.

Thank you for your answer, but unfortunately this does not work with my Wacom tablet. AP shows no magnifying glass when I use the stylus. However, if I use the mouse it does work that way.

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47 minutes ago, Ron P. said:

Well you can already do this in AP. There's just one little thing added. Of course you'll have the paintbrush tool selected. Now when you want to select a color;

  1. Press and hold the ALT key.
  2. Start to drag, (or you can just click over your desired color) you will see the color-picker/magnifying glass
  3. Hover over the color you want
  4. Release the ALT key, color is selected, and you're back to the paintbrush.

 

 

 

fastcolorpicker.wmv

The workaround that I use is:

In Wacom Desktop Center In pen settings I have added Ap as application and assigned the keystroke i to the secondary key of the pen.

When painting I can click this secondary key, choose the color and clicking again that key, it wil return to the brush.

 

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Ok, I have one of the buttons on my Wacom Intuos 3 set as ALT modifier, or I just use my keyboard.


Affinity Photo 1.7.2.471 ; Affinity Photo Beta 1.7.2.464; Win10 Home Version:1903, Build: 18362.207: Intel Core i7-4770, 3.90GHz, 32GB Ram, Nvidia GTX 645, 3-Internal HDD (1 Crucial MX5000 1TB, 1-Crucial MX5000 500GB, 1-WD 1 TB), 4 External HDD

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Works on Mac with a Wacom tablet using the pen.


MacBook Pro (13-inch, Mid 2012) Mac OS 10.12.6 || Mac Pro (Late 2013) Mac OS 10.14.5

Affinity Designer 1.7.2 | Affinity Photo 1.7.2 | Affinity Publisher 1.7.2 | Affinity Designer Beta 1.7.2.2 | Affinity Photo Beta 1.7.2.151 | Affinity Publisher Beta 1.7.2.458

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1 hour ago, Old Bruce said:

Works on Mac with a Wacom tablet using the pen.

Wonder how you managed that. Alt key not working with my Cintiq HD and I-Mac when I'm using the Alt key. ;( to choose a color.

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On 6/16/2019 at 2:56 AM, Janno said:

I support this request.

Thank you Janno!

On 6/16/2019 at 7:13 AM, Ron P. said:

Well you can already do this in AP. There's just one little thing added. Of course you'll have the paintbrush tool selected. Now when you want to select a color;

  1. Press and hold the ALT key.
  2. Start to drag, (or you can just click over your desired color) you will see the color-picker/magnifying glass
  3. Hover over the color you want
  4. Release the ALT key, color is selected, and you're back to the paintbrush.

Oh, thank you! It looks like "Alt" does color-pick quickly already...

But.. there is one big problem - the cursor doesn't change to the color picker icon. So if you're painting with a large size brush - for example: 100 pixels wide, and you want to color pick a tiny spot of color (quickly) - and you don't want to wait 2 seconds for the magnifying glass to appear... then you're forced to try to pick a tiny spot - with a giant 100-pixel wide cursor. Which will make it very hard to pick the right spot. 

So maybe the suggestion would change to - have holding "Alt" immediately change the cursor to the color picker icon. So you get to have precision quickly, without having to wait several seconds for the magnifying glass to appear? Maybe that would make more sense.

 

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9 hours ago, ForestHymn said:

But.. there is one big problem - the cursor doesn't change to the color picker icon.

I agree. Immediate feedback on pressing the ALT Modifier is badly missing. 

As the cursor doesn't change to a colour picker there's no way to understand that the mode-change has registered. One needs to start sampling to have that magnifying glass appear: But also here the feedback is poor, as it easily takes half a second or more, until the Loupe finally shows up. One nearly can feel the program think: "Hang on – the user has pressed ALT and now even keeps LMB held down – what was it again what I'm supposed to show?

While speeding up that widget one might consider removing that distracting bevel-effect from the  picker. Giving the user a picker-experience which lets users judge the just sampled colour sure was more helpful than skeuomorphism. That's how things look in Photoshop CS6. 

2019-06-18_16h22_36.jpg

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Could someone from staff please extract the remaining feature requests? While the title is misleading (ALT+Picking works on Cintiq) there's some valid concerns:

  • Feedback is poor (no cursor change when pressing ALT with the brush tool active.
  • Too slow initialization of the magnifying glass
  • Needless tool-decoration (instead of colour judgment-helpers)

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I've registered only because I've stumbled upon this thread.

It's a shame that such an important feature is missing. Clearly the app itself is developed towards retouchers, which makes complete sense to have a magnifier glass tool picker. However, for painters this is a nightmare. Even worse thing is to press "I" to pick, then press "B" to go back to painting.

About 3 years ago I've bought both apps (Photo & Designer) and unfortunately I have never used it once for work. I really like both apps, but this is always the case with new applications, it's always something missing and I always have to go back to industry standards. In this case Photoshop and Illustrator.

I mean, how hard is to make two options to choose from in the settings? For instance, the default state could be as is right now, and if you want to switch to what @ForestHymnsuggested, you can easily turn it on in the settings. Quite sure this will not take too long to implement.

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3 hours ago, Pen Surfer said:

It's a shame that such an important feature is missing.

The originally requested feature is not missing. One can sample colours by pressing ALT with the Brush tool active, also with Cintiqs. No need either, to switch tools first. But Affinity Photo gives less feedback than Photoshop and the colour sampler feels slow.

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I really don't want to be rude, but dude, you are suggesting for us to spend money on Cintiq so we can precisely color pick while painting. This is just ... I don't even want to go there.

You know, some of us live in countries with a pretty bad/low economy standards. For instance, my monthly payment is below $500, but if you are willing to buy a Cintiq for me so I can use Affinity photo, by all means, I will accept it.

Kidding aside, I'm aware that you can color pick with simply pressing ALT, but it is not intuitive and user friendly, especially while using larger brush size. I've tried everything. You can get really close by turning on "Always show brush cursor" and turning off "Show brush preview", but it is still clunky, especially with custom brushes.

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20 minutes ago, Pen Surfer said:

I really don't want to be rude, but dude, you are suggesting for us to spend money on Cintiq so we can precisely color pick while painting.

I can't follow. The OP referred to Cintiq behavior in the intial post. And he asked for picking with the ALT-Key and nothing else. It turned out that this sort of sampling works on Cintiqs (but with any other supported input device tooI).

32 minutes ago, Pen Surfer said:

Kidding aside, I'm aware that you can color pick with simply pressing ALT, but it is not intuitive and user friendly

If you don't like this implementation you should first describe what you're missing.

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I can't follow either, to me it sounds like you are messing with me, which is clearly not the case.

I've read the OP again and I can't find where he's talking about Cintiq. You mentioned that it works on Cintiq, not him. I'm assuming it works because you can use your pen nib on screen, which is not the case with regular tablets.

 

5 minutes ago, hifred said:

If you don't like this implementation you should first describe what you're missing.

Quite sure I did and even @ForestHymn did it before me. You can find everything above, read carefully. If you need further explanation, I can make a video if you like, but basically as OP said: "This is present in Photoshop, Corel Painter, Krita, OpenCanvas, PaintStorm Studio, etc." Test it yourself and you will see the difference. Every app out there has it, only Affinity Photo is different.

Now, I don't even mind not to have a picker icon, it could be a plus cursor icon when you press ALT, without brush preview. This will allow to pick a particular color very precisely. 

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1 hour ago, Pen Surfer said:

I've read the OP again and I can't find where he's talking about Cintiq.

Ok, you're correct. I had in mind that it was the OP who first brought up the Cintiq, but later posters mention this device, before I did. Apart from that I have no idea what could have caused your anger. Also I still don't know exactly what you mean. If you prefer the GUI and speed available in Photoshop I am with you – as I already wrote earlier.

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1 minute ago, hifred said:

Apart from that I have no idea what could have caused your anger.

What? Anger? Who's angry? Quite sure I'm not, you got it wrong pal.

 

2 minutes ago, hifred said:

Also I still don't know exactly what you mean.

Okay so, instead of me writing it all over again, I will quote above posts, since for some reason you don't want to read them again. If admins feel this is double posting, please delete this message. Everything is explained above, @hifred I'm really not sure how you don't understand it.

Crucial bullet points for @hifred

  • it is missing a critical option for higher speed efficiency: a fast color picker option by pressing "Ctrl" or "Alt". This is present in Photoshop, Corel Painter, Krita, OpenCanvas, PaintStorm Studio, etc.
  • When you hold down "Ctrl" or "Alt" and click on the color - it color picks it. Then when you let go of the "Ctrl" or "Alt" key, it goes back to the tool you were using before.
  • the cursor doesn't change to the color picker icon. So if you're painting with a large size brush - for example: 100 pixels wide, and you want to color pick a tiny spot of color (quickly) - and you don't want to wait 2 seconds for the magnifying glass to appear... then you're forced to try to pick a tiny spot - with a giant 100-pixel wide cursor. Which will make it very hard to pick the right spot. 
  • holding "Alt" immediately change the cursor to the color picker icon. So you get to have precision quickly, without having to wait several seconds for the magnifying glass to appear?
  • I'm aware that you can color pick with simply pressing ALT, but it is not intuitive and user friendly, especially while using larger brush size. I've tried everything. You can get really close by turning on "Always show brush cursor" and turning off "Show brush preview", but it is still clunky, especially with custom brushes.

 

Open Photoshop, select brush tool, press ALT, release ALT and you will see how cursor behaves between two tools (brush and color picker).

 

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Oh, so you are messing with me. Is that just for fun or ... ? I would really like to know.

We spent time discussing the same thing, and you were constantly saying how you don't understand none of it, stating that I'm angry. Weird!

You even wrote the same thing here "I agree. Immediate feedback on pressing the ALT Modifier is badly missing."

In almost 40 years of my life, quite sure I never had such a weird conversation. Well, I guess there's always a first time for everything.

So what was the point of your first reply?

I don understand why are you constantly trying to justify something that is clearly not working properly. As I already said, I really love Serif's products, unfortunately they are picking dust for almost 3 years because crucial things are not working as they should. Again, it's a shame, but this is unfortunately a norm for all alternatives to big industry standard apps. Quite sure I will not live to tell the day when we would ditch Adobe's products for good. I had high hopes for both Photo and Designer, but unfortunately both are still in diapers.

For instance, what's the point of having great features if basic stuff is not working properly.

If one simple Mischief has it, which I use for sketching, I mean I don't see why Affinity Photo must be different.

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I suggest you to read a few more of my posts / threads. Having done hat I would be surprised if you still called me defensive of stuff that doesn't work. In fact, I still don't use any of the programs of the Affinity-Suite in production, as I consider them not got and not fast enough for what I want to do.

That being said, I want to give precise and constructive feedback to developers, so that they can identify and fix problems. There's nothing wrong with the statements in my first reply to you - let's please no longer waste time and move on.

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Hey listen friend, I didn't start with weird responses and accusations of me being angry. I've posted a constructive feedback. You said that it actually works, which is far from the truth. Also, you've mentioned to use Cinitiq, that was ridiculous and funny at the same time. I'm really sorry, but that is called defending, not wanting to engage with the real issue.

It is quite easy, white or black, does it work as it should or it doesn't? Well, it doesn't. There's no other variables to take into consideration.

 

44 minutes ago, hifred said:

That being said, I want to give precise and constructive feedback to developers, so that they can identify and fix problems.

I completely agree with you on this. Quite sure developers are aware of it, but either they don't know how to fix it or they don't want to. This should be quite easy to implement, I gave a suggestion.

What we are asking is that basic tools must behave properly, according to standards. Picker is clunky and awful to use, and this is a major issue for a lot of users, the way they have it now is not user friendly. I mean, I don't want to bitch about it, but I gave $80 for both apps. It's not a lot, but I would like to be able to use them. Love new isometric tools in Designer, but I still have to go between Illustrator and Designer which is paint in the back. Love a bunch of features in Photo, but I still have to use Photoshop because basic stuff is not working.

Take a look at speed painters, we heavily rely on constant quick color picking. As OP said, we would lose our valuable time with Affinity Photo, and that means money loss.

Before adding cool new features, developers must fix basic stuff. 3 years is a very long time.

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I am a Wacom user as well. Using alt to colour pick on my Cintiq 13" HD tablet works perfectly fine for me (I'm on Windows). I guess it only affects certain Wacom models, since I've heard other Wacom people struggle with Affinity. I suggest turning off Windows Ink if you haven't, since it doesn't play nice with Affinity software from my understanding.

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On 6/18/2019 at 6:59 AM, ForestHymn said:

Thank you Janno!

Oh, thank you! It looks like "Alt" does color-pick quickly already...

But.. there is one big problem - the cursor doesn't change to the color picker icon. So if you're painting with a large size brush - for example: 100 pixels wide, and you want to color pick a tiny spot of color (quickly) - and you don't want to wait 2 seconds for the magnifying glass to appear... then you're forced to try to pick a tiny spot - with a giant 100-pixel wide cursor. Which will make it very hard to pick the right spot. 

So maybe the suggestion would change to - have holding "Alt" immediately change the cursor to the color picker icon. So you get to have precision quickly, without having to wait several seconds for the magnifying glass to appear? Maybe that would make more sense.

The magnifying glass only appears immediately if you hold down alt and click/drag with your pen. I guess you want the magnifying glass to appear immediately when pressing alt, am I right? Would like that as well, actually.

The way I have set up my Wacom is to have one of my pen side buttons have an L click, which basically allows me to click with full pen pressure without touching the canvas. If I hold down alt and my L click side button the magnifying glass always appears nearly immediately (unless I work with very large files which will naturally slow down the entire software).

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@Frozen Death Knight so you are saying when you are painting with a brush tool and when you want to quick pick a color with "ALT" your cursor changes from a brush preview to a precise picker icon? 

 

2 minutes ago, Frozen Death Knight said:

I guess you want the magnifying glass to appear immediately when pressing alt, am I right? 

Sorry nope, I (we) explained it. We don't want magnifying glass at all, it takes to much time and it is not user friendly for painters. I guess for retouchers is fine.

As I already wrote above, put two states in the preferences and let users choose if they want a magnifying glass or if they want a quick picker.

I really don't understand how this is hard to comprehend. You can literally open any drawing/painting app out there and you can see how it should behave. Even Leonardo has it done properly.

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