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Posted (edited)

First of all, I must congratulate you because your software is (almost) perfect!

But I would strongly, STRONGLY suggest to do something with gradient tool. This thing does not remember settings - each time I use it I have to go trough process of setting up of what I want. In addition, instead of just painting a gradient on active layer it creates an object (rectangular box that is completely useless) with a gradient, it behaves like a tool in vector program, not bitmap editor.

It is basically not possible to quickly paint several gradients on a layer. When I try to paint second one, it immediately erases previous one.

Also, in gradient tool there is gradient editor (quite complete and functional) in top context menu, but for some reason there is no such function on the dockers? It should be easy to move the same thing to color editing window/docker.

 

PLEASE, make gradient tool behave like in Krita or Photoshop, ie like a kind of brush (after we paint gradient we should be able immediately create new one without any confirmations or clicking). Ability to 'dynamically modify gradient' is something that should be reserved to Designer, not bitmap editor. Also the direction in which we paint the gradient is counter intuitive (ie opposite of all other programs) - the gradient ends with chosen color instead of starting with it.

 

 

Edited by rygar

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The gradient tool in Photo is primarily a vector tool that is intended to be used with the shapes and with paths made using the pen tool.  It is actually called the "Fill" tool in Designer and in Publisher even though it can also be applied to the stroke of a shape as well.

I think what you are looking for is a different tool, but this one does make perfect sense in the context of modifying the appearance of vector shapes.

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Posted (edited)

I can perfectly see that it may be useful for many things, it's not like I want it to be removed. But I also think it would be quite trivial to create a variant that works like Krita/PS gradient tool.

 

There could be 2 variants that could be accessed depending on context/persona/layer type (current one for vectors, and "classic" type for bitmaps)

 

Edited by rygar

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@rygar Can't you just save your gradient as a style or just make a shape object with a gradient and save that as an asset which you can reuse as much as you want by masking it to whatever object you want the gradient to be on? You don't have to remake the exact same gradient style every time you make a new layer.

If you want to have multiple gradients on top of each other you could just duplicate the original layer with the gradient, mask the duplicate to the original (aka Mask to Below), change the opacity so you can see the original gradient, and adjust the new gradient to what you want.

I made a video showing how you can create your own assets as well as copying styles you've saved to new layers. These methods work in Publisher, Designer, and Photo.

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there are several ways to get around limitations - but that is not the point. See, in real life pro work, I just want to do things quickly. it is partially muscle memory trained for 20 years, but not entirely. The same operation can be done the way you described, it would take about 3-5 seconds to achieve, or below 1 second operation done "my" way without much thinking. Not even talking about versatility of 'normal' gradients, that can be quickly used also for fast gradient-masking, while solution you showed is limited - yes I can copy layer with gradient, but that does not work with masks..

 

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19 minutes ago, Frozen Death Knight said:

If you want to have multiple gradients on top of each other you could just duplicate the original layer with the gradient, mask the duplicate to the original (aka Mask to Below), change the opacity so you can see the original gradient, and adjust the new gradient to what you want.

Another useful trick for multiple gradients is to select the object that has a gradient applied, group it (which is allowed even though there is only one object) and then apply another gradient to the group. Repeat as often as necessary.


Alfred online2long.gif
Affinity Designer/Photo/Publisher 1.7.2.471 • Windows 10 Home (4th gen Core i3 CPU)
Affinity Photo for iPad 1.7.2.153 • Designer for iPad 1.7.2.6 • iOS 12.4.1 (iPad Air 2)

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33 minutes ago, rygar said:

there are several ways to get around limitations - but that is not the point. See, in real life pro work, I just want to do things quickly. it is partially muscle memory trained for 20 years, but not entirely. The same operation can be done the way you described, it would take about 3-5 seconds to achieve, or below 1 second operation done "my" way without much thinking. Not even talking about versatility of 'normal' gradients, that can be quickly used also for fast gradient-masking, while solution you showed is limited - yes I can copy layer with gradient, but that does not work with masks..

How is it a limitation when you can just save any object gradient you want and just drag them onto the canvas as an asset? Just make a shape with your desired gradient and keep adding more of them to the document. It is fast and non-destructive.

What do you mean copying a layer with a gradient does not work with masks? Layers with gradients on them can be used as masks you know, and you can save layers with masks in them as assets as well.

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Posted (edited)
37 minutes ago, Frozen Death Knight said:

What do you mean copying layer with gradient does not work with masks?

I mean QUICK masks, for example I have a photo and I want quickly make gradient mask using 2- 3 gradients. Normally I just pick layer mask and quickly slap several gradients on it - which takes me about 2-3 seconds. Creating layers and grouping them is just too much hassle to do something that simple. Again, I don't look for solutions that you provide there, I know how to get around problems. I want useful, practical tool for work, something that works quickly and gets out of my way. Creating styles or making several layers and use them to create mask just to apply a gradient is just... not efficient way to work lets say. At least for me. I watched the movies and I pulled my hair watching how you fight to do something I could do 4x times faster in Krita/PS. That is my frustration with current tool - I don't need ability to edit gradient after I applied it or edit it in place, I can predict how it will look like or simply will use Undo function (because again, it is faster for me to do that - one hand always on keyboard and so on).

These solutions are typical to working with vector program. I don't like to work this way, that is why I have chosen Photo, not Designer.

Edited by rygar

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1 hour ago, rygar said:

I mean QUICK masks, for example I have a photo and I want quickly make gradient mask using 2- 3 gradients. Normally I just pick layer mask and quickly slap several gradients on it - which takes me about 2-3 seconds. Creating layers and grouping them is just too much hassle to do something that simple. Again, I don't look for solutions that you provide there, I know how to get around problems. I want useful, practical tool for work, something that works quickly and gets out of my way. Creating styles or making several layers and use them to create mask just to apply a gradient is just... not efficient way to work lets say. At least for me. I watched the movies and I pulled my hair watching how you fight to do something I could do 4x times faster in Krita/PS. That is my frustration with current tool - I don't need ability to edit gradient after I applied it or edit it in place, I can predict how it will look like or simply will use Undo function (because again, it is faster for me to do that - one hand always on keyboard and so on).

These solutions are typical to working with vector program. I don't like to work this way, that is why I have chosen Photo, not Designer.

Ah, Quick Masks. That makes more sense. I personally prefer more control and a more non-destructive workflow over absolute maximized speed (speed is important of course), so I guess that's why we didn't see eye to eye at first.

If I wanted to do something similar I would just create a mask, use the Gradient tool on it, press V to switch to the Move tool to ctrl drag for making duplicates (optional), and then duplicate the layer action by pressing ctrl+J over and over. Also, since duplicate selection actually remembers how much you moved, scaled, skewed, and rotated your layer, you can do some fun stuff while duplicating your mask gradients rapidly.

I understand that this may not be the most optimal way for you personally, so a destructive Gradient tool would solve your issue in that case. The way the current one works is completely non-destructive unlike the Gradient tool in Photoshop, which is completely destructive in nature. I don't think it would be possible to combine the two approaches into a single tool because they are so fundamentally different. Making a new tool I believe would be the best approach here.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Frozen Death Knight said:

I personally prefer more control and a more non-destructive workflow

and that is great - I am not saying that this is not valid or not needed - it should remain as available option that I will use myself in many situations.

 

1 hour ago, Frozen Death Knight said:

I don't think it would be possible to combine the two approaches into a single tool because they are so fundamentally different.

In reality they are almost the same thing. Basically destructive gradient is immediately rendered/merged with layer instead of leaving active object floating above layer. Creating separate tool that does that should be quite trivial (it would be more work to create separate icon / modify GUI and documentation than actual coding - all the methods are already there). They could be renamed to 'Dynamic/Live gradient' and 'Fast/static gradient' or something like that.

Separate issue is that the gradient tool does not remember last settings (they are cleared after we change focus to different tool or layer) - I am not really sure it this is intended behavior in the first place, as other tools don't do that.

Edited by rygar

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I (think) I understand what you mean: with another program my default gradient is black to transparent, and I use it at different opacity levels and forms (radial, linear…) on masks.
With AP, I need to use brushes to obtain nearly the same result (it is not as effective and easy to not begin at the right position with a brush to obtain the same result that with mulltiple linear gradients, for example).

I love a lot AP, and manage to replace Toshop in my workflow (at first, it was part of a test, and a challenge). The most difficult part is with masks: not being able to copy-paste part of image on it, to use gradients this way… That's when I spend more time than needed to search other ways to otain the same result with different options. (But some modifications/evolutions in this other program are anoying me a lot too… in the end I suppose it's 50/50).

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31 minutes ago, Wosven said:

ith another program my default gradient is black to transparent, and I use it at different opacity levels and forms

YES, EXACTLY.

The point is that this type of gradient that behaves like brush (so you can apply one after another few times) is very versatile - I used it in many contexts - to mask, to create quick pseudo-LUTs, to make quick gradient on rasterized text and so on. It is simple and FAST way of achieving some results. Just pick a color from palette, one move on canvas and bang, done. Power is in simplicity. Just like regular brush that we use all the time.

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This could be done without an entirely new tool, as long as you are willing to settle for the limitations of only two colors, etc...  we would simply need an "Apply Immediately" checkbox / toggle of some sort on the context toolbar.

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Posted (edited)
15 hours ago, fde101 said:

This could be done without an entirely new tool, as long as you are willing to settle for the limitations of only two colors, etc...  we would simply need an "Apply Immediately" checkbox / toggle of some sort on the context toolbar.

yep, but as you wrote before, this is primarily vector tool so there could be some confusion.

Separate tool could be strictly bitmap-related and as such, would be much simpler to introduce for developers (they also have to think about people that already are used to how things are now and not confuse users).

OTOH if it would be context sensitive (different behavior depending if we work on vector object or bitmap) or witch checkbox it would be less clutter in UI, which is also a plus, even if (little) harder to develop, I understand that more tools in toolbox in not good thing. Checkbox would be probably perfect (disabled by default so after update things would work as before until user changes it intentionally).

Edited by rygar

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