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When using the brush tool in Affinity apps I always get very odd brush size increments when using the square bracket ( [ ] ) keys to change the brush size. 

 

If I use a 10px brush and use "]" to size it up one increment, it doesn't go to the expected 15px, but rather to 11,5 px. :42_confused:
And then, if I press the "[" key to size the brush back down to 10px from 11,5px, it randomly ends up at 9,8px (?).
Pressing "]" three times from 9px results in 9px, 10,4px, 11,9px, and 13,7px, instead of the expected 9px, 10px, 15px, and 20px values.
I find this a bit strange, as I feel that decimal pixel values for brush sizes make little to no difference, and it's just generally odd that using the square brackets to change brush sizes doesn't just use rounded increments - I hate mentioning Photoshop as a reference example, but if if ain't broke...

 

For instance, using the brackets between the values 1px and 10px should only change the brush size in increments of 1px (1,2,3,4,5px...), anything between 10px and 50px should change in increments of 5px (10, 15, 20, 25, 30px...), anything between 50px and 100px should change in increments of 10px (50, 60, 70, 80, 90px...), anything between 100px and 200px should change in increments of 25px (100, 125, 150, 200px), then 50px, and anything above 300px should change in increments of 100px every time you press the square bracket(s). 

Is there a significance to these weird, decimal pixel increment values?
If so, is there a way to change it back to something more normal/user friendly?

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Hey ChristiduToit,

Brush sizes increment by 15% each time (and will round up) so if you start with a 100px brush, you will jump to 115px and then the next jump will be 132.3px (actually 132.25 but remember I said it rounds up). 

The reason you end up on 9.8px is that 15% of 11.5 is 1.72. You then have 11.5 - 1.72 = 9.78 (rounds up to 9.8px). I hope this makes sense!

I'm not sure why we chose 15% but I can find out if you're interested! 

I do believe that the pixel brush should increment in whole pixels only so this may slightly change somewhat in the future but it will still be 15% increments. 

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This sounds so much like a preference in the making...

 

From one perspective, using percentages for this makes a lot of sense and is fairly straightforward compared to using some kind of stepping function.  For vector work you *might* get away with this much of the time.

 

From another, however, the use of fractional pixel sizes for a raster brush is indeed rather strange, and simply trying to round this is kind of sloppy...

 

Assume for a moment that you round up when increasing the brush size and down when decreasing.  Starting from a 1px brush you wind up with:

 

1 * 1.15 = 1.15 -> 2

2 * 1.15 = 2.3 -> 3

3 * 1.15 = 3.45 -> 4

4 * 1.15 = 4.6 -> 5

5 * 1.15 = 5.75 -> 6

6 * 1.15 = 6.9 -> 7

7 * 1.15 = 8.05 -> 9

9 * 1.15 = 10.35 -> 11

11 * 1.15 = 12.65 -> 13

etc...

 

continuing with that pattern: 15, 18, 21, 25, 29, 34, 40, 47, 55, 64, ...

 

 

If we then match this going downward by always rounding down, then starting with a brush size of 309 (which is reached by the above pattern after a while), you get:

 

309 * 0.85 = 262.65 -> 262

262 * 0.85 = 222.7 -> 222

222 * 0.85 = 188.7 -> 188

 

and continuing: 159, 135, 114, 96, 81, 68, 57, 48, 40, ...

 

 

Note that the pattern coming downward does not match the numbers from the pattern going up.  That means that implementing such a scheme will lead to brush sizes that cannot be returned to by "going the other way".

 

NOTE: 40 -> 47 -> 55, but 55 -> 46 -> 39

 

Simple rounding won't work with the smaller sizes because 1 * 1.15 = 1.15 which would round back down to 1 and the size would never change.

Simple rounding on the way down won't work either (2 * 0.85 = 1.7 -> 2).

 

 

I would be ok with the pattern of jumps if it were consistent in both directions, but the fact that going up a size and going down a size don't match is something I find rather...  not to be liked?

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@fde101 Wow, that's quite an elaborate analysis, haha. But you're totally right. It doesn't really matter which pattern is used, the increments should remain consistent when sizing up and sizing back down, and with no decimal spaces for pixel brushes. 

@Chris B Thank you for clarifying!
15% does seem a bit odd (I still feel using ascending increments of 1, 5, 10, 25, 50, 100, etc is a more practical for pixel/raster work), but it's not a train smash, rather just something to get used to. 
As I mentioned in my reply to fde101's comment, I think it would just be nice if there was a way to keep consistency when sizing up and/or down. When I use the brackets to size up and then down again it would be far nicer if I ended up with the same value as what I started with. I believe most apps (in fact, pretty much all design/art/photo editing apps) work in this way, and I guess there's a good reason why - it works well. :)

Perhaps, like fde101 said, this could be a good thing to consider adding to the Preferences, where you can pick what sizing unit you use (mm, pt, px, percentage, etc) as well as the increment value for sizing up and down. 

Again, not a train smash, but it would be a nice touch, and would also make new users feel a lot more at home as it would be similar the other apps they use, or have used in before Affinity. 

~

Side note:
I've recommended Affinity to a lot of my illustration and design friends, and some love it, but I've noticed that the ones who couldn't get accustomed to using it usually listed the subtle differences as their primary reason. Small things that are often taken for granted in other apps, like the odd decimal brush increments; not being able to hold Shift for the freehand selection tool to add to the selection; the freehand selection tool resetting the settings (New, Add, Subtract, Intersect) every time you use the tool; not being able to select a custom cursor for you brush (like a single pixel dot, or crosshair only for precision painting); not being able to left click on the artboard to toggle the brushes panel, the hold and release shortcut to quickly switch between tools (eg. Brush Tool and Eraser), etc. Humans are creatures of habit, so the more at home you can make them feel when using the apps the more likely they are to stick around. Definitely not criticising Affinity in any way (Affinity is my number 1 tool, I love the apps!), but just some food for thought.

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15 hours ago, ChristiduToit said:

15% does seem a bit odd (I still feel using ascending increments of 1, 5, 10, 25, 50, 100, etc is a more practical for pixel/raster work), but it's not a train smash, rather just something to get used to. 

I have queried it but I think whole pixels would be better—especially for the Pixel Brush Tool. I've checked PS and they do 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 40, 45, 50, 60, 70 etc. 

I'll go over your side notes as a few of them piqued my interest. 

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On 9/5/2019 at 10:34 AM, Chris B said:

I have queried it but I think whole pixels would be better—especially for the Pixel Brush Tool. I've checked PS and they do 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 40, 45, 50, 60, 70 etc. 

I'll go over your side notes as a few of them piqued my interest. 

Awesome, glad to hear it!

*Another tool that I often hear people talk about is a dedicated Rotation tool, so that you can easily rotate the image/canvas while you work/draw/paint instead of having to add in a custom keyboard shortcut.

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