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matisso

Segment dragging improvement, please?

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Hello,

Could you guys please work on improving / adding extra functionality to a node tool? I’m talking about segment dragging, which currently affects adjacent nodes’ orientation. If you draw something with a pen tool usually you get the angle more or less right, it’s the curvature that’s the most tricky part. The easiest way is to grab a segment to tune the shape but when neighbouring nodes change angles, that doesn’t make any sense. Font editing apps as well as Adobe apps maintain node angle during editing – so that segment dragging doesn’t become “editing a segment and the two adjacent ones”.

I know that you can press Shift to keep node’s angle when dragging its handle, but you’re editing just a half of the segment this way. It’s nowhere near as comfortable as being able to drag a segment and alter its overall curvature. It’s particularly indispensable for work on logos, lettering, etc.

There could be a keyboard modifier for altering this behaviour (as I am sure some people are comfortable with it) or preferably a toggle button.

This has already been discussed here, but nothing happened in five years. @Ben, @MattP is there any work being done on it, or is this request dismissed?

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1 hour ago, JET_Affinity said:

Either behavior is equally advantageous in as many situations.

Probably, although I personally strongly prefer the one that is currently missing in Affinity.

Current Photoshop  has had a ‘Constrain Path Dragging’ toggle since a few versions back, which does exactly what we’re talking about. The moment they introduced the alternate behaviour I immediately toggled the thing on and never looked back… There is no keyboard modifier, you either use this mode or another, which of course can be toggled any moment, mid-editing. In my opinion it’s the best way from a user experience point since it forces no one to use an extra modifier to have the tool work the way he or she prefers. B|

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I'd prefer the momentary press of a modifier key over a separate setting that makes you leave the path in progress. When drawing vector paths, one uses modifier keys continuously; to constrain to horizontal or vertical; to break a tangency when dragging out a curve handle, to sense snaps, etc.

Bending a segment is the same kind of thing. I certainly would not want it to always constrain its associated curve handles to their current angles. I might want that behavior in one segment of a path, but might want the other behavior at another segment of the same path. In fact, I very well might want to freely alter the skew of the associated handles initially, and then constrain them to their new angles the angles in the act of performing a single bend.

JET

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So, @MEB, is there any chance the staff at least reacts in any way? A simple reply would suffice, like “it’s planned at some point” or “we think this should work this way and consider this a complete feature” or anything that makes any sense. It really sucks to feel ignored as a customer.

On 9/20/2019 at 1:39 PM, JET_Affinity said:

I'd prefer the momentary press of a modifier key over a separate setting that makes you leave the path in progress.

Provided you have worked within Adobe, I wonder – have you ever needed to alter this setting right in the middle of editing an object?

On 9/20/2019 at 1:39 PM, JET_Affinity said:

In fact, I very well might want to freely alter the skew of the associated handles initially, and then constrain them to their new angles the angles in the act of performing a single bend.

Hey, that sounds like even more advanced way to do this. Cool idea! While there are two main approaches to the issue (and I’m at least happy that Adobe incorporates both of these) I don’t think there’s currently a tool that is able to freely merge them like this.

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2 hours ago, matisso said:

Provided you have worked within Adobe, I wonder – have you ever needed to alter this setting right in the middle of editing an object? 

Adobe is a company. If you're talking about Photoshop (the program with the Constrain option you favor when bending segments), yes, I've used it pretty extensively since version 1 through version CS6 (I don't rent graphics software). And yes, if it were possible to momentarily toggle the behavior by means of a keyboard modifier while in the act of a single bend move, I would use it.

Something I've always disliked about bending paths in both Photoshop and Illustrator is that the very same moves with the inelegantly named Direct Selection Tool doesn't bend straight segments; it moves them. That, of course means it also moves the ostensibly unselected Anchor Points. That's just one example of how Illustrator's inconsistent interface violates the very concept of something being selected.

For most of its history, FreeHand had but one selection tool. It was both more intuitive and more powerful than Illustrator's is, even today, and the context of bending paths is a good example. You could bend curved segments and straight segments, with a completely consistent interface. Olav Martin Kvern, the quintessential FreeHand guru long before working for Adobe, coined the term "Benodmatic" as a distinct path drawing methodology. A beginner struggling to get their head around drawing with Bezier curves could be taught to first just click, click, click, placing only Anchor Points at intuitively appropriate places, and then go back and smoothly bend the straight segments that needed to be curves. I used that method countless times to get beginners over that initial panic hump of using the Pen tool.

But it wasn't just for beginners. I often used it to impart a pleasing stylistic consistency and economy of nodes in artwork that needed to be optimally built (for example, in glyphs of symbol and clipart fonts).

You could also power-duplicate path changes in path shapes using FreeHand's single selection tool. For example, you could AltDrag a Point, thereby duplicating the whole path but with that change in shape. Thereafter, invoking the duplicate command re-iterated the whole path and the shape change. You can't do that in Illustrator, because Transform Again duplicates only the bent segment.

So no, I don't think Adobe products are the ones to emulate even in things as basic as path manipulation and selection.

JET

 

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That was clearly supposed to say “within Adobe environment” – it’s a busy day. :P

Thanks for an extensive answer. Personally I started to learn all the stuff somewhere in the late 90s so Freehand was already becoming outdated at that time and Macromedia weren’t interested in developing it – or I just didn’t bother. That just goes to show there are even more ways to approach the process. Fingers crossed this thread will spark some reaction instead of ending up as yet another idle talk.

regards, Matt

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On 9/18/2019 at 4:58 AM, matisso said:

This has already been discussed here,

In that case, why was this not continued on the existing thread instead of yet another one being created?  A bit lost on that...

 

I might be misinterpreting what you are asking for, but are you referring to the fact that dragging on a segment by default will also reshape the adjacent segments on the other sides of the nodes that form the boundary of that segment?  There is already a modifier key that prevents that from happening (check the status bar when pointing at a segment with the node tool selected, should be easy enough to spot it).

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7 hours ago, fde101 said:

A bit lost on that...

I don’t know, man. Maybe the wording of the other thread wasn’t clear enough. Maybe it just was added to a staff’s blacklist of some sort, because they don’t seem to give a flying f… about it whatsoever. Probably frustration and apparently a futile hope that a fresh start on it will get at least any response from them.

7 hours ago, fde101 said:

There is already a modifier key that prevents that from happening (check the status bar when pointing at a segment with the node tool selected, should be easy enough to spot it).

Are you talking about Alt/Opt+dragging? Yes, it doesn’t change adjacent segments but comes with instant cusp nodes. Doesn’t exactly help to keep the flow of your curve. We’re talking about constraining control handles’ angles whilst dragging.

PS. I recently noticed, that a (really useful, BTW) Illustrator plugin, InkScribe, offers one of the options that @JET_Affinity was mentioning, i.e. a modifier that locks the the adjacent handles to their original angles when dragging a segment.

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12 hours ago, matisso said:

apparently a futile hope that a fresh start on it will get at least any response from them

Unlikely.  Serif *usually* does not respond to feature requests.  They do read them and give them consideration if they are reasonable, but they don't usually respond to them on the forum.

 

12 hours ago, matisso said:

Are you talking about Alt/Opt+dragging? Yes, it doesn’t change adjacent segments but comes with instant cusp nodes. Doesn’t exactly help to keep the flow of your curve. We’re talking about constraining control handles’ angles whilst dragging.

Ok, that is what I meant (I didn't have it in front of me at the time to look up what the key was) and wasn't sure if that is what was being referenced - thanks for that.  Now I think I understand what the request is for.

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To confirm what @fde101 rightly says, requests are read and acted upon. Nobody is deliberately not replying to things and we're also not trying to ignore stuff either - we're all just busy typing (as you'd hope!) so yes, I can confirm we do see the value in the request and I'll make sure to have another chat with @Ben about it as he has fairly recently refreshed a lot of these tools and I think he could add it pretty swiftly now :)

Thanks for your continued patience - we do appreciate it :)

Matt

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Despite searching the forums for constrain path dragging on segment reshape, I could not find this topic. So I created a new one:

 

Is it possible to merge the topics?

On 10/12/2019 at 8:01 AM, MattP said:

I'll make sure to have another chat with @Ben about it as he has fairly recently refreshed a lot of these tools and I think he could add it pretty swiftly now :)

Has that chat taken place and if so, what was the outcome?

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Hi Guys, I am just picking up Designer after a lifetime of using Illustrator and Photoshop, like you, Slarti, from around day one. This control point angle constraining is a function I am already missing and would like to see included in Designer.

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It's being looked at...


SerifLabs team - Affinity Developer
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