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Gunny

Request: Automatically convert "Image" to "Pixel" when it's needed

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Yesterday I ran into this:

I copied an image from clipboard to Photo, made a selection and I wanted to delete the useless parts but I just could not. Instead I deleted the whole layer. And again and again. It took me several minutes to find out I have to rasterise the layer first.

Today I found this thread explaining that it is necessary to rasterise the "Image" layer to "Pixel" layer.

 

It makes sense but it is really very confusing. I suggest the conversion should be automatically handled by Assistant Manager.

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7 hours ago, Gunny said:

I suggest the conversion should be automatically handled by Assistant Manager.

This operation (rasterization) is destructive, so it can be very unpleasant and undesirable for the user. If the Assistant asks before rasterization, feel free to do it automatically.


Affinity Store: Designer 1.7.3.481, Photo 1.7.3.481, Publisher 1.7.3.481.
Windows 10 Pro, Version 1903, Build 18362.418.
Dell Latitude E5570, i5-6440HQ 2.60 GHz, 8 GB, Intel HD Graphics 530, 1920 x 1080.
Dell OptiPlex 7060, i5-8500 3.00 GHz, 16 GB, Intel UHD Graphics 630, Dell P2417H 1920 x 1080.

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8 hours ago, Pšenda said:

This operation (rasterization) is destructive, so it can be very unpleasant and undesirable for the user. If the Assistant asks before rasterization, feel free to do it automatically.

I have to admit I don't usually use Image layers so I don't know all the differences between "Image" and "Pixel" and their implications but I believe that anyone who wants to delete a part of a layer expects the action to be destructive. It would be also less destructive than deleting the whole layer. :) I really thought it was a bug caused by stuck windows focus.

There are already similar options in Assistant Manager for Vector to Pixel conversion and you can decide whether you want to use them or not.

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4 hours ago, Gunny said:

I believe that anyone who wants to delete a part of a layer expects the action to be destructive.

Yes, but you just have to select the wrong layer by mistake (at thousands of layers it is very easy) and perform an unwanted operation on it, and thus destroy it.

4 hours ago, Gunny said:

There are already similar options in Assistant Manager for Vector to Pixel conversion and you can decide whether you want to use them or not.

Yes, but as long as Assistant does not allow the query to be performed, so I have them all turned off.


Affinity Store: Designer 1.7.3.481, Photo 1.7.3.481, Publisher 1.7.3.481.
Windows 10 Pro, Version 1903, Build 18362.418.
Dell Latitude E5570, i5-6440HQ 2.60 GHz, 8 GB, Intel HD Graphics 530, 1920 x 1080.
Dell OptiPlex 7060, i5-8500 3.00 GHz, 16 GB, Intel UHD Graphics 630, Dell P2417H 1920 x 1080.

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18 minutes ago, Pšenda said:

you just have to select the wrong layer by mistake (at thousands of layers it is very easy)

That's rather overprotective to me. You can select the wrong layer anytime and it even does not have to be an Image layer. I am kind of used to it and I think can live with that hazard. :)

Actually, I though you can use Lock for protecting layers (I don't use it at all) but now I see that it locks only the position of the Layer. That's rather strange to me...

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40 minutes ago, Pšenda said:

and perform an unwanted operation on it, and thus destroy it.

That is what undo is for.

 

4 hours ago, Gunny said:

I don't know all the differences between "Image" and "Pixel" and their implications

An "image" layer represents an imported image in its "original" or some equivalent format.  As such it is not directly editable in the tool, but it may be compressed and may be at a resolution which is not precisely aligned with the native DPI of the document.  It is in effect a vector object displaying a raster image within it - not something you can directly manipulate the pixels of.  Using Publisher you can create an image layer representing an image that is stored outside the Affinity document (a "linked" image), for example.  You can freely scale these layers to make them smaller without losing the underlying pixel data, then make them larger again and the data is still there.

A "pixel" layer is an array of pixels which are aligned to the document and can be worked with directly.  It is the traditional raster "layer" similar to those from other raster image manipulation tools.  These are always stored inside the Affinity document.

Something to remember is that Photo (as well as the pixel persona in Designer) may be optimized for working with raster data on pixel layers, but the underlying file format is the same essentially vector format that Designer uses, so you can have a mix of resolution-independent vector objects and pixel layers (which are tied to the document DPI setting) in the same document file.  The distinction between these layer types is largely a result of the multi-purpose nature of the file format.

 

Photo actually *does* automatically convert image layers to pixel layers under certain conditions (and this can be disabled in the assistant options), but you found one where the request you are making could be seen as ambiguous.  If you stop and think of the image layer as a vector object rather than a raster one, the behavior you are getting makes perfect sense.  Vector layers (objects) in the Affinity suite ignore the pixel selection, so when you hit the delete key, the fact that you happen to have a pixel selection in the document is irrelevant.  It sees that you have a type of vector layer selected and interprets as a request to delete the layer - just like it might delete a selected rectangle or circle that was placed as a vector object.  That is a perfectly sensible interpretation of what you are requesting.

When you have a pixel brush selected, however, there is no valid approach to using it on a vector object such as an image layer.  The "assistant" when enabled to do so will see that the selected layer is an image layer and rasterize it to a pixel layer at that point automatically so that something useful can be done with what you are requesting.

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7 minutes ago, fde101 said:

the behavior you are getting makes perfect sense

I know - I even mentioned it in the original post. :) I just feel it's confusing for newbies or newbies-like. For experienced users it's just one more (un)necessary click that could be avoided.

 

13 minutes ago, fde101 said:

the request you are making could be seen as ambiguous

I don't really think it's ambiguous. When I use brush on "Image" the Assistant Manager automatically rasterise it to "Pixel". Eraser does the same and Assistant Manager could even create a mask for a "Vector layer. I can't think of any reason why deleting selection could not do the same - both for "Image" (rasterise) and "Vector" (create a mask).

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15 minutes ago, Gunny said:

I can't think of any reason why deleting selection could not do the same

The pixel selection only applies to pixel layers.  An image layer is not a pixel layer and so the pixel selection is ignored.

As a result, the entire layer is the selection.  You are already deleting the selection - the selected layer.

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2 minutes ago, fde101 said:

An image layer is not a pixel layer and so the pixel selection is ignored.

Well, it should not be. :) It should activate Assistant Manager instead.

I expect the app to "guess" what I want to do and I always try to implement such things in my little apps. I think the creation of (pixel) selection is a big hint that I want to edit pixels and not to delete the whole layer.

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3 hours ago, Gunny said:

I don't really think it's ambiguous. When I use brush on "Image" the Assistant Manager automatically rasterise it to "Pixel".

Away from my computer and can't check, but I would have expected the Assistant to add a pixel layer advice the (Image) layer, not rasterize it. 


-- Walt

Windows 10 Home, version 1903 (18362.356), 16GB memory, Intel Core i7-6700K @ 4.00Gz, GeForce GTX 970
Affinity Photo 1.7.3.481 and 1.8.0.486 Beta   / Affinity Designer 1.7.3.481 and 1.8.0.486 Beta  / Affinity Publisher 1.7.3.481 and 1.7.3.475 Beta

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18 hours ago, fde101 said:

That is what undo is for.

Yes, if you notice this unwanted operation in time, because later correction can be very difficult and annoying, for example if you accidentally convert an important vector layer into a raster. Just work in another part of the screen, and the assistant's alerts are easy to miss.

This would be of great help if the assistant offered a history of messages/operations that performed, and notifications of unread messages, something like a Windows notification.


Affinity Store: Designer 1.7.3.481, Photo 1.7.3.481, Publisher 1.7.3.481.
Windows 10 Pro, Version 1903, Build 18362.418.
Dell Latitude E5570, i5-6440HQ 2.60 GHz, 8 GB, Intel HD Graphics 530, 1920 x 1080.
Dell OptiPlex 7060, i5-8500 3.00 GHz, 16 GB, Intel UHD Graphics 630, Dell P2417H 1920 x 1080.

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18 hours ago, Gunny said:

That's rather strange to me...

You're not alone.

 

 


Affinity Store: Designer 1.7.3.481, Photo 1.7.3.481, Publisher 1.7.3.481.
Windows 10 Pro, Version 1903, Build 18362.418.
Dell Latitude E5570, i5-6440HQ 2.60 GHz, 8 GB, Intel HD Graphics 530, 1920 x 1080.
Dell OptiPlex 7060, i5-8500 3.00 GHz, 16 GB, Intel UHD Graphics 630, Dell P2417H 1920 x 1080.

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16 hours ago, walt.farrell said:

I would have expected the Assistant to add a pixel layer

As discussed elsewhere, a large part of the problem is the inconsistent handling of situations where a pixel layer is required. Sometimes the current layer is rasterized, sometimes a new pixel layer is added on top, sometimes an alert pops up to advise the user that the selected operation only works on a pixel layer, and sometimes nothing happens at all.


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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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On 10/11/2019 at 6:03 PM, walt.farrell said:

I would have expected the Assistant to add a pixel layer advice the (Image) layer, not rasterize it. 

It would make sense too but it really rasterises the Image layer to a Pixel layer. (And I'm fine with it because I use Photo mostly for painting.)

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On 10/12/2019 at 8:55 AM, Pšenda said:

You're not alone.

:( As I mentioned before I don't use it but I would have expected that someone from Affinity could explain the logic behind this decision (or bug).

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