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  1. #121
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    Default Re: Photoshop toolbar

    Looking at your list, making auto-hide easier to execute would be useful. Particularly for Artrage.

    TIP was one of the buttons I was originally interested in for Firefox, so that would be cool as well. Easy ability to mute/unmute audio would be nice too. A slider to shift volume?

    For Sai, I'm trying to set up some new mockups, and have a few questions.
    1) Can sliders be done yet? I'm looking at increments of zoom. Perhaps it could even be something that has a series of very small buttons all in a row that you slide across? Of course, smoother zooming is nicer, but I'm mostly just curious about the feature.

    I'm trying to decide if I want the Navigator out in the end. It's very useful in its own way, but it takes up room and that's exactly what I'm trying to work against. I also have to say that moving the "view box" around is always moving things the opposite way to what I'm anticipating. Actually using the Hand and "dragging" the canvas makes much more sense to me instinctively, in terms of how things move.

    Clearly, not having the Navigator out all the time requires 4 more buttons (rotate/reset rotate, Hand, and zoom in, zoom out), but it' still significantly smaller than the Navigator. It's a thought. How did the hand work before? Was it a toggle?

    2) Much in the vein of the program you showed to me about window management, is it possible to actually do something where we can put a little "x" box on the Layers or Colors Panel title bar to close it?

    I'm looking to remove extra button pushing and hand movement. In Artrage, being able to close the Layers Panel, for instance, by tapping the "x" on it is nice, rather than having to move farther back to the left to untoggle the AHK button, then move back to the left to start drawing again. Being able to do this in Sai would clearly be very nice too. If we're not able to do that, then opening up the various panels is still doable (amazingly doable!!), but requires the extra button push and movement back to the right to close.

    If this is the case, I would like to try a setup sort of similar to the Artrage one, with the second skinny row with extra arrows for the two rolled-up sub-panels (a tools one, to the left, as in Artrage, and a 4-button one at the bottom to bring up and remove the four panels-- tools, layers, color, navigator).

    Attached is a very rough mockup with some ideas. I'll see if I can hammer out more detail later, and something for Firefox as well. I don't need many buttons for Firefox, but it sure would be nice just the same.
    Attached Images Attached Images  
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  2. #122
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    Default Re: Photoshop toolbar

    Hi! I'm back after a bunch of comics work.

    I've gotten used to using my personal version of the toolbar; it's quickly become invaluable. But after some time away from this thread, I have to say, it's cool to see how much progress you've made.

    I like the idea of combining the lasso and transform into a single button, and I'm thinking of adapting it into my personal version.

    But I've got a couple of questions. I've gone through the posts here, and maybe I've missed it, but I was wondering what that tf.ahk file is. It's huge and after a cursory look through the code, I have to say, it looks really complicated and I can't figure out what it's for.

    What does it do?

    Also. . , I'm sure you're aware of many bugs which need fixing, but the Photoshop portion of the toolbar is severely buggy. Only about two of the buttons do anything. And what are the left and right arrows for?

    Also, I briefly read about a breakthrough you made whereby you could right-click on a button and program it to do whatever you wanted? Did I read that correctly or am I simply too sleepy?
    Fantasy/Adventure/Sci-fi Comics: www.iboxpublishing.com

  3. #123
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    Default Re: Photoshop toolbar

    Hi thatcomicsguy,

    Welcome back! And glad to hear that all your efforts on your toolbar were worth it.

    I think the major breakthroughs of late are these:

    - Can add right-click functions to any button.

    - The position of the toolbar is now saved when you close it with "close" in the top right menu.

    - In the new version that I will put up soon, the toolbar can be minimized to tray and restored by a hotkey, or by "minimize" in the menu, or by clicking once on the tray icon. So you can toggle the toolbar visible/hidden by simple left clicks on the tray icon.

    - Can add submenus in the different menus.

    - Can repeat actions by keeping the pencil pressed on a button. Very useful for undo/redo and zoom in/out. Which means you can in introduce some pretty cool automatic zoom in/out buttons! For example, see the undo/redo buttons in v. 1.7 or 1.8.

    - The focus button in the menu allows you to use the toolbar without stealing the focus away from the active program. Here is what it is useful for: If you don't push the focus button and if you are in full screen mode (for example in Sai), every time you push a button on the toolbar it steals the focus from the art program. This has the effect that if you are in full screen mode, the Windows taskbar will show up briefly. With focus off, the toolbar never steals the focus so that you will never see the Windows taskbar pop up.

    - Latest discovery: Can now toggle on/off the individual panels (Color, Tool, Layer) in Sai fullscreen (when they are popped up enabled as set in misc.ini). That's in v. 1.8 in post #117. I think this is really cool!

    - In our latest toolbar, I haven't worked at all on the Photoshop toolbar. I completely broke it (on purpose, it was faster this way) when I constructed the toolbar that can be switched to five different applications. I'll eventually get back to it, and if you are interested I can start doing it now. (And the right left arrows are to be eventually (maybe) used as they are in the Art Rage toolbar to unveil subpanels.)

    - In v. 1.7 (see post 112), that's where I introduced the file tf.ahk. It's actually just a background file that serves as a library of additional functions for AHK (i.e. it's a large file, but it's never an active program). This particular library involves text-editing functions: by including this file and referring to it in the code for the toolbar, you can now use the functions in this library. To test this idea, download v.1.7 (see post 112) and show the left tool panel of the ArtRage toolbar by pushing the left arrow. Then right-click on the top tool: you should be able to select among a few tools. Once you've made your selection, the toolbar will reload and the tool you selected will now have replaced the top tool. The way it does this is by using a text-replacement function (available in the tf.ahk library) and this is explained very briefly at the top of post 115.

    Some if this stuff is not as straightforward code-wise as it may sound so don't hesitate to ask any other question you may have about some of the specifics.
    Last edited by lblb; 03-01-2012 at 11:38 PM.

  4. #124
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    Default Re: Photoshop toolbar

    Holy smokes!

    That "right click to select a new tool definition" experiment is VERY cool. If you perfect that system for the whole bar, then this could easily the "IT" tool; useful for anybody in far more than just a few art programs.

    I also finally tried the brush size system in Sai where you re-size by dragging the stylus after clicking the button. Wow. What a great system! (I know that's old news at this point and that you described it to me in a much earlier post, but I didn't understand the logic at the time and was already too bogged down under my own coding problems to take on the challenge of working it out. But wow! It works flawlessly.)

    I just put it in my own version of the bar.

    For anybody who has been reading this thread, and who is interested, here's my latest version of the bar for Photoshop/Sai:

    PS-SAI-Bar-thatcomicsguy-version3.zip

    It's bug free and useful to anybody who needs a functioning tool right now in either of those programs.

    NOTE: In Sai, the 'pen' button is set to a brush I defined myself, so it won't do anything for anybody but me. But that's super-easy to fix. All you do is open the file "PS-SAI-Bar_thatcomicsguy-version3.AHK" file in an editor and go to line 217, which looks like this:

    212 send {w}

    Just change that "w" to whatever other keystroke you want to be sent when the button is hit. (In Sai, if you double click on one of the brush tools in the native tool bar, it will open a window which shows what hotkey is linked.)

    Then save the file. (You need to have Autohotkey installed for any of this to work, but if you've been reading this thread, you'll have worked that out by now. )

    Also, in Sai, the "Rotate Canvas" button is linked to the "r" key on the keyboard. That's not the factory setting. So you can change either Sai by double-clicking the rotate icon in its native tool tray and setting the hotkey to "r" or you can change the .AHK file the same way as described above for the brush. The pertinent line number is 429.
    Cheers!
    Last edited by thatcomicsguy; 03-09-2012 at 04:38 PM.
    Fantasy/Adventure/Sci-fi Comics: www.iboxpublishing.com

  5. #125
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    Default Re: Photoshop toolbar

    Steve,

    Well I'll be damned! After a lot of failures (had to reboot twice because of keys stuck in infinite loops!), I was able to add individual close buttons on the four panels in Sai! Man, that was a tough one! There is still a few kinks to work out (mainly: it works flawlessly on one of my computers (flawlessly!), but not at all on the other!) but I think it's juts a matter of finding the bug.

    As for sliders, I'm still not there yet. For now, I don't have a good solution for this but I think that will be my next big challenge. And I tried the series of small buttons but haven't been successful yet. So for now the Navigator may still be your best option to zoom in Sai.

    On a different note: Would something that adds grids (of different types, maybe a full grid or just one/two lines to align stuff) be useful as a drawing tool? Would something to measure distances and/or angles be useful?
    Last edited by lblb; 03-02-2012 at 03:59 AM.

  6. #126
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    Default Re: Photoshop toolbar

    Wow. Just wow. Each time I think I'm just shooting for the moon, I figure "Eh, might as well ask for what I want and see what happens" and you answer the call. That's very cool news about putting closing buttons on the Sai panels. A simple (though hard to code, clealry) but useful thing. Having the closing buttons is just one more thing that makes the panel usage intuitive and more ergonomic in Sai.

    Taking a step back, in regards to the Transformation button, one thing I'm running into while using it- much like the Undo/Redo buttons, which I can now use in-process and still continue with the Transformation, it'd also be nice to rescale the entire image after starting the transformation, as I sometimes want to understand how my selection is going to relate to the whole canvas. So that would be a function to work in to Artrage as well as Sai. Of course, we don't currently have zoom buttons on Sai, so I guess it's just in Artrage.

    Re: zoom-
    It's very strange that the multiple small buttons side by side for a slider idea doesn't work, but that's the way it goes for now. I was also thinking you could have each button linked to a different preset scale %, perhaps, then you would line them up in order. This way, if you simply tapped one it would rescale directly to that percentage, but if you "slid" across them, it would zoom in sequence. That sort of idea. I somehow have faith that you'll figure it out eventually. Who knows? I seem to remember it being used and discussed in the AHK setup or AHK Art-dock they're using in the S7 forum. Does that ring a bell??

    Re: geometric tools--
    The idea of a simple grid you can turn on and off sounds really helpful, so yes!! Same goes for a measuring device and angles. Hell yeah.

    Ruler-
    A ruler that was actually linked in some way to the parameters that you set up in your Canvas>Canvas Resolution settings would be great. That way, whatever your resolution, the important thing would be what you set up as your pixels/inch ratio, rather than just your pixel count. Working at 500 dpi on a 10 x 12 canvas? No problem- the ruler scales to inches that are 500 pixels per. Working at 72 dpi on a 10 x 12 canvas. Also no problem, as it scales to that canvas instead. Going to upscale in the middle of some work, after doing roughs in a low dpi? Also no problem. That sort of idea. Basically, for a digital ruler to be useful as a measuring device (instead of, say, a device to guide straight lines), IMO, it needs to relate the image to actual inches. Otherwise, I don't see much of a need for it. Then it becomes the users responsibility to setup their dpi to correctly reflect what will be there eventual print settings, in order to use it best.

    Angles-
    One of the reasons I still use Sketchbook Pro for my landscape designs is that it has an easy interface that shows you, in real time, exactly what angle you're drawing a straight line at. This is nice when you're trying to draw parallel lines or lines at certain angles (45/90, etc). However, using SBP's ruler is also sometimes cumbersome despite the useful information it gives you, because you need to "grab" it and rearrange it each time you want to make a new line. One of the simple features I like in Artrage is that, when you draw a straight line in it you can see the origin point and the in-process extended line, which is waiting for you to tap the screen to set down the other end. This is nice so that you can better see what you're doing while in process (unlike in Sai), and yet you can also quickly and easily move to making another line without having to rearrange an onscreen tool (unlike in SBP).

    Ruler/ Angle Combo Tool-??
    Option 1- In a perfect world, I'd get some sort of hybrid of the Artrage and SBP line tools, where I could set down a starting point, drag where I want it to go with some kind of in-process visual interface of the yet-to-be-drawn line (like in Artrage), and yet it would also show me, in real time, the numerical information I need (like in SBP)-- the current angle of my line and how long my line is in inches (or pixels? if need be), in some sort of little pop-up window, or that follows the movement of the in-process line, or that's just somewhere centrally located on the screen (top center?).
    Option 2- If that's not an option, then I think a ruler tool would be nice-- something that lays on top of the interface, like a real ruler would (like the ruler stencil is in Artrage), that is moveable and rotateable, and that might guide my line when I draw on top of its edge, and that might give me information about angles and inches. It would also be nice if one could "stretch" the ruler, as they do in Artrage, so that you could make it a 6" or 12" or 18" ruler, or whatever, depending on the size of your canvas.
    I'm not really sure what's doable, how far we can stretch what Sai does natively (option 1, I think), or how much you'll need to create some sort of new AHK visual interface that goes over the top of it (option 2), so it's hard to figure out what quite to ask for. ?? The tap and view in-process abilites of Artrage is a nice bonus, but not essential. Knowing the angles is essential though, to me. And that's why I currently keep going back to SBP each time I need to landscape designs. That, and because SBP has....

    Circles and Squares-
    SBP actually also has other geometric tools as well- scaleable circles that can also become transformable and scaleable ellipses, etc. That sort of stuff. Scaleable and transformable squares that can become rectangles. The ability to divide your screen in half (sideways or vertical) and have it "copy" what you're drawing on the other half, so that you can build mechanical or layout mockups more easily.

    Grid-
    I have a graphpaper background I load onto a bottom layer, but some sort of "endless" and transparent (or scaleable?? just thinking out loud...)grid that's not on a opaque background would be nice.

    Geometry Panel??-

    I can envisage it all right now. An assortment of geometric tools that we'd keep on a separate panel. Have a single button in the normal setup to open it, for when you're doing a bunch of that work, or keep it closed the rest of the time. You could even have the "Geometry Panel" button take the place of the Straight Line button in the normal setup, and then move the Straight Line button into the Geometry Panel, just to keep the normal interface as simple and clean as possible. The Geometry panel wouldn't need that many buttons in it either- 1. Ruler/Straight Line/ Angle (?), 2. Grid, 3. Circle/Ellipse (?), 4. Square/Rectangle??

    The lack of real geometric tools is a common/oft repeated complaint about Sai. No ruler, no angles, no circles or ellipses, etc. If you could actually integrate these functions into Sai, that would go a long way to making it be my tool of choice, over SBP. Essentially, SBP is what I currently use for all my geometric work for landscape designs. Artrage is what I often use because I prefer its interface. Therefore, if I really can get the super small footprint, textural abilities, and amazing responsiveness of Sai's brushes and mash it up with the interface of Artrage (with its panels, and clean, open GUI) and the geometrical abilities of SBP.... well, then we really might be approaching my ideal current tool. !!
    Last edited by Steve B; 03-02-2012 at 10:42 AM.
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  7. #127
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    Default Re: Photoshop toolbar

    Ok, I've been thinking and searching for ways of implementing some of the drawing tools that you mention and stumbled upon a pretty amazing free program that seems to do most of what you want:

    - grid (completely customizable) over any program in full screen mode
    - ruler in pixel or inches (or cm for the Canadian in you); when you measure distances, it automatically zooms in on your cursor for real precision work!
    - angles
    - and much more!

    I've just played with it for a little while and really haven't tested its capabilities but it looks pretty amazing. And for all the functions there are many many options.

    I don't know if you know about this program but it does all these things really well and looks good. Or maybe you already know about it and know that it's actually junk! But one thing's for sure: there is no way that I can develop anything this functional any time soon!

    Anyway, maybe you'll want to give it a try. The free installer is available here:
    MB-Ruler - the triangular screen ruler

    When you launch it the first time there is a triangular ruler but you can easily get rid of that if you don't need it.

  8. #128
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    Default Re: Photoshop toolbar

    I've nit heard of it, but will try and check it out. If it did what we wanted, do you think there'd be a way to integrate it's usage smoothly with the existing AHK toolbar? Of course, I need to check it out, but in the end the real question is can it provide a smoother and more functional experience than in SBP for these geometric uses. Seems to have promise, but the interface looked intimidating, frankly. I should be able to have a more informed opinion later on this weekend perhaps.
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  9. #129
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    Default Re: Photoshop toolbar

    Yeah, the interface looks intimidating because the first time you use it it opens with the triangular ruler but I think it's actually quite simple and user-friendly once you remove that monster. Just click on the tray icon, and click the big red X to remove it. Then, click the icon again, and select "Measure line (single line)". With the three dots, you can change the lenght/angle and where it is on the screen. Then right-click on any of the three dots:

    - In scale, then predefined scales are different units
    - you can add a grid with the third item menu (and change its settings easily there also)

    You can do all of this by right-click on the dots on the line or do everything from the tray icon also. The same menu that you got from right-clicking on the dots on the line is available by right-clicking the tray icon.

  10. #130
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    Default Re: Photoshop toolbar

    Alright, I've figured out why the close buttons didn't show up on my second computer: it's because it's using a different variant of AutoHotkey than my main computer.

    So the way that you add buttons to any window is that you create a mini AHK toolbar and then you bind it (by what is called docking) to the window/program of your choice.

    Could you run the following test to see what your version of AutoHotkey prefers?

    1) Download the zip file below and extract all three files in the same folder (or on your desktop).
    2) Double-click the file named _TitleButtons and 2 nontop clients.ahk. This should open Notepad and there should be five new buttons numbered 1-5 at the top right of the titlebar of Notepad. Does that work? If yes, we're done with the test. (But you may want to also double-click the file named _Two toolbars.ahk to see the potential of docked AHK toolbars... pretty cool stuff!)
    3) If you didn't get five buttons on the Notepad titlebar, open the file named _TitleButtons and 2 nontop clients.ahk in a text editor. Replace the last line where it says "#include Dock.ahk" with the complete file path of the file Dock.ahk (so the new line should be something like "#include C:\Users\NAME\Desktop\Dock.ahk"). Save then relaunch this file by double-clicking on it again. Are the five buttons present now?

    Once you're done, you'll want to go in the system tray and close these ahk scripts by right-click on their icons.
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