Photoshop toolbar

Discussion in 'Artists' started by lblb, Feb 3, 2012.

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  1. Steve B

    Steve B Moderator Moderator

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    Straight line bug is gone now.

    Nice touch with the right-click on the move button. Yes, that works nicely. Of course, if you can't work in Full Screen mode with the AHK toolbar, then it won't really be needed. ;)

    Have been pondering about the open button slot. I've been pondering some of how I work in color. I wonder if color samples (essentially codified and named color swatches) can be brought up by a key command. edit-- yes, they can (Ctrl + Alt + W). This, right now, seems like the most useful feature to go into the missing spot. No need to toggle, just hit the key once- its got a "close" button on the panel, so I can shut it down that way. My thought in terms of placement? Put the Color Samples button down by the Color Picker icon, instead of the Horizontal Flip button. Logical, functional.

    edit--
    Also, re: secondary right click functions. I had a question. Can you have two functions that happen in sequence? For example, with the Stencils button- after one uses a few stencils, your canvas can get pretty full. It's nice to make them all hide. There's the option of setting a key command for that (there's not one preset though). However, you're not actually closing all the Stencils when you do that; you're just hiding them. There is, however, the option of making View All Stencils a key command as well. So, the idea would be if you right-clicked the Stencils button once you'd Hide them all, right-click it again, and you'd View All, click again Hide all, etc.

    However, I'd want this to be independent of actually pulling up the Stencils Collection Panel. So, there would need to be no relation between the regular taps and the right-click commands for it to really work right. Can that be done?

    Clearly, I've fallen in love with the functionality (and layout intelligence) of this right-click input method for the sort of "secondary", less-used, but still very useful key commands. :)
     
  2. lblb

    lblb Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    That sounds like it would be cool! I haven't played much with the right-click functions yet but, in theory, I think what you suggest should be feasible. That being said, the coding for right-click functions is much more complex than for the direct left-click functions. So when I was first trying out stuff with the right-click functions, I was only able to have right-clicks send simple unique commands. But it is my objective to learn how to use right-clicks for more complex commands so this will be a nice challenge!

    And it may well be that it's going to work the first time I try! However, if it takes me more time to figure it out, I think we could test the principle by reversing the left- and right-click functions (i.e. launch the panel with a right-click). I think that would be easier to implement as a first pass option.

    edit:
    By the way, the use of a right-click was how I imagined we could potentially hide the "Save" button on toolbars that don't have a second row of small buttons.
     
  3. lblb

    lblb Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Alright, back amongst the living! Goddamn grading exams is time-consuming...

    I've been working on a toolbar that I think successfully incorporates everything you've mentioned before (including all the right-click stuff). In Art Rage, the stencil hide/show works well as a right-click. For the horizontal flip button, I can have it be vertical flip when right-clicked: would that be of interest to you?

    Also, I've been looking at solutions so that the toolbar never steals the focus (which otherwise leads to the Windows taskbar doing funny stuff when you use the toolbar). There are a few things I will try, but I think the current solution actually works. The biggest challenge to all of this seems to be Firefox as it does all kinds of funny and not so funny stuff when it's full screen (but it's a great way to test the things I've been trying). But I think it's working...

    Could you:
    - use WindowSpy (post #20) and tell me the ahk_class of the version of Firefox you are using?
    - check post 73 and look at points b and c concerning Firefox, then maybe come up with a mockup for Firefox (it's not that this mockup is an urgent one, but it's really because it will really help testing the fullscreen/focus issues.)
    - for the Select Contents button in Art Rage, is that Select All (Ctrl+A)?
     
  4. Steve B

    Steve B Moderator Moderator

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    In Artrage,
    Select Layer contents is Ctrl + Alt + A
    Ctrl + A selects everything, which is not what is needed.

    I'll get back to you on the other things.
     
  5. lblb

    lblb Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    A few quick questions:
    - In ArtRage, the Select layers is Ctrl+Alt+A but that doesn't seem to do anything for me. What command is that in the keyboard shortcuts window?
    - In Sai, where/what is the blend function (i.e. the painting knife) that you show on your mockup?
    - On your Sai mockup, is the brush a brush or airbrush? (could also put a right-click to get access to both)
    - Where is the lasso (or selection tool) in Sai? (I want to give it a "l" keyboard shortcut but somehow can't find it!)
     
  6. Steve B

    Steve B Moderator Moderator

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    Ok, let's see.

    In Artrage, if I make multiple layers, with each layer having it's own color, and then use that command to select that layers contents, it creates a dotted line around everything inthat layer, and allows me to paint inky within that layers edges-- basically it locks opacity. I can then take that selection and move it, etc. Or invert it. Is it bit doing that for you? If you make the script and share it, I can test if it's doing it for me. ??

    For Sai,
    There is no Blend. I use the Blur tool. It does not have a preset key. As I put the Palette Knife icon with it, I chose K for my key shortcut.

    I use the Brush, personally, much much more than I use the airbrush. Brush is preset as V, so I've just gone with that.

    The Lasso is just above the pen tool. It has no preset, but if you double click it, it pulls up a window and let's you set it. I set it to L, which was not already taken.

    Also, there is no Pencil tool in Sai. I've made an altered Pen, with textures to achieve that. If you right click the Pen, it'll give you the option to duplicate it. Do so, name the new one Pencil, and give it a P key shortcut, and we'll have the same setup.

    I'll touch base with a few new Sai ideas later this week. It has a very useful tool that let's you paint with transparency, by turning any tool into a pressure sensitive eraser. This can be quite useful for textured erasures witha Pen, Pencil, or Brush.

    More besides that too. I'm excited to see the next phase of this!!
     
  7. lblb

    lblb Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Here we go for a long one!

    Below is v1.2. It includes most of the more recent stuff we discussed.

    Basic features:
    - Opens in ArtRage but doesn't activate it
    - Menu selection activates the corresponding program
    - Only the ArtRage and SAI toolbars are ready
    - The toolbars show all the buttons at once. I've disabled all rollup/down functions to simplify things for now: so don't play too much with the small arrows to roll up the different panels as I have not adjusted them properly yet
    - I've included some rather bad-looking simple icons that we can easily make prettier later on

    Info on right-clicks:
    Since they are not visible, here is the list of right-click actions:
    - move button shows clock/battery power
    - in ArtRage, you can reset the zoom and rotation with right-clicks
    - in ArtRage, right-click on the Stencils button cycles through hide all/show all stencils. For this to work, I've set the following keyboard shortcuts (which we can easily change):
    Hide = Ctrl+Shift+Alt+H​
    Show = Ctrl+Shift+Alt+A​
    - in ArtRage, the flip horizontal is flip vertical on right-click
    - in Sai, the full screen button is Tab, and F11 as right-click

    And now a few questions:
    - Can you test all the buttons to see of they work? Hopefully I didn't break any buttons that were working earlier but it's possible that I did.
    - In Sai, is the 70ms delay for redo/undo ok? In my hands, it is a little too fast as sometimes a quick undo "undoes" more than one step.
    - You should be able to draw through the space between, for example, the main panel and the bottom panel for Art Rage. Same for the space below the Focus button (that reaches the height of the bottom of the Stencils button). You "should be able to" but it doesn't work for me (there is an invisible background there that should be click-thru-able). Does it work for you?
    - For both lasso routines, I added a command to select the pen after the transform. Any better idea?

    And now for the serious stuff:
    - I think I have the stay-on-top feature mostly figured out and the toolbar should not be sent to the background anymore when you toggle fullscreen in Sai. It's actually pretty challenging and maybe it is not yet ok, as Sai just doesn't want anything to stay on top of it when you toggle fullscreen. But the last time I tried with this version of the toolbar, I wasn't able to get the toolbar to not stay on top (if that sentence makes any sense). (Hopefully it won't, but if the toolbar is sent to the bottom, the best option is actually not to restart the toolbar but to go to the toolbar and click on it to reactivate it.)
    - On both the ArtRage and Sai toolbars there is a "Focus" toggle button to toggle the focus on/off. If you press it then click anywhere on the program that you are using, the toolbar should now never steal the focus from the program (i.e. it gets rid of the annoying Windows taskbar showing up). Does it work for you (especially with Sai in full screen mode)?
    - The command that is used for the Focus button actually deactivates the move button command so you can't move the toolbar when the focus button is down (and to make sure that's clear, a red x appears on the move button). To move the toolbar again, just hit the focus button again. There is a way to make both commands compatible but it's a bit complex and for now I just wanted to see if the focus command works for your purpose.

    Version 1.2:
    AR_PS_SAI_SP_FF_v_1_2.zip
     
  8. Steve B

    Steve B Moderator Moderator

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    Wow. This is really coming along! What a great tool!

    A few general thoughts, before I go into details about both programs--

    First, I think it would be helpful in terms of usage to have things better highlighted when they're toggled. For example, I am sometimes forgetting which tool I am using, after I do some non-tool related thing, particularly if I'm switching about. It would be helpful, IMO, if the active Tool, for example, was highlighted. I don't think this matters for things that are a "one-touch" button (like Undo/Redo, zoom, color wheel, etc.), but rather for tools, and the Layer Tools. What do you think?

    Also, if I go to roll up the program, while in, say, Firefox, it makes me revert back to the program in the Active Program button. This seems against the whole idea of the roll up button, which is to get it out of the way. I'm not sure if this button is still "under construction" or not as well, but I thought I'd mention it.

    Thirdly, I love that the Lasso tool actually changes its icon when it gets tapped repeatedly. That is very cool, and very useful for navigating all the commands.

    Fourth. I was curious if you were up for the challenge, once we get this going more smoothly, of figuring out how to allow for more customization in setup- basically make it something that could be shared by others (such as in the Artrage or Sai forums), and would allow for different people to sort of "build it out" a bit for themselves. I was thinking of 3 major things that would be useful. The ability to alter, myself, the transparency of the AHK bar; the ability to determine if things run vertical or horizontally; and the ability change which buttons might go into the setup (as well as what the commands are for the buttons).... essentially, some of the setup stuff thatcomicsguy was suggesting. I don't know what your thoughts were on that stuff, but I thought I'd broach it. Most important and useful to me is to get things up and running smoothly, like we've been working on. But in the long run, the ability to make the program function more independently would be very useful. :)

    Now, on to the program-specific crits themselves!
     
  9. Steve B

    Steve B Moderator Moderator

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    Artrage--
    A lot is really working well- basically all the "main" 8 buttons, the right clicks on them to reset stuff, the tools, most of the Layer tools, etc. So, Rotate, Lasso, Flip, Color Wheel, Color Sample, Undo/Redo, Zoom, etc. all work great. Of course, some stuff isn't working "on purpose", since you brought up they weren't done yet. It's staying above when I autohide the Windows Taskbar too, which is great. Select Contents, Invert, Layers Panel, Deselect, and Stencils also work well. The Right Clicks on stuff like the Stencils is great too. Nice, functional, easy to understand, and time saving.

    **Sidenote- Truthfully, I'm really in love with the idea of secondary functions for buttons by using right-clicks. It just seems like such good design-sense, and that's cool to me. I keep thinking of more ideas (like on the tools, I was like... hmmmm, there must be a good use for that, right? :D ...maybe pulling up some sort of tool-specific menus of some sort?), but I'm not sure yet about how functional they'll all be, so I don't mention them all. Artrage is also very good at allowing you key shortcuts for lots and lots of stuff, which can lead to overload, sometimes. I also think Sai is much better at having all necessary info in the onscreen menus (versus some pull down menus in Artrage), so I don't feel as much of a need to double up functions, etc. Tab/Fullscreen is actually waaaaaayyy more important to me in Sai, because of that. End sidenote**

    There are a few bugs though. ;)
    1) Straight Line- I'm still getting that funky thing where the straight line tool is being highlighted backwards sometimes- it starts out unhighlighted, but somewhere along the line, I got it to work so that its highlighted when its turned off, and unhighlighted when its turned on. ?? Plus, when it's highlighted wrong, it's still sending the Control command when I hit other buttons. Very funny behavior.
    2) Resize- I've had an occassional bug with this where the circle is disappearing and reappearing when I resize it. I had it so that it was seemingly "hidden" across the middle of the screen, then would reappeaer on the outside thirds. Very odd. I rebooted everything, and it went away. As I haven't used it much, it's hard to say if its duplicatable. ??
    3) Lasso- I hear you on what to do when you're done using the Transform tool. I asked on the forum, and they said that the Lasso tool is treated like a normal drawing tool. It's "on" until you pick a different drawing tool. And I guess it's the same in Sai too. I don't think switching to the Pen is the best option though. I think what we really need to do is one of three things-
    1. we could pick, per program, what tool we'd like to have it switch automatically to, somewhere in a setup area, or
    2. we need to highlight the Lasso tool when its still in use, so we'll simply tap a different drawing tool when we are finished instead, and/or
    3. we should put the Lasso tool in the Tool bar, as it functions like one. ??
    4. ---> "b" seems the easiest for now, but a and/or c probably the most useful.
    d) Layer Texture- I'm getting absolutely no response from this. Do you have a special shortcut for this, like with Hide and Show all stencils, that I should be inputting?
    e) Focus- I'm not understanding the purpose of this button. Right now, if I try and paint under the toolbar, all is fine. I can't start a stroke under the AHK toolbar, whether Focus is selected or not. That's pretty normal, so I'm not surprised. The auto-hidden Windows Taskbar stays hidden all the time, whether I'm pushing a AHK button or even if I move the AHK taskbar all the way over to the right and use it (where my Windows Taskbar is hidden). Was this working differently for you? And thus you made the Focus button?
    f) Flickering- I'm getting some odd flickering from the AHK toolbar. First, is it does it once whenever I activate a tool after drawing (essentially switching between Artrage and AHK). I also get a repeated non-ending flickering from the AHK taskbar when I open and use a panel in Artrage that overlaps with the space of the AHK toolbar. Say, something like while scrolling the Color Samples, or using a sub-menu from the Layers Panel. I could move the panels away further, but I'm trying to keep everything to the right for better ergonomics. The submenus also open to the right on all these Artrage panels, which means they're overlapping the AHK toolbar. It seems like they're duking it out for dominance or something. ?? It would be nice if somehow, magically, the AHK toolbar stayed on top when drawing, etc. but also allowed for program menus (such as in Artrage or Sai) to pop out and be on top of the toolbar while they're open. Can that be done?

    I'm going to put the Sai comments in a third post.
     
  10. lblb

    lblb Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Very quickly for now:

    - Straight line: sorry, I just saw that I did break it. Will try to fix it later.
    - Layer texture: sorry, forgot to say that I have set the shortcut to Ctrl+Shift+Alt+X
    - Focus button: you probably don't need it because you have the Windows taskbar set to autohide. In which case it's good to know that you don't need it.
    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 even if it is not set to auto hide.
    - Haven't worked on the rollup buttons but I think getting them to work right shouldn't be too difficult.
    - I'm with you on having better highlights for the active buttons.

    I also really like the right-click functions but as you allude to, I think the danger is to overload the toolbar with such hidden functions. If you have to pause and think where you have to right-click to get a certain function, then the toolbar isn't fully playing its role.

    I sure would be up FOR the challenge to try to make it more user-friendly. Now, will I be up TO the challenge, that's another question! And I could see this toolbar eventually work well with something like that mouse-gizmo thing that you have been discussing in another thread... but I'm getting ahead of myself now. Way ahead.

    I will look at your comments more carefully later tonight.
     
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