Photoshop toolbar

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

  1. lblb

    lblb Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Ah the joy of computers!
    We can change the default options for the hover icons pretty easily. I'll try to think of ways to make it better. In the meantime, since you seem to be using ArtRage quite a bit, you may want to not have the hover icons start with the toolbar. To do that, just deleted lines 512-515 in the Toolbar_Subroutines file. Then if you need the icons in Sai, just launch them from the Options window. (I never had that cpu usage problem before (I guess I never had ArtRage opened without Sai) but it's good to know that it does that!)

    When you have your pen issues figured out (hopefully it will be straightforward!), tell me if you get the eraser to interfere with the top side button. If you don't get that nasty interference, then I should be able to modify the script that I included to make it easier to use (i.e. no awkward switching between the top and bottom pen buttons for zooming).
    Hopefully your pen issues can be fixed easily. From what you say, it doesn't seem like its AHK-related (but I may be wrong). But to make sure, you should maybe open the Task Manager and close any residual AHK script that may accidentally be running in the background (they're usually hanging around 4000-6000 k in Task Manager).
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2012
  2. Steve B

    Steve B Moderator Moderator

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    OK, so far a lot of this is really really good. No finicky bugs yet, outside of the more major Pan issue in Sai.

    Artrage-
    -Upper Button-
    no issues with the upper button making the eraser appear. It's been smooth sailing for me, and is a clear improvement to work flow to have zoom and resize as a pen-based action. So if you can get it to work without switching buttons, well, that's seems veeeeeery cool.

    Sai-
    -Pan-
    I rebooted, and that helped some with the right-click to Pan, but its not as regular as it was a few weeks ago, before we introduced the Hover Icons. I just don't understand why..... I really felt like we had this in the bag back at that iteration-- when we had option #5 and #2, and I think we went with the #2 alternative, which worked very well. Now, it engages sometimes, but not regularly-- I'm often seeing the hand icon, but only briefly. It's like I don't have enough time to get to the screen before it disengages. It reminds me very much of the experience in #5. I'm making lots of stray marks and then undoing. As it is, its not been regular enough to use yet.

    -Transform is a PITA-
    As mentioned before, this is the one major issue I've got with the current redesign in Sai. It's clearly not as smooth as it used to be. However, I was having issues with the older version as well (before we did this setup), because I've been wanting to use more of the Transform functions more fluidly. Sai has some great Transform stuff that works really fast- Free Deform, and Perspective come to mind quickest, that I've wanted to use more regularly. I actually thought of some sort of mini-panel or just a set of 4 buttons to add as a group to the main AHK bar. Will ponder more, and try and figure that out.


    General Note-
    It'd be nice if there were the option to switch between a 24 hour clock versus the 12 hour version in the Setup Window. I'm definitely having to do math to figure out what time it is in the afternoon if I use the current setup. ;P
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2012
  3. lblb

    lblb Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Ah Americans and the 12-hour system! Should have thought of that! Actually, I thought that the command I used would use whatever hour-system the user set for his computer, but I misread as it clearly states it will use the 24-hour system. I'll see what I can do... While we're on the matter of the clock: is it good as a right-click? Would it be better if it were permanent?

    It's good to know that it's not too buggy! For the Transform button: Maybe we could just add the "old" transform three-step button next to the transparency button. And also have the other "transform mini-panel" for more intense/complex stuff?

    I still don't understand your right-click pan issues... especially since they started not when we introduced something new but apparently for no real reason... The toolbar is still using the same Right_Click_2 file (I verified and the code hasn't changed). I know you've tried it before but let's see again: in the latest toolbar folder, that file is in the png\options folder. If you launch this file with no other AHK script going (and maybe only Sai running), does it work? Is it more or less reliable if ArtRage is also running? One thought could be that maybe the "Tip feel" in the ISD changed??? (Really just brainstorming out of nowhere here as you are way more knowledgeable about these things...)

    While I'm getting that weird behavior with the top side button (now tested with my two Axiotron pens), it's good to know that it's working well for you. Because of that problem, it's difficult for me to try to optimize this particular function. But here is attempt number two (let's call it ArtRage_Top_Side_Button_2.ahk). Open the first file, delete all the text and replace it with the text below. Save the file as ArtRage_Top_Side_Button_2.ahk, then double-click on it. What this should hopefully do:
    If you go for a middle-click with the top button (and by that, I mean you are drawing normally, you lift the pen a bit, press the top side button, and put the pen back on the canvas and keep holding down the side button (so you need a "physical" middle click), it should be the tool resize. As we are testing, with this function I added a "Tool size" tooltip for now. If however you press and hold the side button while hovering and don't put the pen on the canvas, it should be zooming. For this, the tooltip should say "Zooming". Does it work?

    Here is the text for ArtRage_Top_Side_Button_2.ahk:

    #NoEnv ; Recommended for performance and compatibility with future AutoHotkey releases.
    SendMode Input ; Recommended for new scripts due to its superior speed and reliability.
    #SingleInstance, force
    SetBatchLines -1
    SendMode Input
    SetControlDelay, 0
    SetWinDelay, 0
    SetMouseDelay,0

    #IfWinActive, ahk_class ArtRage 3
    mbutton::
    Send {shift down}
    sleep 200
    getKeyState, State, LButton
    if State = D
    {
    tooltip, Tool size
    Sleep 1000
    tooltip
    }
    if State = U
    {
    tooltip, Zooming
    Send {shift down}
    send {rbutton down}
    Sleep 1000
    tooltip
    }
    KeyWait, mbutton, U
    Send {shift up}{rbutton up}
    return

    #IfWinActive
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2012
  4. Steve B

    Steve B Moderator Moderator

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    Hey, I'll try that one out in Artrage. Looks cool! I hope it works.

    edit- tried the new stuff in Artrage, and the upper button works fantastically. I'm very excited to try this out in Artrage for a whole painting session!! This setup is going to be so cool to share with the forum there. BTW, is there a way I can just get rid of the contextual labels? I like the idea of them a lot, and could see there use in a couple of other applications of the AHK toolbar, but here I'd just as well have this function be seemless).
    end edit

    BTW, I did a little "programming" (HAHA! Overstatement of the year....) in AHK today, and I improved the performance of the Right-click to Pan function. I went into the script and changed line 12 from "sleep 100" to "sleep 500". This is providing me a much longer time to tap the pen to the screen before the Hand went away and is stopping a lot of the errant marks I was getting when I was putting the pen tip to the screen too slowly after pressing right-click. Yay!

    One thing that I noticed though is that if I press right-click, move stuff around, and then lift my pen while still holding right click that if I put the pen back on the screen I make a mark instead of Panning. I thought that would work differently. The truth is that the way AHK works currently is that I press the right-click, it starts the Pan operation for the 500 ms, and then if I press the pen tip to the screen Pan is held as active regardless of whether or not I hold down the right-click button while panning. If possible, it would be nice to, say, hold right-click, activate pan, do panning with right-click held in place, and then be able to lift the pen while still holding the right-click and immediately pan again without having to re-press right click. I'm beginning to think that's just not the way AHK works, but I thought I'd ask. I'm cool re-pressing to start panning a second time, but I thought I'd check.

    One last thing that would be nice (again, I don't know if it can be done in some way) is that I can sometimes (rarely) get an errant mark if I put the pen tip down too quickly when pressing the right-click to Pan. This is clearly because the AHK command just hasn't been engaged yet. Is there a way to make it engage faster? If not, no bigee, as I can just get used to very momentarily pausing before doing so, but I thought I'd check.

    BTW, I also did the change you suggested for the Toolbar Subroutines and deleted the few lines you recommended. That worked and has made sure that the Hover Icons only open up for now when I go into Sai and change it over to them.
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2012
  5. lblb

    lblb Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Did we just witness the birth of a new AHK wizard?

    The change you made is good! But that means that it can take up to 500 ms for the pan function to kick off once you take the pen off the screen. Maybe try getting the value as low as you can. I would just start at 100 ms and gradually increase by 50 ms increments.

    I'll see what I can do for the rest for pan but I think it's unlikely that you can just hold the right button down and continue panning if you take the pen on and off the canvas. The difficulty is the following: if you look at the code, the line that says "Keywait, lbutton, u" means that it's actually waiting for the LEFT mouse button to be up before releasing the pan function. Why?
    First: Even though you are using the right button to pan, as I mentioned earlier the way the right button seems to work with Wacom (and you saw it when sometimes right-clicking on the AHK toolbar repeats the command many times) is not that it holds down the right button, but that it repeatedly sends right-clicks really really fast. But that means that for the pan function you can't ask it to do something like "release the pan function when I release the right button" because the right button is actually being released very very rapidly as soon as you press it.
    Second: Earlier I said that part of this code doesn't make sense. Well that's the part! Apparently, when you right-click and hold, it is still detecting the left button as being held down. The only reason we know that is because the line "Keywait, lbutton, u" actually works!

    If you want to test if it's possible on your system to have pan on as long as the right-click button is pressed: on that line, change "lbutton" to "rbutton". This means that the code will wait for the right button to be released before terminating the pan function. On my system, this is instantaneous (as the right-click is "instantly" released as soon as you hold down the right button.) Does that make any sense? Does it work for you with rbutton in the code (would be great!)?

    For the ArtRage function: I'm glad it works! To get rid of the tooltips, delete the four lines in the code above that start with "tooltip". The code works this way:
    - As soon as you press the top button, the code presses down Shift.
    - Then you have 200 ms to put the pen on the canvas
    - Then Shift is released after 1000 ms, but as long as you keep the pen on canvas you can resize the tools.

    Why the 200 ms? Since I can only get the zooming function to work when the RIGHT button is held down, if you didn't put the pen on the canvas before 200ms the code presses down the RIGHT BUTTON and now you can zoom. This means that if you are zooming and you press the pen on canvas without releasing the middle top button, you may be able to resize the tools but you may also have a regular right-click/fullscreen that is also sent (which is annoying).
    To optimize it for your use, you may want to change the 200ms and the two 1000ms delays and see what works best for you. I think you could certainly shorten the 1000 ms delays to much lower values (and then it won't "hang" when you release the button).
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2012
  6. Steve B

    Steve B Moderator Moderator

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    Sweetness! Took a few trys but I got the tooltips to go away and still have functionality. I tried out the lbutton vs. rbutton thing in Sai, and its a no go for me in Sai as well, so back to the way it already was on that.

    BTW, re: tooltips in Artrage-- I was wondering if we could do something like have a toolitp that instead told us the real-time brush size as we resized? That would actually be very helpful, as it sometimes unclear when working in clear screen mode. By the same token, it would be helpful to know what scale I was resizing to to in Artrage when using the pen button-- this comes into play when I have things set up at a certain zoom level on a secondary monitor, to simulate printing scale, and then want to match that scale on my laptop. During that time, it would be helpful to have a live, real-time scale % show as a tooltip. I don't even know if this sort of thing is possible, but I thought I'd bring it up. Who knows?

    I have to say, now that the Hover Icons and Right-click to Pan are full functioning in Sai, and the Middle-click to zoom and resize are working in Artrage.... well, damn, I gotta say that I'm very satisfied with the time we've spent on this. These are the sorts of "pie in the sky" concepts that I never expected we would be able to do, and yet are giving (in my mind) some really critical and impressive work flow improvements. It's awesome, and I can't really imagine going back to the way things were.

    I've got the mockup to finish for Artrage, and there are a few minor wrinkles to iron out of Sai's setup, but after that... well, I'd say we're on to user setup mode, but I've got a few things up my sleeve that I'd still like to explore. More Hover Windows for AHK panels, and maybe some sort of CMYK Color panel or some such thing? I've found some great jpeg images for CMYK Color Panels, but the issue is that they're not the value/shade/chroma combination that you get in programs like Artrage or Sai or PS. They're just one of those sets. I want something that does CMYK values, that have grey scale, and have value as well. Like what Artrage already has on its popup, but with just CMYK colors in there instead of what they've got.

    Thoughts?

    Anyways, I'm just super excited by these developments. It feels like every week something new and unexpected comes into fruition.
     
  7. lblb

    lblb Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Yeah, when starting this thread I didn't imagine that we would get into this kind of stuff and it's a lot of fun! Admittedly, the coolest stuff so far doesn't have much to do with the toolbar itself! Although I actually catch myself taking the toolbar for granted when testing stuff out... by that I mean that there is some stuff that I wouldn't really know how to do without the toolbar!

    For right-click pan: It's really cool that you found how to make it work again! You may want to try to optimize it as I mentioned in the previous post (and then tell me whatever delay works best for you and I'll include as the default value). Also, there are a few commands that can be added at the top of the code to try to make it engage faster. These were actually an inexplicable omission from my part! While they probably can't be bad and maybe they won't have a positive effect, I think they could (in fact, it's probably "should") make it engage a little faster. If these don't work, I don't know of other ways to speed it up. So in Right_Click_2 just add the following lines below the line "#MaxThreadsPerHotkey 1" (it can't hurt, I think!):

    SetBatchLines -1
    SendMode Input
    SetControlDelay, 0
    SetWinDelay, 0
    SetMouseDelay,0

    For the new middle-click stuff: now that it works, and now that we don't need the tooltips to show that it does, we can change the code and delete the two 1000 ms delays (which means it won't hang if you use the resize or zoom functions very briefly). While this may be a case of "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" I think a shorter code will ultimately be more reliable. Below is the code for ArtRage_Top_Side_Button_3.ahk. In my limited tests (goddamn pen button problems!), it seemed to behave just as well. Does it also work as well for you? If not, I think it's just a matter of modifying it a bit (or even modifying the previous one to remove the two 1000 ms delays, or even just keeping it the way it is right now).

    For the tooltips: For now, my AHK knowledge allows me to send commands to programs, but it's still very limited on how we can get AHK to listen to a program. An example of the latter would be having a tooltip that shows the zoom changing in real time. So for now, this seems like it's a little (read: completely) out of my league (and unfortunately, unlike most other programs, ArtRage just doesn't give out any info easily to AHK or any program of that type). I'll ponder this, but for now it doesn't seem like it will be possible any time soon.

    For the CMYK color panel: How would you see that working? Would it be like a replacement for the Sai/ArtRage color wheels? as a separate program that just gives/detects color codes, that you then input in the art program? as something like a layer (in a ArtRage script?) from which to pick the colors? As something to pick colors in any window?

    By the way, you've mentioned it before and I'm absolutely not against fragmenting the toolbar into individual scripts if you feel it would be better. Maybe when we are more at something like a definitive stage with the ArtRage toolbar? As I'm not really going to use the toolbar (after all that work!), it really comes down to whatever is more practical for you to use. And I also think that once we've taken care of the ArtRage setup, and solved the countless bugs, a next logical step might be to go for user customization/friendliness. Or maybe after SBP? And indeed going for drawings tools may be fun! Or maybe try to go for cool ArtRage scripts?

    As a side note: You've most probably discussed this an infinite number of times in this forum, but do you know of a stylus with two side buttons that could be good for non-artists? Or can you just direct me to one of the good threads on this (there are so many of them, and so little time for me to browse around!). I'm starting to like the extra functionality of using the full potential of the two side buttons (and I also suspect that my problems may be related to my cheap (yet very useful!) Axiotron pens.)

    Here is the code for ArtRage_Top_Side_Button_3.ahk:

    #NoEnv
    SendMode Input
    #SingleInstance, force
    SetBatchLines -1
    SetControlDelay, 0
    SetWinDelay, 0
    SetMouseDelay,0

    #IfWinActive, ahk_class ArtRage 3
    mbutton::
    Send {shift down}
    sleep 200
    getKeyState, State, LButton
    if State = U
    {
    Send {shift down}{rbutton down}
    KeyWait, mbutton, U
    }
    Else
    KeyWait, mbutton, U
    Send {shift up}{rbutton up}
    return

    #IfWinActive
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2012
  8. Steve B

    Steve B Moderator Moderator

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    Ok. Put the two alterations in-- one for the right-click to Pan and one in the top-side-button for Artrage-- and all seems fine. No big deal yet. I'll try them more later though and see what they do. I'll explore the timing optimization in Sai later on, when I get the chance. For now, 500 seems fine enough that I'm not experiencing any hiccups, but I'll see. Perhaps this weekend. The next few days are going to be busy.

    Re: the CMYK Color Wheel idea I had. The idea was sparked by the Magic Picker addon to PS that I found. The issue is that neither Sai nor Artrage support working only in the CMYK color space, so there's no real option to "switch" to it in either program. As such, it'd more about just having an appropriate color picker to start the process off with. In Sai atleast you have the option of the swatches, which piggy tails on the the Color Wheel. In Artage, you have to use the Color Samples option, which is clumsier and bulkier. Though we have it set up in the AHK toolbar to be used, I've just never really set it up to be of real use to me-- it requires a lot of initial leg work, and even then I'm not sure it'd give me what I really want-- the strip is too narrow, the samples larger and larger spaced then they need to be, and again, you can get shifts in color, but not in value.

    So, in my mind, the ideal version would be something that didn't work through Artrage. I just don't think we could get Artrage to do something in a window that would be useful. In my mind, the Color Wheel would be somehow engaged and run by AHK, but the color values would be read by Artrage. I suppose there are two versions--

    1) One version (the simpler one) is that AHK would pull up a custom color picker image, from which I would somehow be able to pick a color that would then be read by Artrage-- it would need to be a CMYK image, that shifted in value and had some grey tones (essentially a sort of jpeg of a PS swatches setup, with some variety in terms of greys and values). I have some of these images, as I did some leg work to try and build something useful in Sai. In my mind, I guess I presumed it would work like the Hover Icons in Sai. This version has some interest to me, though I'm not sure how useful it really would be if I couldn't the real sort of variance you get from the current color picker. ?? I think I'd need to test it out to see. I've attached a "Tint" jpeg, to give you some sense of what I'm looking for-- though none of these are perfect, as they don't have grey values as options for the colors.

    2) Somehow AHK would engage a sort of alternate program or CMYK color picker UI (although I have no program to use, as I don't think Magic Picker works in anything but PS) that would appear above Artrage. It would work much like the current Artrage color picker setup, in that it would have a space to pick the hue (in Artrage this happens to be in the circle around the exterior), and yet an alternate space (in Artrage this is the inner square) to pick the value (black versus white of the color), as well as chroma (pure color versus quantity of grey in the color). This chosen color would then would be used by Artrage. Of course, the thing in this setup is that the opened Color Wheel is "active" in that it's not just a jpeg, but actually has "moveable" parts. I know, it sounds impossible to me too, but that's the dream.

    3) An alternate version that just occurred to me while looking over the jpegs is one where AHK pulls up a static image that has all the hues and tints we want in one section, and the shades (grey tones) separated in another space. AHK would sort of see them as two separate images. I could then pick the color I wanted as one small step, and then pick the grey-scale I wanted as the second step. AHK could somehow highlight the two selections, combine them, and show me a version of the combined color in a square up top. It would then transfer it to Artrage, and I would paint with it. The second one attachment (Real Color Wheel Print Palette) is what prompted idea #3, as you can see it has all the hues and tints up above, with the black and white values down below.

    I dunno..... LOL. All of these sound insanely difficult, and way outside the scale of what we've been doing. I thought I'd bring it up though. Who knows? I've thought of just buying the Magic Picker thing for 15$ just so we could see if AHK could just run it independently from Artrage and somehow port the selected color between the two programs. ?? That's an idea as well.....

    Anyways, the current Color Wheel-AHK setups in Artrage and Sai work very well, so I'm not against using them as is, but this is probably the last major "What the heck, I'm curious so I'll ask if this is even possible" kind of idea that I've had. Everything else in Artrage that's an as-yet-to-be-done improvement I think we can do, as they're all about using Hover Icons on AHK subpanels (a Stencils subpanel, perhaps, as well as a Layers subpanel, etc, each with a more sophisticated setup, using scripts and whatnot perhaps).

    Thoughts?

    edit-
    I'm most interested in splitting the toolbar up because I think its the most digestable way to offer it to different communities. If it can be divided easily (and I think that's a big part of what 2.0 made an option-- making it into separate toolbars that are linked by a single UI, rather than one big toolbar), then I think there's real benefit in doing so. I'm very excited about sharing this, and am really chomping at the bit to put it out there and see if we get some additional feedback on what could be done to improve it/ streamline it, etc. However, I don't think it needs to be done immediately, nor even as the final way of doing things. It'd be nice to be able to divide it up, and yet keep a all-in-one version for those that might like it.

    As for what to do next, after bugs, etc. I think getting the discussed changes to Artrage into place is good. Getting a finalized setup in the main Sai toolbar as well (with this issue about Transform tools). After that, I'll probably want to share it, or do UI stuff. After that, probably SBP. I'm excited about optimization for SBP, as I use it to work on landscape designs, but it can wait for now. My brain can only juggle so many things!!! And as you said, the trial version isn't very long.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: May 3, 2012
  9. lblb

    lblb Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    It's good that you will be busy while we have a usable version because I should also be pretty absent until next Monday (last exam blitz of the semester!)

    Great ideas for the color wheel. I'll have to think about the different possibilities. I think the most difficult part will be (if at all possible) to transfer the information from whatever we are using into the art program. For example, I just tested very quickly and both Sai and ArtRage can't pick up a color from something from outside the program. For example, here is a pretty free cool color picker that I found a while back:

    ColorPic, The Desktop ColorPicker Software

    While it does some nice stuff, I have a hard time seeing how we can transmit the information from this to ArtRage or Sai (whether that's mediated by AHK or not). I'll have to think... I just read about Magic Picker and the reason why it's (apparently) so popular is probably because it's an add-in to Photoshop, i.e. you can transfer the info from Magic Picker to Photoshop. I think that may also mean that it will only work in Photoshop. Also, I won't have time to try soon, but there is a 15-day trial for Magic Picker so maybe that's something to try.

    I agree about the future work and about how to go on with splitting it up and sharing it. Indeed, it was very much with these things in mind that I opted to go for v2 of the toolbar.
     
  10. lblb

    lblb Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    As predicted, I haven't had time to work on this the past few days. However, I was bored while writing an exam so I played around a bit... To get a 12-hour clock, at the very bottom of the Toolbar_Subroutines file, replace the definition of currentTime1 (note: not currentTime2) with the following:

    currentTime1:
    FormatTime, display3, YYYYMMDDHH24MISS, hh
    GuiControl, 20:,display1, %display3%
    Return
     
  11. lblb

    lblb Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Obviously, it had to happen this way... now that the middle-click zoom/resize works in ArtRage, I finally have the start of a solution for a "zoom bar"...

    I'll slowly start working on this stuff again this week (still have a lot of grading to do, but it's so boring!) I'll look at the previous posts and also work on the multiple previously identified bugs. Don't hesitate when you have time to throw in ideas for the new ArtRage layout. Also, if you think a "zoom bar" type button could be useful (by that I mean: if you move up on the bar, it repeats a command; if you move down, it repeats another command), we can try a few things to see if I can actually make it work (I'm not promising anything, but the basic idea seems to work, although for now it would be better if the bar was longer than the 33 pixels we've switched to). Any idea with what command a bar/button like that could be useful? Not sure they're still really desirable...
     
  12. Steve B

    Steve B Moderator Moderator

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    I think the zoom bar still has potential-- particularly if we're going to have multiple ways of running things (as in Sai). There are times I have a 2 button pen, and times I don't. I had planned on the zoom bar being a bar though-- as in, more than one button in size. Perhaps 2-3 buttons wide?

    Actually, it could solve a certain ergonomic/layout issue I've been having. Now that we're shrinking buttons, I've been having a hard time working out a good layout, because everything is 3 across. I actually made a new layout for Sai and Artrage, but they didn't really work out-- I'm still stuck in 2-wide mode, and couldn't configure things right. To have a zoom bar could prove useful. I'm assuming I could make a zoom bar that was, say, 33 x 100, or 33 x 66, (or 16 x 100 for that matter) or some such thing? I could also make it vertical as well as horizontal, right? Thirdly, how will it zoom-- as in, what kind of increments? Right now, left-click to zoom in Artrage is very smooth incrementally, and, of course, zooming with the Navigator in Sai is very smooth incrementally as well (though a bit clumsy). I'm still curious.

    BTW, ahk "bars" might be good for things like resize as well, or rotate. Just thoughts. If we did things like resize or rotate, does it need to be in a certain direction also? My presumption is that the movement of the pen on the bar is really more about hitting a button repeatedly, and therefore independent of the normal left-right movements required for the program to read pen input, right?

    Also, I don't know if I'm repeating myself, but I think, in the end, I'm having a difficult time bringing the Tools into the main bar, for both programs. I have way more Tool buttons than main panel functions now, and aligning things is proving difficult-- either the Tools area is too wide or too long or too short. I dunno. Will ponder more, and think about the usefulness of the bars.
     
  13. lblb

    lblb Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    The way I have them working right now is that it looks at the position of the pen on the button when the pen hits the button and then looks at the position again a few milliseconds later. If the difference is positive, then it does something until the pen is released (so you actually don't have to keep on dragging) and if it's negative, it does something else. Than can work for both vertical and horizontal "bars".
    Now that I know how to do this, I could also try to modify it to more of a dragging strip functionality where (very general untested idea here) you could do something like "send a command every 5 pixels you move in one direction". Depending on the function, one or the other may be more suited.
    For now, I can have it send regular commands and can't really smooth out anything that isn't already smooth. For example, if the increments are not great when you zoom using a key press with the keyboard, then it's going to be the same with these bars (as is the case with the regular buttons on the toolbar.)

    Somewhat related: I have no clue how to do it (it's really not AHK and it seems like you may have to alter the actual program), but I've been looking at one of the links from the Sai forum:
    paintHack
    Thanks to Google translation, it seems like the first subject at the top and the last at the bottom are about making the zoom increments in Sai much smoother (i.e. smoother when you are using hotkeys to zoom). From what it says, it seems to work fine. Unfortunately, the app you can download probably only works on the Japanese version of Sai (well, I can't even launch it on my computer). Double unfortunately: I have no clue how to do this or even where to begin looking (well, it mentions you have to modify the bin file, which, to someone with very little computer knowledge, doesn't mean much!)

    For the tools: maybe you'll find that the AHK toolbar is too limiting this way? Maybe just having the Tool hover icon in Sai (and maybe something somewhat similar in ArtRage) may prove to be the best solution? Maybe it will be necessary to only have the main tools on the AHK toolbar, and keep the rest on the native palettes?

    Edit:
    Oh and the other "hacks" on that blog also look super cool!
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2012
  14. Steve B

    Steve B Moderator Moderator

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    Re: paintHack-- the stuff he's supposedly doing is VERY cool. Besides the zoom stuff, I really liked the idea of having the Hover Icons be able to read and dispaly useful information-- like what the active color is, or tool is currently in use, etc. That's a very cool idea. I also tried to download and run them. I got the color one to run, but I can't really get it to work. I tried the zoom one too, but no go on that-- just like you. I agree that I think it has something to with not having Japanese enabled, perhaps? I posted on the Sai forums to see if anyone could help. We'll see I guess.

    Re: the tools-- I dunno. I definitely think things will work out better with the Main and Tool panels separated. I hear you re: the Tools subpanel versus native Sai Tool palette, but I've so far really liked the speed with which I can pick and move between various tools, each of which does a slightly different thing. I wonder if we could run it where you could have it as an option, just like the Hover Icons? That could be an idea.

    As for Tools in Artrage, I don't really see what other options there really are. If we don't use the Tool subpanel in the AHK Artrage setup, Artrage doesn't seem to be providing any alternatives. Even if I have to expand the setup a bit to get more (all?) of the tools in (perhaps just making it a simple 2x wide strip, for instance), it'll still be a million times more functional than the native Artrage Tools Pod in the bottom left corner. What were you thinking?

    Also, now that we have zoom and resize as upper-button options, I guess the idea of 2 versions in Artrage would be cool to. I don't know how big of a hassle that is, but since we're discussing things.
     
  15. lblb

    lblb Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Same here about the paintHack stuff. They look very cool, and seem to do a lot of the things you mentioned before that we haven't been able to achieve yet, but I can't get any of them to work. The color thingy does show up but doesn't do anything constructive. For the zoom, it would be cool to use the app in the first blog post, or go for the hack in the last post that seems to involve editing the program file. I do wonder if it's got to do with something like the Windows language settings (so need another language pack? or a missing font? something else?) and if the language version of Sai is also relevant? It does mention that it works on Windows7 Home Premium 64bit. Oh and I just saw that you posted on his blog. That's cool, as I apparently can't post since I don't have a blog (or maybe I was just fooled by the language). (Maybe you could start a thread in this forum to see if anyone has anything to say about this? Maybe someone with the right language pack could be within earshot?)

    Don't know about the tools... maybe have a main tool panel on the AHK toolbar, and also have a hovering icon for less used tools? That second one could be much larger if it collapses to a hover icon... I'll think about this. And having two ArtRage toolbars sounds good. Especially if you feel like sharing it after: just like you, I'm sure other users don't always carry different pens around.
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2012
  16. Steve B

    Steve B Moderator Moderator

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    BTW, potentially interesting usage for sliders? Volume and brightness control in Firefox, for instance. The ability to switch power plans with the click of a button would be useful there too, as I'm often switching between Power Saver and, say, High Performance if I check out a video.

    Another idea? I find the idea of the pull-down menu having simple "active" toggles or bars when using programs like Sai or Artrage. Essentially, allowing for infrequently used items (like screen brightness or volume control) to be instantly altered in the pull down menu, without having to open up a different "window" to then access that stuff. Just an idea. Or, perhaps just the ability to add these kinds of sliders to the setup pop-up menu or some such thing. It just seems like the sort of thing that would be useful to have more accessible while in a fullscreen mode. Right now, it's exit full screen mode> click power plan button> hit "change screen brightness" button> change to the necessary plan if you're going to do so> alter lighting> exit. Ugh.
     
  17. lblb

    lblb Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Those all sound doable in some way (and I've just figured out how to interrogate the system volume in Win7). I'll see what I can do.

    It's easy to create desktop shortcuts to change power plans. Then we would just have to tell AHK to run these shortcuts. Below are the codes for the shortcuts for Balanced, Power Saver and High Performance power settings. They work on my two computers, but maybe the codes for your system will be different. Could you try them out and see?
    Just right-click on the desktop, and choose "New" then "Shortcut". In the "Location", paste one of the codes below, click next, then give it any name you want (e.g. Balanced). When you double-click the shortcut, it should switch to that power plan. Do these codes work on your system? If they do, I can easily adapt them to AHK (and the window that briefly appears when you use the shortcuts below will not appear; in fact, I actually prefer keeping that window visible as it kind of confirms that the command went through, even though there shouldn't be any doubt that it did!).


    Balanced:
    C:\Windows\System32\powercfg.exe -setactive 381b4222-f694-41f0-9685-ff5bb260df2e
    Power Saver:
    C:\Windows\System32\powercfg.exe -setactive a1841308-3541-4fab-bc81-f71556f20b4a
    High Performance:
    C:\Windows\System32\powercfg.exe -setactive 8c5e7fda-e8bf-4a96-9a85-a6e23a8c635c
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2012
  18. Steve B

    Steve B Moderator Moderator

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    Ok, I’ve made a new mockup for Sai.

    Here’s the basic changes-

    1) I’ve moved the tools into a Tool Panel, but I don’t have a “rollup” arrow any more. Instead, I was hoping we could just add a button in the Toolbar Options popup window, where you could either have the Toolbar onscreen or not.
    2) I’ve removed the Transparency button, as I couldn’t find a good place to put it. Perhaps the 4 options for the eraser tool will be good enough to fill that need. Oh, and in its place I put a header, mostly so we could grab it and move it around. I don't know if this is really an option or not, or if it needs to be "tied" geographically to the main AHK toolbar. ??
    3) I’ve added the 2 zoom bars- one for Zoom and one for Resize. I’m not sure yet if I really need one for Zoom yet, but I thought we could try it.
    4) I’ve redone the Transformations- First, I added the Lasso back in. This would work like a toggle. Hit it and it stays on until another tool is chosen.
    5) I added a Transform button for scaling and rotating a selection.
    6) I added a Free Deform button to use that more sophisticated version of Sai’s transform tools. My idea was that you would be able to switch between the two buttons freely, as you can do in Sai. Hit Transform to scale or rotate, then hit Free Deform to jigger the whole image, then hit Transform to Rotate again, etc. just as you can do in Sai, with the transformation only being finished (Enter hit) when you hit the active transform tool (whichever of the two was currently active) a second time. This is something I’ve been wanting in the toolbar, and is one of those things that is a bit clunky when using the Sai Tools Palette.
    7) I think I want to move the icons for the Hover Icons to the center of each Palette Header—we’re creating an extra hand movement by placing the icon in the upper left, as I have to then move the right to do things in the palette, then move back to the left at the end. It’s a small thing, but it would be nice to just hover over the Hover Icon and then drop my hand directly downwards to do things in the Palette.

    Taking that concept one step further, the other idea I had for the Hover Icons was to have the icon simply placed in a location that was appropriate to the usage of that Panel—there’s no reason we __need__ to have the icons in the header, as the Hover Icon doesn’t stay visible once the Palette is opened. This is more radical, and would probably require more tinkering, but if it worked would be a positive ergonomic change. Of course, I don’t really even know if you can do this. ??

    If you can, then we could, for instance, have the icon for the Color Palette be located right in the dead center of the middle of the palette—then, there’s no need to move the hand so far up to open it, and you’re right where you need to be when the palette opens. You could have the Navigator Icon be located in the bottom middle of the Navigator—just where you need to be when using the Navigator for zooming and rotating. You could place the icon for the Tools Palette in the upper center, perhaps on the row where the Hand and Transparency buttons are, and you could place the icon for the Layers Panel in a similar place. I see the biggest benefits for the Color and Navigator Panels, as they are smaller and have fewer functions, but I see no reason not to apply the positioning to the other Hover Icons.

    One of the issues I ran into is that I’d still sort of like the Hover Icons “out of the way” the way I currently use them, which is on the top of the canvas in a horizontal line. If I put them on the right in a vertical line, for instance, then I’m more prone to accidentally opening them while moving my hand over to the AHK toolbar or Tools Panel. As such, I guess the positioning of the Hover Icons __within__ the palettes can’t be too drastic for the larger palettes (the Layers and Tools ones), because I wouldn’t be able to line all the Hover Icons up at the top in a row. Does that make sense? I’ve included a screen shot of the Palettes in the sort of hypothetical positions I might have them in to better show how I’d like the Hover Icons to be placed within the body of the Palettes—with the presumption that the Color Palette’s Hover Icon would be in the dead center of it.

    Anyways, that’s the idea I had. Outside of somehow magically getting Sai to regularly recognize the upper button so we could do something with it, creating ruler and circle/oval tools, implementing perhaps some of these paintHack ideas for the eyedropper/color wheel/zoom, or getting Sai to more regularly recognize the right-click to Pan on my computer that’s about as far as I can think to take this. Oh, and I'll check out the Power Plan options you created later on and get back to you.

    BTW, re: right-click to Pan—it works very well on my computer currently, but ONLY if I reboot and open Sai to then work on it before using the AHK setup to work in other programs. It seems like later on, when I use Artrage or other programs, it no longer recognizes right-click to Pan in Sai—in fact, it’s like right-click doesn’t seem to be recognized at all, not even to use the Eyedropper. It’s like something is getting in the way, once I use the AHK setup in some other capacity. I’ll try and test it more, but that’s the off the cuff assessment. ????
     

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    Last edited: May 12, 2012
  19. lblb

    lblb Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    That sounds good. I really like this sentence:

    "Outside of somehow magically getting Sai to regularly recognize the upper button so we could do something with it, creating ruler and circle/oval tools, implementing perhaps some of these paintHack ideas for the eyedropper/color wheel/zoom, or getting Sai to more regularly recognize the right-click to Pan on my computer that’s about as far as I can think to take this."

    That's a pretty big "Outside of..."!!

    The new layout looks good. So would you replace the more recent small Sai layout with this one? or create another layout?

    The position of the hover icons in relation to their window can be quite easily controlled. I'll just have to see what works best for each window.

    By the way, I just today went back to the Firefox setup and "remembered" that there was the Mobility Center on there which you can use to do most of the stuff (volume, brightness, power plans) that you mentioned earlier (and it's also in the main toolbar menu). Instead, you would prefer having buttons on the AHK toolbar itself in Firefox? That would be pretty easy to do so no problem there. It would also be very easy to add these functions (and maybe other useful Windows settings, like, for example, the ISD window) to the Options Window.

    I'll see about the right click stuff. Now that there are a few "funky" things going on all at once, I'll have to test if the different functions are compatible with each other (e.g. maybe we have to turn off the middle button stuff in ArtRage to get a better right-click pan in Sai, this kind of thing).
     
  20. Steve B

    Steve B Moderator Moderator

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    Ha! I guess that is a pretty big "outside of" statement. Its just that those things seemed like either really BIG changes, or stuff we already tried but couldn't get to work.

    I hadn't thought of the Artrage middle-click screwing with Sai's right-click, but I guess it's possible. It definitely used to always work smoothly in Sai for me at a certain point in development, but stopped doing so some time in April. I'll also try and do more testing on this-- now that I know I can get right-click to consistently work in Sai if I reboot, the real question is what I have to do to make it not work.

    Re: the Mobility Center- I never knew it even existed, so I'll have to check that out.

    Re: small icon setup-- yes, in my mind this setup was replacing the current small-icon setup.

    Also, re: the zoom zoombar-- I think the comparative usefulness of this will be clearer once we reposition the Hover Icon for the Navigator. That may make the Navigator quicker, in which case it may just be a zoombar for the Resize button (if at all).

    Edit- in that same vein, it may be that having the Hover Icon for the Sai Tools Palette better located may also make using that faster.... Thus perhaps making the AHK Tools Panel unnecessary. I'll have to see once we start adjusting the placement of the of the icons. I could also try the Tools numbering system we have in the AHK Tools Panel on the Sai Tools Palette. That might help as well. Mostly, right now it's very very fast to see, understand, and choose the different tool shortcuts with AHK-- the icons are simple and readbable, the 1234 easy to compute fast, and I think we've done a good job placing the buttons and the spacing between the buttons to make them very easily readable in a moments notice.

    edit #2--
    Well, I did some testing about the right-click to Pan, and I just can't figure it out. I don't think it has anything to do with AHK, because if I open Sai after rebooting (and never open AHK) and use it (with right click active and functioning), and then close it and open it again, right-click suddenly won't work-- but ONLY in Sai. Reboot, and its fine again. ??

    I even tried deleting the program and uninstalling it, redownloading it, and reinstalling it and re-configuring the liscence. Still, the exact same response re: right-click. Even stranger is that, even though I deleted (I think) everything in the Zame/Paint Tool Sai folder, when I reinstalled it, certain setting were already "active" in the Others>Options menu. My eraser was automatically set to Shortcut and "E", and my right-click button is set to "right-click" instead of "default". ?? I feel like some sort of info is being stored somewhere that's affecting things, and I just don't know where it is.....

    edit 3-
    Unless you think some AHK thing is running in the background? or that some sort of change we made elsewhere (to the ISD settings perhaps?), to get the Middle click to work, etc. is affecting this...??
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2012

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