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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    Yeah, re: Artrage-- its a shame in some way, because I love how pen friendly it is. They've really thought that element out. Its the same with Sketchbook Pro, which is also amazingly pen friendly. Why, for example, can I not put that little lagoon in the upper right corner? Why?? It would be so much nicer and helpful. Well, the same goes for Artrage-- why would I want to reach across my body and the screen to switch a tool? Why wouldn't I want to bind absolutely anything to a keystroke? I dunno. It bothers me more for those two programs than any of the others, because it's so clear that they actually really put a lot of time and attention into the GUI, and yet totally drop the ball on stuff like this, that seems pretty rudimentary in terms of functionality. You know, like, at a drafting board or a desk, how you can put a pencil here, or even over here? ::shock!::

    Anyways. Rant over. :rolleyes:

    Overall--
    1) The reason I had the Menu/Save/Move bar up top was so you could move the little thing out of the way after rolling it up. I wonder if there's an alternate solution, where we break up the arrows, and don't have them all on one row-- thus keeping the functionality of the AHK bar being mobile no matter what, and yet reducing its size? Sort of have Menu/ Master Up-Down Hiding Arrow/ Move buttons on top row, with something like Subordinate Horizontal Arrow 1/ Save Button/ Subordinate Horizontal Arrow 2 on the second row.

    2) Load time doesn't bother me too much. I'll ponder what I'd like in the programs you've suggested. Sometimes it's just hard to think outside of the box-- like, what could I actually do if I could bind things to a key?? I've just not thought about it much.

    3) I like the arrow methodology for sub button-arrays. It follows the same logic as the primary arrow, and yet they each point a different way when their palette is activated (i.e. each points outwards when active). Also, I thought we might need to use L and T somewhere else, and it might therefore cause confusion. On that note, I'd make the arrow icons notably different from the undo icons to avoid confusion.

    4) Re: Menu-- have it start in Artrage I guess. Perhaps it'd be just alphabetical for the Menu list?

    edit- I also wondered if you could have a "Close AHK" option at the bottom of the Menu list?? Seemed easy to do, and you wouldn't have to go into the Taskbar to do it. Plus, since it's in the pull down Menu list, you'd almost never do it by accident, so that issue is solved too. Also, will the icon on the Menu be the currently active program or a kind of "M"?

    5) Straight Line and Ctrl-- first, I think a toggle is the best option. You're exactly right, in that if you're making straight lines, you're doing it repeatedly. I think I'd ditch the timing for Ctrl. As for whether it should be labeled Ctrl-- my desire was to make the interface as consistent as possible between programs. Thus, for example, both Sai and Artrage have a straight line tool, but it's a different key in each program. Rather than having to remember which program uses which button, I figured it'd be easier to simply hit the icon, and the proper program-specific button would get pressed in the background.

    6) Right click in Artrage and 2 layouts- Well, the idea is that having the AHK sub-palletes be available (or rolled up, if one wants) was my way of having two layouts available in one setup, depending on the pen I'm using. If I have a two button pen, then I can use Stroke It for all the Tool commands, in which case the Tool Bar is rolled up. If I don't have that pen, then I'd like those tool commands available. That sort of idea. Does that makes some sense? I wasn't sure why this decision was tied to Artrage having a lot of right-click functions though...??

    7) Hide Layer in Artrage-- I'd never done this before, as I normally use the "Eye" toggle in the Layer Pallete, but if you go to Tools Menu > Layer Options > Layer Visible, you'll see a check next to it. Tap "Layer Visible" and the check will go away, and the layer will be hidden, but there's no actual "Hide Layer" button. I mostly use this when I color in a big area (hair, for example, or a face) with basic 100% opaque tool, then I select it, hide the layer, make a new layer using the selection, and I can then easily paint "within the lines" with whatever variety of shading/colors, etc. I'd like to use. It also works really well if you invert the selection, hide the layer, and make a new layer from the inverted selection if you're painting a background, for example. This would matter less if I painted opaquely, but Artrage and Sai paint with transparency, and I do digital watercolors, which are almost never opaque, so simply putting one layer on top of other doesn't really mask things properly for me. Thus, this methodology. Anyways, that's the function of the whole thing.

    edit- writing that up made me think. Once I'm done painting that, I'll need to Deselect All (Ctrl + D), and that's also in a pulldown menu. It's a big circle of functions. ....I think I need a Deselct All button.

    edit #2- I was also thinking about the potential Hide Layer button. I wonder if it'd just be more functional to have a Layer Panel button, and remove the Hide Layer button. Open the little Layers panel, and there you can easily make a new layer, move it beneath the other layer, and then hide the layer. All things that commonly need to be done, and don't really need buttons because they're all easily accessible without going into menus, etc.

    So, to make clearer-- I'm asking for the Hide Layer button to be replaced with the Deselect All button, and for the Layers Panel button to remain. This simpler setup is reflected in the v2 Artrage Mockup I've attached.

    8) Icons- I'll see what I can do. For the tools, I like the Artrage icons a lot. I find them easily understandable, and think they'd make sense in other art programs. Sai for sure. Is there a way to copy them, desaturate them, and redo them? Or is that opening up a ball of wax? For the layers stuff, let me ponder, and I'll get back to you. I was thinking simple text, but I like icons, frankly. I'd start with text and go from there-- I wouldn't let the lack of icons there slow you down.

    9) I also wanted noodle around a bit with the button arrangement. My thought is that the most used buttons should actually be at the bottom of the primary palette, as that's the middle of the screen, and the quickest to tap. Therefore, I'd move the Color Picker/ Eyedropper row (which I use a lot with color work-- duh!), and switch it with the Transform/ Lasso row, which I use much less. And since we're getting into true nitty gritty ergonomic stuff, I think Lasso should be on the left, and Transform on the right-- you always hit Lasso first, use it, then hit Transform second, use it, then (if Transform and Lasso are toggles), you'd tap Transform to release it and tap Lasso to release it as well. Seems like Lasso on the left would be a better fit. For what its worth... Look at something long enough, and you're sure to find some way to improve it!

    10) Secondary functions for buttons- I had a question. In Artrage, there's a button for Reset Canvas Rotation (Alt + D) and Reset Canvas Scale (Shift + D). I thought it would be nice if you could somehow integrate these functions into the existing rotation and/or zoom buttons. They don't get used much, but are a nice function. Like... say, tap the Rotation button, use right-click and rotate the screen like normal, but if you right-click while you tap the Rotation button, it would then activate Alt + D an reset the canvas rotation. Same for zoom. That sort of idea. Is that even doable? Or perhaps there's a different way to integrate these sort of secondary less-used functions with a button?

    edit-- I've uploaded a simple v2 mockup. It includes the moving around of buttons that we've discussed, with a few other minor changes-- I've removed the Eyedropper, which I almost never use, and have included a Flip Horizontally button, which I thought might be more useful. This is something that's not easily accessible in Artrage, and would be nice to have as a quick-strike kind of button. hit once, and it flips. Hit it again and it returns to original orientation. That kind of thing.
     

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  2. Steve B

    Steve B Moderator Moderator

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    Program specific ideas for setup--

    For Firefox-
    a) F11 is primary. I really like browsing/reading in Full Screen mode. An extra inch in height is nice. It causes problems though because command keys in the toolbar go away. A lot of this is solved with Fire Gestures and Flicks, but not everything. If I could set a few important things to be in the AHK setup, that would be quite useful. One very annoying bug in AHK is that, when you press a button, it makes the Taskbar appear even if you're in Full Screen mode. I'd really really like this to stop, as it makes Full Screen mode less useful. Can it be done??
    b) Hand toggle for Grab and Drag add on. This is in the tool bar, but if I could use F11 more, then it's invisible.
    c) A way to make the TIP appear? That would be really useful. I've heard of this being bound to a key, but I don't know....???
    d) a way to see the time and amount of battery power-- i.e. the taskbar-- briefly while in Full Screen mode? Ha! I dunno, I figure I'll ask for what I think would be most useful, and see what you guys can create. !!

    For Sai--
    Thatcomicguy's setup is a good starting point.
    1) There's no contextual Color Wheel, and the eyedropper is invariably linked to right-click and can't seem to be undone. It's some sort of bug. So no need for those buttons- I agree with him on that.

    2) You'll need Tab and the Hand, though you don't need them in Artrage. I'd place them down at the bottom of the primary panel so they're easily accessible. Tab on the left and Hand on the right. Tab, of course is just a one hit button. Hand, IMO, should be an on/off toggle like the straight line button, so you can easily return to the drawing tool you were using before you used the Hand.

    3) I'd use the Tool Resize icon and the Ctrl + Alt combo for tool resizing, rather than the 2 buttons thatcomicsguy has, personally. More fluid, and easier to move around to larger sizes. It also will give you the # of the size when resizing with the drag option, which is nice.

    4) I can't get the Rotation button to do anything currently in that setup. Idea?? I also don't know what the big white square does.??

    5) If you can get the taskbar to stop popping up in Full Screen mode, or if you can get the AHK palettes to stop going "under" the running art program when you press F11 to go into Full Screen mode, then it'd very useful to have an F11 button.

    6)I'd remove the eraser and paintbrush, and move them into a toolbar palette, as in Sai. I'd like it have 5 buttons, to sort of line up with the other 5 rows there would be in the primary palette- Eraser, Pen, Brush, Watercolor, Blend-- very similar (or even exactly the same) as in Artrage.

    6) 5 or 6 rows- Rotate/Straight Line, Lasso/Transform, Undo/Redo (set to repeat with 70 ms increments if held), Zoom In/Out (same as Undo/Redo), Tab/F11 (or Rotation??), Hand/ Resize Brush
     
  3. lblb

    lblb Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Thanks for your detailed answers Steve.

    Here are a couple of answers/comments for some of your points in post 71:

    1) I will put the Save button on the second row and then we’ll see if that’s a good setup.

    2)-3) Cool.

    4) A Close AHK option in the menu makes a lot of sense and it can be easily added. I don’t think it would be too much problem having the icon for the Menu correspond to what program is being used. I won’t try to implement that right now (as I’m really just working out the kinks) but just remind me if I seem to forget later on.
    Also note that I think it would be easy to associate hotkeys to do things like completely hide the toolbar, or restart it, or kill it. Maybe some of these could be practical in conjunction with StrokeIt.

    5) Cool.

    6) All good.
    For the pen issue: I think I just misinterpreted your “pen situation”. I thought that the other pen you had didn’t have a side button, which meant to me that you maybe couldn’t right-click easily (so the one-button zoom in Art Rage would be better replaced with the two automatic zoom in/zoom out buttons). But it seems it’s really that with the other pen you can’t use StrokeIt. I get it now!

    7) Good, I’ll see what I can do.

    8) I’ll put text on the buttons for now and we’ll see what we can do with the icons later. As I’ve seen with the EP121 AHK touch script, replacing text with icons can really increase the ease of use of something like this.

    9) Cool. Thanks for the new mockup.

    10) That shouldn’t be too difficult. The rotation button in version 4 of the Art Rage toolbar (see post #55) had a reset rotation function when you right-clicked it. Did that work?



    Here are a couple of answers/comments for some of your points in post 72:


    Firefox:
    a) I’ll see what I can do with this annoying behavior.

    b) No problem for Grab and Drag. Just tell me what is the toggle hotkey that you set in the Grab and Drag options.
    Also, with the EP121 script I developed an app to facilitate the use of Firefox. Maybe you may find some of the functions I included in it interesting for your needs. Take a look at pages 9 and 10 of the instructions here:
    RawInputControl_MultiPanel_2_Instructions_Dec_28.pdf

    c) The TIP shouldn’t be a problem. It’s as easy in AHK to send hotkeys as it is to launch files and programs. All I need is the path for your TIP. Click the Windows Start button and write tabtip.exe (don’t hit return, just let it look for the file). Once it’s found the file, right-click on it and choose properties. What’s the Location?
    Mine is here: C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\ink
    You may also find it if you navigate to something like here:
    C:\Windows\winsxs\amd64_microsoft-windows-tabletpc-inputpanel_31bf3856ad364e35_6.1.7601.17514_none_6fb51b358e21d75f\TabTip.exe

    d) I think that can be done quite easily. I’ll see what I can do.

    Sai:
    1)-3) Cool.

    4) This might be because you don’t have the same hotkeys as thatcomicsguy. He posted the ones he’s using on post #44.

    5) I’ll see what I can do. I’ve observed that a few times in Photoshop also. Weird, and very annoying. My temporary solution would be to pin the file for the toolbar to the Windows taskbar or to put an icon in the system tray to allow quickly restarting the toolbar.

    6)-7) Cool.
     
  4. Steve B

    Steve B Moderator Moderator

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    Ok.

    Artrage-
    1) Yes, the right-click on Rotate button does reset that. A very nice, and simply executable, feature! This would be nice to have on the zoom button as well.

    Sai-
    1) Still can't get rotation do do anything in Sai. I dl'd thatcomicguy's final version. Didn't do anything for me. I tried tap-tap-tap to rotate in increments, tap and drag to rotate, tap and right-click drag, tap and hover-drag, tap and right-click hover drag. Nada. Still don't know what the big white square does either.
    2) If the F11-- i.e. Full Screen makes AHK dissapear-- issue can't be resolved, then I guess I'd go for rotation, assuming we can get rotation to work instead.
    3) For Sai, I just noticed there's a button combo (Ctrl + B) to bring up the Navigator-- the very well done, PS style zoom and rotate box. I was wondering if I could make this stay up after I hit Tab (to make the palettes go away), if I changed something in the ini file. This is a great little tool that reminds me a lot of the compass in Artrage. It does everything I'd want for zoom and rotate, and it's natively built to the program. If we can get it to work when the palettes are hidden, that'd be a nice coup IMO. I'll try and get back to you on this.
    4) Yes, the hide-all arrow on thatcomicguy's version works perfectly.

    Overall-
    I also like that if you accidentally tap the icon for the program in the AHK Toolbar in thatcomicguy's final version, it doesn't startup that program and automatically send you to it (this was happening in an earlier version I believe). Now, it takes you to the program if its open, but otherwise leaves you alone. That's nice. It's more informational than anything else. I'm not sure how things were going to work with how the icon relates to the menu you're creating, but I wouldn't mind it just being informational.... with ONLY the pull down Menu actually creating an action. That sort of idea. Wasn't sure, so I thought I'd mention.

    edit-- I've attached a first round, sample mockup for Sai. This sort of idea. I'll be heading out again for the rest of today, so I'll check back in much later, if you've got more questions or things to share.
     

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  5. lblb

    lblb Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    For the buttons that don't work in Sai:
    I think in post #44 thatcomicsguy is saying that you have to go somewhere in Sai and set the different tools to have the hotkeys that he describes. Then the buttons on his toolbar should work.
     
  6. Steve B

    Steve B Moderator Moderator

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    Ahhhhhh..... Will try later then. If so, then it's probably "Rotate by increments". Clearly better than nothing, but if I can get the Navigator to float even when Tab or F11 is hit, that would be even better, since they're both very smooth-- essentially like having a Zoom bar and a Drag to Rotate function.

    Note- one post up I've added a Sai V1 mockup for you to use.
     
  7. lblb

    lblb Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    I don't have time to upload something right now but I'm pretty sure the problem with the toolbar disappearing when toggling full screen is now solved. And I've found a way to show the time and battery power. More later!
     
  8. lblb

    lblb Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    In your mockup v2 for ArtRage:
    - Which one is the flip horizontal? And is that the equivalent of pushing and holding down h?

    In your Sai mockup:
    - What's the command for straight line?
    - For pen resize, is it Ctrl+Alt down with left click dragging?
    - I'm guessing there is a second top row with save and two arrows?
    - I'm confused: Is full screen F11 or Tab? What's the button to the left of F11?
    - Are there commands for reset size and reset rotation to put as right-clicks?
     
  9. Steve B

    Steve B Moderator Moderator

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    Hey, that's cool news about figuring out the Full Screen/AHK Taskbar Hiding problem!! When you get it in Full Screen, does the Windows Taskbar flash onto the screen briefly every time an AHK key is hit? That's one of the other things I think it was doing before...??? Another very annoying habit that makes Full Screen a pain with the AHK setup. If those two things are ironed out, that's big news to me, because it means I don't need to compromise with my screen real estate to use your AHK creations. !!

    On my Sai mockup, Flip Horizontal was the icon with two arrows, one on top of the other, each pointing in a different direction. It's on the actual Sai toolbar, just below the menus up top, and so I just used their icon. You don't need to hold it. You just tap it and it flips the screen. Tap it again and it flips back. Good for hunting out drawing mistakes.

    Straight line is Shift in Sai. You need to hold it down. You press it, and wherever you set the pen down, it draws a straight line between that point and wherever you last touched the screen. Not perfect, but it does ok. Keep it held down and tap the screen somewhere else, and it will draw a new straight line to that point, etc etc. Lift up Shift, and you start drawing like normal again. So I guess it needs to be a toggle button, like in Artrage.

    For Resize, it's Ctrl + Alt and then Drag. No need for other clicking. This just needs some sort of timed release that's long enough to let me get my stylus on the screen after taping the AHK button. Then, as long as it stays "pressed" till I lift the pen, all is good. I think you had this working well in Artrage, right?

    As for the second top row of 3 small buttons-- I couldn't figure out where to put things. I've never been able to figure out the Selection process in Sai, plus Sai's so good at setting up textures tool by tool without having to go into menus, that I don't need to use things like Artrage's "Stencils" and "Layer Textures". That's changed the way I do color work in Sai. The result? I don't use all the layers commands the way I do in Artrage. Therefore, no need for the extra arrow. After that, I couldn't figure out where to put everything. :D A save button still sounds great, but I couldn't figure out where to put it.... ???

    Tab hides the panels (color, layers, tools, navigator, etc). F11 hides the Windows Taskbar, and then hides even the Sai drop down menus if you press it again. I press Tab all the time while painting, and occassionally press F11 when I'm setting things up or multi-tasking. The button to the left of F11 in my mockup is the Tab button-- I stole it from thatcomicguys Sai AHK setup.
     
  10. Steve B

    Steve B Moderator Moderator

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    Also, I've had an interesting breakthrough while experimenting with Sai and it's panel layout last night and today.

    If you open your Sai folder (type Sai in the search bar> right click Sai> find location... I had a helluva time finding it the first time, because it's not in your Program Files), and then open up its misc file (aka, the configurations file), here you can easily set up a number of basic layout models be either putting a "0" or a "1" in a few given fields. It's a text file, and so is super easy to figure out. I put a "1" in the PopupNavigator line, so that the Navigator is now a separate, mobile, small window. Using Ctrl + B, I can now bring up just the Navigator while in Full Screen mode.

    To me, this is super super useful. The Navigator is well done, IMO, and has a slider for zoom, a slider for rotate, reset buttons for both, and a small navigable panel that allows you to pan the full-sized canvas. Being able to use this while in Full Screen mode is one of the things I was wishing to be able to do in Artrage. Now, I really can do it in Sai.

    Setting up, and being able to hit a single hotkey button to open and close that feature is awesome news because it frees up and simplifies the button arrangement in the Sai AHK toolbar. To me, you wouldn't need a Rotate button, either Zoom button, the ability to reset either, or even the Hand. Just a Ctrl + B button, with "Nav" or "N" on it to open that panel.

    Perhaps this is an example, though, where it would be good to have, like you suggested, two different versions of the Sai AHK setup to choose from in the Menu? One with the Navigator Window as a popup, taking up the need for and removing those commands from the toolbar, and one where you still have zoom, rotate, etc. in the AHK toolbar. ??

    I'm also going to post in the Sai forums about the Selection and Layer functions, so perhaps I can find out more about its capabilties, and if there are functions I don't know about yet that I'd like to set to key commands.
     
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