Photoshop toolbar

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

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  1. lblb

    lblb Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    That kind of discovery is very interesting... especially since they don't even mention it anywhere I think! I really like that in just trying to develop these AHK toolbars it has stimulated many important discussions/considerations about the different programs and how to use and customize them.

    I'll try to come up with a toolbar with Art Rage and SAI (two layouts) as soon as I can (but it's exam week in the course I'm teaching so I will be very busy).

    Edit:
    Oh, I just realized that I completely missed your post #79 yesterday. Thanks for all the info!
    I'll check for the fullscreen thing that you describe and see what I can do.
     
  2. Steve B

    Steve B Moderator Moderator

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    Oh, I agree-- one of the major benefits so far has been the fact that I'm really having to dig into the programs and their functions, and really think ALOT about how I currently use them and what might be more efficient ways to do so. I told my wife last night that even if the AHK stuff never really panned out, this has been a very useful and interesting process for me. I've used the misc file in the past to put the Navigator panel in a popup window, so I could blow it up in size and move it onto a second monitor, but I'd never thought about how to best use it on my tablet pc itself until this thread. So, that kind of "outside the box" mindset is cool, and clearly will end up being functional.

    Having said that, I definitely AM looking forward to see this thing enter a fully functional space, because I can see how it could help my drawing process really speed up. Some stuff, like Redo's, or the Lasso and Transform functions, were rather cumbersome before in Sai. Same goes for smooth zooming and panning. Of course, the layers and selection functions were quite cumbersome in Artrage. So each program has its issues that I hope this AHK toolbar will help alleviate.

    I wish I could somehow get the Color Panel to show up in the Fullscreen, like it does in Artrage. Sigh. I get one thing in one program (Full Screen Color Picker), and one thing in the other (Navigator in Full Screen).

    edit-
    I'm piecing together a rough mockup to better reflect this usage pattern in Sai, btw. I'll try and post it later today.
     
  3. Steve B

    Steve B Moderator Moderator

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    I was pondering the Lasso/Transform duo.

    I never use the Lasso tool unless I'm using the Transform tool. And clearly I never use the Transform tool unless I'm using the Lasso. Right? So, I wondered-- could these two tools simply share a button? Put a diagonal slash through it and shrink the two icons, like you do when you have an extra day in the month. I thought- hey, press the button and it toggles Lasso, hit it again and it toggles Transform, hit it again and it enters the Transformation and toggles both of them off (or perhaps finishing the transformation needs its own tap to enter it?? And then one final tap to release both buttons?). That sort of idea.

    Seemed like it might be a simple space saver. I'm not sure why I need two buttons for it. Perhaps if thatcomicsguy reads this, he can give some input on that.

    In the same vein, I wondered if one could combine the Tab and F11 functions (or if it's a good idea). They do very similar things. Perhaps if you tap the button like normal it does the Tab function. But perhaps if you right-click the button it does F11. That sort of idea. I'm altering the icon to sort of reflect that.

    .... Thought it just occurred to me that Sai does seem to have a bug about the Right click button. I was never able to get Stroke It to work on the lower button, for instance. It always invoked the Eye Dropper. I don't know if the same thing will happen with AHK???

    edit-
    I've attached two simple mockups-- both presuming I'm using the Navigator. Version 1 presumes the right-click idea works, and is a reduced size (as such, I took away the Tools on the left and reduced them to a 4-square on the bottom), and Version 2 is a similar size as before (assuming we can't get a right-click on a button to work as a second command). Hope these makes sense.
     

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  4. lblb

    lblb Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    That all makes sense! Unless that right-click problem that you mention with Sai is present (I'll test later), I shouldn't have too much problem combining simple functions into left-click/right-click combo buttons. I'll see what I can do.

    I lost a lot of time last night just trying to locate something foolish I did in the code, but otherwise the toolbars are coming along nicely. Now that this annoying issue was taken care of, it should be pretty straightforward (at least, right now, for me!) to put in the layouts for the different programs. A few cool things I've now set:
    - the time/battery power info can be accessed from the menu
    - a close option in the menu
    - the icon for the menu button corresponds to the active program
    - the toolbar now reopens where it was the last time it was used

    The lasso thing is next on my list. And then I want to take a closer look at what you posted in the last two days or so: there is a lot of potentially very useful info/concepts in there.
     
  5. lblb

    lblb Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Hey Steve,
    I was thinking about the Hide Layer command in Art Rage...
    Maybe I misunderstood what you were saying before but isn't that "Layer Visible" in the tools -> layers options menu? If yes, you can add a keyboard shortcut to it (it's the last one in the Layer Commands of the keyboard shortcuts).
    If that doesn't work, would a delete layer/undo button do the job? Or maybe a button that sets the opacity to 0% (maybe that would be possible?)?
     
  6. lblb

    lblb Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    In case you missed it, see my previous post above about hiding the layers in ArtRage.

    On with the explorations...
    I tried all I could to get the Sai color picker to show up in fullscreen mode but didn't really get anywhere. The problem is that even if you separate the panels individually (with PopupPanels in the ini file), Sai doesn't accept changes to only one of the panels (i.e. if you send a command with AutoHotkey to only one of the panels (which you can do because each panel has its own ID number), Sai just absorbs them all). So if I try to put on top or bottom only the color panel, then all of Sai becomes on top or bottom...

    The best I could do (which I guess may still be useful) is to have all the panels being detachable (with PopupPanels in the ini file) and then drag the not-so-useful ones to the bottom of the screen (there is already a scrollbar at the bottom so you don't lose any extra space; and once you've dragged them all the way down, you can actually shrink them a bit more to make them even less visible)... You can then add a shortcut to toggle the color wheel (and that can work with AutoHotkey) but it actually just rolls it up. So if you don't mind having the rolled up color panel always around, then you can have the color picker in full screen mode (and still be able to fully hide/unhide the Navigator with the AutoHotkey toolbar).
    (And you can always push Alt down to get the simple color picker.)

    And that Navigator is indeed really cool in full screen mode!
     
  7. Steve B

    Steve B Moderator Moderator

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    Re: Sai and Popups-
    Yeah, I came to a similar conclusion after messing around with Sai the other day too. I also tried out having all the palettes as pop-ups. It's clearly better than the normal setup, IMO, but it's still too much info for Full Screen on a tablet pc. I wish the color wheel could be brought up separately from the others, but it can't. Yes, you can toggle it on or off, but as you described it just rolls it up to the Color Wheel toolbar; it doesn't make it entirely disappear. Besides, you only get the option of having the Color Wheel as a popup in Full Screen if you let all the other Pop-ups be visible in Full Screen as well. That's not really acceptable to me yet. I might try and play with it more, but that's how I see it functioning.

    So, for now, I'm letting the other pop-ups go, and just focusing on the use of the Navigator Popup. It seemed the most useful and the most commonly used, and it was also the easiest to integrate into the AHK setup, because you can get it (and only it) to appear/disappear with a hotkey.

    That has its own mild problems when you hit tab to get the palettes back, because now the Navigator isn't docked when you're trying to do things like make a new layer, alter the layer textures, lock opacity, etc. I've started positioning the Popup Navigator a bit lower in the screen, about midway down on the right (basically below the AHK setup), instead of in its normal position, and this has worked pretty well so far.

    Re: Artrage-
    Yes, that's where the option is for hiding the layer. But I began to think about it more after that post, and decided I might be better served by having an AHK button to just bring the Layers Panel instead. The Layers Panel has instantly visible toggles for Hide Layer, New Layer, Layer Opacity, etc. And it lets me reposition the layers as well- something I'm commonly doing if I'm doing color work. Thus, I thought it'd be quicker if I could just open the Layers Panel, do ALL that stuff in quick succession, and then close it.

    I still need the buttons for Select Layer Contents, Invert, Deselect All, Stencils, Textures, etc. They're still not readily accessible, even with the Layers Panel. I'm mostly thinking about just replacing the Hide Layers button with a Layers Panel button. That's reflected in the Artrage v2 mockup.

    Hope that's all helpful.
     
  8. lblb

    lblb Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Here is a first attempt at putting it all together:

    AR_PS_SAI_SP_FF_v1.zip

    Only the ArtRage toolbar is done (no layers or tools subpanels yet) but I thought I would upload it so that you can test its main features and the different buttons while I work on the rest (and especially since it's a very busy exam week for the course I'm teaching). As I mentioned before, what took a lot of time in the last few days was to figure out how to put many toolbars together. But now that that's done, it should be pretty straightforward when I have time to adjust the layouts of the other toolbars.

    1) There are five toolbars (I haven't yet worked on the four others (not even Sai) so you shouldn't even bother trying to use them): see if you like how they switch from one another.
    2) When you switch toolbars using the menu, it doesn't activate the corresponding program but that's something I can easily set if you prefer.
    3) By default, it starts on the ArtRage toolbar.
    4) The first time the toolbar starts when you download it it should start at the top left corner of the screen. Then it should remember its last position when you reopen it.
    5) There is now a close button in the menu.
    6) You can see the time and power data by a selection in the menu. The data will open in a small window. I thought that this would be better for a quick look, and then you close the window. If you feel another way may be better, don't hesitate to say it! Also, this works well on all my computers, but for some reason on one of them it takes 2-3 seconds to retrieve the data. Is it instant on your computer?
    7) The toolbar works very fast but its loading time may be a few seconds. Later on, I should (hopefully) be able to clean up the code and make it start faster.

    See if all the functions on the ArtRage toolbar work. The arrows to call up the Tools and Layers subpanels don't do anything yet.

    For the Lasso:
    This is the one we need to decide what needs to be done. The way it's set up right now, the separate Transform button is completely unnecessary. Right now, the lasso tool works like this:
    - click once and it selects lasso
    - click a second time and it selects Transform (with Ctrl+Shift+Alt+t)
    - click a third time and it sends Enter and also Ctrl+D to deselect

    There is no command available (that I know of) that is the equivalent of "releasing the lasso" (if you know of one, just tell me!) So we can stop the sequence where it does right now (so you are back to lasso after 3rd click) or also have it select another tool (like the pen or something else) with the third click. Or we can keep it as is and you just use StrokeIt to select another tool. Can you think of a better way of proceeding?

    So if we keep the one-button lasso/transform/enter/deselect function, then then separate transform button becomes useless.
     
  9. Steve B

    Steve B Moderator Moderator

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    Ok, this seems to be working well. !!

    I no longer have the issues with the Rollup Arrow doing funky things to the toolbar. All the buttons seem to be working well- Resize, Zoom, Undo, Redo, Color Picker, Flip, Lasso, Rotate. Even the Right-click options to reset the Rotate and Zoom buttons work nice.

    The Straight Line has a mild but funny bug. It starts out looking like the other buttons. Press it and it still does. Use it, and then press it again it toggle off, and suddenly it gets the highlighted outline. The highlighted outline now permanently stays lit until you toggle the button on again, at which point the highlight turns off again. So that's a bit backwards.

    One other problem I was having was with Autohiding the Windows Taskbar. If I do that, in order to get a Full Screen experience in Artrage, the AHK toolbar then begins to intermittently hide behind Artrage after I use it. Sometimes, it'll work for a while, but then, eventually, it always ends up hiding. It would be nice if it stayed on top of the active program, regardless of whether the Taskbar was being hidden or not. Then I could use the whole screen. The AHK toolbar starts above Artrage, of course, until I use it. It's only once you use a few buttons that the toolbar goes away. I'll experiment more with it and see if I can get it to go away more consistently.??

    I put a new post in at the Artrage board about toggling off the Lasso button after that whole process, as well as a button or Menu function for making Artrage full screen. So I'll get back to you on that.

    I also will have to ponder what we might do with the extra button space if we remove the Transform toggle. ??? I don't see any way to condense the layout more... so that means perhaps another function would go there?

    I like that it doesn't shift automatically to Artrage when you open the toolbar. I'd be interested though to try out having it switch to the program if you shifted to the program in the AHK toolbar drop down menu. Have it sort of function as a mini-taskbar.

    Oh, and re: the Clock and Battery info in the AHK Menu-- could you just tap on the icon and it would be visible right there in the Menu, instead of having to tap on it, bring up a window, view it, and close the window? Thought I'd ask. Mosty, I'm looking for fewer button pushes. I do have to say that I really like that you just tap the active-program icon and the menu just pulls up-- I guess I was just expecting to have to right-click it or something. What you've set up is really nice, smooth, and functional.
     
  10. lblb

    lblb Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Thanks for all the comments, very helpful. I probably won't have much time to work on this before next week but keep on posting about ideas for improvements, bugs, modifications, etc.

    Below is v 1.1. Just replace the main ahk file with the one in the zip file and also replace the file named Clock_Power.ahk in the png subfolder with the one in the zip file.

    - Does the straight line button work better now?

    - I have now set the Power/Clock to show up when you right-click the Move button. And the Power/Clock window should now disappear if you hit OK or as soon as you left- or right-click anywhere on your screen.

    I will take a look later at the other issues, including those regarding auto-hiding the Windows taskbar (and by that you mean when you right-click on the taskbar, go in properties and select "Auto-hide the taskbar", right?)
     

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