Taction, A Touch-Centric Art Panel [Version 4.0.0 - Radial Menu Support]

Discussion in 'Software' started by FlameStream, Oct 1, 2017.

  1. FlameStream

    FlameStream Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Taction is an input panel that is designed to be used with touch, focusing on artists' needs.

    [​IMG]

    This is a personal project that I've decided to publish to get a bit of early feedback. Being a hobbyist artist myself, I'm currently using it with Clip Studio Paint and iterating over it to fit my needs. Hopefully it will be useful to other people around here.

    Features
    The main features are the following:
    • Mouse/Pen/Touch differentiation
      • The panel only responds to touch input. On mouse or pen detection, it automatically hides itself and lets you click on anything under it. As touch-designed buttons tend to be big, this actually doesn't remove any precious screen space.
    • Simultaneous Touch+Pen Handling
      • Inferred from the above point. The panel lets you use touch and pen input while working. A typical usage is an eyedropper button; Holding down that button would enable the eyedropper tool and let you pick colour at the same time with the pen until you let go of the button.
    • Radial Menu
      • For those that prefer to have an invocable tool overlay
    • Fairly customizable with little requirement
      • A full layout can be made with a single JSON file. If images or custom font is wanted, they can be grouped into a bundle file for simple distribution
    Downloading

    The application can be downloaded from


    Upon launching an icon will be added to the Notification area (aka tray area) and display the default panel. You may edit the provided layout.json file and load it through the right-click context menu of the notification icon.

    [​IMG]
    All options are through this menu.​

    Known Minimum Requirements
    • .NET Framework 4.6.1 (Comes with Windows 10 November 2015 Update)
    Tested On

    Surface Pro 4
    Windows 10 Creators Update 64-bit
    CLIP STUDIO PAINT​

    Questions
    • Does it work on other digitizers? (Wacom's Tablet PC, etc)
    Contributing/Future

    You may place any feedback in this thread or at
    A roadmap of short-time feature/fixes can be found at

    Things to come
    • Visual UI maker
    • Radial menu/layout

    Known Issues/FAQ

    About: Photoshop
    Unfortunately, simultaneous touch+pen operation does not work on Photoshop. This seems to be a limitation with Photoshop; It will react erratically if touch and pen are handled at the same time, resulting on being unable to use held down virtual key. This behaviour can be tested by holding touching an area of Photoshop with a finger, hold the [alt] key on a physical keyboard (or any other key, say [e]), and try to draw with the pen at the same time; you will notice that Photoshop will not process the pen. This does not happen on CLIP STUDIO PAINT.

    Modifiers cannot be used with CLIP STUDIO PAINT as "hold" button
    However! Hold buttons can be used with space or any other keys, like letters. I will try get in touch with Celsys to see how this can be fixed, as this is a peculiar inconsistent behaviour.

    How do you temporarily use eye dropper using a hold button on CLIP STUDIO PAINT?
    This requires a little bit of setup. First, to be able to use touch+pen simultaneously, you'll need to make sure that the application uses "Tablet PC" drivers found under [File] > [Preferences] > {Tablet Tab}

    upload_2017-10-1_20-41-33.png

    Next, enable the tool shift feature under [File] > [Preferences] > {Tool Tab} and set the delay to 0 ms. This will make it so it returns back to the previous tool as soon as the shortcut key is released. To permanently switch to another tool, simply click on the wanted tool.

    upload_2017-10-1_20-42-47.png

    And you're done! The eye dropper is set on the key by default, which is what the default layout provides. Note that you may also temporarily switch to the eraser tool too! (shortcut is [e], also provided) No need to use the other side of the pen anymore.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Nov 8, 2017
  2. FlameStream

    FlameStream Pen Pal - Newbie

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    A new version has been released, with main focus on customization. It may be downloaded from


    For those with a bit of computer language skill, you may right away start creating your own colourful layout. It may be as ridiculous as the one portrayed below on the right. As demonstration, I've also provided my own personal configuration [available here], previewed on the left. Note that the ctrl and shift buttons are "togglers".

    preview-sm.png demo-sm.png
     
  3. lblb

    lblb Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    @FlameStream

    Looks like this could eventually become a great tool for artists and others! Congratulations for your work and best of luck with further development. Having developed the now ancient Toolbar Creator, I have an idea of how fun and challenging this kind of toolbar system can be to develop. I look forward to seeing how and where you are going to take this project.

    As an aside, I very briefly tried the first version on my VAIO Canvas Z but didn't get far because using the toggles that you had set as default completely froze the toolbar in either Clip Studio Paint 5 or Photoshop CS6. But I'm sure that with feedback from other users you'll be able to figure out these issues. Good luck and have fun! Thanks for your contribution!
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2017
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  4. WillAdams

    WillAdams Scribbler - Standard Member

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    Loaded it onto my Samsung Galaxy Book 12, and it looks quite nice, and seems _very_ promising. Ignores pen input. Problem is getting it to come back if it hides (allow swipe in from the top or bottom corner? nearest corner?)

    Keys which I need to add for Freehand:

    ` (acute accent, under the tilde (~) key)
    alt/option

    and various keyboard shortcuts, esp. ctrl alt d (power duplicate), ctrl z, x, c, v (undo and cut/copy/paste)
     
  5. FlameStream

    FlameStream Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Thanks for the comment and encouragement! As you have guessed, getting the initial thing to work was pretty challenging. It felt pretty nice to see things go past the many roadblocks.

    As for the freezing issues, I have yet to reproduce them yet. I have some ideas of what might have happened, but knowing how frequent it happens would be a good start for me to attempt a fix. If you're still interested to run it again, if it happens again, could you try if the keyboard/mouse is still responsive? The program may have created an error.log file that can be found at %LOCALAPPDATA%/taction (simply paste that into file explorer). Providing that log may be most helpful.

    Thanks for the feedback! The panel should come back if you move the pen/mouse away from the panel. There used to be a bug where this would not always happen, but version 2.0.0 should have improved that.

    As for the requested keys, that can be done by adding the following entries to the item list:
    Alt toggle key:
    {
    "type": "toggle",
    "size": 40,
    "content": {
    "type": "text",
    "value": "ALT"​
    },
    "command": "MENU",​
    }​
    Tick (`) hold/free key
    {
    "type": "hold",
    "size": 75,
    "content": {
    "type": "text",
    "value": "Tick (`)"​
    },
    "command": "OEM_3",​
    }​
    For those wanting to create their own command, the full list of valid input can be found at

    The full file that you can load into the app that includes your requested keys in the default layout can be found at

    Please feel free to ask for any changes or attempt to make changes.
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2017
  6. WillAdams

    WillAdams Scribbler - Standard Member

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    Thanks! The ` worked fine.

    Control, alt, and shift don't work as I'd need in Freehand, since I need for them to register during a mouse-down event --- would that be possible?
     
  7. FlameStream

    FlameStream Pen Pal - Newbie

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    I see what you mean. It seems that the panel won't in fact detect any touch input if the pen is first put on the screen. I'll investigate on the possibility of fixing that.
     
  8. FlameStream

    FlameStream Pen Pal - Newbie

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    A new version has been released with focus on extended style support. It also came with a few bug fixes and some breaking changes.


    Patch Notes
    • Introduce default style
      • It is now possible to set up a base style for buttons; If your buttons share many properties, defining in them in these new sections would save you a lot of time. You may override all/parts of the properties by setting the style on the exceptional properties themselves.
    • Introduce active style
      • It is now possible to define appearance of buttons when it's set to an "active state".
    [​IMG]

    • Add colorize support for image brush
      • With a single image, it is possible to change their color in text. This is possible through the colorize property of image type color texture. Works best with white transparent png.
    [​IMG]

    • Release all keys on exit
      • If a toggle button has been holding key down, exiting the application should release all these held down buttons.
    • Restrict layout version number loading
      • The app no longer attempts to load old layout due to possible breaking syntax changes. The layout should be converted to continue usage. A conversion tool is available to assist.
    • Detect key toggle external cancelling
      • Toggle buttons now visually untoggle itself when the state of the key changes by somethign else than the app; If a CTRL button is toggled on, and that you press on the physical CTRL button to nullify it, the app will reflect that.
    • High-DPI desktop awareness
      • The app clips to the desktop screen, but failed to do it properly in high DPI settings. This is now fixed.
    • Add font-weight support
    • Type values are now case-insensitive
    • Add config converter project
    • Add layout name to notification icon tooltip
     
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  9. FlameStream

    FlameStream Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Version 4 is out.
    Download available at https://github.com/flamestream/taction/releases/tag/v4.0.0

    IMPORTANT: This is a major version release. Therefore, old layouts will have to be adjusted for further usage. As always, a converter tool is available.


    Patch Notes
    • Introduce Radial Menu
      • It is now possible to invoke a radial menu with the new radial-menu item. These options behave like tap buttons, meaning that the input is sent without delay. This works well with Clip Studio Paint if you set the Tool Shift setting to 1 or 2 ms; You can have a hold button on the toolbar to do temporary switches and a tap or radial-menu item to permanently switch to the tool instead.
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
    • Mover item has collapse functionality
      • Previously, the panel could only be hidden by clicking on the notification icon, which is a little cumbersome when trying to do that with touch. Now, tapping or clicking on the mover item (without moving it) collapses the panel.
    [​IMG]
    • Introduce Update Checker
      • Stay up to date with notification of new versions being released. Of course, you can choose to opt of of the reminder for every new releases.
    [​IMG]
    • Added opacity property support
    • Added rounded corner support
    • Added more customization to panel window/frame
    • Fixed: Default layout will now correctly be loaded on next launch if it resetted a bundle layout.
    • Fixed: Fix possible crash occurring on exit
    Things to Note
    • Annoying pen hover issue over radial menu after invocation
      • If you invoke the radial menu with touch while the pen hovers over the screen, the pointer position will not be detected. This is unfortunately a bug at OS level. You can still tap on the menu item with the pen. To get the position tracked again, lift the pen away from the screen and put it back near it.
    • Touch detection while pen is active on screen
      • At this time, Windows cannot do touch and pen input at the same time. So those hoping for modifier keys are out of luck. I hope this will be possible in the future but it seems like a big endeavor and likely low in their priority list. EDIT: Nevermind, it may be possible in the future, but note that not all hardware is capable of such thing for now: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/wi...delines/simultaneous-pen-and-touch-validation
    Coming Up Next
    The application is at a level that I can personally use in my art sessions, so it is considered basic feature complete. Big updates like the last ones are going to be rare from now on. Though I am always open to suggestions and responsive to bugs.
    • New icon! It's obviously a placeholder
    • Global key for radial menu invocation (will probably let me able to do hover selection ala Overwatch)
    • User-controlled UI scaling
    • Layout builder (web application)
    • Language support (starting with JP)
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2017
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