Toolbar Creator - v. 2.2 beta available for download!

Discussion in 'Software' started by lblb, Jun 27, 2014.

  1. reloaded

    reloaded Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Hello, I was linked to this thread by surfaceproartist and I want to start by saying thanks for creating this tool. I have recently purchased a Surface Pro 3 primarily to use as a digital art device. I primarily use both Photoshop and Zbrush (which I use for work also). I'm on the fence with Surface Pro 3 and really, really want to like the device. My main issue is that I hope to use it as a sketch pad with no keyboard. Previously I've used the EP121 with the Art Dock AHK tool. The ability to touch buttons on the screen while still using the pen is crucial. For example when doing color studies in Photoshop I use the alt button to sample colors as well as well as brush opacity and size in the flow of painting.

    After customizing and creating my own toolbar and icons, the test run didn't go so well. It seems that touching the buttons while using the pen doesn't work? Actually I couldn't seem to get the buttons to respond to touch at all, or not consistently. This would be such an incredible tool if it did! Unfortunately it seems there is no equivalent for Art Dock that runs on the Surface Pro 3 in the same manner? Is it possible to add this functionality to this tool? Another great feature of Art Dock is how when the pen moves over the Art Dock it "auto hides" allowing access to the software tools behind it. This is very useful for software like Zbrush where screen real estate is a premium and the menu is often placed over additional tools in the software menu.

    Unfortunately if I can't find an equivalent to Art Dock, the Surface Pro 3 is going to have to go back in the next few days as part of the 30 day return period. Which is kind of tragic because of how light and powerful this device is.
     
  2. ron2k_1

    ron2k_1 calibuchi Senior Member

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    This was not meant to work like the ArtDock. That's a totally different animal.

    Have you tried the ArtDock for Surface Pro 1 or 2? And see if it works on the 3? It's here somewhere so you'll have to do some digging?

    Sent from my GT-N5100 using Tapatalk
     
  3. reloaded

    reloaded Pen Pal - Newbie

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    I think I mis understood the intent of this tool then sadly. Yes I have tried the Art Dock from my Surface Pro 2 on the 3 and it most certainly does not work. Apparently because of the Ntrig input on the SP3 the original scripts that were written no longer work? It will take someone much smarter than me to understand it. I gave my SP2 to my wife. I know other artists are able to use it just fine (I know a few personally) but the screen aspect was a little too awkward for me.
     
  4. surfaceproartist

    surfaceproartist Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    It doesn't work on the Surface Pro 3. That's why we're pinning on hopes on Toolbar Creator.
     
  5. surfaceproartist

    surfaceproartist Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    I can't speak for lblb, who actually wrote it, but I don't think you've mistaken the intent of the tool. It's currently missing support for an AutoHotkey command that lblb plans to add. Once that's done, buttons should behave very similarly to the ones in old ArtDocks.
     
  6. lblb

    lblb Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Hi reloaded and surfaceproartist,

    First, thanks for the comments.

    Second, I don’t have Win 8 installed nor an N-Trig device such as the SP3 but on my Win 7 EP121 the toolbars from Toolbar Creator work great with touch provided that I use them correctly. This means that to use these toolbars with touch you need to first move the stylus away from the screen, and then you should be able to reliably use touch on the toolbars. If you do that, I think it should work just as well on your system.

    So if you move the stylus away from the screen, can you use the toolbars with touch? I know it’s not as great as ArtDock, but it can still be a very easy habit to develop.

    To be clear: This behavior where you have to move the stylus away before you can use the toolbars with touch is not a bug, it’s like EVERY single on-screen keyboard out there. This is just normal palm rejection that gives priority to the stylus over touch. The very notable exception to this, and the only one that I know of, is the script that Koide developed on which ArtDock is based.
    That’s what the beauty of Koide’s script is. In fact, using his scripts on Win 8 is kind of a cheat... In Win 7 where you can turn touch off and still use ArtDock with touch, it works great because touching ArtDock doesn’t steal the cursor away from the stylus (i.e. there is no palm rejection thing). In Win 8 where you can’t turn off touch the way you can in Win 7, ArtDock still works its magic even though touching it may steal away the cursor sometimes: in this case, ArtDock works not because you have touch active and the cursor is on ArtDock (that’s irrelevant) but because it does its magic like in Win 7. Any way, I'm just in awe of his Koide's work...

    In any case, as surfaceproartist says I’m currently working on updating Toolbar Creator. I’ve already included the touchkey function on the slider buttons, as well as horizontal slider buttons. I’ve also added a function that allows you to add (and customize the font of) a caption on any button. I am currently working on integrating the Designer module that is found as a demo version a couple of posts up.

    I haven’t included a function for the toolbars to disappear when the stylus approaches them, but that’s mainly because no one asked for that (and also because I think most users use the toolbars with a stylus). But if you feel that it would be useful, I can try to see if I can include it as an option that can be turned on/off. In the meantime, your best option is probably to assign a toolbar rollup function to any button (right now the arrow buttons in the default toolbars do that) and roll up the toolbar if you need to access something under it. Or maybe a toolbar minimize function to the tray icon.
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2014
  7. surfaceproartist

    surfaceproartist Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Post a link or it didn't happen. ;-)
     
  8. lblb

    lblb Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Ha ha!
    Yeah, it's probably wiser to shut up about future features until they're fully implemented... But hey, now you can perhaps be hopeful that some of these things will possibly be working the way you mentioned! (is this statement careful enough or what?)
     
  9. reloaded

    reloaded Pen Pal - Newbie

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    In my case Art Dock on the EP121 and Surface Pro worked differently, unless I'm mis understanding the statements. My workflow is to keep the stylus on the screen while touching the art dock buttons. It sort of has to be that way when you are using "Alt" as a "dock" button to sample a color when painting in Photoshop. So I know it works that way or at least it has in my experience and that was the beauty of Art Dock. Hopefully the image I've attached comes through. It's a color study done using this workflow.

    Unfortunately in my case, and probably a few other digital painters, using the pen to tap the buttons, or moving the pen away from the tablet doesn't help that much, because so many of the hotkeys rely on the interaction of a button pressed while a pen action is being performed. Another example would be in Zbrush you press "shift" to smooth the surface while sculpting, and "alt" to "push" into the surface while the pen is touching. I hope that makes sense.

    As far as palm rejection and turning off touch goes, that feature wasn't available on the Surface Pro 2 (or at least caused problems) and I could still paint. On the EP121 if I didn't turn off touch the main issue was that drawing lines could occasionally cause issues and button presses didn't always work reliably, but I could get by. When I did turn off touch using the toggle, it was smooth as butter with the pen on the screen and touching buttons. The fact that menu did an autohide when the pen was over was invaluable as well.

    With Toolbar Creator, I've also experienced issues when trying to move the pen away from the screen and touch the buttons on the SP3. I can maybe get one to work and then it stops. I cant get the sliders to work at all. I have the distance set to 40. Maybe that is too little or too much? I can't get it to work with the pen reliably either for some reason.

    That isn't to say the tool you've created isn't useful, and I understand I might be asking for features that are in the minority. I really wish I knew more about the code, but when customizing the AHK scripts for Art Dock, I did so based on code that already functioned on those platforms. When I broke it, it was easy to tell why. I apologize for hijacking the thread. I'm just so desperate to get the same type of interaction so I can just hold this light device like a sketch pad as I did with the heavier EP121.

    For now I guess I will be going back to my USB Raser Nostromo to program in the shortcuts. Hopefully someone as industrious and intelligent as yourself (smarter than me) uses the Art Dock in the same context and will be able to port it over, or something similar to the SP3.

    Driver.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2014
  10. reloaded

    reloaded Pen Pal - Newbie

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    I'm sorry, one minor correction. I guess the pen wasn't contacting the screen when I press "alt" in Art Dock. I lift the pen slightly from the screen, press "Alt" holding it down with my finger, then touch the pen to the screen to sample. Same in Zbrush. I press "Shift" first, then put the pen down while "shift" is still pressed and move the pen on the screen. But I didn't have to lift the pen far.
     

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