AuthorTopic: rendera (free paint app)  (Read 9649 times)

Offline Decroded

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Re: rendera (free paint app)

Reply #10 on: July 14, 2015, 01:42:15 am
Yes, I think that would help a lot.
prepare urself!  :lol:

Offline joe_7

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Re: rendera (free paint app)

Reply #11 on: July 18, 2015, 06:52:00 pm
Is there a way to pan with the mouse without switching to navigation view, just pull the canvas across the viewport? If not then that would be very important for me.

I implemented this today as the default middle button operation. (The full navigator comes up with shift+middle.) Thanks for the suggestion, it's a lot better this way!

Offline Vagrant

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Re: rendera (free paint app)

Reply #12 on: July 21, 2015, 02:23:10 am
Here's my suggestions. (Or should I say, -wishlist- for the most efficient Pixel Art program I could ever imagine?)

Now, instead of birthing a bunch of fat paragraphs that would most likely achieve nothing, I decided to go with the classic Pixelation way, edits and mock-ups. There's no better way to get messages across.






I'll begin with what I found. Overall, this version was fully un-usable for me, testing on a Cintiq. The screen was too cluttered, it was sluggish to change between tools (Time was wasted in long trips and menu back and forths), and as such, a frustrating program for any efficient drawing of any kind.

So here's my suggestions to fix pretty much everything:







I'll tackle this image by parts.

First things first- Normal click inputs a drawing stroke, which is applied when the click is released, like in every other drawing program. That whole confirm render stroke issue needs to go, as it only wastes time. Usually, Undo is what you use to revert pretty much everything.

Space key opens up a customizable pop-up menu. Right Click activates the Colour Picker. (These two functions take the two buttons on my Cintiq pen, and are the most useful and essential.)

Just like in Graphics Gale. This pop-up menu is incredibly efficient and allows for tool changing in less than a second, for the experienced artist. The key here is customizable, it really allows this to adapt to pretty much anyone. I think a basic rounded list should be introduced as a place holder when opening the program for the first time.
Colour picker. Probably one of the most used functions in pixel art, and deserving the greatest shortcut. Right click seems a natural option, like it's done in Graphics Gale. One just can't live without this.


Top Menu. Tabs for open files. It's incredibly convenient. Eliminate everything else from here, as it makes the layout too charged, and there can be better places for both the zooming options (Tool options) and grid ('Image' top menu).

Tools window. Along with Painting, Palette, and Preview, these windows need the option to be free to drag around anywhere. Dockable as well of course. Otherwise, the whole interface feels too rigid. We artists need freedom here!
I put a number of tools there that are used frequently. Select tool, lasso select, magnifier, they all go here.

Painting window. It's reduced to basic pixel brushes, their size, as well as pixel textures (A feature in Graphics Gale). The latter can be optional, but it's very useful sometimes. Those are the essentials. Anything else, like the solidity levels as well as any other features one might want to add, should be able to be hidden away in a tab, to free space off the interface and add it to the actual drawing.

Palette window. Added primary and secondary colour options. Also, the ever-useful RGB slider, with buttons to click right away with your drawing pen, as to avoid touching the keyboard. Everything else seen here is more of an optional thing, and should be able to be hidden away under tabs if so the user prefers.

Preview window. It's simply too vital in pixel art. Should have many zooming options, with at least 50%, 100%, 200%, 300%, 400%.



And that's about it. Here's a sample configuration I would use, to serve as an example:
Everything I need would be there, and the tools in the tools window I would place in the Spacebar menu, for speed and convenience.

Less is more. But in drawing, less interface means more un-obstructed drawing. ;)



 
« Last Edit: July 21, 2015, 02:39:44 am by Vagrant »

Offline Vagrant

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Re: rendera (free paint app)

Reply #13 on: July 21, 2015, 02:28:47 am
Here's a full-screen configuration, along with some extra notes on it's workings.

The thing about working on screen tablets like the Cintiq is that you want to use as much screen space as possible, and the presence of sidebars and top menu bars have the potential to become undeniably annoying. This fullscreen view is meant to be clean, pure, and perfect in that it's not an obtacle nor an eyesore.

Here, Auto-hide can be used to get 100% of the screen purely for your drawing.












If anyone wants to add to the suggestions and features, I'd be much appreciated.
« Last Edit: July 21, 2015, 02:50:05 am by Vagrant »

Offline joe_7

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Re: rendera (free paint app)

Reply #14 on: July 21, 2015, 05:55:20 pm
Some great suggestions (and the images help a lot), thank you.

The overall interface seems to be the most glaring issue, so I intend to work on that first. Probably multiple document support after that, followed by the various bells & whistles.


Offline Vagrant

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Re: rendera (free paint app)

Reply #15 on: July 23, 2015, 12:36:49 am
I think that when it comes to pixel art programs, everything is pretty much figured out already, with the likes programs like Graphics Gale and ProMotion. There's not really much room left for new features or innovation, but where there's a sure potential is on interface design and workflow optimization.  ;) It's crazy how these programs still look like a primitive Windows XP application with almost no regards to workflow.

Ideally it'd be best to factor in the preferences of the community around these things... And take the best of both programs, merge them into one ultra sleek and simple retouching and sketching concept, and it's sold.

Animation, and frames is I think too much at this level and perhaps unnecessary, this being the other two program's strong points.
Maybe later, once the main interface is out of the way, you could consider animated gif editing with preview.


Also joe_7, check your PMs.
« Last Edit: July 23, 2015, 12:52:52 am by Vagrant »

Offline yrizoud

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Re: rendera (free paint app)

Reply #16 on: July 23, 2015, 09:14:52 am
It's crazy how these programs still look like a primitive Windows XP application with almost no regards to workflow.
People don't want to learn anything new, so any program which tries to stray from the principles of Windows 3 user interface gets a cold shoulder.

And there are many possible control schemes, so any UI optimized for a specific one will be much, much less usable with the others :
1) mouse with 2+ buttons
2) mouse with 1 button
3) electro-magnetic resonance stylus (ie. Wacom-style)
4) resistive touchscreen (single touch)
5) capacitive touchscreen (multi-touch)

For example, see the radial menus experimented in Inkseine in 2009, they are genius idea for TabletPCs which all have wacom-style stylus. It's a pity TabletPCs have been nearly forgotten since.

Offline joe_7

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Re: rendera (free paint app)

Reply #17 on: July 27, 2015, 01:21:54 am
Got some floating windows going. For now I re-used the old panels for testing purposes, but it's a good start. Round or polygon shaped windows should be possible with a little extra code, if needed for something.

Also rewrote the palette code so that it renders swatches optimally into a window of any size. This way the user can decide on the size/dimensions based on their needs.