AuthorTopic: I'm making a paint program, so useful tools, ideas and features required please  (Read 111013 times)

Offline Akira

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I agree with Ryu. When I wanna get an idea down I usually scribble with paint. The load time is quick, it takes up a minimum amount of space on my screen, these things make it perfect for quick sessions. If I wanna flesh something out I'll usually switch to promotion. If I was going to use your program it would need to start quick, take up the smallest amount of screen space possible, and then be able to be extended in to something as functional as promotion.
One thing I hate is the "New Document" dialogues on promotion and photoshop. Paint is perfect in that it opens with a new document on start up. The canvas can then be resized easily to suit whatever size you want.
thanks Dogmeat!

Offline surt

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One thing I hate is the "New Document" dialogues on promotion and photoshop. Paint [edited for accuracy] opens with a new document on start up. The canvas can then be resized easily to suit whatever size you want.
I agree with this. Minimal modality is key. Even if the canvas isn't the size the artist wants they can still get straight to painting and resize the canvas when it becomes a problem. You should never obstruct the artist for doing what it wants to do when it wants to do it without good reason. For example Paint requires the artist to switch to a different tool mode to pick a colour off the canvas after which the artist must again switch back to its previous tool mode while a better solution is to put colour picking on a mouse-button and/or key where it can be invoked instantly without interrupting workflow as found in GraphicsGale.

On a related note an unbounded canvas, such as found in Pencil, could be a good solution for this "just paint" ideal. I expect it is handled by tiling, only adding tiles as needed to fill the bounding box.

On a marginally related note being able to close your work session and resume it identically with all states restored (opened images, canvas view, window layout, tool context, selection state, etc.) at a latter time could be a very nice aid for the motivationally challenged artist.
« Last Edit: November 21, 2008, 04:16:27 am by surt »

Offline Ryumaru

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surt: you have a good point, but I think it might be a matter of opinion whether its better to have say the left click to draw and right click to pick colors rather than to be able to draw with color a with left click and draw with color b such as in paint.

Offline surt

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Ryumaru: I'm not disagreeing with you. When working on line-art or other two-colour art, not being able to paint different colours with both buttons becomes a hindrance. There's no reason you can't have it both ways though, for example: LMB - paint colour 1, RMB - paint colour 2, ctrl-LMB - pick colour 1, ctrl-RMB - pick colour 2

Ideally you could configure your workspace so you could have even more, attaching a separate tool and associated context (colour, brush, dither pattern, etc.) to any input event (keyboard, mouse, tablet, gamepad, etc. and combinations thereof), and so further reducing modality.

Offline Akira

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[edited for accuracy]
hahah! fair point.

I agree with full hot key configuration... but it should also work intuitively out of the box. This was my major qualm with graphics gale, although it was configurable, it was unintuitive to begin with. Hot keys should have logical default settings.

I hope I'm actually providing useful information here and not just being difficult :D
thanks Dogmeat!

Offline happymonster

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Well, no one program will satisfy everyone unless it is so super flexible that it can be made to look and feel like anything. We've already seen some people here prefer MSPaint, others Photoshop and no doubt many here will like the Dpaint/Promotion evolution..

Since design by a committee wouldn't work with such different ideas, I will try to incorporate suggestions and features where possible, but the 'vision' (as such) for this program will have to remain with me and give me the final vote on what to do or what to leave out.

Hope people understand that.. :)

Offline happymonster

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Well, it's the weekend so hopefully I will have more time to do work on this (after I fit my time around girlfriend and friends of course!) ;)

Earlier we talked briefly about complexity, which is a good topic. While Mspaint has a pretty simple interface, photoshops is complex and daunting. Is there a way to have many features without introducing a complex interface system? Perhaps by only showing parts of the GUI that are necessary for the current tool? And by tucking away less commonly used tool features into a seperate 'advanced' (or something similar) option?

What are your thoughts on this? How do other programs like PSP, Photoshop, ProMotion, etc.. handle this? :)

Offline dock

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Photoshop Elements has an interesting approach at simplifying the user interface. For example, I think the options are more top-level, rather than buried, and slightly bigger icons by default. 

Looking at software such as iphoto, garageband might be a good idea, as apple's software is designed to be much more accessible by beginners than other developers.

Offline Jad

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You can always download the free version of graphics gale and poke about. It has fully customizable hotkeys, a good thing since you can scroll through it and check out what features are available.

I think graphics gale has a nice and simple interface, everything you need is there without looking too obscure, just sitting down and painting something is as easy as (or easier than) doing it in paint in my opinion! O:
' _ '

Offline happymonster

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I used to have Graphics Gale in the past, but don't have it any more. I will check it out at some point for inspiration.. :)