Small request Rotate layer tool

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Herbert123
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Small request Rotate layer tool

Post by Herbert123 » Sat 13 Jun 2020 00:58

I am scanning in technical drawings at a high resolution. These must be precisely straighened, and to do so I set up some guides along the straight edges.

Then I snap the rotation point to one of the guides. So far, so good.

Next, I need to rotate the layer to straighten it. This is where I run into an issue:

The drawings are large: 1200ppi scanned, up to A3 size. The section I need to zoom into does not allow me to grab one of the corner handles without zooming out. But I need to zoom in up to pixel level to straighten the drawing exactly, often to 1 or 2 pixels.

But this doesn't work: it's grabbing a corner handle, and work imprecisely with trial and error, zooming in and out, retrying, and so on, which is a very ineffective method of working.

Lucky then that PhotoLine has a nice Layer Rotate tool. Or so I thought: the tool will not respect the rotation point that I set for the layers. So it always rotates from the center out, which is not workable.

The Angle setting in the Layer properties isn't very helpful either: dragging those values will not update the rotation in real-time, only when I let go. And besides, dragging jumps between larger values, so it is impossible to work precisely with it without typing numbers.

So now I am a bit stuck to an awkward trial and error approach: zoom out, rotate a bit. Zoom in, check. Zoom out again, rotate once more. Check again zoomed in. Or type very precise values in the rotation field. But I just want to be able to rotate precisely when zoomed in with the rotation point that I defined.

My request: would it be possible to add an option to the layer rotate tool that it will respect the rotation point?

Thanks!
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shijan
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Re: Small request Rotate layer tool

Post by shijan » Sat 13 Jun 2020 01:25

Or how about add some Key modifier(s) + mouse scroll wheel to be able rotate object :?:

P.S. Transform/Rotate mouse controls are not the best part of Photoline UI. I requested some improvements here viewtopic.php?f=1&t=6297&start=90#p47400
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Herbert123
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Re: Small request Rotate layer tool

Post by Herbert123 » Sat 13 Jun 2020 06:52

I agree - your idea to allow the edges to transform the object is a great idea. It won't work though when zoomed into a large layer.

In that regard I love how Blender solved it: press a key and transform. Hold down shift for more precise control. Enter a number to numerically control the transform action. Click to confirm. Obviously dedicated transform tools are offered as well, but it is absolutely wonderful when working with objects. It is also a very quick and efficient way of working.

Sometimes 2d design applications could learn a thing or two from how 3d apps handle things.
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Gerhard Huber
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Re: Small request Rotate layer tool

Post by Gerhard Huber » Sat 13 Jun 2020 10:58

I don't understand your problem.
If you are not able to understand how the rotation function works, you can use the straighten tool:
straighten.png
If you want to try to use the rotation tool, there are some commonly known things, for example a preview is only shown if you activate the preview:
rotate.png
Another feature of this function is, that you can draw a line in your picture and PhotoLine will calculate an angle to make this line horizonal (or vertical).
If you place the mouse on the text field and use the scroll wheel, PhotoLine will change the angle by 0.1°. Press the Shift key to change the value by 0.01°.
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Juan
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Re: Small request Rotate layer tool

Post by Juan » Sat 13 Jun 2020 17:47

The problem is that the Rotate Layer doesn't respect the Rotation Point, it always rotate at the center of the layer.

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Herbert123
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Re: Small request Rotate layer tool

Post by Herbert123 » Sat 13 Jun 2020 22:02

I think there is a bit of confusion about which tool I meant. PhotoLine offers multiple methods to rotate a layer/document.

A] The straighten tool

Image

The straighten tool is unusable for me for 2 reasons:
1) It works on the whole document only. I need individual control over individual layers.
2) it works too direct on the canvas: click, drag, and release. No option to zoom or pan the viewport before the rotation is applied.
3) after applying it, no way back to change settings. It is destructive.

WIth this approach and tool, I would need to zoom into a high resolution image, set the first point, then zoom out and/or pan the view and zoom in to set a second point, and then rotate, with the option to make small adjustments before applying.

This is not possible with the layer straighten tool. It is too direct, and too destructive. It is not possible to adjust the line before applying it, or to zoom in and out and pan the view while using it. Good for quick overall imprecise Photo straightening, but not for precise adjustments.

B] Menu: Layer-->Rotate Layer dialog ALT-R
This function is not usable for me, because it ignores the custom rotation point that I set with the layer tool. It is also destructive, and I need to check things in more detail before applying.

Rotating with the layer tool Q

This option works only when at least one of the corner handles is visible in the viewport. I need to straighten the layer using a specific section zoomed in. I set a custom rotation point in one section of the drawings, then move to another section in the drawing and zoom in. The corner handles are not reachable now. I cannot rotate the layer without clicking a corner handle.

The only option is to zoom out, but then I cannot work on a precise pixel level and it becomes trial and error, as explained before.


The rotate tool in the tools menu
rotate tool.png
This tool is a bit hidden: it is found under the Q Layer tool entry in the tools panel.

This would be the PERFECT tool for my needs: it is non-destructiv, so small adjustments can be made while checking the result. It works on a layer. It works when I zoom in to the second point, and it is easily adjustable. When zoomed in, the tool becomes more precise. There is no need to use a corner handle: just drag in the viewport. It is also real-time and direct when dragging the mouse in the view.

In short, I really like this tool for the work that I need to do.

But it is missing one crucial option: it ignores the custom layer rotation point that I set. Which means this tool is unusable for me. Close, but no cigar.

The Layer properties Angle input field
This option does respect the custom rotation point. But it is difficult to work with the field precisely:
1) while it is possible to hold down the CTRL modifier key to drag a value, (1) it does not update the view in realtime while dragging, and (2) it is impossible to work in smaller steps while dragging. (And (3) this dragging method cannot be used quickly multiple times, because it will then select the angle/text in the input field)
2) Frustratingly enough, none of these layer property fields (position, size, scaling, angle, skewing) will respond to cursor arrow up/down or shift up/down to change the values. This is very inconsistent with the rest of PhotoLine's GUI. All other fields in other parts of the GUI work like this - only the Layer properties do not, it seems.

It does work with the scroll wheel - but not everyone actually uses it that way, or may not have a mouse with a scroll wheel.

3) the shift + scroll wheel option turned out to be too imprecise to work with in my case. The steps were still too great.

The solution

PhotoLine offers many methods to rotate a layer or document (there's another option to automatically straighten an image in the Image menu!). To accommodate all use(r) cases:

1) add an option to the Rotate Layer dialog and Rotate tool's Tools settings to respect the custom rotation point.

2) allow the user to use the cursor keys (shift) up and down in the Layer Properties transformation fields.

3) update the straighten tool to add a new option to allow the user to set two points precisely before applying the command. Click one point, zoom/pan the view, click to set a second point, then click a straighten button in the tool's settings. This should be an option, though: the current "drag a line out and rotate when released" option is still useful for quick photo adjustments where precision is unwanted or unnecessary.

(1) and (2) would pretty much solve the paper cuts for me. (1) is essential to have.
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der_fotograf
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Re: Small request Rotate layer tool

Post by der_fotograf » Sat 13 Jun 2020 22:07

The »Straighten« tool is really great and very precise, you should give it a try.
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shijan
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Re: Small request Rotate layer tool

Post by shijan » Sat 13 Jun 2020 23:12

You can control this by middle mouse button mouse drag. But yeah, it is not too interactive. I think we just need assignable hotkey+mouse scroll or hotkey+mouse drag for this option to quickly control rotation from any position. This could be really unique and useful option.
Image
Last edited by shijan on Sat 13 Jun 2020 23:42, edited 2 times in total.
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shijan
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Re: Small request Rotate layer tool

Post by shijan » Sat 13 Jun 2020 23:36

By the way, "Rotate Tool" don't works in 22.40 Beta7 on macOS. It only creates layer copy with rotation setting applied. Is it a bug or am i do something wrong?
Image
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shijan
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Re: Small request Rotate layer tool

Post by shijan » Sun 14 Jun 2020 01:51

Here is the strange (or special) thing - to use SHIFT+scroll wheel in Layer Tab, you need to click on the field first.
Next you can just use Scroll wheel for rotate, SHIFT+Scroll wheel to slow rotate, or SHIFT+Command+Scroll for fast rotate.

In most other tabs and tools Scroll wheel works just when you hover the numeric field, but not click to it first.
ImageImage

So i guess it would be really nice if SHIFT+Scroll wheel to slow rotate, and SHIFT+Command+Scroll commands for layer rotation worked globally from any document point.
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Herbert123
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Re: Small request Rotate layer tool

Post by Herbert123 » Sun 14 Jun 2020 05:39

shijan wrote:
Sat 13 Jun 2020 23:36
By the way, "Rotate Tool" don't works in 22.40 Beta7 on macOS. It only creates layer copy with rotation setting applied. Is it a bug or am i do something wrong?
Image
Does dragging in the view to rotate work for you in Macos?
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Herbert123
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Re: Small request Rotate layer tool

Post by Herbert123 » Sun 14 Jun 2020 05:42

der_fotograf wrote:
Sat 13 Jun 2020 22:07
The »Straighten« tool is really great and very precise, you should give it a try.
I have tried it, as I explained earlier. It is not precise enough for me: the parts that I must align lie far apart in the high resolution drawings, which means I either have to zoom out and use the straighten tool without the precision I need, or zoom in but it becomes impossible to align the parts with the straighten tool.

Which is why I suggest that the straighten tool receives some improvements as explained above.

I also tried the automatic straighten command, but that only works on a document, and still does not give me any control that I need.
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shijan
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Re: Small request Rotate layer tool

Post by shijan » Sun 14 Jun 2020 08:07

Herbert123 wrote:
Sun 14 Jun 2020 05:39
shijan wrote:
Sat 13 Jun 2020 23:36
By the way, "Rotate Tool" don't works in 22.40 Beta7 on macOS. It only creates layer copy with rotation setting applied. Is it a bug or am i do something wrong?
Does dragging in the view to rotate work for you in Macos?
Yes, dragging in the view works )
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shijan
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Re: Small request Rotate layer tool

Post by shijan » Sun 14 Jun 2020 08:15

Go to Layer properties Tab
Click on the angle field area.
Use Scroll wheel for rotate.
SHIFT+Scroll wheel to slow rotate.
SHIFT+Command+Scroll for fast rotate.

It is fully interactive and it respects custom rotation point.

Image
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Herbert123
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Re: Small request Rotate layer tool

Post by Herbert123 » Sun 14 Jun 2020 09:37

Yes, that works. But as I explained earlier, even with holding down shift the steps are too large to be of use. I really would love direct visual feedback using the tools panel rotate tool. If that would respect the layer rotation point, that would be perfect: the more zoomed in, the more precise the rotation can be controlled by simply clicking and dragging the mouse cursor in the viewport. And super smooth visual feedback with which I can easily match the guide lines I set up to ensure perfect alignment on a pixel level.
/*---------------------------------------------*/
System: Win10 64bit - i7 920@3.6Ghz, p6t Deluxe v1, 48gb (6x8gb RipjawsX), Nvidia GTX1080 8GB, Revodrive X2 240gb, e-mu 1820, 2XSamsung SA850 (2560*1440) and 1XHP2408H 1920*1200 portrait