Request for direct pixel manipulation lasso/selection mode

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Herbert123
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Request for direct pixel manipulation lasso/selection mode

Post by Herbert123 »

I am aware I requested this a number of times before in the past 8 years, or so. I was hoping it would be implemented by now, but that is sadly still not the case.

Perhaps I haven't clarified well enough why this is so important to have in an image editor. In short, without an option to manipulate pixels with lassos/selections directly:

- it would take thousands more clicks and actions to work on pixel art or bitmap based GUIs
- in many cases small edits (such as moving a bunch of pixels or a selection of the image) take more time: cut, repair background, move, merge. Generally in Photoshop and other image editors (Krita, Corel, etc.) it is just one move. Select, move.

The other day I had to move and copy letters in a transparent bitmap layer to "write" a new text using the existing letters. This turned out (again) to be a chore in PhotoLine: draw a rectangular lasso/selection around a letter, cut or copy it in a new layer, move it to the new position, merge it with the original layer.

It took so much time that I decided to use an old version of Photoshop for the job instead (and I really dislike Photoshop nowadays).

Here is a user testing PhotoLine and encountering the same issue and explaining why a user would want to work this way:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U3vwtYHrPJg

In PS create a selection, move the selection and/or alt-move to copy the pixels. CTRL-T to transform quickly. Very easy and effective.

And try achieving these simple moves in PhotoLine:
https://youtu.be/GDfDWwaO79w?t=106

Too many convoluted steps are involved.

Generally in pixel art or bitmap-based game/GUI graphics directly manipulating pixels is an action performed thousands of times every week. I regularly have to switch to other software because of this one single missing option.

But this is also very handy for high-res 1bit inks and scanned graphics. Just select and move/copy/transform stuff without the need to go through extra steps of having to create extra layers and merging these. Or just quickly select and move (and duplicate) pixel selections in one step.

Let me state this in rather strong words: PhotoLine is in its current state one of the most powerful general image editors, yet I can barely use it for these type of jobs! It takes far too much clicking and/or keyboard shortcuts to perform a simple pixel manipulation move.

I would imagine this to work like so:
direct_pixel_manipulation.png
All Lasso/selection tools are equipped with a new mode that allows the user to:
[1] select and move pixels
[2] hold down ALT to duplicate the selection and when the selection is dropped the pixels are merged in the active layer
[3] allow the user to transform the selection in this mode without the need to switch to the Layer (Q) tool.

Please consider implementing this. It would save SO much time and allow PhotoLine to be used for these kind of jobs as efficiently as other image editors.
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shijan
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Re: Request for direct pixel manipulation lasso/selection mode

Post by shijan »

Same a before i am join to this request. Some button toggle (or checkbox) for direct pixel manipulation lasso/selection mode could be very useful in many situations.
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Juan
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Re: Request for direct pixel manipulation lasso/selection mode

Post by Juan »

+1
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Re: Request for direct pixel manipulation lasso/selection mode

Post by shijan »

It all could be done in same way as it works with Photoshop. No need any additional modifier toggles or UI changes.
- Create Lasso.
- Switch to "Layer Tool".
- Now you can move only pixels inside Lasso.
- Empty pixels after movement are automatically filled with Background color.

If there is no lasso - whole layer is moved normally as usual.

If add some sort of special toggle to switch between normal PhotoLine layer movement mode and direct pixel movement mode, probably it is more logical to add it in "Layer Tool" but not in "Lasso Tool"

ImageImage
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Herbert123
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Re: Request for direct pixel manipulation lasso/selection mode

Post by Herbert123 »

I would be fine with any way this is implemented at this point :)

A lasso mode or the Photoshop way - either is great. As long as it is resolved, because it is the single most frustrating thing to deal with (in my work at least).
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Re: Request for direct pixel manipulation lasso/selection mode

Post by shijan »

I followed link from YouTube video to forum thread started in 2015 http://www.pl32.com/forum3/viewtopic.php?p=36159#p36159 and it looks really strange that this option existed earlier in PhotoLine but was removed in version 16.10.
Why remove existing option from the tool instead of add on/off toggle, so users can choose preferred way to use that tool :?:
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Re: Request for direct pixel manipulation lasso/selection mode

Post by Herbert123 »

Correct, it was possible in earlier versions it seems. The Hubers mentioned that at the time when I first asked for it.

I understand the advantages of the current workflow for layout purposes and a less destructive way of working, but often I (and others who I have referred to PhotoLine) just need to quickly copy/move pixels around. And it becomes incredibly frustrating to have to work with layers then.

Both workflows have their merits depending on the job and context. I really hope at least an option to switch between the two behaviours will be possible to implement going forward.

In the past 7 years I have had responses from other designers that they would be interested in PhotoLine, but that this workflow issue is a non-negotiable showstopper and stops them from using PL for their work.

Ironically enough because of this small workflow issue PhotoLine is unsuitable for (efficient) pixel art creation. Even though PL is one of the most powerful pixel pushers ironically enough I can't use it for simplistic pixel editing because PL drives me up the wall :lol:
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Re: Request for direct pixel manipulation lasso/selection mode

Post by NoSi »

Code: Select all

I am wondering why screws hold so badly when I drive them into the wall with a hammer. 
Should I ask the manufacturer of the hammer if he can install a switch, 
so that I can drive screws in with the hammer? 
Of course, if I have regularly bent nails in “screwdriver mode”, 
I might be annoyed and ask the manufacturer to remove this mode.
Maybe, I better should by screwdrivers.
I think that there are quite good reasons to offer only one method for basic actions.

For me, it is one of the advantages of PL that a selection is automatically copied into a layer. It is one of the reasons I prefer it to other tools.

Have you tried setting the background colour to the image background, cutting/pasting lasso and “flatten image”, to go ahead with a single layer?

It is hard to believe, for me, that positioning the lasso (→ STRG X STRG V), move it around and “flatten” it (with a shortcut that can be individually assigned) should be a “showstopper”.

I admit that “pixel creation” never was and is a relevant part of my work. If so regularly, I would use tools especially designed for that. The comparison video (PS vs. PL) is in my opinion comparing apples and oranges: If you prefer the workflow of PS you should use PS instead of being annoyed that PL does not support the workflow exactly the same way.

The already existing options in the lasso settings make it rather complex enough, in my view. In a switchable, fundamentally different behaviour (apply to a newly created layer vs apply directly to the selection of the active layer), I cannot see any gain from a general point of view. If anything, it risks making it even more difficult to use for a large proportion of users.

There is no doubt that I love PL for its many possibilities. Nevertheless, it regularly makes me despair because I know that something is possible but have forgotten how. To show my understanding to your wish, I freely admit that just the small differences in some basic functions compared to other programmes are both a curse and a blessing.

But in general and especially for new users, it is less the lasso behaviour, that is a hurdle, than the fact, that there are already “many roads to Rome” within PL. In addition, there is a multitude of functions, some of them very special, which are hidden in the depths of the programme and have probably never been used, even discovered, by many users.

I don't think PL was meant to be “another PS clone” or was developed as such. It is a serious alternative.
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shijan
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Re: Request for direct pixel manipulation lasso/selection mode

Post by shijan »

NoSi wrote: Sun 10 Jul 2022 14:12 I don't think PL was meant to be “another PS clone” or was developed as such. It is a serious alternative.
It is not option special to Photoshop. Affinity and most other image editing apps works with lasso in same way.
Sometimes copy/move/paste/flatten works OK, but sometimes it is just huge waste of time and not efficient. So why don't have both options and let user chose which one to use?

Anyway, it is in 23.40b10:
Ebenenwerkzeug kann Auswahl mit Inhalt verschieben, Doppelklick setzt ab, Alt liest neu und ohne zu löschen aus
Layer tool can move selection with content, double click sets off, Alt reads new and without deleting background
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Re: Request for direct pixel manipulation lasso/selection mode

Post by NoSi »

After I have written my comment, I accidentally stepped into this mode and was surprised. I can see the advantage in some circumstances.

For me, the "old" solution with layers offers much more options (rotate, scale, skew,…). The new mode intrudes my work in a unexpected mannor. I often place a lasso and switch to layer tool for editing. Now I have to delete the lasso, otherwise I accidentally destroy the current layer – which can cause without notice in the background:
layers.gif
(The colors are heavily distorted due to the file size limitation.)

What happens? I want to move the image layer to arrange it with the layer in front (not the best sample I ever made…). But the image still holds the lasso which is fixed to the layer (not sure, if this was same before).

Irritating: The lasso is shown in front but does not interact with a vector layer (try to cut/paste…).

I see the options but as well I see various possibilities with which a user can get hopelessly lost in the variety of finely accentuated operating differences.
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shijan
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Re: Request for direct pixel manipulation lasso/selection mode

Post by shijan »

Sure lasso can't work with vector layers in same way, because it is for raster layers only. It moves pixels. Vector shapes have no pixels.

Not sure what is the real life need to move layer with turned on Lasso. Disable lasso (Control-D) and move layer. I personally suggested earlier to add an option in preferences to turn lasso manipulation on or off. So users can choose which mode to use.
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Re: Request for direct pixel manipulation lasso/selection mode

Post by NoSi »

shijan wrote: Mon 11 Jul 2022 14:10 Sure lasso can't work with vector layers in same way, because it is for raster layers only. It moves pixels. Vector shapes have no pixels.
It's a logical thing: If a lasso can interact with a pixel layer, why doesn't it interact with a vector layer with the same behaviour?
PL is able to intersect vectors. If a pixel layer can be cut with a lasso, a vector layer can be intersected by a lasso, moved, combined – in result it is the same process.

At least it would make GUI more transparent because meanwhile it can be hard to understand (or predict) in which circumstances a tool leads to which result, depending on switching from one tool to another, pressing keys, … .

We beta users should always bear in mind, that PL is not made for our minority but for those using it not every day for hours and shall pay for it (very relevant for Computerinsel). Even for updates. Therefore, the program should have a “straight forward” strategy for “general users”, that grants predictable results under any circumstances with a used tool.

Different behaviour in “visually” same situation is anything but “straight forward”.

Maybe that »moving layer with turned on lasso« is not part of your life. But: Have you thought about, how I stumbled over this?
Anyway, it is possible to put a lasso on a vector layer without moving it around, which is currently absolutely useless.
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Re: Request for direct pixel manipulation lasso/selection mode

Post by shijan »

PhotoLine is a Raster and Vector tool. There are lot of other options available for Raster Layers that are not available for Vector layers.
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Re: Request for direct pixel manipulation lasso/selection mode

Post by Herbert123 »

I agree with @Nosi that it might be confusing to users when a selection does not work the same way with vectors.

I am not sure if it would be possible to implement, but it would be extremely useful and forward-thinking if a selection/lasso would cut a vector shape similar to a Boolean. In some 3d software and with some plugins it is possible to do exactly that: use on-screen selections to cut and move parts of the 3d model. Like a quick effective boolean.

(btw Flash can do this, and in my experience user really like that workflow with vectors almost behaving like a bitmap layer - I know I do: it is one of the most useful features of vector editing in Flash)

I'd love to see that implemented for vector/text layers in PhotoLine. It would allow a new way of editing vector shapes but drawing selections and chiseling away at a vector shape.

Like with bitmap editing and selections: in one case it is preferable to work with layers, in another case with editing the bitmap directly. With vector shapes I love the non-destructive Booleans, but I definitely see the advantages of manipulating vector shapes through the use of the lasso tool as well!

PS I am hopeful to see full transformation handles implemented for selections in layer tool mode.

And I agree with @Shijan that I too see little practical use in moving the layer together with an active lasso/selection. In fact in all my years as a designer I have never thought of making us of it while working. It is distracting more than helpful in my opinion.\

That said, the behavour of the layer tool could be decided by a preference setting.
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Re: Request for direct pixel manipulation lasso/selection mode

Post by shijan »

NoSi, even if for some special reason you need to keep current lasso and use layer move tool, you can just temporary disable lasso by this button.
Image

Herbert123, using lasso to cut parts form vector shapes sounds like interesting idea.
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