A few remarks from 1. time PL user

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Xyzzy
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A few remarks from 1. time PL user

Post by Xyzzy » Thu 05 Oct 2006 10:16

Actually I don't expect anyone to answer! Just let the programmers know how 1st time user sees PL

Hello!

I am demoing PL13 now. Here are my impressions. I can be wrong about some things, because I have yet to explore this application thoroughly.

User level: intermediate (I hope) amateur.

1. Boy, this application looks outdated! They could really make buttons flat, because these ones are simply obtrusive. And a set of icons not looking like straight from Windows 3.11 would surely be nice! Bonus point for enabling mono interface.

2. Open window- no EXIF preview. In browser OK, except that values should be highlighted red, not value names! RAW importer- no fast way to magnify to 1:1 and back :( I wonder what these value in CLUT->Color group box mean (surely no RGB values)- no tooltips. Pretty OK here.

3. Toolbox- I really prefer "click once to display avaliable tools, click again to select tool" paradigm.

4. Preview of font typefaces in font selection combo, no problem with entering national characters. Bonus point here.

5. Help- missing icon before text "The picture file is write-protected."

6. What is HIS color space? Google knows nothing about it, neither does help (in practice)! And it's even in unsharp mask dialog!

7. In dialogs- no easy way to skip between 100% and fit to window magnification! Or am I missing something?

8. Why Levels is called Histogram correction???

9. WHERE IS CURVES? Help says to double-click curve field. I cannot find it, probably user error here. But WHY IT IS NOT IN A MENU???

10. Tool, Filter, Effects menus. I try to guess what they contain without looking inside. I pretty well succeed. Bonus point here.

11. Lightning effect- this is supposed to be a joke, right? Should be called "Branching lines". Does not look like any lightning I've seen.

12. Lights- step in a good direction. Now look at Picture Publisher's 8+ (RIP) Lighting Studio to learn how it should look like.

13. No gradient fills of texture fills? Bad.

14. As for sub-pixel unsharp masking (some user asked about), a quote: "Photoshop doesn't carry out any operations on 0.4 of a pixel -- the pixel is indeed the fundamental particle in digital imaging -- it just uses the sub-pixel values to decide how much weight to give to the surrounding pixels." So, does PL support sub-pixel radius in USM all in all? I would be also nice to see it in Highpass or Gaussian blur.

15. Drawing filter- preview is displayed for the whole image, not the selection it is applied to. Not resizeable dialog box- bad :(

16. Why Effect dialog boxes are not resizeable and Filter are? "Resizeability" item in lower right dialog corner would be nice.[/b]
Last edited by Xyzzy on Thu 05 Oct 2006 11:44, edited 1 time in total.

Xyzzy
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Post by Xyzzy » Thu 05 Oct 2006 11:03

17. Resize is named Scale and Resize canvas is named Change size :O

18. I try to add frame to a 120x100px picture and every time I end up with canvas resized two times??? And Picture dialog is not automatically resized to new cavas size. Seems some strage layers are added in process?

19. Good news, I've found gradient and Texture fills. Right before my nose. But. Gradients are called Blends :)
Last edited by Xyzzy on Thu 05 Oct 2006 11:16, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Xyzzy » Thu 05 Oct 2006 11:15

20. I don't move vector with Moving hand tool, but with Layer Tool :O

21. Is there any Document manager around? Hard to work with many images.

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Post by Xyzzy » Thu 05 Oct 2006 12:55

22. From the help "This can increase the memory usage for a bitmap dramatically, because bitmaps only use 1 Bit per pixel, but alpha information 8 Bit in this case. This means: if an alpha channel is created for a bitmap, the image layer will need 9 times the memory it needed before".
Well, for me it's true for black-white image, pretty rare these times.

23. Bonus points for running from USB stick, minimal after-evaluation period limitations, fast program start.

24. Adjustment layers are called Working layers for some reason

25. Help typo: "The Speckle Blend-dialog ->allowsI<- to define a"

26. I've found curves :) But what curves list is good for, where I seemingly cannot apply a curve to image? DnD to image- no, DnD to layer palette-no...

27. I wonder if "lasso" means both lasso tool and selection in PL.

28 I like Gallery.

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Hoogo
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Post by Hoogo » Thu 05 Oct 2006 13:35

Cool idea for a first-time-user to write a kind of diary, keep going :) When I switched from PSP6 to PL32 I stumbled upon some of these points, too, but forgot them after a while.

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Post by DJJohnson » Thu 05 Oct 2006 15:01

This reminds me of my own 1st-time attempts at using PL32. I was having a heck of a time trying to find where my usual editing tools were. After I made allowances for German to English translation, and forget the typos I read right through them anyway ... I started to dig into the heart of this mini-beast. :-) I'm still learning, but it's worth every hour spent trying to figure out what works in which way.

Sure, the interface isn't the shiniest and fanciest I've ever seen. And there's an awkward tool translation here and there. But I don't care about that. I'm more interested in what it can actually do. I'd rather have a dependable lack-luster $2,000 car that can go 110 mph at 60 miles per gallon than a fancy sports model for $60,000 that guzzles gas at 5 miles per gallon and only goes 70 mph. I figure that in time the interface will perk-up as more folks get involved with supporting this software. Helping to proofread, help with translations, help test new releases and submit bug reports. From the activity on the forum here it doesn't look like too many people are helping the author(s).

There's few (very few) photo editing tools out there that fully support 16-bit, all RAW formats, and will allow you to fully work (each channel) in 4 different color-spaces, while handling full color-management on top of all that. For all it can do in less than an 8meg download ... I don't know how anyone could not be impressed. Bloatware this is not.

Keep on digging into that software Xyzzy. Each time you'll find out more and more that it can do, its capabilities seems to never end. And as for that lightning-effect, maybe you need to play with the adjustments for a bit. Default settings are what you saw. Tweak a few settings and you can get some pretty neat effects. Do you expect everyone to do everything for you? :-)

I'd tell you where to find all those tools and options that you seem to be missing, but that would ruin the "Ah-HAH! I figured it out!" effect for you. You've only touched the visible part of the iceberg. Those "curves" you found are part of that iceberg. This program reminds me of those clever and concise Japanese lock-boxes, every direction leads you to a new panel that you didn't notice at first. With nothing wasted. Programming proficiency at its finest.

p.s. I think I recall the HIS color-space naming convention from long ago in some other software I used once. It stood for Hue, Intensity, Saturation. I suspect this was a hold-over in some of the tools from earlier times. Today that color-space is known more commonly as HSV.

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Post by Xyzzy » Thu 05 Oct 2006 15:06

29. Tool settings for automatic lasso- untranslated "glaetten"

30. How can I select basing on hue- standard "magic lasso" in other apps?

31. Is Darker/Brighter on main toolbar just specifically named Burn/Dodge?

32. Somehow I feel that Text properites bar (the one with font name, size etc.) stuck and doesn't change to selected tools properties... Or all settings are avaliable in Tool settings? Why this properties bar is named Layer settings? BTW, all the time I work on a single bitmap layer.

33. Repair brush - intensity settings means preserve luminosity or what? Cannot find anything in help :( This green painting and then applying effect is quite misleading. What can be the purpose?

34. OK, I know, Curves are named CLUT. WHAT? :O This application plays hide-and-seek with me :/

35. No stamps with photo objects included. Pity. I wonder if it's possible to use PSP picture tubes someway.

36. Browsing help, trying to tell the difference between lasso and selection. Well, no success so far :(

37. OK, I've found re. 30- almost. Authors of PL have put a significant effort to be as different from other software as possible. What if I want select basing on hue without creating mask? Why created mask is not displayed in layer manager?

38. I don't get this Autotransparency. It should generate mask, while it does- what?

39. I think this is enough, maybe another time. I've used quite a few graphic applications in my life, none afair being so specific as PL. Pretty sure it's powerful, but I don't feel like re-learning half of what I know.

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Post by Xyzzy » Thu 05 Oct 2006 15:24

Xyzzy wrote:Pretty sure it's powerful, but I don't feel like re-learning half of what I know.
At least right now 8)

X.

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Hoogo
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Post by Hoogo » Thu 05 Oct 2006 19:39

Lol.
Reminds me of my own experiences. I've been using PSP from 3.12 (?) to 6, I have tried PL32 twice in that time. Each time the usage has driven me crazy, but on the other hand some features did not leave my mind...

I'm using Pl32 for about two years now. I got used to that bitchy "features", I love the good parts of it, and still there are lots of functions to discover.

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Post by Xyzzy » Fri 06 Oct 2006 11:07

34. Got "difference" between lasso and selection (using Layers palette options). Lasso is selection and selection is, actually, a "lasso" promoted to layer :/ Proof: using lasso and Automask I mark two areas. Then I use Convert lasso to layer and BOTH these items create a new layer... Can you spell CONFUSING?

35. Back to Autotransparency, according to help "The Autotransparency is similar to the Automask (chapter 6.3.6). The main difference is, that it doesn‘t create a mask but a transparency channel chapter 2.3.2". OK, so why in Channels palette I don't see A(lpha) channel?

36. Using outlines (ie. Curve List) for different things like brush definition is interesting and nice.

37. In benchmark drop down list there are items in German.

OK, so now some wider scope.
PL is now at version 13, and it doesn't appear every other month, so it means that it has pretty long history. It should be pretty polished in many areas by now.
Someone compared PL to good, reliable car. That's right, but this car has stools instead of seats and driving wheel taken straight from a toy car. It is still great car in many ways, but you suffer when driving any farther than the next block.
Let's talk (sample) concretes now.
-(deleted complaints for lack of interactive curves modification, because I've found it :/)
-No before/after view for image modifications. Come on, it's 21st century.
-Terrible naming problems. If you find it confusing too, why it hasn't been changed versions ago? PL is commercial application, and this looks to me like the authors are actually not that interested in selling it.
-Lasso/selection turmoil.

No use to continue. If you need PL capabilites, PL is the only alternative to paying $$$ for Photoshop. I don't. I just want to process my images getting good results. I can do pretty well & easy with my current editor. Maybe it hasn't got USM in Lab, but I can get results close enough for me.
Sure PL has more features to discover, but the ones that should be there in the first place- aren't.
And price for results in PL, paid not in money but in time and fatigue, is too high for me.
Had I more money, I maybe would buy PL to support its development, but I don't.
So bye bye PL, "all that has gold's weight is not gold", to paraphrase a proverb.
Last edited by Xyzzy on Fri 06 Oct 2006 11:33, edited 1 time in total.

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Gerhard Huber
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Re: A few remarks from 1. time PL user

Post by Gerhard Huber » Fri 06 Oct 2006 11:32

Xyzzy wrote: Actually I don't expect anyone to answer! Just let the programmers know how 1st time user sees PL
Also my English is not so good, I will answer most of your suggestions, because one of the most advantages of PL32 is that you will get answers.
I am not shure if I can answer all points because at the moment there is the new version 13 and I have very much to do.
Xyzzy wrote:1. Boy, this application looks outdated! They could really make buttons flat, because these ones are simply obtrusive. And a set of icons not looking like straight from Windows 3.11 would surely be nice! Bonus point for enabling mono interface.
I can't follow your feeling. PL32 has flat icons, you can setup with or without shadow and even, if you want, gray. You can find the setting at "Options/Usage/Toolbars", it's called "Display Mode".
The only way to get no flat icons is to use older versions of Windows or to have classic style.
Xyzzy wrote:2. Open window- no EXIF preview. In browser OK, except that values should be highlighted red, not value names!
I don't think that the open dialog should get as big as the screen is. If you will get a little box for EXIF, you won't see very much information on it.
Use the browse if you want to see all information of an image.
If you don't like the colors of the text I am sorry for this, I like it.
Xyzzy wrote:RAW importer- no fast way to magnify to 1:1 and back :(
I see no big problem in this.
Xyzzy wrote: I wonder what these value in CLUT->Color group box mean (surely no RGB values)- no tooltips. Pretty OK here.
Red, Green and Blue field shows Red, Green and Blue. Do you really need a tool tip to understand this?
Xyzzy wrote:3. Toolbox- I really prefer "click once to display avaliable tools, click again to select tool" paradigm.
I really hate it to get a popup everytime I want to select the tool I can already see.
Xyzzy wrote:5. Help- missing icon before text "The picture file is write-protected."
Don't understand this.
Xyzzy wrote:6. What is HIS color space? Google knows nothing about it, neither does help (in practice)! And it's even in unsharp mask dialog!
Hue Intensity Saturation
Xyzzy wrote:7. In dialogs- no easy way to skip between 100% and fit to window magnification! Or am I missing something?
I think we had this point already. I work with PL32 for about 15 years and never missed it.
Xyzzy wrote:8. Why Levels is called Histogram correction???
Who defined the function to be called "Levels"? Was it God?
Xyzzy wrote:9. WHERE IS CURVES? Help says to double-click curve field. I cannot find it, probably user error here. But WHY IT IS NOT IN A MENU???
We call it "Clut".
Xyzzy wrote:11. Lightning effect- this is supposed to be a joke, right? Should be called "Branching lines". Does not look like any lightning I've seen.
Oh, lightnings here look like this.
Xyzzy wrote:12. Lights- step in a good direction. Now look at Picture Publisher's 8+ (RIP) Lighting Studio to learn how it should look like.
Sorry but Picture Publisher isn't still alive I think.
Xyzzy wrote:13. No gradient fills of texture fills? Bad.
Sorry, I don't understand what you want.
Xyzzy wrote:14. As for sub-pixel unsharp masking (some user asked about), a quote: "Photoshop doesn't carry out any operations on 0.4 of a pixel -- the pixel is indeed the fundamental particle in digital imaging -- it just uses the sub-pixel values to decide how much weight to give to the surrounding pixels." So, does PL support sub-pixel radius in USM all in all? I would be also nice to see it in Highpass or Gaussian blur.
PL32 does support subpixel radius, but you have to enter it with the keyboard.
Xyzzy wrote:15. Drawing filter- preview is displayed for the whole image, not the selection it is applied to. Not resizeable dialog box- bad :(
It's an old filter and not yet updated. If more customers want to get it resizable, we will change it.
Xyzzy wrote:16. Why Effect dialog boxes are not resizeable and Filter are? "Resizeability" item in lower right dialog corner would be nice.
Older dialogs are not resizeable. But it was not a problem until now.

Gerhard

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Post by Gerhard Huber » Fri 06 Oct 2006 11:35

Xyzzy wrote:17. Resize is named Scale and Resize canvas is named Change size :O
Again, who defined the name of certain functions?
Xyzzy wrote:18. I try to add frame to a 120x100px picture and every time I end up with canvas resized two times??? And Picture dialog is not automatically resized to new cavas size. Seems some strage layers are added in process?
I tested just now and see no problem
Xyzzy wrote:19. Good news, I've found gradient and Texture fills. Right before my nose. But. Gradients are called Blends :)
OK, you are right. Next function that will be inserted will be named by you :-)

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Post by Gerhard Huber » Fri 06 Oct 2006 11:37

Xyzzy wrote:20. I don't move vector with Moving hand tool, but with Layer Tool :O
Yes, the moving hand tool is to move the visible area on screen. It will make no changes on the document.
Xyzzy wrote:21. Is there any Document manager around? Hard to work with many images.
You find it in the view dialog "Documents" or in the Window menu

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Post by Gerhard Huber » Fri 06 Oct 2006 11:42

Xyzzy wrote:22. From the help "This can increase the memory usage for a bitmap dramatically, because bitmaps only use 1 Bit per pixel, but alpha information 8 Bit in this case. This means: if an alpha channel is created for a bitmap, the image layer will need 9 times the memory it needed before".
Well, for me it's true for black-white image, pretty rare these times.
Perhaps for you, but not for all of our customers. There are many who scan manuscripts as bitmaps in high resolution.
Xyzzy wrote:24. Adjustment layers are called Working layers for some reason
Because we didn't ask God before we named it?
Xyzzy wrote:26. I've found curves :) But what curves list is good for, where I seemingly cannot apply a curve to image? DnD to image- no, DnD to layer palette-no...
Who can understand what you mean?
Xyzzy wrote:27. I wonder if "lasso" means both lasso tool and selection in PL.
That's so, because one tool is enough.

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Post by Gerhard Huber » Fri 06 Oct 2006 11:55

Xyzzy wrote:29. Tool settings for automatic lasso- untranslated "glaetten"
not here, here it is "Antialias". I think I have to fix it in version 13.
Xyzzy wrote:30. How can I select basing on hue- standard "magic lasso" in other apps?
31. Is Darker/Brighter on main toolbar just specifically named Burn/Dodge?
I don't understand this
Xyzzy wrote:32. Somehow I feel that Text properites bar (the one with font name, size etc.) stuck and doesn't change to selected tools properties... Or all settings are avaliable in Tool settings? Why this properties bar is named Layer settings? BTW, all the time I work on a single bitmap layer.
It shows text tool when a text layer is active and vector tools when a vector layer is active. I any other cases it shows any of the both tool bars.
Xyzzy wrote:33. Repair brush - intensity settings means preserve luminosity or what? Cannot find anything in help :( This green painting and then applying effect is quite misleading. What can be the purpose?
Intensity means the intensity of the tools effekt. You have to "green" the area you want to repair, when you are ready the tool will work.
Xyzzy wrote:35. No stamps with photo objects included. Pity. I wonder if it's possible to use PSP picture tubes someway.
You can use the Galery to see the stamps. PSP tubes are not readable at the moment. You are the first one who wants to do this.
Xyzzy wrote:36. Browsing help, trying to tell the difference between lasso and selection. Well, no success so far :(
Lasso is a vector graphics that is used to select a part of an image or even the whole image.
A selection is a lasso filled with the image inside the lasso. You can use it to copy parts of an image.
Xyzzy wrote:37. OK, I've found re. 30- almost. Authors of PL have put a significant effort to be as different from other software as possible. What if I want select basing on hue without creating mask? Why created mask is not displayed in layer manager?
Is this necessary? What do you want to do with the mask in the layer/channels dialog (that's the correct name for it)
Xyzzy wrote:38. I don't get this Autotransparency. It should generate mask, while it does- what?
It doesn't create masks but transparency. If you want to create masks, use "Automask"
Xyzzy wrote:39. I think this is enough, maybe another time. I've used quite a few graphic applications in my life, none afair being so specific as PL. Pretty sure it's powerful, but I don't feel like re-learning half of what I know.
I think your problem is that your brain is PSP fixed.
Many (I think more then 50%) of our customers are more then 50 years old. They decide to use PL32 because it's easier to use then other applications.

Gerhard