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Topics - mattnava

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1
It looks like the layer thumbnails are rendering weird alphas on transparent layers. they look fuzzy and seem to have dark halos. This is the case in light and dark mode, and with the light or dark backgrounds options for them.

2
The brush tool icon on the toolbar looks like it just disappears if the selected brush has a small radius. It looks like there isn't even a button there!

You can see an example in the attached image. With a brush selected that has a radius of 1, you cant see the icon at all.

The brush stamp icon scales down if the size is below 70 pixels, all the way to nothing. It makes it really hard to see. I think it would be better to simply not do this scaling and leave the brush stamp icon large. There is a number below it that displays the pixel size, so you could still tell how big it is.


When I show the program to friends who are trying to learn it, this is a common point of confusion early on. Often times, they don't even know there is a brush tool icon because its invisible! Removing the scaling is a simple fix that would really help make the UI more approachable and easy to read. Thanks for your consideration!

3
It would be great if you could view .artstudio files in the Reference Panel. This would allow you to look at other paintings you are making while working, saving you the step of having to export an image of your paintings first. Thanks for your consideration!

4
If you use the Offset filter on a large canvas and input high values for the offset, the image quality gets degraded. I was testing on a canvas that is 2048x2048, and the effect is clear. Things become very aliased, thin lines get turned into blocky pixels. The higher the offset value, the more extreme the aliasing becomes.

This becomes an issue for authoring seamless textures, where the offset functionality needs to be lossless as it gets repeated many times.

5
When you drag the brush size slider, the icon on the toolbar renders over itself as it animates, making it illegible. You can see the issue in the attached video captured on iPhone.


Also- the icon is of the brush stamp and scales down to nothing when the size goes to 1- I find this pretty impractical. I often work with small brushes and it effectively makes the brush icon invisible most of the time. There also is a bug that makes the little radius number below the icon not render sometimes which makes things worse.


I think a very simple improvement would be to just not animate the size of the brush stamp on the icon. Just leave it a constant scale that is large enough to see. Let the radius number inform you of the current size. The visual scale of the icon can’t be a great preview of the brush size anyway because it’s limited to the size of the toolbar height.


There are some brushes with very transparent stamps that are hard to see on the icon as well, even when they are larger… I’m not sure about what to do to improve this other than trying normalizing the opacity range of the stamp for the toolbar icon. But that may look strange in some cases.


Thanks for your consideration!

6
It would be handy to be able to do that! I couldn’t find a way to.


…is there a way?

7
My pencil brushes act strangely in the beta now. It seems like something is wrong with the pressure sensitivity, maybe in regard to controlling jitter amount, possibly other aspects. I’ve attached a comparison image and the brush itself.


You can see that the expected result is that the brush creates a spray of tiny stamps, with the jitter distance controlled by pressure. Instead there appears to be strange semi circles cut out from the stroke, in the beta.


It’s the exact same brush in both. I’m sure that more brushes are affected by this, hope there’s a simple solution.

8
Suggestions, Ideas, Bugs / Request: File-> Rename
on: May 07, 2022, 03:12:00 PM
It would be a nice thing to be able to rename the currently open file without having to back out to the file browser. The logical place to me would be an entry in the file menu for rename that would just pop up an little text input box.


Thanks for your consideration!

9
I use iCloud to store my .artstudio files, and I like to use the Windows iCloud integration to organize files in there en masse. However, .artstudio files do not have image previews on Windows, which makes it hard to do simple things like rename them, because you cant easily see what the image is of.

I assume Mac has .artstudio image previews since Art Studio Pro runs on Mac, but it would be very convenient if Windows could also be supported with this feature.


Thanks!

10
The confirm button in the transform tool gets vertically squished on an ipad Mini in landscape mode, making it harder to tap. This seems to not be an issue in vertical orientation. See attached image for an example. This is present in the latest beta.

11
If you put a tool like the brush on the quick menu and use the single finger swipe gesture to activate it, the brush will actually make a mark as if that swipe gesture was a paint stroke. I also found that the lasso tool could register a tap when you swipe to select it the same way. This is enough to make it deselect an existing selection, or sometimes even start a new one. Seems like there's a bug to fix here to make it so that tools selected via the single finger swipe quick menu don't register that initial swipe as an actual stroke/tap for the tool.

12
The quick menu displays all the tools and things that can be put on the toolbar, but the toolbar lets you give a custom name to them, even letting you use those special icons if you put in the correct codenames.

The quick menu would benefit from this functionality, especially if you are putting favorite presets in it. They show up as "ActivateFavoritePreset1, 2, 3," etc, which makes it real hard to tell what they are. They could be the brush, eraser, lasso, anything, and theres no good indicator.

Ideally, any tool you add to the quick menu would show its icon. In the attached mockup, you can see I did that for the lasso tool.

For favorite tools, it would be real cool if they could show the tool's icon with a little star next to it to let you know its a favorite. Since favorites can store custom settings per tool, a customizable bit of text below it would let you indicate its functionality. for instance, I have the move tool in the mockup as a favorite preset twice, but one is set to duplicate. The custom text is the only thing that would let you know that. The custom text can also describe what kind of brush the favorite is (Pencil, in this mockup), or that a fill bucket is set to lasso mode, etc. There's many more examples of customizations that would benefit from this.

It would make the new quick swipe functionality in the single-finger quick menu gesture very handy for rapidly switching between common tools for a particular workflow. I think it would really make the quick menu nicer and quicker to visually understand as you go.

Thanks for considering this!

13
The gradient tool makes it cumbersome to create custom gradients with many colors and alphas. You have to dig into a few panels before you get to the color bar ui with little color key things. The side bar has a mode that lets you select a single color, to try to be faster. But it’s limited to just blending to 0 opacity.


It would make a lot more sense to just put the powerful color key bar ui right on the side bar, so no ui digging would be required to author complex gradients. I did a mock up of how this might look. This could probably just replace the current “fast gradient” side bar mode in my opinion. The swatches mode could remain to facilitate saving/browsing gradient presets.


To save space and reduce visual clutter, I just made one column of keys next to the gradient, instead of having separate opacity keys. To control alpha, I suggest adding a simple opacity slider to the color panel when you open it by tapping a color key. The alpha could preview as a checkerboard blending with the gradient, like in the current quick gradient side bar ui. (Not pictured in my mock up.)


It would be neat if in the tool options panel, there was a button to “save current gradient” that would just add the current gradient to your presets.


This would make the process of working with gradients way faster, more powerful, and more intuitive. Thank you for your consideration!

14

So excited to see the animation feature appear in ArtStudio Pro! I wanted to share a design idea that would be a bit a of a paradigm shift, but one that I think would empower it and make it stand out from the crowd.

One limitation of the idea of using layers and frames interchangeably is that you don’t get multiple rows of frames in the anim panel timeline. Programs like Rough Animator on iPad and Flash back in the day have timelines with multiple rows of frames, which is a very powerful feature. It’s very similar to what groups of layers get you- overlapping layers in one frame- but it requires less digging into groups within the layers panel to work with. It’s a simple transposition, but it makes things easier to get to and speeds up animation workflow. It makes it simple for example to have a row of frames for line art, and row under it for color fills. This lets you easily hide/show all the color fills by hiding its frame row, instead of having to dig into the layer group for every single frame and hit the eye icon for the color fill layer, one by one. It also lets you do a background with multiple layers, which is more flexible that the bottom layer’s special case behavior to act as a background in the current paradigm.


If we get the feature of frames being able to last for arbitrary durations, the frame rows allow you to make different overlapping frames last for different times, which is very powerful. In addition to the obvious use for backgrounds that last for a longer time that other things, you could make for instance a characters face shape last longer than it’s animating facial features.


If you do implement multiple frame rows, you will have to figure out how to make it work with the existing layers paradigm, since I’m sure you want to preserve the ability to swap back and forth. One potential solution would be to make a special type of folder, a “timeline row folder,” and all layers within it would sit in their own row in the animation panel. making multiple timeline row folders would let you have multiple rows of frames in the anim panel. Normal folders could still be used to group layers into single frames, and could still work inside a timeline folder. There may be other ways to make it work as well, but this approach seems pretty convenient!


The way it’s done right now with a single row of frames in the anim panel is very similar to procreate’s animation feature. Having used that in the past, I can say that this issue really is the core thing that holds it back from being a truly powerful animation tool. Other programs that have multiple frame rows on iPad like Rough Animator or even Callipeg I think, are less polished or less approachable that ArtStudio Pro. Rows of frames is a feature that could speed up some tedious parts of animating. I would love to see the idea come to life here, I think it would be a stand out feature and a real game changer for animators.

I made a quick mockup to make the idea more clear- Realizing I didn't mark the folders in the layers windows as special, but they should have a special icon or something to indicate that they are folders that would make a new row on the timeline. The anim panel would likely need to be able to scroll to better support more rows, too. Maybe they could be thinner to squeeze some more in!

Thanks for your consideration, very excited to see where this feature goes!

15
Suggestions, Ideas, Bugs / Rename error
on: December 29, 2021, 02:15:03 PM
I noticed if you try to rename a document via the open documents drop down list, when you try to confirm the name you get an error and you cannot rename it. I checked that you can indeed rename the file via the files app. I attached an image of the error you get. Is it just me? This is in the latest beta.

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