Improvements for flat comic coloring

What features would you like to see in Pixelmator Pro?
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2020-07-08 16:57:58

The main thing I want to use Pixelmator Pro for is drawing comics, and a big part of comics is having a fast way of doing rapid flat color fills. In Photoshop I had a key action bound to "expand selection" which made it very easy for me to magic-wand a selection and then expand it by 3 pixels (to properly bleed into the inks), but right now the selection refinement stuff in Pixelmator is pretty cumbersome to use in that way.

Some means of quickly expanding magic-wand or flood-fill selections would be really nice; a way that would be even better than Photoshop would be to have a setting for those tools to say how much to expand the selection/fill by (in pixels), so for example being able to tell the paint can tool to fill a region and also the 3-5 pixels around it. Clip Studio Paint does something similar (and also has a smart gap detection thing that's really nice).

An alternative that would also work is to be able to turn off brush smoothing (i.e. have a hard-edged brush) so that flood fills/wand selections don't have a gap to cover in the first place; I work at a higher resolution than my final output anyway, so having the line smoothing come from the image downsampling instead of being baked into the image would be fine -- preferable, even.
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2020-07-09 11:45:42

While this isn't currently possible in Pixelmator Pro, you could take advantage of the upcoming AppleScript support and create a script to quickly expand a selection. If you'd like to be prompted for a specific amount by which to expand the selection, the script would look like this:
tell application "Pixelmator Pro"
tell the front document
try
set expandSize to text returned of (display dialog "By how much would you like to expand your selection?" default answer "" with icon note buttons {"Cancel", "OK"} default button "OK") as real
refine selection expand expandSize
end try
end tell
end tell
If you'd like, you can sign up for the beta using the instructions here: https://www.pixelmator.com/blog/2020/06 ... blic-beta/

And here's the script: http://upload-cdn.pixelmator.com/Pixelm ... n-1079.zip

P.S. You can also assign keyboard shortcuts to AppleScripts using the steps here: https://apple.stackexchange.com/questio ... pt-i-wrote
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2020-07-09 16:40:21

Oh, cool! That might cover my needs. I’ll check that out, thanks!
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2020-07-10 06:36:27

Hmm, is there a way to make the keyboard shortcut ONLY work within the app in question? I'm only seeing how to make it runnable as a global system service, but I don't need/want to run my Pixelmator actions from Firefox or whatever.

Would it be possible for Pixelmator to have its own script manager? Back in the day many apps would add a little scripts menu if there were files in ~/Library/Application Support/(Whatever)/Scripts/ and then I believe those could be assigned a shortcut from the keyboard shortcuts preferences.
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2020-07-10 06:38:56

Oh, and also, both Pixelmator and Pixelmator Pro have the expand/contract selection refinement as a percentage of the selection size, but what I want is to have it be based on a specific number of pixels. Will expand-by-pixels be an option in the AppleScript mechanism? The script you posted above made it seem like it would still be in the same units as the current GUI, which I assume to be percentage.

EDIT (so I don't cause even more annoying notifications): In the meantime, I forgot that you can drag the wand selection to expand it out. It's not ideal from a workflow/efficienty standpoint but that might be good enough for now anyway. So I'll give that a shot in the meantime.
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2020-07-10 14:54:30

by fluffy 2020-07-10 06:36:27 Hmm, is there a way to make the keyboard shortcut ONLY work within the app in question? I'm only seeing how to make it runnable as a global system service, but I don't need/want to run my Pixelmator actions from Firefox or whatever.
I don't think so, services are actually kind of designed to 'link' different apps together by letting you perform tasks using apps without having them open...
by fluffy 2020-07-10 06:36:27 Would it be possible for Pixelmator to have its own script manager? Back in the day many apps would add a little scripts menu if there were files in ~/Library/Application Support/(Whatever)/Scripts/ and then I believe those could be assigned a shortcut from the keyboard shortcuts preferences.
Not sure about this, but I'll follow up with the devs! If you're not too fussed about having a shortcut, you could just run it from the Script Menu in the Menu bar — it sounds like that's what you might be referring to.
by fluffy 2020-07-10 06:38:56 Oh, and also, both Pixelmator and Pixelmator Pro have the expand/contract selection refinement as a percentage of the selection size, but what I want is to have it be based on a specific number of pixels. Will expand-by-pixels be an option in the AppleScript mechanism? The script you posted above made it seem like it would still be in the same units as the current GUI, which I assume to be percentage.
It's actually not quite a percentage but, if my memory serves me correctly, it's pixels multiplied by 0.85. So 100% is 85 pixels, but at small percentage amounts, it's pretty much 1% = 1 pixel. We'll be fixing this in a future update though, it was done so we could unify the units used for the regular Refine Selection and Smart Refine, but you're not the first person to get tripped up by it.
by fluffy 2020-07-10 06:38:56 EDIT (so I don't cause even more annoying notifications): In the meantime, I forgot that you can drag the wand selection to expand it out. It's not ideal from a workflow/efficienty standpoint but that might be good enough for now anyway. So I'll give that a shot in the meantime.
Got it, if you do check out the scripting method, let me know how it goes!
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2020-07-10 16:54:22

by Andrius 2020-07-10 21:54:30 Not sure about this, but I'll follow up with the devs! If you're not too fussed about having a shortcut, you could just run it from the Script Menu in the Menu bar — it sounds like that's what you might be referring to.
I don't see any script menu in the menu bar - is there something that makes this appear in Pixelmator?

I'm referring to the per-application script menu that some applications (used to?) support. For example, here's an ancient article which talks about it in iTunes (although I believe that functionality is long-gone): https://dougscripts.com/itunes/itinfo/downloadfaq.php

The advantage to this was that users could install scripts into an application and have them accessible from that app's menus (and therefore keyboard shortcuts), without having to install it as a system-wide service.
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2020-07-13 14:44:25

The Script menu I was referring to can be turned on from the Script Editor — you have to open Script Editor > Preferences and turn on "Show Script menu in Menu bar". Thanks for the additional info re. an application scripts menu, I have a feeling system support for that might be gone in the latest versions of macOS, but we'll look into it.
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2020-07-13 14:49:37

Oh, neat, I never knew about that function in Script Editor. It seems to distinguish between "computer scripts" and "application scripts" so maybe it has a built-in thing for making scripts only show up for a single app. Who knows if that'll work with the keyboard shortcut editor, though... Apple seems to forget about their own technology pretty regularly these days.

EDIT: It does! From the script menu you can ask it to open up the scripts folder for the current app. Any scripts that go in there only appear when the app in question is open.

EDIT 2: unfortunately I can't assign keyboard shortcuts to it. Oh well, it was worth a try!