New functionality to preserve Styles, Effects and Color Adjustments

What features would you like to see in Pixelmator Pro?
User avatar

2018-07-15 19:31:39

(Pixelmator Pro 1.1.2 Monsoon on macOS High Sierra 10.13.6 on MacBook (Retina, 12-inch, Early 2015))

There's something about Pixelmator Pro that has bugged me for a long time. I'm not sure if I've posted about it before (a quick search turned up nothing so I'm going to go ahead with this (possibly for the second time )).

First, the bit I like. One of the things that separates Pixelmator Pro from Classic Pixelmator is the ability to revisit Effects and Color Adjustments after they have been applied and change their values (I'd mention Styles, too only Classic Pixelmator can already do this). It's a really useful feature. I can apply an effect non-destrucively to a layer and, once more elements of an image are created, tweak the settings a little (or change my mind (and the settings) completely).

I think you know what's coming next. Now that I have started relying on this feature, it's especially painful when a non-destructive edit turns into a destructive one without warning. If I change my mind about what is painted on a layer and touch it, even slightly with a brush (or ony other tool that changes the pixels directly), the Styles, Effects and Color Adjustments are applied permanently to the layer and the brushstroke applied on top of the adjusted layer. This has caught me by surprise multiple times, usually quickly enough that I can undo the changes, but once so severely that I worked on for 30 minutes, oblivious to the fact that a small change I had made to a layer had no shadow whereas the rest of the layer did. OK... rant over.

So what do I want?
1. Ability to display simple changes live while painting. (Classic Pixelmator already does this with Styles).
2. The ability to quickly remove all adjustments and put them all back as they were, allowing me to quickly touch up a layer withou committing the adjustments to the layer.
3. Warning if I'm about to permanently apply an effect to a layer.

These could be met with a combination of one or more (or all) of the following ideas:
1. Live effects while painting. Apply non destructive effects to the layer while painting on it. This is intuitive but could end up with being slow with multiple complex transformations applied. It also wouldn't play well with transformative effects (Distortion, Tile, Generator and Perspective Transform), though.
2. A 'hold adjustments' button. This would temporarily remove non-destructive effects allowing the layer to be painted on. Another click of the button would reinstate the Styles... (etc) after painting on the layer.
3. Change of the behaviour of the layer lock. Change the layer lock to stop the layer from being painted on but still allow non-destructive changes. The layer lock could then be turned on automatically whenever a non-destructive change is made. This would stop accidental painting on a layer with adjustments present. When locked, the Tools Options panel of any destructive tool could describe the behaviour, allowing the user to take appropriate action before painting on the layer.
4. Split Effects into Effects and Transformations. Anything that moves or overwrites pixels (Distortion, Tile, Generator and Perspective Transform) could be moved into a new Transformations tool. This would help with option 1, needing them to be removed before painting on a layer.
5. Something else. You guys are great at creating User Interfaces. I'd be interested to see what you might come up with.

Let me know what you think?

- Stef.