Improve prediction of limiting brush stroke horizontally/vertically

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

2018-09-02 18:18:41

Hello,

Random suggestion.

I spend a lot of time drawing straight lines in brush mode holding shift. 75% of time (approx) the brush ends up limited in the opposite direction I want to (horizontal when I want vertical and vice-versa). My empirical understanding is that Pixelmator Pro uses a few pixels (even just one) to determine if it should limit the movement vertically or horizontally. This is not enough to reliable predict the direction.

My suggestion is to use a few more pixels or have a minimum threshold to start limiting in a certain direction. This will make my experience drawing straight lines 100x better

Thanks for everything.
ALE
User avatar

2018-09-03 11:01:50

Hi Alejandro,

You're quite right — if, before starting to hold down the Shift key, you begin a brushstroke and move it either vertically or horizontally by at least a pixel, that's the direction in which the stroke will be constrained. However, I'm not sure if I'm completely getting how you're painting — I, for example, hold down the Shift key before starting a brushstroke and the direction is set perfectly pretty much every time, so I have a feeling that there's something a little different about your use case that we should know about.
User avatar

2018-09-04 16:20:52

Hello!

I can't hold shift before touching down with the pen because otherwise it will paint a straight line from the last point to the new one. Silly example (because you'd do this differently). Imagine you want to draw the left and right vertical sides of a square. I would touch down on the top-left corner, quickly press shift, and then try to move downwards. Then I'll move the pen away to the top-right corner, touch down, quickly press shift, and then try to move downwards. Currently, each side would take me 2-5 attempts.

Does this clarify my workflow? Do you need something else? Also, do you have a suggestion of a better flow?

Thanks!
ALE
User avatar

2018-09-05 08:05:15

Yeah, that definitely makes things clearer — I didn't have any trouble with these steps, though, to be honest with you, because, for me, the brush would stay completely still after I pressed down on the trackpad. So, I pressed down on the trackpad with my thumb, kept my thumb (and therefore the cursor) still, started holding the Shift key, then dragged downwards using my middle finger (while still holding my thumb on the trackpad). In about 20 attempts, I think only one or two went wrong and that was only when I tried to do it as quickly as possible.

Are you using a trackpad or mouse, by the way? I'm thinking that could be having an effect on this. Also, in terms of ways this could be improved, I'm not sure if a few more pixels would really help, because if you moved the brush horizontally then accidentally shifted downwards (even slightly) after the initial movement, the brushstroke would be constrained in the wrong direction, potentially making everything even more confusing. Another solution would be to have different keyboard modifiers for vertical and horizontal strokes, although most people are used to the Shift key, so I'm not certain that would be a great idea either.
User avatar

2018-09-05 19:09:40

Hello!

I use a Wacom Bamboo tablet (old school). Bear in mind that after drawing the line in the right direction has failed two/three times, I'm paying a lot of attention to how I do the stroke. I wonder if maybe the tablet is too sensitive? I have a big screen 2880x1800 and the tablet is relative small. It's mapped 1:1 to screen, so I guess it means it's quite sensitive to small changes.

I think my suggestion would work in your case. If you make it so the direction is locked after a few pixels (say 10 just as an illustration) in such direction, if you move 9 pixels horizontally, then make a mistake and move 2 vertically, and then move 2 more horizontally, you still have moved 11 px horizontally and only 2 vertically. With that info you can pretty much predict that the user wants to move horizontally. And you'll be correct!

Obviously, this is just a suggestion because in my personal case I feel like it's limiting the movement in the wrong direction. I don't know if this is something that happens to other people as well.

Cheers,
ALE