Loading a Selection, Copying and Pasting into a Mask, and a Bug

What features would you like to see in Pixelmator Pro?
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2020-02-23 05:19:42

I’m bumping up against a couple of things, while I try to make collage art.

1. Bug: While “Auto Select” is turned on in the Arrange Tool’s options, I cannot create a new path with the Pen tool.

2. Masks Please, I need fully functioning layer masks. I need to copy and paste bitmapped data from and into a layer mask. I need to move a layer around while its mask stays in place. (Right now, I use the workaround of grouping a single layer and masking the “group”, in order to then manipulate the movement of the art in defiance to the group’s still layer mask.)

3. Selection Please allow me to Load a Selection based on its black-and-whiteness. I Command-Click a layer’s thumbnail and load a selection like I would in PS, but it doesn’t behave the same way. It just sees that pixels are there, not the color value of the pixels. (My workaround is using the Mask to Alpha effect, then loading a selection, then removing that effect. Sigh.)

4. God help me with what I can do with a selection once I got it. I can’t copy into the layer mask like I want to do. I need a proper (destructive) Fill command—don’t make me get a brush, set the brush’s size to a big size, and do it that way.

5. Locked layers are stealing my mouse clicks! In no way shape or form should a locked layer be seen by my mouse pointer! I have a BIG locked layer up top and I can’t do anything but hide it! That’s what locking layers is for!!!

I suggest everyone who can paint USE Pixelmator Pro to paint a painting this week, and post the results in a gallery. Really attempt a painting and see just where all the pain-points are. I’m very serious here. I wonder what the usage data is for PS, people using it to digitally paint vs. actual photography. It’s gotta be 80/20 at this point. The graphic design industry don’t all use PS because they are all photography enthusiasts. PP’s art prowess needs serious shoring up instead of all this fancy Machine Learning stuff that looks good on the Apple App Store write-up. I mean, has the company ever used the program itself to create a pamphlet, a poster, a book, or anything.... gotta eat your own dogfood, as they say.

I hope I wasn’t too harsh to my sweet, beautiful Lithuanian frens. Keep up the good work, gang. Cheers.
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2020-02-23 20:21:29

You and I approach feature requests a little differently but I, too have a list of the little things that bug me about Pixelmator Pro, and they have a big overlap to yours...

1. Bug. Pixelmator Pro's drawing tools (as of 1.5.5, anyhow) are selection biased so they will grab anything underneath in preference to drawing. I want my drawing tools to be biased toward drawing because I already have the Arrange tool to select things with. I understand that the Pixelmator team are currently looking working on a release that has a lot of vector changes so I'm hoping that the Pen and Shape tools will be less grabby soon. I honestly don't think that this is a bug, just a design choice that I strongly disagree with. +1 from me

2. Masks. We all use Pixelmator Pro different ways and, although I would only occasionally use what you have requested here, I can totally see the use of it, so +1 from me.

3. Selection. I'd like to be able to take shapes and bitmaps and freely use them as selections, masks and channels (and vice versa). So +1 from me.

4. Fill Command. The little known fill shortcut Cmd-delete fills the visible layer (or selected area if there is one) with the foreground colour. Opt-delete does the same with the background colour. Maybe the Pixelmator team should give these keyboard shortcuts their own menu commands so that more people will find them. (Aside: Also D resets colours to black on white and X switches them.)

5. Locked layers. There are a lot of different things a lock on a layer can accomplish, depending on how you use them. My primary need is to stop me from nudging a layer that I have carefully positioned. My secondary need is to be able to use a trace or reference layer at the front of the stack that cannot be selected. (Aside, I have no need to lock the effects applied to a layer but maybe that's just me). +1 from me as I would find this useful for tracing/reference work.

All the best,
- Stef.
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2020-02-24 08:26:15

Hey Teelar and Stef! We love this kind of feedback — thoughtful, extensive, and eloquent. Ahhh...

1. Would you believe this isn't a bug, but rather the intended functionality? But as Stef rightly pointed out, we're working on vector tool improvements and while they may not all come out in one big release, the drawing/selection thing will be taken care of, hopefully, rather soon and, hopefully again, without having to add an additional 'path selection' tool or three. But we know this is a major pain point and, with the improvements we'll be making, we'll be doing our best to keep the workflows of artists and designers very much in mind.

2. Both very good points.

3. Good points again. Though, if I'm honest, maybe a little specialized. I can see us adding something like this but, from experience, I also know the list of things to address and improve contains things that would take precedence over it so I'd probably say don't hold your breath for a quick change.

4. Thinking about this, I think we could add destructive fill and stroke commands to the Edit menu without too much trouble. Other than maybe having to think of a nice way to present them in the current Tools sidebar UI. I'll float the idea to the rest of the team.

5. I remember discussing this not too long ago — it may well have been you who made the comment about it? I'll make sure to pass this on to the rest of the team, as well. (In fact, I've shared all your feedback already).

We all need some tough love from time to time and that definitely wasn't too harsh. Thanks again for taking the time to write it up!
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2020-03-17 09:36:52

#1 — Nice you’re looking at it.
#3 — Guys, this is my fault, I mis-remembered. I command-click a Channel, and it will select based on “greyscale” (which is really just alpha data). A “Color Range” selection would be nice, though. EDIT: Holy crap I just found it. EDIT 2: I suggest making the eyedropper always active in that mode for easy multiple trial and errors. (lol I’m never happy)
#4 — The Option+Delete is something I had forgotten.
#5 — I snuck it in again. It’s that important!

I hope everyone is enjoying their quarantine, and god bless everyone during this time and stay safe. Wash your hands. Cheers.
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2020-03-17 11:52:44

#1 and #5 will be taken care of in 1.6.
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2020-03-17 22:42:10

I hereby announce my application for citizenship to Lithuania. Your team is on point.
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2020-03-18 11:51:53

by Teelar 2020-03-17 22:42:10 I hereby announce my application for citizenship to Lithuania. Your team is on point.
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2021-02-05 17:22:05

I have had several instances where the tools froze. That is I can no longer get tolls such as erase, repair, brush, etc to work when I click on them
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2021-02-09 10:25:29

I have had several instances where the tools froze. That is I can no longer get tolls such as erase, repair, brush, etc to work when I click on them
I see you've posted about this in a separate thread. I'll catch you there!