Making Synfig easier to use brainstorming

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tushantin
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Re: Making Synfig easier to use brainstorming

Postby tushantin » Sun Sep 18, 2011 1:54 am

Ah, somehow I didn't receive a mail notification of your response. Thanks for the tips! I'll try em.

Another feature request, although I don't know how we could go about it: an innovative and efficient way to manage layers, because managing layers in Synfig is tedious.

We already have Encapsulation, but we can take this to another level. How about having a universal "Layer" option while every bline or region would be "Paths" inside the layers? Like every "Shirt Layer" would have complex paths that make up tie, pockets, collars, etc.? These layers can only be expanded for advanced analyses for path structure within that layer, but otherwise they remain closed. This way, you don't need to rename each and every path in a project, especially since you're working with hundreds of layers at a time. Another thing we could add to it is a "universal modifier", as I mentioned in the previous post, at the very top of the layer stack; this way, we immensely speed up and tidy up the animation process.

Anywhos, that's just a suggestion.

EDIT: Also, a "collapsible" arrow for Origins in Transform Layer. Reason being sometimes we like to have X and Y keyframing separate.

Also, an easier way to edit animation curves, as we do in Blender? It'd be great to have!
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Re: Making Synfig easier to use brainstorming

Postby darkhog » Sun Dec 18, 2011 3:30 pm

I think that #1 thing that should be done is to redesign editor component to be more like Inkscape.
Particularly:
- Being able to fill region with pretty much anything, like gradient or tiled image (ok, I know last one isn't in Inkscape, but it'd be nice feature) without playing with blend methods and layers (Alpha, Mix, etc.). Blend methods should stay as they're very powerful, especially if you want to mix cartoon with real video, but for fills I think it's an overkill.
- Tools available in Inkscape and not in Synfig, like carving tool which allows you to change path by drawing, Calligraphy tool, etc.
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Re: Making Synfig easier to use brainstorming

Postby jcome » Wed Feb 01, 2012 12:05 am

http://blog.mmiworks.net/2012/01/gimp-f ... ahead.html

There are many points we can learn from the above entry, for example, layer abuse issue. In the commets, the NODES vs LAYERS discussion is quite interesting as well.
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Re: Making Synfig easier to use brainstorming

Postby rylleman » Sat Mar 24, 2012 6:55 pm

I agree with jcome on layer abuse. Much, much time is used to select different layers. It's very powerful but could probably be streamlined a bit.

That said one small thing that would speed up usage considerably is display of currently clicked layer in layers panel. If the layer is not already visible in the panel the view jumps to displaying it. In doing so the layer is displayed at the very top of the stack. Most often the layer I click is not actually the layer I want to manipulate but a layer on top of this, like a rotate layer, a paste canvas etc. I then have to click a layer, say a leg, the region layer gets selected, I need to scroll up in the layers list and then click on the desired rotate layer.

If the current layer was to be displayed in the middle of the stack or even with just 3-4 layers above it we will be able to directly click the desired layer after clicking in the canvas without having to first scroll up. Will be a huge timesaver.

Also a layer lock mode would be useful. Locking background layers from (canvas click) selection etc.

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Re: Making Synfig easier to use brainstorming

Postby Genete » Sat Mar 24, 2012 8:36 pm

layer lock: Encapsulate and children lock is the first step. Disable layer selection completely is possible. Maybe adding a new column in the layer stack.
unwanted layer clicks: Use groups to select the desired layers.

But yes, more options for layer selection/handling would be great.
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Re: Making Synfig easier to use brainstorming

Postby DaveJ » Sun Mar 25, 2012 1:00 am

I can't wait to see these ideas in The GIMP. But I can't help thinking that to apply those ideas to Synfig would be tough. What you'd have is layers that exist as they do now in the XML for Synfig, but in Synfig Studio you'd have "Synfig Studio layers" that contain collections of "Synfig layers" chosen by the user.

It makes my brain hurt thinking about how you'd code that! :lol:

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Re: Making Synfig easier to use brainstorming

Postby rylleman » Sun Mar 25, 2012 5:42 pm

Move Vertices up to the very top in the params panel (or at least very high).

When animating vertices is one of the aspects that is used the most. Now Vertices is at the bottom and I find myself constantly having to scroll down to get to the vertices waypoints.
Other often used params is located high in the list like origin, colour, amount and z-depth, followed by less used params like invert, antialias etc. And then Vertices at the bottom...
Much time scrolling will be saved if Vertices is moved up in the list order.

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Re: Making Synfig easier to use brainstorming

Postby jcome » Mon Mar 26, 2012 12:10 am

Move Vertices up to the very top in the params panel

Can't agree more on it. We need to figure out more details before go to improve parameters' order.
At the first, we can have a well-ordered parameters list for each layer, it should be consistent cross-layers, and maybe (just maybe), we can make those parameters reordered-able in favor of a user.

viewtopic.php?f=15&t=1311&p=6925&hilit=param#p6925
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Re: Making Synfig easier to use brainstorming

Postby DaveJ » Mon Mar 26, 2012 12:37 am

When animating vertices the thing that can cause most problems to me is that the Time Track panel doesn't line up with the parameters in the Params panel. That means I often animate the wrong vertex by mistake.

If I could have anything, I think it would be great if you could "tear off" the vertices into a separate vertices panel - that would make editing vertices much easier, as then they'd always be at the top. It might also be good if there was a way of uncollapsing all the vertices parameters so you could get to all of them immediately without having to click on loads of little arrows to display them all the time.

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Re: Making Synfig easier to use brainstorming

Postby jcome » Mon Mar 26, 2012 2:40 am

instead of "tear off", how about if user can hide other parameters he is not working on or he does not want to see at a moment ?
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DaveJ
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Re: Making Synfig easier to use brainstorming

Postby DaveJ » Mon Mar 26, 2012 3:21 am

If I had lots of Region layers, I would find it far more useful to look at a vertices panel than to got to the params panel and hide everything apart from vertices each time.

If I could just, for instance, drag the vertices row to make them appear in their own panel that would be the quickest way I could think of to edit them. I would want to make my own params panel I was interested in for a particular job. Each job often requires you edit a particular set of parameters - but I wouldn't want to change the main params panel. This would just be an additional view.

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Re: Making Synfig easier to use brainstorming

Postby jcome » Mon Mar 26, 2012 3:28 am

It reminds me the new (CS6) photoshop layer filter:
We can have parameters filters:
By Name:
By Attribute:
By Type: Bool, Integer, etc.. and Converted, Exposed, Linked, Animated
etc..

attached is photoshop layer filters in CS6 public beta version
Screen Shot 2012-03-26 at 下午2.24.52.png

Screen Shot 2012-03-26 at 下午2.25.43.png
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Genete
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Re: Making Synfig easier to use brainstorming

Postby Genete » Mon Mar 26, 2012 3:31 am

Hi!
I've felt trapped by my own words here: http://www.synfig.org/forums/viewtopic.php?p=6929#p6929
Obviously I've not taken care of that! :oops: :oops:

Anyway I have some things to mention:

1) Parameters order are defined by the get_param_vocabulary function. So their position are hardcoded there.
2) About show hide parameters I had always in mind to have to set of levels of parameters: begginers, expert. Its behavior can be: hardcoded or customized.
3) One additional option is to hide/show (by user shortcut) animated and not animated parameters. I don't know if it would be useful.
4) Regarding to rows alignement the solution for that is to use hardcoded letter sizes (like Gimp does) for the whole application interface. That would avoid theme letter size variations and the misalingment of the rows between one panel and other. Alternatively the parameters panel shows one additional column with the waypoints but it hasn't a timebar widget on it. Fussion time track panel to parameters panel looks like the best solution.

-G
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Re: Making Synfig easier to use brainstorming

Postby jcome » Mon Mar 26, 2012 3:37 am

DaveJ wrote:If I had lots of Region layers, I would find it far more useful to look at a vertices panel than to got to the params panel and hide everything apart from vertices each time.

If I could just, for instance, drag the vertices row to make them appear in their own panel that would be the quickest way I could think of to edit them. I would want to make my own params panel I was interested in for a particular job. Each job often requires you edit a particular set of parameters - but I wouldn't want to change the main params panel. This would just be an additional view.


Seems a powerful filter system can achieve it. I am going to draw a mockup for this design later on.
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jcome
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Re: Making Synfig easier to use brainstorming

Postby jcome » Mon Mar 26, 2012 3:43 am

I've felt trapped by my own words here: http://www.synfig.org/forums/viewtopic.php?p=6929#p6929
Obviously I've not taken care of that!


Don't worry, We all should have the same feeling that you are going to take more advanced/complex/powerful features implementations. :D
I think this kind of issue should be started by some other developers who is not so skilled in coding for synfig, as me :mrgreen:
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