Hotkeys and Features to improve workflow

edited February 2014 in Feature requests

Hey there, I wanted to drop by and leave some thoughts on Pyxel after spending a bit of time using it.

A friend of mine has been talking about it, so I finally gave in and bought it to try it out. My initial impression wasn't great, because at the moment, it feels a bit like a glorified MSPaint, but I could tell immediately that it shines when it comes to the tile and animation features. I'm sure others have said it better, but Pyxel is loaded with potential for spriters like me...now if we could just get a bit more, it'd be unquestionably outstanding for pixel artists and animators.

I'll start by admitting I'm a photoshop junkie...meaning I'm horribly, horribly spoiled. Pyxel's animation system and tiles are much better suited to pixel art, which to me is a shame it doesn't have a few other features that help me blow through projects. It's less about new drawing features and MORE about hotkeys and improvement on existing tool functionality...

  • Contiguous and Non-Contiguous: Probably photoshop's number one best feature in all of history...this is a tiny feature added to the likes of PaintBucket and the Magic Wand tool that basically says "If it's contiguous, this means this selection affects all touching pixels of the same color. If it's non-contiguous, it affects all pixels of this color on the layer." For you people who like to recolor, this means that a paintbucket can change all pixels of one color into another with a single click, making the task of altering colors take mere seconds. I don't know what the "Color Replace" tool does as I've yet to get it to work, but it doesn't appear to do this. Even if there's never a magic wand tool, the paint bucket tool needs this desperately. The eraser tool also needs this.
  • Fill/Edit only within a selection (coupled with the contiguous feature.) (Having the ability to press ctrl+delete to fill with secondary color would also be amazing, as I use this alot myself.)
  • Transparent color selectable from color menu? (Perhaps for erasing en-masse if the eraser tool doesn't get the contiguous feature)
  • Magic Wand: I don't know if there's any point to this tool in Pyxel, but it's like a selection paintbucket, and with the Contiguous/Non-Contiguous feature, it's pretty useful. It's useful for mass-deleting things as well (select all you want, then hit delete)
  • Selected Item Nudge: When something is selected, it would be great to have the ability to nudge/move it pixel by pixel with the arrow keys, rather than the slightly inaccurate controls of dragging it with a mouse.
  • Selected Item Pixel Duplication/Duplication nudge: This is a weird one, but I found it in photoshop and I've been in love with it. Basically, by holding control and alt at the same time as dragging selected pixels on a layer, it allows you to clone those pixels and drag them to another spot on the same layer. It's like copy and paste, without ever having to copy and then paste. This goes well with Alt+Ctrl and Pressing arrow keys, allowing you have nudged pixels, and then they become a duplication of the selection. I'm probably not explaining this well, but I use this feature alot. It would be superior (especially when making frame-by-frame animations) to the current, slightly clunky method of copying, pasting,  and then dragging, or pasting to a selected spot.
  • Copy to a new layer/Cut to a new layer: Selecting pixels and then pressing a hot key (ctrl+J for dupe to layer, and Ctrl+Shift+J to cut to new layer) in order to place a copy of the pixels on a new layer, or to cut them from 1 layer and place them on a new one. Again, beats copy/paste
  • Free-Draw Select: Select pixels with a shape you draw, rather than just squares
  • A move tool: moves an entire layer around, or selected pixels. Goes great with the ability to nudge stuff with arrow keys, or nudge selected pixels.
  • Multi-Layer Select: Select multiple layers, use move tool to drag them about. 
  • Layer Groups: I just love these. Makes dragging layers around easy
  • New animation Pallete feature; Click Base Tile: When you're editing an animation's settings, there should be a button next to "base tile" that allows you to 'physically' click on a tile to set it as the base, rather than being forced to scroll through numbers until you land on the right one.
  • Ability to rearrange pallette swatches
  • Copying and pasting from Pyxel to photoshop yields an image with a black background, and copying and pasting from photoshop to pyxel pastes it with a white background. It'd be nice to have a way to preserve transparency in both programs.

Off the top of my head, this is all I felt was missing. I don't know if these features are too tall of an order, but with them, this program would shine immensely. I'd recommend it above anything else as a spriting program.

Thanks for all your hard word so far. Pyxel Edit is still fantastic.

Comments

  • Hi, thanks a lot for the detailed feedback!
    As you noticed in the other thread some of the things you suggested are coming soon. I am myself very accustomed to Photoshop so I agree with most of what you say.
    A non-continous filling option for the flood fill tool and the magic wand is a good idea, as well as copy to new layer and duplication nudge.
    Unfortunately I don't believe it's possible to preserve transparency between Pyxel and Photoshop due to the Clipboard implementation in Air.
  • i'd like to add to this. The program basically has a working canvas on the left, and a tile bank on the right. If you have to recolor the tileset (say, that purple background looks too much like the enemies in the level, and most everything needs to be switched from that color to another) the current process is this.

    export tileset to .png.
    open in photoshop
    use non-contiguous fill to replace the colors across the whole tileset
    open in an empty document in pyxel edit
    control+click every single tile in the image on the left to place the tiles in the same exact location arrangements into the new, empty tile bank.

    would be nice if we could directly place every tile in the tilebank onto the work area, and then use a non-contiguous fill to replace the colors. Would be the simplest way to implement changes to the whole tileset.

    at the moment these changes in our palette, and then changes to the tileset are a ton of busywork that i wish i could spend actually working on the game. Bleh

    Would really love this to be considered. Thank you.
  • You can use Color > Replace current color to change a color globally in the document (canvas and tiles). Or if the color is in the palette right click the swatch and choose Replace color (note: this was broken in 0.3.105 so make sure you have the latest version 0.3.106).
  • I'm going to throw another supportive thumbs-up for a "select brush" or "Free-draw select" implementation, and as I've mentioned elsewhere, it would be really valuable to have brush attributes be manipulable with a pop-over form that shows up on the cursor with a hotkey- brush shape/size/opacity/scatter/density etc.... could be in a small palette that hovers as long as a certain hotkey combo are held. 

    Alternatively some of those could be assigned hot keys for incremented/decremented values for on-the-fly changes as you're drawing.

    Regarding recolor work, I really like the non-contiguous paint-bucket or selection-filling suggestion. That seems the easiest/most intuitive implementation.

    I'm grateful for the selection nudges- I just wish I didn't have to click to initiate a ctrl+nudge move of the selection, or a ctrl+alt+nudge copy & move of the selection
  • I'm bumping this suuuuper dead topic because I noticed a long time ago these features were once in a build, and then as some point removed for no conceivable reason.

    So I'm gonna re-request certain things

    • Selected Item Nudge: When something is selected, it would be great to have the ability to nudge/move it pixel by pixel with the arrow keys, rather than the slightly inaccurate controls of dragging it with a mouse.
    • Selected Item Pixel Duplication/Duplication nudge: This is a weird one, but I found it in photoshop and I've been in love with it. Basically, by holding control and alt at the same time as dragging selected pixels on a layer, it allows you to clone those pixels and drag them to another spot on the same layer. It's like copy and paste, without ever having to copy and then paste. This goes well with Alt+Ctrl and Pressing arrow keys, allowing you have nudged pixels, and then they become a duplication of the selection. I'm probably not explaining this well, but I use this feature alot. It would be superior (especially when making frame-by-frame animations) to the current, slightly clunky method of copying, pasting,  and then dragging, or pasting to a selected spot.
      Addition: It'd be nice to be able to push a layer around without selection using the arrow keys. You know, hold CTRL/CMD and tap the arrow keys to move them. It sucks having to select things to move them.
    • Copy to a new layer/Cut to a new layer: Selecting pixels and then pressing a hot key (ctrl+J for dupe to layer, and Ctrl+Shift+J to cut to new layer) in order to place a copy of the pixels on a new layer, or to cut them from 1 layer and place them on a new one. Again, beats copy/pastewd
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