Hotkeys and Features to improve workflow
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.