Layer usuability idea

Thomas Zander zander at
Mon Nov 7 13:32:25 CET 2005

On Sunday 06 November 2005 21:10, you wrote:
> On Sunday 06 November 2005 14:12, Mr YouP wrote:
> > It's about layers, when I'm painting on an image I very often paint
> > on the "bad" layer (mean I though I was on a layer and actually I'm
> > painting on the one just next to).

> Basically, what you need is a visual cue that you're on the layer you
> intend. [...]
> I think you're definitely onto something. Maybe our resident 
> interaction guy has an idea? CC'd to him.

I know the problem; there are a number of interaction problems with layers 
in krita currently. They have been noted and we intend to fix several of 
them in a future rewrite of the layers panel.
The major problems I detected were;
a) layer selection.  Which layer to start drawing on.
b) feedback for 'current layer'.
c) picking a color and other such interactions are a bit weird with 
layers, they require a more complex mental model.

the last one is minimized by the selection tools defaulting to 'all 
layers' which is a good thing.  But the feedback of which layer is what 
is lost whenever the user tries to change that.

In short; It should be easy to figure out what a layer represents. Which 
pixels, basically.  This is too hard currently.

With the new layer dialog I forsee we will have nice previews of the 
contents of the layer and that should make (a) a lot easier already. But 
it is no substitute for a full-screen 'preview'.

I'm dreaming of a fast way to display the clipmask for a layer in an 
ok, I'll rephrase this technical term with an example;
Imagine the user moving his mouse over a preview area in the layers 
control.  As soon as the mouse enters a preview it will update the main 
area to paint a fully red area on top of the full image. But only the 
parts where at least some pixels of the layer are visible will be 
painted.   So; it is a fully red area to display the effective pixels of 
a layer.

Moving the mouse off of the preview square will make the image return to 
In a future version the red area can be painted half transparent or even 
using some xor color instead.

Letting the user directly see what in a layer represents what on screen 
will help problems (a), (b) and (c) substantially.

Notice that its still needed to add features like doing a ctrl-click to 
select the layer the pixel being clicked is in.
Thomas Zander
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