Layer usuability idea

Thomas Zander zander at
Mon Nov 7 20:49:06 CET 2005

On Monday 07 November 2005 19:54, Boudewijn Rempt wrote:
> > Letting the user directly see what in a layer represents what on
> > screen will help problems (a), (b) and (c) substantially.
> But will it help the main problem, viz, accidentally working on the
> wrong layer? 

The main problem can not simply be 'working on the wrong layer'. Thats an 
unsolvable problem without wrecking the system that layers put in place.
i.e. you can not expect the layers to behave like transparent sheets of 
glass and then at the same time expect to have a clear visual feedback on 
what the layers are.

Suggesting you change the visualization of one or more layers based on 
selection makes using the application very annoying since at all times 
you want to see what you are doing.  I.e. the end result is more 
important then the layer-selection state.

What I did was take away the instant feedback idea and insert the option 
to have much better visual feedback leading to the action of actually 
using a layer.
Since the usage of a layer is preceded by selecting one, its logical to 
have a much better feedback in that stage to eliminate mistakes there and 
only later find out you are editing the wrong layer.

In my model I depend on the action of the user to actually take the mental 
step of using (and thus selecting) layers.
This assumption is also embedded in your visualization suggestion, but 
with your suggestion its much more in your face.  Something I find will 
break the workflow. I expect many people to turn off the option due to 
its intrusive behavior; leaving us with a system we actually already have 
and don't like.

> This only works when you're hovering over the preview. 

Which is the intention.

> Unless you make it a mode. (Of course, all tools in a paint app
> represent modes, so Krita is already heavily modal.) 

I disagree; (almost)[1] all modes in krita are operated from one widget; 
the toolbox.  There is effectively just one buttongroup and thus mode.  
This does not make Krita heavily modal IMO.  Or, better said, adding more 
modes would have a disruptive effect on users ability to form a mental 
model of how Krita works.

> I was thinking of 
> showing the layer's name and number in a semi-transparent osd on top of
> Krita's window when changing a layer.

So; you want to show the image a little differently then it actually is.  
Photoshop does this and I never found out how to disable this, I have 
been known to add 10 pixels left of my image for the sole reason of being 
able to see the top left pixels of my layer while there is an annoying 
status on top of it.

Altering the working area for status or feedback purposes is never a good 
idea as it will always stand in the way of somebodies way of working.

1) there is the combobox to operate the paint method next to the brushes. 
I intend to address that as well soonish.
Thomas Zander
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