• jan@cosmigo.com

⌨ New keyboard shortcut to move UP and DOWN in palette


#1

I find that when drawing pixel art, it’s key to be able to select new colors as efficiently as possible. Not just any colors, but colors similar to what you’re currently using.

I’m suggesting the addition of two new miscellaneous shortcuts to be added which would allow the user to move up and down in the palette. Currently left and right is possible via keyboard.


Further explanation:
(DISCLAIMER: I don’t want to speak for everyone. This is just how I do stuff.)

These shortcuts are extremely useful -

I use them constantly.

If I could also move up and down in the palette, not just left and right, it would be even more useful.

Trying to set up numerous gradients (actually using the gradient manager and adding ramps from my palette) in an attempt to simulate this behavior has proven too cumbersome.

I often simply want to freely jump around my palette and use a different color that’s similar in lightness, but seek a way to do this quickly and painlessly, since I do it A LOT.

Here’s a use case. So for instance, look at this weird grungy metal thing im working on -

Lots of hue mixing - very few linear ramp shaded clusters (using same row in palette). When rendering all the surfaces I often jump from ramp to ramp and select a different color to use but a color that’s within the same general lightness range, so colors blend.
I’m using a premade palette, not one made exactly for the purpose of drawing this grungy metal mess. So it takes some effort to find colors that will work together well to give me the end result I’m looking for. That means either mashing the ‘previous color’ and ‘next color’ keys to move 16 index spaces to go up and down a row in the palette or moving my cursor to the palette to click, then back to canvas to test the color. Back and forth. Back and forth.
Notice how my palette is organized. If I could just jump up and down in my green ramps freely and quickly without needing to constantly stop drawing and click my palette it would be massive.

I thought about how well it might work to use the num pad for this - 8: up, 6: right, 2: down, 4: left. But the num pad is too far away from where my keyboard hand hovers while drawing - around the Right Shift button.
Personally, I would map color up and color down to the - and + keys at the end of the number row. This way, all 4 color palette movement keys would be adjacent and laid out in a natural ergonomic way:

I would hope decent ROI on this one, since adding logic to move up/down in the palette is made seemingly simple since the indexed colors list is always a 16x16 grid in everyone’s projects, regardless of what the colors even are.

:art:


#2

Do you draw with a pen? Or a mouse?

I had this problem before too, and my workaround is to map selecting palette indexes via “Ctrl + Mouse Wheel”
change-index-shortcut
Caveats:
The workaround wouldn’t work if your pen tablet doesn’t have a scroll wheel though.
Another thing, the convenience of the workaround will depend on your scroll wheel travel settings.
Lastly, the only thing i don’t like with this workaround is that you can’t do this for the bg color. But the workaround with that is to flip the fg and bg color (default: “Shift + A”), change the color, then flip it back. A bit of an extra step, very minor personal pet peeve, actually. But i can live with it.


#3

Hey, cageburner. I’m using a screen tablet.
So, just a pen drawing directly on the screen. No scrollwheel to be found. crap

Hey, ctrl+mouse wheel isn’t too bad if you’re using a mouse. I just tried it. You can cycle through the palette fairly quickly. Not bad at all. Though I don’t use my mouse when drawing these days.

What I like to do is watch my brush (on my cursor) change color as I alter my foreground color via keyboard until I get the right color to use. This lets me quickly “preview” how two colors look when next to each other without even making a change or adding a history state.

Say I’m workin’ on some dark brownish stuff and I want to toss in some interesting hues, I want to know which color from my purple ramp I can mix in with the brown and it not be too light or dark. Impossible to know until I SEE the colors next to each other - cycling my foreground color as quickly as possible and finding that one magic color in my palette is what I constantly do. Takes time but it’s the price I willingly pay to find cool color combos.
Of course once I’ve found colors that work together I can just sample them from then on and reuse those combos. But as soon as I pan away to something else and those good combos are no longer on my screen I may do that process all over again.
Of course this applies to most digital art, not just pixel art but it seems especially crucial to get right, when pixeling.

Pretty sure keyboard shortcuts to move UP and DOWN in the palette would alleviate my workflow issue almost 100%.


#4

Will add it with the next maintenance update. It’s really simple to add. But I won’t assign keys. You need to set it up on your own.
With 7.3 I need to redo some of the shortcuts because in the past I assigned default shortcuts much too often. I painted myself into a corner :-/


#5

YES Perfect! Can’t wait.
Totally agree - I wouldn’t assign default key shortcuts to move up/move down in palette.

I wondered how your keymapping scheme would shape up as time went on hehe.
Better to fix it now than later I think.
Thing is, as long as users can customize their own shortcuts for everything it’s no problem.
Don’t like a shortcut? - change it.
Want to add a shortcut to a command that has no shortcut? - just add it.
Your custom shortcut implementation seems to be perfect. I’ve even added a shortcut to bring up the custom shortcuts dialogue hehe. I do use it a lot.


Since on the subject, I have a relevant and hopefully simple suggestion - think about giving the Filter field default focus when the “Keyboard Shortcuts” dialogue pops, so you can immediately just start typing to search for the command you want to change, without having to first click in the field. I do this almost every time I edit shortcuts. Gotta click the field before I can type.


#6

Jan.cosmigo while we are on Keyboard shortcuts could we add 4 more 2 for resize brush by 1 pixel up or down and another 2 for resize brush for the intermediate between half and double?


#7

Seen these shortcuts yet, Morintari? They should scale your brush up and down proportionally by the smallest increment possible.

New brush video was recently posted, might find some tricks you haven’t seen yet -


#8

No Mathias, was’nt aware of that but will take full advantage…Thanks!


#9

Color row cycle key shortcuts added with 7.2.5 (pending update)

Unfortunately I occupied lots of (today’s) standard shortcuts “my own way”, decades ago. Need to free at least some of them.