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pior

Usability issue with the eyedropper / Sampler Tool

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Hello all,

I have been using 3DCoat for a few years now and my main use for it is diffuse texture painting. The program is great at it but I do have a long standing issue with the way the eyedropper/Sampling tool works. Like many artists involved in texture painting I come from a Photoshop background therefore this will be my main point of reference.

- My first question is related to the mapping of the tool. I can of course map it to any usual keyboard letter key (I personally set it to "i") but it would be great to also be able to access it by holding down Alt while painting - if only because of muscle memory coming from PS. Now of course I am aware that the Alt key is already used by the navigation system when working with Maya-style navigation but surely enough these two things are not mutually exclusive. Maybe there is a way to assign it to the Alt key by manually editing a setting file ? If so please let me know.

- Second question : The clever behavior of "hold down a key to temporarily activate tool, or tap the key to switch to it fully" can get quite irritating when dealing with the Sampler tool at high speeds while painting. If I hold down my assigned key, tap down with my stylus to sample, then release both in a very slow and deliberate manner, I do get the color that I want. But if I attempt to colorpick at my usual speedy rate I then always end up with the wrong color samples because it is quite easy to accidentally fully switch to the tool as opposed to temporarily activating it ... meaning that when this happens my next intended paint brushstroke ends up being yet another Sampling pick, forcing me to color pick *again* to go back to my previous selection. Very frustrating. This is getting to a point where it is seriously slowing me down and negatively affects my workflow, definitely kicking me out of the zone ... every 10 seconds or so. How do you guys deal with that ? In general, are there any known workarounds to make hotkey-driven color Sampling more reliable ?

Thank you for your help !

Edited by pior

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I didn't (consciously) experience the second problem (having used only the "v" shortcut so far which I can access quite conveniently with my left hand and which doesn't seem to show the behaviour you describe), but I sure struggle when switching between Photoshop and 3D-Coat as far as color picking is concerned. (Same goes for changing the brush size.)
 

I also wish that hitting a key the second time wouldn't switch back to the previous tool (An option to activate/deactivate this behavior would be great), since I tend to absentmindedly press the hotkey for e.g. the brush again after a short break.

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Hi Findus, thank you for chiming in.

I certainly wish there was a way to use alt indeed. I will try to dig into the config files and/or some autohotkey solution and I will report back with what I find. As far as brush size control is concerned I am personally not bothered by the 3DC implementation as I am relying on [ ] myself but I can see how not having access to alt+rightclick drag could be annoying for those used to that method.

As for the other point, I will try to come up with a way to consistently reproduce the issue. For now broadly speaking it can be summed up as "if you color pick very fast in 3DCoat using the "sticky key" method, at one point or another you end up switching tool instead of colorpicking, thus making you color pick again when you actually want to lay down a stroke" - something that can never happen when alt-picking in PS. I'd be curious to hear if it happens for you, and on my end I will try to see if the default V shortcut causes it to happen too.

Thanks !

Edited by pior

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Hi pior,

I can reproduce your problem when using your described method, but I can't say if it's a bug or simply me messing up the right order of doing things. But after a while I do find myself trying to paint while still having the pipette activated.

Edit: I don't think that "v" does the same thing because it behaves differently.

Edited by Findus

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I have sent your request to the development area.

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@Findus : Thank your for taking the time to try it out, that's appreciated.

I wasn't aware of the functionality of the V key. I assumed that it was the default shortcut for the eyedropper/sampler, but it actually isn't. It looks like this is more of an overall, hard-coded picker that operates independently of the actual Sampler tool that I was attempting to use. Overall I find V-picking it to be a pretty good behavior, even if a bit unusual with the way it relies on mouse hover rather mouse click.

Quote

"I can reproduce your problem when using your described method, but I can't say if it's a bug or simply me messing up the right order of doing things."

The way I see it is that it is definitely not a bug, but rather a UX oversight. What I mean by that is that while it does behave "as designed", the way sticky keys are designed breaks down when used with the Sampler tool on a fast workflow. BUT this remarks only applies to the scenario of a key being assigned to the Sampler tool itself, and not the special "V picking mode", so maybe this is irrelevant after all. I personally don't use sticky keys in any program because I find them to slow me down, but I understand that some users may enjoy them so of course the behaviour should stay (although I would personally appreciate to have the option to disable this behavior globally as I find it to be quite error-prone).

So, that brings me to the following questions and requests for @Carlosan :

1 - What is the recommended way for the user to remap "V picking" to another key ?
2 - Is it currently possible to assign it to alt (both left and right) ?
3 - Is it possible to set it to operate on click rather than hover ?
(In short : please give us a way to make picking work just like alt-picking in Photoshop)

Of course all this should be optional, so that users relying on the current system do not get the carpet swept under their feet :)

Thanks.

Edited by pior

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On a semi-related note, something I noticed while painting which I believe did not happen with the earlier 3.x releases : The brush tool seems to miss strokes at a rate of more or less one out of ten. Is anyone else getting that ?

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