Wish list: Krita assistants

Standard

Krita assistans tool is quite powerful for helping you in making technical drawings, they look so simple and yet with a bit of planning you can setup almost all of your perspective needs. Here below a video of me doing some work. Its in real time so you can see how and when I used the assistants.

Finished sketch

Finished sketch

I’m still not a power user of this tool, however after using it so much lately I have found a few annoyances and wishes for some features.

There are, at the time of this writing, four types of assistants which are.

  • Ellipse: Helps you create circles and ellipses
  • Spline: Allows to create a controlled curve
  • Perspective: Allows to create a perspective grid (This on is special since brushes can react to this perspective grid)
  • Ruler: Just like the Line tool, but here you can fine tune the line as you draw over it.

This short list allows to make complex setups, and while it takes a bit of time to make them just right, it allows for finer control over the lines you are going to get. I believe this approach is very powerful once a few shortcomings are resolved. Below I list the bugs I’m getting as well as a few wishes for making assistants a bit more complete.

Bugs:

Assistants overlapping

https://bugs.kde.org/show_bug.cgi?id=331788

Assistants should lock on the closest shape while you are drawing to avoid jumps. On does not need a complex setup to get this behavior . Below I made a tree ellipses, at the top I place them one over the other to maximize the “train wreck” effect. If the brush stroke were locked to the initial assistant chosen, this would not happen.

assist_overlap

Upper: two ellipses overlapped, Lower: single ellipse

Cropping image shift assistants from the drawing

https://bugs.kde.org/show_bug.cgi?id=331789

Ok so you made a perspective setup, you better not crop your image or the assistants shift loosing their original position in relation to the drawing. This is ok if only one assistant is around, but with many more you need to move one at a time. It appears assistants coordinates are taken from the top left corner of the canvas, and after a crop the corner is shifted, moving all assistant with it.

General slowness with full screen assistants.

This problem probably has to do with assistants being rendered by CPU and my CPU being slow. So probably it is a non issue on most computers. But just to be sure. Make two perspective grids that cover the entire canvas. Zoom in. The more you Zoom in the slower it gets. On an openGL canvas this ruins the joy.

Assistants are bound to image size, making them difficult to reuse

https://bugs.kde.org/show_bug.cgi?id=331790

assistants_resize_01

The wish list:

Allow transform operations on assistants

https://bugs.kde.org/show_bug.cgi?id=331790

  • Allow to select and move several assistants at a time.
  • Allow to resize assitants (specially useful on perspective an grid assitants)
This last two are aimed to make it easier to reuse assistants setups and is intended to fix the last bug I listed. After loading, if size is not right do a quick select, move/resize to match desired size. The tricky part here is the selection and the transformation mode. But because this is not a vector focused editing program It could work as a button on the Assistant tool docker. The button would read “Transform assistants” and while this checkbox is on, all current assistants will become a member of a group. The group would have handles to transform, move, rotate, etc. Toggle checkbox to single assistant edit mode.

Allow perspective assistant to expand on perspective.

https://bugs.kde.org/show_bug.cgi?id=331787

After creating a perspective assistant it is not easy to move it beyond the screen without loosing Vanishing points. Middle handle is made for creating a new side for a grid. And corner handles to set the VP. Clicking on the edge would instead allow the grid to expand on perspective to fill the screen. You could expand on any direction and it would expand not only the current plane but in case you made a cage, all connected edges

The idea is to easily get a full sized grid setup from points drawn on screen.

persp_expand

Grab edge to expand from vanishing point

Faked in blender, perspective grid after expand.

Faked in blender, perspective grid after expand.

If we could grow this setup would be easier to modify

Add a shortcut to toggle assistant snap.

https://bugs.kde.org/show_bug.cgi?id=331791

This could work as photoshop/SAI, snapping only when pressed. But personaly I like the way Eraser toggle works. This is meant to speed up work made with assistants. After setting up a draw grid/perspective, this shortcut shoul allow to toggle activation of assistant snap. A plus to have is a visual button as the eraser or alpha mode has, so users with perspective intensive setups could add the button to the top bar. (of course the default bar would not have the button on display)

Add a grid assistant.

Animtim made a better suggestion in this bug report https://bugs.kde.org/show_bug.cgi?id=314133 Im just adding the grids

I’m probably spoiled by Inkscape grids. but a grid assistant makes sense to have, specially for making patterns alongside the wrap around mode. This might sound overkill, but current grid does not snap to painting tools, it seems to be more focused on krita vector tools. The grid assistant also has the benefit of be whatever you need it to be and place it only in the area you need it.

  • Basic rectangular grid: (This one can be made using the perspective grid)
  • Axonometric grid: (Can be made using perspective assist)
  • Circular grid: Ellipse works great but you are bound to the exact spot you placed the ellipse. the grid would allow to place a line as the current perspective assistant does. This assistant could be shrink as the current ellipse assistant does.

assist_grid

All grid assistant could be great f they could be transformed in perspective using four points or a simple Ctrl + click as the transform tool does.

Making a grid with perspective assistants

Conclusion

Current assistants are a powerful tool which work in many situations, the problem at the moment is the ease of use and speed of setup. Currently to make most of the work its necessary to plan ahead and construct them one point at a time. There is one advantage, once they are set you don’t need to touch them again while you work. Once ease of use problems are addressed their usage will be much more widespread. One good thing, and I think the best one: Current assistant model is not married with the GUI (There is no specific angle, or shape bound to a snap key) and it needs to be setup, this allows the developers to add a wide variety of assistants for us to use and setup in ways we believe is best for the current image we are creating.

How about you? how do you use them?

2 thoughts on “Wish list: Krita assistants

  1. Actually, regarding the perspective assistant I have one big request: allow the vanishing points to snap onto a similar horizon.

    From the little I remember of my technical drawing classes, a drawing can have an infinite amount of vanishing points, but the ones for depth are stuck to the horizon… I need to recall my perspectice deformation a bit better:/.

    • That would awesome! And a time savior in doing this setups. Also it could potentially encourage the use of multiple grids. If we could snap the corner points to any segment of a ruler type assistant we could setup a more organic grid with those capabilities, of course doing it like this would be complicated/hard to understand for the user.

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