FocalBlade - Feature Requests

FocalBlade specific discussions
pachiu
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FocalBlade - Feature Requests

Postby pachiu » Fri Jan 30, 2004 8:56 pm

First of all, contratulations for bringing out such a wonderful product! FocalBlade is by far the most versatile and intuitive sharpening tool I have ever used. I have been playing with the plug-in for a while and bought it a couple days ago. So far, my results have been good to very good. I have no doubt that as I become more familiar with the parameters, in time I will be able to achieve excellent result consistently. Great job! :D

There are however a few features / improvements that I would like to see being added to FocalBlade:

1. The ability to zoom past 100% in the preview. This is almost mandatory to judge the quality of sharpening on some images, as you mentioned it yourself in the manual.

2. The ability to instantly switch between original and sharpened version in the preview. Right now I can sort of achieve this by turning Auto-Preview on and off (with Alt-P). However, every time I turn from off to on, it re-calculates - the switch is far from "instantly". A good example of this is Photoshop's USM filter, where you can click Preview to instant switch between original and sharpened version (or even easier click in image area of the USM dialog box - I used this extensively). This is related to 5 below.

3. Use familiar Photoshop keyboard shortcuts. 90% of your customers are going to use this plugin in Photoshop, so why introduce a new set of shortcuts? For example, Ctrl-+ and Ctrl-- for zooming in and out instead of Alt-+ and Alt--, Space+mouse to pan the image instead of Alt+mouse, etc.

4. Stress testing. In my fooling around with the plugin and doing all sorts of weird operations with it, I managed to crash FocalBlade once (on an Athlon 2500+ XP with 1GB memory, 80% dedicated to Photoshop). It worked fine when I used it more "normally", however. Still it feels a bit rough and needs to be polished a bit.

5. Better panning ability in split view with Multi turned on. If I use Right Side split with Multi, there is no way I can view the right-most part of the image since I cannot pan past the image. I have to switch to Left Side split. This is probably a minor point, but inconvenient nonetheless. On the other hand, if 2 above is implemented, this becomes less of an issue.

That's all I can think of at the moment.. :lol: Once again I think you for a great product. Keep up the good work! :D

Andy

HaraldHeim
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Re: FocalBlade - Feature Requests

Postby HaraldHeim » Fri Jan 30, 2004 10:56 pm

Hi Andy,

thanks for your nice comments and suggestions for improvement. I appreciate it.


pachiu wrote:1. The ability to zoom past 100% in the preview. This is almost mandatory to judge the quality of sharpening on some images, as you mentioned it yourself in the manual.


That is planned for one of the next versions.

2. The ability to instantly switch between original and sharpened version in the preview. Right now I can sort of achieve this by turning Auto-Preview on and off (with Alt-P). However, every time I turn from off to on, it re-calculates - the switch is far from "instantly". A good example of this is Photoshop's USM filter, where you can click Preview to instant switch between original and sharpened version (or even easier click in image area of the USM dialog box - I used this extensively). This is related to 5 below.


It probably depends on the speed of your computer and the size of the FocalBlade window how fast the switching is. But there is a trick to instantly switch between sharpened and original version. Hold down the right mouse button above the preview and release it without moving the mouse. That way you can instantly switch between original and sharpened version.

I'll see to it that the same can be done by using the Preview check box.


3. Use familiar Photoshop keyboard shortcuts. 90% of your customers are going to use this plugin in Photoshop, so why introduce a new set of shortcuts? For example, Ctrl-+ and Ctrl-- for zooming in and out instead of Alt-+ and Alt--, Space+mouse to pan the image instead of Alt+mouse, etc.


This is a problem. According to my tests Photoshop and other graphics applications seems to gulp all key press events and not pass them to plugins. The Alt key shortcuts work without key press events, so I used them. But I'll see what I can do.

4. Stress testing. In my fooling around with the plugin and doing all sorts of weird operations with it, I managed to crash FocalBlade once (on an Athlon 2500+ XP with 1GB memory, 80% dedicated to Photoshop). It worked fine when I used it more "normally", however. Still it feels a bit rough and needs to be polished a bit.


Please get the latest Version 1.02b. There were several bugs fixed in this new version. Other than that if you manage to reproduce a crash with FocalBlade, send me a list of the steps that are needed and I'll fix it.


5. Better panning ability in split view with Multi turned on. If I use Right Side split with Multi, there is no way I can view the right-most part of the image since I cannot pan past the image. I have to switch to Left Side split. This is probably a minor point, but inconvenient nonetheless. On the other hand, if 2 above is implemented, this becomes less of an issue.


I see. Would probably mean a lot of work to fix that small problem, because of the way plugins work. An alternative is to switch to Left View to view the left border of the image.

pachiu
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Re: FocalBlade - Feature Requests

Postby pachiu » Sat Jan 31, 2004 12:57 am

Herald, thanks for the quick reply! Talk about great customer support too.. :D

HaraldHeim wrote:
pachiu wrote:1. The ability to zoom past 100% in the preview. This is almost mandatory to judge the quality of sharpening on some images, as you mentioned it yourself in the manual.


That is planned for one of the next versions.


Great! Hopefully this will be implemented soon. Right now I can "sort of" get around the problem by going back to PS and zoom in to evaluate the sharpening result, then go back to FocalBlade if the result isn't what I want. As you can see, this is a rather painful and tedious process.

HaraldHeim wrote:
pachiu wrote:2. The ability to instantly switch between original and sharpened version in the preview. Right now I can sort of achieve this by turning Auto-Preview on and off (with Alt-P). However, every time I turn from off to on, it re-calculates - the switch is far from "instantly". A good example of this is Photoshop's USM filter, where you can click Preview to instant switch between original and sharpened version (or even easier click in image area of the USM dialog box - I used this extensively). This is related to 5 below.


It probably depends on the speed of your computer and the size of the FocalBlade window how fast the switching is. But there is a trick to instantly switch between sharpened and original version. Hold down the right mouse button above the preview and release it without moving the mouse. That way you can instantly switch between original and sharpened version.

I'll see to it that the same can be done by using the Preview check box.


Great tip Herald! It does solve the problem mostly for me. However, please DO implement this as a keyboard shortcut. The right-mouse-button-click works great, but even the slightest movement of the mouse results in a re-calculation.. :( By the way, the mouse cursor keeps changing between the Cross and the Pan tool when RMB is held... a bit annoying. Also, I noticed that when I have the full image displaying completely in the preview window at 100% (ie, no panning is possible / neccessary), and moves the mouse while holding down the RMB, the preview does a re-calculation anyway despite no panning actually occured. Again, a bit annoying.

HaraldHeim wrote:
pachiu wrote:3. Use familiar Photoshop keyboard shortcuts. 90% of your customers are going to use this plugin in Photoshop, so why introduce a new set of shortcuts? For example, Ctrl-+ and Ctrl-- for zooming in and out instead of Alt-+ and Alt--, Space+mouse to pan the image instead of Alt+mouse, etc.


This is a problem. According to my tests Photoshop and other graphics applications seems to gulp all key press events and not pass them to plugins. The Alt key shortcuts work without key press events, so I used them. But I'll see what I can do.


I see. Oh well. Let's hope you'll find a way around this limitation.. :D Since PS CS supports keyboard shortcut remapping, perhaps it is possible for FocalBlade to remap the important shortcuts away on startup, then restore the mapping on exit?

Thanks Herald!

Andy

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Postby HaraldHeim » Sat Jan 31, 2004 2:02 pm

Great! Hopefully this will be implemented soon. Right now I can "sort of" get around the problem by going back to PS and zoom in to evaluate the sharpening result, then go back to FocalBlade if the result isn't what I want. As you can see, this is a rather painful and tedious process.


Adding a >100% zoom means quite some extra work, because Photoshop and other graphics applications don't support that natively. So you have to program it yourself instead of letting Photoshop do it for the plugin, like it does for zoom values below 100%. Programming the >100% zoom itself isn't so much work, but making the feature work without making the plugin unstable requires much more work.


Great tip Herald! It does solve the problem mostly for me. However, please DO implement this as a keyboard shortcut.


You toggle the Auto Preview check box with ALT + P. On my 2.4 GHz machine it only takes 0.3 seconds to recalculate the preview after Auto Preview was activated again. So I can switch between the original and sharpened image very quickly with Alt + P. But I'll see that toggling Auto Preview works even faster.

By the way, the mouse cursor keeps changing between the Cross and the Pan tool when RMB is held... a bit annoying.


Right, I'll try to fix that.


Also, I noticed that when I have the full image displaying completely in the preview window at 100% (ie, no panning is possible / neccessary), and moves the mouse while holding down the RMB, the preview does a re-calculation anyway despite no panning actually occured. Again, a bit annoying.


You're a good observer! I just fixed that. It won't occure anymore in the next FocalBlade version.


I see. Oh well. Let's hope you'll find a way around this limitation.. :D Since PS CS supports keyboard shortcut remapping, perhaps it is possible for FocalBlade to remap the important shortcuts away on startup, then restore the mapping on exit?


Filter plugins can't access the keyboard remapping feature. I don't know if it is even possible for other type of plugins. Anyway, that wouldn't help either. But I think I know how to overcome this problem.


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