Re: [Gimp-developer] gimp gradients

> Date: Sun, 10 Mar 2013 13:14:14 -0300
> From: gespertino gmail com
> To: gimp-developer-list gnome org
> Subject: Re: [Gimp-developer] gimp gradients
> El 10/03/13 11:10, rafał rush escribió:
> > Hi
> > Gradients in gimp are very very painful thing. I love gimp and i used it
> > a lot but gradients are nightmare. I see that you are making new tools
> > and other stuff but the most important thing and the thing that all
> > graphic designers using all the time is gradient. To make simple
> > gradient i must do hundred clicks. Gradient window is weird and
> > difficult for new user. Are you planing make gradient tool more user
> > friendly?
> A nightmare, a pain? I can agree that editing the endpoints is not as
> straightforward as it should, but adding stops requires only to drag and
> drop colors on the gradient editor.
> How exactly would you do it "more user friendly"? Probably in the future
> when a gradient is a GEGL node the tool could be extended to allow th
> edit the stops on canvas making the gradient editor almost unnecessary,
> but right now it's not possible since you have to define the gradient
> before applying it, and once you did it it becomes pixels.
> The gradient editor could use some improvements, of course, but saying
> it's a painful thing, a nightmare and stating that you have to do
> "hundred clicks" is an unnecessary exaggeration.
> Why don't you try describing the parts you think are more problematic
> and propose how to do it better?
> Gez
> _______________________________________________
> gimp-developer-list mailing list
> gimp-developer-list gnome org

I have a mixed opinion about this.  For starters, actually painting the gradient is a simple task - make a selection (when/as desired), switch to the Gradient tool, then click and drag, and the only flaw in this system is the inability to define gradient length for shaped gradients (you still have to click AND drag to initiate the painting, but the drag length has no effect on shaped gradients.  It would be tons easier to, say, create a simple gradient border if you could define the length).

I also agree that editing a custom gradient can be both difficult and annoying. 

1 - The gradient editor is segment-based, not node-based.  While I agree that some functions (e.g. blending mode and handle) are inherently segment-oriented while others (endpoint type/color) are node-oriented, I find it generally counter-intuitive.

2 - Making node colors contiguous - the same color on both sides - is not the default behavior, when it should be.  (Most gradients utilize contiguous node colors anyway.)  Currently you have to manually click the neighboring segment and select "Load endpoint's color > from neighboring endpoint".  This very quickly becomes tedious on the end user.

3 - When using HSV segment blending, greys and whites are assumed to have a red hue, which can produce some weird results (because greys and whites technically don't have any hue whatsoever).

4 - I can't seem to find a way to make GIMP auto-generate a node's color based on its position between neighboring segments (and, where applicable, blending modes).  For example, if one segment of my custom gradient starts at 30% grey, the next one ends with 80% grey, and a node in the middle is positioned 40% away from the left end, the node's default color (based on linear blending) would be (40% of the way from 30% to 80%, aka...) 50% grey, but I can't find a way to make GIMP calculate and set this color automatically.

5 - I think the context menus for setting the endpoint colors could use some tweaking.  Currently they say:
- Color Type >
- - Fixed
- - Foreground
- - Foreground (Transparent)
- - Background
- - Background (Transparent)
- Endpoint's Color....  (loads color selector)

Perhaps they could say instead:
- Endpoint's Color >
- - Fixed color...  (loads color selector)
- - Use Foreground
- - Use Foreground (Transparent)
- - Use Background
- - Use Background (Transparent)

6 - And while we're on the subject, it would be nice if GIMP could define colors for each endpoint/node in RGBA terms (like Inkscape does) instead of just RGB.  But that's probably a bit more intensive....

However, I have to disagree that painting a "simple" gradient is anywhere near painful - the two most common gradients I actually paint with are "FG to BG" and "FG to Transparent" because they don't use predefined colors.  The only problem with these gradients is the inability to adjust their handles (which is not unique to gradients, all resource types - especially brush dynamics - have the same problem).

-- Stratadrake
strata_ranger hotmail com
Numbers may not lie, but neither do they tell the whole truth.

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