On Wed, Jan 17, 2007 at 08:52:48AM +0100, Sven Neumann wrote:
> I start to realize what you are asking for now. But, instead of
> suggesting a solution, could you perhaps try to explain where the
> problems are when you try to use the currently available features to
> implement your workflow? You should be able to do this with layers or
> selections. If that doesn't work for you, then perhaps there's something
> that we need to change about how layers and/or selections are handled. I
> don't think that we need to introduce a completely new feature.

# The goal:
Draw on several areas of an image while maintaining sharp edges 
around each of them (in many cases they will touch, so before I 
talked about edges between them).
With the least amount of interruption!

# Motivation
You often have parts of an image that need the same treatment, 
but are clearly divided (like hand and body on my example image).
You draw with the same base colour, draw light and shadow, 
texturing ... all best done in one go.

[Drawing from scratch might not be seen as typical use of GIMP, 
but I know I'm not the only one and the closest commercial 
counterpart, Photoshop is used for this alot, even though 
there's Painter. Check for example

# Layers
Using layers, you will likely end up with one layer per 
area. You need to switch between them. Just today I took notice 
it can be done with Page Up/Down, layer name appears in status 
bar. If you don't use the shortcuts, you need the layers dialog, 
taking away space from the drawing area. If you use them, it's 
just a keypress, but you have to take care in which layer you end 
up (drawing something on the wrong layer is a mistake i make  
often enough, even usuing the layers dialog).

# Selections
Loading selections to me means having to change between 
layer and channel tabs and a lot of mouse movement away from 
the canvas. This already makes me use layers with locked alpha 
everywhere I can. Only with exactly 2 areas, one could use 
inverse selection.

# Drawing zones
I think drawing zones would have to be organised in sets.  
The zones of a set would always cover a full rectangle like 
layers do.
Inside a set you would add/delete zones and select the zone 
you want to edit. Editing could then happen with the current 
selection tools. Masking would require 1 colour for each  

I admit this sounds a bit complicated. Now for the nice part: 
once setup, you just draw! If you move the pointer outside 
the zone you started drawing in, nothing happens (just like 
painting outside a selection). You don't have to hit a single 
button, but get to focus on drawing completely.

# Stop lines
My initial idea was to have just lines (non-closed paths), 
which you can't draw past. So they act like a selection 
boundary, but are not closed. You could even draw all around 
them, something that might be helpful on drawing armpits.
I then thought it might be hard to check for this, 
so closed regions/zones might be easier. The management 
of stop lines might be more simple, though.

Thorsten Wilms

Thorwil's Creature Illustrations:

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