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layers technology

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I was noticing that .pdn saves layers.


That got me thinking about "layers technology" and I was wondering what paint.net developers thought about this subject.


Here's some questions:

01. who first thought of layers for use in graphics programs?

02. why don't (do you think) other types of programs use layers?


The second question is the most important to me...


For instance, text editors could use layers so that copyediting marks could be put into the file, without changing the original text. These marks could be hidden similar to the way paint.net layers work...and yet that isn't in any text editor that I know of.


Just wondering...thanks.

Edited by denverpotsmoker

The Rise of the Creative Class

by: Richard Florida

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This might help, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alpha_compositing


To store matte information, the concept of an alpha channel was introduced by Alvy Ray Smith in the late 1970s, and fully developed in a 1984 paper byThomas Porter and Tom Duff.

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Muchos Gracias Rick Brewster!


I'm almost certain that "layer technology" is missing from many modern programs.


I don't know how teachers are expected to grade electronic papers without it.


In addition, digital editing of text documents would be much easier with visible/non-visible layers.



I myself am working on a font that has more editing characters than just new paragraph:

new document = ND! (with a circle around it) =ALT+051

delete = DEL

R! = Research (with a circle around it)

SP? = Check spelling

"STAR" symbol = important

* = annotation (high astrick)


....imagine if I could insert them in a layer above my text! OMG!

The Rise of the Creative Class

by: Richard Florida

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I've been doing very very very simple graphics editing in stuff like MS Paint and Paint Shop Pro 5 for over 15 years and somehow the whole layers thing finally clicked with Paint.NET.  I finally understand how they work and what they are for.  I had no idea previously.  Very very handy stuff, I love them.


I will say I've finally found a use for 16GB of ram in the past 2 months fiddling though, wow you can chew up some ram on bigger images.  Although Paint.NET's stability, is very surprisingly good, considering the size of some of the images I'm working with.

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For your second question, you want the layer technology of programs like PDN to be applied on word processing programs so you could hide and unhide copy-editing marks right?


I think the reason no one made word processing programs with the "layer" technology is because not many have seen its potential. Even if they did, there will be a backward compatibility and file format issue. If it had been applied on a word processing program say MS Word 15 years ago, its possible it would have thrived today.


Say you applied this technology to a future version of MS Word. You can't save a document there with a hidden copy-editing info layer to .doc or .docx. It had to be a new and different format which is not compatible with older versions of MS Word or other third party programs like Open Office. It would be impractical for lots of users so the user base and enterprise would see no sense of this feature and no sense in upgrading to this version of MS Word which would cost them money. If you intend to save that file to .doc or .docx, the program had no choice but to remove the "layer" and all you get is a flat non-layered document but is usable on older versions of the word processing program and the third parties. You see this on PDN when you save the file as .jpg for example. You have no choice but to flatten/combine all the layers into a flat image when saving to a .jpg which is universally compatible on other image-viewing programs.

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