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welshblue

Feature Request - Rotate/Zoom Save File

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Not sure if this is feasible/ implementable but after trying to marry up some layers with previously Rotated/Zoomed ones ... and not remembering to write the settings down; the ability to save a .xml file in Rotate/ Zoom would be a great addition to have if you want to go back to a file and add more layers at previous settings

 

 

Edited by welshblue

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That's a feature I wish could be added to Indirect IU: the ability of plugins to save and restore control settings. It would have to save the version number in some form, so that if the plugin's control-layout changed, the plugin could either reject the saved-values, or somehow adapt them to fit the new layout. I think that would be the most complex aspect of the feature.

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What would even be better, if it's possible, is for saving and restoring settings to be a built-in feature of PDN. What I have in mind is that each plugin listed in the Effect and Adjustment menus would have the option  (perhaps by right-clicking) of saving its current settings, or restoring saved settings. The saved files could be required to match the plugin's control layout exactly to be restored. Most saving is short-term, and if the file format were XML, out-of-date files could be edited by hand to match a plugin's new controls.

 

EDIT: There could be mismatches of saved settings and controls if, for instance, the order of two integer controls were swapped in a later version. This strikes me as a rather minor inconvenience.

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Since I'm dreaming, I'll add one more idea. A copy of the Effect token could be saved as part of the history, so an Effect history item could be selected, and the settings at the time saved to a file, or restored to be the Effect's current settings.

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@MJW ... I must admit to not understanding half  most of what you say but it sounds good ?

 

As Eli says a lot of plugins would be handy with that ability.  A few off the top of my head Distort This, Object Rounder and Texture Shader

I use Planetoid for most of my textures and the ability to load old ones to work on again saves a lot of time

 

Give me an engine and I can make it work - computer code I haven't got the foggiest what is 'easy' and what isn't.  

I'm just grateful for all the toys you guys give us - with or without the ability to save/load

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I think I understand what MJW is saying: basically he is suggesting the whole cache history of a PDN image is also saved ie. including plugin settings. He's also suggesting that user preferred plugin settings can be saved and used in preference to the default ones.

 

As it is if you save the image and close it in PDN or close PDN completely you 'just' get the layers saved. When you reopen a saved PDN file all the plugin settings are returned to default. For instance if you've zoomed or rotated a layer and you want to repeat that exactly for another layer you now have to do it by trial and error unless you kept notes.

 

Being able to undo saved PDN images right back to the original start point could also be very useful but It would increase the PDN save file size dramatically if anything like this was possible.

 

 

Edited by IHaveNoName
missing word, spelling corrections

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Ah in that case I understand  - but I can only imagine Rick/ Plugin Authors widening their eyes then rolling them at the re-write that all that would take ?

The possibility of it one day would be great though

 

Sometimes I take screenshots of UI's if I know I'm going to be revisting a file to add to it.  

In this instance I didn't and for the life of me couldn't get Rotate/Zoom to marry up, so gave up and had  a mad thought about the ability to save a file.

 

 

 

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4 hours ago, IHaveNoName said:

I think I understand what MJW is saying: basically he is suggesting the whole cache history of a PDN image is also saved ie. including plugin settings. He's also suggesting that user preferred plugin settings can be saved and used in preference to the default ones. 

 

I think I'm suggesting something quite a bit simpler. Associated with each PDN effect is a (usually small) data structure referred to as a "token," which contains the control-setting information. There's more or less a one-to-one correspondence between the controls and the token variables. When you exit an effect, the current control settings are saved in the token. The next time you run the effect, the values in the token are used to set the starting settings of the controls. That's how control values persist from one time to the next.

 

I'm saying it would be nice if PND provided the user a way of saving the current token values in a file in a human-readable format, and also a way of restoring them, to replace the effect's current token. I'm also saying it would be nice if history items corresponding to running an effect included a copy of the effect's token, so it could be restored at a later time.

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Here's how I imagine it working.

 

Suppose you run Texture Merger, then realize you'll probably need the settings later. You would go to the Effect>Height Map menu, just as you would to run the effect. But instead of left-clicking the effect name, you'd right click. PDN would bring up a Save/Restore menu, offering you the option of saving the effect's current settings, or restoring them. When you selected Save, PDN would present the usual file-save menu, allowing you to choose the file name and location.

 

Later on, when you wanted to restore the settings, you'd right-click the effect name again, but this time choose Restore. PDN would then bring up a menu allowing you to select the file. Perhaps you could also be offered the option of restoring certain environment variables, such as the primary and secondary colors.

 

For the History feature, you'd right-click on a history item that corresponds to running an effect. PDN would bring up a menu offering you the option of making the current control settings  equal to the control values that were  used when the effect was run in the selected step.

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I have in the past thought about trying to write a plugin, similar in concept to @pyrochild's ScriptLab, that would implement the type of functionality I described above. It would be super cool.  However, as far as I can determine, there's no way to access other effects' tokens, except perhaps through a method called Reflection, which is forbidden to plugin programmers, and which I unfortunately know little about.

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1. Some of my more complex plugins, like those which give you the option to load and save configurations (Planetoid & Stickman), 'remember' previous paths to file locations. I use a registry key for the Save path and another for the Load path.

 

I don't know the 'rules' around using the registry like this, but wouldn't it be feasible for a plugin to use this technique to store the last used settings? This way the plugin configuration would persist across PDN sessions.

 

2. Another technique I used with WhichSymbol+ was to write the settings to the 'history' buttons. I gave the user 10 buttons to store their last used settings. The buttons are populated automatically and cascade downwards as new settings are used.

 

580d5e62ab257_WhichSymbolRedux21.png.fe3

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Ego Eram Reputo, the biggest problem I have is that there's no way for IndirectUI plugins to save and restore the control state. Eventually I may get around to changing some of my plugins to use non-IndirectUI user interfaces, but that probably won't happen anytime soon. It's an awful lot of work; especially if one wants to maintain the general look-and-feel of "standard" PDN effects. A lot of non-Indirect plugins seem to lack such useful and expected features as restore-to-default buttons.

 

I think a general feature that allowed saving control settings would be very useful. Often in complicated editing, a effect needs to be used for something else, but later on, an earlier setting is needed. Writing down the settings and typing them back in gets tedious (especially on plugins with too darned many controls).

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MJW proposal to save tokens reminds me how VST plugins and hosts work in audio editing world.

It would be great to be able to mark used tokens as presets and being able to open a plugin dialog with any of stored presets.

It might have a form of a one level deeper menu - you either click the effect itself, same as before, or open it's submenu and choose from stored presets.

 

In PDN plugins world, few plugins implementing their own tools to store presets now.

For example, Measure Selection plugin. It seems like the OptionBasedLibrary dll is used there for this purpose.

 

Edited by MXI

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