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Drawing Pixels Under Cursor Using Keys - Feature/Plugin Request

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I have a laptop trackpad. While that should tell you enough about how well I can draw using a mouse, I also have wobbly hands that would not be aided in drawing by a handheld mouse or a stylus. How else could I draw? Here's an idea - drawing with the keyboard keys! Similar to using a chisel and hammer, this allows for fine detail work - exactly what suits the art I want to draw, which is pixel art. No need to use my mouse to draw a sweeping mountainscape anyways when the graphics are so small.


The keyboard drawing would work on the normal cursor system. You use the arrow keys like normal to move up, down, left, and right. You will then use certain keys to either change the color of the pixel you are above, or change your primary/secondary color.


My proposed controls:


Up, down, left, right - move the cursor selection one pixel in the specified direction. This is already in Paint.NET, but I wanted to say it again to show how good an idea I think it is to flesh this out.

X - change current pixel (the one your mouse is on) to the primary color.

Z - change current pixel to the secondary color.

(optional but would be appreciated)

L - move the brush's primary color one left in the 96-color palette

R - move the brush's primary color one right in the palette

Q - move the brush's secondary color one left in the palette

W - move the brush's secondary color one right in the palette


Also note how the primary/secondary colours being easily usable on two keys side-by-side is useful for either outlining a shape and filling it in, adding two levels of shading into a shape that you have already outlined, or adding light and dark shading colours to a neutral color that you have already painted.


If it's too hard, I can live without using keys to change what color you have selected. All I really need is using X and Z to place down primary/secondary colour at mouse location.


Sorry if this is a detailed request, but no editor I've ever seen before has this - PabloDraw and Open Hamster RPG Engine's graphics editors sort of have placement of pixels using keyboard, but they have woogly proportions and size restrictions owing to them being more specific tools than Paint.NET (ASCII art maker and RPG engine). So this, if implemented, would allow for a more general-purpose usage including how Paint.NET has layers, transparent colours, and more. I don't mind if this is implemented in the main program or as a plugin.


Thanks for reading all this if you got down here!

Edited by FanofSMBX
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  • 4 weeks later...

Oh I forgot to mention. "Keyboard Mode"/"Pixel Art Mode" would be a toggleable setting in the settings window. So that the Z, X, A, S, Q, and W keys are switched from their normal bindings (Z switches to the Zoom tool and X swaps the primary and secondary colours) to the bindings I suggested if you set this setting to "on". Sorry that I requested it in this configuration but if you put your left hand on Z/X and right hand on the arrows, you'll notice it's quite comfortable; so that's why I requested these particular shortcuts.

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That's a big request, but however I believe it is programmable with ppm format. That is something you will have to do for yourself as it seem like a time consuming request. I can make something like this for gmic, but it would take a while, and it is something I can help you with if you want it to happen, but youll be spending weeks.

Edited by Reptillian

G'MIC Filter Developer

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Oh I have a new idea after looking at the shortcut documentation. You know how the arrow keys already move the selected tool 1px? Well, "Pixel Drawer" should be a tool. Use # as the cursor when using this tool. When using the pixel drawer tool, the keyboard shortcuts for switching tools are disabled until you manually use the mouse to click on a new tool, so that QWASZX can be used for placing pixels down under the tool cursor while this tool is selected. Now there won't be any shortcut key conflicts.

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You can already do this -- hold down the left mouse button and use the keyboard keys to draw the primary color, or hold down the right mouse button and use the keyboard keys to draw the secondary color.


So instead of a paint.net plugin, what you really need are keybindings for mousedown (not click) events. There are a lot of programs out there like this for a lot of different operating systems.


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