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Polygon select tool?


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New to Paint.net, and like others I noted the lack of a polygon select tool right off the bat.

I found some polygon draw plug ins, and a description of a layering trick to draw a pencil line on a new layer to effectively select the desired area, the remove the pencil layer to get the selection from the base image.

Functional, but not as simple as a basic polygon selection.

The lasso has about 90% of what's needed already - auto completion to the start point, visible coverage of the selected area, etc. But it's too freehand, picking up every shake and jumble when I move the mouse any decent distance. If the lasso had a "forced straight line" feature that would help a bit, although the requirement drag the mouse instead of clicking then moving still makes it more difficult than it needs to be.

What it's missing is straight lines and easier mouse movement. Other tools (open source and purchased) have normally had some method to force straight line movement. I've seen it mostly done by holding <ctrl> or <shift> while drawing.

I know there is a 15 degree straight line feature like that, but that still leaves lots of angles not able to be drawn.

My preference? A polygon select tool that I left click once, setting an anchor point, then move from that anchor to a new point (not click and drag, mind you), click to set another anchor point, move to a new point, etc. Double click to close the polygon and get the selected area.

Does such a polygon selector plug in exist?

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No, but if you add a new layer and use the line tool to draw your selection, you can use the magic wand to get the same effect.

 

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No, but if you add a new layer and use the line tool to draw your selection, you can use the magic wand to get the same effect.

Yeah, that's the layering trick I found earlier. Functional, but still not quite "it". Mostly due to the lack of straight line locking. My hand-drawn lines aren't very straight.

That's really the "Part B" of my request - some ability to control the line drawing. Freehand is one thing, fixed objects another. PDN has all of that. But nothing in between, the freehand polygon if you will.

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Line/curve tool :LineTool: , NOT the paintbrush tool :PaintBrushTool: or the pencil tool :PencilTool: . That way, you can at least get straight lines. String several straight lines together and you have a "freehand polygon." Select the inside of the polygon and you have a "freehand polygon selection"

Edited by pdnnoob

 

what I do all summer Emote Cursor Pack 'noob gallery

No, Paint.NET is not spyware...but, installing it is an IQ test. ~BoltBait

Blend modes are like the filling in your sandwich. It's the filling that can change your experience of the sandwich. ~Ego Eram Reputo

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Line/curve tool :LineTool: , NOT the paintbrush tool :PaintBrushTool: or the pencil tool :PencilTool: . That way, you can at least get straight lines. String several straight lines together and you have a "freehand polygon." Select the inside of the polygon and you have a "freehand polygon selection"

OK, but the line/curve tool is limited to 15 degrees of straight. That's not fine enough. My typical project involves taking a series of images of an object then cutting out the background so the item is suspended in a neutral field. Often I can't capture the image in a green screen or other setup to control the background.

A 15 degree straight line limitation is not enough to follow an object's outline.

I've also got to learn how to better connect lines with the tool. When I tried the line tool, I was unable to reliably connect the end of one line to the start of the next by doing a "click to start / click to end / click to start line 2". The second click doesn't start a new line but instead activates the end of the first line so I can move it. Not what I want to do...

I really appreciate the suggestions, however. They're able to do a faux polygon selection, but none match the real deal.

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What are you working on? How many often will you need this feature? (give some sample to let us see the amount of work)

You coudl use the lasso to draw a first raw selection and refine the selection using Ctrl key to add the new lasso or using Alt key to substract. Then you could draw any kind of polygon selection...

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OK, but the line/curve tool is limited to 15 degrees of straight. That's not fine enough. My typical project involves taking a series of images of an object then cutting out the background so the item is suspended in a neutral field. Often I can't capture the image in a green screen or other setup to control the background.

A 15 degree straight line limitation is not enough to follow an object's outline.

I've also got to learn how to better connect lines with the tool. When I tried the line tool, I was unable to reliably connect the end of one line to the start of the next by doing a "click to start / click to end / click to start line 2". The second click doesn't start a new line but instead activates the end of the first line so I can move it. Not what I want to do...

I really appreciate the suggestions, however. They're able to do a faux polygon selection, but none match the real deal.

Although a polygon selection tool would be nice, you can still use the line tool as described by pdnnoob above.

I think you got the 15-degree limitation of the Line Tool wrong. The line tool will draw a straight line at whatever angle you want it to. The 15-degree incerements limit only applies when you press and hold the Shift key

on the keyboard. This is so by design in order to help users draw perfect horizontal, vertical etc. lines.

Using this method, I rarely have to get the lines to join perfectly. I usually just overdraw the lines in order to make sure that they do join and do not bother if they overshoot out of my intended selection area.

If you overshoot the lines far enough, you won't have any problem starting the next line at the same end of your intended selection. Alternatively, do as I do and start the next line at the end away from the line you have just drawn. Another alternative is to press Ctrl+D to deselect (deactivate) the line you have just drawn. I hope the above make sense.

Xkds4Lh.png

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I've also got to learn how to better connect lines with the tool. When I tried the line tool, I was unable to reliably connect the end of one line to the start of the next by doing a "click to start / click to end / click to start line 2". The second click doesn't start a new line but instead activates the end of the first line so I can move it. Not what I want to do...
If you really have to get all the lines to line up perfectly, try adding "ctrl+d" between "click to end" and "click to start line 2"

 

what I do all summer Emote Cursor Pack 'noob gallery

No, Paint.NET is not spyware...but, installing it is an IQ test. ~BoltBait

Blend modes are like the filling in your sandwich. It's the filling that can change your experience of the sandwich. ~Ego Eram Reputo

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What are you working on? How many often will you need this feature? (give some sample to let us see the amount of work)

You coudl use the lasso to draw a first raw selection and refine the selection using Ctrl key to add the new lasso or using Alt key to substract. Then you could draw any kind of polygon selection...

The project is to create a faux 360 degree rotation of specific object (mostly computer hardware). 40 still images are taken from different angles, and when the object is shown in a neutral field the user can use up/down/left/right arrows or mouse actions to effectively rotate to view all sides.

The effort will build a database of these image sets. At 40 images per object, the number of still images builds quickly. It's not the cutout work itself, it's the volume.

Initial efforts used a green screen background, but the chroma key wasn't providing a clean edge, especially with computer cards that have similar green hues. We could mess with the tolerance on the magic wand and get close, but never as clean as polygon selection and cutout editing. And we don't want to mess with the tolerance for each image, and polygon selection proved to be faster and cleaner.

So with cutout editing the remaining method, we were able to capture the images without concern for the background. Since we aren't doing anything besides cutouts, we were using the SnagIt Image Editor and it's polygon selection tool.

But SnagIt (at least v8) lacks an inverse selection, which was needed for some additional variations on images already cut out. That lead me to Paint.net, which has a simple inverse selection (magic wand the cutout outside the image, then inverse the selection to get just the object.

But Paint.net doesn't have polygon selection. It's a much better editor than SnagIt, but difficult to perform this cutout task without a polygon selection.

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Although a polygon selection tool would be nice, you can still use the line tool as described by pdnnoob above.

I think you got the 15-degree limitation of the Line Tool wrong. The line tool will draw a straight line at whatever angle you want it to. The 15-degree incerements limit only applies when you press and hold the Shift key

on the keyboard. This is so by design in order to help users draw perfect horizontal, vertical etc. lines.

Using this method, I rarely have to get the lines to join perfectly. I usually just overdraw the lines in order to make sure that they do join and do not bother if they overshoot out of my intended selection area.

If you overshoot the lines far enough, you won't have any problem starting the next line at the same end of your intended selection. Alternatively, do as I do and start the next line at the end away from the line you have just drawn. Another alternative is to press Ctrl+D to deselect (deactivate) the line you have just drawn. I hope the above make sense.

I'll revisit the 15 degree issue. I'm sure you're right - I'm just not using it correctly.

Thanks!

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If you really have to get all the lines to line up perfectly, try adding "ctrl+d" between "click to end" and "click to start line 2"

More things to try! I really appreciate the suggestions! It's good to know there are so may options with the features already in PDN.

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  • 2 years later...

I revive this old thread to add my opinion to the OP that I consider the absence of a simple Polygon Selection tool as the most serious weakness of Paint.NET. And note that 2½ years later there still seems to be no such tool or plugin. Is it so difficult? And yes, there are dodges around it, but one shouldn’t have to resort to them in an otherwise eminently user-friendly and well equipped image editor.

 

From previews, I understand that a Polygonal lasso / selection tool may be added to Paint.Net 4, but that’s no good to us stuck on Windows XP, as it (along with Vista) will not be supported by the new version. Which is another serious weakness, since both these operating systems are still supported by MS.

 

Are there any other possibilities I’ve missed for adding a Polygon Selection tool that does the job in a straight forward and not round-about fashion?

All things are difficult before they are easy.  (Thomas Fuller)

My signature was really annoying, so BoltBait deleted it. I should probably read rule #13 of the forum rules.

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Katzenfreund,

 

You really need to read the rules.

 

Rule 1.3: Read the popular feature requests thread before posting.

Rule 11: No necroposting of any kind, except in particular forums (this isn't one of them).

 

So, please read the rules before you post again.  Until then:

 

1. A plugin can't do this.  Plugins can only do effects, adjustments and filetypes and cannot interact directly without being invoked.

2. A new version of Paint.NET is coming soon.  Version 4.0, which Rick is trying to get the polygonal lasso tool worked up for.

3. May I reiterate that Rick is the only person who works on this program?  You can't expect development to proceed at Photoshop's pace when it's just one guy.  He also can't support older operating systems without stalling all development on modern versions of the program; Windows 7 has been out for 4 years and can be had for a very reasonable price online.  If you're disallowed from upgrading due to a workplace issue, just buy a secondhand laptop with Windows 7 on it - again, at a very reasonable price.

 

I'm locking this thread.  Go read the rules and the popular features requests, please.  :-)  And keep in mind, before making unreasonable requests, that there is not a development team and this is a free program.  Thanks!

 

Thread Locked

 

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