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Request and Recommended Approach to Implement a "Save As Copy" Feature.


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Since the inception of Paint.NET, there is one very simple feature that has been missing: the ability to save as copy. Digital images are often distributed and rendered in a flattened file format (e.g., .jpg, .gif, .png); so, an artist most often maintains two different copies of an asset; one that is layered and one that is flattened.

This is an important feature (for example) to game developers, as engine platforms typically have the ability to render changes to a material in real-time during development. This means that an artist will frequently need to update the flattened version of an asset while concurrently working on the layered version.

Currently, the only (safe) work around is to perform the following:

(1) File->Save.

// This preserves the layered format to .pdn.

(2) File->Save As...->Save as type->Save->Confirm Save As->Save Configuration->Flatten Prompt.

// The flattened format is now saved. At this point the workspace is now using the flat file version (e.g., .png).

(3) Edit->Undo; File->Save As...->Confirm Save As->Save

// The workspace is now back to using the layered file version.

A save as copy feature will reduce both the possibility of losing the layered format and the interface hostility during iteration saves.

I recommend this be implemented with two new File menu options: Save As Copy, Save Copy. The Save As Copy will function the same as 'Save As...' with the exception of not shifting the workspace into the saved file. The Save Copy feature will use the last Save As Copy selections without prompting the user. This allows the user to iterate copies using a key shortcut and nothing more. If there is no last Save As Copy selections then Save Copy while initialize by invoking a Save As Copy event request.

Kindly consider.

--

Yesod

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Just to help you shorten your current save process, skip #1. Even if you want to be safe, there really is no logical reason for the extra step.

The reason the requested "save as copy" feature is not necessary is that it is, in a way, built into the "save as" feature. Save your layered image as a flattened .png, then undo the flatten image action. Afterwards, you can either save a layered copy or continue your work because, if you try to save, you will encounter the save as prompt whether you pressed "save" or "save as."

Rick really did his best to make sure loss of data never occurs without a conscious choice from the user. Files always default to saving as .pdn (if layered) and .png (if flattened). That way, if a user accidentally forgets to specify, all layer and image data is preserved and everyone is happy.

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

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I too would appreciate a "Save Copy" feature. The extra steps of confirm flatten and then undo the operation are just that...extra. Having fewer clicks is a good thing, imo. Maybe just a "Save Flat Copy" or something would work.

When the DM smiles...it's already too late.

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Using the methods given by pdnnoob, the process becomes:

(1) File->'Save As...'->[choose file format (.jpg / .png / .tga / etc)]->Confirm Save As->Save Configuration->Flatten Prompt

(2) Edit->Undo; File->Save->Confirm Save As

Improved, but still pales in comparison to a swift (single) key shortcut. As previously described carefully, frequent iterative saving (>3 saves/minute) becomes hostile with the current setup. A means for the users to frequently save a non-layered copy of the current workspace in a single swift motion without the need swat numerous prompts is one solution.

The inspiration for this feature to support engines that implement automatic hot-loading. When an artist changes the flat version of an image asset and saves it, it's automatically reloaded in the engine viewer with the change.

--

Yesod

Postscript: Is implementing the core spirit of this feature possible under the current plugin system?

/edit: added postscript.

Edited by Yesod
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Try this:

1. Ctrl + Shift + F flattens the image.

2. Ctrl + Shift + S ( aka File > Save As..., ) no flatten prompt.

3. Ctrl + Z Undo last action (flatten).

How's that?

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Although you present three key shortcuts, this does not include the interface prompts the user must address. After the user invokes a Save As (either through menu or key shortcut) he or she will still be prompted to submit the name, type, and location of the file; including a confirmation to overwrite when necessary; finalizing with a 'Save Configuration' prompt that the user must also address.

After undoing the last action of flattening, the work-space still remains in a state of editing the last saved file; the one that is flattened and not the one that is layered. This is risky as an artist that continues working with this state may lose all their hard-work (e.g., system crash, power outage,... acts of a god) since changes are only being made to the flattened file and not the layered.

The advantage to the proposed implementation at the start of this thread is (1) the user configures the save properties once (i.e., file: name, location, type, settings); (2) the user can then frequently save both the layered and the flattened version of the asset in two key shortcuts, without (3) modifying the state of the workspace and (4) utilizing full hot-loading capabilities of external tools to view the changes rendered by the recipient.

--

Yesod

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......This is risky as an artist that continues working with this state may lose all their hard-work (e.g., system crash, power outage,... acts of a god) since changes are only being made to the flattened file and not the layered.

Lets explain it physically: How about if you have a pdn project consists of 10 layers, and you need to save it 12 times with a small change ( move a one object) only in the 4th layer?

I have noticed some programs has a "Export As" featuer in addition to the "Save" and "Save As", there, the "Save" and "Save As" orders are restricted to the applications native file format, but the "Export As" is for other known formats. And when you close the application it will remind you if you want to Save the changes made to the project.

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I just make sure I save the file I've got open, then Save As .png etc. Then retrieve the pdn file from File >>> Open Recent option. That way there's no need to undo.

Personally I don't think any one of us using PDN can grumble @ a few extra clicks ... look what you get for the price

Don't get me wrong, PDN is a great program; I'm just feature-requesting, not grumbling. In the meantime I'll work around the lack of the feature.

When the DM smiles...it's already too late.

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  • 3 years later...

Please don't necropost.  Read the forum rules.

 

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