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Bring back colour preview to sliders in Color Selector


Christiaan

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5 hours ago, Christiaan said:

 

The new Color Selector in VW v2023 for Mac—which now matches the Windows version—is a downgrade in one important respect.

 

That’s terrible news.  One of the great things about apple is the color picker and being able to use consistent color between apps as a result.

 

Why does Vectorworks continues to break useful things like this and fail to fix broken tools of their own creation (irrigation, stacked walls, point cloud, etc…).

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10 hours ago, Christiaan said:

previews of what colour the user can expect when they move a slider

Hey Christiaan, thanks for great feedback and pointing this out.  We initially thought the color spectrum would be used in this case but I can definitely see the benefit of anticipating the color with the preview in the slider.

 

9 hours ago, Christiaan said:

I also miss this system-wide colour swatch saver

With the eyedropper and document colors we didn't think this would be worth bringing along.

 

Unfortunately Apple's color picker has a very limited API and we are no longer able to work around its issues.  This is why most, if not all, professional graphic programs will create their own color picker. If you've ever tried to use CMYK with Apple's color picker you'll quickly realize something isn't quite right, because Apple has their own CMYK format which no one else uses and no one can correct.  Windows' color picker, need I say more?

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@Josh Loy  Can you help us understand why the noted changes below were made?

I just don't see a good or useful reason for it, but perhaps I'm in the minority.

 

Here's my take....

These changes in 2023 on a Mac are really disappointing for a number of critical reasons.

  • Lacks a color wheel method of picking, a fundamental art and science tool used for ages.
    • people learning color theory are taught the basics on a color wheel for a reason.
  • lacks the Apple's color chip palette, which makes it easy to grab colors quickly in Vectorworks and taking them to other applications
  • has a clunky drop down instead of buttons for switching between palettes
  • has rearranged the order of the "Standard Vectorworks Colors"
    •  then named the predecessor to "Standard Vectorworks Colors - Legacy 2022" 
    • Why? Why? Why?  Does anyone think the new order of color somehow makes life better compared to the historic precedent?
  • reduces the 'white space' between colors, which has a host of implications.  I could get used to this though
  • is on a grey backdrop instead of the traditional white, which reads completely different compared to prior versions
    • This looks more like AutoCAD than Vectorworks (that's not a good thing in my mind).
    • Our work is produced in a white or cream colored drawing space of the most part, shouldn't the background of the picker match?  That would need white space between the chips though.
      • Previous versions of Vectorworks used the white background regardless of your "dark mode" setting, which was good.  Now the background of the color picker seems to be related to the OS dialog box background color, which could make things challenging for certain situations...

Given these points raised in the thread, I feel like this is yet another case of  "if it ain't broke, why did Vectorworks "fix it"?"

 

It will be interesting to see if other programs that use Apple's color picker natively are unable to in future releases based on your statement of it being "a very limited API".

I hope this proves not to be the case.

 

If the team at Vectorworks needs inspiration on a color picker because Apple's can't work, please look to Affinity Photo's color wheel or Concepts for some really good ones.

 

Comparison of the old vs the new in Darkmode.

 

1085456171_ScreenShot2022-10-31at15_18_30.thumb.png.7d3618d53274617e6f666ae694ba35e9.png

 

Edited by jeff prince
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Affinity Photo HSL color wheel...

313754104_ScreenShot2022-10-31at15_37_08.thumb.png.c0497af977ba8e4e0f5b24672ad34579.png

 

Concepts color wheel and then some, oh là là !!

Imagine having this instead of the Vectorworks attributes palette...

as an icon on Smart Options or via shortcut...

rotatable on with a Studio Displaylike dial or 3D mouse.

or VWX just running native on an iPad 🙂

IMG_0927.jpg.577fe8cabc1373262605145c0a1c9e73.thumb.jpg.39e9573dd1f950dd83da450223f7c2f7.jpg

 

One can, and should, dream.

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Of course this will be different for everyone, but the way I use colour in Vectorworks is different from something like Affinity photo.

 

In a photo editing/painting/drawing app I will frequently be looking for lots of different colours and wanting to adjust them quite closely.

 

In Vectorworks I am usually more interested in keeping the number of different colours under control and to a minimum. For example in some documents I might only want red and black. And it's actually quite easily to unintentionally have two slightly different reds in circulation on the same document. In the "Classic Vectorworks Colours" pallette which is "standard red"? Is it the one in slot 8 along the first row, or the first one in row 2? It doesn't necessarily matter much - but if I've chosen one, I have to remember which one it was, for the next time I come to pick it.

 

 

394485601_Screenshot2022-11-01at09_25_10.jpg.1d32e62eb8734a43c3d89ed3781d7f0e.jpg

 

Ok, so I should probably go to the "active document" button after the first time I select it, but sometimes I am lazy. Or maybe I have imported something from another document in the meantime, and so there is more than one red in the "active document" list.

 

In any case what I really want, is an easy way to choose and name colours, and then have these displayed in a list to pick from. I know I can make a custom palette but that's a bit cumbersome and buried in submenus. And I often want a document-specific list of named colours.

 

As I've not tried VW2023 yet I don't know if it's improved things in that regard.

 

As a more general point (and I think it's been requested before) really what would be good would be the ability to manage colours as "styles" at least to some extent. So that I can define a colour for, say, "deciduous tree green", apply it to all the relevant objects in a file, then later change my mind about exactly what tone of green I want to use, edit the definition of "deciduous tree green" and have all instances in the file update. While some of that can be achieved using class definitions, that falls down if, for example, you are using viewport over-rides. A style based approach would also be better for controlling things when elements are imported from other files. For example, I import something that also has colour "deciduous tree green", and VW can ask me whether I want to replace all instances with the new or old version, or create a duplicate, and so on.

 

(None of this is to say that a decent colour wheel picker would not be welcome - it would be, but in terms of the hierarchy of getting to things through menus etc, I would have it a bit down the list. And I agree entirely about the slider previews as per the OP)

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57 minutes ago, line-weight said:

As a more general point (and I think it's been requested before) really what would be good would be the ability to manage colours as "styles" at least to some extent. So that I can define a colour for, say, "deciduous tree green", apply it to all the relevant objects in a file, then later change my mind about exactly what tone of green I want to use, edit the definition of "deciduous tree green" and have all instances in the file update. While some of that can be achieved using class definitions, that falls down if, for example, you are using viewport over-rides. A style based approach would also be better for controlling things when elements are imported from other files. For example, I import something that also has colour "deciduous tree green", and VW can ask me whether I want to replace all instances with the new or old version, or create a duplicate, and so on.

 

I agree with this. On a recent project where I was using Data Vis + wanted to make sure I was selecting the correct colours each time, I created a series of solid colour Hatch Fills as a way to do this i.e. set the pen + background fill to the same colour. At least this meant I could save the fill colour as a resource + apply it across the file. And then edit the colour across all the objects if required in one fell swoop.

 

I was only looking to set fill colours in this case so it worked.

 

1 hour ago, line-weight said:

In the "Classic Vectorworks Colours" pallette which is "standard red"? Is it the one in slot 8 along the first row, or the first one in row 2? It doesn't necessarily matter much - but if I've chosen one, I have to remember which one it was, for the next time I come to pick it.

 

I agree with this too. At least the Standard VW Colours (which I use a lot) all have names now (before it was just the greys which had names):

 

1918629280_Screenshot2022-11-01at10_44_51.png.1641612df09cf9953f646ca51649e3e6.png

 

The one small complaint here is that in a grid view you only get the name after hovering over the colour for what feels like a long time whereas before it appeared instantaneously in the box above

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1 hour ago, Tom W. said:

 

I agree with this. On a recent project where I was using Data Vis + wanted to make sure I was selecting the correct colours each time, I created a series of solid colour Hatch Fills as a way to do this i.e. set the pen + background fill to the same colour. At least this meant I could save the fill colour as a resource + apply it across the file. And then edit the colour across all the objects if required in one fell swoop.

 

I was only looking to set fill colours in this case so it worked.

have come across it recently when trying to use data vis too.

In my case, couldn't use that workaround because I needed to control pen colour of lines.

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First thing I noticed when I saw the video's was the lack of the color slider. Every single app, even open source, has this. +1 from me to bring this back. 

 

While the color palette get's a second look it perhaps also nice to use the same drop-out style as the gradient settings menu. Right now it sticks next to the palette, doesn't look that nice IMHO. The nice thing about the gradient settings menu is that the arrow made it pop. Besides that the color palet is super big for me, using up the whole screen height..

 

image.png.8f381fcc0fba76323861a0946070c5df.png

image.png.0a7918a0af248f22536caf3ad80e2cea.png

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@Josh Loy thanks for taking the time to engage all of us on this topic.

When Vectorworks changes things as simple as icons, text, or colors we users tend to reach for the pitchfork first and ask questions later 🙂

This color business is important though, it effects the speed and convenience of every day workflows.

 

 

16 minutes ago, Josh Loy said:

With the eyedropper and color export we didn't see a need for this, Apple may not offer an API for it either, I'd need to check.  We'll also add an enhancement request for this.

I think there is a compelling use case for the Apple color chips.  It's a time savings way to match colors between Vectorworks and other programs on the Mac platform.  I frequently compose documents, presentations, spreadsheets, and display boards using the Apple color chips to match my Vectorworks.  Maybe that's why it's such a shocking change to me.

 

 

19 minutes ago, Josh Loy said:

That's a bit subjective but was chosen to save palette space.

You are right, it is subjective.  However, in making this change Vectorworks may have saved space, but at the expense of UI function and convenience.

It is a lot faster to hit a button than select from a drop down.

I have never seen a single comment asking for this feature to be "enhanced".  Are tons of users clamoring for a drop down for some reason?  I know many of us depend on the buttons to switch between color pallets quickly.

 

 

25 minutes ago, Josh Loy said:

Again, Apple uses a non-standard CMYK formula in their color palette which has resulted in inconsistent colors since we introduced CMYK a long ago, we have no way of working around it.  Pick a color and go through the different sliders and you'll notice the values change from what you initially selected (the API only returns RGB).  Sometimes the conversion gives different rounding results.  In this video I was trying to modify the MacOS cursor color in the system settings

That makes sense, but it doesn't apply to the user interface issues created by changes to function and organization of the menu and colors....

which is really what this whole "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" comment I made.

 

 

27 minutes ago, Josh Loy said:

The new "Standard Vectorworks Colors" now have primary colors, I asked our content team about the order...

 

The far left column is the pure hue of the color family and is based on HSV color theory which uses a full 360° circle to cover the pure hue spectrum using digital color mixing so the standard RGB that monitors use as opposed to the Red, Yellow, Blue of pigments. Each hue is 15° of arc on the circle starting at pure red which is 0° going all the way around to 345° which is why there are 24 hue families. Once the pure hue was established to create a color family row we then created the three color scales for that family.

Starting at the pure hue and working across the row there are 5 tints using a 12% scale that goes towards a pure white.  Essentially the Saturation decreases which is the equivalent of adding white to the pure pigment. The second column is the tone scale with 5 tones and it is the same 12% and this alters the saturation and value which is just like adding grey to the pure hue. The final 5 colors are the shades and this uses the same 12% scale which decreases the value which is the same as adding black to the pure color.

We chose the pure hue and groups of 5 because we were limited by code to a fixed width of 16 colors and that was the easiest breakdown. Also remember that this palette was designed using scientific color theory to give a good base group of colors and to include pure yellow and a better separation of the greys and very dark colors which were the issues with the old color palette which is still included.

 

I'm glad there is a rationale behind it, I think I understand the logic.

My personal opinion is that the arrangement of the palette doesn't relate to how we intuitively pick colors.  It would be great if their was a relationship with other programs such as how Affinity, Photoshop, et al typically have a very similar way of picking colors on a spectrum type display.  Here is Affinity Photo's chooser in HSL slider mode.  It's really lovely.  You get real time feedback on the color you are mixing, a color chip, and data values for the color in case you need to write them down.  It also has a variety of other modes for picking color, but these slider type all behave about the same way.

1101742981_ScreenShot2022-11-01at08_46_17.thumb.png.824cee2f4009e290eb3419bf1c315a3c.png

 

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