[Request] Might this software have basic touchscreen support in the future?

user_interface
user_experience
feature_request

(Mirkus Tinilius) #1

Flipaclip was the software that got me into animating. One of the things that really made it attractive was its simple and practical use of touch screen controls to zoom, pan, rotate, etc. All the necessary controls were on the interface, such as undo and redo (though, that’s pretty much a necessity for touchscreen devices).

Fast forward to now, I got myself a convertible laptop that has stylus support. Sadly, the only animating software that had a similar touchscreen control scheme was Autodesk Sketchbook Pro, which was pretty pricey for a hobbyist.

Because of this, I was wondering if this software (Pencil2D) will have some sort of update that allows the use of touchscreen controls in the future.

It doesn’t have to be as fancy or clean as Sketchbook, but things like basic multi-finger zoom and pan controls, collapsible menus, and easy access to Undo and Redo are just the few things that will make this app a lot easier to use for those of us who want to take advantage of our convertable/tablet laptops.

Heck, if it is difficult to implement a multi-touch system, a virtual joystick on the screen would be more than enough for panning and zooming controls.


(Jose Moreno) #2

@DatGameh As far as I know using professional grade hardware like a wacom cintiq have touchscreen controls supported by the hardware itself. My own wacom Intuos 5 pro (graphics tablet) has those gestures working with Pencil2D without issue.

So in order to enable those functions you mention the problem would be really coming from the manufacturer and how “standard” their touch screen drivers are in relation to other hardware. The second part to the problem is that the programming framework (QT) that Pencil2D uses to provide proper graphics support for anything outside the standard would need to extend their coverage of hardware as well. The last part to this problem is also the philosophy of most desktop graphics software have, which also applies to Pencil2D, where normally you are supposed to have one hand in the keyboard / special input pad and the other hand in the mouse / stylus for increased productivity, and if it was a real life setup (pencil and paper) you’d just need one hand to draw and the other one to manipulate the paper.

For now you can use the HAND TOOL to pan, and the menus to zoom and rotate discreetly, of course it wouldn’t be as smooth as using the keyboard with the mouse. You can also try to map the appropriate mouse buttons to your stylus since middle click & dragging allows you to PAN. In the future due to the hardware limitations we can consider adding GUI elements to help screen tablet users to work with their stylus, such as a navigation panel for zooming and rotating without using the keyboard, but that is considered a feature request and not a critical bug.

So, what i’m tyring to say is that although It might be possible in the future to have the kind of support you’re asking it really depends on many external factors that the Penci2D project cannot control or regulate making it difficult to maintain, also due to the low amount of working volunteers that develop the project, they have to focus on improving the base experience first, patching bugs and fixing broken stuff before considering adding more features.

With that said, if possible, please leave the laptop model reference and specs as well as the driver version so in the future the developers can investigate how it could be possible to add support if the manufacturer and the framework owners won’t add that :slightly_smiling_face:


(Mirkus Tinilius) #3

@JoseMoreno
The device I currently use is the Acer Spin 5. Its the most recent version and supports active pen stylus (in some Western countries, Spin 5 models don’t come with support for active styluses). Pretty much, this laptop is a standard Windows Ink device (with WinTab drivers installed).

Being a relatively basic touchscreen device, it does not support “universal” touchscreen gestures like the Wacom tablet you have, so pinching on Pencil2D doesn’t work while pinching on Opera Browser and Autodesk Sketchup does. On another note, I just realized that the pen has a right-click functionality, so I guess the Panning problem solved itself.

However, yes, zooming and rotating is still pretty slow on touchscreen (I think the latter is impossible to do with the screen alone, though). I could have used an external controller to enable some button or macro functionalities, such as Ctrl+Up and Ctrl+Down, but I usually operate my device on my lap so using a keyboard is not really practical. I’ve had some luck with assigning macros on a joystick but it still doesn’t feel as streamlined as it should be.

In any case, I understand that this is a feature that isn’t really high priority. But, I do hope that a few little tools could be added to simplify the work space in the near future. Minimize-able toolbars, undo/redo buttons, a simple zoom slider, and some sort of rotating shortcut are just a few things that would help a ton.

Many thanks!