Difference between revisions of "Tiling tool"

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== Tiling tool ==  
 
== Tiling tool ==  
The current tiling interface is hard to use. The current Tiling Tool proposal attempts to resolve part of that issue through the use of on-canvas guides called “Tiles.” This feature also expands the tiling to radial tiling and line tiling (currently known as Pattern Along Path).  
+
The current tiling interface is hard to use. The current interface attempts to make the process more user friendly through the use of a tool that creates a "render frame", which consists of two parts:
 +
* A base tile, where the pattern is supposed to be
 +
* A more general render frame, showing the location of the output
 +
* Both can be edited on-canvas
 +
 
 +
The tiling process is simply:
 +
# Create a frame
 +
# Select a pattern and a frame
 +
# Click "Render" from the tiling tool
 +
 
 +
* By default the frame becomes invisible after a render, and becomes "implied" in the generated output (a bit like clipping?).  
 +
* Undoing the render makes the frame appear again.
 +
* The user can choose to drop a copy of the frame after a render for re-use however, or make a copy before applying.
 +
 
 
{| class="wikitable"  
 
{| class="wikitable"  
 
|+  
 
|+  
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|  
 
|  
 
* This is for radial designs, and allows both angular clones and radial clones.  
 
* This is for radial designs, and allows both angular clones and radial clones.  
* For angular clones, users can choose between simple rotation or symmetry + rotation.
+
* For angular clones, users can choose between simple rotation or symmetry + rotation. (thus covering the Rosetta patterns as well)
 
* For radial clones, users can choose between same direction and alternating directions.
 
* For radial clones, users can choose between same direction and alternating directions.
 
|-
 
|-
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|}  
 
|}  
  
== Terminology ==
+
[[File:Tiling_Tool_Toolbar.png|UI Proposal for tiling tool]]
 +
<br clear="all"/>
  
* '''Tile:''' A tile is defined here a guide used to mark the boundaries of the base tiling, as well as define the tiling type. It defines the “unit” of the tiling. For example, it is a rectangle for a “P1: Simple translation” tiling. Tiles can be moved, rotated or scaled. In tile edit mode, the type of tile can be modified through the use of handles or from a drop-down list. When rendering a tiling, Inkscape automatically detects the type of tile being used to select the tiling type.
+
[[Media:WallpaperTransformations.png | Transformation images for wallpaper groups]]
* '''Base pattern:''' Defined here as the pattern that needs to be repeated.
 
* '''Tiling tool:''' This tool. Used to render tilings.
 
* '''Render mode:''' The main mode of the tiling tool. From here you can create a new tile, and if you have a tile and based pattern selected, you can “render” the appropriate tiling.
 
* '''Tile edit mode:''' Double-clicking on a tile enters the tile edit mode. Double-clicking elsewhere leaves it. In tile edit mode, the toolbar changes to one appropriate for that tiling operation (wallpaper, radial or line tiling). Additional features proposed:
 
** '''Guides:''' In tiling mode, the user can add additional guides (points or lines) to help design their pattern. These additional guides are just visual references and don’t perform additional actions.
 
** '''Render frame:''' A render frame shows an outline of frames to render. Users can add or delete frames with the mouse. The whole frame can also be moved, rotated and resized.
 
* '''Tiling dialogue:''' A dialogue with additional options, behaving like an LPE dialogue. Users can also see the stacking of tilings from here.
 
  
== Tiling tool: Render mode ==  
+
== Render modes ==
  
The toolbar looks like this:
+
There are two modes:
 +
* Create clones: This is the current rendering mode
 +
* Fuse: This mode first cuts excess for "inner" sides, then performs a "fuse" operation on the whole output.
  
[[File:Tiling_Tool_Render_Mode.png|GUI proposal for the Render mode of the Tiling tool]]
+
[[File:Tiling_cut_excess.png|Explanation of "Fuse" feature for tiling proposal]]
<br clear="all"/>
+
<br clear="all"/>  
  
The tile creation process:  
+
[[File:Tiling_interface_examples.png|More examples of the possible outputs for the “Fuse Cut” mode]]
# Create a base pattern.
+
<br clear="all"/>
# From the tiling mode, add a “Tile.”
 
#* Edit the tile as needed. Double-clicking a tile enters a tile edit mode. Double-click elsewhere to exit.
 
#* Make additional changes to the base pattern as needed.
 
# Select a base pattern and a tile. Switch to tiling tool again.
 
#* Before selecting the base pattern and tile, copy a target to render over if needed.
 
#* Choose tiling options.
 
# Click render.
 
  
== Tile edit mode ==  
+
== Render frame ==
  
To enter Tile Edit mode, double-click on a tile. Exit by double-clicking elsewhere. The tile can be moved, resized and rotated using just the Transform (F1) tool, just like how rectangles and ellipses can be edited outside of their respective tools.
+
The render frame is made up of:
 +
* A central tile, which defines the location of the pattern to copy
 +
* A more general render grid
  
[[File:Tiling_Tool_Tile_Edit_Mode.png|GUI proposal for the tile Edit mode for the Tiling Tool]]
+
[[File:Tiling_Tool_Render_Frame.png|UI Proposal for the Render frame of the Tiling tool proposal]]  
<br clear="all"/>
+
<br clear="all"/>  
  
Advanced users can then change the type of the base tile (example: from P1 to P2) in tile edit mode through the use of handles or drop-downs. These handles are not visible nor editable outside the tile edit mode (to avoid getting in the way).
+
== On-canvas transformation handles ==
  
{| class="wikitable"
+
[[File:Tiling_Tool_Transformation_Handles.png|UI proposal for on-canvas handles for the tiling tool proposal]]
|+
+
<br clear="all"/>
! scope="col" width="180"| Type
 
! scope="col" width="500" | Description
 
|-
 
! scope="row" | Wallpaper tiling
 
| These guides corresponds to the different wallpaper categories
 
|-
 
! scope="row" | Radial tiling
 
| These are to create radial patterns. They're basically arc segments with a  direction.
 
|-
 
! scope="row" | Tiling along Path
 
| This is defined by a central axis, an attach point and 2 tile bounds. The central axis represents the path to which the tile will attach, basically a visual normal offset. The tile attaches to a specific node (say, the first node of the path) from the attach point, basically a visual tangential offset. The two bounds decide where the tile cuts off save for edge scenarios.
 
|}
 
  
Veronica made a nice list of tiles for wallpapers and corresponding output previews here:
+
== Guide points ==
  
[http://i.imgur.com/DMCvU.png Full list of wallpaper tiles and previews]
+
[[File:Tiling_Tool_Guides.png|UI proposal for guide points feature for Tiling Tool]]
 
 
== Tiling modes ==
 
 
 
[[File:Tiling_Tool_modes.png|Render modes for the tiling tool proposal]]
 
 
<br clear="all"/>  
 
<br clear="all"/>  
There are 4 modes in the current proposal:
 
* Plain: this is a normal tiling
 
* Clip: through clipping, only the part within the tile is shown. This is to avoid overlapping.
 
* Fuse: a “join node” operation is then conducted on all the nodes in the output. If the user designed the tiles to be seamless, then the lines should join up to create a seamless output.
 
* Fuse cut: this is, in fact, a “cut” and “delete” operation followed by a “join nodes” operation. Inkscape will cut along certain lines and delete parts for “inner” tiles. This last mode allows the user to create seamless tiles with “edge” scenarios from a single base pattern:
 
  
== More explanations of the "fuse cut" mode ==
+
Guide points are there to serve as reference point when creating tile designs.
 +
* When you add a guide point, "counterparts" are generated in all the other tiles
 +
* Ctrl-drag to drag out a segment.
 +
* The idea is that users can snap guide points along tile edges, snap a node of the pattern to that guide and snap the node handle to the end of the guide segment, then repeat with the guide point's counterparts. This should help easily create seamless transitions.
  
[[File:Tiling_cut_excess.png|Explanation of "Fuse cut" feature for tiling proposal]]
+
== Option for dynamics Symmetry around base tile? ==
<br clear="all"/>
 
  
[[File:Tiling_interface_examples.png|More examples of the possible outputs for the “Fuse Cut” mode]]
+
Proposal: option for all dynamics to be rendered in a symmetry around the base tile. This proposal is because users may want tiles to fade around a central tile. Rendering the frame in just one direction is easy, but achieving the symmetry otherwise is not.
<br clear="all"/>
 
  
== Dynamics ==
+
The main difficulty is that the current dynamics mechanism is linear, so adjustments would be needed.
  
[[File:Tiling_Tool_Dynamics.png|GUI and presets for Dynamics presets for Tiling Tool proposal]]
+
[[File:Tiling Tool Symmetry.png|Proposal for dynamics to occur in a symmetry around the base tile for the tiling tool]]  
 
<br clear="all"/>  
 
<br clear="all"/>  
Simple dynamics presets could be accessible from the tiling tool. A separate “Dynamics” panel corresponding to the current tiling operation pops up when choosing the Edit option. Major differences are:
 
* Vertical listing
 
* Checkbox next to every transformation type, so users can easily remove all of them while retaining some values.
 
* Radial Clones use Polar coordinates.
 
* Tiling along Path use orthogonal coordinates (normal and orthogonal).
 
* Users can save and use presets. This includes a "No dynamics" option.
 
  
== Target ==
+
== On-canvas dynamics editing ==
  
[[File:Tiling_Tool_Targets.png|Possible "target" types for tiling tool proposal]]
+
Currently the two following approaches to on-canvas dynamics editing have been considered:
<br clear="all"/>
+
# Edit a tile of the render frame (rotate and resize for example), all other tiles in the render frame are updated dynamically to give you an idea of the result.  
"Target" determines where you render your tiling.  
+
#* Pros: high preview value, as the outline of the tiles by themselves should give an idea as to the output of the whole tiling.
 +
#* Cons: forcing live update of tiles may be slow, and big displacements of tiles are distracting from the editing process. Worse if jitters are also visualized on-canvas.
 +
# Edit only one or two "reference" tiles. None of the other tiles change. Inkscape deduces transformation values from there and converts them into values for the existing tiling mechanism.
 +
#* Pros: less taxing on the interface.
 +
#* Cons: Less preview value.
  
For wallpaper tiling:
+
Tom Lechner made a possible mock-up for the second option: [http://www.tomlechner.com/randompics/finishing.png Mock-up for on-canvas tile dynamics editing]
* By numbers: A pop-up asks you to input the number of tiles to make (example: 3 x 5), or the size of a rectangular area to render over
 
* Render frame: See guide description. After adding a render frame, Inkscape will render tiles according to that frame.
 
* Over copied: If you have a copied object, Inkscape will render over the copy.
 
* Border to copy: easy page borders? Makes a border.
 
* Clip to copied: Same as above, except clipped to the target. Use for clothes etc.
 
* Pattern to copy: (if allowed by .svg standards) The tiling is converted to a pattern and applied to the copied object. This pattern can be manually adjusted with the Pattern edit tool.
 
* New pattern: (if allowed by .svg standards) A pop-asks asks you to name and save the new pattern for later use.
 
For radial tiling:
 
* By number: A pop-up asks you to input the number of radial and angular copies. You can choose to input by angle and by radial distance instead.
 
* Render frame: see render frame description.
 
* No "to copied" option, because I think people usually want to define a radial tile just where the base tile is, but I could be wrong.
 
For Tiling along path:
 
* On selected Path. Note: this can be a closed path. A pop-up allows you to choose additional options and values.
 
* As selected path's line pattern: takes the selected path and makes the Tiling along path its new pattern.
 
* As new line pattern: if clone patterns can somehow be saved somewhere.
 
Alternatively, the "target" field could be excluded from the toolbar, and appear as options in a pop-up when clicking "Render."
 
  
== Options ==
+
It could be possible to combine the best of both worlds with a "Dynamics preview" mode (so it's a preview of the dynamics, not of the pattern getting tiled):
Opens a Tiling dialogue. From here you can see what options have been applied to an existing tiling, change them and toggle tile stacking.  
+
* When preview mode is on, Inkscape generates a preview of the render frame's tiles with dynamics applied, including jitters.
 +
* Editing is not allowed. You have to exit the preview mode to make other adjustments.
 +
* The idea is that some complex tilings will probably take a long time to render. This preview mode gives a quick idea about the outcome without having to do a full render, then undo, adjust and re-render again.
  
[[File:Tiling_Tool_Dialogue.png|UI proposal for tiling tool dialogue]]
+
[[File:Tiling Tool Dynamics Preview Mode.png|Preview mode for dynamics for the Tiling Tool proposal]]
 
<br clear="all"/>
 
<br clear="all"/>
  
== Guide points and other guides ==
+
== Radial tiling ==
  
[[File:Tiling_Tool_Guides.png|UI proposal for guide points feature for Tiling Tool]]
+
In theory, radial tiling could use the same mechanism as rows and columns tiling, by converting all input into X, Y input. Although users can also use rows and columns tiling to achieve radial tiling, doing so would not be very intuitive.
 +
 
 +
[[File:Tiling Tool Radial Tiling.png|UI proposal for radial tiling in the tiling tool]]  
 
<br clear="all"/>  
 
<br clear="all"/>  
  
These features are there to help you design your tile pattern. Specifically, they're there to help design seamless tiles.
+
== Line tiling ==
* Guide points: When a guide point is created on one side of a guide, counterparts are automatically created on all other sides of the basic guide. All changes to the original will be reflected onto counterpart. To create seamless designs, just make sure that all lines going in and out of a tile are connected to guide points.
+
 
* Guide segment: clicking and dragging on a guide point creates a guide segment, which also shows on all of the guide point's counterparts. The idea is to place a node on a guide point, snap its handle to the end of the segment, then repeat with the guide point's counterparts. When a "fuse" operation is applied, the result will be a perfectly smooth transition from one tile to the next.
+
Implementing line tiling would be more complicated that implementing radial tiling, because it is an extension of the Pattern Along Path function rather than of the existing tiled clones mechanism. So, the programer would have to figure out a way to combine Pattern Along Path and the dynamics for Tiled Clones, all the while implementing the proper render guide. If he achieves it though, it'd be an amazingly powerful and versatile tool for designers of all kinds.
See this [http://www.cgl.uwaterloo.ca/~csk/software/penrose/ javascript program] for an approximate idea of how it'd behave.
 
Note: programming-wise, the guide points don't actually do anything, they're just visual references. When Inkscape creates a "Fuse path" tiling, it just joins the nearest nodes. This means you can introduce slight dynamics and still have lines link up, though Inkscape can't guarantee the results in this case.
 
Depending on the guide type, other types of guides are available (parallel lines, arcs etc.)
 
== Render frame ==
 
[[File:Tiling_Tool_Render_Frame.png|Render frame feature for the tiling tool proposal]] <br clear="all"/>
 
  
A render frame is a tiling outline allowing the user to manually choose which frames to render. This is made up of a "central" tile and additional tiles (so when dynamics are applied, they start with the central tile). By default the frame is rendered over the original tile, but is a separate object that can be moved around, rotated and resized.  
+
Line tiling actually comes in two sets of guides:
 +
* A pattern guide.
 +
* A target guide. This target guide appears over the target path, which has to be copied first to the clipboard.
 +
 
 +
The pattern guide can actually be edited independently of a target path, but unless a target path is copied to the clipboard, the user cannot render the line tiling. So, the user can first adjust the pattern design and tiling properties, then copy a path, adjust and apply.
 +
 
 +
[[File:Tiling tool line tiling.png|UI proposal for line tiling in the tiling tool]]
 +
<br clear="all"/>
  
 
== Tile stacking ==  
 
== Tile stacking ==  
  
You can easily stack different tilings!  
+
You can stack different tilings!  
  
 
[[File:Tiling stacking.png|Explanation of tile stacking feature for my tiling proposal]] <br clear="all"/>
 
[[File:Tiling stacking.png|Explanation of tile stacking feature for my tiling proposal]] <br clear="all"/>
Line 165: Line 137:
  
 
[[File:Tiling line patterns.png|UI proposal for line pattern choosing]] <br clear="all"/>
 
[[File:Tiling line patterns.png|UI proposal for line pattern choosing]] <br clear="all"/>
 +
 +
== UI design status ==
 +
 +
This section is a summary of how ready the UI proposal for the various features are (as well as comments about coding):
 +
 +
'''General concept and tiling methods:'''
 +
 +
{| class="wikitable"
 +
|+
 +
! scope="col" width="180" | Feature
 +
! scope="col" width="600" | Status
 +
|-
 +
! General concept
 +
| Valerie: The current interface is the result of exploring several very different concepts with inputs and criticism by a number of people. The "On-canvas editable central tile + render frame" concept is currently the first of these concepts to have encountered no major objections as to its usability, so it should be safe to consider this an acceptable general direction unless a better proposal comes along.
 +
|-
 +
! Wallpaper tiling
 +
| Valerie: The general proposal (base tile, handles + render frame) doesn't seem to generate many objections. The exact form of the handles and the details about manipulation could still be refined.
 +
|-
 +
! Radial tiling
 +
| Valerie: Not much input yet.
 +
|-
 +
! Line tiling
 +
| Valerie: Not much input yet. There should be, as this is a potentially very powerful feature for designers, though also hard to implement.
 +
|}
 +
 +
'''Specific features (all tiling methods)'''
 +
 +
{| class="wikitable"
 +
|+
 +
! scope="col" width="180" | Feature
 +
! scope="col" width="600" | Status
 +
|-
 +
! Fuse mode
 +
| Valerie: General input seems to be that this is a "good idea."
 +
|-
 +
! Guide points
 +
| Valerie: General input seems to be that this is a "good idea."
 +
|-
 +
! On-canvas handling of dynamics
 +
| Valerie: Concensus is that on-canvas manipulation of dynamics is very desirable. However, the exact form is still up to debate. Tom Lechner has a proposal that will allow to visualize most elements, but more work is needed to establish a mechanism for visualizing and controlling jitter as well.
 +
|-
 +
! Multi-Stop Interpolation Gradient (multi-stop dynamics)
 +
| Valerie: Such a mechanism would require reworking the entire tiling mechanism. The only bright side is that Inkscape doesn't store any tiling information, so changing the mechanism won't break backwards compatibility. See Jasper's detailed comment in "Implementation."
 +
|-
 +
! Symmetrical dynamics output around base tile
 +
| Valerie: Looking at Jasper's explanation below, symmetrical dynamics around a central tile basically aren't supported by the current mechanism.
 +
|-
 +
! Tile stacking and line pattern management
 +
| Valerie: At this point both are just suggestions, as Inkscape has neither the mechanisms in place nor an UI.
 +
|}
 +
 +
'''Implementation comments'''
 +
 +
{| class="wikitable"
 +
|+
 +
! scope="col" width="180" | Feature
 +
! scope="col" width="600" | Comments
 +
|-
 +
! Multi-Stop Interpolation Gradient
 +
| Jasper (mail from mailing list): All the code is in src/ui/dialog/clonetiler.cpp. The main function is CloneTiler::clonetiler_get_transform. This function essentially gets all info, as well as a row and column index. It then computes all the transforms required for that position and combines them. As far as I can tell it combines them in such a way that first a scaling is applied, then a rotation and finally a translation. If you select a different symmetry group then the translation can become a more complicated transform.
 +
 +
The scheme we talked about earlier that would interpolate transforms is not necessarily compatible. This is because in the latter the case the entire transform would be interpolated, while what Inkscape does is essentially interpolating per kind of transform. That this is not the same can be seen by realizing that rotate(50)translate(1)rotate(50)translate(1) is not the same as rotate(100)translate(2). The former is more or less what we talked about (or at least what I had in mind during that discussion), the latter is what Inkscape does.
 +
 +
However, Inkscape currently seems to store almost nothing about the tiling in the file. So it would be relatively benign to change behaviour. Existing files would not be affected in any way, users would only be affected when trying to change a tiling or create a new one. (This is not to say that it's necessarily a good idea to make it impossible to achieve the current behaviour, just that if we cannot reconcile the two, there is some room for change.)
 +
 +
Note that it would be possible to emulate Inkscape's current behaviour through interpolation of transforms, but only if we would allow "stacking" transforms. I'm not sure how this would have to be supported UI-wise though.
 +
|}
  
 
== Implementation ==
 
== Implementation ==
  
This proposal contains a lot of features, but it is also very modular, so features can be added separately.  
+
Proposed implementation steps:
* The base version of this tool would be a version only for wallpaper tiling, with only simple rectangular tile from which Inkscape will take coordinates. The base version could be a mere front-end to the old dialogue, with the difference being that the rectangular tile will be used to calculate coordinates.
+
 
* The different types of tiles and the Tile Edit Mode can be added separately. Users can first choose from a drop-down. Handles can also be programmed separately.
+
=== 0. Very desirable: Guide management ===
* In tile edit mode, additional "guides" (guide points etc.) can also be implemented separately.
+
 
* "Render frame" feature can also be implemented separately.
+
See [https://blueprints.launchpad.net/inkscape/+spec/guides-improvement Existing blueprint]. Rather, what is needed here is not a full guide management system, but rather how to "define" a guide, as the guides here have properties very different from "normal" objects.
* All tiling modes can be implemented separately (clip, fuse and fuse cut). Note: the Fuse Cut operation requires the ability to perform Boolean operations (specifically “cut”) on a group of objects:
+
 
 +
=== I. Core feature: addition of an on-canvas base tile or render frame ===
 +
 
 +
Jasper explains where the tiling code is located:
 +
 
 +
"All the code is in src/ui/dialog/clonetiler.cpp. The main function is CloneTiler::clonetiler_get_transform. This function essentially gets all info, as well as a row and column index."
 +
 
 +
As a first step, the programmer could program a "base tile" or "render frame" object as a separate file, that can be tested independently from the tiling code. This object:
 +
* Provides a different base tile shape depending on the chosen transformation type
 +
* Allows to visualize extra rows and columns on-canvas (not necessary in a first step, but quite desirable). Unless the user wants to tweak the tiling code itself, this step currently does not allow adding or removing individual tiles
 +
* Creates a set of coordinates to be used by the existing tiling mechanism
 +
* The tool icon and toolbar can be created from the start for testing or added later
 +
 
 +
Testing would basically be to ensure that the on-canvas behaviour is consistent with what the user expects, and the output values are correct.
 +
 
 +
Once this object works as expected, it can then be "connected" to the tiling mechanism by calling it up and sending it the correct values. Basically, the tiling code itself would not need too many adjustments at this phase.
 +
 
 +
[[File:Tiling Tool Step1.png|UI Proposal for first step of tiling tool implementation]]
 +
<br clear="all"/>
 +
 
 +
This is basically the minimum interface that would allow users to make basic tiling without opening the current tiling dialogue. Sequence:
 +
* Clicking the + button "adds" a render frame or just render tile (if the programmer hasn't programmed the ability to visualize extra rows and columns yet) of the chosen type.
 +
* Choose the pattern to tile and the guide
 +
* Click "create"
 +
 
 +
=== II. More features to the render frame ===
 +
 +
These are features that can be added to the render frame object without changing the tiling code too much.
 +
 +
''' 1. Tiling handles '''
 +
 +
# Handles are added to the base tiles, making it possible to switch from one tiling to another.
 +
# Users can be now offered to create a "Wallpaper" tile by default. Other transformation types are accessed via a pop-up when choosing "others." Previews are moved to this pop-up. Since the simple rectangle is the most commonly used tile shape, this default should be acceptable (and less confusing than "P1").
 +
 
 +
A few notes:
 +
* Changing symmetries should be the priority.  
 +
* Eventually controls for angles could be added too, though this is lower priority, as not many users absolutely need to change from one tile shape to another.
 +
 
 +
''' 2. On-canvas dynamics editing '''
 +
 +
This converts on-canvas cues to percentage values that are then fed to the tiling code.
 +
Under discussion: Visual representation of the mechanism?
 +
 
 +
''' 3. Guide points? '''
 +
 +
The programmer must:
 +
# Define/create guide points. This object can be snapped to objects and guides.
 +
# Program it so that iterations of it appear and are rendered correctly in each tile of the render frame according to the chosen transformation mode. If the transformation type is changed, they must also update automatically.
 +
# Additional feature: Ctrl-drag to create a segment from the point: this helps make transformations in each tile more obvious, and helps for handle-snapping.
 +
 
 +
''' 4. Radial tiling cheat? '''
 +
 
 +
A "radial tiling" guide form may be created on top of the existing mechanism. It's basically a P1 operation made to output radial tiling results. The render frame shsape allows users to more easily visualize radial tiling on-canvas. Any on-canvas dynamics manipulations also converts these values into settings appropriate for a "rows and columns" transformation.
 +
 
 +
By building this on top of the existing tiling mechanism, the programmer removes the need to create a dynamics system specific to radial tiling. On the down side, a user who wants to input values manually will have to deal with the rows and columns settings, which in this case would be less intuitive than "angular and radial" settings.
 +
 
 +
=== III. More tiling features ===
 +
 
 +
'''  1. Fuse mode '''
 +
 
 +
As noted, this is a cut + fuse operation. The programmer needs to implement the following features:
 +
# Boolean operations (specifically "cut") on groups
 +
# This also means fixing the cut operation, which is currently rather buggy...
 +
# The guides must be extended, and for each wallpaper group, the ways to "cut" the tiles must be defined
 +
# The programmer must then find the way to define the zone to be delete
 +
# "Fuse" uses the existing group node join operation however
 +
Alternatively, the programmer can make Inkscape render a shape over the tile and perform a union operation, but one that leaves resulting nodes instead of joining them.
 +
 
** [https://bugs.launchpad.net/inkscape/+bug/166302 Bug #166302: Cut Path looses some segments ]
 
** [https://bugs.launchpad.net/inkscape/+bug/166302 Bug #166302: Cut Path looses some segments ]
 
** [https://bugs.launchpad.net/inkscape/+bug/171379 Bug #171379: Boolean Operations on Groups ]
 
** [https://bugs.launchpad.net/inkscape/+bug/171379 Bug #171379: Boolean Operations on Groups ]
 
** [https://bugs.launchpad.net/inkscape/+bug/701819 Bug #701819: Copy/Cut a Part of a Grouped Object ] (scenario of above)
 
** [https://bugs.launchpad.net/inkscape/+bug/701819 Bug #701819: Copy/Cut a Part of a Grouped Object ] (scenario of above)
 
** [https://bugs.launchpad.net/inkscape/+bug/408551 Bug #408551: Cut Path with a grouped object does nothing ]
 
** [https://bugs.launchpad.net/inkscape/+bug/408551 Bug #408551: Cut Path with a grouped object does nothing ]
* Dynamics drop-down and presets for dynamics can be implemented separately. The dialogue for dynamics can also be re-arranged independently.
+
 
* Most “target” options can be implemented separately.
+
This feature requires adding two additional phases to the tiling code:
* The above describes the tiling tool for just wallpaper tiling. All features can be expanded to radial tiling and line tiling separately.
+
* A cut operation: the programmer must find a way to define which way the base tile is to be cut
 +
* Fuse operation at the very end
 +
 
 +
''' 2. Allow adding and removing individual tiles to the render frame '''
 +
 
 +
The biggest work here is reworking the tiling code so that not all tiles are rendered. Combining this and "fuse path" will take some work.
 +
 
 +
''' 3. Interpolation gradients? '''
 +
 
 +
As Jasper noted, this may require a whole rework of the tiling mechanism.
 +
 
 +
=== IV. Line tiling ===
 +
 
 +
Line tiling requires a whole new mechanism combining dynamics and "pattern along path." A possible behaviour is:
 +
* The programmer adapts the tiling code to the Frieze groups
 +
* Clones are first generated in a straight line according to number and size inputs from the target path
 +
* They are then set along the target path using "pattern along path" mechanism.
  
 
[[Category:Proposals]]
 
[[Category:Proposals]]

Latest revision as of 07:54, 9 April 2012

Tiling tool

The current tiling interface is hard to use. The current interface attempts to make the process more user friendly through the use of a tool that creates a "render frame", which consists of two parts:

  • A base tile, where the pattern is supposed to be
  • A more general render frame, showing the location of the output
  • Both can be edited on-canvas

The tiling process is simply:

  1. Create a frame
  2. Select a pattern and a frame
  3. Click "Render" from the tiling tool
  • By default the frame becomes invisible after a render, and becomes "implied" in the generated output (a bit like clipping?).
  • Undoing the render makes the frame appear again.
  • The user can choose to drop a copy of the frame after a render for re-use however, or make a copy before applying.
Type Description
Wallpaper tiling Allows users to use the 17 wallpaper types.
Radial tiling
  • This is for radial designs, and allows both angular clones and radial clones.
  • For angular clones, users can choose between simple rotation or symmetry + rotation. (thus covering the Rosetta patterns as well)
  • For radial clones, users can choose between same direction and alternating directions.
Path tiling
  • Clones are generated along a path. This can be used to create a string of decorations, for repeating frills, for page borders etc.
  • Users can choose from all 7 Frieze groups.

UI Proposal for tiling tool

Transformation images for wallpaper groups

Render modes

There are two modes:

  • Create clones: This is the current rendering mode
  • Fuse: This mode first cuts excess for "inner" sides, then performs a "fuse" operation on the whole output.

Explanation of "Fuse" feature for tiling proposal

More examples of the possible outputs for the “Fuse Cut” mode

Render frame

The render frame is made up of:

  • A central tile, which defines the location of the pattern to copy
  • A more general render grid

UI Proposal for the Render frame of the Tiling tool proposal

On-canvas transformation handles

UI proposal for on-canvas handles for the tiling tool proposal

Guide points

UI proposal for guide points feature for Tiling Tool

Guide points are there to serve as reference point when creating tile designs.

  • When you add a guide point, "counterparts" are generated in all the other tiles
  • Ctrl-drag to drag out a segment.
  • The idea is that users can snap guide points along tile edges, snap a node of the pattern to that guide and snap the node handle to the end of the guide segment, then repeat with the guide point's counterparts. This should help easily create seamless transitions.

Option for dynamics Symmetry around base tile?

Proposal: option for all dynamics to be rendered in a symmetry around the base tile. This proposal is because users may want tiles to fade around a central tile. Rendering the frame in just one direction is easy, but achieving the symmetry otherwise is not.

The main difficulty is that the current dynamics mechanism is linear, so adjustments would be needed.

Proposal for dynamics to occur in a symmetry around the base tile for the tiling tool

On-canvas dynamics editing

Currently the two following approaches to on-canvas dynamics editing have been considered:

  1. Edit a tile of the render frame (rotate and resize for example), all other tiles in the render frame are updated dynamically to give you an idea of the result.
    • Pros: high preview value, as the outline of the tiles by themselves should give an idea as to the output of the whole tiling.
    • Cons: forcing live update of tiles may be slow, and big displacements of tiles are distracting from the editing process. Worse if jitters are also visualized on-canvas.
  2. Edit only one or two "reference" tiles. None of the other tiles change. Inkscape deduces transformation values from there and converts them into values for the existing tiling mechanism.
    • Pros: less taxing on the interface.
    • Cons: Less preview value.

Tom Lechner made a possible mock-up for the second option: Mock-up for on-canvas tile dynamics editing

It could be possible to combine the best of both worlds with a "Dynamics preview" mode (so it's a preview of the dynamics, not of the pattern getting tiled):

  • When preview mode is on, Inkscape generates a preview of the render frame's tiles with dynamics applied, including jitters.
  • Editing is not allowed. You have to exit the preview mode to make other adjustments.
  • The idea is that some complex tilings will probably take a long time to render. This preview mode gives a quick idea about the outcome without having to do a full render, then undo, adjust and re-render again.

Preview mode for dynamics for the Tiling Tool proposal

Radial tiling

In theory, radial tiling could use the same mechanism as rows and columns tiling, by converting all input into X, Y input. Although users can also use rows and columns tiling to achieve radial tiling, doing so would not be very intuitive.

UI proposal for radial tiling in the tiling tool

Line tiling

Implementing line tiling would be more complicated that implementing radial tiling, because it is an extension of the Pattern Along Path function rather than of the existing tiled clones mechanism. So, the programer would have to figure out a way to combine Pattern Along Path and the dynamics for Tiled Clones, all the while implementing the proper render guide. If he achieves it though, it'd be an amazingly powerful and versatile tool for designers of all kinds.

Line tiling actually comes in two sets of guides:

  • A pattern guide.
  • A target guide. This target guide appears over the target path, which has to be copied first to the clipboard.

The pattern guide can actually be edited independently of a target path, but unless a target path is copied to the clipboard, the user cannot render the line tiling. So, the user can first adjust the pattern design and tiling properties, then copy a path, adjust and apply.

UI proposal for line tiling in the tiling tool

Tile stacking

You can stack different tilings!

Explanation of tile stacking feature for my tiling proposal

Inkscape will likely have an Effects stacking mechanism in the future. Whatever it is, tiling would also fit right into it.

Line patterns

And why not "line patterns" while we're at it?

UI proposal for line pattern choosing

UI design status

This section is a summary of how ready the UI proposal for the various features are (as well as comments about coding):

General concept and tiling methods:

Feature Status
General concept Valerie: The current interface is the result of exploring several very different concepts with inputs and criticism by a number of people. The "On-canvas editable central tile + render frame" concept is currently the first of these concepts to have encountered no major objections as to its usability, so it should be safe to consider this an acceptable general direction unless a better proposal comes along.
Wallpaper tiling Valerie: The general proposal (base tile, handles + render frame) doesn't seem to generate many objections. The exact form of the handles and the details about manipulation could still be refined.
Radial tiling Valerie: Not much input yet.
Line tiling Valerie: Not much input yet. There should be, as this is a potentially very powerful feature for designers, though also hard to implement.

Specific features (all tiling methods)

Feature Status
Fuse mode Valerie: General input seems to be that this is a "good idea."
Guide points Valerie: General input seems to be that this is a "good idea."
On-canvas handling of dynamics Valerie: Concensus is that on-canvas manipulation of dynamics is very desirable. However, the exact form is still up to debate. Tom Lechner has a proposal that will allow to visualize most elements, but more work is needed to establish a mechanism for visualizing and controlling jitter as well.
Multi-Stop Interpolation Gradient (multi-stop dynamics) Valerie: Such a mechanism would require reworking the entire tiling mechanism. The only bright side is that Inkscape doesn't store any tiling information, so changing the mechanism won't break backwards compatibility. See Jasper's detailed comment in "Implementation."
Symmetrical dynamics output around base tile Valerie: Looking at Jasper's explanation below, symmetrical dynamics around a central tile basically aren't supported by the current mechanism.
Tile stacking and line pattern management Valerie: At this point both are just suggestions, as Inkscape has neither the mechanisms in place nor an UI.

Implementation comments

Feature Comments
Multi-Stop Interpolation Gradient Jasper (mail from mailing list): All the code is in src/ui/dialog/clonetiler.cpp. The main function is CloneTiler::clonetiler_get_transform. This function essentially gets all info, as well as a row and column index. It then computes all the transforms required for that position and combines them. As far as I can tell it combines them in such a way that first a scaling is applied, then a rotation and finally a translation. If you select a different symmetry group then the translation can become a more complicated transform.

The scheme we talked about earlier that would interpolate transforms is not necessarily compatible. This is because in the latter the case the entire transform would be interpolated, while what Inkscape does is essentially interpolating per kind of transform. That this is not the same can be seen by realizing that rotate(50)translate(1)rotate(50)translate(1) is not the same as rotate(100)translate(2). The former is more or less what we talked about (or at least what I had in mind during that discussion), the latter is what Inkscape does.

However, Inkscape currently seems to store almost nothing about the tiling in the file. So it would be relatively benign to change behaviour. Existing files would not be affected in any way, users would only be affected when trying to change a tiling or create a new one. (This is not to say that it's necessarily a good idea to make it impossible to achieve the current behaviour, just that if we cannot reconcile the two, there is some room for change.)

Note that it would be possible to emulate Inkscape's current behaviour through interpolation of transforms, but only if we would allow "stacking" transforms. I'm not sure how this would have to be supported UI-wise though.

Implementation

Proposed implementation steps:

0. Very desirable: Guide management

See Existing blueprint. Rather, what is needed here is not a full guide management system, but rather how to "define" a guide, as the guides here have properties very different from "normal" objects.

I. Core feature: addition of an on-canvas base tile or render frame

Jasper explains where the tiling code is located:

"All the code is in src/ui/dialog/clonetiler.cpp. The main function is CloneTiler::clonetiler_get_transform. This function essentially gets all info, as well as a row and column index."

As a first step, the programmer could program a "base tile" or "render frame" object as a separate file, that can be tested independently from the tiling code. This object:

  • Provides a different base tile shape depending on the chosen transformation type
  • Allows to visualize extra rows and columns on-canvas (not necessary in a first step, but quite desirable). Unless the user wants to tweak the tiling code itself, this step currently does not allow adding or removing individual tiles
  • Creates a set of coordinates to be used by the existing tiling mechanism
  • The tool icon and toolbar can be created from the start for testing or added later

Testing would basically be to ensure that the on-canvas behaviour is consistent with what the user expects, and the output values are correct.

Once this object works as expected, it can then be "connected" to the tiling mechanism by calling it up and sending it the correct values. Basically, the tiling code itself would not need too many adjustments at this phase.

UI Proposal for first step of tiling tool implementation

This is basically the minimum interface that would allow users to make basic tiling without opening the current tiling dialogue. Sequence:

  • Clicking the + button "adds" a render frame or just render tile (if the programmer hasn't programmed the ability to visualize extra rows and columns yet) of the chosen type.
  • Choose the pattern to tile and the guide
  • Click "create"

II. More features to the render frame

These are features that can be added to the render frame object without changing the tiling code too much.

1. Tiling handles

  1. Handles are added to the base tiles, making it possible to switch from one tiling to another.
  2. Users can be now offered to create a "Wallpaper" tile by default. Other transformation types are accessed via a pop-up when choosing "others." Previews are moved to this pop-up. Since the simple rectangle is the most commonly used tile shape, this default should be acceptable (and less confusing than "P1").

A few notes:

  • Changing symmetries should be the priority.
  • Eventually controls for angles could be added too, though this is lower priority, as not many users absolutely need to change from one tile shape to another.

2. On-canvas dynamics editing

This converts on-canvas cues to percentage values that are then fed to the tiling code. Under discussion: Visual representation of the mechanism?

3. Guide points?

The programmer must:

  1. Define/create guide points. This object can be snapped to objects and guides.
  2. Program it so that iterations of it appear and are rendered correctly in each tile of the render frame according to the chosen transformation mode. If the transformation type is changed, they must also update automatically.
  3. Additional feature: Ctrl-drag to create a segment from the point: this helps make transformations in each tile more obvious, and helps for handle-snapping.

4. Radial tiling cheat?

A "radial tiling" guide form may be created on top of the existing mechanism. It's basically a P1 operation made to output radial tiling results. The render frame shsape allows users to more easily visualize radial tiling on-canvas. Any on-canvas dynamics manipulations also converts these values into settings appropriate for a "rows and columns" transformation.

By building this on top of the existing tiling mechanism, the programmer removes the need to create a dynamics system specific to radial tiling. On the down side, a user who wants to input values manually will have to deal with the rows and columns settings, which in this case would be less intuitive than "angular and radial" settings.

III. More tiling features

1. Fuse mode

As noted, this is a cut + fuse operation. The programmer needs to implement the following features:

  1. Boolean operations (specifically "cut") on groups
  2. This also means fixing the cut operation, which is currently rather buggy...
  3. The guides must be extended, and for each wallpaper group, the ways to "cut" the tiles must be defined
  4. The programmer must then find the way to define the zone to be delete
  5. "Fuse" uses the existing group node join operation however

Alternatively, the programmer can make Inkscape render a shape over the tile and perform a union operation, but one that leaves resulting nodes instead of joining them.

This feature requires adding two additional phases to the tiling code:

  • A cut operation: the programmer must find a way to define which way the base tile is to be cut
  • Fuse operation at the very end

2. Allow adding and removing individual tiles to the render frame

The biggest work here is reworking the tiling code so that not all tiles are rendered. Combining this and "fuse path" will take some work.

3. Interpolation gradients?

As Jasper noted, this may require a whole rework of the tiling mechanism.

IV. Line tiling

Line tiling requires a whole new mechanism combining dynamics and "pattern along path." A possible behaviour is:

  • The programmer adapts the tiling code to the Frieze groups
  • Clones are first generated in a straight line according to number and size inputs from the target path
  • They are then set along the target path using "pattern along path" mechanism.