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revise operations to apply to the desired layer
  [vote for,

Bitmap graphics drawing packages very often use the concept of layers, which are conceptually stacked to form the final image.
Basically, you can draw different components of an image on different layers, which can be independently edited without interfering with the others.

This is all well and good, but I find it's not unusual that I've drawn something on the wrong layer - and often this has messed up what was meant to be there, so it can't just be cut and pasted to the intended layer. Apparently this isn't just me - this happens to good artists too.

Most graphics packages already have an undo history, and redo of 'undone' events. What I propose is a feature where you could review individual elements in the history, and change which layer they were applied to.
I think in most reasonable architectures this would actually be a relatively straightforward feature to add.

Loris, Jul 17 2022

Concepts https://concepts.app/en/
No-Commitment Sketching: Make rapid iterations or explore happy accidents — Concepts is flexible to the core. Pick up anything you’ve ever drawn with a tap+hold, and copy it, measure it, change the tool or line weight or colors, or just throw it away. It’s the beauty of traditional tools with the power of vectors. [a1, Jul 17 2022]


       Yes, this sounds feasible. [+]
pertinax, Jul 17 2022

       Everything I know about what you are suggesting I just learned form this post and I have a hard time wrapping my head around the fact that it's not already a thing. If you are the first person to propose this, then...   


       In what way is this halfbaked?
xenzag, Jul 17 2022

       If every action generated its own separate layer, and if the layers could be "grouped" together, then a single layer could be shifted from its group to another group.
pocmloc, Jul 17 2022

       A brilliant idea. I'm no graphical artist but I hope it gets baked.
Voice, Jul 17 2022

       //In what way is this halfbaked?//   

       Does photoshop -or some other very expensive program I haven't used- do this already?
Because I haven't seen it, and I was motivated to post by seeing a forum thread with some very impressive graphical artists talking about problems they have, and drawing on the wrong layer was the most widely mentioned digital issue.
Loris, Jul 17 2022

       // In what way is this halfbaked? //   

       Well, there is of course a trivial doing it part. It might be possible to fix it in Gimp, if [Loris] still has his Gimp mask.   

       By the by, I think I saw a headline that Photoshop will be absolutely free soon.
4and20, Jul 17 2022

       I think I saw a headline that I wouldn't *believe* this one weird trick. I didn't.
pertinax, Jul 17 2022

       Copy writers hate him!
Voice, Jul 17 2022

       Glad I'm a CAD monkey & not a different sort of digital artist, then...
I can just select an element & change it's layer. Any time. Although, as I've discovered & not liked, I can't change the display "ordering" of layers in SolidWorks; so layers are more useful for "on or off" (& colours, line settings etc) than the more powerful "this layer on top of that layer".
neutrinos_shadow, Jul 17 2022

       This isn't about changing the order of layers.
I see that I should have made clear that this idea is primarily for bitmap graphics. The issue there is that operations are often complex, and commingle with the selected layer's prior contents. It doesn't seem to be uncommon to e.g. set up a draft layer with a rough sketch, add an 'inking' layer for careful outlining - then later discover that you've drawn almost everything to the draft layer anyway, and you've got no easy way of separating them.
So it just seems like it would be nice to be able to go back through the undo history, tell it ..."/here/, switch to the inking layer", and *poof* it's resolved.
Loris, Jul 17 2022

       [Loris], have you looked at “Concepts” <link>? I’ve just started playing with it for my own reasons, but it may do what you’re talking about.
a1, Jul 17 2022

       a1, I think Concepts is a vector drawing package. That's not bad - I love vector graphics and for many purposes prefer them.
Yes, vector graphics don't have much of an issue with "destructively drawing on the wrong layer". Basically because each component of the image is its own layer, so you can more easily rearrange them later. Vector images also have many other advantages.

       However, bitmap images have their advantages too, and you'll often have to work from a bitmap as a starting point. If you've got an image extracted from the real world (i.e. a photo), it'll be a bitmap.
At least in terms of internal representation, bitmaps are defined in size in a way which vectors are not - a vector image can be arbitrarily big. Another way of thinking of this is that some drawing operations are just more easily represented with a bitmap.
And many artists are just more comfortable with the bitmap process. It's important to cater to how users actually want to work.
Loris, Jul 18 2022


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