Topic: Considering changes in drawing visibility mechanics (persistence)

TL;DR: at the end.

This is on the road to being able to export tracked angles and other tracked data.

Persistence is the thing that makes a drawing fade in/out around the frame it was added on.

Currently there are 3 visibility levels:
1. The drawing is shown only on the frame (persistence off).
2. The drawing is shown for a customizable amount of time before/after the frame.
3. The drawing is shown for the entire video ("Always visible").

These options can be customized for each drawing. It's also possible to set defaults in Preferences > Drawings > Persistence. And there is also a checkbox in Preferences > Drawings > General to hide drawings altogether when the video is playing.

Now drawings can also be tracked individually, to review position, length or angle variation over time. When you track a drawing it is always visible as long as it is tracked, and when you stop tracking it reverts back to its original visibility. So if you track a drawing for a while and then turn off tracking, it will usually disappear because its visibility option is to fade out a few frames after the frame it was added on, which is way before. The tracking data is not lost.

Requirement: I want to be able to start/stop tracking the same drawing multiple times. With the current way it works, I have to first set the drawing to "always visible" which is cumbersome: Right click drawing > Persistence > uncheck "Use default value" > check "Always visible".

I started adding an option specific to trackable drawings to let them "show the drawing even if not tracking", but it is redundant with the option of "Always visible" persistence.

Also, I'm not convinced that having fade in/out values customizable "per-drawing" is that useful. It seems to make the whole "persistence" thing unnecessary complicated for most people.

I'm considering the following:
- Drawings are created using the default fading option from the preferences just as it is now.
- The persistence dialog at the drawing level is removed.
- At the drawing level, we can only toggle between "Always visible" or not.
- When "Always visible" is off, the drawing uses the global option from preferences.
- The "Always visible" toggle menu is directly in the drawing's context menu, not in a dialog box as it was with persistence.
- In preferences, merge the whole "Persistence" tab into "General".

I'm considering simplifying the user interface for "persistence" of drawings, leaving just "Always visible" as a per-drawing toggle. When off it would use a global fade in/out option from preferences.

Q: Is it reasonable to remove per-drawing fading options?

I feel it would make things more straightforward and would allow the most useful toggle to be directly accessible in one click.

Re: Considering changes in drawing visibility mechanics (persistence)

Hi Joan,

I wish I was around to comment on this before - this is exactly what I am looking for, can you please bring back the option for individual persistence times on all items with an option to "reset to defaults" for both infade and outfade as well?

This is an extremely valuable feature, as some times the moments you are trying to highlight and analyze are far apart, so a longer infade and outfade are fine, but sometimes the moments are really close together and need to quickly pop in and out for illustration purposes.

I know I am only one voice, but I see this is also in the bug listing as well, so there are others that use this now gone feature.


Drew Read

Re: Considering changes in drawing visibility mechanics (persistence)

Thanks for the feedback. Yeah it's always hard to know which feature people are actively using or not when I want to simplify the architecture, and sometimes I only get feedback when it's removed hmm

I want to keep the toggle between "fading in/out" and "always visible" as direct as possible. So I'm thinking a Visibility menu with 3 sub options: always visible, default fading and custom fading. And then a fourth menu to go in a dialog box to configure the custom fading. On this dialog we need to be able to change the duration of the opaque section and the duration of the fading sections on each side of the opaque section. The old option had everything on a single dialog, so you were presented with all the complexity even when you just wanted to switch to always visible. I think it will be clearer and more usable to separate the typical cases from the "advanced" cases.

Re: Considering changes in drawing visibility mechanics (persistence)

That sounds like a fantastic setup, I look forward to seeing it.

Drew Read