Using Qt Bridge for Adobe Photoshop

Organizing Assets

To get the best results when you use Qt Bridge for Adobe Photoshop to export designs from Adobe Photoshop to Qt Design Studio, follow these guidelines when working with Photoshop:

  • Arrange your art into artboards and organize it into groups and layers that are imported into Qt Design Studio as separate files, depending on the choices you make when exporting designs.
  • Use the Type tool to make sure that all of your text labels are exported to Text items.
  • Store all assets in vector format to be able to easily rescale them for different screen sizes and resolutions.

If you would rather use Adobe Illustrator for creating artwork, you can copy-paste your assets to Adobe Photoshop as smart objects. You can then double-click the smart objects in Photoshop to open them in Illustrator for editing. Because you use smart objects, all your changes are propagated to all instances of the objects used in your designs in Photoshop.

To use the fonts that you use in Photoshop also in Qt Design Studio, you need to load them to Qt Design Studio. Qt Design Studio deploys them to devices when you preview the UI. For more information, see Using Custom Fonts.

Using Artboards

The relationships between the groups and layers on an artboard are preserved when you export designs from Adobe Photoshop and import them into Qt Design Studio.

When you use Qt Bridge for Adobe Photoshop to export your designs, you will determine how you want each group or layer exported: as a component or child. A component is a single QML file that can contain other assets. A child is a single PNG file that you can use within QML files.

If you plan to use pieces of your artwork as separate images in the UI, group them on an artboard as separate layers. You can then export the group as a component and each layer within it as a child. The children are imported to Qt Design Studio as separate PNG files that you can use as image sources.

To use the contents of an artboard as a single image in the UI, you can merge the groups and layers when you export them. During import, the contents are flattened into one PNG file. The merge is done in a way that enables you to change the groups and layers in Photoshop or Adobe Illustrator and then export and import the artboard again. This is an easy way to create a reference image of how the final UI should look like, for example.

Place different parts of the UI, such as menus and pop-ups, on separate artboards to be able to export them as components or children and to import them as QML and PNG files that you can drag and drop to the Form Editor in Qt Design Studio Design mode while creating a UI.

Qt Design Studio offers predefined sets of UI controls that you can modify according to your needs. You can export your own controls as QML types, Qt Quick Controls, or Studio Components. The position and dimensions of your control are preserved.

However, if you want your UI controls, such as check boxes, to look exactly like they do in Photoshop, you have to create the control in an Artboard and use the artboard in the layers where the control instance is to be created. Qt Bridge exports the control as a custom QML component that you can program in Qt Design Studio.

Exporting Assets

Each artboard is exported automatically as a component. That is, a separate QML file that contains all the artwork on the artboard, except layers that are set to be skipped or exported as child items. You determine how each group or layer in an artboard is exported: as a component or a child item. In addition, you can merge the groups and layers of an artboard into the parent as one item or skip layers completely.

By default, layers are exported as follows:

  • First level group layers are exported as child items of the artboard.
  • Second level group layers are merged to their parent.
  • Asset layers are exported as merged.
  • Text layers are always exported as child items.

Qt Bridge for Adobe Photoshop automatically proposes identifiers (QML ids) for all groups and layers. The ids will be used as filenames in Qt Design Studio. You can change the ids, so that you can easily find them in Qt Design Studio. Just keep in mind that the ids must be unique and that they must follow some naming conventions.

You can export assets using the default settings and make all the changes later in Qt Design Studio. If you are familiar with the QML syntax, you can modify the settings to tailor the generated QML to a certain degree. For example, you can specify the QML type or Studio component to use for a component or layer. If you have drawn an arc that you mean to animate, you can export it as an Arc Studio component to avoid having to replace the arc image with an Arc component in Qt Design Studio. Or you could export a button as a Qt Quick Controls 2 Button type.

You can specify effects, such as a blur effect, to use for a group or layer.

The QML types supported by Qt Design Studio are listed in the QML Types tab in the Library in the Design mode of Qt Design Studio. For more information, see Creating Components.

You can also specify values for the properties of the QML type or create property aliases to fetch the values from other properties.

Specifying Settings for Exporting Assets

To export your design using Qt Bridge for Adobe Photoshop:

  1. Qt Bridge for Adobe Photoshop automatically proposes identifiers for all groups and layers that you can change in the QML ID field. The ids must be unique, they must begin with a lower-case letter or an underscore, and they can only contain letters, numbers, and underscore characters. For more information, see The id Attribute.
  2. In the Export As field, select the export type for the group or layer:
    • Component creates a separate QML file for the selected artboard, group, or layer that contains all the artwork in it, except layers that are set to be skipped or exported as child items.
    • Child creates a separate PNG file for each asset of the selected group or layer, with references to the images in the component file.
    • Merged merges the selected groups and layers into the parent as one item.
    • Skipped completely skips the selected layer.
  3. In the As Artboard field, select an artboard to reuse. For example, you can use an artboard to define a component, such as a button, and reuse it in other artboards.
  4. In the QML Type field, specify the QML type or Studio component to morph this layer into. The generated component will be of this type. For example, if you drew a rectangle, you can export it as a Rectangle Studio component. You can provide the import statement of the module where the QML type is defined in the Add Imports field.
  5. In the Add Imports field, enter additional import statements to have them added to the generated QML file. For example, to use Qt Quick Controls 2.3, you need the import statement QtQuick.Controls 2.3 and to use Qt Studio Components 1.0, you need the import statement QtQuick.Studio.Components 1.0. You can also import a module as an alias.
  6. In the QML Properties field, specify properties for the QML type. You can add and modify properties in Qt Design Studio.
  7. Select the Clip Contents check box to enable clipping in the type generated from the layer. The generated type will clip its own painting, as well as the painting of its children, to its bounding rectangle.
  8. Select the Create Alias check box to export the item generated from this layer as an alias in the parent component.
  9. Select Cascade properties to apply the current set of properties to all the children of the selected layer.
  10. Select Export to copy your assets to the export path you specified.
  11. When the exporting is done, select OK.

All the assets and metadata are copied to the directory you specified. This might take a little while depending on the complexity of your project.

You can now create a project in Qt Design Studio and import the assets to it, as described in Creating Projects and Importing Designs.

Sanitizing Documents

Qt Bridge for Adobe Photoshop enables removing all Qt Bridge for Adobe Photoshop related metadata from the active document. In the Qt Bridge for Adobe Photoshop Settings dialog, select Sanitize Document to sanitize the active document. Once the sanitization is successfully done, the document will contain no Qt Bridge for Adobe Photoshop related metadata and the Qt Bridge for Adobe Photoshop layer settings will fall back to the default values.

Note: The sanitization is done in memory and the document must be saved to keep the sanitized state.

Extending Qt Bridge for Adobe Photoshop

You can change the default behavior of Qt Bridge for Adobe Photoshop with the help of a JSX script. One can write specific functions in the script that are called by Qt Bridge for Adobe Photoshop with useful parameters.

Overridable JSX Functions

You can define the following functions in the override JSX.

  • preExport(document) This function is called before the document is exported. The parameter document is the PSD Document instance. This function can be used to make temporary changes in the document before export.
  • postExport(document) This function is called after the document is exported. The parameter document is the PSD Document instance. You can undo the temporary changes done in the function preExport(...).
  • customDefaultQmlId(name, instance) The function is called for settings the default QML id of the layer. The returned value is used for the QML id. Return Falsey to use the auto generated QML id instead. The parameter name is the auto generated QML id by the plugin and instance is the PSD layer instance.

Note: Please refer to Adobe Photoshop CC Javascript scripting guide to understand the object model and Document and Layer instances.

In the Qt Bridge for Adobe Photoshop Settings dialog, select Override JSX Script to set the override JSX script.

For more information, watch a video tutorial and webinar about using Qt Bridge for Adobe Photoshop:

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