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Stylus input on desktop (Mac) isn't nearly as smooth as on iPad, no matter what tablet drawing brand you use (I've tried a few). 

I've brought this up before, and it's kind of a biggie, considering there's a ton of illustrators, designers, photo retouchers/editors, using drawing/graphics tablets for their work. Some some reason this only happens with Affinity apps, and I haven't had this issue with any other graphics software. It's not a deal breaker per se, but it's very notable, and if you use a drawing tablet most of the day for your work, it can get quite frustrating (and could potentially put future users off of using the apps altogether). Furthermore, if you want to compete with the industry leaders (*cough Adobe), then you need to ensure that your stylus/pen input engine is pristine or at least on par with something like the industry standard, Photoshop.

For some reason the pressure sensitivity has a tendency to spike or be slightly inaccurate and the lines aren't as smooth as they should be (often with small, but notable kinks and jitter). This is also very notable when using the Freehand Selection tool with a tablet. It's even more prevalent the more you zoom out of your canvas, causing weird jagged 90 and 45 degree angles in your lines/selections - almost as if the pen cursor is snapping to an invisible grid 90/45 degree grid. I usually do not work very zoomed in, so this can get very problematic throughout the work process, causing unwanted kinks and jagged lines which I've never experienced with any other drawing apps.

To combat this, I've been using a third party plugin called Hej Stylus (hejstylus.com), and the pen input from my drawing tablet on desktop has been so much better within the Affinity apps while using it.
It overrides the apps' default pen input in Affinity and replaces it with Hej Stylus's settings, which are much nicer and more accurate. When using the Hej Stylus app, I keep all the settings at an absolute minimum so that there isn't any additional smoothing, and all the app essentially does is override the default input. I don't necessarily want to use a third party app when working, but I'm doing it out of necessity. 

I think it's important to note that a desktop drawing tablet is a lot different from an iPad/Apple Pencil combo. The desktop styli/pens act differently and require different settings to perform the way that they should. Perhaps there's a way to get Eilert (the dev over at Hej Stylus) on board to help sort out the stylus input issues in Affinity apps. 

Sorry to keep going on about this, but as someone who uses a drawing tablet on desktop for ALL my work (as very many illustrators do), I really want to keep using Affinity without any tedious workarounds which takes extra time, and ultimately costs me and my clients money.

Really hoping for a fix in the next update!!

I've attached a screenshot here of the issue, and also attached the file:


HejStylus Test.afphoto

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@Chris B
Thank you so much!

Yeah, Hej Stylus is a handy little app to have available when needed (I especially love the rulers).
Unfortunately for the Hej Stylus creator, it would be great to not need to use it and to rather have Affinity brushes perform that smoothly by default without the need for a third party app.

Fingers crossed for a timely fix!

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  • 3 months later...

Hi @ChristiduToit,

Are you using a Ugee or XP-Pen tablet maybe? Have you tried your tablet in other drawing apps? I ask you because I was having exactly the same problems as you in different apps and I found that a driver update solved my issue. I have an Ugee tablet, and I discovered that it was sold to XP-Pen company, and XP-Pen have better drivers for my tablet so I used that one instead and those jagged lines don't happen to me anymore.

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3 minutes ago, ChristiduToit said:

I was actually using a Yiynova tablet at the time, but have since upgraded to an XP-Pen and haven't had any issues since - luckily!
Thanks for the heads up though. :) 

That's great! Then, as you have another tablet from the same manufacturer as I, could you be so nice and have a look at my recent post and tell me if you have the same issue or is just me?

I would really appreciate it if you can test and tell me what you see :)

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