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UI blurry on macOS


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My UI is blurry in places on macOS:

 

Compare the crispness of the "Cap" etc labels vs the fuzziness of the icons. Designed 1.10.4 on macOS 11.6.1 on 2020 Intel iMac Retina 5K on external Apple Cinema HD 30" display.

 

Problem goes away if I move Designer to the built-in display. 

image.png.ab260b4525d20e378a6a8baed03b6a0b.png

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Hi,

can check your display settings, and upload screenshots showing the settings regarding mode (extend / mirror), and resolution?
 

Depending on certain constraints (connection type e.g. HDMI, DP, cpu / gpu) there are limits on how many displays can be driven, and in what resolution.

According to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_Cinema_Display, the display is quite dated, does not support retina resolution. Compared to a 5K Retina-Display it is actually blurry.

 

Mac mini M1 A2348

LG34WK950U-W, calibrated to DCI-P3 with LG Calibration Studio / Spider 5

iPad Air Gen 5 (2022) A2589

Special interest into procedural texture filter, edit alpha channel, RGB/16 and RGB/32 color formats, stacking, finding root causes for misbehaving files, finding creative solutions for unsolvable tasks, finding bugs in Apps.

 

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@NotMyFaultYour reply is not relevant. I already shared a screenshot that shows precisely what resolution my display is capable of, because it shows crisp text labels next to blurry icons. 

For what it's worth, the problem doesn't happen on the same hardware using macOS 12.1. Here's the screenshot for that:

 

image.png.087f1e7c9893893dbfbd738714c26608.png

 

If you compare this to the screenshot from macOS 11.6.1, the bug should be apparent. 

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41 minutes ago, Iris Artin said:

I already shared a screenshot that shows precisely what resolution my display is capable of, because it shows crisp text labels next to blurry icons. 

Really? I found only one screenshot in your original post, showing probably the blurry situation. And I did actually ask for something different:

 the resolution your operating system is actually using on that display. This can differ from the display maximum resolution. You can find it via "About this Mac".

Occasionally, MacOS uses a lower resolution than the display is capable. This would explain your observation.

Happens to my Mac, e.g. during wakeup from sleep mode. My display shows a warning if the PC  uses suboptimal resolution.

https://www.howtogeek.com/686022/how-to-find-your-macs-screen-resolution/

 

Screenshot 2022-01-25 at 20.28.06.png

Mac mini M1 A2348

LG34WK950U-W, calibrated to DCI-P3 with LG Calibration Studio / Spider 5

iPad Air Gen 5 (2022) A2589

Special interest into procedural texture filter, edit alpha channel, RGB/16 and RGB/32 color formats, stacking, finding root causes for misbehaving files, finding creative solutions for unsolvable tasks, finding bugs in Apps.

 

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@NotMyFaultI understand what you are asking, and it's still irrelevant. My original screenshot shows crisp text next to blurry icons. Your theories so far about display scaling by the OS and this being a non-Retina display would not produce those results. They would cause blurriness across the entire display, not different levels of blurriness 50 pixels apart in the same window. 

Also see my second screenshot from Monterey, which clearly shows that the display in question is capable of non-blurry icons. 

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Thank you for the nice talk. I'm out for good.

Mac mini M1 A2348

LG34WK950U-W, calibrated to DCI-P3 with LG Calibration Studio / Spider 5

iPad Air Gen 5 (2022) A2589

Special interest into procedural texture filter, edit alpha channel, RGB/16 and RGB/32 color formats, stacking, finding root causes for misbehaving files, finding creative solutions for unsolvable tasks, finding bugs in Apps.

 

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23 hours ago, Iris Artin said:

My original screenshot shows crisp text next to blurry icons.

Not to my eyes, all is slightly burry.

Mac Pro (Late 2013) Mac OS 11.7.3 
Affinity Designer 2.0.4 | Affinity Photo 2.0.4 | Affinity Publisher 2.0.4 | Beta versions as they appear.

I have never mastered color management, period, so I cannot help with that.

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3 minutes ago, Old Bruce said:

Not to my eyes, all is slightly burry.

I agree.

-- Walt

Desktop:  Windows 11 Home, version 21H2 (22000.613) 64GB memory, AMD Ryzen 9 5900 12-Core @ 3.00 GHz, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 
Laptop:  Windows 10 Home, version 21H2 (19044.1706) 32GB memory, Intel Core i7-10750H @ 2.60GHz, Intel UHD Graphics Comet Lake GT2 and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPU.
        Affinity Photo 1.10.6 (.1665) and 2.0..3  and 2.0.3.1670 beta/ Affinity Designer 1.10.6 (.1665)  and 2.0.3 and 2.0.3.1670 beta / Affinity Publisher 1.10.6 (.1665)  and 2.0.3 and 2.0.3.1670 beta
iPad Pro M1, 12.9", iPadOS 16.3, Apple Pencil 2, Magic Keyboard

      Affinity Photo 1.10.6 and 2.0.3 / Affinity Designer 1.10.6 and 2.0.3 / Affinity Publisher 2.0.3

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54 minutes ago, Old Bruce said:

Not to my eyes, all is slightly burry.

 

50 minutes ago, walt.farrell said:

I agree.


And so do I, for what it’s worth. Here’s a composite of the two screenshots, showing the text looking slightly blurry in both:

Iris-Artin-icons.png.95e529d490e0b42ac508f0056a959e05.png

The second set of icons is marginally sharper, but at the expense of lost smoothness on the rounded Cap and Join icons.

Alfred spacer.png
Affinity Designer/Photo/Publisher for Windows 1.10 • Windows 10 Home/Pro
Affinity Photo for iPad 1.10 • Designer for iPad 1.10 • iPadOS 15.6.1 (iPad Air 2)

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  • 2 weeks later...
3 hours ago, paolo.limoncelli said:

Same issue here...

It seems that those icons and texts are somehow 0.x pixel off from regular grid.

In horizontal direction only, not in vertical

Mac mini M1 A2348

LG34WK950U-W, calibrated to DCI-P3 with LG Calibration Studio / Spider 5

iPad Air Gen 5 (2022) A2589

Special interest into procedural texture filter, edit alpha channel, RGB/16 and RGB/32 color formats, stacking, finding root causes for misbehaving files, finding creative solutions for unsolvable tasks, finding bugs in Apps.

 

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When you compare screenshots by this method, you can see it’s only x axis:

  • Stack the 2 Screenshot of same UI element on both displays, perfectly scale and align them (keep scale at integer multiples)
  • set blend mode to difference of upper layer
  • zoom in 400% or more
  • use PNG (not jpeg) to avoid compression artifacts 

its looks similar to a motion blur filter.

Mac mini M1 A2348

LG34WK950U-W, calibrated to DCI-P3 with LG Calibration Studio / Spider 5

iPad Air Gen 5 (2022) A2589

Special interest into procedural texture filter, edit alpha channel, RGB/16 and RGB/32 color formats, stacking, finding root causes for misbehaving files, finding creative solutions for unsolvable tasks, finding bugs in Apps.

 

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2 hours ago, Iris Artin said:

@NotMyFaultAre you sure you didn't turn on horizontal motion blur for that display in your System Settings? 🙂 

Your comment is so irrelevant 😘

Sure 100%

I used only the screenshots provided by you and others as I have no access to 10 year old non retina displays.

I can’t reproduce the issue on my 5K and 4K displays.

 

Mac mini M1 A2348

LG34WK950U-W, calibrated to DCI-P3 with LG Calibration Studio / Spider 5

iPad Air Gen 5 (2022) A2589

Special interest into procedural texture filter, edit alpha channel, RGB/16 and RGB/32 color formats, stacking, finding root causes for misbehaving files, finding creative solutions for unsolvable tasks, finding bugs in Apps.

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

This blurryness drives me nuts. macOS suffers from it too in various places. It's because the controls haven't been aligned to a whole point (pixel) boundary. The OS therefore can't directly blit (copy) the image, but instead has to resample pixels and that ends up blurring it. For iOS the simulator has the ability to tint unaligned images to make this sort of issue easier to spot.

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