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Severely Lagging Brushes


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Hi all,

I've been using Designer for about two weeks now, and am completely in love with it. I've been doing a bunch of design and trying out different aspects and it's been a lot of fun.

I've just got onto the drawing side of things, to play around with my graphics tablet and some nice brushes, and I've been having a horrendous issue with lag. It's been happening in pixel mode, but it's really a huge problem with vector brushes.

I have the latest version of Designer, up-to-date graphics and tablet drivers. I don't think it's a problem with the graphics tablet, as it even happens when only using the mouse (but for what it's worth, Windows Ink is switched off anyway).

I understand that there might be some expected lag here and there, but it really becomes quite unusable. 

I have also noticed the CPU spikes whenever I attempt to draw anything (it hits 90% and I have mine capped at 95% anyway). It's an i7 with a few cores and 16gb of RAM, so a middle of the road system.

See this video of the issue below (the only non-background apps running are Designer and OBS for recording - no Chrome, Dropbox, etc. hanging around):

 

I turned off hardware acceleration for normal use, as I found this was generally faster (and it didn't make a difference with this issue). Here are the rest of my performance settings:

image.png.a0d6f2ac317e38121c40790ef93c3c33.png

Running on Win 10. 

Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.

Many thanks!

 

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Hi @jibbitt,

Sorry to see you're having trouble!

I can confirm a few things:

Firstly, you have set the Renderer to WARP, which essentially is software based rendering, rather than hardware - this will put a greater strain on your CPU.
Can you please provide a screenshot with this dialog expanded, showing the other Renderer options you have available to you, so I can suggest the best option?

Secondly, I'd recommend increasing your RAM limit to 16383 MB to ensure Designer has access to as much RAM in your system as is available, when required.

In regards to the screen recording provided, the 'lag' you're seeing in a long vector brush stroke is somewhat to be expected. Due to the way Vector brushes work in Affinity, you are both creating a Vector object and repeating a bitmap brush along this stroke, both of which can require a significant chunk of CPU power.

For example, the Curve you create with your tablet pen has over 120 nodes, all of which have to be calculated by the application as you continue to draw this object - as well as the bitmap repeating brush being applied and calculated above this as the curve continues to render.

This isn't to say I believe the experience you're having currently is entirely expected, as I can certainly understand the frustrations caused by this and I do hope we can help improve the responsiveness of this tool with a few changes, as recommended above.
However our developers are still working to improve the responsiveness of this tool where possible, as we're always looking to refine the Affinity apps, so we appreciate your feedback here :)

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Thanks so much for your response. Yes, I suppose I did illustrate a rather extreme version of the issue, by using a super long stroke. In day-to-day use, the lag is obviously less (I'm not experiencing 2 minute delays for normal line work!) but is still annoyingly behind my intentions for small, more realistic, lines. The thing that made me concerned about the performance of my system (and not just chalking it up to the way things are) was watching people using certain brushes online, and it being far more fluid than on my system.

Here is the list you requested:

image.png.6370016fdba82924fbe0a4e44706d970.png

I have upped my RAM limit as recommended and will give it a try.

Many thanks.

 

 

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No problem at all, I certainly understand I just wanted to help understand your expectations here :)

Many thanks for the screenshot provided! Please set this to your GTX 1050, then restart the app and try this workflow once again.

Does this improve the responsiveness of the tool please?

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Hi Dan,

Thanks again for your response. I've changed the setting and it seems better in some instances, but is still not easy to draw with. I think there is definitely also a huge variance depending on the brushes used (which I guess is a somewhat obvious concept).

Here is a test of drawing some shapes with different brushes since the changes you recommended:

 

Definitely better, and almost perfect when using really simple brushes.

I also decided to simulate a real-life use case, so I did a little doodle in pixel mode, and started adding some lines in vector mode:

 

As you can see, it's quite slow for what appear to be quite short and simple lines. I know some brushes are likely to be 'heavier' than others, but is this not a bit below the expected performance?

I've been working on (non brushwork) projects with hundreds of curves, including added effects and all sorts, and this is the first time I've seen the program struggle.

Please do let me know if I'm missing something, though - I am new to this software, so it's perfectly possible I'm just storming in here with unreasonable expectations of certain aspects!

Many thanks for your help with this!

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34 minutes ago, jibbitt said:

I think there is definitely also a huge variance depending on the brushes used

I can certainly see this, it's expected that the 'heavier' pixel based vector brushes are slower to render longer strokes - but I would still not expect the amount of lag you're seeing.

I have a very similar setup here, with a 4 core Xeon W3520, 16GB of RAM & a GTX 1050 on Windows 10. I unfortunately don't have the Frankentoon kit shown in the second recording above, however using the Fineliner brushes from your first recording at 40px wide in an A4 document, I get the following:

As you can see, just past halfway through drawing/rendering this stroke, it does slow slightly (which is expected as previous) - but not to the extent seen in your recordings.

Are you using a drawing tablet, or mouse in your latest recordings? If tablet, which model is in use please?

Under Edit > Preferences > Tools, what is your Tablet Input Method currently set to? :)

It's possible, although slightly unlikely, that the Affinity app is 'swapping' between your Nvidia GPU and Intel GPU during rendering - just to be sure this is not the case, can you please follow the below FAQ to force Affinity to use your GTX card at all times, just to rule this out?

 

Many thanks once again!

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Thanks for the response.

Here is the tools page:

image.png.73be4a9f24defd5e99bc266351c76a86.png

 

And I followed the steps in the linked post to force the rendering:

image.png.7b25e84b961a100cf833a56e45911ac9.png

 

It has potentially improved a little, but it still seems strangely slow for such minimal strokes. I recorded the same test again since these changes, as well as trying it again with the Fineliner brush (to minimise variables between our respective setups):

 

 

Please let me know your thoughts, and many thanks for your continued assistance.

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Many thanks for verifying that for me, your recording definitely seems slower than I'd expect still - the main difference currently is our input methods so I'd like to test further in this area.

Can you please confirm for me:

  • What tablet model are you using currently?
  • Do you see better performance when using a mouse after making the above changes?
  • In your tablet driver settings, do you have Windows INK enabled? I can see you aren't using this in Affinity, but the driver itself usually has additional control for Windows INK also.
  • What is the size & DPI of the canvas you're testing on? (this shouldn't make a large amount of difference, I'm just trying to reduce variables between us :))
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