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A.Designer, A.Photo - Bitmap brush engine is low quality, lines are faceted

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Affinity Designer Trial 1.5.3.69, Affinity Photo Trial 1.5.2.69

The bitmap brush engine in both programs renders hand drawn lines with very low quality - lines are not smooth, they end up faceted/broken no matter the drawing style or brush settings.

Sadly this is not adequate even for basic sketching. I am sorry to say that but this is the worst I have seen.

The last picture is from OpenCanvas - line rendering in OC is very good. This is how it should be done at the very least. Even Photoshop (an all around app not specialized in sketching) has always done an adequate job in this regard.

One of the best rendered lines I have seen were in Autodesk Sketchbook (and of course Studio Tools/Alias). But since even inexpensive Sketchbook went rental-only I have lost interest in the software.

Sorry if this has already been talked about and put on the roadmap. I did a quick search and didn't see any thread mentioning this issue. With high quality bitmap brush engine Affinity apps would become much more versatile.

Affinity_faceted_lines.thumb.png.7333b86f90c081a122b8321860a0f94e.png

 

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it will be better in the 1.6 version.

made with designer 1.6.0.81

brush.png.dacb8cea6d0ddeea15a5fe3701c24d4a.png

 


intel core i5,  16GB 128Gb ssd win10 Pro Huion new 1060plus.

philips 272p 2560x1440px on intel HD2500 onboard graphics

Razer Tartarus Chroma

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Hi, I am testing the 1.6.0.89 Trial of Photo and Designer right now. Unfortunately the line rendering hasn't been improved at all. There is of course the Stabilizer but this tool is no replacement for proper line rendering. It might be useful in certain cases but it is unusable for regular sketching (too much lag, lack of control over the resulting shape, only slow and deliberate movement required, you have to fight the tool if you want to sketch quickly).

I have recorded short video demonstrations (GIFs) describing the disadvantages of using Stabilizer as a solution for faceted lines. I also added a comparison with other programs (see below).

If someone from Affinity is reading this - please fix the line rendering. The lines should be smooth even without any stabilization. Take a look at the quality of the lines for example in Autodesk Sketchbook Free. As far as I know there is no stabilization employed yet it allows you to draw extremely fast with no lag and with total precision (the line goes where you want it to go). I suggest downloading the Free version and studying the implementation while sketching with Wacom tablet.

I don't say that a stabilization in general is bad. But it is a separate tool (or option) and should not be used as a fix for low quality line rendering (but maybe Affinity didn't add Stabilizer to fix the line rendering and they plan on solving this issue in the future - I don't know). Even with Stabilizer on, the lines are sometimes still faceted (if you set a low Flow value).

 

Drawn with Wacom Intuos 2 A5:

Affinity Photo - no stabilization

Affinity Photo - Stabilizer 1

Affinity Photo - Stabilizer 2

Affinity Photo - Stabilizer 3

How other programs do line rendering

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I also noticed that, drawing using pixel brushes is almost impossible.

I would love to see improvements for brush engine in the near future.

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Is not a solution for your problem, mostly a curiosity.... Which machine (cpu, ram, disk) and graphic card are you testing this on? And what is the size of the canvas ? Are you working in RGB, CMYK, 32 bits ? Are you running other software at the same time ? In the very first betas given to public -windows ones- I did not notice any faceting (but yep other issues, which I believe were mostly solved in 1.6). This effect can very well happen in Photoshop in a laptop or any under powered PC or simply one with heavy load. So, it might help for example testing it in some powerful machine, see if still it does happen to you. Same reason why even MS Surface Pro can't deal well with a large size brush (the cheaper version does not have a great CPU, in reality)


Affinity Designer and Affinity Photo licenses, Windows 7, i7  860 (2009) 2.8 GHz,  8 GB RAM, GTX 1050 2 GB, HD 7200 RPM.  Wacom Intuos 4 XL.

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On 12/2/2017 at 11:59 AM, SrPx said:

Is not a solution for your problem, mostly a curiosity.... Which machine (cpu, ram, disk) and graphic card are you testing this on? And what is the size of the canvas ? Are you working in RGB, CMYK, 32 bits ? Are you running other software at the same time ? In the very first betas given to public -windows ones- I did not notice any faceting (but yep other issues, which I believe were mostly solved in 1.6). This effect can very well happen in Photoshop in a laptop or any under powered PC or simply one with heavy load. So, it might help for example testing it in some powerful machine, see if still it does happen to you. Same reason why even MS Surface Pro can't deal well with a large size brush (the cheaper version does not have a great CPU, in reality)

Hi SrPx, my machine is certainly not high-end one but it can run Crysis so it should be enough for Affinity :).

CPU:
Intel Core i3-2100 Sandy Bridge Dual-Core 3.1 GHz LGA 1155 65W (4 logical cores)

RAM:
6GB of Crucial DDR3L-1600

GPU:
Asus ENGTX275/HTDI/896MD3

system HDD:
Seagate BarraCuda ST1000DM003 1TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5"

data HDD:
Seagate Constellation ES ST31000524NS 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5"

SSD solely for Windows pagefile:
Crucial M4 2.5" 64GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) CT064M4SSD2

 

I have just done a test:

free memory: 3.7gb
used cpu:  around 14%

Affinity Photo and Designer were running (no other files opened)
no other demanding app was running

640x480 canvas, 96dpi
RGB 8bit
single layer
basic 2px brush


-> Still the same results - faceted lines even when drawing very slowly

Just for the sake of curiosity - can you reproduce this problem on your rig?

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I am experiencing similar issues with Affinity Photo and Windows 10. I have 48GB ram, and an i7 920 running at 3.6ghz. Large Wacom Pro 4 tablet.

The trouble is that in Windows, when zooming out on a large canvas (A4@600ppi) and drawing strokes, the lines become wobbly and uncontrolled.

drawingtest.thumb.png.e26d0546ea234b2d7950c94cf75f5330.png

[A] were drawn zoomed out. (B) was drawn zoomed in, although not at 100%, and it still displays some wobbly behaviour.

This is a known issue in Windows. It happens in Paint and other image editors/painting tools that rely too much on the mouse interpolation values in Windows - only when software correctly applies a smoothing algorithm is this solved.

Generally a stroke stabilizer will take care of this - but strangely enough in Affinity Photo the stabilizer is worthless in this case, because the type of stabilizer or stroke smoothing algorithm we would need is not implemented in Affinity Photo.

Photoshop may also suffer from these issues, but the effect was always less pronounced due to their custom interpolation code running in the background while drawing. PhotoLine exhibited similar issues as Photo, and the developers implemented a nice stroke stabilizer that gets rid of these issues even at very low settings.

The same holds true for Krita and ClipStudio: these have again very nice smoothing algorithms and stroke stabilizers that prevent the wobbles and jaggies in Windows. ClipStudio arguably does the best job by far (a joy to ink with). Beautiful lines and extremely responsive.

In short, Affinity Photo is kinda useless in its current state for inking. It will have to be solved by the developers.

PS Of all the painting and drawing software I used, ClipStudio is the only app that remains responsive and smooth to work with even on older low-powered machines (with large high resolution canvases!).

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On 2017/12/13 at 3:08 AM, Medical Officer Bones said:

I am experiencing similar issues with Affinity Photo and Windows 10. I have 48GB ram, and an i7 920 running at 3.6ghz. Large Wacom Pro 4 tablet.

The trouble is that in Windows, when zooming out on a large canvas (A4@600ppi) and drawing strokes, the lines become wobbly and uncontrolled.

drawingtest.thumb.png.e26d0546ea234b2d7950c94cf75f5330.png

[A] were drawn zoomed out. (B) was drawn zoomed in, although not at 100%, and it still displays some wobbly behaviour.

This is a known issue in Windows. It happens in Paint and other image editors/painting tools that rely too much on the mouse interpolation values in Windows - only when software correctly applies a smoothing algorithm is this solved.

Generally a stroke stabilizer will take care of this - but strangely enough in Affinity Photo the stabilizer is worthless in this case, because the type of stabilizer or stroke smoothing algorithm we would need is not implemented in Affinity Photo.

Photoshop may also suffer from these issues, but the effect was always less pronounced due to their custom interpolation code running in the background while drawing. PhotoLine exhibited similar issues as Photo, and the developers implemented a nice stroke stabilizer that gets rid of these issues even at very low settings.

The same holds true for Krita and ClipStudio: these have again very nice smoothing algorithms and stroke stabilizers that prevent the wobbles and jaggies in Windows. ClipStudio arguably does the best job by far (a joy to ink with). Beautiful lines and extremely responsive.

In short, Affinity Photo is kinda useless in its current state for inking. It will have to be solved by the developers.

PS Of all the painting and drawing software I used, ClipStudio is the only app that remains responsive and smooth to work with even on older low-powered machines (with large high resolution canvases!).

Yes, I've run into this as well when researching brush rendering issues for Photoshop. It now has issues with this as well now that they've changed their tablet algorithm to being dependent on the native Windows Tablet API. It's very frustrating, especially since most Windows updates of recent have been focused on inking/tablet/creative support. I think Serif has made a great product here, but there are definitely some limitations within Windows that are making it problematic for developers working within that ecosystem. Also I shudder to think the Frankenstein code in the background that will be "necessary" to alleviate the issue... only for Windows to reintroduce the problem when they update the API in a later update.


Microsoft Windows 10 Home (Build 17763)
AMD Ryzen 5 2600X @ 3600Ghz; Mobo: Asus X470-PRO
16GB DDR4 (2400Mhz)
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 6GB
Monitor 1: 4K @ 150%
Monitor 2: 1080p @ 100%

WACOM Intuos4 Large; X-rite i1Display Pro

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I can say I also have seen the same faceting issue in rapid curved strokes (using very simple brushes) -- which the stabilizing option has nothing to do with (and is not the solution for). This is true on both of my machines and with the latest beta as well. 

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Agreed. It's the first thing that fellow illustrators tell me after trying AP and AD..."what's up with the line quality?¨. Clip Studio still has the best rendering quality of all current apps I think.

But I´m sure this issue will be attended to in time.

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