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Request: Gaussian Blur Live Update OFF Shortcut

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Firstly, let me start by saying two enormous positives about your Gaussian Blur:


1. It's a fucking sexy blur. And the Preserve Edges feature being right there.. THANK YOU!!!!


2. The logarithmic scaling (or whatever it is) you have is damn near perfect.


Now, the problem.


If working with a big image, the fact that it's constantly trying to update, live, becomes a little problematic because it reduces the accuracy a user can find/feel/flow to with the slider.


There are two solutions.


Adobe's way: Which is to put in a slight delay after any and all slider moment before attempting to do the blurring.


Affinity's way, + a Shortcut to temporarily restrain the Live Update of the Blur processing, at which point it behaves like Adobe's, with a little extra time before attempting to blur. Perhaps 0.25 of a second more delay. Might only need to be 0.1 or 0.2 of a second. Won't know until we feel it.


Now, where to put such a shortcut?


I strongly suggest the CapsLOCK key, as this is what's used in After Effects to "power down" live updates, and it makes nearly perfect sense, because it can be activated and then deactivated, and the signal can be received by the app.



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If working with a big image, the fact that it's constantly trying to update, live, becomes a little problematic because it reduces the accuracy a user can find/feel/flow to with the slider.



The filter applying live shouldn't effect the slider at all. What are the specs of your Mac? I will try and recreate the problem here and see  what we can do.


We designed Affinity so everything is live but made sure all UI is in a different thread so the experience should always be good.  

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I'm using the 2013, Macbook Pro Retina, 2.3Ghz, i7, 8GB.


I paid particular attention to this, and went and looked at the same experience in Photoshop to see what it was doing.


There's a distinctive "locking" feeling to the slider as the gaussian blur updates in AD. 


I should probably point out this is AD, not AP. Haven't tried it in there, yet.

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What I'm saying is that the way it is now makes it harder to find a position wanted. The stutter and lag (stepping) means that some positions simply can't be picked. 


Try with a VERY big image. You'll notice it more of an issue then. I was working with something that was 2048*2048, but double that, and it should be noticeably an issue on any machine.


Further, this is much more of an issue towards the right hand side of the slider, for two reasons, that compound each other (pun intended).


1. Further right, smaller movements = more change in the 'ratio' of the blur, so the user might necessarily need more smooth control, which isn't there right now because of the stutter causing stepping.


2. Further right is more intense blurring, and much more calculation to perform to create the blur, so the effect of the stuttering is more noticeable.


So, let's say I slide the slider to about 2/3rds of the way to the right. And now I see that I want a little bit more blur... And I try to slide again... this is when it stutters, and instead of getting a smooth slide to (let's say) 0.66 to 0.70, it skips/jumps to 0.8 or somewhere there abouts because I can no longer get smooth sliding of the slider, and have overcompensated for the lack of initial action after it went from 0.66 to 0.67 in the very first touch to this slide action.

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I've just done some testing with a couple of different images.


A simple image, with not a lot of colour diversity, it's still slightly noticeable, but nowhere near as much as with something that has a LOT of colour diversity, and complex shapes. much contrast, etc etc.

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Yes, and that slider not updating is what I'm complaining about, that I'm unable to gracefully and rapidlyl get to the value I'm trying to attain.


If you slightly stall the live update, then that will smooth out the slider.  OR, you could provide a switch to stall live update. Like CapsLock... or just pretend I'm a raving lunatic. That seems to work for everyone else around here ;)


Can I also suggest doubling the maximum radius of the blur? Or making it a percentage based on the size of the image?


At 100px on a 4096x4096 image it's nowhere near enough to get the desired result for what I'm testing. 

I'd have to the downscaling trick that apple does to make UIBlurEffect efficient to get the same sort of significant blurring I'm trying for... if I was working at this size.


I'm not right now, but soon enough will be...

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Yes, I'm familiar with these "theories".


Apple's UI threading and its processing threading should be ideal, should do what it says on the tin.


But we've found 'gotchas' through just about everything we've ever relied on in their (wonderful) APIs.

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I think we can probably agree I'm pedantic, so most won't worry about this, but it does seem a shame to have such incredible blurring performance hampered by an inability to smoothly select desired values.


If you want to see the contrast, so you can feel how it could be, build a storyboard project with just a slider and a label showing you the value between 1 and 100 at one point of accuracy, using your same logarithmic scaling. Don't have it driving anything else.


Then it should be SMOOTH.... like butter. // cue jokes about Lollipop still stuttering on an S810

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Speaking live and non-live updates... 


The drop down font selector from the toolbar is a nightmare for big, heavy, complex fonts. Particular those of more complex languages. Just a complete and utter lag fest. There really should be a way to simply scroll through that list and then click on the one desired rather than having it try to update the screen as it goes.


This issue is compounded when working with effects on type, and multiple type layers at the same time. Completely unworkable. Unfun, in the extreme. Like being in an Adobe app.

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Solution: // sort of.


it's possible to stretch the Effects Properties editing window, as below, so you have finer grained control over the Slider.


Double tap the top bar of the Effects Property Editor window to make its size slide out, and editable from the bottom right corner:



:::: You'll have to figure this out for yourselves. I cannot seem to upload an image. The options seems to be gone from the forum.
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