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Photo: only straight lines when drawing with Wacom

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Weird issue I am encountering in Photo. I have a Wacom Pro Large tablet, and when I try to draw with the brush, Photo only registers the first and last position of the stroke, and draws a straight line. Drawing with the mouse works as expected.

No issues whatsoever with my Wacom in other software: Photoshop, Krita, PhotoLine, and any other image app with drawing tools, 3D software, etc. Only Photo behaves like this. 

This is a new installation of Affinity Photo (after using Designer for a while now, I got Photo for its HDR bracketing tools). I thought to give the drawing tools in Photo another chance after having tested them a year ago, but I'm off to a bad start.

Anyone have any idea what might be causing Photo to behave like this? Working on a three screen Windows 10 setup, GTX 1080 8GB.

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Wacom Intuos Pro 4 XL here, no issues... (other than the ones for everyone in the brush system)

I think there is a setting somewhere about high precision for the tablet, in AP...maybe try setting that on/off.

also, the usual things, as reinstall wacom drivers after a full uninstall of the previous ones, setting off the double click distance in wacom panel, disabling windows INK -or enabling it- in the wacom panel also, and in my case, even disabling windows touch features / writing recognition but not only for issues with AP/AD, but in general (like several of the other mentioned settings)

I'd be to think somehow is a driver issue, even if only affects to AP.

After trying the mentioned wacom panel settings, and other Windows settings, and if no worky, I would do this :

- uninstall fully (in some cases is needed some weird fiddling, not just uninstall them to wipe all fully) the wacom driver, whatever is there now.

- Uninstall A. Photo.

- install the most  recent Wacom drivers from wacom site, as they have improved a lot. In my case with an old intuos pro 4 XL , several apps work definitely better with the very last version, but checking well that your model is in the list of supported tablets of that download !.

- Install then A. Photo.

Because ...who knows what system setting or value, or whatever file, is wrecked.

I spent some time blaming my CSP install in not supporting well my wacom... to discover is a mix of the driver and a bit of hardware issue (seems the attached cable, a failure of build decision only in XL, might be a bit in ...that way... after years of handling. But still works great. Crossing fingers)

And also, not all apps use same APIs or libraries. So, sth in your system that might be wrong can affect some apps and not others.

But all that is just my opinion. Not saying anything of that is written in stone or sth. I'd do the whole uninstall/install block, in that very order, after tried the mentioned typical settings.


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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40 minutes ago, SrPx said:

Wacom Intuos Pro 4 XL here, no issues... (other than the ones for everyone in the brush system)

I think there is a setting somewhere about high precision for the tablet, in AP...maybe try setting that on/off.

Thanks a bunch - that did the trick. It was turned on. I think I activated that option when I went through all the preferences, which I invariably do first with each new app that I install to adjust it to my workflow likings.

As for brush system issues: uhm, well, I've only done some quick tests in the past hour, or so, and for me personally I fail to see why I would want to do any drawing and inking in Photo. Or digital painting, for that matter. Too many quirks, limitations, and GUI issues to get into right now, but here are the ones that come to mind after trying to ink and sketch a bit:

- zoomed out high rez canvas inking and drawing with thin pencils/inks results in bumpy lines and strokes. Round corners look awful: sharp kinks. Stabilizer fixes some of these things, but only at length values which cause indirect drawing "feel";  laggy feeling. So either laggy stabilized drawing (which I hate: I prefer to draw with as little stabilizing as possible), or bumpy lines. No setting that mitigates both.

I experienced similar issues in other applications in the past. These got resolved at some point along their development, and Photo hasn't found a good balance yet in my opinion.

- the anti-aliasing for thin lines when zoomed out at a zoom percentage other than X2 is (sorry) terrible. I am used to ClipStudio and Krita, which have beautiful anti-aliasing even with thin lines zoomed out on a large canvas. (I also encountered a bug: on a 10.000x5000px canvas the thin lineart disappears completely when zooming out to 25% or lower. Only by dragging the mouse over the hidden line art do these appear once more (in sections). This fixed itself later when I moved the canvas) The anti-aliasing is horrifically bad, though, and unacceptable at these lower zoom levels.

- no free transform option. Or at least, no quick selection/free transform to adjust the corner points individually and do a quick fix of proportions of part of a drawing. Yes, I am aware that this is being worked on, but I can't see myself working an image editor or painting app without this option. It is still disconcerting to see it hasn't been added yet. (Yes, I am aware of the perspective tool/filter. It kills the workflow. Make a selection, hit V, and allow the user to drag the corner points individually: how hard can it be?)

- the drawing GUI, brush selection GUI and general Affinity GUI is a show stopper as well for me. Works fine for overall image compositing (excepting the layer panel, of which the thumbnails are fixed in tiny sizes), but for drawing and painting? Too many flaws.

- painting with relatively simple ~300px sized Drawing brushes caused uncontrollable lagging when making longer strokes on a zoomed out 10.000x5000 canvas. This doesn't happen in ClipStudio, Krita, or Photoshop.

I don't want to sound negative (I realize I do). Please keep in mind these are my personal observations. Affinity Photo is a young application. I will wait until the devs have improved the overall drawing/inking/painting experience, and then give it another whirl.

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Quote

As for brush system issues: uhm, well, I've only done some quick tests in the past hour, or so, and for me personally I fail to see why I would want to do any drawing and inking in Photo. Or digital painting, for that matter

There is a convenience of having all raster functions of a PS/AP like app, while painting.  Not everyone gets benefits from that, but for me, are enormous.... Also, as I vary my activity a lot, so is more convenient all what I can focus in a main integration package. CSP not as versatile, even if being great for drawing. Lately all I do is drawing and painting in an almost traditional way, so, I notice less the need, but I'll be needing AP pretty soon....

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. Too many quirks, limitations, and GUI issues to get into right now, but here are the ones that come to mind after trying to ink and sketch a bit:

- zoomed out high rez canvas inking and drawing with thin pencils/inks results in bumpy lines and strokes.

 

Yup, exactly. I've been pointing out this for a while... But if it is not getting solved, like the whole brush system, is because is a major rewrite now, or is very hard. I would love all these to be fixed, but I am afraid they surely have strong reasons not letting them solve these easily, as there are many complaints, so, my take is that it needs a too heavy set of changes.I'll love it when these get fixed, of course. This one you mention above is one of the real show stoppers. I noticed it in the first Win betas, it was improved, as before it was more noticeable, even.

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Round corners look awful: sharp kinks. Stabilizer fixes some of these things, but only at length values which cause indirect drawing "feel";  laggy feeling. So either laggy stabilized drawing (which I hate: I prefer to draw with as little stabilizing as possible), or bumpy lines. No setting that mitigates both.

Yep, in Windows (Windows 7 here, btw) at least, there's some lag in small details for some reason, or maybe is just that it gets an starting stroke lag that is more noticeable in small strokes. Or it's two separate issues. Stabilization, and as you say, once the hand-brain is trained, typically one ends up setting it at a very low value. Lately I am having it in other software apps really minimal for inking, or not at all. But just some years ago, I actually needed the feature, even when I have good pulse with regular ink and paper. The very much mentioned issue the magnetic tablets do have, they introduce extra jitter. It is just that when working a lot with them we learn to compensate them somehow. For digital painting (so, not inking), IMO stabilizers is a no way, as it slows one down, and removes a lot of expression, and is not needed, either. Same than in fast sketching, where you need a very fast response so that the idea flows with no distraction.

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I experienced similar issues in other applications in the past. These got resolved at some point along their development, and Photo hasn't found a good balance yet in my opinion.

:60_sweat:

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- the anti-aliasing for thin lines when zoomed out at a zoom percentage other than X2 is (sorry) terrible. I am used to ClipStudio and Krita, which have beautiful anti-aliasing

I noticed, but a way to fight against that is setting your thin brush to minimal hardness,  zero. It gets not the outstanding line of CSP, but for me is good enough . With that fix, and because if the other stuff worked well, one could always work in a large canvas, and then reduce, so it'd look great no matter what, I see this less of an issue. But yeah, I agree, too.

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even with thin lines zoomed out on a large canvas. (I also encountered a bug: on a 10.000x5000px canvas the thin lineart disappears completely when zooming out to 25% or lower. Only by dragging the mouse over the hidden line art do these appear once more (in sections). This fixed itself later when I moved the canvas) The anti-aliasing is horrifically bad, though, and unacceptable at these lower zoom levels.

 

I am not sure if that is an specific graphic glitch per card/driver (the other day a user was having terrible redraw issues, this might happen with a driver problem or an integrated card at a higher resolution than it should be handling......I've recently installed a new GTX 1050, and despite being in a horribly old machine myself,  that very same AD file, displayed zero glitches in my machine), or a general application issue. Probably another issue of working zoomed-out, the problem is that is a total need, when working in anything graphic.

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- no free transform option. Or at least, no quick selection/free transform to adjust the corner points individually and do a quick fix of proportions of part of a drawing. Yes, I am aware that this is being worked on, but I can't see myself working an image editor or painting app without this option. It is still disconcerting to see it hasn't been added yet. (Yes, I am aware of the perspective tool/filter. It kills the workflow. Make a selection, hit V, and allow the user to drag the corner points individually: how hard can it be?)

It is an issue, but I can deal with that in other ways... 

Quote

- the drawing GUI, brush selection GUI and general Affinity GUI is a show stopper as well for me. Works fine for overall image compositing (excepting the layer panel, of which the thumbnails are fixed in tiny sizes), but for drawing and painting? Too many flaws.

Not saying t hat isn't true, but latest time I gave it a try, i was able to set it up in a way that I could handle it with quite productivity (indeed, besides the zoomed out drawing issue, the lag problem in small details/start of line, and the two issues in my signature, those are my only show stoppers. All what you say seems to match with what I think, but I could live and work with the other issues.

Quote

- painting with relatively simple ~300px sized Drawing brushes caused uncontrollable lagging when making longer strokes on a zoomed out 10.000x5000 canvas. This doesn't happen in ClipStudio, Krita, or Photoshop.

In Krita and PS happens, and can happen quite, it seems that you have a way, way better machine than mine (no surprise). Krita is not, definitely, but remember that CSP is crazily good in handling large canvases, IMO is unrivaled there in the full scene. Typically not a good term of comparison as is always way out of range, in the good sense. Krita does well in a machine like yours.. in mine... not so much, when you start doing more demanding stuff. But my PC is really really cr4ppy and old.

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I don't want to sound negative (I realize I do). Please keep in mind these are my personal observations. Affinity Photo is a young application. I will wait until the devs have improved the overall drawing/inking/painting experience, and then give it another whirl.

I instead, recognizing all of the above are facts, could live with them all ,could be painting already with it with the 4 magical fixes : Painting when zoomed out (that it'd happen without jitter), fixing the lag in small details/start of lines (in Windows), adding the ability (as prefs option) to hide the cursor preview and set a large dot or crosshair instead (a fat dot or very tiny circle might be better) of the current distracting/occluding brush preview, and another preference option to fully disable the "lens" amplifier, that loupe,  when picking color with ALT key (in my case, side pen button with that key linked) ,  so that it'd remove that flashing constantly, and avoid the loose of time, as it traduces to a laggy extra thing, sometimes does not pick the color, and is very distracting, removes the focus. Explained in long summaries, but is actually 4 fixes, and two of them can be non default options that a lot of pros (and non pros) would immediately trigger after install, obviously.

The advantages in the rest of the application, for making *varied* illustrations gigs, with many complex specs/requests... yeah, it'd compensate the less comfortable UI for painting and whatever other issue (distinct from those 4 key ones I mention) , that brush core thing is just too important for the usual workflows, in my opinion.

Plus, is not as if the CSP or Krita's UI are either perfect, they have tonnnns of weird things. And have a lot of limitations, if you think carefully (maybe not for a very specific work of producing comics). I could even say, not less UI problems than there in AP, really, in number. At least if one makes a very varied use of an app for not just illustrating, and when doing so, in many different styles and project specs. One get used to have to do anything. Heck, I 've painted with PS in every single company I've worked at, and definitely, PS does not have an UI for drawing and painting.. But one can always adapt, one way or the other. The brush behavior, the color picker... that's another story, as interferes directly in the very core act of painting. Harder workarounds, if any, there.

 


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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