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Paint brush tool in need of an improvement

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Hi,

Firstly I want to congratulate the team at Serif for their latest update of AP. The new interface looks great and the placement of some options makes it easier and faster to get things done.

The brush engine was something I’ve been focused on for improvements. I have to say it’s improved, faster and well organised with zero lag and great dynamic control. Thumbs up guys!

However you may feel this is a feature request rather than a bug. I feel this is more of an improvement as the new AD iPad brushes from my understanding have this update.

From my link below to a clip on YouTube I demonstrate how AP’s paint brush stroke lacks the natural free of a real brush/pencil. From what I’ve seen AD has the option to control the tail end of a stroke by fading the opacity with the dynamics on release. This is something needed in AP to help with the natural feel of painting.

In the video I show AP’s brush stroke compared to Procreate’s brush stroke. Procreate has the options to control the length and fade of the tail end of a stroke.

The initial attack in Procreate on a stroke is pronounced with a hard edge and tappers off naturally. In AP if I try to adjust the tail of a stroke it feathers both head and tail making brush strokes seem soft and sloppy. I’ve notice with most brushes in AP they tapper in to the stroke rather than out of it.

Please consider this to be an important issue in the painting component which is used regularly. 

Link to the video

 

 

 

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Hello, 

19 hours ago, Andych56 said:

I have to say it’s improved, faster and well organised with zero lag and great dynamic control. Thumbs up guys!

Is it known if these improvements are going to be ported to Windows ?


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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4 hours ago, SrPx said:

Hello, 

Is it known if these improvements are going to be ported to Windows ?

For the average user, the brush tool does the job for photo manipulation. AP is still bringing the bucks which mean they have to prioritize where their efforts go into improving things. 

I'm sure making the brush tool great instead of leaving it as a tool you can just get by with is low on the list. Its a shame becoz it won't be an app concept arts/painters can go to. I still prefer to paint in Procreate and Photoshop as both of them are geared for the professional artist, not so much for the hobbyists.

To start with, the control of the tail end of a stroke is just one area I'd like to see improved. There's a lot wrong with the brush behaviour and control settings that could use refining. It's not all bad there are some really nice things there too. But I won't use AP in a professional environment again until I can feel comfortable with its performance. Neither will any of my mates in the film industry. Id really love to see it step to that level. And I hope they can spend the time and nail their current products before bringing out something new.

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Well, we can always use a painting software, and "only" (I mean, it is a lot of tasks, still)  use Affinity Photo for image editing operations, retouch, even pixel art. It is a pity, as for example Adobe PS, with overall very similar functionality to AP, ended up for me as an outstanding software for illustration and graphics for many fields  (apart from photography...like games, web work, graphic design, etc, etc) . And is very productive to have all your raster work concentrated in one tool, PS proved this really well. Even without any glamorous digital painting features ! I only used there flow and opacity (and  more, or only, pressure for brush size for line work), is all you need, together with a good brush and color picker performance. Not the fancy painting features and stuff. There wasn't even back then the brush stabiliser PS got AFTER Affinity did..... Even if in our work we end up using always combos of tools . I'm fan of that, but for illustration of certain workflow complexity...which is a lot of the client based work., there are too many advantages in concentrating all static image, raster editing in the same application, including ( or , very specially, indeed) digital painting.

Is no biggie for me (just a bit sad,  as all is needed is fixing a few things in the brush and color picker...but that means surely a full rework. It is completely fine, and indeed, expected even by the app's name! ) as one today can use one of the many painting and drawing focused applications available for Windows (or Mac, for the so inclined) and use AP only for deeper color correction of the final image, or exporting as a PDF valid for print workflows, converting to CMYK, etc. A 10% of the project's work, or less, but an essential part that few other tools apart from PS or Corel Photopaint would do . So, even if things will stay so, the money is extremely well invested, and for what I do in vectors, I do from start to finish in AD, no issue, 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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I totally agree with you on a couple of small things that need refining to be able to replace PS with AP. For my role as a concept artist/digital matte painter PS handles it all so it's not productive to jump across apps. AP can handle most of the photo based work as I used it on a few shots in Hacksaw Ridge and a Netflix series. It was the painting side of things that let me down when sketching elements in the DMP's. Im bouncing around to so many apps each day from 2d to 3d and back again so keeping it simple is the key. This goes for the Ipad as well I like to sketch up some initial ideas on it. I'd rather use just stick with AP than jump back and forth from Procreate. 

 

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@Andych56 whey using the brush, do you also get this weird rendering (i suppose) issue where at the start of a stroke, it initially 'pixellates' for a brief moment before rendering the smooth stroke? this has been happening to me across all versions and is one of the deal-breakers to not using Photo for painting/drawing. 

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41 minutes ago, Pauscorpi said:

@Andych56 whey using the brush, do you also get this weird rendering (i suppose) issue where at the start of a stroke, it initially 'pixellates' for a brief moment before rendering the smooth stroke? this has been happening to me across all versions and is one of the deal-breakers to not using Photo for painting/drawing. 

You know something Pauscorpi, I have just started getting it with this new update. I put it down to a dodgy brush or a ram issue with my iPad. If you’re getting it as well it might be a bug?

I also notice they left the special little crash on save feature in there as well. That’s always a good one for redoing everything you just spent time getting right only to find it crashes yet again.

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1 hour ago, Andych56 said:

You know something Pauscorpi, I have just started getting it with this new update. I put it down to a dodgy brush or a ram issue with my iPad. If you’re getting it as well it might be a bug?

I also notice they left the special little crash on save feature in there as well. That’s always a good one for redoing everything you just spent time getting right only to find it crashes yet again.

Haven't gotten to the crash issue just yet! But also, I have a bit of spare time before my next Affinity job. Unfortunately, I have surrendered to using Photo for comics colouring (which is more akin to photo retouching overall, even if there is some painting in it) and design and print/file prep. All painting and drawing is done in Procreate. 

I am afraid it is definitely a bug because I have been getting it consistently since the beginning ( and i am on my second iPad Pro having upgraded from the first gen iPad Pro). But I might have spotted it earlier because I tend to do a lot of line drawing, so the thin precision strokes and the starker contrast between the light canvas and the dark lines might have made it easier to spot. This has always been one of the two dealbreakers keeping me from painting/drawing in Affinity, the other being the now delightfully resolved stroke lag/responsiveness. 

P.S.: it is an annoying issue for colouring, too, but it's more bearable for this process.

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10 hours ago, Pauscorpi said:

Haven't gotten to the crash issue just yet! But also, I have a bit of spare time before my next Affinity job. Unfortunately, I have surrendered to using Photo for comics colouring (which is more akin to photo retouching overall, even if there is some painting in it) and design and print/file prep. All painting and drawing is done in Procreate. 

I am afraid it is definitely a bug because I have been getting it consistently since the beginning ( and i am on my second iPad Pro having upgraded from the first gen iPad Pro). But I might have spotted it earlier because I tend to do a lot of line drawing, so the thin precision strokes and the starker contrast between the light canvas and the dark lines might have made it easier to spot. This has always been one of the two dealbreakers keeping me from painting/drawing in Affinity, the other being the now delightfully resolved stroke lag/responsiveness. 

P.S.: it is an annoying issue for colouring, too, but it's more bearable for this process.

Yes, for operations such as photo retouching and colouring in, AP is great. Since the fix of the brush tool lag I've jumped back in and give it another chance. I can get by with the brushes even though it could be better by adding a little more natural feel to your strokes ( as I've requested) Unfortunately after last night while painting, it crashed again on autosave and I had lost everything I did from when it last saved. This really puts me off AP. I can paint all day in Procreate without a single crash. There have been many posts about this crashing issues from other users, including myself and I've sent them crash logs, each time I receive crickets as a response. I think I'll wait for this soon to be released big update of Procreate, it may have new features in it where I don't feel the need to paint in AP. 

Are you able to go a full day painting in AP without a crash?

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Hey Andych56,

Thanks for your feedback. It does feel like more of a feature request than a bug. We've already got an improvement logged with the developers for this kind of tapering. 

There are some other interesting comments here so I'll make sure they get filtered through the appropriate channels. 

 

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1 hour ago, Chris B said:

Hey Andych56,

Thanks for your feedback. It does feel like more of a feature request than a bug. We've already got an improvement logged with the developers for this kind of tapering. 

There are some other interesting comments here so I'll make sure they get filtered through the appropriate channels. 

 

Chris if you can do that and have  everything fixed that’s been mentioned here, you will be my all time hero.

no joke!

 

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@Andych56 - I haven't yet attempted a full day's painting since the update but I will let you know how it went when I do. You're right; while i am , of course aware they are different pieces of software, I have yet to have a crash in Procreate and I marathon sessions in it. 

@Chris B Thanks for this!

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7 hours ago, Andych56 said:

Chris if you can do that and have  everything fixed that’s been mentioned here, you will be my all time hero.

no joke!

 

Not just your hero !! :) 

( probably is the case of any other digital painter, comic artist, pixel artist, illustrator, concept grunt, or even texture artist for games' "painterly" textures out there...or those of us who have to do these all to bring some food to the plate, even if little food  9_9   ...indeed, any brush improvement IMO will end up in a smoother work for photographers while using any retouch tool even slightly brush based....) 

I dig often the AP updated betas' release logs searching for anything painting related.... :D 

I know we'll get there...  Is my one and only virtue.... patience..... :D 


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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5 hours ago, SrPx said:

Not just your hero !! :) 

( probably is the case of any other digital painter, comic artist, pixel artist, illustrator, concept grunt, or even texture artist for games' "painterly" textures out there...or those of us who have to do these all to bring some food to the plate, even if little food  9_9   ...indeed, any brush improvement IMO will end up in a smoother work for photographers while using any retouch tool even slightly brush based....) 

I dig often the AP updated betas' release logs searching for anything painting related.... :D 

I know we'll get there...  Is my one and only virtue.... patience..... :D 

Yes Im the same, anything with the brush tool is the first thing I look for in a new update.

That and if it's going to start the crashing thing again. We nearly made it on this update, brush tool lag fixed but kept the bug. Boooo

I get what you're saying this is our livelihood, so it's very important to us with the improvements on AP.

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As I think, like me, you like to read other users' feedback (and devs posts) related to the brush system, it seems there's being some talk about these matters here :
 https://forum.affinity.serif.com/index.php?/topic/61418-alt-color-picking-when-using-brush-tool/

and here :

https://forum.affinity.serif.com/index.php?/topic/49085-pressure-sensitivity-accuracy/

https://forum.affinity.serif.com/index.php?/topic/60362-sampling-color-with-the-brush-while-using-a-pen-does-not-work/

 

PD: About crashes..... I don't have crashes (that could be even be some bad font....) but that means nothing....


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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6 hours ago, SrPx said:

As I think, like me, you like to read other users' feedback (and devs posts) related to the brush system, it seems there's being some talk about these matters here :
 https://forum.affinity.serif.com/index.php?/topic/61418-alt-color-picking-when-using-brush-tool/

and here :

https://forum.affinity.serif.com/index.php?/topic/49085-pressure-sensitivity-accuracy/

https://forum.affinity.serif.com/index.php?/topic/60362-sampling-color-with-the-brush-while-using-a-pen-does-not-work/

 

PD: About crashes..... I don't have crashes (that could be even be some bad font....) but that means nothing....

Interesting linksI It seems most users are aware this needs a good fixn, lets hope we get the brush tool and eye dropper were wanting on the next update?

Im a little jealous you don't get any crashes on the ipad. What are you doing differently from the rest of us crash test dummies?  

What's your undo level set to? That was something that played a part in this.

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Sorry ! I thought that having probably similar code base....I have no crashes in Windows 7. (but I am usually lucky....at least in that. Typically, less  -or none- crashes neither performance issues (other than the expected speed in this dinosaur) ... not just in Affinity, have had this stable situation in many other apps and brands, from what I often read in forums.... ). I treat very carefully the OS and fine tune it, but like everyone else, I guess.

What I am doing differently is that I don't use a tablet, hehe. Sorry.....No dark tricks or anything.

In Windows, I set my undo level as I'd use it in PS back in the day.... never higher than 32 undos, I don't really need more. I'm even used to 10 -20 (in the past, my PS machine at the company was so terrible (even worse than this at home) that for certain huge print resolution work I would set often it to only 4 to 10 steps.

And in RAM memory...I'm conservative, too. Maybe is a bad habit from PS, and is not needed here, but I tend to leave a nice chunk for the OS. Probably is completely unneeded in Affinity, but with PS you could get Windows totally stalled, if you assigned more than 72% - 77%.

But no idea, probably the iPad version has issues that the Windows (I'm yet in 7, not 10.... ) version have not, I do not have a clue.

 


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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6 hours ago, SrPx said:

Sorry ! I thought that having probably similar code base....I have no crashes in Windows 7. (but I am usually lucky....at least in that. Typically, less  -or none- crashes neither performance issues (other than the expected speed in this dinosaur) ... not just in Affinity, have had this stable situation in many other apps and brands, from what I often read in forums.... ). I treat very carefully the OS and fine tune it, but like everyone else, I guess.

What I am doing differently is that I don't use a tablet, hehe. Sorry.....No dark tricks or anything.

In Windows, I set my undo level as I'd use it in PS back in the day.... never higher than 32 undos, I don't really need more. I'm even used to 10 -20 (in the past, my PS machine at the company was so terrible (even worse than this at home) that for certain huge print resolution work I would set often it to only 4 to 10 steps.

And in RAM memory...I'm conservative, too. Maybe is a bad habit from PS, and is not needed here, but I tend to leave a nice chunk for the OS. Probably is completely unneeded in Affinity, but with PS you could get Windows totally stalled, if you assigned more than 72% - 77%.

But no idea, probably the iPad version has issues that the Windows (I'm yet in 7, not 10.... ) version have not, I do not have a clue.

 

Nice! thanks for the feedback. I deal with PS and the RAM thing pretty much the same as you. I've found AP on windows is stable to work with but I've found a few things that can crash it on an older machine. However, the Ipad version has been an absolute pig regarding crashes.  I had 2 crashes on the new update and none since I've installed the IOS12 just yesterday. We'll see, I'm still not convinced its fixed. If it is I'll be publicly writing songs of praise to them.

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On 9/18/2018 at 6:59 PM, Chris B said:

Hey Andych56,

Thanks for your feedback. It does feel like more of a feature request than a bug. We've already got an improvement logged with the developers for this kind of tapering. 

There are some other interesting comments here so I'll make sure they get filtered through the appropriate channels. 

 

Hey Chris,

I've posted this in the Feature Request section but I feel this is closer to a bug related topic.

As for any bug, they can hinder a workflow, this does just that. Ive read other posts in the past related to this problem and it needs to be addressed. I feel feature requests are overlooked so I wanted to draw your attention to this issue and hope you'll see it as an important fix and pass it on.   

 

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On 9/24/2018 at 1:41 AM, Andych56 said:

Hey Chris,

I've posted this in the Feature Request section but I feel this is closer to a bug related topic.

As for any bug, they can hinder a workflow, this does just that. Ive read other posts in the past related to this problem and it needs to be addressed. I feel feature requests are overlooked so I wanted to draw your attention to this issue and hope you'll see it as an important fix and pass it on.   

 

1
1

Well, there is a log of this in our database as an improvement. Which generally means it needs addressing sooner than later. Your feedback has been added and I've added the bug report number to this thread which allows staff to keep track of the user feedback and we can update the thread once we get some feedback from the developers. 

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3 hours ago, Chris B said:

 

Ok that’s great, hopefully these issues can be sorted out for the update.

I appreciate your help on this.

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Hi Chris,

 Earlier on in this post, I had mentioned about AP crashing on save. I thought this issue was solved/nailed/eradicated in the new AP update/upgrading to the IOS 12.

Unfortunately, this problem is still here. 

I've attached a link to a video and a zip file with a project file and cash logs.

In the vid I've made 2 different operations to demonstrate that AP is unstable and crashes on save. Unfortunately, the project file won't behave the same for you. I found an easy workaround to fix the problem. If I export the file to another location Ipad, network, cloud and then reimport it, the crashes stop. Not permanently. Why not just do this every time I hear you say? 2 reasons. From the previous save to the next save (manual or Autosave) you lose your work. And this problem has been here from the beginning and basically, shouldn't be. Hopefully, you can pass this onto someone who can help and keep me update in the process.

 

Project file and crash logs

https://www.dropbox.com/s/2j9arn80bplf3h5/Cash reports 250918.zip?dl=0

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=amydl0ZClsY

Cheers

Andy

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@Andych56 I can see the video but it looks more as though you're just brushing and merging, not saving. 

I also cannot seem to download anything from the Dropbox link. It just says 'files can't be 'previewed' and there's no download button next to it.

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1 hour ago, Chris B said:

@Andych56 I can see the video but it looks more as though you're just brushing and merging, not saving. 

I also cannot seem to download anything from the Dropbox link. It just says 'files can't be 'previewed' and there's no download button next to it.

23 hours ago, Chris B said:

Hi Chris,

Yes im brushing and merging then hitting the back to the home page to save before the autosave steps in. It crashes shut at that point. Ive tried the drop down save as well and it does the samething. Anytime it needs to be saved it crashes.

Please try this link to the folder

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/wbnmvziodyxus7n/AADUh3v91JjPeGTfWNfLN3ZFa?dl=0

 

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Ah, of course, I see it now. It's hard to tell from the video that you're pressing Home. I have seen crashes happen when:

  • Pressing Home before an auto-save
  • Pressing Home whilst waiting for something to render (brush strokes, moving a shape etc.)
  • Crash when there's an active text caret and you press Home

I'll get the reports logged to see what's going on. 

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