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Earlio

Levels Histogram (Graph) not appearing

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Came here to report similar issues. As a basic expectation, Scope and Histogram should give realtime feedback. I’m testing on a very simple file: SMPTE colour bars (PNG 72ppi), and changing levels output from 100% to 50%. Simply clicking the active levels layer on and off, with Metal turned on, is around a 5 second response time. To get a reasonable feedback of about 1 second, I’ve deactivated Hardware Acceleration (Metal turned off) with Display set to Open GL. Issues about the same on both Photo and Develop Personas.

Software: macOS Catalina 10.15
Affinity Photo 1.7.3

Hardware: iMac Pro (2017)
Processor: 3GHz 10-Core Intel Xeon W
Memory: 64 GB 2666 MHz DDR4
Graphics: Radeon Pro Vega 64 16 GB

As far as scope and histogram design: would be good to see a single unit of ceiling clearance on each, so you can tune in peak luminance, and actually see it, rather than crush out on the ceiling.

I’m old school from broadcast tv and earlier Photoshop (floppy disk instal. That makes me feel old, probably because I am.) Scopes and Histograms are my go-to tool for most work, they're pretty important. When there’s this much lag (even a second), I get irritated. Sorry guys, just do. Needs work, no?

If there’s tricks or workarounds for better response times, please someone, let me know. Otherwise, I guess we wait for an update? I’m going to test the issue on my iPad Pro, just to see what happens. Will report back, if anything significant.

UPDATE: iPad Pro test: 12.9 inch 2nd Gen. Slightly more responsive than fastest response time on iMac Pro. Just under a second for Scope reaction.

Best – Dee

Edited by deeland
iPad Pro test

iMac Pro (2017) Processor: 3GHz 10-Core Intel Xeon W / Memory: 64 GB 2666 MHz DDR4 / Graphics: Radeon Pro Vega 64 16 GB | iPad Pro: 12.9 inch 2nd Gen

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Hi Braver,

Thanks for your post.  I have also found the same with regard to OpenGL being considerably faster than Metal on some tasks, and the update to the Levels graph is almost instant.

One of the issues I have with not using Metal is that I do a lot of compositing and require a fast response, however I also use Levels to try to ensure that I get the tonal values about right before pasting a selection into another image.  OGL is not as fast in these tasks.

When I had my previous issue with Affinity Photo, I was instructed to turn off Metal, which made APh unresponsive for the tasks required to composite a new image.  This resulted in my having to go back to Photoshop for almost 7 months due to the issues experienced with the Mojave upgrade.  During this period, I had many discussions on the thread, including those who advised not to upgrade for a long period after a new OS is released.  I have not yet upgraded to Catalina.  I also had some very long calls with AppleCare and the basic response from Apple was that the problem is with the way that Serif have implemented the Metal Accelerator.  I have found no issues with other apps that utilise Metal, so have come around to thinking that Apple may be correct.

I have tried working with the native Affinity files, but have also moved to TIFF ~20Mp (due to the above experience with Serif) in order to ensure that if I have the same kind of issues again, I have files which can be processed across a range of apps.  I also use Luminar for some tasks.

It is disappointing that such basic tools and graphs are unable to perform under the Metal Accelerator, and that Serif seem to think that circa 20 seconds is acceptable for a Levels adjustment graph to be available.  Although I do much of this by eye, the graph is a big issue for me.

I guess the weight of users who have experienced this, and/or the number of people reporting the issues does not look critical to the developers, and so is a low priority issue.

The consequence of a one time payment model vs subscription model, perhaps?

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Hi Dee,

Thanks for your contribution.  I am not sure why the 2017 MBP is so susceptible to these issues.  No-one has yet given me a reasonable explanation as to why the Metal Acceleration is difficult to get right on this model.  I note that some (see post above from Braver, and my response) are also experiencing issues on the 2018 model too, so maybe not just the 2017 MBP causing or experiencing the slow response time.

I do not utilise Scopes, so am unable to comment on that, however, there is a lot of evidence that the manner in which Serif has implemented the Metal Acceleration is pretty patchy, and that not all tools work properly on some MBP models.

I am sure that we may find a workaround or two, and would ask any forum contributors to post.

Sorry I have nothing more positive for you.

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Some additional context. 90% of my work in Affinity Photo is retouching and editing high resolution scans of black and white negatives. So my primary tools are the inpainting brush, levels and curves, and the histogram. 
In previous versions metal was marked as “beta” and I have tried to enable the options. It has never been performant for me for the tools I need, so I never did anything more than dabble with the metal options. Now they’re presented as stable or even default options, but the performance is still unacceptable for some features. Not just slow, but orders of magnitude too slow.

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This may be off this thread main issue; however, when one is cropping pixel photo, why does n’t the Histogram update to show if desired levels are achieve?  If one crops off a brilliant sun that flooding image and causing white levels off the chart, cropping it out does not on my 2019 iMac, I9, 8 core, SSD, with Metal on.  I guess this is not programmed to do so.


Cecil 

iMac Retina 5K, 27”, 2019. 3.6 GHz Intel Core 9, 40 GB Memory DDR4, Radeon Pro 580X 8 GB, macOS 10.5.4 iPad Pro iPadOS

 

Continuous improvement is better than delayed perfection 

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Hi Cyril,

A little off topic but also relates to the Histogram.

I had not experienced this issue(?) 

I tested the Levels, did the crop, and the same result.  This may have something to do with the non-destructive nature of the image processing, but I do not know - perhaps ChrisB may have something to say on this, and as to whether you should start a separate thread.

Further, I noted that if I open a second Levels Layer, the Histogram then updates on the new layer.  So it would seem that this is not visibly updating the graph post crop, but that the new Levels information is  available to APh.  If I keep the original pre-crop Levels layer open after the crop, and open a new Levels layer, then both of the graphs update to the correct Levels information for the current cropped image. As the information is retained from the pre-crop image is retained (see earlier post) you will see the graph update on the older Levels layer.  Why Serif chose to implement in this way, I cannot say - but it does not seem logical in this instance.  There may be a reasonable explanation, but I cannot think of one at the moment.

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Hi Braver,

Thank for the further information.  I guess we all use the app for different projects and have different requirements.

However, it is obvious that these issues are affecting a number of users (and I would think many who do not visit the Forum and just put up with the situation) and I am not particularly hopeful that Serif will look at these issues and find a fix.  My experience has been that there is good feedback, but no solutions, thus far.

When working with selections and numerous images, all of which have a number of layers, in OpenGL, APh is simply too slow to be of use, so it would seem that the options are:

1) Use Metal and put up with the foibles which mean slower basic tools and graphs.

2) Use OpenGL, resulting in a slower response from the tools and graphs, but a quicker response when utilising lots of images with separate layers.

Neither of which are ideal, and as one has to restart APh when switching from OGL to Metal and vice versa (due to the way Apple have set up Metal), this is not ideal, and a less than optimal implementation in the app results in a less than optimum response from the app.

That said, it is a pretty big piece of software, so bugs are inevitable, even after beta testing.  It is the response from developers that is always the make or break.

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47 minutes ago, Earlio said:

had not experienced this issue(?) 

If I look at the Histogram as I crop, I do not see a change, in the Histogram levels, as I would expect.  It may appear or update after I apply; however, if it updated as you cropped, one may see the levels you are attempting to achieve.  I could be doing it wrong or it is just not programmed in the crop tool.


Cecil 

iMac Retina 5K, 27”, 2019. 3.6 GHz Intel Core 9, 40 GB Memory DDR4, Radeon Pro 580X 8 GB, macOS 10.5.4 iPad Pro iPadOS

 

Continuous improvement is better than delayed perfection 

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Hi Cecil,

I think the rationale is that cropping the image should be one of the first operations one should do on an image.   If you open the image, apply your Levels layer, crop, then apply another Levels layer, Affinity Photo WILL update the graph on both Levels layers.   Whether this suits your workflow is another matter...

I think it would be best answered by a Moderator, and I know ChrisB follows this thread, and will read this when he has time.  You will probably get a definitive answer at that point.

 

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Note to folks not used to using scopes: basically histograms on steroids. Mostly used in video and film industries, I was amazed to see Affinity use them in Photo, when first launched. Great tool (when it reacts quickly).

Note to Affinity: instead of reinventing the wheel, work with someone like Divergent Media and their ScopeBox to develop a plugin.

Or approach the engineers at Apple (I’m guessing you’ve got a relationship already with them, after developing for iPad). Apple definitely know how to develop scope software, as seen in their scopes for Final Cut Pro X.

I remember Adobe Photoshop being buggy as all hell: took them many years to refine. But they’re still bloatware and not having rewritten their base code from the early days, so I’m okay with Affinity and their development pace. But, I think Affinity develop for parity between iOS and macOS, and that could be a hindrance, that Adobe never had to deal with back in the day.

Onwards and upwards!

Edited by deeland
edit

iMac Pro (2017) Processor: 3GHz 10-Core Intel Xeon W / Memory: 64 GB 2666 MHz DDR4 / Graphics: Radeon Pro Vega 64 16 GB | iPad Pro: 12.9 inch 2nd Gen

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Thanks for the additional comments and feedback.

I realise this is a genuinely serious issue for a number of users and the bug has been reported and bumped numerous times. 

Metal compute works for most and OpenGL works better for others. There's no right and wrong answer. We need to keep feeding back experiences to the developers and this is what is happening in this thread.

On 10/25/2019 at 12:41 PM, Cecil said:

This may be off this thread main issue; however, when one is cropping pixel photo, why does n’t the Histogram update to show if desired levels are achieve?  If one crops off a brilliant sun that flooding image and causing white levels off the chart, cropping it out does not on my 2019 iMac, I9, 8 core, SSD, with Metal on.  I guess this is not programmed to do so.

This is off-topic and really needs its own thread but probably in the feature request section and not the bugs section.

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On 10/25/2019 at 3:52 PM, Earlio said:

Hi, to you all.

Since I bought a new iMac (febr. 2019), I'm using Affinity Photo (I didn't like the cloud-based version of Photoshop). In the meantime, I've stumbled into so many unsolved bugs, erratic behavior and (worst of all) no solutions, or even reasonable comments from Serif, that I decided to download the free test-version of Adobe Photoshop and . . . . what a relief. Everything runs like clockwork; consistent, responsive and solid. OK, it's 4 times the price, but 10 times worth it. Sorry Serif, I liked you're initiative, but it's not a matter of smart programming alone to bring a competing program to the market. Dealing with customers is an important part of the "look and feel" of a product. And on that part you've got a long way to go. I'm heading back to "Adobe's nest".

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Hi Gerrit,

I am now rapidly coming to the same conclusion.  The launch and first iterations of Affinity Photo were great, some bugs - but mostly addressed.

If you look around this forum you will find many other threads which complain and criticise Serif for the lack of response, unwillingness to address bugs which do not affect the majority of users, and frankly just excuses about what Serif is doing about it.  You will also find further criticism on the Apple Store. Perhaps Serif feel that they have no need to address such concerns given the number of times they have sold Affinity Photo, they have taken our money, and a relatively small number of unhappy customers are of no concern to them now.

It would seem the success that Serif have had with the product, and the fact that they get not further revenue from existing customers, is an issue.  Why bother to try to fix issues for people that are no longer earning the company money?  I am really sad, and also have reverted to using Photoshop.  It may be expensive, but it works, and new innovations (Sensei AI selection for instance) is pushing Photoshop far ahead now.  Anyone moving from the latest updates to PS would immediately see the advantages of remaining a PS user, despite the cost.  I was (initially) very taken with APh - I now just feel like I was taken advantage of.

So disappointed, I have bought the complete suite: Affinity Designer and Affinity Publisher, but after the experience with ApPh, I am not looking to use any longer.

In remain hopeful (but frankly, not very) that the guys at Serif will actually get around to addressing these issue, and will remain on the Forum - hoping that at some point Serif will wake up.  I await (once again) an update - we have seen nothing since release to address any of these issues - and if Serif are true to form, they will announce another big release of this buggy and often unusable app.

As for Chris B's response, whilst I understand that it is not his responsibility to make the necessary changes, simply repeating that the issue has been referred to the developers (who I assume also are employed by Serif) is simply passing the buck.  There should be some way of taking this to management in order to get a resolution.  Over the years I have used many image manipulation apps, they come and go, but Photoshop (although Adobe were quite complacent at times in the past) is still the Gold Standard.

The issue for me is: How can I rely on software when the Developer is unwilling, unable or simply does not give a damn about the issues that users are experiencing?

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2 hours ago, Chris B said:

Metal compute works for most and OpenGL works better for others. There's no right and wrong answer. We need to keep feeding back experiences to the developers and this is what is happening in this thread.

This seems to be my experience. OpenGL works for me, so I don't really have a problem here. I guess the implementation using metal was deemed stable enough to make it the default, which it probably is for most users. It's the informatie feedback in this thread that can help move the implementation forward (the venting doesn't really add anything guys, please keep it constructive).

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Hi Gerrit,

Thank you for the response - not so much patience - more stubbornness in my case.  I have definitely run out of patience...

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Hi Braver,

I appreciate your comments.  However you seem to have your issues solved, whereas I am still in the same place.

As far as venting is concerned, it is simply my take on how Serif have handled these issues.  Sometimes one has to tell it as one sees it, and having had to wait more than 7 months for the "coming shortly" update to fix the last issues I had with Serif (see my other posts) and due to that having to go back to Photoshop, and having paid for the app in good faith, my opinion on this is that Serif simply do not address these issues.

I would probably not be so vocal were I in your position.

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Hi,

I'm running in Windows 10, Affinity Photo version 1.7.3.481 and I'm having the same problem.   Just wanted to alert that this is a Windows problem as well.   If I can get any debug info or other data, when the failure occurs, please let me know.

thanks

Manuel

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Hi Manuel2,

Thanks for contributing.

Sorry to hear this is also affecting you.  I had, until now, thought that this issue was confined to Macs, and I am surprised to hear that the issue is also present in the Windows version.

I hope when Serif get around to addressing this, it will have to be across all of the PC iterations of the app.  I have not heard of any such issues on tablet versions, so perhaps the bug is restricted to PCs.

 

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This looks like it is related to this thread.

If you have previously saved the file as a .afphoto saving again should update the levels histogram.


Website

Mac mini (2018)  3.2 GHz Intel Core i7  64 GB • Radeon Pro 580 8 GB • macOS Mojave

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I just experienced a histogram that wouldn't update, using OpenGL, no metal-compute. Indeed saving the file seems to have un-stuck the histogram and now it updates again. So this does sound related.

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13 hours ago, braver said:

I just experienced a histogram that wouldn't update, using OpenGL, no metal-compute. Indeed saving the file seems to have un-stuck the histogram and now it updates again. So this does sound related.

Hi Braver,

Yep, that sounds exactly what I I have been experiencing.  I was aware that if you save the file, and reopen the graph appears.  It also does so if I simply delete the Levels layer that is not updating, and add another Levels layer.  A pain in the butt, but it works - most times.

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18 hours ago, TomM1 said:

This looks like it is related to this thread.

If you have previously saved the file as a .afphoto saving again should update the levels histogram.

Hi TomM1,

I do not know of the two issues are related, but I suffer from the same issue, but my experience is that these update after a short while.  I notice particularly with selections, the icon shows just blank, but eventually updates to show the mask.  I had not previously mentioned as this does not interfere with my workflow as I (almost) always Group Masks, so I know that the icons are masks and will - eventually - update.

Many thanks for your input - it all helps make the case for investigation, and at some point in the future - perhaps an update to solve these issues.

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21 minutes ago, Earlio said:

Hi TomM1,

I do not know of the two issues are related, but I suffer from the same issue, but my experience is that these update after a short while.  I notice particularly with selections, the icon shows just blank, but eventually updates to show the mask.  I had not previously mentioned as this does not interfere with my workflow as I (almost) always Group Masks, so I know that the icons are masks and will - eventually - update.

Many thanks for your input - it all helps make the case for investigation, and at some point in the future - perhaps an update to solve these issues.

It is an issue with thumbnail and mask images as well as the levels histogram.

However, for me, I don't need to save the file, and reopen, a simple command>S is enough to refresh everything.


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Mac mini (2018)  3.2 GHz Intel Core i7  64 GB • Radeon Pro 580 8 GB • macOS Mojave

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