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I've desperately been fighting back against Affinity's choppy/jagged selection marquee (mentioned in a previous post I made), but it's making life and work really difficult. 
 

For some reason Affinity software's freehand selections appear unnecessarily jagged along the edges, which is a nightmare for those of us who sometimes use the selection tools as drawing tools. 
One of my clients have pointed this out all over a piece of artwork I created for them to a point where they said the artwork could not be used and ended up working with another illustrator instead. 
As you can imagine, this is quite a big deal and I've done a deep dive to figure out what the issue is so that this doesn't happen again. 

I've tried my Yiynova MVP22U tablet, my Wacom Cintiq 13HD, as well as my 12.9 iPad Pro with Apple Pencil and the issue is there across the board, which makes me pretty sure that everyone is experiencing this too. 
This is not a feathering issue, and not an aliasing issue - this is just a normal selection, created with the default settings as I do not want a feathered selection.

For some reason the freehand/lasso selection in Photoshop, Clip Studio Paint, Artstudio Pro, Sketchbook Pro, Krita, and Medibang, all produce perfectly smooth freehand selections, but in Affinity they appear wavey, jagged, jittery and blocky in areas. 

For some reason the selection tools select whole pixel blocks on screen which causes an often jagged and blocky appearances to the selection. 
I've noticed that this is significantly worse when using a stylus/tablet pen to create selections, but for some reason it's not nearly as bad when using a mouse.
Unfortunately this doesn't really help as the majority of my work is digitally hard drawn.
I think this may also be the same thing that causes the raster brushes in Affinity to feel less fluid than those in other drawing applications. 
It's difficult to explain, but it's almost as if the pixel density that the software works at is different to what my monitor is displaying, which almost causes a miscommunication between the tablet input and what's registered by the software.

I'm running out of options here. :61_sob:
I may even need to revert back to Photoshop until this issue is resolved, and that's the last thing I want to do.

If you would like to see what I'm referring to, here's a link back to my previous post about the issue
I've also reattached the file that I created to show what I mean:
 

 

Jagged Edges.afdesign

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Hey ChristiduToit,

Has anyone from Serif actually acknowledged this as a bug and have said they will log it? I can't see anything in our database.

I've done some comparisons between Affinity Photo and Photoshop and noticed the difference. I'm not sure if Photoshop is doing some sort of automatic smoothing but the edges do look a bit softer.

I'll happily put this forward as an improvement request.

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@Chris B


You are an absolute lifesaver, thank you!
I'm not sure if anyone has already logged this as a bug (I assume not?), since I have not received a reply from a moderated after they requested that I send the file. 

This is perhaps the biggest issue I currently have with Affinity. 
I use the freehand selection tool for custom selections daily, so it plays a big role in my work, and the jagged edge is a constant issue. 
I don't think it's a bug as much as it is the way that the selection has been programmed within the app(s), as it happens in Photo, Designer, and Publisher both on Desktop and iPad. 
Unfortunately I can't comment on how PS have programmed their lasso tool, but it's significantly smoother and more accurate - no wobbly lines or jagged edges. 
As I mentioned, an array of other apps also have perfectly smooth, finer selections, but PS and Clip Studio Paint are probably the best and most notable from the list. I think it's important to note that this isn't a 'feathering' related aspect, but rather just a normal selection issue. In PS I can have feathering on or off, or even have the lasso tool set to have no anti-aliasing, and the selections are still 100% smooth and accurate.

 

It almost 'feels' as if Affinity apps recognise the stylus/pen input at a different/lower resolution than the resolution that the file/tablet monitor is at - I could obviously be wrong.

It just feels like the stylus/pen input is a lot more 'clunky' than the mouse input.
For some reason this doesn't happen with mouse input, only input from my drawing tablet (Yiynova MVP22U, Wacom Cintiq 13HD, and iPad), so the issue must be linked to the stylus/pen input somehow.

 

I have a hunch that this is closely related to the brushes. 
As much as I love Affinity, the brushes in Photoshop and Clip Studio Paint are significantly smoother and more fluid, and I think this could also be caused be a misread stylus/pen input.

As I said, I'm no programmer/developer, just a humble illustrator, but hopefully that info can help towards solving the problem and make Affinity 100x smoother for drawing tablet users :D
 

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1 minute ago, Chris B said:

I just want to let you know this is logged but it hasn't had a response yet. I believe I saw another post similar to this which reminded me to let you know. 

Excellent news! Thank you so much for logging this, and for keeping me in the loop - I really appreciate it! :D

I have a sneaky suspicion that this issue is also somehow linked to the pixelated/jagged preview when using the canvas rotation feature (View - Rotate Left/Right), as well as the slightly less smooth brush settings that I mentioned previously.

I think fixing this issue at the root might end up creating an overall smoother experience across a range of the Affinity tools and interface - fingers crossed!
 

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Quote

When I use the mouse to create the selection it seems to be far less jagged, and a lot smoother as a result.

^ From the other thread. It would seem to me an issue could be augmented, or created by an issue with the yiynova, be it its general drivers issues, or compatibility with Affinity.

Anyway, in the meantime (if they find sth there, which ain't a sure thing, they might not find the culprit...or....may not be a bug, but a yiynova issue) , for what is making selection, I kind of think of the possibility of painting masks (with the 1 "pixel tool" in the vertical toolbar, if want hard edges) instead of lasso, and see how it goes. Of course, to finally convert to selection, but that's a fast step. Another way could be doing it by the vectors tools in A. Photo, then convert 'em to selection, but then you would have feather, and you don't seem to want that. Anyway, so that you are aware that there are more options.

For the workflow, that is, working with hard edges, and lasso, may I assume you are a comic colorist, and this stage is for you doing the flats ?

If you are finding general jitter/wobble in your yiynova pen when use Affinity, may you want to give it a try to enabling/disabling Windows Ink in your tablet driver panel, see how it affects it. I've seen issues fixed doing both, as depends on many factors (like how each app is implemented). Another thing, would be enabling "high tablet precision (experimental)" or sth called like that, in Affinity's preferences. I don't know if that could solve your issues, but I definitely would try it. I believe it requires restarting the app to see the effect (and surely the windows ink and some other changes in your yiynova's driver panel, would, too. (not sure if for that brand is needed even a machine reboot)).

With a video about the problem maybe it'd bee seen easier, the issue...


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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@SrPx
Thanks for explaining! 
Unfortunately this is not a Yiynova issue, but could very well be related to the way that Affinity registers input from a drawing tablet in general - I've had the same results with the Yiynova, a Wacom Cintiq 13HD, Wacom Intuos Pro, on my desktop computer and laptop, and even noticed this at times while using Designer/Photo on iPad with an Apple Pencil. 
Selections in Photoshop (and Clip Studio Paint, Sketchbook Pro, ArtStudio Pro, etc) are perfectly smooth and clean when using the Yiynova, so this is definitely an issue with Affinity apps themselves. Chris B, a moderator, has even confirmed this (above). 

You are correct, at least almost correct. I'm not a comic book artist, but an illustrator that uses similar techniques. Flatting isn't really an issue as the flats go under the linework, so any misaligned/jagged selections are usually covered by that. It does show a lot when doing more refined selections for colouring though, such as a cut-and-grad shading/highlight technique. The edges of the highlighted areas are a bit 'wonky', and it shows in the final work. For the moment I'm using the quick mask feature in Photo to create selections using the brush, but it's a bit more tedious working in this way. 

Unfortunately I'm working on an iMac, so I obviously don't have Windows Ink. I can't seem to find the "High Tablet Precision" option in my Affinity Preferences - where is this? Is it only in the beta perhaps, or maybe only for Windows machines?

I can definitely provide a video/screen recording of the if @Chris B thinks it would help with finding out what the issue is (just let me know Chris).

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44 minutes ago, ChristiduToit said:

I can definitely provide a video/screen recording of the if @Chris B thinks it would help with finding out what the issue is (just let me know Chris).

I'm not sure it is necessary as I was able to reproduce it easily enough but there's no harm in recording one if you wish. It may help other forum users understand what is going on if you attached it :) 

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@Chris B @SrPx
Okay, I've done a lightning quick screen recording anyway just for what it's worth and uploaded it to YouTube as an unlisted video. 
Here's the link (make sure to watch in HD to see the issue even clearer, although I think it's pretty apparent anyway): https://youtu.be/AM1zLD10crk


As you can see, the selections are perfectly smooth in Affinity Photo when using the mouse, but some really weird and funky stuff starts happening when I switch to my drawing tablet. The weird jagged and blocky edges start showing up all over the place along the selection edges. As you can see, it's almost as if Affinity registers my pen input at a different resolution than my mouse, which results in these blocky or sharp jagged selection outlines - almost as if the selection is selecting groups of pixels at a time instead of individual pixels (which would have resulted in a much smoother outline). As I mentioned, this only happens when using a tablet pen/stylus in Affinity apps, and you can see that the selection created with my mouse is perfectly smooth in Affinity Photo as it is in Photoshop (and in PS I used my tablet without any issues)/
The canvas size in the video is A4, 300dpi (2480 x 3505 px), so the selection really shouldn't appear as blocky as it does.

I've attached the file from that video to this email as well in case anyone wants to check it out for themselves.

Hope this is at least somewhat helpful to getting to the root of the problem. :)

Jagged Slection - Video Reference File.afphoto

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I confirmed your issue when using lasso and a Wacom Intuos 4 XL, IF disabling the feature you couldn't find: high precision tablet input(experimental) in top menu EDIT, then preferences , then tools. If you activate it you will see a way better result, maybe enough for your use case. it is an old thing planned, I believe, to replace the way it handles coords when painting, and I believe it's planned the replacement, but for now seems we have that feature as means for a better situation, meanwhile.  I found another bug, which is some pinches / hairs in selection, and I believe is related to drawing in zooming-out, which also has its issues (you were drawing quite zoomed out, and I tried to replicate the same situation, I even downloaded the same file).

So, screenshots time... the preference is as mentioned at preferences/tools . Attached screenshot. So, IMO, if worked here as quite an improvement for your use case, might help u too, as you say it happens to you too with your wacom devices (it seems u don't even have to reboot the app, takes it immediately) :

the-setting.thumb.png.95ecb8ac41dbf35e7a1597f46997b8ef.png

 


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 don't fully understand why have you got the top bar tool options of the lasso as feather with a 0,1 px value, and antialias activated, while what you want is pure hard edges for flats. But I used several workflows including yours. Screen below. Much better if you download the PNG and check it in a reliable viewer, as the browser will do some sort of blurred aliasing or "intelligent" resize.

Legend


Green : Tablet precision ON.  With lasso's top bar options in antialias on,  feather of only a 0.01 mm (my bad, is not like 0.1 px u had, but anyway, I believe is pointless to add feather, here.). Is the best option, but would have been much better with feather in full zero, 0.0....  not 0,01 feather. It's just blurring slightly.

Blue : Tablet precision OFF. With lasso's antialias OFF, no feather. (almost as terrible as yours, but with less acute pinching)

Red: tablet precision ON. With lasso's antialias OFF, no feather. (workable situation for hard edges, specially if you work more zoomed in, zooming as you might need to be zoomed in, but balancing usability and precision)

Black in the left of our canvas : Your old black lasso shapes done with your mouse.

Black in the right of our canvas : Your old black lasso shapes drawn with your yiynova pen.

There are obvious differences among my worse case scenario and yours, surely as the tablets have different resolution, or mapping, or sth.

Conclusion :  If needing yes or yes them to be hard edges, no feathering, 1/0 pixels, then set in lasso option as antialias unchecked, off, and feather in zero. If u can work with antialias, it might be doing some good averaging there (not sure), I perhaps would set it on, for a best result. Also, work in more zoomed in for more precision, in the stages where global view is not necessary.  But in any case, for now use the feature of the tablet precision, seems crucial for these workflows (which btw, is not painting-only workflows, this very heavily affects photo retouch projects). So, I'm guessing they could prioritize the coords thing heavily if checking this thread (and probably, others). Although most surely they already know, it is probably that some things are way more of a drastic change to add (or actually, replace) than others, internally.

Also, as with anything I could be very wrong in this , too, I'm only posting my takes here, the staff members' feedback and recommendations are the solid source. But as I see things, I wouldn't draw in zoomed out (at least not in Affinity, other than at sketching/first mock-up/composition stage, of course) if you really want more precision. This seems for the flats, not for composition/sketching where you need the global view, so, for now, I'd rather zoom in as much as you can (edit: not really. As less as you get a reasonable situation, as ideally we should be able to work in full zoom-out), as you gain a lot of precision just doing so. Add to it the experimental feature being set ON, and you might have your workflow issue solved until they implement something more permanent. (IMO)

lasso-different-settings.thumb.png.0f32c039230762a559a526ad218e25b4.png


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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The new (for me) bug, with lasso. These pinches and creases, absolutely not coming from the hand gesture, which is fast indeed, and doesn't go at that level of detailing in anyway. My suspicion : It does it when closing the shape, you drop the pen previous to matching where it started (or maybe it does it anyway, but near the origin/end point). Second suspicion : Might do it only, again, when quite zoomed out (which will be always with a print size canvas when fitting on screen. Or any photo of pro resolution fitting on screen). 3rd suspicion /probability.... : Both things are factors for it happening.

Not sure about if (5) and (6) are the same issue, or a different one. Once again, I believe it is better to download the png rather than only seeing it here resized-blurred. (edit: lol, I don't seem to be able to upload as attachment in full res.... Edit 2:  seems clicking over them, you can zoom in fully after two clicks and see the high res  image )

 

new-bug.png


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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And yep, am quite interested in all what relates to painting with Affinity Photo (tho this affects heavily selections) , hence the work and the posts.....  ;) 

IMO these two issues affect equally both painting and photo editing (selections, virtually any field for this app).


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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Thanks for the detailed insight @SrPx
Unfortunately the High Tablet Precision option doesn't seem to be available on Apple, only Windows, but it does seem like it's giving you really good results.
Hopefully that feature will be implemented by default in a future update for Mac as well (fingers crossed!).
As for the feathering option I have at 0,1px. I thought maybe adding a very subtle amount of feathering would help smooth out the selections, but it hasn't helped.
Adding 1px feathering is far too much as it causes the lines to look blurry, so I added 0,1px instead, but there is no real difference.
This is definitely an issue with the tablet input, and it seems to be less bad when zoomed in, but like you mentioned, it shouldn't be an issue, regardless of how zoomed in you are.

For creating flats I've just been using the pencil tool with hard edges/aliasing in the meantime, but it would be much more convenient using the lasso/freehand selection tool for this too.
Like I said, the primary reason I need the smooth selection edges is more for creating highlights and shadows, not just flats, and I completely agree that a fix for this would be highly beneficial to all illustrators, designers and photo editors/retouchers alike - everyone uses the freehand selection at some point and would need smooth selections with no jagged edges.

The 'pinches' you mentioned definitely look like they are caused by the beginning and end point of your selection not lining up exactly. 
I don't think this is an issue with the app, but rather just the nature of using a freehand selection - unless you zoom in and make very small and precise selections, the beginning and end points are unlikely to line up perfectly.

Luckily the Affinity team members are aware of this issue now and have logged it. 
Let's hope for a fix in the next update! :)

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