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nartist
01-26-2011, 09:35 PM
No, seriously, I think this issue is understandable. ArtRage isn't going to crash my PC, I know that. iPad is a different situation. It lets me do things I couldn't dream of with my PC, like take it outdoors as a complete art studio shoved into a little sketchpad. Suffering my first ArtRage for iPad crash doesn't phase that in the least. Regularly saving files is something most of us should already be conditioned to do.

Last night my iPad crashed repeatedly just while browsing the App Store. This is still the first version of iPad so the entire enterprise is unquestionably a work in progress. It's going to get much bigger and more reliable, there's no doubt.

Still, losing an hour of work today was kind of a shock. Fortunately, it was just experimenting with brushes. No one was going to see it but me. It was a single layer, many different colors, a lot of testing different oil brushes and knives. I was just about to run out page when it crashed. Redoing the 3/4 of the thing that I lost just gives me more opportunity to discover new combinations.

When the crash happened, I came to the forum right away to see if anyone else had experienced this and found the sticky post first thing. I rebooted according to the instructions. It was a little disquieting at first because I just got the Apple logo and it took several seconds before I could get anything else. For a moment I pictured coming back with all of the factory presets. But it worked out fine and it's certainly good that I know about the reboot, now. And every program on my iPad was parked. So now I know how to deal with that (see the sticky post above). I even deleted a few free apps I didn't have any use for. It didn't free up as much memory as I'd hoped but the "wired" quotient was definitely slimmer.

Now I'm just a little worried that I won't get to multi-task (or what passes for multi-taking on the iPad) while I'm painting. If I want to run the iPod while painting I'm going to be a little worried. If I take a break to play a little pinball I'll wonder if I should reboot again. That part is a little disappointing. Frankly, I'm more worried about when the battery wears out and won't hold a charge or I just accidentally drop the damn thing.

I hope that future versions of ARfiP will run more efficiently. Not only do I have a little lag that other Ipad paint programs don't seem to suffer but I frequently get that hated little spinning wheel that doesn't go away by itself. Generally, when I put down another stroke it goes away. But certain operations are so intensive that they hinder the dynamism and flow of the program.

Sorry I don't have a more unified point but I just wanted to comment on my first ARfiP crash. Thank you for the invaluable technical help on this forum. Many, if not most, programs don't have any such help for it's users.

MattRage
01-27-2011, 09:17 PM
The lag you're seeing is basically because we're pushing the iPad as hard as it can go. Unlike most other paint apps, ArtRage tracks more than just colour on the canvas. We track the volume of paint on the surface, the texture of the surface, wetness of the paint, and some other things. This means that we're pushing around a lot more data than other apps so there can be a bit of lag. This also means that we're using more memory than many apps so we can be a bit more sensitive to lower memory situations.

Fortunately however, that doesn't necessarily mean that you can't do other things while painting.

Most apps when 'parked' in the background via Multitasking don't use active memory or processor time. Only apps that are actively doing something in the background use resources when they're not open. The reason we suggest closing parked apps is that we can never tell which ones are using up resources and which ones aren't. Even apps that do stuff in the background won't necessarily use enough resources to cause a problem. I've had 15 layers in a painting and been working quite happily with the iPod app going in the background.

When you 'park' ArtRage by switching to another app, we save your painting to a temporary file so that it will be there as you left it when you re-open, and we stop doing anything in the background, so we don't use up your device resources. This means that in general you can switch out and come back later without a problem.

As a general rule we would suggest closing parked apps fairly regularly, and if you are aware of an app that is doing something while in the background definitely look at closing that before using ArtRage (many games also advise this, as they tend to use lots of system resources).

From our testing, a crash while painting is pretty much always caused by memory running out. If you have a huge painting with lots of data on the layers then you may find that device memory runs out and the OS kills the app. In order to help avoid these situations, or at least let you know when there is a problem so that you can save and reboot before the OS kills the application, we are adding a warning system in to the next update. This will let you know when the OS is telling us there may be a memory problem, and allow you to quickly save if you're concerned. We have also done some work on reducing the memory overhead of the application.

It's not an ideal situation, and we're looking at other ways we might be able to avoid problems, but as the painting itself is by far the largest user of memory in the application a lot of it depends upon the nature of the current piece of art being worked on.

Thanks for the feedback, I believe that the next update will make it much easier to see when there may be a problem and react accordingly.

nartist
01-28-2011, 12:08 AM
Thanks for the response! I just painted a multi-layer painting and it went well. I understand about the paint dynamics. That's what makes ArtRage second to none for iPad, in my opinion.