View Full Version : 4.5 - what would you consider "large" size canvas?

08-12-2014, 08:54 AM
I upgraded to 4.5 this afternoon. I'm only just now getting to know the new features. So far, so good.

However, since I have no idea what other AR artists consider to be normal working sizes I can't gauge the success of the 64 bit against programmer's expectations for us?

My physical, oil/acrylic painting is often large - 4 feet square or larger. I prefer a bit bigger, depending on the project so 6' isn't unusual, either. So, trying to get a 96" AR canvas at 100dpi was the first thing I tried. I'm on the current, new model 27" iMac 3.4Ghz, 8 gig RAM, but must admit that my paint brush cursor just drags and stutters. It's really not a noticeable improvement. I've confirmed I installed the 64bit version. Compared against, for example, Photoshop CS6 and knowing sizes I work in I was expecting a bit of an obvious increase in performance with this update.

My assumption is I'm a little odd in working larger than, let's say, 36". So, I guess I'm asking to get my bearings on what you kind folks work in and what you'd consider large for an AR project?

08-12-2014, 08:59 AM
I actually work in large canvas sizes in ArtRage even before 4.5. I typically work in 40" x 24" horizontal and 40" x 30" vertical at 200 ppi. I'm currently working on a piece that is 36" x 24" at 200 pixels / inch.
The triptych I just finished, "Autumn Glory, which is 3 paintings, each were 40" tall by 22" wide at 200 ppi. Since I send my artwork to print at Fine Art America, the pixel/inch range needs to be above 180,
I typically work at 200 pixels/inch on larger works, and then 300 pixels/inch when it's small work.

08-12-2014, 09:06 AM
9600 pixels isn't that big for 4.5, and while you would expect painting to be slower than on a smaller canvas (mainly because you'd tend to use a much larger brush) I wouldn't expect significant stuttering. In testing, the 64 bit version has always been significantly (really significantly) faster so could you double check that 4.5 has been launched? Is there a grid button on the menu bar? Also, it's highly unlikely to be the problem here but could you open up the About box and make sure it lists the 64 bit version after the version number?

If you're running 4.5-64 bit then there may be some other problem, could you get in touch with us at [email protected] and let us know the properties of the brush you're using and we can try to replicate it.

08-12-2014, 10:48 AM

I'm on an iMac too so i thought I'd try out the size you mentioned (96" squared at 100ppi) and see how it fared.

As Matt mentioned, painting can be a little slower at times and I've noticed some lag if I try to paint quickly with a large oil brush, same with the default palette knife. If I scrub it around quickly it takes a while to catch up. It doesn't seem to stutter though, unless you're referring to the way the paint catches up with the brush movement. The watercolour brush is still pretty slow too and not too fluid to use at it's largest size, but it always was that way and it seems better at smaller sizes like A3 300dpi. All in all, it doesn't seem too bad considering the size of the canvas and file (I've got a single layer 571MB file here).

I hope further improvements can be made in brush speeds in the future. I also wish the brush sizes could go larger now too.

For what it's worth I'm on a 2011 27" iMac, 3.4GHz i7 with Snow Leopard and have 16GB RAM.

I can't see why it would help here, but have you tried rebooting the Mac, and possibly resetting the NVRAM (reboot and hold CMD+ALT+P+R until the start up sound occurs for a second time)? It sometimes helps with the odd issue here and there and tends to be the first thing I do if I have a problem. Maybe repairing the permissions on the hard drive in Disk Utility will help in some way, especially if you've not done it in a while?

If you want to post your brush settings/method etc. I'd be happy to see if I can replicate your issue too.

08-13-2014, 10:40 AM
Thanks for the feedback, lads.

Yup, version 4.5 in the "about" and I have the grid to prove it. 64 bit confirmed version, too.

I haven't reset my video RAM - but I suppose I could to test. I'm a reasonably geeky guy and a pretty good background in the usual software. So, on a personal-feel level I'd say Bertrude's description matches what I'm experiencing. There's a delay in brush strokes on oil and palette knife. Watercolors, too. Owning Adobe CS6 Master Collection and Corel Painter 12 I have that 'feel' for what those tools do on the iMac and get a certain sense of where things might bog down. However, the ArtRage 4.5, as Bertrude describes, is pretty much the same. I, too, tend to dial up the brushes (and wish they could go larger) to maximum. Quick brushes to cover an area just delay for a second or two every few seconds. I thought I'd switch to paint tubes and palette-knife my way to covering an area - but that had the same delay.

Brush speed might be the better description than the 'lag' but there's definitely a delay between a stroke completing and it showing up on the canvas even with a fresh, new file. It can be the first stroke of the brush on the piece. I have to stick to single, straight across strokes to avoid the delay.

Although I haven't reset RAM, nor permissions, and I'm not against it - I just didn't think what appeared to be a performance issue would tick those boxes I did reboot the machine, which never hurts - same results. As noted above, I'm seeing it the same way as it performed in 4.0 at larger canvas and largest brush sizes.

Eg: 96" x 64", standard canvas, 100 dpi. 500% oil brush, default palette, default AR theme and settings (menus, pods, etc. default). Zoom out to 10% to see the whole canvas. Grab the 3D Art Pen for the Intuos 4 Large tablet and make a Zorro "Z" and it delays until I almost complete the bottom of the stroke. To be frank, it's not usable like that - it really messes with the disconnect between hand/eye. It doesn't track without that 1 second delay.

I suppose I could record a screencap but to be honest using such software introduces its own level of performance hampering... since we're talking about the finer points of speed it doesn't seem useful. Besides, it's not a hard problem to describe even if I don't illustrate it - it's just that brush delay between the act of painting and it showing up on screen.

If another geeky reference helps, ha ha, I can point to Bootcamping myself into Windows 8.1 and I play BF3 and BF4 on all high settings with zero problems. :D

08-13-2014, 11:17 AM
Resetting RAM and permissions won't have any effect on it. The issue is probably tool size.

If I work on a 96 x 64 image at 100dpi here I can paint with a 500% oil brush at basically realtime speed, but the watercolour is slower. It will depend on which tool you're using and what size it is. The 500% brushes aren't made readily available because the amount of processing required to produce those strokes is significant and builds up almost exponentially as the brush gets larger. For tools like Oil that don't do large amounts of internal calculation for fluid dynamics the brush speed remains high here - Can I confirm which tools you're seeing a problem with?

ArtRage does a lot more work in its stroke engine than most other paint applications, we're handling a bunch of real world properties like paint volume and wetness for mixing, tracking the amount of paint on the brush and how it flows to the canvas, and in the case of watercolour handling additional properties as well as interacting with the existing canvas paint, so that's probably why you're seeing it go slower than other apps - The result has more detail but it takes more processing. But that said, if Oil is going slow then there's a problem we should be able to address because I'm definitely not seeing that here on OS X.

08-13-2014, 11:31 AM
I think what you've described accurately matches how it is for me too. I've just set up a file as you've detailed and my Zorro 'Z's are sluggish unless I reduce my hand speed. I think that is just how it naturally is for now. Hopefully some improvements can be made down the line as it removes some of the immediacy of fast, quick brush strokes.

I can't be an easy thing to do though, and to be fair, a same spec page/resolution file in Photoshop exhibits similar delays/lag (for me at least) when using its Bristle brushes and doing a quick 'Z'. The standard brushes are much quicker and very fluid though. That kind of response would be amazing :)

I don't have bootcamp for comparison, but can't help wonder if you have tried installing ArtRage on Windows? It would be interesting to see if there's any performance discrepancies between the platforms.

Matt, I'd say it's an overall thing rather than just one tool. It seems more apparent when you zoom out and do it if that helps.

08-13-2014, 11:45 AM
Thanks again for the additional help - and feedback, gang!

I'm inclined to regard this as Bertrude suggests - it's a "limitation" in my style of painting but, as pointed out, there's a lot of technical marvel going on which is, of course, why we love AR so much. This doesn't change that. I'm rarely as happy on the Wacom as when I'm pushing pixels in ArtRage. ;)

Still, yes, the oil brush at 500% delays quite badly. However, that exact same tool, on that exact canvas (with previous paint on it) but the brush set to 100% flows smoothly like a champ.

So, I guess, in the end I'm seeing the benefit of the 64-bit in terms of large canvas size, but brushes much over 250% just start to get a little pokey. With regards, Matt, to you having it work okay there in the studio maybe your machine specs are the defining difference? Although this is the current model 27" iMac and it's all sparkly and powerful - it's not the major powerhouse. It's running Mavericks, 3.4GHz, Intel i5 and 8 GB 1600 MHz DDR3 RAM. I know the other models have a bit beefier specs... maybe that's the dividing line?

Hmmm... if I have clearance from the AR folks to install to my bootcamp the Windows version I might be happy to do that to see. I technically bought the OS version since I've migrated to Mac almost everything graphic-design related.

Matt, maybe my specs vs. yours are the little bit of difference after all?

Either way, I acknowledge running 500% brushes is, well, going over maximum. So, I can't really complain, ha ha. ;)


ps: Oh, yes, it seems to be the case with most tools - but noticeably the Oil, knife, and watercolor. I *also* agree it's most dramatic (delay) when zoomed out.

08-13-2014, 12:25 PM
There is a spec difference there, I was testing on a 3.5Ghz Core i7, so that could be it. The oil paint is a base line in some ways as it's the simplest of the 'complex' tools so if that is slow then it may be a general speed issue rather than a specific one.

You can definitely install the Windows version as well BTW - We don't limit installations for your own use and if you have registered in the Member Area you can download the Windows installer from there.

08-23-2014, 05:18 AM
Hey gang
I just want to weigh in on this….
Im on a 2.6 ghz quad core i7 with 8 gb ram
I, like most of the people commenting here do not see any significant speed gain from the 64 bit 4.5 version.
I am also puzzled by the value of being able to now create huge canvases,
when the brushes are not scaling to the new higher resolution and clearly cannot keep up.
On a 9600 pix canvas the brushes are tiny at 100% and still small but crawl at the 500%.
I understand that Artrage does more calculating than other apps to produce the beautiful results it does..fair enough…thats why I love it.
But lets just be honest about its limitations….if there is no way to optimize performance…then lets just say it rocks at 2kx2k and call it a day

08-24-2014, 04:01 PM
I've worked in large canvases (10800 x 7200 or larger) with ArtRage even prior to 4.5, and one of the things I've wanted for quite some time now is 64-bit support because I would run into the 4GB memory limit wall and the application would collapse on itself like a house of cards. I always work in large canvases because I like to be able to print them out at large sizes. With 4.5 I get none of the pauses or anything, but I am mostly working with just oils, and Matt says it's one of the least processing intensive or the least processing intensive of all the mediums. I do have a rather powerful machine, though (iMac Late 2012, 3.4Ghz i7, 32GB RAM). When working with watercolor there's a very slight but completely workable lag at 500% size. I hardly work with a brush that large, though. The simple fact of the matter is you're going to need a powerful machine to handle it. There's probably quite a lot of optimizations they can do, but the application is infinitely faster than Painter.

The only real drawback I see when working with large canvas sizes is that with a medium where the canvas' texture is clearly visible like with pastels the pattern of the canvas is clearly seen. It should perhaps be more procedurally drawn and less of a pattern.