View Full Version : Apple Pencil Issues

12-23-2015, 07:23 AM
Anyone else having problems with blobs at the beginning of strokes on most of the tools with the iPad Pro and Apple Pencil? Very frustrating and making it almost impossible to use. Great for drawing tadpoles tho :P

12-23-2015, 02:39 PM
I haven't seen that problem with the Pencil, which tends to be a really responsive tool. Could you send a PTG file in which it happens to us at [email protected] and let us know which version of iOS you're using and we can take a look at that for you.

One other thought - which tool are you using there? If it's the gloop pen then you may be seeing a blob at the start because it 'flows' and the start of the stroke is slower than the rest.

12-23-2015, 10:09 PM
I also have this problem. I have it with the most tools using pressure including watercolour, oils, pen, crayon, knife etc. I do notice this happens in other apps as well such as the apple notes app :(

iOS 9.2 here.

12-24-2015, 11:19 AM
The fact that it's happening in other apps too is interesting. I've been doing some reading and will be looking in to it today to see if I can find out what's going on. Thanks for the info!

12-24-2015, 12:40 PM
Okay, update!

As I mentioned above, I did some searching online for this issue when I read that other apps were also experiencing it. There does appear to be a generic issue affecting a large range of apps when using the Apple Pencil that relates to some technical stuff the Pencil does to provide pressure and identify itself as a stylus not a touch (too complicated to go in to detail here). This appears to relate to some changes that came in in iOS9.1.

However - I am unable to replicate the problem here either in iOS9.1 or iOS9.2 in any app. This leads me to believe that there may be a generic problem with OS settings that may be resolved after a restart (because I can't think of any other reason why someone with the same OS and Hardware would have the problem when I don't).

Could I get anyone experiencing this problem to try this:

1. Close all parked apps (double tap the home button and swipe all apps up off the top - please wait a couple of seconds before swiping ArtRage up, it can take a few seconds to save background data!).
2. Restart your iPad by pressing and holding the Power and Home buttons until it shuts down (ignore the power off slider, keep holding them buttons!), then restarting it if doesn't auto restart when you release the buttons.

Try that - Does it help?

Edit: I also realised that I should check everyone has updated to 2.1.1 from the store. It shouldn't make any difference at all but it helps to be in the same environment when searching for this kind of thing.

I'd also like to ask anyone who is experiencing the problem to get in touch with me directly about it over the next few days. If those steps don't solve the problem I'm going to spend some time on it over Christmas to see if I can find out what's happening because I'm planning on releasing another update as soon as I can when the iTunes store system opens again for submissions after the break and if there is anything I can do to solve this issue I'd like to get it sorted in that. So, if you still have the problem after restarting, please drop a note to [email protected] and let us know, that will get to me over the break and I can work with you directly on it.

12-25-2015, 11:33 AM
Update: Thanks to some feedback we now know what causes this, or rather how to stop it happening...

If you're experiencing this problem please go to the Preferences page and turn on Tap and Hold Colour Sampling. That should solve the immediate problem and now that we know how to make it happen we can go in and get a fix sorted for an update when the iTunes store people get back from their break.

12-26-2015, 09:42 AM
When I turn on Tap and Hold Colour Sampling it introduces another problem.

If you use the basic pencil to say draw a rectangle but do it one line at a time (not as a continuous stroke) Each time you try to start the next line at exactly the end of the previous line a small gap is left behind. The only way to solve this is to guess the gap and start the line earlier. I hope Iíve made sense here.


12-27-2015, 11:05 AM
There is often a small gap between the exact start point and the initial rendered stroke due to the way the direction vector is needed to calculate the start of the simulation. That's something that we're looking in to for future updates, it has been in there for some time and happens with the finger as well as the pencil. There may be something that can be done to mitigate it in the short term but the overall solution requires the paint simulation to be adjusted so I'm not sure when it may be implemented.

12-27-2015, 11:27 AM

I understand what you are saying but the point I was trying to make is that this gap does not occur if Tap and Hold Colour sampling is turned off. I only get that gap when it is turned on!


12-29-2015, 11:29 AM
I've done a bit more research and I understand what's going on now. The Apple Pencil doesn't produce actual pressure values until a brief time after the stroke starts. There's a 'predictive' system that tells you what the pressure is likely to be that updates after the stroke begins but using that relies on the app being able to undo previous events and redo them with the correct values. Most paint apps just splat colour blobs on a canvas which means they can go back undo prior blobs that had the wrong pressure value easily - ArtRage doesn't do that because we're tracking the passage of a virtual brush head so we don't have distinct 'prior events' that can be undone and redone easily.

The reason it works when tap and hold sampling is on is that tap and hold sampling defers the stroke start slightly to allow for handling tap and hold events, but when this is turned off the stroke begins immediately. If the stroke begins immediately then there's no discernable gap, but the pressure values may be wrong. If the stroke is deferred for tap and hold, the pressure values will almost definitely be right, but there will be a small gap.

In the long term, the solution to this requires a complete rewrite of how we generate paint strokes, which in turn requires a rewrite of the virtual brush simulation - Our system wasn't designed for devices that don't provide accurate data at any given point but instead give 'probable' values while they work on things like bluetooth updates then try to update previous values post stroke generation. In the short term, I'm looking in to some ways of mitigating the problem in a manner that will remove the gap and prevent the blobs.

Working on it currently, will update when I've got more information!

12-29-2015, 03:26 PM
Okay - Normally I'd edit my old post but this is worth a new post about...

A big guy in red just dropped an idea down my chimney and I managed to decipher it and implement some fixes for an update.

First up - I've all but removed the blob when tap and hold sampling is off. I say 'all but' because there are still some situations in which it might occur due to timing issues (if you paint a really fast stroke or your iPad just happens to be bogged down with processing other stuff at the time of a stroke it may produce an off result), but the behaviour is way nicer. I will be addressing this further in another update that will rewrite the whole way we handle strokes, but I think this is a good workaround that will allow me to get an update out to you in the short term.

Second up - I've removed the gap between the starting input point of the stylus and the start point of the stroke when in Tap and Hold to Sample mode. That one was slightly trickier but it should now be spot on. Turns out that there was a small flaw in the logic for handling the location of deferred strokes and I've beaten that in to shape.

I don't know exactly when the fix will be available. I'm aiming to submit the build tomorrow and as far as I know the store doesn't have any specific scheduled closed time over the New Year break so it may be available next week. I just have one more small issue to deal with before I get it going...

Thanks for letting us know the details on this, it's really helpful having specific information on problems. Internal testing can never quite cover the entire range of issues that can hit a product like this and we really appreciate everyone who takes the time to communicate issues with us and help when we ask (sometimes seemingly unimportant) questions.

12-29-2015, 05:18 PM
You Rock Matt! Thanks for your dedication in stomping out bugs when they appear in the cracks!!!

12-29-2015, 10:18 PM
That's what's great about Artrage. You always get first class support.

Thanks Matt and crew.


12-30-2015, 02:39 AM
Excellent stuff Matt, a great effort!

01-24-2016, 09:08 AM
Nice job Matt. Works much better now. I still have a few issues with the pressure on Apple Pencil but it's nice to see how much you are listening to the users. It's a great app that has it's own niche. I am struggling with the way pressure is used. Strokes are always too narrow at the start then get wider. A flat brush needs to start out flat and the default width size. Then get wider with pressure from there on. It might be good to have a setting on the brush presets to disable pressure sensitivity if we want to. Then at least there is a work around when we feel pressure is misbehaving or we want a consistent stroke.


Top row is round brush bottom row is square brush.
Strokes are too hard to manage with pressure right now. Always narrow at the start no matter how big the size of the brush is set.

But working much better overall :)

01-25-2016, 01:05 PM
The pressure is something we're looking into and hope to have a fix for soon. The Pencil's pressure handling changed since we added support for it, so it's not acting quite as intended.

02-01-2016, 08:35 AM
I understand the pressure problem if Apple has changed things. I would still like to see an option to disable pressure as part of the brush preset. I understand I can use my finger now and it will react without pressure but I'd prefer to use the pencil. Even if I could disable pressure all together for the pencil in preferences that would be better than not being able to disable it at all. One step better would be to add adjustments for minimum and maximum size for pressure per brush preset like Procreate does.

02-19-2016, 09:14 PM

I'm experiencing this blob at the start of the stroke. This is making the square brush unusable for me :(

Also would you consider making a brush shape that corresponds to a flat brush and the angle change depend on the direction you're holding the pencil, instead of just following the stroke direction? I think this will make the oils much more realistic and I'll be happy to buy it as IAP. They are my favorite brushes in traditional painting :)

02-19-2016, 09:20 PM
The pressure is something we're looking into and hope to have a fix for soon. The Pencil's pressure handling changed since we added support for it, so it's not acting quite as intended.

Have they changed it with the iOS update?

02-22-2016, 04:09 PM
Have they changed it with the iOS update?

Still being worked on! There's a few fiddly tech things involved.

03-19-2016, 11:07 AM
Is there any hope of this pressure problem getting fixed soon on the Oil Paint brushes? It's hard to work with it the way it is with all strokes starting out so narrow and pressing so hard to get the full width. No way to start the stroke with a wide brush unless I paint with my finger.

03-21-2016, 10:40 AM
We've got an update in testing now that should help with the delay the pencil has in sending pressure values to the app when you start painting. I hope to get it submitted for store review this week.

07-12-2016, 06:51 AM
Any chance we can see an update to allow us to adjust the pressure curve directly? I'd love to set the pressure for a mark to start higher then the click feature so I could move the pointer around and even "ghost" a stroke before making it but see the pointer move with me (like hover with wacom tablet on the desktop).

Also, tilt sensitivity curve control or multiplier might be really helpful with getting the Pencil Tool to be able to adjust it's size to an even broader range of shading.

08-28-2016, 08:53 PM
I am only just starting on ArtRage but had this problem on another app.
I thought it was because I tapped down too sharply at start of line.
My 3 new questions are:
1. How do I get to use 'pressure pen' and 'opacity' pen on ArtRage canvas?
2. Though I have the 12 inch iPad, I'm only getting a small size canvas.
3. I want to draw cartoon strips, and hope to store my cartoon characters for repeat use etc. Can I?
And does Art Rage have strip cartoon template squares / templates to use?
From Appy (hope you can help)