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Thread: Question about layers

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
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    Italy
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    Question about layers

    In latest paintings I worked a lot with layers. I noticed that even with a minimum numer of layers (2-3) at 2000x2000 the (apparently simple) operation of switching the order of 2 layer takes a lot of time (about 10 seconds).

    Maybe AR must recalculate a lot of caches and so on... in this case a "please wait" message is welcome i think.
    Umberto

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
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    Hi Uuderzo,

    I tried creating a 3 layers image, with each layer being 3000x2000 pixels and containing some random strokes for filling them. Changing the order of the layers takes exactly 2 seconds here. Which are your machine specs? It could be a matter of how much memory you have aboard maybe?

    Here are my machine specs, as a point of reference :
    Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 240GHz
    4GB Ram
    Windows 7 64bit
    ATI 4850 512MB Ram


    My advice would be anyway to keep separated layers only when you truly need them, since having too many layers will bring down performances and cause mess (unless you keep em organized in groups and with meaningful naming). I usually create a layer, paint on it, and when it looks fine I merge it down (shift+alt+down) with the underlying layer -- that's unless I think that it is better to keep a particular layer separated, of course.

    Anothe tip for improving performances (and help concentration when painting, lol) would be to have only ArtRage running, when you are painting. No IM software, no browser, no music player etc -- that way most of the machine power and resources will go to our dear ArtRage

    Have a nice time mate,
    Andrea.

  3. #3
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    Hi Andrea,

    I'm working on a Sony Vaio with a Core2 duo 2,66 ghz, 4gb ram hdd 7200 rpm, ATI 4570 512 mb VRam on a Windows 7 32 bit.

    Anyway, photoshop can handle a lot more layers with no apparent slow down. I understand that AR3 is another beast and handles much more data than PS, but the difference is really noticeable.
    Umberto

  4. #4
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    I get the same delay on my AMD phenome 9950 quadcore winxp 4gb ram (3 gig effective)

    anyways no multithreading in AR so I guess it's just the processing power..or winxp vs win7 64bit thing...
    The more hair I lose, the more head I get.

  5. #5
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    Nov 2009
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    Belgium
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    Quote Originally Posted by flyashy View Post
    I get the same delay on my AMD phenome 9950 quadcore winxp 4gb ram (3 gig effective)

    anyways no multithreading in AR so I guess it's just the processing power..or winxp vs win7 64bit thing...
    I spend al my days with artrage and it would be fantastic if the layers of artrage functioned in a way as fluid as those of photoshop :-)

    On my iMac and my macbookpro, I got the same problems than yours with the layers.
    To save my work, it also takes a lot of time.



    iMac8,1
    Intel Core 2 Duo
    2,8 GHz
    Cache de niveau 2 : 6 Mo
    RAM : 4 Go
    Vitesse du bus : 1,07 GHz

    Fabrice

  6. #6
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    Mar 2006
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    Regarding the speed of rerendering after moving layers: If you turn off the canvas lights (using the button in the Canvas Panel or the shortcut key F5) that may speed up the process. When you move layers around a lot of information regarding the texture on the canvas changes and needs to be updated. If the lights are turned off, the process should be much faster.
    Matt
    ArtRage UI
    Ambient Design.

  7. #7
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    Thanks Matt. By turning off lights i get a 40% speed increment. That's good, now moving a layer takes 6 seconds instead of 10. Anyway, after exporting the painting to Photoshop with the same layer count, changing layers order into PS takes no time.

    I understand that AR is not built for using a lot of layers and it's mostly for single layer paintings, but if you have some spare time... you know...
    Umberto

  8. #8
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    Photoshop will definitely be faster, they have to handle far less information per layer than we do and they don't do dynamic lighting. The colours you see on a PS layer are pixel based, so a shadowed part of a stroke is a darker pixel, in AR the colour of the dark pixel is stored as the exact colour of the paint that was used to create it, the shading is added dynamically by the lighting model but this takes longer as the shading has to be calculated, while PS can just move pixels around. The advantage to doing it with a lighting model is that in AR, if you blend with that shaded pixel you don't get a dark smear, because the darkness isn't 'baked in to' the colour of the pixel.

    Even with lights off, we still have to move anywhere up to 5x as much data around per layer than PS does, and that will take longer to handle. For most uses the layering system should be fast enough but with larger images it will definitely slow down a bit. There may be some tricks we can pull in the future however.
    Matt
    ArtRage UI
    Ambient Design.

  9. #9
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    I know that PS data is far more simple than AR's. Anyway, can't wait for you to pull out your triks from the magic hat!

    Thank you Matt!
    Umberto

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    241
    Pssst, Artrage team. Do your layer compositing on the GPU!

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