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Thread: Slow saving and layer manipulation

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Posts
    8

    Slow saving and layer manipulation

    Hi,
    I am painting 17"x8" 300dpi illustrations (watercolor) and when I go to save I can literally go make a cup of coffee and come back and twiddle my thumbs for a couple more minutes. Similarly if I wish to move layers.
    Is there any way I can speed up this process. I do like to save a lot as I work for I dread a crash ( luckly there is no crashing phew). I do not have these delays when I use photoshop and am wondering why these delays and how I can possible speed them up or eliminate them.
    Below is my info - maybe it will help- maybe I need more ram??
    artrage 4., using a pc
    18.8gb C disk free
    4gb ram,
    processor 1.8ghz
    Thanks for any help.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    3,140
    That's a pretty large image and because we handle more data than just flat colour on each layer it is going to take a lot of time to save to disk and manipulate layers. ArtRage can end up using anywhere up to five times as much data per layer as Photoshop due to extra stuff like paint thickness and wetness. Here are some things you could try:

    While you have enough RAM to cover the maximum amount ArtRage can use, try to make sure that nothing else is running in case something is using up a chunk and slowing it down. More RAM would only help if you wanted to run other applications at the same time that use a chunk of memory.

    A faster CPU is probably the best bet for speeding things up, particularly operations like layer manipulations.

    Consider painting at lower resolution, or painting at a lower resolution and recording a script while you paint, then playing the script back at the target resolution. If the target printer can work at a lower resolution than 300dpi then that would certainly help, but recording a script when painting at lower resolution then playing it back at higher resolution can get rid of the speed hiccups while you work, allowing you to play the painting back at a higher size at your leisure later.
    Matt
    ArtRage UI
    Ambient Design.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Posts
    8
    Thank for the info. I did close a couple of background program while saving and it was marginally faster. I will read up on the scripts one day, but as this is destined for commercial printer and I have a deadline I am a bit scared to change the dpi and then have to redo if it does not work out; so I will do what I am doing now which is to manipulate in photoshop and paint in artrage, as there seems to be no color problems when I move between the two. Thanks again for your prompt reply.

  4. #4
    I have those same issues too. 300MB files get saved in 2-5 minutes. I even waited for a file to save in 10 minutes.
    My processor is a quad core - q9650 at 3Ghz. I have 8GB RAM and 100GB of free on the system partition and it is defragmented. I hope buying a SSD drive will improve some things... I will report any improvements when I get a good one (the cheap models get slower in time). Maybe the new i7 4-6 cores can do a little better, but I'm not so sure.

    I think some of the giant save times is occupied with some conversions or compressions of data (the file has a lot of properties - paint thickness, wetness). I would rather have giant 2GB files and quicker save times. Maybe a "Save quick and giant file/save slow and small file" option. Right now my files are 100, 200, 300MB and they save in minutes. My HDD can copy data pretty fast (30-120MB/sec) and maybe AR can just dump all the data on the disk, in special, time constrained conditions.

    The program is so good, I can still get over these issues, though. I tried other software, but AR really does shine in render engine, brush performance, paint and canvas simulation (ergonomics and UI too). For less demanding work I have to go with other tools, unfortunately.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    939
    Hi alexart,
    you were wondering what an i7 might do?
    I typically work at A3 or A4@300dpi so here are some numbers from my last A3 sized painting;

    Painting size = A3 (420mm X 297mm)
    Dpi = 300
    37 layers in 9 layer groups.
    3 reference images.

    File size = 263MB
    File Opening = 52 seconds
    File Saving = 1:46 (min:sec)
    Number of cores active during save = 2 (No hyper threading)
    Maker Of Replica Macoys

    Techie Stuff:
    ArtRage 5.0.5 ~ 15" Macbook Pro
    + 22" HD Monitor ~ macOS 10.12.6 ~ 4 Core i7 3.1GHz CPU ~ 16GB RAM ~ Wacom Intuos4 M and a Spyder4Pro (to keep the colours true!)

  6. #6
    Great numbers, markw. That's the typical scenario for me too, as file size and number of layers go. I guess the "newer is better" rule applies here too I get twice to 5 times the times you get, as expected.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    3,140
    Saving uses a single thread, mainly to avoid potential conflicts if independent threads complete at different times in the wrong order. When you save an ArtRage file the application needs to compress each channel that makes up each layer (colour, texture, wetness etc.), which means converting the in-memory data block to a PNG for export to disk. That can take some time, especially if the data is complex. Threading the compression code is something from nightmares, it's so prone to accidental error and during save we try to be as safe as we possibly can.

    In addition, ArtRage 4 works to make sure that you don't get memory issues during save by caching layers to disk. This ensures that the app has enough memory to run the compression pass over each layer that is to be saved. It's a way to prevent situations in which a file that is right on the memory limit can't save due to not having enough memory available to compress its data. This does add on to the time for save as well, but it's an important safety feature in the save pipeline.

    That said - 10 minutes sounds like way too much. I recently tested a file that when saved came to 1.6Gb on disk and that took around 5 minutes. Processor speed and disk speed are really the only two things that should be affecting this. If the disk is busy with other operations at the time that could slow it down.

    I'll make a note to consider a non-compressed file format, but it does make me nervous - A different standard of PTG that's not backward compatible does present some potential gotchas...
    Matt
    ArtRage UI
    Ambient Design.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    NC, USA
    Posts
    2,874
    The last time I had a save that took that long, I had used a large PNG image as pattern for the Fill tool (which I believe gets saved along with the .ptg during the saving process). I think it had been fixed during the beta testing, but it might be worth keeping in mind.
    Nothing is easy to the unwilling.

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