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Thread: Apple Pencil Issues

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Posts
    4

    Apple Pencil Issues

    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
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    3,140
    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 support@artrage.com 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.
    Matt
    ArtRage UI
    Ambient Design.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Posts
    10
    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.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    New Zealand
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    3,140
    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!
    Matt
    ArtRage UI
    Ambient Design.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    3,140
    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 support@artrage.com and let us know, that will get to me over the break and I can work with you directly on it.
    Matt
    ArtRage UI
    Ambient Design.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    3,140

    Exclamation

    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.
    Matt
    ArtRage UI
    Ambient Design.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Posts
    6
    Matt,
    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.

    Mike

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    3,140
    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.
    Matt
    ArtRage UI
    Ambient Design.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Posts
    6
    Matt,

    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!


    Mike

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    3,140
    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!
    Matt
    ArtRage UI
    Ambient Design.

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