View Full Version : trying hard to like painter....

01 January 2004, 06:20 AM
I honestly do not understand how anybody can be productive with this product. I love Painter for what it is, what it stands for. But its performance is absolutely unbearable. I work on a dual 867 G4. Virtually every key stroke, every time I zoom, every time I change the brush size increment, make a rectangular selection, undo, refresh, save, turn layers on/off, - anything, I have to wait. And wait. and wait. (Apple: spinning ball) And then sometimes it freezes. What is it with this program? I have struggled with this from day one - I have tried all the generic tips and tweaks to help it along. Nothing works, nothing helps. There is nothing wrong with my system, as far as I know, and my productivity screeches to a halt. Of course Photoshop is a breeze - nimble, quick, brilliant. I am hoping for some golden nugget of information that might part the seas and answer my questions about this. Is this normal performance? is there anything I can do? Does anybody else deal with this excrutiating frustration? How can anybody get anything done with Painter?

I hate to rant - I love digital painting, these forums, and all the work I see in these galleries - and I want to love Painter. Can anybody relate to this?

thank you.

01 January 2004, 07:47 PM
What version are you using?

While Painter is slow relative to Photoshop, the differences are not that substantial. The problem you describe sounds like something different entirely.

I can't help if you're using OSX as I'm still using Classic. Nevertheless, it sounds like there's another problem, probably associated with your system configuration. Since Painter 7 was built with OSX in mind, if you're using 7 or 8 with X you might want to look on Apple's support forums. There are some very well informed people there.

Here are a few isses to consider, regardless.

How big is your Painter pre-built brush file? You may want to archive it if it's over 200 mb and create a new one.

How big are your default Painter "libraries?" The pattern, nozzle and paper libraries can get quite large (100 mb+). Since these are loaded when you launch Painter, you may be using most of your memory before you even start painting.

Similalry, you may want to check the number of "undos" in Preferences. The defaut is 32, which makes memory demands huge, especially when your images are large.

Finally, trying turning off "auto build" for brushes. If Painter is having to recalculate complex brushes under auto-build, you will have to wait, even on a dual G4. Adjusting brush Spacing can help also. When spacing is tight, things will slow down.

The same is true when using Define Pattern with layers. Painting tiling brush strokes, particularly with complex brushes (variable size brushes that turn) will bring most systems I've seen to their knees.

It sounds like there's a bottleneck in the data processing or transfer. Can't say if it's volume (too much), memory or system related, but the problems you're experiencing are not common. Painter works much faster than you describe unless your images are in the 250 mb range.

Good luck.


01 January 2004, 07:59 PM

Since you're a member of TutorAlley Forums, you can go to our Tip o' the Day forum and read both the following thread and the threads you'll find linked at the top of that thread:

Keeping Painter 6, Painter 7, and Painter 8 Running Smoothly

You'll find a hefty list of tips in all three of the threads that should help.

Be sure to delete the Pre-built Brush File after each Painter session, unless it's below 1 MB. Though that may be overkill, it won't do any harm as Painter automatically generates a new Pre-built Brush File the next time Painter is opened.

Also delete the default Painter Scripts library file (Mac, Painter Script Data file/ Windows, Painter.ssd file). The next time Painter is opened, a new, empty Scripts library is generated.

Be sure to hang on to all of those tips and refer to them as needed.

Good luck, :)

01 January 2004, 10:51 PM
thanks for the help. I should have included my version: 8.1, with the patch from 8. I always delete my pre-built brush file, it nver gets beyond 1 or 2 mbs anyway; same for the Painter Script Data. I'm not using scripts, I use relatively simple brushes: sof tpastel, with a feature of 2 or 3 which helps a little.

I just changed my undos down to 5. My file was at around 18 x 7 inches at 300 dpi. Big, but not that big. I shrunk it down a few inches - although if working professionally one can't do that all the time. Recently I went through my system with Norton Utilities, defragmented my harddrive, I do not experience any other problems with my system.

I'll see if any of this helps, I will be amazed if it does because I've done all this on other occasions. I guess I was hoping there might be one thing left that I never thought of or heard about. Maybe there is no clear solution.

02 February 2004, 05:26 PM
well I've found at least one thing that is helping dramatically - minmum of layers!! It's so simple! I'm so used to having tons of layers when I work in Photoshop - because Photoshop can handle it at basically any resolution. But with Painter I started some different techniques where I really use only one layer - the canvas. Then a layer on top to work on, which I then drop. Even with large picture at 300, the speed is now fine. Dumping the pre-built bruch file never helped at all - but everyone recommends that.

Anyway, if anyone else is having speed problems, try to get used to only working with 1 vor 2 layers.

02 February 2004, 11:48 PM
remember that the present layer structure in Painter is relatively new, although the Painter crew introduced the idea (as "floaters") before Photoshop.

Painter works synergistically with Photoshop. . .or that's the way I use it anyway.

Use Painter for painting, and Photoshop for compositing and you'll be getting the best out of each.

If multi-layer functionality is your big issue, consider hunting down an old copy of Live Picture (mac Classic only). It remains the fasted application for compositing many layers. . .

02 February 2004, 12:39 AM
Interesting. I actually find Painter much faster than PS.
I am currently working on some hires pictures, and changed from PS to Painter recently. Simply because using big, soft brushes in PS was nearly impossible on the large canvas I need (and I'm sitting on a 1.6 GHz Pentium 4 with 1 gig RAM). Compared to the lags in PS, the brushes in Painter flow like a breeze.
On the other hand; I never use layers.

02 February 2004, 03:20 PM
Yeah I'm not having any problems at all. I may have to wait for a second if I pick a water color or liquid ink brush, but other than that it runs awesome, which is really weird, because my computer is 3-years-old and never been updated. I'm using a P3 689 Mhz 256MB RAM and 8MB Video card. Freaking horrible at most things, including Photoshop, when that is running I cannot run anything else, but Painter just goes.

I was thinking it, that you might try upgrading your RAM, its a pretty cheap thing to do now a days, but it really will help you with speed issues across the board. And really if you are doing digital artwork of any kind I think its good to have no less than 1 Gig of RAM.

Best of Luck,

03 March 2004, 04:48 PM
I've never found a lag with painter, particulary on my current rig. It's the reason I chooose it over photoshop. And even though Painter is a RAM eating program, I've never had too many lag problems (even on my old rig which only had nasty cheep 256DDR Ram).

But RAM only becomes an issue with the more and more layers you use. IIRC, it needs 4 times the size of the inital image in RAM, and this will usually increase exponetionally for every layer you add.

The best change I made to my rig that made painter work better, was rather than a lot of RAM, was adding a better processor. I'm currently running a 2.8c P4 it's proving intresting as it uses hyper-threading, as opposed to the lower mark P4's. I've got it coupled with 512 of fast RAM. But I'm going to overclock the entire system soon and see how that effects painter. See if upper the processor speed has any effect, and plus Painter will provide a good stability test.


03 March 2004, 01:34 AM
I know what you mean...with Photoshop and Photoshop elements you can create layers till the cows come home and not experience any noticable lag. So awesome for getting proportions and composition right. But in Painter layers/floaters slow things to a snail's pace and have the added benefit of causing strange things to colors...I've only noticed it when I go above 3 layers. In photoshop and really alot of other 2D apps as well I normally leave my canvas blank and then put background and everything else on layers. I've noticed I have to merge things down in painter. But the larger brushes and soft brushes/blenders are way faster in Painter than Photoshop. Use a large soft brush/blender in Photoshop and you can paint a stroke, go get yourself a cup of coffee, come back and drink your coffee, and watch the stroke complete while drinking your coffee. Funny and frustrating as all get out.

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