View Full Version : Painter Performance

Yellow Pager
09 September 2004, 01:17 AM
For those of you that have issues with Painter 8's performance, I can now say that the issue isn't RAM related, but processor related. I just moved up from an 800mhz iMac with 768 RAM to a dual 1.8 G5 PowerMac with the same amount of RAM, and the performance improvements are staggering, to say the least. I'm now painting on 20 by 16 inch canvases at 300 dpi using impasto brushes, and I'm not experiencing any brush lag at all (I literally cannot paint faster than the program can render with default brush sizes, with the exception of watercolor). It appears that although Painter is rather RAM-intensive, the math-coprocessor is more critical to speed gains. I highly advise my fellow mac users to not buy additional RAM and instead check out a G5 iMac or PowerMac.
I just wonder if Painter 9, releasing in October, is G5 or 64-bit optimized, and if so, the performance should be unbelievable.

09 September 2004, 11:58 AM
Yeah, 800Mhz G4 is a bit long in the tooth for Painter 8.

It's been a long while since any of my computers struggled with default brush sizes. The real deal is how fast your rig is with brushes bigger than 100 pixels. ;)

And as for 64bit support, we have to wait for 64 bit OSes to enjoy any benefits of AMD Opterons/A64s/AthyFX, IBM G5s and Intel Noconas.

09 September 2004, 06:10 PM
it was during the beta testing period, when Painter 7 was being tested, that John Derry remarked on the news group that Painter brushes were processor driven. technologies like Altivec were not applicable. brush rendering and performance is dependant on raw processing power, therefore the faster the cpu the better the brush performance. i can see the improvement also (i have a G5 dual 2Ghz with 2GBs Ram) with brushes. but things like the liquid ink and watercolor brush animations still render slowly. lower ppi is needed on these. i think the suggestion once ws to use the watercolors at lower rez then upsample, then wait for newer machines to come out that could handle then.

i have another annoying problem- when i move my canvas around with the Space bar there is serious screen draw lag on my image. it resembles the visibility effect that can be applied to a mouse pointer in Windows (like it has a tail). not sure if it is a driver issue or something.


Yellow Pager
09 September 2004, 09:02 PM
I also had the screen redraw issue in Painter 8. As soon as I updated to Painter 8.1 it went away almost completely and only rarely returns, usually when I have the canvas rotated to accomodate my painting angle. Try updating first, then play with some of the settings, such as "draw zoomed out areas with area averaging". Although this is supposed to put a slight drain on system resourses, it shouldnt be a problem for you with the horsepower you have. Also, since I use Painters colormanagement to match PShop, I haven't seen it return, which may have something to do with it.

09 September 2004, 10:12 PM
Jupp, it should be no big surprise that cpu power is more important than memory for speed in Painter. The only time the memory is a problem is IF you run out, as long as you are not close to running out memory will do little for you.

It's more complicated than this though with the processors. Different processors are not ecuqally fast in Painter, even on similar frequences. For example Athlon processors (pc) were not as fast as one would expect in Painter, copared to Intel Pentium IV processors. I don't know if the HyperThreading that the new processors have will do anything for Painter, but I really do doubt it. In some programs the HT (hyperthreading) can speedup calculations with alot. Vray for 3dsmax for example is far faster with HT.

I think we will have to wait quite a while before we can have the advantage of 64bit processors, esp in painting programs. The most important things that I believe need to be done in Painter to add more speed is:
- support for dual processors
- optimizing, always needed, and there seem to exist some problems since Painter6 since may brushes are far slower than they were in painter5
- creative new ways to draw graphics. In theory some brushes could actually be drawn in 3d, this would be extremely fast.
- Incorporate DirectX or similar in Painter, I think this should speed up alot in Windows, but I'm unsure how Painter draws the graphics to the screen.
- Clever ways to make it possible to draw in low res and convert it to high res. In theory this exists in Painter, but I'm not happy with the implementation, and it's also near impossible to make this work great in Painter. However it should be possible to do this, with some under the hood changes on how the brushes work. for the user this would mean that you paint it in low res and then you convert it to high res and it repaints everything with brushes that are larger. You can do this now, but the scaling of the brushes is not correct so it will never look the same.

Hmm, bah I've been seriously burnt from my current job with optimizing things in 3dsmax :P


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