Frequently Asked Questions
ArtRage supports the two common driver standards for Windows, WinTab and RealTime Stylus. This are the programs that ensure the tablet or touchscreen works properly with ArtRage, allowing you to draw with it.
ArtRage also supports the ‘Precise Tablet’ setting: a high resolution input mode that creates more precise strokes.
Normally, Wintab is supported by desktop-based graphics tablets like the Intuos range, and RealTime Stylus is supported by touchscreen devices. However, it is possible for a specific device to be using the other kind of driver, or to be sending bad data that tells ArtRage it supports Precise Tablet mode, or the opposite tablet driver.
If you are seeing issues with the tablet drivers (e.g. pressure issues, freezes, trouble drawing properly, lag, crashes), the first step is to change the input settings in ArtRage. Sometimes ArtRage is getting conflicting information and only a certain combination of options will work.
Open ArtRage and go to Edit > ArtRage Preferences > Input Settings.
- Make sure that Wintab is ON and Precise Tablet and RealTime Stylus are turned OFF.
- Restart ArtRage and test.
- If that doesn’t help, turn Wintab OFF and RealTime Stylus ON
- Restart ArtRage and test
We also recommend disabling the Windows Ink setting if you are seeing problems, as it can interfere with other programs.
- Go to Start > Wacom Tablet > Wacom Tablet Properties > Mapping tab
- Uncheck “Use Windows Ink” in the bottom left corner
If you are seeing strange behaviour with the menus, or can only use the menus and not draw on the canvas, or are seeing strange zooming, ‘right click’, or unexplainable behaviours, check Press & Hold for Right Click. This is a tablet and touch input setting that can conflict with tablet drivers and software in strange ways.
- Go to your Control Panel > Pen and Touch > Change touch input settings
- Disable or enable ‘press and hold’ (whichever it currently is, change it)
If you are still seeing problems after this, you should:
- Check that your tablet drivers are up to date
- See if the same problems appear when only using a mouse or in Safe Mode or with your tablet driver disabled (if they do, it probably isn’t the tablet driver)
- Contact us for help troubleshooting the problem.
The ‘stroke gap’ resembles a lag when using ArtRage but is actually part of the realistic painting process
Many new ArtRage users notice what appears to be lag when they first use the app. While ArtRage can lag when performing demanding operations, the ‘stroke gap’ is a consistent, non-performance related phenomenon. It is the possible area of effect for your next movement.
It exists as an empty gap between the leading edge of a stroke, and your cursor, or the pressure point of the stylus. This gap will stay empty until you move or lift the stylus (or finger).
It is part of ArtRage’s real time stroke calculations; much like painting with a real brush, the stroke on a canvas is not finished, nor visible, until you move the brush on (if you stop and hold a brush in one spot, you won’t be able to see the stroke that has not yet been finished in that spot).
Size of the gap
The size is based on your current tool size, so the gap increases with larger brushes. The gap is literally the ‘largest possible stroke that you could be about to make’. The larger the selected tool, the larger the gap.
It is extremely visible on mobile devices, because they do not have a cursor to indicate brush size. The Outline cursor on the desktop will circle the entire stroke gap, making it clearer that it is part of the brush stroke, and not just a lag in the program. You can see in the images below that the ‘stroke gap’ actually extends in front of your cursor as well as behind. The gap measures the distance between the midpoint of the stroke (i.e. where you are placing pressure with a stylus) and the end of the current stroke.
Why it Happens
The gap is there because ArtRage is waiting to see what you’ll do next. The next part of the stroke will look very different if you lift the stylus away, double back, change pressure, run into and blend with other paint, or just continue exactly as you are. It would be much more confusing to project a stroke that changed after you kept going.
How can I avoid it? It bugs me.
You can’t ‘turn it off’, as it’s built into the way ArtRage works, but you can reduce the visibility of the gap by zooming out of your canvas view, decreasing the tool size, experimenting with different tools (some display it more clearly than others), or by turning on the Outline cursor in the desktop versions.
It tends not to be noticeable once you become familiar with ArtRage, as you learn what will happen when you make particular strokes.
How can I tell if I’m seeing ‘stroke gap’ or real lag?
Stroke Gaps are constant
A stroke gap will always be a constant size as you draw, and will scale relative to the tool size.
To estimate the size the ‘stroke gap’ should be, make a full pressure ‘dot’ on the canvas with your current tool. The ‘gap’ will be about half the width of this dot.
Note that settings such as Softness (eraser), Hardness (Airbrush), Paper Wetness and Bleed (Watercolor) will affect the apparent size of strokes. For example, in the image below, you can see that the eraser make very different marks at 0% and 100% Softness. The 0% Softness is the closest to the actual tool size.
Lag varies depending on what you do
Lag will cause the stroke to be further behind as you draw longer, faster and bigger strokes, or as your device runs out of memory for other reasons (e.g. multiple apps running, large canvas sizes, little free space). It will not be directly tied to the brush size (though larger brushes use more processing power). There are a few ways to reduce the memory usage.
If you see a very noticeable difference between drawing fast strokes and slow strokes, or between drawing the same stroke at different canvas sizes, that is lag.
Note: Some mobile devices cannot process fast strokes above a certain speed. This isn’t ArtRage lagging, but a built in limitation of the device.
How do I reduce the amount of memory my paintings use while painting?
ArtRage is a very memory intensive program, due to the number of calculations involved in creating realistic paint, and the many options you can turn on while painting. If you find that ArtRage is slowing down significantly at larger sizes, there are a few things you can do to free up memory and speed up the painting process.
- Paint at a smaller canvas size
- Reduce the number of layers (for example, by merging layers once you have finished with them)
- Remove unused References, Scraps, Tracing images
- Use smaller files for the References and Tracing images
- Avoid memory intensive tools, such as Transform and the largest sizes of certain tools (Soft Blend palette knife, Watercolors).