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macOS Sierra / Corel Painter Essentials 5 / Wacom Intuos /lag & strokes continuing

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  • macOS Sierra / Corel Painter Essentials 5 / Wacom Intuos /lag & strokes continuing

    Hello all,

    New to digital design, have dabbled for a long time with sketching and wanted to be able to do it digitally. So I picked up a Wacom Intuos and got to work. The problem I've run into is that in Painter Essentials 5 the brush strokes have some... lag, for lack of a better word. I know what you're thinking, this has been answered a thousand times. But this is a little different than the other issues that I've seen around the interwebs. There is a bit of lag, but then my brush strokes keep going. Like, seconds after I have picked up. So I did some testing to see whether it was hardware / software. Here's my setup:
    Late 2011 MacBook Pro, 15", i7 2.2, 8GB RAM, SSD, 10.12.1 - Bootcamp'd with Windows 7 (all relatively fresh installs, very minimal at this point)
    So in my testing I've found-
    The tablet works fine doing (literally) anything else in macOS. I've turned ink on and off (it was off by default) and played around with it. It works great, no issues. I loaded GIMP and played around with the brushes. I played around with the tablet/pen settings inside of Corel to no avail. However, I did notice that there is no lag inside the brush testing area.
    So I figured, just to see if it was just how Corel operated (kind of doubted since it was paired with the tablet), that I would install in Windows as well. Turns out it works fine there, too. The only place I saw issues is when using a 'resource heavy' brush (I'm not really sure what to call them, but they would be the ones that use hi-res images as brushes). So that made me wonder if for some reason Corel on macOS is using more resources than it should. And it looks like it's using a lot, but I'm still relatively new to activity monitor so I can't be sure (I believed it showed 132% CPU usage?).
    Anywho, I've done a bunch of searching and it seems if anyone else had this issue it's been dwarfed by the ink lag issues, so I have come up empty handed. I figured I'd post something on Wacom's forums but it's been shut down. So I figured I'd come to a place where people use might use these in the real world all the time.
    This isn't a huge deal as I can always use Windows to work with it but the goal was to use macOS for this sort of thing (I've always been a Windows person but have been wanting to get into Macs as every creator I talk to makes it sound like it's the way to go)

    Hoping someone can guide me in the right direction. Any help is greatly appreciated.

  • #2
    When a program lags the very first thing I check is the amount of free disk space on the scratch drive (guessing that is your onboard hard drive.)

    The next thing I do is start shutting off background programs to see if there is a conflict (outlook is a fairly usual culprit.)

    The next thing I start scoping is the bug reports. Wacom has a known bug that came in with El Capitan. It is unclear if it ever has been fixed and now we are on to Sierra.

    132% on the CPU? might want to check that again.

    Have you checked for driver updates?
    What Wacom did you pick up?

    I had a little look around.
    What you don't mention is the resolution/canvas size you are using. Corel Painter is extremely limited in this respect.
    That could be the reason the lag is not showing in the brush test area.
    If your brush is very large, your canvas size is over 11x17 and your resolution is much over 100, it will lag pretty much no matter what OS you are using. Especially if you are using raster brushes.


    • #3
      Thanks for the reply.

      Free space is about 274GB on an SSD, assuming that you are talking about the OS drive (I haven't heard it called a scratch drive before, but assume that's what you mean). *edit- I actually just looked this up- These are small files, with just a few brushstrokes across them for testing. It shouldn't be using enough RAM at this point to require scratch drive space, but it's something I will look into* To be clear the program itself works fine with a mouse, it's only the wacom that lags, and only in corel.

      Background programs are something I can look into. It's not too high on my troubleshooting list as of now since the tablet is working fine with everything else... but maybe something is affecting Corel directly. Something to look into.

      The Wacom 'bug' that I found through searches is the one that I refer to in my original post. This is different and ink was never turned on to begin with. I'm not saying it's not associated to the same bug, but the known fix does nothing to my problem. If there is another known bug I didn't see anything on it and would love to know more.

      I looked into the CPU usage. Apparently on macOS it shows the % relative to a single cpu core. So if you are using a multi-threaded program you can achieve greater than 100%. (Literally 400% on an i7... interesting)

      The driver is the latest available from the wacom website. It is the Intuos tablet. I haven't looked into finding an older version of the driver yet, but plan to soon.

      I was using a standard canvas template. It was the 11x8.5 with 150ppi. Brush size was always the default size for the brush. I wasn't trying to do anything fancy, I was just testing to make sure it worked. After your post I thought I'd look into the res/brush size theory a bit more. So I made a canvas that was 480x200p with 50ppi. I chose a basic pen brush and used it at 1px. It was almost usable in a straight line. But as soon as I attempted anything resembling a circle, it would go off on it's own again, creating some sort of abstract shape.

      I wanted to comment on the last statement of your post. I (as previously stated) have this macbook bootcamp'd with Windows 7 and also have everything for the Intuos installed in Windows. It performs just fine on there (less the crazy brushes). Even at a res of 220ppi and larger canvas size. Point being, it doesn't seem that this is a hardware limitation. It seems to be an issue between Corel and the Intuos tablet driver for macOS. Not saying it couldn't still be something else... but on a clean install it just seems unlikely. I came here hoping that someone else had had a similar issue and knew of a quick fix. I honestly assumed that it would be easier to use on the mac than windows, as highly regarded as macOS is when it comes to digital arts. But it looks like it's just like any other OS. I'll continue working toward a solution. Feel free to throw in any other ideas and if / when I find a solution I'll post it here.


      • #4
        Have you tried customer support at Corel? Or Wacom? Email? Chat? Phone?
        It could be they have not fixed this particular bug yet. I've been waiting years for Adobe to fix one they put into Illustrator version 10 (that's pre-CS even), and several others in Indesign.

        You have to understand one thing about Corel. It wasn't and probably still isn't a native Mac program. Corel only got semi-serious about providing a mac-compatible piece of software about 3 years ago when people were making calls trying to find an alternative to Adobe's ransomeware program scheme. Corel missed a really big boat that year.

        According to the system requirements posted at Corel, CorelPaint doesn't even list Sierra (10.12.x). If you are using Bootcamp to interface the program, not only are you introducing a Mac driver for a wacom, you are running it through an interpreter to get a Windows program to work on a Mac. Other options you could try (though I haven't done it) would be Parallels Desktop or VMware's Fusion but I really think this is a Wacom issue.
        Have you tried any other type of tablet?

        If I need to run Corel, I run it on one of the production PCs. It's not a program we see too often anymore and not worth the time and trouble to try to make it Mac-compatible. It has other issues that take enough time and cause enough trouble. So much so, I have 2 sub-vendors that will not take Corel files at all.

        A computer is a computer. There is nothing special about a Mac other than maybe there are fewer viruses floating around out there (I still wouldn't use one unprotected though.) If you are used to using a PC, you may as well stay on a PC these days. Though a pro version PC can run you just as much in $$$$ as a Mac.

        I guess the other question I should discuss Gimp and Corel Painter...Neither of these are graphic design layout programs. Just sayin'........


        • #5
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