I am experiencing severe brush lag when using the mixer brushes. Spinning ball while the brush tries to catch up and often follwed by a crash. The problem is much worse when zoomed out of the image. Changing to Tall & Thin in the History & Cache settings does improve the problem but still it's almost impossible to work on small images that are viewed at less than 50% on the screen.
I'm using file sizes of around 2000 x 2000 pixels 200 dpi. Even with only one layer I'm getting brush lag.. I'm not using excessively large brush sizes either.
I use three machines:
Windows 7/Intel Quad Q9400 2.66Ghz CPU/8MB Ram/ Nivida GeForce GT220 1GB grahics card
Mac Pro/ 2 2.8Ghz Quad-Core Intel Xeon/ 12 Gb Ram/ Nvidia GeForce 8800GT 512MB
Mac Book Pro 2.4Ghz Quad Core Intel Core i7/ 4BG 1333Mhz
The problem happens on all three machines!
I've had no probelms with CS5 or running any other graphics programs.
After trying this on a 7800x6322 16bit image at 2400 dpi I was thinking that perhaps this was processor and GPU related - Using brushes up to 70 px in size worked fine with no lag. There're also around 11 layers in the document. However, I followed your advice and zoomed out to 16%, then selected the largest brush possible (5000px). This time the lag was horrendous, painting one stroke, then crashing Photoshop, without any warnings from Windows 7 about application not responding. Restarting Photoshop led to immediate quits as it tried to recover the document with an error message reading "Photoshop has encountered an error".
Restarted machine and tried to start Photoshop, got to the "Loading PSB document" window as it tried to recover, then went to a BSOD as the graphics driver died. I've received this error once before from CS6 beta. Restarted again, ensured that my graphics driver was up to date (it is) and restarted Photoshop - this time file recovered fine.
So, I can definitely repeat your problem, though my attempt resulted in a little more annoyance! Hope this helps.
Win7Ultimate / i7 firstname.lastname@example.orgGHz / 6GB RAM @1600MHz / NVidia GeForce GT430 with Driver Version 22.214.171.12410
The Mixer Brush does a lot of computational work, so it's always been a bit slow, even in PS CS5. I didn't really find it too subjectively different in CS6, but that doesn't mean it's fast enough, even at relatively small brush sizes. You may need a state of the art computer (or even one that hasn't been invented yet) to be able to paint with the Mixer Brush fluidly at reasonable brush sizes.
But let's try to nail the speed down a bit, shall we? With some hard data maybe you both can say whether you're seeing similar or radically different performance.
I set out to try to objectively measure relative performance, Photoshop CS5 vs. CS6, so I created an empty image with a path in it and some actions to stroke the path with particular brushes. They stop and you can read the timing directly from Photoshop.
My running environments aren't equivalent (I'm running CS6 in a virtual machine vs. CS5 on my host machine), but I do see that Photoshop CS6 is somewhat slower... Perhaps as much as 50% slower.
You can try the same tests:
1. Download the .psd and .atn files I have packaged in this zip file: http://Noel.ProDigitalSoftware.com/temp/SpeedTests.zip
2. Load them into Photoshop (e.g., by double-clicking).
3. Click the little selector for the status box at the bottom-left of your workspace and choose Timing:
4. Run each action in the set, and note the time displayed in the status box at the end.
The times I got were as follows:
7.8 seconds - Round Soft 1200 px
4.2 seconds - Bristle Round Point Stiff 250 px
13.2 seconds - Round Soft 1200 px
5.6 seconds - Bristle Round Point Stiff 250 px
Yes, and yes.
I did remember seeing your comment, and I finally had a few minutes to start on the project. Thanks.
I don't really have time to load PS CS5 into the VM right now. I'm hoping CS6 will run all the better when it has full, direct access to all the computer's resources.
So... Did you try the actions, Pierre?
' I followed your advice and zoomed out to 16%, then selected the largest brush possible (5000px)'
You were using a 5000 pixel brush on a 16bit document, on a machine with 6GBs of RAM, with the Mixer Brush, at that kind of document pixel dimesions, and it crashed the program? To be honest, I'm amazed it didn't melt the machine!
A 70px brush compared to a 5000px brush on a document of these dimensions is not any kind of comparison, frankly, it's comedy!
My suspicion is that at lower zoom levels you make shorter strokes (with a brush of the same size), and as a consequence the strokes draw more quickly.
In any event, my results are 4.7 in the first test, and 2.1 in the second, in CS6 (just for information) Which in any event is pretty good on a document measuring 5000 x 3000 pixels.
The same experiment on the same document, with the same brush presets, on a separate layer, with Sample All Layers active might be interesting.
I believe what I have provided replicates the same use of the same brush on multiple systems, and can be used to get a comparison.
But I agree, a more sophisticated benchmark could be developed that could be an even better ''real world'' test of painting things in Photoshop - perhaps drawing an entire image. It's just that I don't think we're trying to test system against system here and we don't need to get that fancy. We're trying to get to the bottom of whether someone's seeing typical' lag or excessive slowness. Similar or radically different timing from the action on the image I have published above would tell the tale.
Yes, that's very good, Tim (you're really making me want to install CS6 on my host system to see how it will perform).
Now if ab_63 or nuisance_graphics would just try it, we might begin to know whether there's a real problem here, or just differing expectations.
You responded to me, but I haven't had a crash at all, Pattie, save for a couple I caused on purpose to see how the Auto Save works. So I'm assuming you're asking ab_63 and nuisance graphics for their crash specifics.
If anyone from Adobe would like to speak to me directly about this I am more than happy to do so. I have many students who have severe lag with the Mixer Brush Tool and Bristle Tips/Erodible Tips, who have similar/identical system specs, but as ever (as in CS5) 'SAL' plays a huge role in these slowdowns (as does bristle %, length, Stiffness et al). I'm currently trying to find a remedy for these apparently random performance problems, but nothing is concrete as yet.
I realise that the previous 'Texture' issue has been fixed (or at least minimised), but there is still some Mixer brush/SAL performance issues that have clearly not been addressed!
You are free to email me personally via tjs @ timshelbourne .net
Incidentally, this was one of my students who posted originally, without any prompting from myself.
Message was edited by: TimShelbourne
I am having the same problems as the OP and am able to make the brushes workable, but just barely, by keeping the longest side of the file about 1600 px and using Tall and Thin in History and Cache, AND increasing spacing in the brush settings.
I have tried all of the other suggestions without any improvement, these three are the only things that help at all.
I didn't have much of a problem in CS5 even though at that time I had half the RAM I have now.
I really think this is a problem with CS6 and not with our machines, and I'm relatively certain it can be fixed.
I have a relatively powerful machine and a crash with CS5 was a rarity, but use a mixer brush of a certain size and CS6 will crash all day. Interestingly I had problems with the LightRoom 4 beta crashing as well, but as soon as I installed the release version they stopped.
I am hoping for the same thing with CS6
I am also one of Tim Shelbourne's students and I posted about this on Saturday, but no one responded.
Brush spacing does make a difference, but it's only good if we're confusing it with texture within the stroke (to cover up the tyre-tracks)
I'd be interested to know how much of the brush performance has been passed over to the GPU in CS6? I'm hoping that Adobe will elucidate a little in this regard?
I see no significant difference at all. The Mixer brush has always been dependent on ppi/brush size/document size/SAL option. My fear is that this is one of those fundamental product/performance issues that will just get buried once again, and that's a shame.
Just a thought. Let's rationalise this a bit. Test in CS6.. restart (The machine, not the App!), test in CS5.. and report? That might be meaningful? (Regardless of CPU/GPU specific results!)
I've kind of been hoping that maybe somehow more GPU power can be applied to it to make it faster.
I did a whole painting not long ago in PS CS5, where I started with a Photo on a lower layer then brushed the whole thing with Mixer Brush strokes using several different bristle brushes. The photo supplied me with the color and I essentially retextured the whole thing. Came out quite nice, but I did notice that I was struggling a bit all along to keep the spacing small enough so as not to leave those ''tire tracks'' as you call them, while having the brush be the size I wanted for the overall look. I did it in 16 bits (I do most everything in 16 bits as a habit), and at a fairly large size (overall PSD file was a bit under 400 MB at the end). In hindsight I could have gotten away with using 8 bits for probably some benefit in speed. A little embossing left me with a realistic looking oil painting effect. Here's a downsized crop from that effort...
That's a nice result Noel, but 16bit is really pointless when you're talking about a painting! 8 bits or less, sensibly! There's no way we need that degree of colour depth in a painting! Embossing is good, but it's a finishing touch. Include your texture within the brush, not as an addition. And image size (pixel dimensions) should not be a concern.
This is good work nevertheless... painting is not about the brushes, it's about the way you use the brush.
A note to all with this issue:
Assuming you all have verified your video card is supported at :
In an effort to reproduce and determine the cause of this issue, please reply with the following:
1) can you tell me what brush presets you were using?
2) how many of you are using a pen and drawing tablet as opposed to a mouse?
Yes, Mike is the one who wanted to know about which preset brushes were used, but I see he has obtained a lot more info offline now. Also, Adam is looking into whether the tablet may be related. I'd still like to get that from everyone. We have several people looking to different possible causes and trying to reproduce what you see. I'm just trying to get all the info in one place so we know what we are dealing with. Thanks for your help.
The delay in the Smudge tool was mentioned in another recent thread and reducing Cache Tile Size to 128 as a solution. I have delay in Smudge and Mixer tools with 1024 as the Cache Tile Size but when I reduce it to 128, both tools work ok. Please can someone tell me what the Cache Tile is and what real world effect reducing its size has. Thanks.
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