Photoshop: Smoothing "catch up" behaves awkward

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I have mentioned this earlier, but I think the smoothing effect in photoshop behaves wrong. THe main smoothing works, but the way it catches up doesn't make sense and is very annoying when painting. What I mean is that you move the brush to a new location, with smoothing on it lags behind, but when you stop the cursor, the stroke stops a certain distance from where you end your stroke. So you have to guess when you should stop paint for the line to stop at the right place. The stroke should have a minimum speed and maximum speed (which is what smoothing % increase/decrease), so it catches up with the cursor like a trail in water or as how inertia would naturally behave.
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joachim barrum

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Posted 1 month ago

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Julie Stiltner

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I had a similar problem today when trying to use the paint brush to do a straight line holding the shift key . Itwas stopping short ofwhere I started it.
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David Tristram, Employee

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there are two 'catch-up' modes for smoothing while painting.  One happens on mouse-up and the other is applied over time when the brush stops moving and the mouse is held down.  (or stylus, of course)

My experience is when I hold the mouse button down and stop moving the brush, the smoothed brush stroke moves toward the stopped mouse position, gets there after about 2 or 3 seconds and then stops. 

If that is not what you see, please say more about your setup: smoothing percentage, brush diameter, brush preset, doc resolution and color mode, and if you can, platform (mac/win) and hardware configuration.  
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joachim barrum

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None of the catch up works properly in my opinion. Because one of them stops completely but the other one which is suppose to catch up actually almost stops the instant you stop your cursor. It flows in the right speed all the way until you stop. But it should instead adopt the speed you had at that area you were drawing at the time you were painting, like a proper trail, so that it doesn't halt the instant you stop. This has nothing to do with what kind of brush you use, its just the general behavior of the feature. Lazy Nezmuni, the plugin, does it correct, though Photoshops version makes better smoothed lines, so I would really like it to work well in the end of the stroke as well. 

I will show you two videos to try to explain the problem, one video is an example on how it should behave when you do the stroke based on the amount of smoothing, the other show the problem with how it is currently implemented. 



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joachim barrum

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Here you see how lazy nezumi works, with catch up on/off. which is how it should work in my opinion. 

catchup off: https://i.imgur.com/ToL5Ccs.gif

catchup on: https://i.imgur.com/RnAlTGp.gif


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David Tristram, Employee

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thanks, super vids, much appreciated.  In the vid "smoothing photoshop behavior" I see that the stroke's "speed" changes instantly from almost the same as the pointer to a much slower value, and that the strokes takes rather a long time to move to where the pointer is.  So, to me, it looks like two different techniques are used depending on whether the pointer is moving or not, and they are different enough to make it feel wrong.  Am I getting it?

In the second vid "smoothing correct behavior" I am having trouble seeing the desired behavior.  It does look like the stroke's 'speed' stays predicable.  However, I can't really tell where the pointer is during the stroke and how the pointer is moving.  The dots just look like a copy of each other's movement, to me.  

in the LN GIFs, with catchup on, the behavior seems very close to what Ps does, except without the instantaneous change in stroke speed when the pointer stops moving.  In the one with catchup off, the pointer does not stops moving before the pointer button is released, so we don't explore the issue.  Can you tell me how the LN GIFs differ from Ps?

so, thanks tons, this a big help.  
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joachim barrum

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Hi yes I guess my video might show it incorrectly according to technicality, sorry bad example... :) . What Lazy nezumi does makes the smoothed trail line feel natural, it catches up to the pointer in the speed it has all across the movement, while in Photoshop smoothing it does exactly like you say, the instant you stop moving, the smoothing almost stops as well, instead of catching up to the pointer. so yeah, when you paint you have to either sit and wait for the smoothing to catch up, which is very annoying and difficult to work with or you need to lift your hand from the tablet when moment you feel it has reached the point you want it to. Do you see what I mean. While the preferred behaviour would be the two selections Lazy nezumi has, either it stops completely the moment you stop the cursor or it catches up in the speed it has when you stop painting. THat would have been awesome. 
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David Tristram, Employee

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great, thanks.  I think we're on the same page here.  Thanks for the detailed description and for making it clear here.  I will talk it over with the prod mgr and the dev who did smoothing, hopefully we can improve things.  
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joachim barrum

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thank you so much :) 
I was currently writing a new reply while you answered, trying to explain it better. (sorry I'm not a programmer, so it's not so easy to explain what is good/bad in a technical way). 
But to sum up:
Lazy nezumi has two behaviours. either it stops when you stop or it completes the movement until it hits the mouse pointer. 
Photoshop is an inbetween, so you don't benefit from neither ways, because it doesn't stop but it slowly lurks its way to the pointer when you stop, and at that moment it's not very useful. Do you agree ? 
So you understand me correctly, this is the thing I dislike with how photoshop currently does it. If you gave the user the two options lazy nezumi has, 1. stops when you stop 2. completes the movement without slowing down the instant you do so with the pointer...everything else with the photoshop smoothing is great. 


thank you so much for listening, if this gets improved it would have been amazing! 
(Edited)
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Julie Stiltner

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This may be a stupid question but why do you have a line with a circle when you paint?  I have a paint brush. 
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joachim barrum

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the line with circle is just something Lazy Nezumi has to show how the smoothing works. 
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Julie Stiltner

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Oh,