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P: Shoelace shaped brush stroke with Wacom and smoothing on macOS

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Community Beginner ,
Nov 29, 2021 Nov 29, 2021

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I'm getting fed up with you Adobe

Untitled-1 copy.jpg

This is a recurring issue with smoothing creating a "shoelace" effect. I'm on a brand new mac, and a brand new Cintiq. I've tried reinstalling drivers, installing older versions of photoshop, and toying with smoothing settings. As far as I can tell, if I want to use smoothing, it generates these artifacts at the end of my strokes. 

 

I've used photoshop for a couple of decades professionally, but I'm at a crossroads with whether I will bite the bullet, cancel my Adobe subscribtions and switch to Pro Create or another product. Fix this.

 

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correct answers 2 Correct answers

Adobe Employee , Jan 14, 2022 Jan 14, 2022

Wacom tablet has a control panel.  The pen's pressure profile can be adjusted to reduce (possibly eliminate) the shoelace tail.  The profile can be customized on a per device tool and per application basis.

 

Here's a rough profile that will reduce the shoelace effect:

 

JeffreyTranberry_1-1642199822919.png

 

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Adobe Employee , Jan 13, 2022 Jan 13, 2022

Unfortunately this is just the pressure fall off Photoshop gets from Wacom.  Some things you can fiddle with to make this better:

In Wacom settings Options, uncheck Tip-Up Assist,
In Wacom Pen Setting set Tip Feel to more Firm,
In Photoshop smoothing options (gear icon): uncheck Stroke Catch-up and Catch-up on Stroke End,

In Photoshop use a brush that doesn't use pressure, or simply paint slower with a brush that does (not a great options I admit).
You can also try lowering the smoothing and adjust

...

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Community Beginner ,
May 10, 2015 May 10, 2015

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The shoe-lace effect refers to a bug where a pressure sensitive line does not smoothly taper off at the strokes end to a minimum and instead awkwardly retains a noticeable none tapering size for a distance towards the end of the pressure sensitive stroke.

Shoe-lace Bug (brush-strokes do not taper) in PS CC-2014 on Mac Yosemite | Yoel Judowitz Illustratio...

I would sincerely appreciate some enlightenment on the issue of the shoe-lace bug and other bugs with Yosemite/Cintiq24hd/Photoshop

These are the current options for Yosemite + Photoshop in terms of brush line quality on a Cintiq 24hd:


1) Photoshop CS5= Good:good line quality. Bugs: flickering cursor on corners of palettes, search engine windows also have flickering when window is above in PS, PS crashes when color of frame is (accidentally) selected in full screen. (this is with all updates)
2) Photoshop CS6 without White window workaround= Good: good line quality. Bugs: delay when using zoom tool with Cintiq. Delays by other keys as well.
3) Photoshop CS6 with White window= Good: No more delay. Bugs: pressure sensitive lines end with shoelace effect where line does not taper off to minimum and instead awkwardly retains size for a distance.
4) Photoshop CC: same as Photoshop CS6
5) Photoshop CC2014 Smoothing on: White-window has been integrated into program resulting in shoe-lace bug but zoom is smooth
6) Photoshop CC2014 Smoothing off: jagged curves which are horrible and rapid taper which is better than shoelace, but not great.

As you can see on Yosemite there is currently not a SINGLE bug free option for using Photoshop with a pressure sensitive Cintiq 24hd and creating smooth tapered lines aside from PS CS5 which has other issues. According to friends things were not this way on Mavericks.

Is there ANY combination of any version of PS that will give a smooth line quality bug free experience on Yosemite? The only solution I know to this issue is the Lazi Nezumi plugin and that does not work for Mac.

(Please note that these issues are not solved with changing Wacom drivers and apply with all PS updates and Yosemite 10.10.3 and earlier versions)

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Community Expert ,
May 10, 2015 May 10, 2015

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Bugger.  Just put up an answer advising Lazy Nezumi Pro, but there is no Mac version.  Sorry.

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Community Beginner ,
May 11, 2015 May 11, 2015

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Yup. Unfortunately there is no mac version of Lazi Nezumi. I have contacted the creator recently asking if he plans on making a mac version and it does not seem to be imminent.

I think it is time for Adobe to provide some basic line smoothing options in Photoshop above the crude smoothing option currently provided. The smoothing settings on the Wacom do not accomplish the same thing as auto smoothing in Nezumi and do not solve the shoe-lace problem in Yosemite. Every other program has an option like this and apparently it's not that difficult to figure out if Mr Lazy Nezumi could do it. I think a company as big as Adobe is capable at this point of providing such a basic feature.

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New Here ,
Sep 02, 2018 Sep 02, 2018

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Hi, I use Photoshop CS6 and a tablet Wacom intuos pro medium and whenever I do a normal line using the pen pressure the lines pressure at the end of said line ends up extrimely small and isn't smooth at all like this:

IMG_20180902_185416[1].jpg

Can anyone help me?

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Community Expert ,
Sep 02, 2018 Sep 02, 2018

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Try another brush or Customize your pen functions

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New Here ,
Sep 02, 2018 Sep 02, 2018

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I've already tried both of those but the settings don't change anything and another brush if texture is less noticeable but it's there anyway.

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Community Expert ,
Sep 02, 2018 Sep 02, 2018

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They are called shoelace artefacts, but I am not entirely sure of why they happen and what the fix is.  If you are a Windows user, then Lazy Nezumi Pro will definitely fix it.  LNP is a total no brainer if you use a Tablet and Windows OS.  Unfortunately it is unlikely that an OSX version will ever become available.

https://lazynezumi.com/

Also, if you use Windows 8.1 or 10, then you should switch to the WinTab API instead of Windows Ink.  It just works better.  Having said that, I'd had the impression that Windows Ink was starting to work better with CC 2018.  This old thread is one of many that tells you how, but you'll obviously need to adjust the folder for the text file

Use Windows Ink Issue with photshop CC 2015.

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New Here ,
Sep 03, 2018 Sep 03, 2018

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Thanks I'll try it

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New Here ,
May 15, 2020 May 15, 2020

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Hi!

 

I had an issue where my computer couldn't find my drawing tablet after I updated its' drivers, got that fixed and working but once I tried to use it in Photoshop 2020 the pen pressure didn't work anymore. Got it working again by using this method: https://community.adobe.com/t5/photoshop/pen-pressure-not-working-in-the-new-photoshop-2020-21-0-2/t...

Pressure is working again but now I've run in the problem where my brush strokes don't have a smooth end/fade but are instead... round? 

This only happens to me with the newest version of Photoshop (21.1.2), with the previous 2019 version (20.0.9) everything still works fine. I've tried reinstalling PS 2020, roll back to previous version of the tablet drivers, updating it again, restarting computer... nothing seems to work. Is this a known bug, is there a fix? Seems weird that the pressure worked fine on the 2020 version for me up until now... 😕 I'm using a Wacom Intuos CTL-490 tablet on Windows 10.

 

Here's an example with how the same brush strokes look like in PS 2019 and PS 2020 for me now:

photoshop_weird.png

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Community Expert ,
May 15, 2020 May 15, 2020

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I haven't heard of this happening for quite a while now.  Three or four versions maybe.

Are you using Windows Ink or Win Tab?  Whech ever one you are using, try the other.

Do you use Lazy Nezumi Pro?  It is still a totally must have plug-in for tablet users with Windows, and does way more than brush smoothing.  It specifically addressed the shoelace issue back when it _was_ an issue, so if you don't have LNP you can at least use the trial period to see if fixes your problem

https://lazynezumi.com/

 
 

image.png

 

Of course the bottom line here is that it shouldn't be happening, so so either the Wacom driver is not working properly with 21.1.2 or 21.1.2 is interpreting the API differently.  If the latter I would expect swapping which ever API you are using.  I think I swapped back to Windows Ink a couple of version updates ago. 

 

 

 

 

 

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New Here ,
May 16, 2020 May 16, 2020

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Hi and thank you for your reply!

 

I've tried using the tablet both with Windows Ink and Win Tab, closing the program in between, but the problem still persist when using Photoshop 2020. I'm pretty sure I had Windows Ink on as default before this problem occurred.

 

I came accross Lazy Nezumi Pro when trying to understand this problem, haven't used it and tbh I wouldn't want to believe that a 3rd party program is the answer here since everything worked just as it should on the 2020 version before I had to update the drivers. What I find weird is the fact that rolling back to the drawing tablet's previous driver version or reinstalling PS 2020 isn't helping either, and in the 2019 version of Photoshop the pen pressure is working just as it should with the tablet's drivers updated and all... I have no idea why this problem is happening with the 2020 version, is there a setting inside Photoshop that has something to do with the API etc that I'm missing?

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New Here ,
Jun 26, 2020 Jun 26, 2020

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My brush strokes in photoshop aren't coming out the way I'd like them to. I'm using an Wacom Intuos Pro tablet and have tried it with Pen Pressure for size setting on and off and I still get the same result. 

 

What's happening is I make a brush stroke and at the end of the stroke it's fat and then suddenly very thin making it look like it was a circular line with a sharp line added to the end of it not one smooth line. It's subtle, but noticable. 

 

I'm not having this issue in PaintTool SAI (but, then again, I have the option to change the max and min size manually).

 

Is there any way to fix this/settings to minimize this effect? I've used the smoothing tool and it doesn't help with this either. It just made it look like there's a fat nub at the end of the stroke. 

 

what do I do.JPG

 

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Community Expert ,
Jun 26, 2020 Jun 26, 2020

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It's called a 'shoelace' artifact, and is usually associated with drivers, but also with which API you are using (windows Ink or WinTab).  What operating system are you using?  If Windows then one surefire way of fixing it is to use the Lazy Nezumi Pro plugin.  LNP is a total no brainer for table users anyway, and gives you way more control than just Photoshop.

Trevor_Dennis_0-1593231808188.png

 

One of my favourite LNP presets is called Vanishing Lines and makes matching perspective when compositing elements to an existing image a sinch 

Trevor_Dennis_2-1593231985751.gif

 

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Participant ,
Jun 26, 2020 Jun 26, 2020

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It looks like you may be experiencing the same "problem" I thought I was having with Photoshop brushes. Turns out it's the Wacom pen. With a generic round soft brush selected, click the bottom level on the pen. It should bring up the dialog box in the attached graphic. Mine's was set for the first box, Hard Round. Once I selected Soft Round, the brush behaved as, well as I expected it to.  Hopefully this works for you. Trust me, I changed every setting possible in Photoshop before realizing it was the pen. 

 

Screen Shot 2020-06-26 at 7.21.13 PM.png

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New Here ,
Jun 28, 2020 Jun 28, 2020

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Hello Trevor, 

 

Yes, I'm using Windows. I'm looking into Lazy Nezumi now, thank you for the recommendation! I might just go ahead and purchase it. But I am curious as to what you meant when you said it's usually associated with drivers & API. I'm not sure where to look to check any of that either. I might want to try and see if that's the issue first before I make any purchases. 

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New Here ,
Jul 26, 2020 Jul 26, 2020

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I recently migrated computers from a laptop that had 2019 to a desktop that has 2020. When testing this exact thing on both systems with the same tablet, same drivers, everything, I encounter the same problem. I've determined at this point that it might not be a tablet issue but more of a Photoshop issue. As for a solution, I'm also looking for one.

If you don't need smoothing, unchecking the smoothing option in the brush settings helps, but if you're like me and need smoothing for artwork, this isn't really an option.

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New Here ,
Aug 04, 2020 Aug 04, 2020

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Please help, 

This has been quite a long persisting issue. I have a wacom intuos pro medium, which hasn`t been working correctly with PS. When drawing the brushes create dots randomly, almost every other stroke. I can`t use the updated new PS versions because all the lines I draw have the "shoelace bug", in which the lines end in blunt shapes. I can use the PS 2017 version without the shoelace issue, but the annoying dots still persist. 

This is not a wacom issue, I contacted their support earlier. 

My operating system is Mac OS Mojave. 

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Community Expert ,
Aug 04, 2020 Aug 04, 2020

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Hi, sorry you are having problems with Adobe Photoshop. Have you checked for driver updates for your Wacom and for your graphics card? Have you also tried to reset Adobe Photoshop preferences?

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New Here ,
Aug 04, 2020 Aug 04, 2020

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Hello!

Yes, I have the newest wacom driver. I`ve tried different drivers as well, with no difference. I also tried resetting PS preferences 

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Community Expert ,
Aug 05, 2020 Aug 05, 2020

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Hi, I'm rabbit to do a fresh Photoshop installation. Use Creative Cloud Cleaner Tool to uninstall the software and eliminate any corrupt files.

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New Here ,
Sep 23, 2020 Sep 23, 2020

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Pc - windows 10 

Wacome ONE tablet version 6.3.40 - 2 

Photoshop CC v. 21.2.3

I've the PSuserconfig.txt file inserted - windows ink is CHECKED (although thte fix in previous updates was to UNCHECK it - for some reason now it's the opposite.) I've rolled back updated for both photoshop and wacom (restarting inbetween each one) Tried all combinations of rolled back measures. Ive gone into the custom sensitivity graph for the wacom tablet - that helped a little bit but also, not at all. 

Of all teh bugs and problems with photoshop - this is the most annoying and hindering. At least with the paning issue and teh clicking randomly around the canvas, I can fix with a restart. -_- Please help. 

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Community Expert ,
Sep 23, 2020 Sep 23, 2020

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Try unchecking brush smoothing in brush settings (turning it to 0% in the options bar is not the same, although you would think it should be)

 

Alternatively with smoothing on, go to smoothing options (cog wheel in the options bar) and uncheck "Stroke catch up" but check "Catch up on stroke end"

 

 

Dave

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New Here ,
Oct 01, 2020 Oct 01, 2020

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You, sir, are as God amonst men!

😄 Thank you, that worked a treat. Smothing unchecked left the main line shakey. With Smoothing checked and set to 2%, with the Catch up on stroke end on! 

 

Thanks!! 

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New Here ,
Oct 31, 2020 Oct 31, 2020

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Hi! I recently purchased and installed the latest version of Photoshop 2021 on my up-to-date Windows 10. I use a Wacom Intuos Pro drawing tablet. However, with any brush I use, I noticed glitches in the pressure sensitivity. See below; I am trying to draw tapering strokes but rather than tapering at the end of the stroke as my pen eases off the tablet, it adds a "bulb" at the end. The second stroke is closer to what it should output, except for an odd 1 px line at the end. This issue does not exist in any other art programs I use. I tried a clean reinstall of Photoshop and Wacom's drivers. I also tried both unchecking and checking the "Use Windows Ink" option in Wacom Tablet Properties. Additionally, I tried the "PSUserConfig.txt" trick to no avail.

 AGLY lines.png

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New Here ,
Jun 14, 2021 Jun 14, 2021

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When I use my brush I don't get a stroke that tapers smoothly. Instead, I get what I see people calling "shoelace artefact" and some of these people solved the problem by turning off the smooth option in the brush settings or using a third-party software called Lazy Nezumi. The thing is, is there a way i can solve this problem without turning off the smoothing or installing another software/plug-in?Screenshot_1.png

Tablet: Wacom Intuos S - CTL-4100
PS version: 22.4.2

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