Slight Delay in Brush Strokes Appearing


I’ve been using Toon Boom Studio 4 for several months now, with a Wacom Intuos tablet (the small one). I have a relatively new macbook (the black one, purchased last February).

I have found that when doing my rough sketches, after a while my computer starts revving up and the brush strokes don’t appear on the screen until a fraction of a second after I have drawn them. This is quite annoying and is not only impacting the time it takes to do a sketch, but is also compromising the quality of my drawings as well, as I’m sure you can imagine.

Is this a common problem? I’m not sure if this is the same issue that people on here have been referring to as “pressure sensitivity” problems. When I do my good-copy inking, there is rarely any delay and the thickness of the lines does change in accordance with pressure on the pen. Is there some setting that I can change, either with the Wacom tablet or in Toon Boom, that will prevent this revving up and delayed appearance of my brush strokes? Or is this just a common reaction of drawing many, quick strokes at once, as one does when sketching? The revving up and delayed reaction only starts to happen after I’ve been working for ten minutes or so. Something we just have to deal with?

Appreciate any advice.



A possible suggestion is to be sure that the pen definition that you are using for your rough sketching does not have smoothing set above 1. A higher smoothing setting will slow down processing when you are making many quick strokes. You also might want to try toggling draw top layer on and off to see which setting works best. Beyond that you can try reducing the difference between your min and max setting numbers to see if that helps. Just some quick things to try. -JK

Hi JK,

Thanks for your reply and advice.

Actually, my settings have been based on the advice you posted on this
forum some time ago. I use a blue pen with an alpha value of 50%, top draw layer off, and min/max settings both at 5. The smoothness is set at 0. Perhaps I’m just drawing way too many lines too quickly. I don’t like doing the top draw layer on when sketching, because then the lines don’t seem to darken when I go over them again and again, thus preventing me from seeing the final, finely-tuned lines (they just merge into the other lines).

Anyway, the problem seems to come and go. The last two days it hasn’t happened that much.

Thanks again though (especially for the great post on how to do rough sketches in Toon Boom. Before I read that, I was completely at a loss on how to draw the same way I do on paper).

Best regards,


I’m not familiar with Mac operating systems, but if I had to hazard a guess, I’d say that it sounds as though your system is getting bogged down by the extra computation of the pen work. After ten minutes of drawing you’ve loaded quite a bit of vector art into your system, and memory and CPU resources might be getting scarce. You could try testing the theory by booting up fresh, making sure there is almost no other applications running in the background and create a new project in Toon Boom, small camera size and spend ten to fifteen minutes doing a simple project of drawing a ball or small simple object moving about, but with very little line art. See how the pen responds after a while.

I know that I have similar issues in Photoshop when working with extremely large images (ie doing matte paintings at 600 or 1200 dpi) so I try to work on smaller canvases and stitch work together after, because a lagging pen is a creativity killer!


Hi Mark,

Thanks for your reply and advice.

After some surfing around other queries on this board I came across some advice about making changes in the Preferences dialogue box.

I went to “Display” and selected the box marked “Open GL full Scene Anti-aliasing.” I also changed the renderer from “Quartz2D” to “OpenGL” and adjusted the sliders for speed and memory usage.

When I restarted Toon Boom, the drawings look a bit different (slightly jaggedy - not so smooth) but now the brush responds instantly even to very quick strokes in sketching. The brightness of the lines changes each time I touch pen to tablet, and the computer revs a bit, but the stroke speed is not compromised. I decided to simply do my roughs with these settings, then switch back to the previous settings to do ink work and animating.

Looking in the manual, to see if there is anything on these points, it states on page 38 that (in the same Display tab of the preferences dialogue box) you can check the “Disable Overlay” box if “your drawing tools are responding slowly”. I will try this later as well. It may be the simplest solution.

Not knowing much about computers or software, I would never have known to check this part of the manual to solve a lagging brush issue. Anyway, if anyone else has a similar issue, maybe they can try this and hopefully it will work for them.

Thanks again.


When I got home I opened up Toon Boom to try the “Disable Overlay” thing, only to find this option is not in my display tab. This is one of two options, which although noted as being there on page 38 of the manual, is not actually there in version 4.0.

Were these options removed for some reason, and the manual just not updated?