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Wacom driver update



  • Brian Lawson Community moderator

    I adjust my Video Card Strength setting all the time. As performance of the brush degrades I will lower the setting as Kevin has described. When I've finished with the photo I was having issues with I will reset it to the high end then set it back again as needed.

  • Wayne Gallagher

    I have seen so many different scenarios, for example, if I crop the photo prior to working on it it affects response of the Wacom.

    If I zoom in while working on the photo, it reduces response on the Wacom.

    As I add filters, it affects and reduces response of the Wacom.

    If I turn on the view so I am seeing the brush strokes and not the photo, it affect the response of the Wacom.

    This certainly can't be classified as acceptable behavior for a streamlined workflow.

  • David Kick

    I just added a bunch of filters in effects to a photo and was able to get significant brush lag in a local adjustment and can also confirm setting video card strength to a low level and smooths the brush out ---- seems really counter intuitive but it works.


    Actually this behavior is documented in the user guide --- go figure

    The Performance section is designed to help you optimize Photo RAW for your specific setup. The adjustments you can make are as follows:
    • Video Card Strength balances updating the preview of the image and the movement of brushes and gradient tool overlays. If your brush is sticking try turning it down. If you have a high-end video card try turning it up for faster preview updating.

  • Wayne Gallagher

    I don't consider a 1080 Ti a low end video card, and yet as Brian mentioned, it seems it requires constant tweaking of all of these values to remain with an optimized brush. I sure hope there is a better fix than that.


  • David Kick

    Wayne based on the user guide I am not sure this has anything to do with low or high end cards I think it's really just finding the best value for your system.  I was assuming a high setting for Video Card Strength was best ( higher is better right??)  but I just tried a few things with is set to the lowest setting and I don't see any issues leaving it there and the improvement is smoother brushing with a bunch of filters applied. My card - GeForce RTX 2060 - 6GB RAM 


    Edited to add - I guess the low setting does seem to cause a bit of lag when brushing with the mouse. So again maybe finding a good middle ground that works for your machine.

  • Kevin Pinkerton

    David, I think your comment about the Video Card Strength perhaps not having to do with low or high end cards is what triggered me to send in a report. In the description in the manual, they use the words high-end video card when they mention that control. And if I use the mouse instead of the wacom pen, I do not see any lagging under the same conditions.

    And for me, there seems to be a magic point (right near 50%) that is I go below it, the pen works great again, and above it, it gets worse. But maybe I need to add more filters to see that point get lower.

    It might well be working as they want it to, but it makes no sense to me why the wacom tablet (under Ink only) seems to be so affected by this slider, especially if it has something to do with the GPU card.

    And I also agree with Wayne, a 1080 card is not a low end card. I have one and I bought it because it is not a low end card.

    I figured it might be a completely hidden issue that will give the software developers something to go "What??? Let me look. OMG, that is a bug and I would have never, ever thought to look there for a Wacom issue". 

  • Wayne Gallagher

    Hi David,

    Thank you again, my problem is I can't get any consistency in the changes. If for example I go all the way down to minimum in video card strength, it seems to work for a short time. If I change the photo to with a crop the movement becomes more erratic, on this system, no matter how I adjust, I don't get the same thing even if I put it all in the same location.

    Change photographs, different results.

    In your quote of the user guide, I was referring to the wording if your brush sticks turn it down, I do this and the brush may stop sticking but then moving around in browse gets very slow, and vice versa.

    I can't believe we will have to have multiple settings one for browse and one for edit and figure out ourselves how our system will respond. That just does not seem right.

    I can't find a happy medium if my results change from one photo to the next.

    Sorry, but this is dizzying in what I am seeing, this system is only 2 years old, and it handles everything else I throw at it, including Topaz, Affinity and others. Definitely confusing, not just for me, I am sure the engineers are somewhat baffled as well, I had correspondence with them today on my open ticket, and I directed them here to see if reading through this might give them an a-ha moment.

    Well, I'll keep chugging away, and hope we can all help in reaching a finding or at least a compromise that will work.


  • David Kick

    Valid points Kevin and I agree the 108ti is not a low end card. I just tried to find it and couldn't but I am pretty sure on one of the posts in the Plus forums Hudson Henry indicated the On1 team used 1080ti cards.

  • Brian Lawson Community moderator

    A lot of the impact you see on brush performance vs what filters or effects you have applied and when you applied them has to do with how the program processes our images, the order in which it does things. Things you are doing in one location cause the rerendering of other pieces which slows down brush response.

    This is from the User Guide section on The Editing Pipeline (pg 8):

    1. The base image is always at the bottom of the stack. This is your original, and you can always get back to that file.

    2. Since retouching—operations like removing dust spots, editing blemishes or skin imperfections—is often the first thing many photographers do to their images, Photo RAW applies these operations first. This way, all subsequent edits will incorporate these changes.

    3. Next are settings applied in the Develop tab. This includes the application of color profiles, global exposure, color correction, sharpening and noise reduction, but any adjustments made in the Transform pane.

    4. Local adjustments made to an image are applied next.

    5. Any Transform operations are applied after local adjustments.

    6. Edits made in the Portrait tab are applied next.

    7. Any filters applied in the Effects tab are applied last.

    8. Text layers sit above the image stack.

    9. Finally, any cropping or rotation information made to an image is applied to the file.

    When you apply a rotation then work on an Effect or Local Adjustment, everything in the pipeline above what you are working on gets re-rendered as you work. This is what the strength slider controls, how much of the GPU is used for rendering vs tracking the changes as you brush.
  • Kevin Pinkerton

    I have been focused on the Windows side of this issue, particularly the sluggishness of the sliders. I am fairly certain there is something in Windows that is adding latency to any pen movement. From what I have read on the internet, what we have here is Microsoft's Ink which is basically a complete interface to a tablet. Then on top of that we have Wacom drivers. So Pen action <-> Wacom Driver <-> Window's Ink/Tablet driver <-> ON1. On a Mac, the OS does not provide this extra layer (or it allows Wacom to not use it or something. So that is why the tablet is so much faster when it is running under mouse mode vs pen mode.

    I have found plenty of things in the windows registry to tweak, and I suspect that many of them are legacy entries and no longer used. But I have found something that might be helpful. It is really hard to say, but if you have issues with stuttering and sluggishness with the pen, on sliders anyway, it might help.

    Go into Windows Settings / Devices / Pen & Windows Ink. Uncheck everything in there, or turn it all off. Then just check the box labeled "Let me use my pen as a mouse in some desktop apps". I think I get faster slider movement with almost no perceivable delay, but everything is working well for me anyway, so I am not sure.

    I found a way to go into the registry and turn on legacy pen mode as well. It appears that a Windows 10 update really hosed the Wacom pen up. If you want to set the following registry value as shown. The default is 0, which means do not use the legacy interface. You will have to reboot to see this change anything. I am running with the default (0) because I could not determine that this did anything to my machine.



  • Kevin Pinkerton

  • Kevin Pinkerton

    One last thing to play with. Registry mods. Use only if you know what you are doing. This mode probably requires you to log out and back in. (Not reboot, but logout). This could very well be legacy registry data. I have tried it both ways, and I think it helps, but again, my machine is running very well right now with Wacom and Ink. Before you play with this Wisp registry entry, do a right click and export the  current (and probably default) Wisp key set out to a .reg file. This way you can modify without worry. Just double click on the .reg file to put the keys back to default. You can also import as well from inside the registry editor. Or if you are not sure, do not play with the registry at all. There are a couple of entries that you will see a value of 3. This is what I found on the web to turn off the functions (such as flickmode). Mostly I just set anything that looked like delays or whatnot down to zero.

    *** .reg file contents of what changes I made ****

    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00








  • Wayne Gallagher

    Honestly, I am not someone that is comfortable playing around in the registry of windows.

    The problem here, in its simplest form, I can add one effects filter to a photo, go to the masking on that filter, and the brush runs around and does its thing pretty as you please. Then...zoom to 100%, and the software stalls, not the computer, just the software. I can take the blue spinning cursor to the bottom of the screen and open any other window that is there.

    On Beta 2 everything was running. So...this in the nutshell is why I am stumped.

    It seems to point to a program problem????

  • Kevin Pinkerton

    I am not sure if it does, but having the beta and not seeing the issues, and then now seeing the issues certainly would point to something changing in ON1.

    I did just notice some intertwining of some of the preference settings. You might want to play with that. 

    Under the On1 Preferences/System and then Performance group... As stated in the manual, the Fast Preview does work better with high-end GPUs. I had the Video Card Strength (VCS) slider just up past 50%, a workspace open with several layers in it, and I was working in the lowest layer in an effects module for testing performance. First I put up the mask and used the pen to do a gradual line around the mask looking for smooth tracking. First I unchecked Fast Preview and tweaked the VCS up until I started to see stuttering in the pen stroke. I backed it off in small amounts until I got smooth strokes. Then I checked the Fast Preview. I saw that now there was stuttering again in the mask pen strokes (using pressure). So I backed the VCS off until I got smooth strokes. I would guess that I am now sitting just below 50% on the VCS.

    Try tweaking VCS until you get smooth pen strokes in a mask in a filter in a good example of your workflow. Then try the 100% zoom and see if things are better. I can tell you that I can not have the VCS slider much higher than 55% before I begin to see sluggish and stuttering. So 85% (and I have tried about 85%) would be way past the threshold.


  • Kevin Pinkerton

    Maybe just set the VCS down around 25% and see if the zoom acts the same way.

  • Wayne Gallagher

    Kevin, I can't tell you how much I appreciate you taking all this time to look this over. I too have been spending time on this, but I can't come up with a good position, and I don't know what else is afoot here.

    Something is not right, when I can use my Wacom as designed on one version and the following 2 or more I can't (referring to 2019), find it again (finally) in the Beta 2 for 2020 only to lose it as soon as the official version comes out.

    I have had VCS all the way from one end to the other and none of the results are mission ready. I need a steady and streamlined workflow as we all do.

    I can not continue to put this kind of time and effort into this, I am falling too far behind on getting my photos up and ready for customers and all of that.

    I really like where ON1 is going, but there is something wrong somewhere, you should not lose working software for not working software from one delivery to the next.

    For now, I'll keep trying as time permits, but for now I have to find another way to finish my editing. I am disappointed, I want so much for ON1 to succeed, I see so much potential in this software, but I can't keep losing my time to troubleshooting as much as I am.


    Thanks Again, and I'll keep monitoring and testing when I can, in hopes someone finds something.

  • Pawel Szczupak

    Hi Wayne,

    >On Beta 2 everything was running. So...this in the nutshell is why I am stumped.

    I have similar issue. Beta 2 was relatively smooth. Final 2020 version is again much slower when brushing with the Wacom (Intuos Draw in my case). But I tried brushing with a mouse and it was as fast as it was with Wacom in Beta2.


    Additionally, switching to portrait tab freezes PhotoRAW 2020 completely (I tried it twice and both failed).




  • Wayne Gallagher

    Hi Pawel,

    Thank you so much for commenting, I had not seen anyone else mentioning any failure and I was crazy that I was going to have to do a lot of work in this machine to figure out if it was a one only problem.

    I am both sorry you are having trouble, and glad that I am not alone. Gives me hope that others will chime in so we can get this looked at quickly. Multiple customers with this issue will help us get it higher in the priority.

    I do have a trouble ticket in to ON1, and suggest if you don't, please do, to help escalate this issues. Anyone else reading this, please chime in so we can get this fixed, Wacom users deserve to get this problem fixed, it has been months, on and off for some, but months of not having this tool in our arsenal generally speaking.



  • Kevin Pinkerton

    Yes, please open a ticket. I see immediate brushing when I use a mouse, and not so immediate brushing when I use the pen. 

    I do not install beta versions of ON1 software anymore. Too many problems when the final release comes out (for me anyway).

  • Pawel Szczupak

    Hi Kevin, Wayne,

    "unfortunately" disabling Windows Ink in the settings of the Wacom Tablet (only for On1 PhotoRAW) helped in my case. Now there is no difference between the mouse and tablet. I have just tested it with two 24Mpix photos and it is as fast as Beta2. Still no as fast as Capture One, but one can work with it (as a hobby photographer). Adding 6 effects and 5 local adjustments does not slow it down.


    Before turning Windows Ink off I had troubles with 10Mpix photo and one effect.



  • Kevin Pinkerton


    That also works for me. However, with Windows Ink off there is no pen pressure sensitivity so for doing masking and things that require fine control over the pen pressure, this stinks. If there was a way to turn Windows Ink on and off without going into the Wacom properties, that would be workable. But right now, I want pen pressure, so I need Windows Ink enabled.


    The Windows Ink and pen pressure issue is not only an ON1 issue, but it is also a PS issue and probably some other packages as well. There is a work around for PS using a text file that PS reads. 

  • Brian Lawson Community moderator

    That pretty much says the problem lies somewhere between the OS & the Wacom drivers. Interesting that Ps has a workaround. I wonder if it is a script for turning off Windows Ink. :)

  • Kevin Pinkerton

    Brian... this pretty much explains what I think is happening, but perhaps a bit differently with ON1. Still the problem seems to be that there is a Windows tablet driver that Wacom has to interface with using it's tablet driver. Two levels too deep...

    Comment found in the above comment I posted... "I believe what it is is that there are three separate pressure sensitivity APIs at work -- that of Microsoft, Wacom, and Adobe, and apparently there's a clash when all three are at play at once. What the PSUserCong.txt file does is slightly rewrite one of them so that there's no clash. I'm no expert, but that's basically what it is in a nutshell -- I'm sure someone will give a much more detailed and succinct explanation"

  • Brian Lawson Community moderator

    Thanks Kevin

  • Al Aikens

    Gentlemen, I want you thank you for your posts.  It helped my diagnose and overcome my Wacom pen performance. It now performs as I expect, pressure sensitive with very little to no lag.  I did find that performance is better with driver version 6.3.30-6 than with 6.3.37-3.  For now I am going to leave well enough alone.  

  • Pawel Szczupak

    Al Aikens so what did you exactly do that the pressure sensitivity works and the PhotoRAW brushing does not slow down dramatically? I think the solution has not been found yet. Was it the older driver version?

  • Kevin Pinkerton

    I have done exhaustive testing (but not with an older driver).

    1) You must have Windows Link checked.

    2) The only thing that makes any difference on a Windows machine from there is to tweak the Video Card Strength. This is the ON1->Preferences->System dialog box in the area called Performance. If you are fortunate and the sun and the moon are aligned and you are not dealing with many effects, you can keep this slider at 75 to 100% and get great response from the pen. As things get busier and busier, the pen movement stutters and the slider controls do not react immediately. Sometimes the sliders do not react at all. Sometimes you can double click the pen tip and get the sliders to react. At this point, moving the Video Card Strength slider in preferences down to around 25 to 30% can make a big difference.

    All in all, it sucks big time. I have been trying out Capture One and it has absolutely no issues with the Wacom and the pressure sensitivity. I think (but am only using my intuition and 40 years of programming) that ON1 has too many things that it is trying to keep updated at the same time and the amount of code that is processed each time the pen moves is beating the software to death. Perhaps it is a design issue, but lets hope not as that is not easily fixed,.


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