Support > Canvas Designer FAQ > IMPORTANT NOTE: Increase speed using preview mode

Search the FAQ for entries containing:

Canvas Designer used "Photoshop"-like 2D precise vector drawing methods with high-quality anti-aliasing rather than the "quick and dirty" hardware-accellerated 3D graphics you find in many games these days. This means that the rendering of your design may take quite a while if you are for example creating a high-quality design for your new fancy iPad retina with lots of alpha-blended layers and complex elements in it.

What you want is to switch to Preview-mode which can speed things up 20-30 times and your refresh will rarely take more than a couple of seconds. To activate preview mode, long-press on your design and choose preview - as easy as that, and you will be flying away. Please note that the preview mode may show things a bit simplified and blurry, but it gives you a good indication of how your final design will look like.

Further improve speed by using 50% resolution

Especially when using iPad's retina or other high resolution targets, you can further improve your speed by switching to a lower resolution. Simply pinch-in your design to go from 100% to 50% and you will double the speed again.

What I usually do when designing with Canvas Designer is I switch to preview mode and go to 50% zoom and start designing away. Refreshing is a breeze with these settings. Then just before emailing or saving your design, up the resolution to 100% and use fine/normal for your quality settings.

Which elements are slow or use a lot of memory?

  • Bokeh with background-blur enabled is quite slow AND uses a lot of memory
  • Starfields and Clouds are quite slow in high-quality settings
  • Effects: activating blur may be quite slow.
  • Shapes: drawing lots of small shapes with large shadow settings may be quite slow
  • Particles may be slow in high-quality settings with a high number of particles
  • Plants may take a while if there are dozens of roses to be drawn (each one is individually rendered)
  • ANY element which uses alpha blending on high resolution targets and medium/high quality
    (for example, iPad2 retina on high quality takes about 3 seconds / layer with alpha blending) 

You may use quite a bit of memory using either the bokeh element or blurring in the effects element on high resolution targets like the iPad retina. Canvas Designer already optimizes memory usage and offers resolutions way bejond other similar apps, but if you have too many other apps open as well, performance may take quite a hit. If you experience any major issues, please let us know.


Just be aware that Canvas Designer is definitively NOT a real-time animation graphics app. To generate high-quality designs takes some time, but you will be rewarded with excellent results. Please consider these remarks before giving this app a bad rating which unfortunately already happened in some very rare cases.

Your Canvas Designer Team

Last updated on March 1, 2013 by Marc Godat