Loose, loopy ink tracking -- excess smoothing

I love Penbook’s aesthetic and especially its paper designs, but the way it tracks ink just doesn’t work for me. Many apps based directly on PencilKit frustrate me similarly; I’ve discovered exactly one that has a slider that controls the behavior that frustrates me and it’s much better, so I’ve suddenly realized that the problem I’m having with Penbook isn’t inherent to the technology stack.

Apparently, amount of curve smoothing is configurable in PencilKit? The competing app “Noteful” has an option for that - select the Pen tool, click the gear in the popuout menu by the selected pen icon, and then there are four sliders to adjust pen parameters, including “Motion Smoothing”. I’ve turned it down in Noteful and my handwriting feels much better – I’m not fighting against lines that want to pull themselves into simplified, rounded shapes after I thought I wrote exactly what I wanted, which is what Penbook’s writing often feels like to me.

Could the motion smoothing be turned down? If folks like the current setting, then making it configurable – even via a hidden, app-wide option rather than something highly discoverable – would push me back towards Penbook over Noteful. The level of smoothing Penbook uses (and most apps use) feels like it constantly fights my lines – my writing has a lot of sharp angles and sharp reversals, and smoothing wants to soften all my corners, turn my retraces into loops, and otherwise turn the defining features of letters (the way I write them, at least) into mush.

Some of it is definitely just bad penmanship on my part – I’m better-adapted to real pen and paper where pen pressure compresses my notebook (or writing pad) and acts as a spring pushing me into sharper direction changes, and pushing harder into the page stops movement and lets me reverse sharply – plastic-on-glass, even with a coarse screen protector over it, has none of these traits, and instead the extra pen pressure causes loss of control. So more practice will help.

Mostly I feel like I’ve spent years waiting for an iPad with high enough pen frame rate + CPU performance for a demanding app such that it wouldn’t round off my letters, and I just discovered that it’s just a configuration setting in PencilKit, and I feel a great wave of frustration about blaming a software problem on hardware for years. So this is a bit more of a rant than it should be, sorry about that :sweat_smile: