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Naaman
01-11-2016, 06:34 AM
Hello,

I'm a long time graphite and colored pencil artist of 30 years, and I'm thinking about adding digital media to my repertoire.

Considering that it is a large investment, I'm a bit hesitant to jump in before getting some clarity on some things.

What I need is a portable means of making art. I need to be able to fit everything into a backpack and use it anywhere.

The primary reason I want to start working in digital is to streamline my creative process: I usually draw without a reference (sci-fi/fantasy stuff, mostly character design), and I tend to nit pick over the details; I do not like having a bunch of erasures on a finished product; but I'd like to be able to create my own stockpile of reference material for my colored pencil works.

I would like to be able to zoom in on the drawings and modify them in fine detail; so that particular feature is important to me.

Also, does it come with software or will I have to buy/download specific software to use it?

Given the cost to get started, I figure that the purchase is still some ways out, but I like to gather info far in advance.

Thanks for the help. :)

Davkin
01-11-2016, 09:06 AM
I use a Microsoft Surface Pro 3 with Artrage, seems to work pretty well but I'll admit I have no experience on anything else. From the photos I've seen the Cintiq companion seems rather bulky in comparison but I believe it's a touch larger, not much though. I did add a matt overlay to my screen both to cut the glare down and to give the pen a little bit of drag to make it feel more natural, though that did effect the responsiveness of the pen just slightly. It appears the new Surface Pro has a better pen where the screen senses twist as well, I think the new Ipad does that also, I don't know if the Cintiq does that.

Ken Doyle
01-11-2016, 11:06 AM
Photoshop CS2 is free now. I use it at home for my own historic and fantasy work.

Naaman
01-13-2016, 04:45 AM
I use a Microsoft Surface Pro 3 with Artrage, seems to work pretty well but I'll admit I have no experience on anything else. From the photos I've seen the Cintiq companion seems rather bulky in comparison but I believe it's a touch larger, not much though. I did add a matt overlay to my screen both to cut the glare down and to give the pen a little bit of drag to make it feel more natural, though that did effect the responsiveness of the pen just slightly. It appears the new Surface Pro has a better pen where the screen senses twist as well, I think the new Ipad does that also, I don't know if the Cintiq does that.

I've been looking at the Microsoft products, too. I have read that the feel on a Cintiq is more like actual pencil/paper, whereas other products have a smooth, glassy feel to them. I'm not sure if this will matter, though. I may have to take a trip to the store and see if there are any demo products available.

Photoshop CS2 is free now. I use it at home for my own historic and fantasy work.

So, are you saying that the drawing tablets are not ready to use out of the box? I will 100% need to download software (such as Photoshop or another program) in order to make any works?

Thanks for the replies! :D

LavenderFrost
01-13-2016, 12:03 PM
You still need software, but Wacom usually includes a free download. Check their site for the details. It will be a cheaper program though, you will likely want to research the other programs out there to see what you like best.

I would look at other products as well, unless money is no object. For me, a Cintiq is out of reach.

Also consider using something like an iPad, especially if you already have one. It would be something to start with and you can get a good painting app for around $5.

I do like drawing digitally because you can erase all you want and not ruin the paper. And I erase a lot. lol

Davkin
01-13-2016, 01:04 PM
I've been looking at the Microsoft products, too. I have read that the feel on a Cintiq is more like actual pencil/paper, whereas other products have a smooth, glassy feel to them. I'm not sure if this will matter, though. I may have to take a trip to the store and see if there are any demo products available. :D

This is one reason I installed the matt overlay, it solved two problems, the overly slick surface and glare.

b'anna
01-13-2016, 05:22 PM
I have both the Cintiq companion and the iPad pro. If you already had tons of programs and experience , Wacom would be (at least for me)the way to go. However I recently purchased th iPad pro and I am floored by it (with the pencil). I am a big user of both Corel Painter and Adobe Photoshop and in the past just played with the iPad. Now with the PRO I find myself using that more and more. For Portability the iPad , even the pro, is much lighter then the companion and has a longer battery life. As Michelle said, you still need software and what I have found is between a few certain applications on the iPad, I can do most things I want. And if you don't like a specific application , you have lost only a couple of dollars. Also someone did mention the slippery surface of the iPad. I never found that a problem, but some folks do. I did just put a Matte screen protector on the pro and I love the feel. Feels like paper. If you can, take a look at both up close and personal and maybe that might help. Good luck! Come on back if you have any more questions that we might be able to answer.
Barb

chewy
01-14-2016, 08:30 PM
I have been watching some videos on youtube of the ipad pro and what artists think of it and it has had overwhelming positive reviews to how good the pencil feels. Several preferred it over the surface pro 4. I am considering buying the ipad pro myself. The battery life is much much longer then the cintiq companion and surface pro. It also has a better screen and is far lighter then the cintiq companion. You can even buy an app called astropad that allows the ipad pro to be used like a wireless cintiq. People have made really fantastic art with procreate software and its only 6 dollars.

I bought the ipad pro pencil already and now saving up for the ipad pro itself. I have half the cost of it so far between saving and gift cards. It will be at least another month maybe more before I have the other half.

Naaman
01-18-2016, 04:14 AM
Okay, so... it just dawned on me that I have an iPad that I won in a raffle and have not opened yet... but I don't think it is the Pro.

In any case, it is a 16GB deal. Will the apps for drawing work on it? If so, I may just get an Apple Pencil and see how I like digital art using this thing that was free. :p

b'anna
01-18-2016, 10:35 AM
BE aware that the apple pencil only works on the iPad pro. The apps will all work on all iPads .There are other pressure sensitive stylus that are great but none that are as good as the apple pencil.

LavenderFrost
01-18-2016, 10:56 AM
What? You have an iPad and haven't opened it yet? lol

Mine is a 16GB 3rd generation and it works fine, I just have to keep deleting some of the games that I finished because I run out of storage. And my favourite app, Procreate, is quite large. But I still have quite a few games on there so it's okay, but in the future I would definitely want more storage. Too bad they don't have the option to add a memory card.

I am just using a regular stylus, which took some getting used to because it covers so much of the screen. I just zoom in lots for details so I can see where I'm painting.

Naaman
01-20-2016, 05:51 AM
Yes, yes I do. I have an aversion to Apple products, so the iPad sits unused in my backpack for the last 10 months. :D

But since I already have it, it's hard to rationally justify not at least trying it to see if I like digital art in the first place. Especially in light of the cost of the more serious hardware.

LavenderFrost
01-20-2016, 10:48 AM
lol Well the iPad has one thing in it's favour... they don't make Procreate for Android. I was using a Samsung tablet for a while but couldn't find a painting app I like as much.

Tonybga
01-23-2016, 01:33 AM
As a professional digital caricaturist, I own two Cintiq Companions and IMHO, there is no comparison. Yes, they are more expensive but with the base model starting around $1,300, but that's only a few hundred more than the top iPad Pro model.

Wacom is the leader in pressure sensitivity technology. The new Surface Pro may have 1024 levels of pressure sensitivity, but the Companion has 2,048. You'll notice the difference. Apple has not revealed how many levels in the iPad Pro, just to say it has pressure sensitivity.

The glass has a slight bit of 'tooth' to it, to simulate paper grain. Combine this with a felt nib (instead of the standard plastic nib) and you'll feel like you're drawing on paper.

Connectivity via USB and MiniDisplay port gives great flexibility if you want to print your art or connect another monitor. Other than one Lightning port, you have to rely on Bluetooth and Wifi for the iPad. And while it's Windows only as a stand alone tablet, you can connect it to a Mac, so your desktop/laptop programs can benefit from it's features.

This may not matter to you, but I'm a big user of keyboard shortcuts and the optional Bluetooth keyboard ($50) is the best I've ever used. Once you set it up, it syncs with the tablet the moment you turn it on and the battery lasts for days, even weeks (depending on use.)

I've not tried the iPad Pro yet, although I do hear positive reviews for it. But the main reason I could not use one for what I do, is because it uses apps, not applications. With the Companion running Windows, you can benefit from the features of full programs, not app (or 'lite' versions.)

There are many affordable drawing/painting programs out there: ArtRage, Sketchbook Pro and my favorite Manga Studio 5 (retails for $50). But if you wanted to put Photoshop or Painter on there, it's powerful enough to run it. I create 4 x 6 caricatures at 300 dpi in Manga and have never experienced lag issues.

Being an Apple guy for over 20 years, I would've love a reason to go with the iPad. I can't stand Windows but since I only use it to draw, I've managed to avoid the typical Window issues.

The iPad Pro would probably be just fine for what you want to do with it. But if after 3 months you find it limiting, you're going to wish you bought the Companion.

Naaman
01-24-2016, 01:25 AM
See, that's why I'm here! :D

I am the type of person who likes to buy things once, and I do my best to get things right on the first try.

I still have not had a chance to try out any tablets, but perhaps later next week I will be able to. I have heard from others that Wacom is "the best," though I certainly see some serious artists working with other products and they have their reasons for not using Wacom.

For now, my plan is to hold out for a Cintiq, unless I can find a reason to get something else in the meantime.

Smokindevil
11-28-2016, 02:12 PM
Just curious if you finally purchased a tablet? I'm now considering the purchase myself but, not sure which one to go with. I'm leaning towards the Cintiq.

MaloCS
11-28-2016, 06:44 PM
I picked up the iPad Pro and Pencil in November, 2015. It's been one full calendar year and I have to say, the iPad Pro is the best digital drawing tool I've ever used. I've worked with Cintiq and Surface Pro but I prefer how responsive the iPad Pro is. There really is "almost" zero lag.

I would recommend the iPad Pro.