Stylus-enabled art/graphics platforms - Surface, iPad Pro, etc.

Discussion in 'PC Hardware, Software and Displays' started by Cyan, Oct 26, 2016.

  1. AzBat

    AzBat Agent of the Bat
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    Another video from their app partners with more examples of pen & dial use.



    Tommy McClain
     
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  2. Silent_Buddha

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    I found these interesting from a digital artist and illustrator that does a lot of work.

    First impressions from the reveal. It seems cool and he wants to try it, but Not super wowed. Also the first time in his life that a Microsoft event has excited him more than an Apple event.



    Second impressions after trying it at a Microsoft Store. Now he really wants one. A lot.



    He really likes the hinge. Not surprising as it's so effortless to move the screen, but despite that, you can still set it to an arbitrary position and still draw on it with your arm resting on it. That's pretty impressive.

    I wonder if Microsoft's next iteration of the Pen will get rid of the wobble when drawing a line slowly. Although as he notes that's virtually a non-factor as most professional and many non-professional applications have a stroke straightener built in and if an application doesn't have one, you can install an app that does stroke straightening in all applications.

    Regards,
    SB
     
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  3. orangpelupa

    orangpelupa Elite Bug Hunter
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    Microsoft and good hinges? finally their investment in windows shows the result! :D
     
  4. Sigfried1977

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    While the Cintiqs are absolutely over-priced for what they are offering, they are ultimately still worth it. At least if you are primarily interested in digital illustration. Wacom's pen technology is still a lot better than MS's N-trig. I'm not even bothered by the lack of pen tilt detection (I've never ever used it), but the minimum amount of pressure it takes for the n-trig screens to register a stroke is way too high. Another big plus point to your average Wacom device is the physical buttons. Why waste precious amounts of screen estate for that one-button-dial thingy when you can just use the default buttons every cintiq has to begin with?

    I still really enjoy drawing on my Surface Pro 4 mind you, and I'd absolutely take it over a cintiq companion - thing is just too bulky and under-specced for comfortable portable use - but as the Surface Studio is basically stationary anyways, I'd rather buy a regular cintiq and connect it to my PC.

    Now Unlike the choice of pen display tech, the fact that this thing is using a 980 instead of the latest gpu is actually what's most likely inconsequencial to just about any graphics artist.

    I'm very interested in that dial, though. That said, at 6cm in diameter, it's probably a little too chunky for use on a regular Surface.
     
    #24 Sigfried1977, Oct 31, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2016
  5. BRiT

    BRiT (╯°□°)╯
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    You do know the MS Wheel does NOT need to be on the screen, right? You can place it on your desk. The menu system seems to only come up when you press the wheel.
     
  6. Malo

    Malo Yak Mechanicum
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    From what I can tell from use cases and videos, the wheel has different functions whether on the desk or the screen.

    The guy at Penny Arcade seems to love it over his Cintiq.
     
  7. BRiT

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    It doesnt have different functions based on its location. It is dynamic and can be setup to have multiple functions. It depends on how users set it up.
     
  8. eastmen

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    well yea the 27 inch cintiq costs $2,700 . That's $300 less than the base surface studio , however the surface studio is a full pc. So its quite a steal
     
  9. Sigfried1977

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    Really depends on how you are using the thing of course. I'd imagine the guys at PA are probably using a vector program for inking and coloring. In that case the screen on a surface device - and don't get me wrong here: it's not a bad pen experience, but when compared to a Cintiq or even the Apple pencil, it comes in dead last - isn't really a problem at all. I just doubt that, let's say, a digital concept artist like Craig Mullins is gonna be all that happy with the performance of an N-trig screen.
     
  10. Sigfried1977

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    I actually didn't know that. Good to hear.
     
  11. Silent_Buddha

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    You'd be surprised, there's a lot of artists that while they like the Apple Pen and think it is superior to the Surface Pen, they also do the vast majority of their work on their Surface devices rather than their iPad Pro. Mainly due to workflow and application availability. While the Apple Pen is great, the software ecosystem for it is a far far distant second to what's available on a Windows device. Many find they use the iPad Pro for recreational drawing while using a Surface for all their professional work. Not to say that you can't do professional work using an iPad Pro, but it usually requires frequent export and import of work files between the iPad pro and a Mac or Windows device. Which means it's like the situation with Wacom, except worse. To get any work done you need both an iPad Pro as well as a Mac or Windows device as well as needing to import/export files between devices. The nice thing with the Surface is that you only really need the Surface device.

    With the Cintiq you have the issue that you need both a Windows PC AND a Cintiq. For many artists that means costs can rapidly escalate to over 5,000 USD. Many artists prefer to just pay the 900-2,000 USD for a Surface tablet to do most of their work on. And the closest thing to a Surface tablet that Wacom offers is the Cintiq companion, which is getting really outdated and has a less than artist friendly 16:9 aspect ratio. It's still got it's advocates, but a lot of artists have moved to using Surface devices.

    All the various devices have their pros and cons. To dismiss the Surface out of hand because the Surface pen is slightly worse than a Wacom pen or Apple Pen ignores the fact that most artists do just fine with the N-trig pen. And over the summer one of the biggest issues with the newest Surface Pen on Surface Pro 4, the weird tapered edges at the end of lines that tapered from a thick line to a thin point was finally corrected. That only leaves the wobble with slow lines, and line straighteners take care of that for the most part. In the end the Surface pen ends up being negligibly worse than a Wacom Pen for the vast majority of artists. And has some advantages as well. The display bonding system that Microsoft uses currently allows the tip of the Surface pen to be closer to the display of the digital ink than Wacom's Cintiq. I'd expect that in the future Wacom will catch up on that point, however.

    Regards,
    SB
     
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  12. Sigfried1977

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    It's not just slightly worse. It's actually way worse. The amount of pressure you have to apply if you want a brush stroke almost renders the pen useless for sketching. It just feels completely unnatural. The wobbly lines I can easily live with. This is a problem the cintiq (and the intuos for that matter) has as well. I'd imagine the ipad would suffer from similar issues if it the apps didn't come with aggressive levels of line smoothing either.
     
  13. Ike Turner

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  14. Shifty Geezer

    Shifty Geezer uber-Troll!
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    Surely that's an issue of software and settings? I can get very gentle response in Art Rage on my SP4 with a glass screen protector as well (to be removed). It's a little heavier than a real pencil, but not unusably so by any stretch. The full range of pressure responses are available.
     
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  15. Ike Turner

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    He is right. The amount of pressure required for the pen to register strokes is higher on the N-Trig pens than on Wacom's & Apple's. Not by much, but it's supper annoying if you've used Wacom's tech all your life prior to using N-Trig's.
     
  16. orangpelupa

    orangpelupa Elite Bug Hunter
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    btw windows pen writing/drawing/doodling quality + feel also vary WIDELY from app to app.

    It does become consistently amazing when you stick to using Metro apps tho. Very light streak also works fine. quick curves also works fine.

    you can try using the free drawing app: freshpaint, then choose the pencils.

    EDT:
    the sketchpad from startbar (dunnow what the name is) in winos 10 also works superbly, i even felt its 1:1 to ballpoint!
     
  17. Silent_Buddha

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    That's both fantastic and somewhat amusing.

    The reason Microsoft moved away from the Wacom pen in the first place was because Wacom was reluctant to continue to allow Microsoft to use Wacom tech for the Surface line as Microsoft was advertising it towards artists and putting it in direct competition with Wacom's Cintiq. Wacom was taking that seriously as they were seeing users abandoning the Cintiq and moving towards using just a Surface device hence Microsoft moving from Wacom (Surface Pro 1 and 2) to N-Trig (Surface Pro 3 and newer).

    That move hasn't staunched much of the flow of artists from the Cintiq to Surface devices and so it seems Wacom are now put into a position where they feel the need to make their future pens compatible with Surface devices.

    There were certainly some growing pains. The first incarnation of N-Trig on Surface Pro 3 was pretty bad. And Microsoft disappointed a lot of artists with it (a lot of artists stuck with their Surface Pro 2). But a lot of the issues were ironed out prior to the Surface Pro 4. Then Surface Pro 4 introduced some new issues (staggered pen tapering only on Surface Pro 4). But most issues have been addressed since this last summer. And in general most artists quite like it now and have moved from their Surface Pro 2 to the Surface Pro 4, in the process abandoning their Wacom pens.

    When Wacom made that business decision back then I thought they were being rather short sighted, and in hindsight it appears to have been the correct thought.

    [edit]Finished reading the whole thing and it's encouraging that Microsoft are opening up the pen protocol so that anyone interested can make a compatible pen and controller. Also interesting is simultaneous Pen and Touch with working palm rejection. Traditionally working palm rejection also meant that touch was disabled.[/edit]

    Regards,
    SB
     
    #37 Silent_Buddha, Nov 3, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2016
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  18. Sigfried1977

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  19. hughJ

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    I wonder how big the professional market is compared to pro-sumer/hobbyists that buy these things somewhat as prestige/luxury gadgets? I could certainly see Surface Studio being very attractive to the latter group as this device is oozing in style, but I have a hard time imagining professionals that already have an established workflow with a cintiq/intuos and a proper workstation are going to switch to clunky pen input, no ability to upgrade/expand, and possibly even a downgrade in system grunt and general reliability.
     
  20. Silent_Buddha

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    Figured I'd put this in here since Wacom just updated their Companion 2 with the Mobile Studio Pro and there was some discussion as to whether actual working artists would prefer to continue using a Wacom device or if they'd want to use a much cheaper Surface device or in the case of the Surface Studio, a much larger drawing surface.



    Also the conclusion surprised me, especially since I watched this after I watched his review of the Wacom device. The conclusion is relevant to the thread.

    Regards,
    SB
     
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