Creative Biz Note #22

Wacom’s Cintiq–Is It Worthy?

For two years I’ve been contemplating buying a Cintiq. I’m old school and have always felt that drawing was to be done initially on paper. Though I love working with Adobe software. Wacom updates their products about every three years and the time was near. So, I vowed to wait for the newer version to come out. 

I was destined to draw digitally–I finally purchased the Cintiq 21UX (insert ominous music here). I made my big $2000 purchase about 2 months ago. It was hard to find the latest version because it seemed to be sold out on every site. Wacom must be doing well.

Is it worthy? Yes. Two grand is a big chunk of change for anyone. Though I feel I’ll get a return on my investment. Using the Cintiq is not much different than drawing on paper. I never felt as though my drawings became anything less because of the switch. Most of our repeat clients have not noticed the change. If anything, the Cintiq saves me a ton of time. No more light box or scanning or PSD tweaking. When a client wants a sketch adjustment–no problem. I have many elements on layers and can simply delete the unwanted detail. Doing roughs and working on top of them has never been so easy. I even feel that my speed has improved when utilizing Adobe products. I still need to try it out in MudBox though. The board does get warm after a certain point…but it doesn’t seem unusual. I also wear a SmudgeGuard glove (see link below) to keep my hand oils off the screen and it helps my hand glide easily across the surface. The two-fingered glove makes me feel like Michael Jackson as I draw (another bonus).  : )

The downside to the Cintiq–the resolution can only go up to 1600 x 1200. And I prefer the screen to be wider. If you have a dual screen set-up it can be odd pulling from one screen to the other–you have to adjust you menu sizes sometimes.

Eventually, I will place some images of the new desk set-up. I still use my keyboard in my left hand as I draw. You can’t break an old horse of a 15 year-old habit.

My Thought:
I wish I had made this purchase a long time ago. Does it make me draw any better? No. The skill set still needs to be there. If you’re a beginning artist, then I would suggest getting your skills down before making such a large purchase. If you’re a gadget geek, then it’s a must have. Later.

Sites to Check Out:   http://www.smudgeguard.com
 (MarcoMartins) youtube video of Cintiq in action

Next Creative Biz Note #23—(Drawing Programs) Manga Studio Ex vs. Sketch Pro


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