After lots of research and deliberation, I took the plunge and ordered a Cintiq. It arrived yesterday, and I was so excited waiting for the FedEx truck that I could barely focus on my projects. Each time I heard a big vehicle drive by, I would literally jump out of my chair in anticipation.
I have a Wacom tablet which I’ve used for digital painting, but drawing on a Wacom just isn’t as natural as drawing on a Cintiq. For example, I can actually rotate the Cintiq just like I would rotate a piece of paper while drawing or inking, something you can’t do with a tablet. The CIntiq is large, sturdy, and amazingly natural to draw on. No more drawing on paper means no more time wasted scanning and cleaning up drawings. I can also make changes faster on the computer than on paper, and the Cintiq has several programable buttons and a touch pad for scrolling/zooming that will definitely make my workflow more efficient. It’s amazing, I tell ya! Once I get the hang of it, over time ths machine will definitely pay for itself.
I spent a couple of hours last evening getting it set up and playing around with it. Above is the first piece of artwork I created on the Cinitq.
So far I’ve only discovered one glitch in this otherwise perfect machine. I tried some inking and discovered that, when making vertical brush strokes in Photoshop, the line gets visibly jagged unless I make the stroke really fast. The slower I draw, the more jagged the line looks. But this doesn’t seem to be the case with horizontal or curved brush strokes. Strange. I’ve tried swapping pen nibs and adjusting the settings, but it doesn’t seem to make a difference. The lines aren’t terribly jagged, but enough that it will take a little fussing to get a smooth vertical stroke.
I’m also having difficulty figuring out how to calibrate the color on the Cintiq without affecting the color on my main monitor, but I’m sure that can be solved with a little more putzing as well. (EDIT: Figured it out, piece of cake.)
Also, the Cintiq is plenty big. In fact, it’s just a few inches too big for my computer desk. So for now I’ve got it set up on an adjoining drawing table and I’m shuffling the keyboard back and forth between the two stations. Looks like eventually I’ll be making a trip to the office supply store for a new desk.
Still, the Cintiq is a beautiful machine and I am extremely fortunate to have one. Thanks again to everyone who gave me advice and feedback on the decision.