Buying a Cintiq

General Discussion
User avatar
Dresden Codak
Posts: 150
Joined: Sat Oct 07, 2006 11:11 am
Location: Portland, OR
Contact:

Buying a Cintiq

Post by Dresden Codak » Wed Oct 17, 2007 8:45 pm

So I'm going full time art/comics now, and am considering buying a Cintiq tablet. Right now I have a 6x11 Intuos that's done pretty well, but I miss the act of actually seeing something when I draw. As all my stuff is full digital, tablet powers are essential.

So has anyone here used or owned one? I'm interested in how it compares to non-screen tablets. I don't want to shell out that kind of money unless I know for certain it's a good upgrade.
Image

Plouffe
Posts: 173
Joined: Mon Jul 19, 2004 11:36 am
Contact:

Post by Plouffe » Thu Oct 18, 2007 10:12 am

We've had them around at a few different places ive worked at. Good for drawing bad for colour. If you plan to do alot of drawing its awesome. If you 're really picky with your colours then cintiq isnt for you. Personally i think cintiqs have horrible LCD displays. It crushes the values ( you hardly see any difference between a 1%-25% grey and a 75% to 90% grey. Its impossible to calibrate properly to your other monitor. the colours are horrible and youll notice when you bring you work to a different monitor. THe cintiq screen gets warm and makes you hand sweaty!..

Im more of a painter soo in my case a cintiq is absolutely useless!!!! IF you just need it for drawing then i think its a pretty good investement. But if oyu want ot do professional colour work its a big waste of money due to the poor LCD screeen quality. I wish they would team up with Samsung or Sony to get proper LCD displays built in. I would get one if the screen was as good as most lcd's outthere anyways. Im sticking to tablet for a while longer.

Just my thoughts! Take it for waht you want.

User avatar
dik pose
Posts: 1948
Joined: Tue Nov 25, 2003 8:43 pm
Location: Culver City
Contact:

Post by dik pose » Thu Oct 18, 2007 10:49 am

HAHA.. I have the opposite review from Plouffe.

I hate drawing on it, I love coloring. Maybe I am not too picky with my colors, but I think this is what makes the cintiq good, its the speed of coloring... you can really fly. Drawing, I am still getting the hang of it... I am sure with time, it will be fine...

I also think its useful for clean up, but the drawing has to be tight cause to clean up, I usually need to be zoomed in 200%...

Our whole studio uses the cintiqs, its the only way to go for high speed turn around. After using one at the studio for like a year, I had to buy my own... I think its a good investment if you draw every day...

Plouffe
Posts: 173
Joined: Mon Jul 19, 2004 11:36 am
Contact:

Post by Plouffe » Thu Oct 18, 2007 11:06 am

HstEHE Of course i think the technology speeds things up. Theres no doubt about it..... The lcd still sucks though!! All im saying is test it out look at the colours and if your happy with it get it. Itll make things faster but you wont have the control over the colours/values as much as you want. BUt im really picky in terms of values and colours. The problem is when you show your clients colour work and they dont see what you are seeing on the cintiq or they tell you they dont like the blue your using but on your cintiq its really green ( yes every monitor is calibrated differently but cintiqs are really OFF you have better luck with normal lcds or ctr monitors). Ive been in those situations before and theres a good reason why alot of animation studios dont use cintiqs for final colour work ( But im sure some studios do. Who knows =p). Might be good for quick turn arounds / sketches but not very good if you need to be specific and need to know how your painting will look like in print or if you send it out to someone else. They cant be calibrated... But as far as i can see they are best suited for animation / flash aniamtion , design, digital storyboaring , sketching around for fun ect.. The whole idea behind a cintiq is AWESOME its just not up to par yet for actual painting!!!

IF wacom could just get a higher quality LCD like the samsungs or sony's or even a typical Dell monitor I would be the first one to jump on one!!!! Until then im sticking with a wacom tablet!!! Hopefully the next generation cintiq will have a nice lcd monitor!.
But thats just my picky opinion.
Last edited by Plouffe on Thu Oct 18, 2007 11:33 am, edited 3 times in total.

campy22
Posts: 2425
Joined: Wed Dec 07, 2005 1:35 pm
Location: san francisco
Contact:

Post by campy22 » Thu Oct 18, 2007 11:24 am

Plouffe has a really good point.
On my end, I don't have one nor want one and i mainly draw for work. I do color stuff as well, but even for my drawing stuff, I just can't get use to the cintiq. I've tried it for a week, and I'd get shoulder pains,and it would slow down my work flow.

Then again, people like the Ghostbot guy, or Louie Del Carmen have them and LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVE them!

I just think it's not the ultimate solution

User avatar
Kazu
Site Admin
Posts: 9337
Joined: Tue Aug 19, 2003 8:59 pm
Location: Seattle, WA
Contact:

Post by Kazu » Thu Oct 18, 2007 2:24 pm

Benjamin > Are you using a Mac or a PC? I noticed that when a friend of mine used his cintiq with his macbook, the colors were completely off. I use a PC, and I find the colors to be more accurate than my other Dell Ultrasharp LCD screens.

As for my work setup, I use both a Cintiq and an Intuos3 on a Dell XPS 410. I find that for coloring comic pages and for making line adjustments, the Cintiq is indispensable. I move about 3 times faster and my brain doesn't hurt. It's actually relaxing to work, whereas my brain would get tired trying to color with the tablet. However, when I want to do larger, looser pieces (like the Flight covers), I opt for the tablet, since I can move faster across the canvas and treat the whole thing like a highly magnified thumbnail image. I find that it's easier to create happy accidents and control the chaos when working on the tablet. So, there's my two cents.
Image
Image

Plouffe
Posts: 173
Joined: Mon Jul 19, 2004 11:36 am
Contact:

Post by Plouffe » Thu Oct 18, 2007 5:34 pm

Hey kazu =p... I used both cintiqs on Mac and Pc at 2 different studios. both had more or less the same effect!!! Now i might need to be more specific. The colours arent THAT bad but they're bad enough for me to notice the values being crushed and the colours being off in general. I agree with you though if i were to do comic stuff and flat colouring cintiq would be the best choice. But as i mostly do more painterly stuff more towards the vein of your Flight covers. Tablets are the best option for me for now until they improve the cintiq considerably. I still dont like the value and colour calibration on cintiqs though.

User avatar
Dresden Codak
Posts: 150
Joined: Sat Oct 07, 2006 11:11 am
Location: Portland, OR
Contact:

Post by Dresden Codak » Thu Oct 18, 2007 6:34 pm

Well duckies, I've got one coming in tomorrow. Thanks for the tips! I'll see how it turns out.
Image

User avatar
TheHead
Posts: 129
Joined: Tue Sep 11, 2007 10:21 am
Contact:

Post by TheHead » Fri Oct 19, 2007 10:58 am

I've been thinking of buying a Cintiq myself. And Plouffe just pushed my button with his comment. I too dont trust LCD in general when it comes to color, cause I am also quite paranoid when it comes to color accuracy.
I was wondering though what if you had the cintiq, along with a proper monitor that you trust colorwise, connected together mirroring each other, so you could have the best of both worlds at the same time while working.

Would that be a solution? what do you think?

Alex Deligiannis
Posts: 192
Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 3:12 pm
Location: Crush County, CA
Contact:

Post by Alex Deligiannis » Fri Oct 19, 2007 11:51 am

I have a Cintiq for color at work, but I find that I still prefer to use my Intuos 3 for speed. The Cinitq, for me, is great when I need to get in there and tweak little details or alter lines, but for most tasks, I still find the Intuos to be much much faster, mainly because I don't have to move my arm over a huge distance. Every portion I need to color, plus all the menus and tools, are just a flick of a wrist away on the 6x8 Intuos, instead of a grand reach on the massive Cintiq.

Also, TheHead, I work with the exact set-up you described. The color is definitely not as nice as the Dell monitor I've got set up next to the Cintiq (it's nowhere near as crisp), but with some fidgeting of brightness and the such, you can get still pretty close. A second monitor might be an ok solution, but it becomes tedious to constantly toggle over between the two, especially if it's just for a split second to grab something or open a window. There needs to be a more intuitive way to jump to the second monitor (which is where I keep swatches and reference). Wacom has been working on that, but it's still not perfect.

For my personal use, if it was just for color, I wouldn't get one. However, when I'm in between shows and waiting on new models, I love to use the Cintiq for drawing, and that has become a selling point for me. It was a bit strange at first, but once I got used to it, I was able to quickly rough out some of my comic pages with much more precision than on the Intuos (I still print those out and create the final art in traditional pencil, though, but I suppose that's just preference, because the Cintiq is decent enough to create a pretty nice clean line once you get the hang of it).

User avatar
TheHead
Posts: 129
Joined: Tue Sep 11, 2007 10:21 am
Contact:

Post by TheHead » Fri Oct 19, 2007 3:55 pm

Alex: I was suggesting using the extra monitor not as a desktop extention, but mirroring the cintiq so you get to see exactly the same thing in both, so you could check for your color accuracy (and pick them up as you work) by looking at the monitor, and then work on your cintiq as usual.

sounds silly, but I am curious if anyone tried that already.

You are right though about the toggle switch between the two screens that wacom suggested with their latest driver, its really not that practical.

User avatar
Kazu
Site Admin
Posts: 9337
Joined: Tue Aug 19, 2003 8:59 pm
Location: Seattle, WA
Contact:

Post by Kazu » Fri Oct 19, 2007 4:01 pm

What are you guys relating your color to? Print? Video? If you're looking for proper video colors, then a CRT is the only way to go. I even keep my old NEC around so I can get a second opinion on the values of any of my pieces. If it's print you're concerned about, I find that the Cintiq is pretty dang close, especially when compared to other LCD screens (the Dells are crisp, but pretty inaccurate for print. I dial the saturation down and lighten the image when working on one of those).

The final printed image does tend to look a bit darker than I imagined (off the Cintiq), but it's mostly due to the fact that I'm staring, inches away, at a light-emitting monitor when working on the Cintiq. No affordable LCD is going to give you accurate colors, but in my experience (comparing the color proofs and final books with the Cintiq display), I found that the Cintiq is better than most LCD panel displays. By the way, I'm using a pretty new Wacom Cintiq 21UX. Oh, and make sure your Adobe Gamma settings are correct.
Image
Image

hethe
Posts: 43
Joined: Tue Sep 25, 2007 9:41 am
Location: San Diego, CA
Contact:

Post by hethe » Fri Oct 19, 2007 4:53 pm

Well, it sounds like you already got yours but I'll throw my experience into the mix for anybody else out there looking for opinions.

So R* offered to get us concept artists cintiqs and wacom lent one to us to pass around for a couple of weeks. I liked being able to turn my arm and
turn the dang thing around when drawing and that was probably the best part of it. While I thought that having my pen tip touching my photoshop canvas would be great I found it sort of annoying. It's like you're drawing on 1/8 inch glass so there's still a displacement from the tip of the pen to the screen surface. After 2 days of testing I hated the cintiq and not because of what I mentioned earlier but because I discovered that I use the keyboard analogously with my small 6x8 tablet and the large cintiq totally, and I mean totally pushed any comfortable keyboard use out of the picture. My coworkers loved the thing though, but they don't tap space bar and alt and crt-z and a plethora of other keyboard shortcuts as often as I do. So just be aware of that if you can't give one a real test drive before purchasing. It's one of those things that I would've liked if I had had it when I started painting but I'm too comfortable on my tablet now to relearn a new hand workflow. I just need photoshop to implement a nice rotate canvas feature like painter has and I'll be in digital control heaven. I also found the way it heats up too uncomfortable for my hand after like 2 hours on it. I run a little warm anyway so having a constant heater under my hand was really annoying. Overall the thing slowed me way way down because the old tablet and keyboard setup is as comfortable to me as my own two legs are. You'd have to try it for yourself though. I thought I was going to love it until I had my hands on it for 2 days.

Summary: I hate it :evil:
- Bad if you keep one hand on your keyboard when painting/drawing.
- Bad if you don't like a hot plate under your hand.
- Good for drawing accurate lines and curves because you can change angles. I still didn't have as much control as a pencil on paper though because there is the slightest delay on your stroke, even on a super duper fast computer. Wacom told us that it's there on our intuos's too but we don't notice because the nib and delayed cursor aren't next to each other to compare.
"The object of art is not to reproduce reality, but to
create a reality of the same intensity."
-Giacometti

User avatar
TheHead
Posts: 129
Joined: Tue Sep 11, 2007 10:21 am
Contact:

Post by TheHead » Fri Oct 19, 2007 6:04 pm

hmm.. thats interesting. I didn't expect to see that much of a difference between opinions. I thought that this gadget was something everyone loved by default. I guess I am wrong.

Kazu: My concern is primarily print colors. I am still working on a big Lacie crt screen, and its close to perfection, when it comes to offset printing.
I am glad you think that cintiq is good for that too.

The only test drive I got to do so far, was just for 10 minutes at the wacom booth at SDCC in july. the heat factor is something I couldn't feel within such a short time, but that displacement was actually a bit annoying, but I guess its one of those things that you end up not even thinking about after 40 hours of labor on the thing.

Plouffe
Posts: 173
Joined: Mon Jul 19, 2004 11:36 am
Contact:

Post by Plouffe » Fri Oct 19, 2007 7:59 pm

Kazu,

I dont know man , Maybe it;s just my experience with the cintiqs or im a complete moron when it comes to trying to calibrate the thing but ive tried many times to calibrate one close to what my main monitor displays but No luck at all ( both on mac and pc) and all the tech guys at work are telling me its cant be calibrated properly ( for video). The Cintiq either makes the image too damn dark or too light. and Yes im talking about in terms of Video colours, after doing lots of tests/porting things out to tv and hdtv it doesnt come close to displaying video colours properly

I don't have much experience with LCD monitors ive only owned 1 samsung lcd that i bought 4 years ago for 1000$ and beleive it or not it displays contrast and colour really well!I was always told lcds suck for colour and values but I love the one i have! Its what i use for all my freelance and when i do print stuff out it turns out pretty much the same as what i see on my LCD. Go figure. Dont ask me how thats possible 0_o no clue haha but i like this monitor its treating me well. I admit i havent gone from cintiq to print. I've seen my images on various cintiqs in various different studios and they always look soo different then what i intend it to look like. When i print its the same as what i see on my monitor soo i assume the cintiqs are off in this regard. LIke you said your prints end up darker. I guess maybe every single cintiq ive seen/used wasnt using the right adobe gamma settings? Who knows. I still wouldnt trust it with colour though =p.. Not yet!!!

Oh I just remembered something else that annoys me about the cintiq. If you have dual monitor setup and you paint on the cintiq and keep your brushes/tools/layers on on second monitor. I always get confused and try to use the cintiq pen on the second monitor screen thinking it will work if i tap it haha. Soo then i have to put the pen down or put in in my other hand and use the mouse move over to the second monitor to select layers or various tools and what not ( im pretty proficient with hot keys but there are somethings that are quick to when you use the mouse like preserve transparencies and making alpha channels and what not) Just screws up my work flow!!!

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 25 guests