As you probably know I am a poor, starving Artist; I do not have a lot of funds. A Wacom Cintiq is a very advanced and expensive piece of kit that I never thought I’d be able to afford in a million years. New they cost around £800 – £1,500. Eep!
Fortunately they’ve been around for a little while now so are turning up on the second-hand market a lot cheaper. This is where I got mine. Off ebay, for £200, shipped over from America. It is an old 15X and the resolution is pretty low (1024 x 768 at 16,777,216 colours) but hey, I have a second monitor for that! Of course the sensitivity is nothing like a more modern one, but that’s not to say it isn’t still really good!
I’ll be honest – I’ve tried several Wacom Tablets in the Intuos & Bamboo range and whilst later models are a little better Wacom really started with a fantastic product straight off the bat. The main thing that makes a difference to me is the SIZE of the surface because I find on a small one you can only use your wrist to draw rather than your whole arm. It is much more cramped and likely to cause RSI, so given a choice between newer or bigger I’d go bigger! Wacom products are really reliable so I feel secure that an older model will work (I used an Intuos 1 aka ORIGINAL Intuos heavily for 5 years + and it is still in perfect working order. I spilled tea on it and ate my dinner on top of it from red-hot plates on an almost daily basis. They are tough)! I would not feel this confident with other brands.
My Intuos has only just arrived so maybe the shine will wear off, but right now my feelings are it is so beautiful I could cry!
My graphics card will only support 2 monitors so I’ve switched out my old iiyama CRT monitor for the 15″ Wacom Cintiq 15X. It is a spacious screen to draw on. In paper-terms it is around A3 coincidentally my favorite size! It is definitely a MONITOR that you can draw on, rather than a portable tablet. I would not call it portable, but then I don’t need it to be. If I wanted portable I’d have got an iPad and… gone… outside?! No. It is fairly heavy and has 3 wires so you cannot move it far, but it can either sit up beside my other monitor or on the desk in front of me for drawing. The stand is really nice as it can either be stood up or tilted at an angle for drawing.
What I am really happy about is that I can DRAW on it! Like I draw on paper! I can actually do it! As I said I have used tablets for many years – the kind you have to move the pen on the tablet and look up at the screen – however I have never been able to draw with them. Paint? Sure. But I always had to do my drawing on paper and scan it in. I could never coordinate between the two surfaces well enough to get precision drawing. But I have tested out the Cintiq (it was super easy to install), calibrated it and DRAWN on it. So right now I’m really happy. It does everything I hoped. And apparently it works with Windows 8 so I should be good for a few years at least.
Here’s hoping it will speed up comic production for you guys! I should be putting out some new pages soon; the reason you haven’t seen any is because work ate my life. That’s not a bad thing – I’m building websites & running Art Classes which is super fun – but, yeah, I would like to have time to create lots of comic pages as well!