I just got the opportunity to test drive Wacom's Cintiq 21UX tablet monitor.
The WIP thread for the image I produced with it can be found here
Enjoy the review.
Remember the part in the movie Three Amigos where Jefe, El Guapo’s right hand man, tells Lucky Day (Steve Martin’s character) before the duel that Lucky shouldn’t use a “sissy gun” but a “man’s gun”?
Well. That’s what the Cintiq is…a ‘man’s gun.’ It also comes with the hefty/manly price of $2000 US.
That’s two-thousand hard earned balloons. But I’m going to say it right out…it’s worth it…
maybe, kinda…it depends.
The Cintiq isn’t a tablet. It’s a tablet monitor, and its greatest strength is the ability to draw with 'pen on surface' feedback right on the pressure sensitive surface, completely eliminating that off-putting translation between horizontal pen movement and vertical visual surface that you get with a standard pen tablet. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve used a tablet for years and they are great. They are a minimum essential tool for serious digital artists. If you make money doing artwork or it’s your primary hobby, invest in a tablet. I can’t imagine working without one. It would be like biking with one leg. Can you do it? Sure. But why would you.
With natural pen movement and pressure sensitivity, tablets were the best input for an artist experienced in traditional media sketching/inking/painting…but not anymore.
Quite simply, the Cintiq is a ‘doozy.’ The urban dictionary’s 5th definition of doozy is: 5. Doozy
A night filled with excessive drinking to the point that events of the said night are hazy and cannot be completely recalled. There are varying degrees of "doozy", the most common being a night filled with drunken hilarity that for the most part is only recalled by those who did not get too drunk, or partake in the "doozy".
It’s important to note... that’s not the one I’m talking about.
I’m referring to definition number 3 where the following are given as examples:1. Wow what a goal, that was a doozy!
2. That was a doozy of a meal Mrs. Smith.
3. That girl has a doozy of a rack!
Drawing with a Cintiq is exactly like drawing on paper with all of the direct ‘tip of pen to surface’ control you have when drawing traditionally. It would be impossible for me to put in words how important this is. From a traditional perspective, seeing a mark appear where your pen tip hits is invaluable to an artist. In addition, the ability to rotate the Cintiq allows you to move the drawing surface as you would a piece of paper, giving you maximum large gesture control. It’s impossible to fully quantify the beneficial effect. I would say I was two to three times as fast with the Wacom Cintiq than with my Wacom Intuos 3 tablet.
1)There’s the obvious, but very minimal, objection that drawing on a film surface lacks the ‘tooth’ of paper. But I don’t find this a weighty objection, and if the artist is already using a tablet (WHICH YOU SHOULD BE!) the objection is null anyway. To further offset the lack of a 'real media' feel, a selection of pen nibs is offered that can be inserted into the pen to provide more natural feedback. Incidentally, these pen nibs can be used on standard tablets as well.
2) It’s a monitor. It’s an electrical device. It can get warm if used for a while. I’d say this would be MY biggest issue and it’s pretty minor and can be taken care of with a smudge glove.
3) Price. It’s a high end product with a high-end price. It’s either in your range or out. However, this review is written 'by an artist to artists' so when considering the Cintiq, the price should be viewed from the ‘investment’ perspective, not as a ‘luxury item.’ If it’s a luxury item to you, walk away.
In the end, I just can’t recommend it enough.
Gentlemen, I’ve found a new girl …She’s a high end lady with expensive tastes, but boy does she have a doozy of a rack.
That analogy got away from me. I apologize.