Can you use a tablet as a cintiq-like device?

Discussion in 'The Tablet PC Life' started by Steve B, Jul 26, 2011.

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  1. stoneseeker

    stoneseeker Animator and Art Director Senior Member

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    This technique is waaaay outside of most peoples comfort zones to try (programming, code and linux are words that scare people away) and not to mention it would force you to use only a small portion of the screen I thought (?) which doesn't sound appealing at all.

    I would like to see it tried with a more current device, and then a step by step that breaks it down specifically and easily for noobs to folow with said device.... still, this just han't gained traction because most people couldn't be bothered to put this much effort in to something that may not work.
     
  2. thatcomicsguy

    thatcomicsguy Pen Pro - Senior Member Senior Member

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    Indeed.

    The best I've seen is a hardware solution which can get certain screens working as plug-into-any-PC Cintiq alternatives, but there is no easy to follow how-to out there as of yet, and what information there is requires both a level of investigative research and software/electronics engineering skill which is beyond my ken, and I'm pretty comfortable with these things.

    I think with a month or two of dedicated effort, I could figure it out and then post a how-to, but it's a big beast to tackle and I can't really afford the time or energy required. Also, from my cursory examination of the puzzle, it looks like the parts cost would put it in the (low) range of the Lenovo stand-alone screen, which is larger and prettier than the majority of old screens available on eBay.

    The 14" Tecra M4 screen, which would make the best candidate for this kind of project, hasn't been supported by any of the research done by the hack-wizards. If they'd put some work into identifying the hardware controllers and software calls required to get it going, then I'd be more willing to jump in, but as it stands, it's just too far out of my league.

    Gotta pick your battles.
     
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  3. Steve B

    Steve B Moderator Moderator

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    Well, I never said it was easy! :p :D

    However, from the reading I've done there are no hardware parts required, as long as you've got a tablet pc of some sort and a desktop. It's all about dual booting a mini-Linux OS on your tablet pc, and then connecting it to your desktop, where you're running the software to talk to it. So, in essence, it's free.

    Re: screen res-- there were issues with that in his examples, but my understanding was that it had to do with the fact that his tablet pc had a small res monitor, while his desktop monitor had a different res. I think a lot depends on the res of the two devices comparatively, because the desktop is still essentially "running" the programs on the desktop monitor-- I think it's sort of like its only getting duplicated and receiving input on the tablet pc/ cintiq.

    Still, yes, having said all that, it's clearly complex. I'm not a complete computer dunce, but it looked too challenging for me. I also agree that even some people that got it running couldn't get pressure sensitivity to work. Still, others did, which is confusing.

    Anyways, my point was mostly that there were people just __itching__ to try and make their device into a Cintiq, and yet no one was even interested in attempting to try and run this. In truth, I've not seen anyone here at all ever try and run it in a looong time. I think only one or two people ever did, even way back when kinggeek was still around.

    Which is all cool. Except people have been begging for this like it's entirely impossible.
     
  4. TruenoGT

    TruenoGT Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Just wanted to chime in as someone who got this fully working (including pressure) way back when, I ultimately didn't use it much beyond the initial setup. Getting it working wasn't all that bad, beyond some HDD issues I documented in a previous post.

    I have incredible respect for the proof of concept, but there were just a few too many draw backs inherent with any remote desktop situation (e.g. needing to start up both machines, compromised framerate on TPC) and issues native to my particular unit (an older T4020 which had low resolution, degraded color depth, noisy fan, etc). Wired network latency was surprisingly good however.

    It's too bad that in this renewed age of TPCs with Windows 8, we haven't seen something beyond the Cintiq Companion Hybrid that has made this type of use a native function. For my work, I will always need/want the power and flexibility of a desktop machine as my primary driver, so this means I need a Cintiq like product AND a TPC product if I want to sketch on the go with Windows and do heavy graphics lifting and drawing at home.

    Unfortunately, I'm not sure that this technique would still be possible on the UEFI booting Win8 TPCs today. For example, I'm not sure I could install and boot this custom Linux on my TPT2 even I wanted to, so this technique may die with BIOS unless someone creates a workaround.
     
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  5. thatcomicsguy

    thatcomicsguy Pen Pro - Senior Member Senior Member

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    There are two system being described, and the primary one being discussed doesn't really interest me. Latency and not being able to use the full screen really makes the proof of concept seem only half-way useful.

    I was looking at a much more robust hardware solution here:

    Diy cintiq from hp tc4200 - YouTube

    -Which, actually, may not be as expensive as I remembered. It looks like all you need is one of those Arduino boards and some code, (and maybe some extra USB plugs and such). I thought you also needed an LCD controller board specific to the screen model as well as the Arduino for the USB connection. But maybe you can run both the screen and digitizer through the one board..?

    EDIT*****
    You do need an LCD controller board. An "LVDS" board.


    The instructions on the Bongofish site are for all intents and purposes, non-existent, spread out across dozens of comments by hacker types who speak "tech" and assume a base level of knowledge. All of that would need to be pieced together.

    Anyway, I started a thread some months back on this subject in the hopes that somebody could translate that stuff into language less tech-minded folks could relate to.

    http://forum.tabletpcreview.com/har...penabled-tablet-screens-into-diy-cintiqs.html
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2013
  6. azelll

    azelll Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Wow, lots of new stuff here! cool!

    I was browsing some app, and I found out Splashtop, out of curiosity I installed it on my Samsung slate, and I realize that I can connect to a desktop and mirror the image on my Samsung, I can use my pen, and the connection is way faster than VNC viewer, without any lag... and I'm using the power of the desktop... so basically if someone find a way to have the pen recognized as a Wacom pen instead of a mouse it could be a simple and efficient plug and play solution, no hardware modification, no Linux and headaches, and no lag
    I don't know if someone here is able to modify the Wacom drivers, or if it could work with Hw virtual serial port and kinggeek modified drivers... unfortunately I don't know how to move from now on, hehehe
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2013
  7. thatcomicsguy

    thatcomicsguy Pen Pro - Senior Member Senior Member

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    Very interesting!

    Did you try installing the Tablet PC Wacom driver on your PC? That might give you pressure sensitivity.

    They can be downloaded here:

    Legacy Drivers | Wacom
     
  8. Steve B

    Steve B Moderator Moderator

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    Actually, thatcomicsguy-- there's supposedly little to no latency at all if you use a USB connection. It functions just like connecting a Cintiq to a desktop. Input is received from the pressure sensitive tablet pc and that info is instantly transported to the desktop running the software, where the Wacom driver resides. Latency only occurs if you do it over Wifi. You can also use all of the screen on your tablet pc, afaik- it largely depends on the res and size of your desktop monitor versus the size of your tablet pc. It depended on the setup, but there's nothing about it that said that all users were forced to only use part of their tablet pc screen. Not at all, in fact.

    Just sayin'.

    As for what azell found-- that actually does sounds interesting. The real issue, to me, wouldn't be that you'd need the Wacom drivers on your desktop-- that seems a given. The real issue is that you need some way to send the pressure sensitive info from your tablet pc to the desktop software. That's the real special element of kinggeek's setup, or so it seems to me.
     
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  9. thatcomicsguy

    thatcomicsguy Pen Pro - Senior Member Senior Member

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    Careful Steve. . ! Being the most intrigued and knowledgeable about the system generally means you're the best man for the job of implementing it.

    The vids I saw showed significant latency, an unimpressive partial screen and I found the comments really obscure and hard to follow.

    I'll let the more proficient tackle that beast and I'll come back when it has been better refined. But it does sound like a great solution if it can be implemented.
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2013
  10. azelll

    azelll Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Yes, the real problem of this setup is to find someone able to modify the drivers or at least find a way to have the Wacom recognized by HW vsp, unfortunately I have no idea what to write in the IP, port, etc... so I can't really figure out.
    Well, meanwhile I also found out that Splashtop works on Windows RT tablets, and that would definitely make those cheaper tablets more appealing.
    :)
     
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