Cheap Cintiq alternatives - XP-Pen Artist 12HD drawing tablet?

Discussion in 'Accessories' started by meiru, Aug 23, 2018.

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  1. meiru

    meiru Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Most of us would love to work with a cintiq-like tablet, but very few could afford one, especially if they are not professionals.

    There have been questions about this, ideas to try to use an Wacom Cintiq tablet for such purposes.

    I didnt give up on my pursuit and found solutions that fit in a 200-500$ price range. it would be XP-Pen Artist 12HD,you can check this product on XP-Pen official site https://www.xp-pen.com/goods/show/id/380.html .

    I mean - its wacom technology. Sure, in the soon-to-be-mine XP-Pen Artist 12HD model there are 8192 pressure levels, the same like in cintiq devices, but I am not a pro and I probably couldnt feel any difference between the two. These drawing tablet monitors have reasonable specs and should do fine. Photoshop should run fine, at least for typical digital painting tools, and there is always GIMP (pretty lightweight compared to PS) or using the entire laptop as a remote desktop display for a stationary PC with decent hardware. All this in a price range below one third of the smallest cintiq 13HD!

    Why wouldnt an amateur use such laptops for drawing, designing, digital painting etc? Is there something i need to know before making the purchase?

    edit a bit more info about what im looking for: Im mostly interested in sketching, drawing and digital painting with the tablet. I dont like the pen-picture detachment when using regular graphic tablets, also i dont like it how i cant turn them to get comfortable drawing angles, and thats why im seeking a cintiq-like solution. I tried using Ipad Pro tablet, but the lack of ANY pressure sensitivity makes painting very cumbersome - maiking a smooth colour transition is a lot of work, while with pressure sensitivity it would only take a few swipes. I dont really do any photo work. Also, Im just an amateur and do drawing/painting as a hobby, not a job.

    So, any reasons why a graphics tablet monitor like the one I mentioned wouldnt satisfy my needs?
     
  2. thatcomicsguy

    thatcomicsguy Pen Pro - Senior Member Senior Member

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    I've not tried the XP Pen system, but this one looks nice...

    https://www.amazon.com/Drawing-Moni...ie=UTF8&qid=1535054941&sr=8-7&keywords=xp+pen

    It has a batteryless pen, 15.6" of canvas at a decent price...

    A board with a too-small screen is a major drawback. Imho 11.6" is too small to be useful. I don't even know why they make stuff like that. That's like doing art on napkins. Why would anybody want to limit themselves to drawing on napkins? I figure a screen has to at least approximate a sheet of typing/copier paper in terms of square inches! -Since that's what we all grew up drawing on with pencils and crayons.

    But we have to make due with what is available. Luckily, this 15.6" board is in your price range. I'd give that a shot.

    Though, there are also old Cintiq 21UX boards on eBay which you can sometimes get for around the same ballpark figure. Though, they're really used at this point. But I owned one for several years; it was great. I think it might have even been better than my way-sharper, way cooler Dell Canvas; for some reason I got work done on the old Cintiq faster than I do on my Dell. Don't know why exactly, but that's how it was...
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2018
  3. doobiedoobiedum

    doobiedoobiedum Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Still?

    Maybe set a timer or something? Do you think the repeat action of searching for keyboard or just the scale is setting you back?
     
  4. thatcomicsguy

    thatcomicsguy Pen Pro - Senior Member Senior Member

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    Yeah, still. I'm becoming more comfortable with the Dell for sure, (and the new pen helps a lot!), and things are becoming faster, but I'm not quite "At One" with the tool just yet. I think it might be the extra levels of control which slow me down; more pressure sense and being able to manipulate the canvas with my fingers and the extra scale available. It's like having a new game control pad with lots of extra buttons.

    Much of my speed and confidence previously came from having a hard-wired relationship with the tool. Now I'm having to consciously double think at lines rather than just having them appear when and how I want them. That will only get faster with time and use, and it's happening, but it is still a learning process.

    The Cintq 21UX and the Dell Canvas might look similar, but the subtle differences in control characteristics are quite different at the micro level, -where the magic happens. Anybody can bash out rough linework, but getting the character and expression of a line just so is what good comics are all about. -Especially with the more cartoony stuff which my style lives or dies by.
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2018
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  5. doobiedoobiedum

    doobiedoobiedum Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    I suppose I never had a Cintiq and my tabletpc experience is limited to older EMR with horrible edge drift so the Dell has been a wonderful experience for me.

    What version of Photoshop are you using on it? What other art software are you using that allows you to use the full functions of the Canvas and the Totem?
    One thing I keep wondering is whether I wrote off Clip Studio too quickly as the bigger screen automatically gives me a big canvas where the menus have not taken over. Previously I had it on my 12" tabletpcs and hated it - edge drift made things worse so I sold my copy.
     
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  6. thatcomicsguy

    thatcomicsguy Pen Pro - Senior Member Senior Member

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    I gave up on owning Photoshop; the old CS versions were great, but they're too buggy on Windows 10, so I'm just using whatever version of Photoshop that Adobe pushes out. It's gotten a lot better, many fewer freezes and such, but it's still not nearly as nice to draw in, not by a long mile, than CSP.

    CSP has truly come into its own, especially on the Dell. Pencils and inks go down smooth and clean, even without brush stabilization. -And the finger touch interface is almost perfect, especially compared to Photoshop which is quite awkward and unintuitive. I'd give CSP another shot if I were you!

    But man, that Dell pen, eh? The one which came with my unit wasn't working properly, so I replaced it with another and boy! I can see what you were saying. It's probably the best stylus I've ever used!
     
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  7. Marty

    Marty Pen Pro - Senior Member Senior Member

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    Do you subscribe to just Photoshop, or go the full CC package, maybe for other apps you may use (eg. Illustrator)?

    I'm kinda in a bind right now. My workflow can survive 90-95% without Adobe, but for those few occasions (particularly working with complex PSD and AI files) I find I need to go back.

    I now have 2 equally unappealing options:

    1) Try to find a legit copy of CS6 (nearly impossible now that Adobe stopped selling and registered keys require a transfer process that few sellers know about)

    2) Return to subscription and the feeling of being continually ripped off with Adobe's trickle of inconsequential updates (eg. allow portrait mode in Illustrator CC! It's been 3 frickin' years and you still can't be bothered to fix such a minor issue? :vbmad:)

    Maybe you've worked out some super-economical plan that you've become so (in)famous for? ;)
     
  8. thatcomicsguy

    thatcomicsguy Pen Pro - Senior Member Senior Member

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    I'm in the same boat. Most of my work happens without the use of Photoshop, but certain things it is indespensable for. I just pay $10 a month or whatever it is. Probably more like $12 or $13 in Canadian funds. I only pay for Photoshop; the full suite is way too much imho, and my old copy of pre-CC InDesign seems to function adequately, but I've not yet needed to put it to the test on a Windows 10 platform.

    I am holding an older computer in standby with Windows 7 if there are any problems when I do my next book layout.

    I suspect Adobe was perfectly happy when Windows 10 rendered the CS series broken. It was one of the several reasons I didn't want to upgrade from Windows 7 at all. But Win 7 only ever offered half-baked touch interface control, and I wanted to take advantage of the full range of touch on my desktop, (where it works beautifully, I might add). -Not to mention, my Samsung portable was built around Win 10 to the point where it would have been very difficult, if not impossible, to rig it for Win 7.

    I didn't kick and scream exactly, but I did grumble a lot as I was dragged into the new computing era. It's okay here, but it does smell like Big Brother.

    One day, maybe CSP will improve its various features which are currently lacking so that I can abandon Adobe altogether, but so far that's not happened, and I'm not holding my breath. $10 a month is okay so long as I'm regularly earning money by using their software, even if it is only for a few hours every month.
     
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  9. Marty

    Marty Pen Pro - Senior Member Senior Member

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    Ah right, it's $10 USD month, if you commit to a whole year. Otherwise it's $20/month.

    I'm not so successful that I have constant stream of projects requiring PS. And for those complex projects that do, I often need Illustrator too (argh), so I can't just go with the Photography plan.

    I swear every time I'm forced to subscribe to Adobe, I end up hating their apps more. I wonder if they are just slowly burning their goodwill built up over the years, and at some point the industry will just migrate, hehe.

    Anyways, thanks for the ideas. I'm glad your new Canvas setup is now almost fully melded with you. May your comics live long and prosper. :)
     
  10. doobiedoobiedum

    doobiedoobiedum Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Does anyone know why Adobe CS alone was hit so hard by Windows 10?

    I have other software that has survived the transfer to Windows 10 but my CS5.5 Web Premium suite just won't install. Even Sculptris that wouldn't install when Windows 10 first came out is now installable - without even a software rewrite by Pixologic.

    Strange that my original copy of CS2 still installs fine on Windows 10 though.
     
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