LE1700 Artist's Review

Discussion in 'Motion Computing' started by marcospopart, Aug 7, 2010.

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  1. salaryman

    salaryman Pen Pal - Newbie

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    I thought I'd post a review from an artist's point of view, I think the more artists that purchase, the more the manufacturers will take note! I'm a concept and character artist for Black Rock Studio, part of the Disney Interactive group.

    I've been totally digital in my output for just over a year now. Everything I do is generated via my Wacom tablet, sketching, inking and painting. There was always a slight disconnection in this process, and I had this Groundhog Day thing going where each morning I had to loosen up and re-train my hand and eye to work together with the tablet on the desk and the monitor in the air. I wanted to re-gain the tactile quality of drawing again, but without loosing the freedom and style I achieve from digital work.

    A Cintiq would be the obvious answer, but it's a 20lb monitor essentially fixed to a desk. The only other solution would be a slate style tablet, essentially a digital sketchbook.

    I'd spent a long time deciding on which tablet to go for, finally settling on either the Stylistic 5112 or the Motion LE1700, my past experience with Fujitsu and the LE1700's 1400x1050 display made it an easy choice....

    The good people at Box Technologies here in the UK were very generous and loaned me a kit for a couple of weeks. Slates and tablets are rare commodities here in the UK and this was an unexpected but fantastic opportunity, so I'm indebted to Paul and Aurelie for their support here.

    I wont be giving much of a technical breakdown here as I didn't even check out all the mobile solutions and connectivity options the LE1700 had to offer (but our MIS guy did install Photoshop remotely over the wireless network which worked pretty well), I just wanted to see if I could draw on it!

    My two biggest fears were the pressure sensitivity and running speed, so I ran the Wacom tablet drivers and loaded up Photoshop. There is sensitivity, but I did notice the drop from my desktop tablet. I plugged away at it but I couldn't get the feel I was after. The calibration in PS was pretty noticeable too. I've heard if you have a Cintiq, you can calibrate the pen to work on the tablet and this may give 512 levels of sensitivity... but that's unconfirmed...

    So I ran Sketchbook Pro.

    And I was in drawing heaven.

    [​IMG]

    This may all come down to the way I work and the style I want to achieve, but as I said, I am a totally digital artist and can feel the slightest difference in pressure, but Sketchbook Pro appeared to compensate and I soon set up my brushes to emulate the one I use normally in PS.

    [​IMG]


    So sketching and inking are a dream on the tablet for me. No feeling of drawing in the ether, altogether a new experience and I actually found drawing FUN again. Painting, at least the way I do, still lacked the finesse I was used to, but if I'd had the time, I'm sure I could have worked with it in SBP. I sort of see it as maybe going from Oils to Acrylic... the tablet is a different medium!


    [​IMG]

    Some of the other artists here weren't so open minded, but if you see a tablet as a new tool and not an emulation of your current one you'll get on perfectly. It took me maybe 3-4 days to get to grips with the workflow, and have been using it to create prelim sketches for work paintings as well as sketching some personal work.


    [​IMG]

    Back to the kit, the resolution is great, I could run a SBP and have some ref running in ACDSee on the same screen. It's lightweight and virtually silent. It did run hot, but it didn't appear to effect performance.

    For the most part I had it lying flat on my desk as I would a sketch pad, and had ref up on my work monitor, a perfect combination. At home I sat with it on my lap, my wife glad of the company as I'd normally be in another room with my desktop and Wacom. I was even able to use it on the train from work, a short ride but the battery showed no drop in performance.

    [​IMG]

    So it's heading back today, I'm very sorry to see it go. I'm actually a bit worried about what I'm going to do without it! I will be purchasing one sometime soon, maybe the 2GB model. I tried out the 1GB and while there were no issues, more ram is more ram!

    So, it looks great, it feels great and applied correctly works great ( I just need to save up for it!)

    I hope that's of some use to those trying to make a tough choice!

    C.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 18, 2015
  2. bignewf

    bignewf Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Thanks dude, that was one of the best reviews of a tablet for an artist, by an artist, that I've read to date.
    Nice drawings too.
     
  3. jerelyn

    jerelyn Scribbler - Standard Member

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    Thank you thank you thank you! I've been wacom-bound in my art for the past 3 years, and I've been getting extremely burned out on it. To the point where my desire to draw instantly plummits once I sit down at the tablet and monitor. Whereas pen 'n paper...I like doing it, I just can't get the results I like. So I've been really hoping that a tablet pc would be an option for me. I want it to replace my desktop, so I also have to wait for something with processing power and the right combo of options (Asus R1E might do the trick), but just hearing a review from a digital artist about what it did for their workflow...and seeing the gorgeous pieces that came out of it...that made my afternoon.
     
  4. MarcelL

    MarcelL Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Hi,

    is it possible to use resolution 1920x1200 over DVI on external display?
    I wrote this question to the Motion Computing but I still don't have any answer :mad:
     
  5. schroder999

    schroder999 Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Nice drawings, I agree that sketchbook and the slate style tablets seem to be made for each other (sketchbook was written with the tablet PC in mind originally). The basic technical difference between photoshop and sketchbook on a tablet is that photoshop (and corel painter) uses "WinTab" to read the pressure information from the pen. Sketchbook (and Artrage 2.5) uses the native ink feature in vista and xp tablet edition which appears to give a smoother experience. I wonder if photoshop will ever switch to native ink since it is a part of vista much like directx is hardcoded into the OS. Perhaps for CS4? Anyways if you like the feel in sketchbook definitely download the latest version of artrage and play with it a bit. Sketchbook has superior speed at resolution imo and the best UI for a tablet ever but Artrage has photoshop like layer modes such as multiply, overlay, colorize, etc. I use sketchbook 90% of the time on my slate tablet but I could see where maybe you could get better paint results in artrage with the different layer modes (if you are a layer mode junkie from photoshop). Just a tip from another tablet artist.

    schroder
     
  6. krypticide

    krypticide Scribbler - Standard Member

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    Very nice insights, schroder!

    Slates are very nice if you're mostly using tablet mode, but if you have any desire to use your tablet as a replacement for another computer, you should consider getting a convertible. While the tablet experience of a slate is much better, you have the advantage of a built-in keyboard and greater horsepower, without too much sacrificing of the slate feel.
     
  7. Nichod

    Nichod Scribbler - Standard Member

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    Great review. I only wish these things could have a halfway decent video card. The C-140X is the only one with anything even close to within my desires. I'd love to be able to animate interactively on the screen portably.
     
  8. rachell

    rachell Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Thank you so much for starting this post!!! I've been looking for a tablet pc for illustration purposes but every review on a tablet for artists was before 2004 -- not very timely! I think you've made my decision for me!
     
  9. salaryman

    salaryman Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Thanks all for the comments,

    I went ahead and purchased myself the 2GB 1700. I toyed with the idea of the View Anywhere but couldn't justify the cost...

    So, I still love it and find it indispensible. Coincidentally, my studio got a couple of Cintiq 21 for us to try and that got me worried... I mean there's no way the Motion could compete... is there...?

    Well, I don't draw on the cintiq, the thing is a beast! I bring my Motion into work and do my sketching on that. I transfer to the Cintiq for painting up my sketches. The tablet and photoshop still don't get along to well and I've tried the recommended tabtip, er, tips. So I'm now unable to do without Sketchbook Pro... which I use on the Cintiq too... yes it has side buttons and I have a keyboard under the screen... but you can't beat SBP for pure drawing enjoyment.

    So the motion stands up more than admirably... the fact that I stick it in my bag and bring it to work suggests one of the massive advantages over the Cintiq (sometimes I wonder if I left my tablet on the train as my backpack feels so light...).

    As a bit of kit it has limitations as a PC (but I'd say that's the nature of slates and not the brand), but I never set out to replace my desktop (but browsing for ref on the net is fine...).

    I am now inseparable from my motion (so to speak), Wacom have just released the Cintiq12... hmmm, 1024 sensitivity no PS lag.. but it is still a monitor at the end of the day... give me the freedom to roam and sketch where I want anyday!

    Anyway, just my thoughts. I'll leave you with a couple of images completed on the Motion.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Cheers,

    C.

    calumalexanderwatt.com
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 18, 2015
  10. storebror

    storebror Scribbler - Standard Member

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    Couldn´t you get ahold of every tabletPC out there and do such a review XD.
    Seriously this was great. I´ve been wanting a tablet for doing art "the old way" as I too get abit put off by the wacomtablets at times.
    Why couldn´t wacom do a fully mobile slate instead of another cintiq screen. :(
     
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