Need purchase advice Cintiq

Discussion in 'Artists' started by Zhao Su, Feb 20, 2017.

  1. Zhao Su

    Zhao Su Zee Ess

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    Hey guys,

    I need some advice on how to go about this, but I'll keep it as short and comprehensive as possible.

    I primarily use:
    - Corel Painter
    - Photoshop

    Dabbling in:
    - Rebelle
    - Krita
    - Clip Studio

    Type of artist:
    - On the go a lot, do a lot of my work at cafes and such. Hate being home, too many distractions.
    - Lot of variable line work, pressure sensitivity critical, initial pressure activation MORE critical. No jitter even when slow, N-trig & Wacom AES out of the question.

    Budget:
    - Currently have $700 saved up, can only save $50 each week, very tight right now.

    The issue:
    - Hand-eye disconnect slowly getting to me, slowing my workflow overall.
    - Laptop only has HDMI output, no DisplayPort.
    - Would like advice on Cintiq 13HD and Cintiq Pro, or other machines.

    In more detail:

    *warning: wall of text, skip to end of break if tl;dr for you*
    ------------------------------------------

    My primary machine, the 1st-gen Companion I sold hoping to get a Companion 2, but family emergency happened forcing me to give that hope up. Getting back into commissions but with very limited budget, I got a $500 laptop with a $300 Intuos Pro M in order to get work done.

    But I'm stating to feel the limitations of the Intuos. The hand-eye disconnect isn't so bad, once I'm in the zone, I'm in the zone, regardless. But I'm finding myself using the tools, such as Rotate, Zoom, and Canvas view flips a LOT more often than I would like. I thought it was just my traditional biases telling my feelings that I was being a baby about the way I work, but I measured myself doing a lineart, one on paper, and one on the Intuos. To make the playing field as even as possible, I started on paper first, because I knew I would be doing the most critical thinking with a fresh sketch which required more time. Then I emulated the same process on the Intuos in Painter with comparable brushes, and found that I just took longer for some damn reason, even though I knew exactly what to sketch this time around just for the same (or at least comparable) results. (Sorry, no video or pics.)

    Even by mapping the Express keys and touch ring to speed up my work flow, coupled with using keyboard, I still find myself working slower than if I was directly hand to screen. Some ppl at some cafes have commented that I work pretty damn fast with the Intuos with very fluid strokes, but to me, I'm on average undoing 2-3 strokes for the 1 stroke I could be doing perfectly hand-to-screen. It all adds up pretty quickly.

    I utilize tilt. It's not that big a deal to not have it, but I'd rather have that option than not. More critical to me is pressure activation. If I press down ever- so-slightly, I expect a mark to be made. I can deal with pressure curves in the software.

    I'd love me some MobileStudio Pro, but they're not gonna happen for me with my budget. I looked into the Cintiq Pros, but dammit, not everyone has a USB-C machine Wacom!! And since my machine only outputs HDMI, I couldn't even get the Wacom Link to use it if I wanted to.

    The 13HD seems the next cheapest option, but I'm not the biggest fan of the parallax, and I'm suspicious of the 75% Adobe RGB gamut. I'm working on a project that will eventually make its way to print, so color is fairly important to me. I bought a ColorMunki Photo for the sole purpose of building color profiles for myself and any printer I work with. So I'm wondering if my Adobe RGB fears are a little unfounded if I already own a spectrophotometer that might help with the 75% compared to the 87% on Pro13 and the 94% on the Pro16.

    ------------------------------------------

    So I guess what I'm asking is for experiences with the 13HD and maybe other alternatives.

    Should I buy a new machine that has DisplayPort or the not-even-ubiquitous USB-C just to spend money on a Pro13 and a Wacom Link?

    Should I get a 13HD knowing its limitations?

    Or should I just bite the bullet and just deal with what I've got for now?

    Are there any other alternatives?

    Thx and sorry for the wall of text.
     
  2. darkmagistric

    darkmagistric Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    If Wacom AES & N-trig are out of the question......and the MSP is too far from your price range.......given your limited budget I'd have to recommend the Cube Mix Plus

    http://surfaceproartist.com/blog/2017/1/8/kaby-lake-cube-mix-plus-excels-despite-its-low-price

    10.6 inch screen, Wacom EMR, Core M/4GB/128GB.....all for $400.

    My only pause for concern is your primary use of Photoshop and Corel since those are more CPU demanding applications...and while I'm sure both programs would run fine on Core M.....if you use really big brushes (sketching with 100+ px, painting with 300+px, Hundreds of layers, 500+MB saved PSD files, really large complex texture brushes. etc).....you will tap the performance ceiling much earlier then you would on a Core i5/i7/8GB device.

    Another viable option would be a used or refurbed Surface Pro 2, since that uses EMR, and can probably be had for the same amount of money (roughly)....even the 8GB edition, and the Haswell i5 would still perform adequately. Honestly thought the Core M Kaby Lake in the Cube Mix would probably perform just as well as a Haswell ulv i5.

    If you're going to be doing most of your work on the go....like at a coffee house...(I'm the say way, home is far too distracting)..I would stay away from the 13HD. While the 13 Pro Cintiq can run off USB power....that 13HD needs dedicated AC power...and while some coffee house may have outlets.....it can be such a pain and take up excess space, and then you have to worry about getting a seat close enough to an outlet, or making sure no one trips over the cord, a big enough table for both the laptop and cintiq, etc.

    I take my MSP13 (and all my former tablets) to coffee houses all the time, and being AC free is such a godsend.

    I do know one artist though....I see her from time to time at the same Barnes and Nobles Cafe I frequent regularly....she has a Macbook and a Cintig 13HD....only this Barnes & Nobles does not have any outlets in the cafe at all....so what she did was purchase some sort of mobile power brick......(no clue on the brand but it looks like a white square box).....so I'm assuming she uses that to power the Cintiq...but her whole setup....while it works for her....looks like a nightmare to me.....the Macbook, the Cintiq, the power box, and all the cables, etc......so much table clutter....unless you can score the few really big tables (which I hate because they wobble extra)....the setup would leave with no room to even put your coffee down. While I do admire the multi-monitor set up...having just one device on the go is just simpler.
     
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  3. Zhao Su

    Zhao Su Zee Ess

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    Yeah, it's already quite the mess with my current machine. My laptop is 15.5", making it about 17", and the Intuos M is the exact same size, so in a lot of cases I have no choice but to take up more table space with the 2 devices, much to the chagrin of other cafe-goers looking for a spot to sit.

    I looked at the Miix Plus, but 4gb is too paltry, and I do use large brushes at least when painting, the lineart can be managed even at high-reses (I know, cuz I was able to do a 9000×9000 px image's complex lineart on my late Toshiba Encore 2 Write without much of a hitch). But I'd rather have a smooth experience, hence I need at least 8gbs of RAM. It doesn't help that some of Painter's brushes do hog CPU power.

    If I wasn't so used to Painter & PS already, I would've taken the time to learn Clip Studio after hearing amazing things about it especially for high res work, but I can't really take the time to learn right now when I have work to do.

    I wish Wacom weren't so dense and hostile to consumers with the whole USB-C thing, otherwise I wouldn't have been in such a pickle and could stand to wait a little for the Pro13.

    In hindsight, I wish I would've been a little more patient in order to save up more for a decent machine that had at least a DisplayPort, but I had to get work done, and not having a digital art horse of some sort was simply not an option.
     
  4. crazycat

    crazycat Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Normally I would have recommended a manufacturer refub from HP or Lenovo, like an i5 4300 haswell thinkpad yoga 12 with 12.5 inches wacom EMR and 8gb ram setup or one like my hp x2 612 g1. It costed me only 400$ for a 8G i5 setup with a 12.5 inch wacom EMR FHD display, and HP give 1 year warranty for manufacturer refubished item.

    However you already have a good laptop so buy that would be a waste of a good machine. Cintiq 13HD should be out because mess of cable that require dedicated power source. You should probably look at the Artisul D10.

    Artisul is an UC-Logic company that ultilize UCLogic newest EMR battery less tech, and most reviewer praise their D13 (13" version) to be almost as good as the Cintiq 13HD ( san tilt). They have a good track record and customer service, but their D13 is out of stock and there is only one D10 available for 280$. The D10 both power and read pressures information through an usb port connected to laptop, and display data transfer through a hdmi port so you only need to worry about your laptop battery life. If 10" is not too restrictive for you and tilt not too important , the D10 would be the perfect solution to your current situation and it's cheap enough that you can still save for something better till next year or so.
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2017
  5. harrodeleted

    harrodeleted Pen Pal - Newbie

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    I was in a similiar situation. Get the "dtk-1651"

    It's a 15.6 inch wacom external cintiq like screen with 1024 levels of pressure sensitivity.
    I got mine for around 700, but I think the cheaper options have sold out. Still you can find them for under a thousand dollars.
    I've been using mine since the end of february for drawing each day, and it's pretty incredible.

    Also its native port is HDMI, so it'll work well with your computer. It's wacom EMR, will detect the lightest touches, and no lag (that I can tell).

    (It has the same downside as the cintiq pro, and the cintiq 13 HD which is that there are cables not only to the computer, but also cables you need to plug into the wall for power. That makes setting up in a coffee shop not super feasible unless you have a ton of room.)
     
  6. thatcomicsguy

    thatcomicsguy Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    There's a Fujitsu t935 currently on eBay with no reserve bidding at the moment.

    My guess is that it will sell for around $1000 in the end, but you might throw in a bid and hope it stays within your budget...

    13.3" Wacom EMR and unbearably pretty.

    It's a long shot, but maybe that's your machine..?
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2017
  7. surfaceproartist

    surfaceproartist Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Finding real tilt support is the challenge here. I think a used or refurbished Cintiq 13HD is your only option (unless you want to go with the even older Cintiq 12WX).
     
  8. darkmagistric

    darkmagistric Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Actually....another option since you started this thread

    The 12 inch Samsung Galaxy Book....Kaby Lake Core i5/8GB ram option....and the improved EMR based Spen...in addition to now having tilt....should be basicly the best pen tech on the market next to the Mobile Studios. There should be little to no decernable parallax and the screen is Amoeld so colors should be fantastic on it. No clue or pricing or when it will actually be released....but I would definitely look into it as an option.
     
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