Painting and Drawing with the HP tm2

Discussion in 'HP TouchSmart TM2 (Wacom)' started by Greenlaw, Feb 28, 2010.

  1. Greenlaw

    Greenlaw I like pie.

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    I've been out of town for a few weeks without internet connection, but I'm back. While I was away, I did get to use my tm2 quite a bit for drawing and painting though. Here's the scoop:

    To get the best results for drawing and painting with the HP tm2 you do need the Wacom Penabled Tablet PC Pen with Dual Side Switches and Eraser (wow, that's a mouthful.) The included HP pen is crap for drawing and painting, however you'll want to keep both pens around because the HP pen is actually better for handwriting recognition.

    Basically, the Wacom pen appears to be properly calibrated for smoothness on the light end of the pressure curve while the HP pen is a bit stiffer. This means the Wacom pen gives you have more control for drawing fine lines and gradients, but the HP pen gives you more consistency with heavier lines. I know it's been mentioned here that there should be no difference between the pens but, believe me, there most certainly is a difference and it's a big one. I'll try to make a video this weekend to demonstrate what I mean.

    If you get this tablet for painting, go for the 512MB ATI Radeon graphics card option. The latency with with the native Intel graphics for drawing is not bad for most paint programs, but it's noticeably slower with Photoshop CS4 even at screen res. But with the ATI card, every 2d program I tried was pretty zippy.

    The downside to using the ATI card is that is sucks your battery faster and for this reason, you may want to use the Intel graphics mode when you want to be mobile and just deal with the slight latency. When you unplug the tablet it will ask you if you want to switch to Intel graphics mode. The nice thing is that it switches on the fly and there's no need to reboot, however it will also suggest that you quit any graphics programs you have open. I think you can configure the tablet to stay in ATI mode though, if that's your preference; could somebody verify this for me? To be honest, I'm not sure how to do this myself.

    (Edit: Nevermind, I just figured it out. Go to the ATI Catalyst panel and select Switchable Graphics from the Graphics tab. In this panel you can choose the default graphics for battery mode.)

    The only real issue I have with this tablet is the glossiness of the screen. The gloss is okay when drawing indoors, but when outdoors it's nearly impossible to see the screen even when it's set to its brightest level. Going into the shade helps, but this isn't always practical and even then it can still be difficult to see the screen. Does anybody have a recommendation for a matte surface screen protector that doesn't affect touch sensitivity and pressure?

    Now, about drawing with the tm2: when used with the free programs ModLock and Gmote, this tablet PC has been pretty awesome with Photoshop, MangaStudio, and ArtRage Studio Pro. ArtRage is interesting in that is can support both multi-touch and the pen at the same time, so you can scale, move, and rotate with two fingers, and paint with the pen. (Or paint with a finger if you wish.) It was a little tricky learning how to draw with gesture commands, but I adapted pretty quickly. I was pretty used to this new (for me) workflow after I finished my first comic strip on this tablet.

    If I can make the time, I'll post the details of my workflow for drawing with the HP tm2 on a page at the Little Green Dog website this weekend. I'll let you know when that's ready.

    Oh, I almost forgot: Battery life. I'm usually plugged in so I haven't done any real benchmarks but this tablet yet, but it does seem to run for hours with either the Intel or ATI graphics switched on. I have noticed that the battery runs down quicker with the ATI graphics, but it's still surprisingly efficient. At the moment I've been using ATI graphics on battery for almost three hours and the battery meter still says 51%. Also, the wi-fi has been on for the last hour. I'll try to do some more formal testing for battery life later this week.

    In the meantime, please enjoy Brudders Episode 39 'Call of Doodie', which was drawn entirely on the tm2. I'll try to post some paintings I did while I was away a little later. :)

    I hope this info has been helpful or at least interesting. I'm curious to hear what other artists think about the HP tm2 so please post your experiences here.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 18, 2015
  2. Acharai

    Acharai Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Thanks a bunch. My TM2 is arriving tomorrow and I've been worrying about it's drawing capabilities.

    One question, though, do I need to get the specific wacom-pen that you linked or will the TM2 work with the pen from my Bamboo? I live in Sweden and haven't been able to find any store that sells the tablet-pc wacom pens.
     
  3. Pox

    Pox Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Did you try adjusting the stiffness in the "Pen Tablet Properties"? I found the supplied pen worked fairly well after I moved that slider a long way towards "soft".

    Then again, I don't have the other pen to compare it to, and I was just experimenting briefly.
     
  4. Greenlaw

    Greenlaw I like pie.

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    My understanding is that the Bamboo pen will not work with this tablet. I do know for a fact that the pens that came with the Intuos 3, Cintiq 12WX, or Graphire tablets do not work. I tried my old ArtZ pen, the model without the dual switch, and it sort of works but it's very flakey. Bear in mind that this is a very old pen for a Macintosh ADB tablet.

    The pen I mentioned above (model UP811E) does work very well with the tm2 and I highly recommend it.

    Click here for the FAQ containing more info about Wacom pens and tablet PC. Scroll down the the section titled 'Alternative Pens'.

    Let me know how it goes when you get your tm2 tablet. :)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 18, 2015
  5. Greenlaw

    Greenlaw I like pie.

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    Yes, this helps a little for the HP pen, but even after tweaking the Tip Feel setting, the HP pen is still noticeably stiff compared to the Wacom pen; drawing with Wacom pen on the tm2 is definitely more like what you would expect when using a Wacom tablet: smooth and no skipping. Also, with the Wacom pen it is not necessary to adjust the Tip Feel; the default setting works fine.

    With either pen, however, I found that to use the eraser tip I have to bear down a little harder than I normally would on a Wacom tablet. Adjusting the Eraser Feel setting all the way to Soft does improve its responsiveness on the tm2. (BTW, I don't normally use the eraser tip so this isn't a big issue for me.)

    I should also add that the Wacom pen gives you the second finger switch, which also brings this tabet closer to what it's like using a professional Wacom tablet (i.e., Intuos or Cintiq.) The second switch isn't essential, but it's very useful in programs like Photoshop.
     
  6. Acharai

    Acharai Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Thanks!

    Oh well, let's see if I can find one. The upgrade to a a second switch would be nice, as well as the sensitivity. And the FAQ was great.

    And yes, I'll probably be posting when I've played around a bit with it. It was supposed to have arrived the day before yesterday but got sent to the wrong post-office. Lucky me! :rolleyes:

    Anyway, I'm extremely excited about tomorrow. I'll hopefully love it.
     
  7. Greenlaw

    Greenlaw I like pie.

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    Regarding anti-glare screen protectors for the tm2, I just read this interesting thread by Mengala: Screen Protector Review with Videos

    It seems like the Photodon Anti-Glare Film works well with the tm2, and it even preserves touch sensitivity. There isn't a version specifically sized for the tm2 yet, but it's apparently coming soon. I'll be watching for this product. :)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 18, 2015
  8. Meatlocker

    Meatlocker Software Development Pro

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    As I mentioned, you can call them and order a TM2-sized protector. They have the dimensions, and it is a custom-cut. The protector fits perfectly on my screen, covering to the edge of the black bezel.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 18, 2015
  9. Synergi

    Synergi Scribbler - Standard Member

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    Is it usable outside in bright light with the matte screen protector.

    Great to see you back GreenLaw! Totally feeling the sandbox game joke. Good one!
     
  10. Greenlaw

    Greenlaw I like pie.

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    Thanks, I think I'll do that. The glare is a bit much when I'm not at home or at a dark coffee shop.
     
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