Wacom Cintiq alternatives - A closer look

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by whazzup, Dec 14, 2011.

  1. Tsukiko Valkyrie

    Tsukiko Valkyrie Pen Pal - Newbie

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    I think I heard my tm2 go into a fit of crying about a 72k*28k image o_O how much memory does that take up? the most I've worked with is 10k*7k and my laptop chugs if i try to do more than 5-10 layers on that :S
    yea, i shudder thinking about vector lines too, not only is it un-intuitive but it's too clean!.. i work mostly traditionally and it's the lil inconsistencies, however unwanted, makes an image look like it was hand-drawn and alive. Seeing a too-clean vector line, esp on ink lines on a comic page, feels weirdly artificial. Saying that, MangaStudio4 has a decent inking capability, the 'correction' adds a bit of vector correcting to a drawn line :-D i need just to add some inconsistencies to help it appear more traditionally drawn than digitally. How do you guys handle inking for your comic pages? I used to just ink over the pencil and then spend agggggeeeeeessssssssss cleaning that up on the pc before putting it through tones/colours (i'm trying non-photo blue pencils now and inking in MS4). Is there a better way?

    gonna have to look up the tecra m4 :)

    quick wee question, what do you guys use for additional buttons for your tablets/cintiq-alts? i read some people use mini keyboards or whatnot, i use a wee ion foldable gamecontroller that gives me 12 buttons and it's small enough to fit in my hand easy. just wondering if anyone has found a nice wee alternative quickbutton accessory for their tablets? :)
     
  2. stoneseeker

    stoneseeker Animator and Art Director Senior Member

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    I'll let thatcomicsguy handle the inking question, but the game controller your using sounds like a fine solution to me. Many of us use the homebrew onscreen toolbars that are made here (check software forums here for a bunch) and there are a few different mobile keypads people like to use. The PS3 move numchuck is an ergonomic solution that can be quite mobile and slick if you can slug through the intimidating process of getting it working with windows. The other more popular but less mobile solutions around here are the highly customizable "Nostromo" gamepad and Logitech's "G13" gamepad (I use the latter).

    Regarding the M4, realize that TCG (Mark) has been squeezing the most out of that machine for a long time and your TM2 is more powerful than it, he's just really really efficent about how he uses it. He essentially has a system so dialed (hardware hacks for the fan, proper settings in photoshop to maximize the limited hardware) that he can make it work for his needs. The M4 to this day still has the largest screen space of tabletPC's sporting Wacom, making it pretty ideal for black and white print comic creation.
     
  3. ron2k_1

    ron2k_1 calibuchi Senior Member

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    There are few ways out there, but what's easy for me is a color range selection in photoshop. Check out this video. I do it a bit differently, but I couldn't find any video that shows it the way I do it. What I do differently is that after selecting all whites, I invert the selection, cut it out of the background and paste it on a new layer:


    Have a looksie at this thread:
    http://forum.tabletpcreview.com/threads/best-accessory-for-digital-painters-yep.56515/

    I use the Zeemote (discussed in post 60 of the above thread). And with that I have access to 6 buttons (which is enough). The rest is taken care of by the RadialMenu by forum member incrediclint.
     
  4. Tsukiko Valkyrie

    Tsukiko Valkyrie Pen Pal - Newbie

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    oouu, ty ron! I haven't been able to watch the video yet but i do something similar to what you describe, but in the past the erased pencil marks always created a lot of dirty marks around the clean line, and i would spend ages with the eraser (after selecting all of the white colour and cleaning that) rubbing out the dirty mid-dark greys to get back to the darker grey lines. Using non-photoblue pencils helped as it left less marks around the inked lines. I shall watch the vid tonight :)
    I tried out the radial menu last night (as you seen in the other thread) but as you say, my older wacom drivers seem to be making it difficult to configure (on my win7 tm2). I'm sure i just need to find right shortcut/combination that will work on both the wacom 3rd button and radialmenu.
    I did try update my wacom drivers a few weeks ago but it didn't work, it couldn't detect my 2nd/3rd buttons of my up817e pen (or the default tm2 pen for that matter). I had to revert back to the original drivers that came with it just to get my pen to work properly again ;_; not sure what happened (though i suspect it was a clash of drivers between wacom and win7 that caused it)
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2015
  5. Burgundy

    Burgundy Scribbler - Standard Member

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    Any one using Yiynova tablet monitors, the new v8.1 drivers, got monitor to full range switch, by holding down pen button 2 for 2 seconds, pretty neat, didn't know about it, until they wrote about it on their FB page, was enough to make me try the new drivers, very nice, when you don't want to put down the pen to use the mouse, to browse stuff on other monitors, if you got more than 2 monitors, have to get used to the offset in full range though, since movement horizontal is 3 ticks more than vertical, while in that mode. Holding button 2 obviously reverts to normal use again.

    Depending, where your mouse is, or where you put your pen, to use the mouse, this feature can your work flow smoother.
     
  6. thatcomicsguy

    thatcomicsguy Pen Pro - Senior Member Senior Member

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    Hi! Welcome to the forum!

    I know what you mean about vector looking too clean. I like the human look free-hand drawing/inking provides. I like a bit of 'messy' in my own work. But I DO like the actual inks to be clean and perfect, kind of the way real-world brush inking looks.

    To this end, I like to ink without any anti-aliasing/dithering. Anti-aliasing helps make lines look smooth on a screen, but on paper, the grey edges print in a way I think looks kind of low-quality and fuzzy. -Which can work well for some color approaches, (some people don't ink at all; they just do tight pencils and color right over those. It works, but my pencils are far too loose; I'll sometimes draw three sets of arms until I find a pair I like, and then ink those. :) )

    Anyway, non-dithered inks where the black is 100% either there or not there, on or off.., this allows for the color selection trick to work flawlessly when separating out layers. To turn off dithering/anti-aliasing in Photoshop, you just use one of their solid brushes (the Pencil icon offers a bunch of factory set brushes; the solid circles), and in other programs like Manga Studio, I pick one of the pen tools, like the G-pen, and set the Anti-aliasing feature to zero.

    When doing basic comic pages, I work at around 6000 x 8400, or thereabouts. I find this provides enough resolution to make for super-clean lines at print resolution. Also, for black and white artwork, my ancient Tecra M4 is quite capable of working at those sizes without speed or memory issues, which as Stoneseeker pointed out, can be a concern on older hardware.

    I like to pencil in Photoshop, and ink in a program with brush stabilization, set very low, to provide perfect pressure drop-offs, but still show any quirks in my handiwork. Photoshop doesn't offer brush stabilization, at least not in the older versions; the new Photoshop CC software I've not looked at.

    For inks, I use a weird little program called, "Mangalabo" which I find super-efficient in terms of memory, and well tuned for that one job in ways I really appreciate, (the number of mouse clicks needed for regular tasks is often just one or two), but the popular choice these days is Manga Studio 5; it's affordable, stable and extremely powerful with zillions of options.
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2015
  7. Tsukiko Valkyrie

    Tsukiko Valkyrie Pen Pal - Newbie

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    ty XD
    Aah, I had to turn on anti-aliasing in MangaStudio as it was coming out too blocky and edgy (prob due to the lower resolution), but i didn't try it at a superhigh resolution and then shrink it down and let the resizing take care of the edgeys.
    I'm the same with my art, i could use basic shapes and guidelines for the body and then build on top of that, usually a naked body and then i put clothes on top of that, so many overlapping layers so no clean pencil lines for me either ;_; non-photo-blue pencils help though.
    Oohh, i'll have to check out mangalabo when i get home, a program specifically designed for manga inking should do the trick.

    Over the last week i started to familiarize myself with the inking tools in manga studio, and then jumped into a comic page from a rough design and it came out pretty nice. much slower than if i was to ink by pen but it came out cleaner and nicer looking. Corrections help on the long lines but i found that it takes me several attempts for most inking :S i think the parallax on the tm2 is throwing me at times. I'll have to try mangalabo and see if that's any better. at least with manga studio, outside the original page sketch, i can do text, panels, tone, inking and finish all from the one app which is handy i suppose :)

    do you tone your work in manga studio tcg? how do you go about going from a 8k+ ink page to a printable version with tones all intact? I mean, do you tone at 8k as well, or at 300dpi(print size) after inking?
     
  8. Seel

    Seel Pen Pal - Newbie

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    You shouldn't scale it down for print at all, that's why you'd also tone it at the resolution you're working at.

    What you should be more worried about is how it looks when you reduce it to a web friendly resolution. A lot of comics that use screen tones often look ugly on the web because of moire patterns introduced by resizing it.
    I got around that by angling the dots at ~70° instead of the normal 45° and applying a bit of a blur filter on the screen-tone layer before resizing. (Don't save the raw file like that however.)

    Result looks pretty okay I think:

    [​IMG]

    For this page I worked at a resolution of roughly 10k pixels by 14k which is 1200dpi. I went back to 600dpi when I started coloring the comic.
     
  9. Tsukiko Valkyrie

    Tsukiko Valkyrie Pen Pal - Newbie

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    yea, i do see the moire patterns from when i resize down but the comics i'm working on now i would print only so there's no real worry for me for web friendly resolutions :)
    I sadly have to resize down though for printing ;_; the printer i use for my comics prints my size at a5 at 300dpi, which isn't a very large resolution. If i sent them my fully sized page (typically 600dpi or 1200dpi at a5), then i would be left to the mercy of the printer scaling-algorithm or person there to scale down to 300dpi which would, as you said, introduce moire patterns (i've noticed it in my older printed comics, i'm keeping that in mind this time). So, i'm hoping that if i use higher L tones in manga studio, 60L instead of 30L, it would offset the scaling from 600dpi to 300dpi and make it look as if i toned it at 300dpi.. if that makes sense :S at least, i hope thats what i'm doing hahah ^^;;

    hmm, 70degrees.. i'll run a test and see how that turns out :-D that would work on dots, not sure on lines and other tone-types though :)

    your stuff looks great XD i like your style seel, have you a website or DA i can follow XD

    I feel like i'm masssiiiiivvveeeellly derailing this thread with talk of manga studio, resizing and toning, is there another thread we can continue on so that i won't derail more? :S
     
  10. thatcomicsguy

    thatcomicsguy Pen Pro - Senior Member Senior Member

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