About two months ago, I purchased the latest, greatest Wacom monitor: the Cintiq 24HD. I was drooling all over my computer monitor whenever I’d pull up a youtube video of someone testing it out. When I finally pulled the trigger to buy it, I was only a little reluctant despite it costing equal to a small country since I’ve used its smaller cousin, the little 13″ guy, for about three years and know that it can boost productivity. So after I drove it from Toronto to Ottawa, put it on a plane up here to Iqaluit and got it into my small shop, I noticed something. This thing is big. Not just a little big, but ridiculous MassivE. It’s sitting right now on the corner of my desk, actually unused, because for me to use it I need so much space that there’s hardly any room left for me to fart.
But it’s pretty, and it does its job of being the next best thing for sketching besides paper in unrivaled fashion. And yet, there it sits, right beside my large Intuos- the one I use every day. There’s something so elegantly simple about the Intuos, it’s hard to describe until you get into the groove. For me, the keyboard is indispensable while drawing or doing any After Effects work, and the Intuos and keyboard go together like coffee and breaktime. Whenever I use the Cintiq, I find myself muttering when I have to move my hand four miles away from the monitor to do a keyboard shortcut, and don’t even get me started every time I need to change monitors to my primary screen on the iMac. I know, I know, all you guys and gals out there- but you can programme the buttons on the Cintiq to any shortcut you want! I’ve done it, and honestly, I hate them. I’m so used to the keyboard shortcuts after having used photoshop for almost 10 years, that for me you can’t beat the keyboard interface. I don’t even use the buttons on the Intuos either, for the same reason. No matter how used to the buttons you get on either the Intuos or Cintiq, you will always need the keyboard, and the Cintiq attempts to do away with it completely. For me, that’s a huge mistake. Also, it is absolutely true that having your hand in the way as you paint really slows things down, and whenever you need to make a path or do anything in PS that isn’t drawing, you can’t even see half of what you’re doing. The screen too on the Cintiq is crap. I believed everyone who wrote saying that IPS panel of the Cintiq 24HD is wonderful, but after my first two drawings that I had to touch up on using the iMac screen since I couldn’t even see some of the colour I thought I’d erased, I stopped believing in how nice the screen is.
If you don’t believe me, I’d love for anyone to point out which drawings/paintings were done with the Cintiq or Intuos. If you want further proof of how symbiotic the keyboard/Intuos relationship is, look up the digital magician Feng Zhu of FZD Studios. He uses the Intuos for all his work, even though like me he owns the behemoth Cintiq 24HD. I guess I’m writing all this to say that if you’re on the fence about buying a Cintiq, think very hard if you want an elephant in the room that doesn’t do all the tricks of the lowly Intuos Mouse (which I guess it sort of is, no? Hehe. Mr. Pun A Lot). Will I sell my Cintiq? Hell no, since whenever I need to do an intricate sketch or do repetitive drawing, as in frame by frame animation, it can’t be beat.
Oh, and here’s a picture I did inspired by the genius minds of the Old Trout Puppet Workshop, a super talented group out of Alberta. If there’s anything better than good animation, it’s good puppetry. Definitely check out their stuff at www.theoldtrouts.org