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Writing, Illustrating & Publishing => Illustrating => Topic started by: joey-welsh on June 24, 2014, 02:57 PM

Title: To Cintiq or not to Cintiq
Post by: joey-welsh on June 24, 2014, 02:57 PM
I just wanted to get some input from any digital illustrators out there using Cintiqs. I have used the Intuos tablet with Corel Painter for many years, but have curiosity about moving to a Cintiq. The two biggest things I want to know is #1, is it faster than using the tablet? I realize this might be subjective question, but it seems you might be able to speed things up when drawing directly onto the image.

#2, I was curious if anyone was noticing more/less eye strain when using a Cintiqu vs. the tablet. I wear glasses and my concern is looking at a digital screen so closely for long drawing hours might be worse on the Cintiq over the tablet.

The other reason I'm considering the move is the lack of matte screen monitors out there. My duel monitor setup is due for replacement soon and my choices are limited. They are both Apple Cinema Displays with the matte screen from years ago. All the new Apple monitors are glossy, like the iMac's screen.
Title: Re: To Cintiq or not to Cintiq
Post by: Tadghthepom on June 27, 2014, 11:20 AM
Hi Joey,
This doesn't really answer your question but have you considered a yiynova tablet as an altenative to a cintiq? Much cheaper on amazon- almost half he price. Not without drawbacks, and I'm still trying to get the colours to display perfectly, but I love mine. To answer question about time- I have found my output increase but it has just opened so many doors as well. So much easier to draw on it than on my old tablet- it's great for revisions. Took a while to get used to and as I said, not without drawbacks, but overall it's great!
Title: Re: To Cintiq or not to Cintiq
Post by: jesseg on July 02, 2014, 12:12 PM
I started out with a tablet and moved to a Cintiq when I could afford it (more or less). It wasn?t until I got used to drawing on the screen that I realized what a disconnect there had been with a tablet. I was drawing like I had drawn my whole life. Now when I go back to the tablet (I bring it to do demos various places) I want to throw it against the wall because I?m out of practice with that particular way of working. I?d never go back. That said I know many folks who do amazing work with a tablet, and as someone mentioned there are a few alternatives to Wacom as well. In terms of speed, it?s hard for me to say since I?ve been working with it for so long, and my methods have changed over the years, but there is a disconnect (at least there was for me) between what my hand was doing and what was happening on the screen that the Cintiq bypasses. As for eye strain, I think I?m looking at the screen about the same as I would with a tablet.
Title: Re: To Cintiq or not to Cintiq
Post by: joey-welsh on July 02, 2014, 02:51 PM
Thank you for the feedback. Although, I would like to hear more clearly on the drawbacks you are experiencing Tad. I'm curious to know if it goes beyond displaying colors properly.

I would say my biggest attraction to drawing on the screen is the desire to interact with my art directly. Jesse, you are expressing similar thoughts that I've read in reviews of the Cintiq. Many say it removes a layer in the process, making their digital work more personal.

Wacom does allow you a 30 day return window. I think that will be the best determinate, put it though its paces and see the results.
Title: Re: To Cintiq or not to Cintiq
Post by: jacob-souva on July 11, 2014, 06:56 AM
I've been using a Cintiq for about 3 years and there has not been a bigger jump in efficiency and that hard to define, "handmade" quality. It's been huge. The Photoshop brushes and tools have been improving to the point where the line between real and digital is all the more blurred.

I'd go for it. Worth the money!!!
Title: Re: To Cintiq or not to Cintiq
Post by: LukeW on July 24, 2014, 03:41 AM
Thought I'd chip in on this one. I cut my teeth on a Cintiq 12wx after being told by my boss 5 or 6 years ago that I could buy one and claim it as a tax deduction for work. I honestly think it was one of the best purchases I've ever made, and it's still going strong. I tried out some non-display tablets that I bought for my class one year when I was told to spend my budget and I hate them. I don't know how anyone could get used to them, but then I guess I've been spoiled a bit.

I do have issues with colour calibration between it and the main monitor, but it's a fairly subtle change and I could calibrate it between if I wasn't so lazy. Then again, I mainly use the primary monitor as a place for all of Photoshop's different menus and tabs.

One big issue that I have had with the Cintiq which I hear is not so bad on a non-display tablet is that the Cintiq can give me a really stiff neck if I spend hours working on it. I tend to hunch over a bit too much and get close to the screen. I was only thinking the other night that I should look at neck pain solutions for tattooists as I'm sure it's a similar posture. But yeah, I have to do neck exercises every night and will often sit on a gym ball to help my posture when I plan to work for a long time. Maybe a bigger screen would also help.

Finally, regarding eyesight, I have terrible eyes - high myopia in both, was actually blinded in one eye for a few months after an eye strike, and pretty sure I'm legally blind with my old pair of glasses on. I've been told that I have a higher chance of being blind permanently by my optometrist and that I need regular eye scans. Having said that, I've never had an issue with eye strain on the Cintiq and I work on it for long hours at a time. All eye issues were pre-Cintiq too  ;D
Title: Re: To Cintiq or not to Cintiq
Post by: MichaelBlackbourn on July 26, 2014, 05:06 PM
I have massive geek lust for a Surface Pro 3. Digital art on the go with a full OS.
Title: Re: To Cintiq or not to Cintiq
Post by: Benlin Alexander on August 05, 2014, 10:56 AM
Cintiq's are fantastic if you like to draw more than paint. I tend to be a painter so having my giant hand in the way of my screen was distracting to me. So I like my wacom tablet for that reason.
Title: Re: To Cintiq or not to Cintiq
Post by: Mallette on August 28, 2014, 06:35 PM

I have both a Cintiq 24 HD and a 13 Companion Hybrid for when I travel.  I love both of them and it feels so much more natural when looking down on the tablet vs on the computer with a regular tablet.  It doesn't really doesn't speed up my process that much but I feel like I have improved my artwork with it.  It's just my personal opinion on the tablets though. :)  I love them.  The only thing about the 13 " is that the stand it came with isn't that great.  The tablet keeps slipping and I don't like the three angles it has.  I used to have the 12WX and that was ok, but there were so many cords to hook up all the time and I couldn't really travel with it.  The new small cintiq only has 3 cords that are all in one, which is a big plus and easy to roll up and place it in my laptop bag. 
Title: Re: To Cintiq or not to Cintiq
Post by: casie.pace on October 05, 2014, 07:14 PM
I got a Cintiq earlier this year and it's pretty awesome! I can work faster and i feel much more connected to the art process (compared to my older wacom tablet).  There are a lot of brushes that looks like traditional media as well. A lot of people don't even realize my work is actually digital!
Title: Re: To Cintiq or not to Cintiq
Post by: Diana Pinguicha on October 06, 2014, 08:11 AM
I have a Cintiq 13 HD (from my day job) and it's true: it feels so much more natural than a tablet, and you do work faster. I find that the colors are more muted than in my LED IPS screen (from ASUS, and it's amazing), but you can work around that by having two windows open - one for the Cintiq, another in the monitor. I have little eye strain from using it for 8 hours straight, and I do have glasses/contacts on at all times, as I'm incredibly nearsighted.

I don't have problems with the stand - once you get the position it's meant to be in, it doesn't slip, but it takes a few tries. So, if you have the money to spare, it's a worthy investment for illustrating.
Title: Re: To Cintiq or not to Cintiq
Post by: joey-welsh on January 25, 2015, 09:03 AM
Here is my feedback after testing out a 24" Cintiq touch over the past several weeks. I appreciate all the responses. They swayed me to give it a try.

I honestly did not expect to like the Cintiq since I have become so accustomed to using the tablet-to-monitor process over the past 10 years. However, I was dead wrong. The experience is surreal. I felt like I was drawing in my sketchbook, except I was using my Corel Painter tools. The process is so natural you forget its digital. It proved to be much faster for me than the tablet. I like a lot of detail in my art and it can be accomplished much quicker on the Cintiq. The reason for that is because I zoomed in too much when using the old method. With the monitor being two feet away from my eye, I over compensated to get a closer view of the details in my work. On the Cintiq, you are right on top of your work. It is easier to accomplish those same details without zooming in as much and working on a larger area goes much quicker, at least for me. A good example of time saved would be an average, full-blown, illustration would take me about two weeks the old way, I am finishing the same illustrations in 3-5 days on the Cintiq.

As far as the eye strain, I did feel it as I worked on the Cintiq for the first few hours. My solution was to remove my glasses. I am nearsighted, but not so much that I need glasses to work in my sketchbook or the Cintiq. I have worked daily on the Cintiq with no noticeable eye strain for several weeks now.

I will also add that I recently upgraded my Power Mac with a MATTE monitor (Apple Cinema Display) to an iMac with Retina display. Like many digital artists, I anguished over the fact that Apple no longer offers monitors with matte displays. However, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that the glare on the iMac is pretty minimal in my studio. (Please note: My monitor faces the interior of my work space.) If you have a window behind you, it may result in a distracting glare you can't get past. My studio does get some late afternoon sun and the monitor will pick up reflections from the sunlit desk. It is nothing major, but noticeable. Apple does allow you a 14 day window to test a product and return it with no questions asked. I planned on returning it and purchasing a Mac Pro w/ Dell monitor if the iMac didn't work out. I'm happy to say it did. Much cheaper.
Title: Re: To Cintiq or not to Cintiq
Post by: Stephanie Bourbon on February 12, 2015, 12:48 PM
I can't even put into words how much having a Cintiq has changed my life and my day job-which is illustrating. It has opened up my work in many ways. First of all,you can draw in certain programs like Sketchbook Pro (my favorite) and people don't even know it's digital. You can draw right on the screen so you can keep that loose feeling. It's absolutely just like drawing on paper.
I found the side tablet to be awful. I couldn't use it, so I didn't. I did one commercial in Flash on one, but it doesn't even compare to having a Cintiq. I know they are spendy-I got mine as a gift, but if you can, get one. If you can't. I recommend a HP Tablet that you can draw right onto the screen. They can host all the digital programs just like a desktop does.
I use my Cintiq with a gaming computer so it never crashes. I work in Sketchbook Pro, Photoshop, Illustrator and Painter X3 with it. So YES Cintiq! :)
Title: Re: To Cintiq or not to Cintiq
Post by: Derek Douglas on March 24, 2015, 12:16 PM
Glad you chose the Cintiq in the end Joey!  This topic seems to be thoroughly covered, but just incase there's a new reader still on the fence, here's my two cents:

With being one who was also happy with his Intuos 2 Wacom tablet way back in the day, but felt something lacking with the disconnect between the hand and eye I began to experiment with other direct drawing systems when work began to call for a change.  I tried the "portable" 12" Cintiq with the ridiculous wires, cables and boxes attached and then moved on to a Yiynova with a dead pixel upon delivery that didn't even work properly.  Once I returned them, I stepped up to the Cintiq 24" HD.  The extra money upfront pays for itself in the time saved by the large viewing screen, ease of use and by working directly on the screen.  it's my opinion that there is no better choice.  I have never met anyone who tried or purchased a large size Cintiq who regretted it one bit.
Title: Re: To Cintiq or not to Cintiq
Post by: ecm on May 02, 2015, 11:28 PM
Glad to see this thread.  I purchased a Cintiq 24 HD over a year ago and I'm super glad I did. It's made a huge difference in how quickly I work. I agree with other folks who say that using a Cintiq is much better than a tablet.

An aside: I've used a Wacom tablet for many years prior and I've kept it as a back-up. I recently used it at an Adobe ADIM conference last month. This guy from Wacom was so impressed that I still had my 12-y-o model Intuos. He said it was a "classic model" and took a picture of it!  ;)
Title: Re: To Cintiq or not to Cintiq
Post by: Traci @ITD on May 19, 2015, 09:19 AM
Ooooh, I'm so excited. I just clicked the button to order my brand new 13HD Cintiq. I'm nervous about this since it is a bit of money which I don't really have right now, but I've been working with the same Wacom Intuos tablet for at least 8 years. And I'm in contract negotiations to illustrate another picture book, so this is very exciting. I originally went online to get a replacement sheet for my tablet since the original one is all torn up and rough from using it so much, and I ended up buying a Cintiq. The old tablet will still be used though, since my business partner (who is also my husband) will be using it now. His tablet is even older than mine and is really skiwompos to draw with.

Thanks for all the info. folks. I feel like I've made a good choice. I can't wait to actually try this out. Eee!
Title: Re: To Cintiq or not to Cintiq
Post by: Stephanie Bourbon on May 19, 2015, 09:31 AM
Yes you did. I can't even explain how having a Cintiq has changed my life. I couldn't live without it
Title: Re: To Cintiq or not to Cintiq
Post by: Traci @ITD on May 19, 2015, 12:57 PM
Thanks Stephanie. I'm so excited to try it out and now is a perfect time since I'm working on a couple picture book projects and am in contract negotiations for another. I'm a little nervous about leaving my faithful tablet behind though.
Title: Re: To Cintiq or not to Cintiq
Post by: Traci @ITD on May 22, 2015, 11:52 AM
I just got my Cintiq. Yay! However, the three way cord has a USB and an HDMI. I don't have an HDMI port in my Mac. So, I've gone online and researched and I guess I need an adaptor.

Any Cintiq users out there using a Mac? How did you plug it in? I really want to play with my toy.
Title: Re: To Cintiq or not to Cintiq
Post by: Traci @ITD on May 22, 2015, 01:40 PM
Okay, my techy husband went out and got me an adaptor and now I'm up and running. Time to play!
Title: Re: To Cintiq or not to Cintiq
Post by: Jessie on July 03, 2015, 02:29 PM
Ok, so this thread has convinced me that I should upgrade to a Cintiq. Now the question is, 13" or 24"? There is some insight here, but I'm fishing for any more opinions...
Title: Re: To Cintiq or not to Cintiq
Post by: joey-welsh on July 03, 2015, 03:03 PM
IMHO, bigger is better if you have the space in your studio. I exchanged the 24" for new 27" and glad I did. The Express Key remote has a generous amount of keys for customizing your process, plus it is magnetic so you can place it wherever you like. (The EK is not available on other models.) Its greatest benefit allows me to keep more palettes open without interfering with canvas area, especially ones you might use often, like the color wheel, layers, etc., hence speeding up the paint process. Beside, who doesn't like to see their artwork BIG?!?

FYI, Wacom no longer offers the 24", but you may find it still in stock elsewhere. Another reason why I liked the 27" is it runs at a higher resolution (2560 x 1440) than the 24" (1920 x 1080). The difference may not be noticeable to everyone and it will tax your computer's processor a bit more.

The one downside with the 27" is it does get pretty warm to the touch, even hot, along the top area of the unit after it has been on for about an hour. I went back and forth with Wacom about this issue since it was a brand new product. My original unit seemed to have a "hot spot" so they agreed to send me a replacement unit. The new unit is slightly better (as they made some improvements and released a retooled version of the 27" in early April) but it still gets warm. The biggest factor for controlling the heat is "brightness" setting. The factory setting of 75 was too warm, especially here in Phoenix, AZ. I keep it at 50 now and don't notice any loss in visual quality.   
Title: Re: To Cintiq or not to Cintiq
Post by: Jessie on July 03, 2015, 03:22 PM
Wow, thanks for this super detailed answer. That's really helpful. Unfortunately, I don't have a ton of room - so this decision might be made for me. I think I'm going to have to find a store that has them on display so I can get a better feel for it. I'll let you know what I end up with :)
Title: Re: To Cintiq or not to Cintiq
Post by: Traci @ITD on July 23, 2015, 09:32 AM
I got the 13" Cintiq and I love it. I could see the bigger one being a ton of fun too, and yes, seeing your artwork large is a big plus. But the 13" is easy to navigate among the tools and pallettes and having room to draw and paint. I like the smaller size so I have less space to move my hand and arm when choosing different tools and colors and all that. I usually only draw and paint within a small space at a time anyway. When I want to see my work large, I drag it to my main monitor, which sadly is in pretty bad shape at this point, but it does afford me the chance to step back and see my work at pretty much actual size.

The only problem I'm having is getting a very stiff neck. I have to remember to back away every once in a while to move my head and neck to loosen it up. I'm learning how best to work without this becoming a huge issue although it's hard since I've been working long hours getting a couple books done.

All in all, I'm in love with my cintiq.