Help transitioning to digital please! Best tablets to use?

  • @rcartwright awesome, I'll definitely check out Will's video! Thank you for your reply.

  • @MirkaH thank you so much! The iPad Pro seems like a good contender. And they're releasing the iPad Pro 2 soon too it seems! Do you have a particular Cintiq that you would recommend?

  • So I'm going to be a naysayer against tablets here. I've only ever used a tablet, and have been using one off and on since 2009. I'm currently using the intuos pro. I would say that, no, drawing doesn't feel natural on it. Painting is pretty good, but drawing can be a real struggle. It does get better with time, but for me at least, it never compares to pencil and pen on paper. If you devote a lot of time to drawing with the tablet, you may find yourself with a repetitive stress injury. I've known of a lot (and I mean a lot) of digital artists who have developed wrist and arm problems because of the way you have to use your hand to draw. I've developed a problem as well. Certain exercises have helped keep it at bay, but when I stretch my wrist at a certain angle, I can tell that there is still that underlying injury. I think even Will Terry has mentioned how he switched to a Cintiq type monitor after he was feeling some stress in his drawing arm after using a tablet for years. After he switched over, he said he was able to work a lot faster as well. I think he talks about this in the How to Draw Everything lecture.

    After some research, I've decided to save up for an ipad for my digital drawing purposes.

  • Hello jaq,I was going to buy an ipad a few weeks ago,and I am so glad I waited as ipad pro 2 came out last week,and it is meant to be much better with more storage and bigger screen.the price is £50 more than the older model. Apple are shipping them on the 14June,However make sure you go to the Apple store as the high street shops are still selling the older models,I live in UK. I have a 13hd cintqe the screen is quite small,and I cant afford a big one.I never had a problem with the intuos and coordinating with the computer screen,but everyone is different.

  • @jaq I can only speak from experience, as I don't go to a school or have a chance to try out different things. I started out with a wacom bamboo tablet a loooooong time ago, then upgraded to a large wacom drawing tablet (cheap from eBay) I still had a hard time drawing with it, and finally got a Cintiq companion, 1.5 years ago. It was so much better drawing directly on the tablet instead of looking at the screen and drawing on the table. it also felt really robust. No complaints. when I got the iPad pro, it was pretty much the same size, but easier transportable, so I decided to move up to an older cintiq 22hd model (also from Ebay). That you will not move anywhere, it sits on my table, and the advantage is the larger drawing area. I can't afford to buy a large newer one, and this older model from eBay, for under $1000 seems to be doing fine, I've had it for a couple months. The feeling of drawing on it is cheaper than on the companion, the screens are different materials, but other than that, its works the same, but has the bonus of a bigger painting area. Thats my two cents on the matter. If you have any more questions on differences just ask. I am not super computer savvy, but do my best to do research before spending large amounts of money. I looked at the cheaper huion tablets, and decided against them, they get more bad than good reviews and I didn't want to take my chances. if I didn't have the iPad pro, I would still use the cintiq companion (which will go up on eBay when my husband has time to list it). 🙂

  • Pro SVS OG

    @jaq As you have seen also from the responses, a lot of artists struggle with tablets without screen like the Intuos. So your best bet could be to avoid that and go for a Cintiq (or analogous from another brand) or take the path of the iPadPro.
    It is worth remembering that Intuos tablets have been around for a long time before the Cintiqs came along (the Cintiq did not exist when I started drawing digitally), and at least a decade or more of digital art has been produced on the Intuos or other non-screen tablets.
    So yes, you definitely can work with them and your brain does re-wire the hand-eye coordination. I would say it took for me about 40 hours of drawing concentrated in 6-7 days to achieve a natural drawing experience (I think it is important to train your brain in a concentrated effort rather than spread out over several days or weeks. The first impression is "This is impossible and all artists who do it come from Mars". If you get past it, then you are at the phase "Ok, it is possible but is mightily difficult and is going to take forever". And after some more time, you find out you actually can do it just fine.
    I guess what helped me to stick it out is that the teacher who introduced me to digital drawing only used an Intuos and his work was awesome (Steven Player, if you want to check him out, but his recent art is rather edgy).
    That said, it is also true that almost all digital artists I know switched to the Cintiq when it came out (me included!), so it is obviously a lot nicer to work on a screen-tablet. I would recommend to go for that if you find one at a price you can afford.

  • @jaq Every time I talk about the Ipad pro on this forum, I feel like I am doing promotion for apple (maybe they should give me the Ipadpro 2 as a gift when it comes out!! 😉

    But seriously, the Ipadpro is AWESOME. And the procreate app is AWESOME too. And if you want to use photoshop, you can buy an app called astropad witch then let you use you ipad as a secondary monitor for your computer, so you can easily work on photoshop!

    I actually sold my cintiq a few months after I bought my Ipadpro... I was never using it! I like working from anywhere in my house and from coffee shops and although I had the 13 inches cintiq which was supposed to be portable... It was NOT. So many wires and plugs, and you need your computer, so a lot of thing to carry. The Ipadpro on the other hand I carry everywhere! And I actually draw a lot more since buying it because as soon as I have a few spare minutes, I grab it and start drawing!

    Anyway, there is probably other options out there too, the truth is I am so happy with my I pad that I don't look at what else is out there lol! But if you decide to go with it, I am sure you won't regret it! 🙂

    (Ok Apple, I am ready for my free Ipadpro 2 now!)

  • I had a Wacom that plugged into the computer and it was OK.

    I also tried out a Yiynova (a lesser expensive Cintiq type tablet) and it was well worth the money ($400 us). But, I returned it after a month since for me it was cumbersome always connecting it and disconnecting it since I use my iMac for various types of work.

    I'm going to go with an iPad pro. Not sure if I'll purchase the newest model that was released a week ago or the previous model.

  • Affinity photo( photo shop alternative) just released a version specially built for ipad pro it is only £19 at the minute.I used a bamboo for years and I was so used to looking at the computer screen I am still looking at it Instead of the cintque so it was a waste of money for me.

  • Pro SVS OG

    @NoWayMe I feel exactly like you, and use my iPadPro a lot. However, there are a few things that prevent me from using it professionally.

    • No CYMK mode in ProCreate. When you work for print, clients sometimes want the files in CYMK. Since CYMK handles color in such a different way, I then prefer to create the art directly in CYMK rather than convert at the end and have surprises;
    • ProCreate is not Photoshop. When it comes to layer modes, adjustments and masking, it is just no match. I have never tried Astropad though (maybe I should!), but,
    • The working area is just too small. Even without all the Photoshop menus, working on large images in an area of just 12 inches feels cramped.
    • I often work with multiple software at the same time - the browser for references for example. The fact that the iPad does not support side-by-side applications (size aside) is a major drawback for me.
      That said, I still use the iPadPro a lot for thumb-nailing, sketching and for nearly all of my non-client work - and it is an awesome tool!!

  • I only use an Ipad Pro. Everything on my SVBWI profile is done with the pro outside of the violinist on the roof, which I am going to redo digitally.

    I have never used photoshop, and really don't want to have to spend so much money just to try it out. At this time I do not even own a desktop, let alone a cintiq. However, I might be forced to do so in the near future.

    • The working area is just too small. Even without all the Photoshop menus, working on large images in an area of just 12 inches feels cramped.

    That's legitimate but when i used my Yinova, the working area of a 20" screen, was almost the same area of an iPad pro.

    • I often work with multiple software at the same time - the browser for references for example. The fact that the iPad does not support side-by-side applications (size aside) is a major drawback for me.

    The iPad does support side by side application windows. In iOS 11 (beta right now) it will even support drag and drop from window to window.

  • intous pro medium just take little bit of time to get use to but when used to it its the best 😃
    easy to carry around all day. full baterry doesnt spend your macbook's battery 😃

  • @TessW thanks, this was super helpful. I have a chronic pain condition and a muscle dysfunction disorder so I cramp up and can only do 10-15 minutes work at a time, and often if I overdo things I need to rest for days or weeks to recover. So this is definitely a factor I need to consider!!

  • @DOTTYP thank you! I'm in Australia... the prices are so much higher here for everything thanks to our crappy exchange rate!! I will be looking at near on $1,500 for a new model pro and Apple Pencil 😬 Big purchase!

  • @NoWayMe lol you definitely need to start earning commissions!! 😂 How could anyone argue with a review THAT good? Thanks for the feedback

  • @jaq Sorry to hear that it is very expensive anyway,i dont know if I can justify the expense out of my own budget.

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  • Pro SVS OG

    I wanted to update this thread with some information I had recently. I was experiencing serious issues with a book project I’ve been doing in ProCreate - the psd files exported from ProCreate just did not look even remotely the same on my computer as they did on the iPad (strong loss of contrast).
    I wrote to the ProCreate team and shared one of the files with them.

    It turns out, the CYMK profiles used by ProCreate do not compare with the CYMK profiles installed on a computer (the ones that drive the printers) and my files were set up in one of ProCreate’s new and shiny CYMK profiles. There’s also no way to change the color profile of an image in ProCreate once you’ve decided it at the onset, so I cannot convert those images to a RGB profile to export the PSD files without damage.

    I have a very lengthy workaround that allows me to preserve the image quality, although it will take me at least 10 hours to export, re-convert and color balance the images of that project. Obviously, there’s no way I can share them directly from ProCreate with the art director: he will end up with the same issue on her end: not pretty.

    This confirms the point I mentioned above: ProCreate is not really a professional tool, and if you’re dealing with a team including an art director, book designer, pre-press expert in printer on the other side, you’ll need to anchor to Photoshop at some point or other.
    It remains a great digital painting tool, and as long as you’re not dealing with transferring your files for print, it’s great to work with. If you need to create files to spec, you can still work in ProCreate, but you need Photoshop at the end to finalize.

  • @smceccarelli I'm really sorry to hear you had so much trouble. 😞

    After seeing how bad my images look on my computer and any other device, I've decided to use procreate only as a sketchpad to work out ideas.

    I'm curious about how you'll change your process in light of this? Moving to photoshop really early in the process? Have you gotten through the workaround yet?