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Early adopter here :-) I bought it with the intent of setting up on site digital here and hired a guy named Pete (some long time Retouch Pro readers may remember this trying venture of mine). Anyway Pete lasted about 30 days and I think went back to Kmart and retouching kiddie pics. I gave up on the idea of bringing in a staff retoucher, hired a few people from Retouch Pro and went back to outservicing our digital work.
The Cintiq (along with an Athlon 1700 computer configured with a second monitor for it) sat around for about three years before I started using it myself. Although digital software has come a long way to reduce the art work needs, at least in my mind, this piece of equipment is the only way to fly when you take on the tough jobs that require "creating" realistic detail.
I'm still more comfortable with an airbrush in my hand and often find it faster for many tasks so I guess it's all in all it's way you start in the business that forms your choices. I still think retouching with a mouse is something like the idea of starring at the projected image on the ceiling while you try to airbrush a canvas. Not exactly the high road to perfection for anything that can't be done again and again to get it right - maybe that's why they invented "layers" do you suppose?
Timemark Photo Conservators
I've never heard of that model Cintiq. It must really be an early one. I remember the 15SX and the 18SX, but now they just have the 21UX and a 17SX. The UX is really nice because there is no bezel around the edge of the screen, it's perfectly flat and smooth.
There is also an airbrush stylus that's available with control for airbrush ink flow, brush size, opacity, etc. And also a new "art" pen that has a tip shaped more like a small paint brush and it acts like a brush would when you tilt or rotate it.
I use a wacom, the smallest one they do, it comes into its own for certain stuff, but otherwise I use mouse / shortcut keys.
Mine only cost £75,Graphhire 2, and although its not high-end I think its GREAT.
I agree, drawing with a mouse is exactly like drawing with a brick. of course the mouse is good for certain things, but I think a small wacom is indespensable.
While I realize that this thread is old, and that the Wacom Faction has more than had its say--I can't resist jumping in and saying that my first Wacom (a 12x12 refurbished Intuos, purchased directly from Wacom) was the BEST piece of technology I ever purchased! (Do I have a comparison basis? Yeah--after 13 years in IT, doing various forms of support and training, yep, I've been exposed to plenty! :-))
I was hesitant about making such a large, expensive purchase, on something I'd never seen "in real life"--touched, used, etc--and about 9 years before that, I'd purchased a cheap tablet device that was completely worthless, making me even more gun-shy...but 6 months of careful online research convinced me that I should give it a try.
It was better than I'd imagined!!!!
Yes, it took about a week of using it, to really get used to drawing without "looking at the page", so to speak...but with a background in art--I'm VERY used to relying on my strokes to achieve different effects, based on the pressure I use--and the my Intuos was extraordinarily responsive. It cut my retouching time down considerably, once I mastered the use of it...and I've never looked back.
Then there was the bundled software--notably, Painter Classic--a marvelous little program--that was eligible for upgrade to the full-blown Painter for $149, at the time, I believe, through "Wacom privileges". Wacom privileges are available to you after you register your tablet. I not only bought Painter immediately after trying Painter Classic--but I bought several Nik Multimedia filter packages (the only third party filters I ever use) at reduced prices--also through Wacom privileges.
Today, I use an Intuos 3 9x12--and it's better still--with it's programmable buttons on either side of tablet--so that when I want to ALT + click to define a cloning source, healing source, etc, I use a button right on the tablet...and a touch strip on one side of the tablet is programmed to resize my brush on the fly...one of the buttons on the other side of the tablet brings up a menu I've filled with my favorite key sequences (an overlay layer, filled with neutral gray, for instance), so I work even more quickly, without having to shift to reach my keyboard.
Lately, I've been thinking about getting one of these, http://reviews.pimprig.com/input_dev...tem.php?page=1 , and setting up a layout for Photoshop shortcut keys for my left hand--getting my regular keyboard COMPLETELY out of the loop--and, I think, speeding up my workflow even more--once I get used to it, that is! ;-)
I would, of course, love a Cintiq--but I don't feel it will be as much of a productivity jump as the "mouse to Intuos" leap--and I'd prefer to wait for a wireless version, anyway--so I could edit with it in my lap. ;-)
Can I do the same things with a mouse, that I do with my Intous? Of course I can!!! It will take longer, for many things--and leaves me more vulnerable to carpal tunnel flareups--but I can, and do, edit with a mouse, when I find myself somewhere without my Wacom...but I'd never, EVER go back to a mouse only. (Plus, when you're feeling frustrated with life in general--nothing beats opening up photos of beautiful people and doodling glasses, a moustache, and whiskers on them, for stress-relief and a good giggle. It's not NEARLY as much fun, with a mouse! ;-))
I'll keep my fingers crossed, and hope Santa's nice to you, then! :-)
And thanks for the kind words about my Interpretive Portraits--it means a lot--particularly coming from you, as the lovely work in your portfolio was influential in my choosing to join up here. (And I AM glad to hear you mentioning the "dreamy, fairy-like" quality of the images there--as many of the images are part of an ongoing project of mine, wherein I try to create images that are reminiscent of the work of the pre-Raphaelites/Victorian classicists, and some of the early, romantic photographers, like Julia Margaret Cameron and the Allen sisters. There's a LOT of experimentation going on, as I try to find the right balance between my own vision--something appealing to the modern sensibilities--and the timeless appeal of their work. It's still a bit "hit or miss"--but when people comment on the qualities I'm going for--it lets me know I'm on the right track, at any rate! :-))
(I discovered your portfolio, btw, in a fabulous thread started by heyrad, wherein he described his "recipe for perfect skin"...causing me to rush to my computer, and spend HOURS trying to replicate his effect, using his technique!)
You have a strong artistic eye, and a light touch with your retouching--and even though your retouching interests are clearly more focused in a different direction than mine are, it's always a delight and an inspiration to see such lovely work. (And such a professional looking website, too! ;-) I've had my layout on paper for a couple of years now...but haven't gotten around to DOING it yet...)
Thanks again--and I do hope you get that Wacom for Christmas--I, for one, can't wait to see what sort of work you do with it!
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