Apple Pencil (+iPad Pro)

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Re: Apple Pencil (+iPad Pro)

Postby Pesto » Sat Oct 03, 2015 7:44 pm

I just bought the app Astropad ($20) and it literally turned my iPad 3 into a cintiq-like device. Check it out

http://astropad.com
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Re: Apple Pencil (+iPad Pro)

Postby Greenlaw » Sat Oct 03, 2015 9:35 pm

That is pretty cool!

I haven't owned a Mac in many years but I can really appreciate this tech. Let us know how it works out for you.

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Re: Apple Pencil (+iPad Pro)

Postby biggidea » Wed Oct 07, 2015 6:43 pm

I just joined the forum to let you know about Astropad, but I see, @Pesto, you have found it as well.

Astropad says they will be ready for the ipad pro when it's released. Will be prohibitive for me right now. Last I checked they hadn't released Canadian pricing, but it'll likely start around $1000. However, I can really see ipad pro + Astropad giving Cintiq something to watch. The wifi is great, too. Although, admittedly, I haven't used it for a project yet.

@Pesto, wondering if you might be able to advise me-- I'm looking to buy a stylus for my ipad mini retina, to use Astropad with ASP 11. How useful is the pressure sensitivity? I'm not much of an illustrator, but, I do have to modify or create simple illustrations. I know there is the Pencil 53 stylus which has pseudo pressure ?? and Astropad recommends the Adonit Jot Touch with Pixelpoint if you need pressure. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!

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Re: Apple Pencil (+iPad Pro)

Postby Greenlaw » Wed Oct 07, 2015 8:02 pm

I've purchased many pressure sensitive styli available for iPad Retina. Here's a quick overview:

JaJa: uses hi-frequency sound. Works well in a quiet room but not practical for many locations. Even though you're not supposed to be able to hear it, I can hear a faint clicking sound. The sound drives my daughter nuts.

Pogo Connect: This one I liked for a while--it was the first pressure pen that was usable for me outside of an isolation chamber. This one uses Blue Tooth. I would recommend it except...

...Wacom Intuos Creative Stylus became available. i love this pen and still use it. It has a fairly large 'squishy' nib that feels very brush like. If you use Procreate on iPad, it's pretty awesome. The battery was not rechargeable but it seemed to last for several months before I needed to replace it. Note that you need a special AAAA battery for it (found a pack on Amazon). Unfortunately, Wacom discontinued this product when they released the...

...Wacom Intuos Creative Stylus 2. This version has a fine hard tip compared to the original. I think it's mylar or nylon so it won't scratch your screen. This pen is slimmer than the original and It has a tiny USB cable for recharging the built-in pen battery.

When this pen was first released, it was a disaster. Part of the problem was that Apple updated iOS just after it was released, which broke compatibility. But many users (including myself) also felt Wacom rushed it out too quickly. The iPad Air came out about the same time, and the pen was pretty much unusable on that tablet.

Since that time, Wacom improved the drivers and the WICS 2 seems to work much better now. I noticed there was another driver/firmware release not long ago but I haven't had a chance to update it yet. (Updating is done through an app by Wacom from the iTunes app store.) The pen makes slightly shaky lines when drawing slowly and diagonally but it's much smoother if you sketch at a 'normal' speed. The line quality is much better than when the pen first came out but this problem is really inherent to the iPad's screen tech, not the pen itself. But, as I said, if you sketch normally and not too slowly, you'll probably never see this.

Here's a video of me sketching on the iPad Retina using the original Wacom Intuos pen and Procreate:



Personally, I still prefer the original WICS over the new model but I haven't tried the WICS 2 with the latest firmware update yet. I'll see if I can get that updated tonight and followup with new info. Technically, the WICS 2 should be more precise and feel more like a pen, but the original WICS really does feel more like a brush tool. I really don't know why Wacom doesn't just offer both models.

Jot is another popular stylus. Some people really like but I've never used it.

Hex (the maker of JaJa) has a new pen coming out that sounds pretty awesome. It's called YuFu and it supports 4080 levels of pressure and has a gyro sensor. I supported the Kickstarter for it about a year ago but I'm still waiting for the release.

I'm a big supporter of using the iPad as a portable sketching/painting device but here's the reality: it's still just an iPad. Compared to the Wacom Cintiq Companion 2 or the Surface Pro, you cannot run real studio programs like Anime Studio Pro, Harmony, ZBrush, After Effects, Photoshop, etc., on an iPad. This situation is still the case with the latest iPad Air. But if that's not important to you, iPad is a really fun way to draw digitally when you're on the go and I don't you can't beat that experience.

Lately, I've been using my Cintiq Companion in the park and other outdoor locations and, for painting, I find it's actually easier to see the screen and work with the UI on the iPad with Procreate. And, AFAIK, there's no gesture-driven equivalent for Procreate on the Windows or Mac platform.

Re: iPad as a desktop Cintiq replacement? I don't know. The Cintiq Companion 2 works great that way--you just plug it into your desktop's HDMI port and it becomes a regular Cintiq. Un-teathered, the Companion 2 a fairly powerful mobile computer and it can run most productivity programs just fine. However, it also costs more than three times as much as an iPad. The Surface Pro 3 and the upcoming 4 is much closer to the iPad's cost but I'm not sure the SP can be used as an tablet for a desktop. (Maybe somebody with a Surface Pro can chime in on this.)

So, if cost is the biggest factor, the real comparison is between the Surface Pro and iPad, not the Cintiq Companion. If you just want a tablet you can use like a Cintiq on a desktop, the iPad might be a good lower cost alternative assuming Astropad works as well as claimed. But if you need to run full desktop apps on a tablet, then Surface Pro 4 is the obvious choice. However, If you need to do both then the Cintiq Companion is still the top pick.

Of course, this is all just my personal opinion. I'm curious to hear what other users think, especially those who have used multiple platforms for work.

G.
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Re: Apple Pencil (+iPad Pro)

Postby Greenlaw » Wed Oct 07, 2015 8:29 pm

Greenlaw wrote:...iPad is a really fun way to draw digitally when you're on the go and I don't you can't beat that experience.


Actually, this isn't completely true. Years ago, I used to use a Nintendo DS LIte with an R4 card and a homebrew paint program called 'Colors!'. This was an awesome setup: the DS Lite supported pressure sensitivity with this software, and it was even capable of recording and playing back your painting session at up to 4k res. Here's a comic strip I drew using the Nintendo DS Lite with 'Colors!':

Streams: Homebrew

(Note: You'll need to be able to the play the final panel as a video for the punchline.)

Sometimes I really miss the simplicity of using this device for outdoor sketching. It was that good! Well, except you couldn't use it as a Cintiq though. :D

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Re: Apple Pencil (+iPad Pro)

Postby funksmaname » Thu Oct 08, 2015 9:52 pm

Just to give you more info - I use a Jot Touch with a GoSmart teflon tip. It really is brilliant. angle of contact is fantastic and really responsive with a very light touch to heavy! here is a picture I found showing the original plastic tip on the left (they work alright but can be spoddy, also degrade insanely quickly). In the middle is the GoSmart stylus (which I don't think is pressure sensitive??) - but I just bought some tips from them and attached the spring to the Jot ball tip.

Image
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Re: Apple Pencil (+iPad Pro)

Postby Pesto » Sat Oct 10, 2015 8:12 pm

Biggidea,
I have all the stylus that have been mentioned, except the WICS 2. Personally, I like the Adonit the best right now but the WICS 2 looks good as well. I also have the Bamboo which is really not bad for "bigger" brush strokes, especially in Procreate.
For palm rejection I have found most apps are inconsistent so on the Procreate forum I saw someone recommend this http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004TL ... ge_o00_s00
I have also tried the gloves but found them inconsistent as well. I just loop my pinky finger in the loop and rest my palm (which is resting on the pad) on the iPad glass and draw/sketch away without any issues.

I do agree that the iPad pro and Pencil with Astropad could possibly rival Cintiq experience, or Surface Pro's for sure.
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Re: Apple Pencil (+iPad Pro)

Postby jahnocli » Sat Oct 10, 2015 8:49 pm

Personally, I always think these look like a S&M accessory : Cutoff glove - but maybe it is what you need?
You can't have everything. Where would you put it?
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Re: Apple Pencil (+iPad Pro)

Postby funksmaname » Mon Oct 12, 2015 1:45 am

What's the latency like on Astropad?

I'm so used to not putting my palm down now, it's actually much less restrictive to 'float' :)
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Re: Apple Pencil (+iPad Pro)

Postby Greenlaw » Wed Oct 14, 2015 7:01 am

Tonight, I played around with the Wacom Intuos Creative Stylus 2 with the latest firmware update on the iPad Retina. Yay! This pen is now significantly improved! The latency issue that used to plague the pen seems very acceptable now. It's not completely gone but the lag is so small now, it reallyl doesn't bother me. The 45-degree shaky line problem seems to be more or less gone too.

Overall, the WICS 2 'feels' smooth and responsive and the fine line quality is now more precise than the first gen WICS. I still kinda miss the squishy tip of the original but with the new firmware, I think I can finally recommend the WICS 2, at least for iPad Retina.

I don't know how well it works on the iPad Air but if you really need to know, I'm sure there are first hand user accounts over on the Procreate forums.

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Re: Apple Pencil (+iPad Pro)

Postby chucky » Wed Oct 14, 2015 1:19 pm

I'll be waiting for the USI to kick in, at the end of this year.
That is the universal stylus initiative.
That will see the end of that desperation we seem to all suffer from, when it comes to getting a satisfactory pen to screen experience.
I'm expecting a new range super powerful all in ones and large convertibles with superior pen functions, all independent of wacom's limited screen size and unlimited nerve when it comes overpricing and lacklustre driver support.
I expect apple to stay within their exclusive bubble though.
That's a gravy train I won't be getting on; actually I can't wail see all the astoturf claiming new stylus tech is "following" the apple trend. My belly hurts already. :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: Apple Pencil (+iPad Pro)

Postby funksmaname » Wed Oct 14, 2015 11:20 pm

i'm sort of tossing up whether to get a surface pro instead of an ipad pro... i think it may be more useful allround :/
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Re: Apple Pencil (+iPad Pro)

Postby Wolfo » Thu Dec 28, 2017 1:27 pm

The way you can use this is with Astropad, try it:

https://astropad.com
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Re: Apple Pencil (+iPad Pro)

Postby Greenlaw » Thu Dec 28, 2017 8:52 pm

I got an iPad Pro (10.5 model) with Pencil earlier this year. It took me a while to warm up to drawing with it...the feel with Pencil is very different from Wacom. But I've been sketching with it a lot lately and really liking it now. The iOS app ProCreate has always been one of the best drawing programs on any platform, even if you use your fingers to draw with, but it's even more amazing with Pencil.

I like to use ProCreate's DropBox connection to send files to any of my Windows computers. In the past, I used ProCreate to draw elements for Moho and other programs, and I think I'm goint to start doing that again.

I've dabbled with various animation programs for iPad but haven't found one I really like yet. Most are aimed at hobbyists and limited by number of layers or type of output.

What I really like about the iPad Pro is that the screen is easier to see in outdoor lighting than most other mobile/drawing computers I've used. The Wacom is nice because it has an anti-glare screen, but the iPad Pro, even with its glossy screen, is brighther and more readable under bright light. (Well, within reason I mean...when outdoors I still seek shady spots to draw from, and indoors I try not to sit with my back to a window or a bright light directly above.) Either device is definitely better than my old HP tm2, which I used a lot for sketching too but not so much outdoors because of it's glossy screen.

My daughter now uses my old iPad Retina, and she draws on it a lot, indoors and outdoors. It has a glossy screen to but I actually drew a lot on it outdoors and I thought it was usually fine in the shade. I think the Apple devices just have brighter, crisper screens that work well in most environments. If you want, anti-glare screens are available for any of these devices, but personally, I just adapt and after a while, it's fine.

If I had one complaint, I kinda wish I went for the iPad Pro 12-inch model. The smaller model is slightly larger than the old iPad Retina model, but the 12 inch makes it closer in size to my Wacom Cintiq Companion 2. But then, I'm not sure I really want to lug around two large tablet computers with me everywhere.

I still use my Companion 2 for almost everything else. iPad has a lot of great apps but I think the heavy lifting still needs to be done in Windows or Mac OS.

I still haven't used a Surface Pro so no comment on that yet. On paper, it seems like a ideal device--less expensive than Wacom and runs full Windows programs, unlike iPad. I don't know how that it in practice. It's worked out well for me with Wacom, which should be a comparable experience.

Ok, maybe two complaints about the iPad Pro: I wish it ran more programs I use in Windows, like Moho and TVPaint. There was a discussion about porting TVPaint to iPad Pro over at the TVPaint forums, but one of the engineers laid out all the reasons why that probably won't happen. (https://forum.tvpaint.com/viewtopic.php?f=21&t=9328).

Oh, well. I guess that's why I have two mobile computers now. :P
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Re: Apple Pencil (+iPad Pro)

Postby chucky » Fri Dec 29, 2017 12:08 am

Clip Studio is free for ipad ( for now)
Paintstorm is also available.
I don't know how it functions, I'm sticking to pc which has always supported stylus both on tablets and desktop.
I watch my family's woes with their apple products ... bless.... but they seem to be locked in, no extraction. :mrgreen:
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