Surface Pro 4

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mkelley
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Surface Pro 4

Post by mkelley » Mon Dec 26, 2016 5:42 am

Anyone here using a Surface Pro 4 with Moho 12?

I'm thinking about getting one, in particular because I like the new bezier handles and freehand and think they would be great in combination with a pen like operation. Would love to hear anyone's thoughts on this.
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Re: Surface Pro 4

Post by o0Ampy0o » Mon Dec 26, 2016 8:11 am

Have you been using any form of tablet or just a mouse?

I think of it like this: Working with a mouse is like drawing using an arm without a hand. Using a tablet gives you the hand with one finger and a thumb. Using a Surface Pro, Wacom Cintiq or Apple Pencil/iPad/Astropad device is a hand with five fingers and a lifetime of drawing experience to pull upon as you are actually drawing on the art itself instead of remotely on a separate screen.

I am particularly adverse to art created with geometric shapes without the use of a pencil-like application of line. It makes me feel uncomfortable. It is too restricted, expressionless, symmetric and unnatural for my taste.

If I were using Windows the Surface Studio or the new Wacom MobilStudio and Cintiq Pros are very very cool. Being on a Mac working wireless is very clean with the iPad Pro setup, not that it compares in terms of sensitivity but it is wonderful to use and certainly sensitive enough for cartooning.
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Re: Surface Pro 4

Post by dueyftw » Mon Dec 26, 2016 2:38 pm

mkelley wrote:Anyone here using a Surface Pro 4 with Moho 12?

I'm thinking about getting one, in particular because I like the new bezier handles and freehand and think they would be great in combination with a pen like operation. Would love to hear anyone's thoughts on this.
I thinking of making it a Xmas gift to myself in January.

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Re: Surface Pro 4

Post by mkelley » Mon Dec 26, 2016 4:08 pm

I have used many MANY tablets in the past but I can't get over the eye/hand disconnect. So, no, I don't use tablets with Moho.

I had eyed the Cintiq for many many years now, but just couldn't justify the expense. The Surface Pro as it now stands (I had the first version and it wasn't all that good) seems like a pretty good alternative.

I've read some reviews where they go back and forth over how decent it is for drawing -- but the biggest knock on it is that some applications have SUCH a tiny interface it's hard to select any tools with the pen. This is my worst horror with Moho. As it stands now I can't use Moho 12 on my Dell Laptop, even with its 17" screen and even with the magnification up to 175% in Windows, because the !@#$! tool icons are just too small (and I had complained to Mike about this many, many times during beta, but it all fell on deaf ears).

At this point in time I'm just thinking of getting one and trying it out -- I have 45 days in which I can return it with no questions asked so perhaps that's the best route to go. I'm also thinking of going with the i5 configuration as it's both MUCH cheaper and probably enough horsepower for at least drawing in Moho (which is going to be able all I'm really going to do with it). If the interface is just too freaking small for me to use I'll give up and maybe try going another route (one possibility would be to use my iPad and import the vector stuff into Moho which supposedly works a lot better than it ever did -- I haven't gotten around to trying this out yet).

Thanks for the input, though (and if anyone else has any I'd still be glad to hear it).
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Re: Surface Pro 4

Post by Greenlaw » Mon Dec 26, 2016 6:27 pm

I use a Wacom Cintiq Companion 2, which is similar to a Surface Pro 4. The main difference is that it has Express Keys on the bezel and uses a Wacom pen (same as a regular Intuos or Cintiq) instead of N-trig but otherwise about the same I think.

I like working with the pen, especially in Clip Studio Paint, Rebelle and other paint programs. However, Moho' Freehand and Blob Brush is still a little rough with pen support. It's much better than it used to be but can be frustrating if you intend to make it your primary drawing method. I think the freehand drawing support will continue to improve but, IMO, it's not quite there yet.

I do like using the Pen for other parts of Moho, like animation and editing keyframes, etc. For health reasons, using a Stylus is much better for my wrist than using a mouse too.

The one thing I don't care much for on a tablet computer is the virtual keyboard. It takes up too much screen space and is awkward to use. I use a really small bluetooth keyboard for when I want to do a lot of typing (like now.) The virtual keyboard is okay for shorter text and number entry. For longer text, the text prediction bar is kinda nice once I got the hang of typing with it--I use it when it's awkward to bring out the bluetooth keyboard.

Back to Moho and tablets--note that Moho's multi-touch currently works only with Wacom based tablets and tablet computers. I believe the devs are working on making it work for other tablets like the Surface though.
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Re: Surface Pro 4

Post by mkelley » Mon Dec 26, 2016 6:35 pm

Thanks for the information.

I did go ahead and order one so I'll at least check it out. The freehand works with a mouse fine for my level of artistic talent (the bar is set very low for me). If the pen on the Surface is in the same ballpark then I might be very happy, so we'll see.

I didn't even buy a keyboard for it because I don't intend to use it for anything else and I first need to see if it's even viable.
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Re: Surface Pro 4

Post by Greenlaw » Mon Dec 26, 2016 6:39 pm

Regarding high-density screen res, yeah, this is a big issue. At the beginning, I messed with Windows scaling but the problem is, many programs I use support this feature differently or not at all, and the inconsistency becomes a headache.

What I wound up doing, which has worked for me for the last 18 or so months, is I set Windows scaling to 100% (essentially disabling it) and reduced the screen res from 2560 x 1440 to 1920 x 1080. IMO, this make the screen res much easier to see and much more practical to use with most drawing and animation programs. Plus, every program works the same way now since Scaling is effectively turned off. I imagine this would be true for a Surface computer too.

Hope this helps.
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Re: Surface Pro 4

Post by mkelley » Mon Dec 26, 2016 7:17 pm

Yeah, I've tried that but it doesn't help these (old) eyes.

After reviewing the SVG import and export capabilities of Moho 12, I've decided to go with an iPad Pro and the Apple Pencil, and use Autodesk's Graphic program. The combination should blow away anything I could do in Moho AND still allow me to import into it.

(As it turns out I can't cancel my Best Buy order for the Surface Pro, but I can return it with no problems so I'll do that).

Thanks again for the input, though.
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Re: Surface Pro 4

Post by o0Ampy0o » Mon Dec 26, 2016 7:56 pm

Some things are never going to be practical in a small mobile device.

I would not use a laptop or small sized Cintiq-like device alone with any high end design software except perhaps throwing something simple together in Photoshop on the fly. They really demand a large screen, trackball/mouse and keyboard along with some form of pen/tablet.

However there are graphics apps for the iPad, like ProCreate for instance, which in and of themselves provide sufficient tools to create art within the limitations of a small mobile device.
Last edited by o0Ampy0o on Mon Dec 26, 2016 8:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Surface Pro 4

Post by o0Ampy0o » Mon Dec 26, 2016 8:03 pm

Greenlaw wrote:...Moho' Freehand and Blob Brush is still a little rough with pen support. It's much better than it used to be but can be frustrating if you intend to make it your primary drawing method. I think the freehand drawing support will continue to improve but, IMO, it's not quite there yet....
I believe "not quite there" is an understatement. Considering freehand drawing ability been around in other software for decades there is no reason for such a poor representation of it in this graphics program which certainly ought to offer the ability adequately and flawlessly by now. I have been seeing glitches and compounding delays in a stripped down file only having created a few strokes. My hardware is powerful enough. I think I may have found a sweet spot in the settings for this Feehand tool at least with regards to producing a decent line without performance issues. I imagine more problems when rigging and animation are involved though.
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Re: Surface Pro 4

Post by o0Ampy0o » Mon Dec 26, 2016 8:10 pm

mkelley wrote:Yeah, I've tried that but it doesn't help these (old) eyes.

After reviewing the SVG import and export capabilities of Moho 12, I've decided to go with an iPad Pro and the Apple Pencil, and use Autodesk's Graphic program. The combination should blow away anything I could do in Moho AND still allow me to import into it.

(As it turns out I can't cancel my Best Buy order for the Surface Pro, but I can return it with no problems so I'll do that).

Thanks again for the input, though.
Do you also have a Mac system?
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Re: Surface Pro 4

Post by Greenlaw » Mon Dec 26, 2016 8:55 pm

mkelley wrote:Yeah, I've tried that but it doesn't help these (old) eyes.

After reviewing the SVG import and export capabilities of Moho 12, I've decided to go with an iPad Pro and the Apple Pencil, and use Autodesk's Graphic program. The combination should blow away anything I could do in Moho AND still allow me to import into it.

(As it turns out I can't cancel my Best Buy order for the Surface Pro, but I can return it with no problems so I'll do that).

Thanks again for the input, though.

Yeah, I have to admit it's almost borderline for me. Even reduced to a standard HD res, my wife thinks the Companion's screen too small to read. I can use it fine with any of my production programs, but I kinda wish the 13.3" screen was just a little bit bigger at that res.

If money was no object, I'd upgrade my Companion 2 to the new 16-in Wacom Mobile Studio Pro tablet. But it's hard to imagine lugging that monster around diners and coffee shops. :)

Anyway, I do love using my Companion 2 with Moho, despite the issues with Freehand and Blob--and it's awesome with other drawing/animation programs I use. It works great with Photoshop too except for muti-touch. (Adobe has never gotten multi-touch to work very well with any computer.) With Rebelle, it's really fun with the acellerometer enabled--when you tilt the tablet, heavy wet paint will actually run down the page in that angle! With Clip Studio Paint, everything is super smooth and accurate, and the multi-touch works great!

Regarding iPad for Moho: I occasionally use ProCreate on an iPad Retina (4th gen I think) using a Wacom Creative Stylus, and I send the artwork to my desktop for import to Moho. It works great! I imaging it should be fantastic with with a newer iPad and Pencil.
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Re: Surface Pro 4

Post by mkelley » Tue Dec 27, 2016 12:05 am

Yeah, I'm pretty excited about using the iPad Pro and importing the SVG to Moho.

As to the other poster, I have a MacBook Air but I don't like Moho on it either -- again, the screen resolution just doesn't work for me. Where it does work is on my main PC system, with dual 30" monitors. That's the downside of getting old -- your eyes get toasted (the upside is you usually have enough money for large monitors and other toys).

Ironically enough, I went with the 9.7 inch iPad Pro instead of the huge one, mostly because I like that form factor (I've had many many iPads and still have the original Air right now). My experience with graphics tablets is that I don't really need a lot of drawing real estate anyway (I tend to draw in a very small space -- just not one to use expressive strokes). Autodesk Graphics is supposed to be a killer app on the iPad Pro, and at $10 an incredibly cheap one.
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Re: Surface Pro 4

Post by Greenlaw » Tue Dec 27, 2016 12:41 am

Yeah, at work I have a full-size Cintiq 22HD that I run Moho on. For its size, the resolution is perfectly fine for working with but I still wind up putting most of the palettes on a second monitor because it gets too cluttered. The Layer Settings palette, for example, takes up a huge amount of real estate and blocks too much of the workspace on the Cintiq.
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Re: Surface Pro 4

Post by mkelley » Tue Dec 27, 2016 12:52 am

In thinking about this, I'm kind of glad I'm going with a program dedicated to drawing. While there is no question the drawing tools have been tuned up in Moho, it was extremely smart of them to improve SVG import to the point where other, better tools could be used in concert. This makes sense and leaves Moho to its strengths, which is animation. The ability to edit those vectors is fine, but in terms of raw creation there was never a need for Moho to be the main tool for that purpose.

It's a bit like using the timeline for audio -- while it *can* be done it's far better to use programs dedicated for that purpose and only use the audio in Moho for a rough pass to animate to. And I'm really happy to go with a tablet for my drawing purposes since it's lighter, has a far longer battery, and doesn't need to have a keyboard. So this makes just a TON of sense.

But I do thank everyone for the discussion. Up until now using an external vector program wasn't really a viable option. Now it appears to be the best one.
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