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Author Topic: Animation Desk  (Read 8255 times)
Rumi
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« on: December 25, 2006, 07:06:48 AM »

Hi all,
I found this great resource through the animation forum and I have been looking into the possibility of building my own Cintiq.
But before jumping in I would like to ask the people who have made one about some subtle usability issues of the unit. In particular I would like to know:

1. Do you lose any pressure sensitivity on the pen?
2. Does having the drawing appear 2-3mm below the tip of the pen cause any problems for you?
3. Are there any issues with the LCD not keeping up with the pen?
4. When lifting the pen off to point somewhere else, do the sensors momentary lose the pen?

Coming from the animation side of things I would like to build my Cintiq inside and animation desk like the image below.

This is very useful as you can easily rotate the screen to various angles and it might also be better for ventilation and installation of fans and also relocating the high voltage circuits away from the sensors. Although it will not be as portable as installing the whole thing into the wacom case but that doesn't bother me.

I am also looking into running the DIY Cintiq in a dual screen setup so that the Cintiq is only used for drawing and it doesn't have to be that big because all the tools and non drawing stuff can live on the monitor which can be accessed via the mouse. The graphics card running the Cintiq could be mirroring a portion of the main screen, bit like in Photoshop where you can have 2 views onto the stage with varying zoom levels.
It is hard to tell if this would be usable until I actually sit behind it and give it a try, any clues from the people who have made one?
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Drewid
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« Reply #1 on: December 25, 2006, 07:18:05 PM »

Windows or Mac?

Windows doesn't handle dual screen very well from a code point of view, but it works OK with the cintiq.
The drivers allow you to map a portion of the dual display quite accurately.  I use a setup like this at work, with mouse for my left screen. 
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Rumi
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« Reply #2 on: December 26, 2006, 12:01:26 AM »

Hi Drewid,

First of all thanks for kicking off this fascinating DIY project, I really think that Wacom charges too much for their tablets. Maybe it made sense some years back when the market was tiny but now lots of people want to draw with their computer and more people are buying tablets but the wacom prices have not come down that much. I think what they need is some serious competition so that they price their products more reasonably. I have started seeing some Chinese made tablets (Medion for example) but they seem to go upto 512 pressure levels and probably no tilt, not to mention that driver support would be a bit of a worry, specially for  a mac. I have some programming experience but never got into writing drivers.... I wonder how hard it is to write a driver for a mac, would you need technical info from the manufacturer about what signals are being sent? There is a Linux wacom project might be interesting to look to see how they are doing it. Talking of pressure levels, do people notice a difference between a 512 and 1024 pressure level tablets?

Anyway to answer your question Drew, yes I am on a Mac but I have access to PC as well, would be good to have a solution which works on both. Dual screen works well on the Mac and I have had it going on Windows too but that was a while ago. Are you using a Cintiq at work? Also maybe you could shed some light on my previous questions since you have a DIY Cintiq working.

Cheers,
Rumi
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Drewid
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« Reply #3 on: December 26, 2006, 01:22:25 AM »

Yep. use it at work daily 


1. Do you lose any pressure sensitivity on the pen?
nope.  The sensitivity is all in the pen, assuming the cover over the screen is nice and tight then it's the same as it was before.  If the cover flexes there will be a bit of pressure variance

2. Does having the drawing appear 2-3mm below the tip of the pen cause any problems for you?
It doesn't.  You can scale maths so the tip is pretty much under the pen all over the tablet from the users point of view. There's a little drift to the left over near the left hand side of the screen, but it's only a mm or so.   

The cintiq apparently has a thicker glass panel, possibly because of the size, so would suffer more from parallax problems.


3. Are there any issues with the LCD not keeping up with the pen?
There's a little bit of lag when using a large brush, depending on PC speed.  Pencil size brushes are realtime.  A usb connection would allow a bigger brush before lag showed up.

4. When lifting the pen off to point somewhere else, do the sensors momentary lose the pen?
The tablet picks up the pen position a few mm off the surface. I tend to slide a finger over the surface when drawing, always have, even with pencils.

Usable? well mine is, Stephens has some interference problems. Still trying to work out what the difference is. 
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Rumi
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« Reply #4 on: December 27, 2006, 11:24:19 AM »

Thanks for the info, Drew.

What about the jittering that was mentioned somewhere, is that a problem? Is it caused by the backlight ?Do most lcd's use the same type of backlight?

Anyway I am really thrilled with this project and now the hunt for suitable tablets and monitors begins!

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Drewid
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« Reply #5 on: December 27, 2006, 08:01:48 PM »

Different people seem to get it from different things.

I think all graphics tablets suffer from it, and there have been posts on the Wacom fourms.

I think mine jitters when it's right next to a pixel boundary and it can't decide which pixel the cursor is supposed to be on.  Therefore it only happens when the cursor is static, in one small section of the screen(within 5mm of the right side), and it's less than a pixel.  Therefore it's really not a problem,

MrSlippys build has  a larger area that is a problem. We're still not completely sure why.
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Rumi
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« Reply #6 on: January 01, 2007, 12:09:58 AM »

I wonder if the jittering is relative to the resolution of the tablet.
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Drewid
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« Reply #7 on: January 01, 2007, 03:02:59 PM »

It still gets mentioned with modern higher-res tablets.  Wacom suggest moving the tablet away from the monitor, but it doesn't fix all cases.
There are also reports of some tablets that haven't moved and are fine one day, but jitter the next.


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