New 12-inch Cintiq Hits Europe in November

I just read about a new model of Cintiq over at engadget.com. If you’re not familiar with the Cintiq – it’s a digital drawing tablet from Wacom, but unique in that you draw right onto the screen. Most Wacom tablets out there sit below the monitor, detached from the results, and it can be a long learning curve to get your intended line strokes to look right.

The bad news is that this new Cintiq 12WX is far smaller than the 21UX, and it has only been announced for the European market. And now the good news – the price of the 21-inch model ($2,500) has held up a price-barrier to artists ready to go the paperless route, and this new model should help out with a $1,679 price tag.

It’s hard to overstate the impact this technology has had on the animation industry. While exceptional 2D animation has been, and always will be, done with a trusty pencil, the Cintiq 21UX has offered immense time savings and allowed artists otherwise frightened of technology to cross the digital divide.

Plus, they’re just alot of fun. The Cintiq 21-inch models are like the corner office of the animation studio – inducing jealousy and quiet coveting. At Fatkat animation in New Brunswick, they dropped Cintiqs on a number of artist’s desk, and the glee was captured in a series of photos and shared on a recent blog post.

Jared Chapman, a talented artist and recent father living in Austin, wrote this humorous bit about his friend’s new model:

…believe the hype. They are amazing! It makes you a better artist. Really. I did an experiment. Because I’m one-eighth scientist. I gave my three month old baby a pencil and some paper. He couldn’t even draw! Then I gave him a Cintiq. Now he’s a full time freelance artist bringing in six figures! I’ve quit my job and devote all my free time to gardening now.

I’d love to hear from you – what’s been your experience with your Cintiq? Revolutionary or revolting?

25 Comments

  1. TempleDog October 24, 2007

    Yeah, I’m really gonna have to squirrel away some cash for one o’ these babies next year, cuz I want to do some serious flashiness. Have to see what the prices are like in the spring. Meanwhile, my lil’ ol’ Wacom tablet will have to do.

  2. I’m interested in getting one of these, but I want to know if anyone has done a comparison with the Cintiq and a tablet PC? Why spend the money on a monitor when you can get a laptop?

  3. C.S. Murphy October 24, 2007

    Hey Aaron! I just bought my new Cintiq 21UX and fell immediately in love with it. If you check out my blog at http://pleasedonteatmyfriends.blogspot.com/

    You can check out a quick little picture sequence of me animating the box opening. I also display the first couple of drawings that I did with it.

    Cheers!

    C.S. Murphy

  4. Anonymous October 24, 2007

    dude, I WISH Fatkat was in Halifax!!!! Then maybe I’d want to stay!

  5. I’ve had the old 17SX model for years and it got me through animation school. But, I quickly outgrew the it’s physical size and limited resolution.

    Flash’s interface is a real estate hog and your drawing space is quickly reduced to a Post-It (a second monitor was a must with this model). So, I’m weary of that new smaller model, seems like it’s a step back.

    Well, luckily I just got the 21UX a couple weeks ago and it’s better than sex! Plenty of space to draw in Flash and the 6D Pen is fun too. I recommend it to any digital artist who has the means, it’s the best purchase I’ve made since my last Cintiq.

    Spencer — I don’t know if they’re had improvements recently, but a while back when I was considering the same thing, I couldn’t find a tablet PC with pressure sensitivity and tilt function. This made it near worthless to me. Newer models may have it, but it’s something to look into.

  6. Anonymous October 24, 2007

    Hey! look at how Keet loves the Cintiq!

    ;P

    -K

  7. Tony Mora October 24, 2007

    I got mine several months ago and I love it. Not much Flash I do at home, but when it comes to drawing or painting tradigitally it can’t be beat. It literally cut my painting time in half.
    Aaron……IN HALF!

  8. Scotty A October 24, 2007

    I’ve had my Cintiq for just over a year now, and it’s half & half for me.
    I don’t use it for drawing all the time, and when I’m writing or just web surfing, it’s awkward to have the keyboard way on one side, and the big monitor on the other.
    If the stand tilted to a full 90 degree angle, that’d be a big big improvement, but it doesn’t.
    But all in all, I’m so glad I got it! :)

  9. Cooked Art October 24, 2007

    Cintiqs rock the house! I have to say though, the main advantage of the 21 ux over a tablet of is the size of the screen.

    I’m all for cheaper cintiqs, but the price still seems a little high. You can easily get a 12 inch (or
    sometimes even 14) tabletPC for the same price as the 12wx. Its nice to be able to hook that up to multiple different computers, but its not advantageous enough (in my opinion).

    I think it would have been a no brainer at a 15 or 17 inch size. Let’s hope there are still more cintiq models to come!

    One thing i noticed was the lack of photos of the actual cabling for the device – the 21ux’s cable is pretty thick since there is a need for dvi,usb, and power. It looks like the 12wx is a lot more portable but the cabling will go a long way in deciding whether or not this thing can truly be brought around with you on a regular basis.

  10. Ward Jenkins October 24, 2007

    I’ve been working with a 21UX for several months now and I’m still getting used to it. There’s something about keeping everything tight and compact I liked about the tablet — but with the Cintiq, there’s broad actions and movements with the arm and I end up getting worn out by the end of the day! I haven’t used it for Flash yet (not a Flash animator), but the Cintiq has been very helpful in creating quick storyboards. I don’t have to scan now. (I still like the pencil on paper, though.)

    The jury’s still out with me and the Cintiq. I acknowledge the great possibilities it holds, but still need more time to warm up to it.

  11. kongobot October 24, 2007

    I saw the blurb on DIGIT. When I read about the new, low price, I hoped Wacom had managed to crack the $1,000 dollar barrier. At nearly $1,700.00 the Cintiq is an extravagance I, unfortunately, cannot afford.

    Cool vid, CS Murphy, of the Cintiq unpacking itself. I see you have an SP808 in your studio. That is one seriously underrated sampler. It’s a sound designer’s dream.

  12. Aaron Simpson October 24, 2007

    great comments, gang. tony – good to hear from you. amazing time-saving story there. i’m sure Wacom folks are skimming this post and taking notes. personally, if they hit the $999 magic number with one of these, they’ll be on every artist/animator’s desk.

  13. We just got a bunch of these at work here and well with most of us it is a love hate relationship. The Cintiq has been on my wish list for a long time now but now actually using it I am disappointed. I found the unit very cumbersome to work with and it actually really hampered my productivity. Another disappointing feature is the actual LCD panel itself with the price of these things it is not very bright and the color representation is very poor(even after calibration). Also all the artists here feel that the cursor lag on the pen is rather frustrating. So with a crushed heart I have gone back to my faithful tablet.

    The Cintiq is no longer on my wish list and an upgrade from my intuos2 to the intous3 is on it.

  14. Anonymous October 25, 2007

    I love my intuos 3 and you can’t make me use a Cintiq!!

    Early on I got used to using a flat Intuos tablet, and granted, its a steep learning curve but soooo well worth it in the end. Its made me a much better artist to be forced to visualize in my head what I want to put down before I draw, PLUS I don’t have my hand in the way of my art as I’m drawing. Using a flat tab while looking up at the monitor allows me to see my artwork as a whole while drawing… not guessing where the lines are hidden by my hand.

    Call me crazy, but I’ll take a solid Intuos 3 any day of the week over a cintiq. I’ve been using the Intuos tabs since ’03, and I think I can count on 2 fingers the number of paper drawings I’ve done the past 4 years. All my work from animation to pinup illustrations are done tradigitally with my trusty Intuos.

    ~Les Harper

  15. Roman Laney October 25, 2007

    I just bought one for home, so news of the smaller one stung a little… but I think I’d prefer the larger working area. Can’t cry over $2500 worth of spilt milk.

    Some of the comments describing lag on the Cintiq might want to try upgrading the computer they are using. The Cintiq isn’t the reason for the lag… the processor is. Everyone here at Nick loves their Cintiqs… but we do have macho boxes powering them. It’s a pricy proposition but it has sped up my productivity by at least 35 percent… and that makes it worth it.

    -R

  16. Anonymous October 25, 2007

    22″ for a hundred bucks!!
    totally portable:

  17. I paid $1500 for an 18″ model, after using a 12″ Motion tablet PC for a year. The Cintiq is far superior, both in stylus sensitivity and ease of use. I was concerned about the loss of portability, but then I realized that I was never getting quality work done anywhere but my desk at home. Animation is much too intense a task to try to work on while on vacation!
    I also found that the tablet PC was woefully underpowered and sometimes there would be a delay when trying to draw — unacceptable, I’m sure you’ll agree. With the Cintiq you’re only limited by the machine it’s attached to and there are many Macs that run Toon Boom and Flash with ease that cost less than the Cintiq itself. In short, I love it.

  18. I’ve been desperate to snag one of these things. If only they weren’t so damned expensive. I hate minimum wage. So much. :(

  19. Scotty A October 25, 2007

    Just thinking… Can you imagine working with Photoshop or Flash on a 12″ screen? After all the palletes and panels, you’d prolly have 4″ left to draw in!

  20. A friend sent me the info on the new wacom 12wx.

    It immediately peaked my interest. Since I work alot from home, having something more compact that I can take around with me is cool.

    I’ve used the 15in and 17in extensively and so far my favorite is the 17in but they seem to die frequently. At work I went through 3 of them in 2 years.

    I agree with ward regarding the 21ux. After a full day of working on that thing your drawing arm is going to …ahem…look extremely big.

    Haha I knew that was you les! I still use an intuos 3 at times. It can just be faster at times. I guess because you are working at a smaller scale.

    Anyway I think we always get hyped about a new tool. The most important thing is bringing those artistic principles to the computer.

    Happy creating!

  21. Roman – we are running dual pentitums 2.8GHz with 2 GB of ram pretty sure that processor is not the cause of the lag.

  22. I’m a flash animator and i’m working with a Cintiq since 1 year now. I really think it’s a great tool for animation!
    But I still think the basic graphire is doing very well for a beginner! I’ve done 2 complete seasons of tv show on simple 4×6 in traditional animation ( rough and cleanup ). But now with the Cintiq, it’s more fun and I probably saving time. I think all digital artist should have this tool but it’s still very expensive for the moment.

    About the 12″, I think it’s great! Some people will find some thing to do with this model but for an artist it will be not practical.

    Have fun with your Cintiq! But remember, it’s a working tool.

  23. Honkbarn October 25, 2007

    I bought my 21 Cintiq a year ago and use it everyday. I absolutely love it. It cost me $3500 but paid for itself in about 3 months of freelance work. I love the fact that you can take the back bolts off and it swivels full 360 degrees, rotating smoother than my traditional disk. My hands get pretty sweaty sometimes so I bought some white photography gloves and cut the index/thumb off. Glides like a trojan. I wonder if the smaller one has the capability to rotate? If not, that blows. I love everything about the Cintiq, you can even buy different tips that simulate paper. They tend to wear out faster though and can be hard on the screen. I don’t get how people can like the tablet more, it’s so nice to be able to see what your drawing in real size rather than guessing.

  24. I haven’t used a Cintiq, but I really like my tabletPC, a Toshiba Tecra M4. It’s fast enough, has pressure + tilt, but I believe it has 256 levels of sensitivity as opposed to 1024 for an Intuos tablet (which I use at work). I’m not experiencing any of the drawing delays mentioned on mt tablet PC.

    I replaced the stylus with one made for the 18in Cintiq, and that made a helluva difference, BTW.

    I haven’t, unfortunately, seen a worthwhile tablet on the market since the Tecra m7. Sadly TabletPCs are marketed and designed for businessmen and medical professionals, with the possible exception of the Axiotron Modbook (OSX), which is the only tablet I’d consider buying new at the moment.

  25. David Nethery October 28, 2007

    I love using the Cintiq , especially with my favorite drawing/painting/animating app TVPaint . I also like using it with ToonBoom for paperless animation.

    However, I do worry about my Cintiq a lot more … what if it gets scratched, or breaks down, or gets hit by lightning or other power surge ? I never used to worry about my trusty animation disc and 2B pencil . If the pencil broke I’d just pick up a new one . Cintiq is one mighty expensive lil’ ol’ “pencil” , y’all.

    But I think it’s here to stay.

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