XP-Pen Artist 12 pen display monitor for vector drawing


#1

Grateful for some help.
I am using the latest, updated version of Photoshop under W10 Pro 64bit and my XP-Pen equipment is an DECO 01 tablet with grip and passive pens.I buy it from their offical site.
I am using the latest Nvidia and Wacom drivers, and W10, are up to date. I have 32Gb ram and a 6700 cpu.
but I was never able to get rid of that eye-hand coordination issue and I would end up frustrated whenever I would draw on my computer.I would never draw as good as on paper. so i want a tablet with screen .They recommended XP-Pen Artist 12 drawing monitor to me - https://www.xp-pen.com/goods/show/id/380.html .
Anyone using a XP-Pen Artist 12 for drawing your vectors in Coreldraw x5?? If so, how do you like it?? Also I’m looking for alternative to Photoshop, can paintshop pro handle the task of adding graphics and colors to bitmaps??


#2

Let me say that I do NOT speak from firsthand experience on this one. I’ve been a Wacom user for some 20 or so years. I can only go based on the various reviews I’ve read and videos I’ve seen. Having said that…

There’s an entirely different set of standards and expectations for a pen display than a traditional tablet. While something like the Intuos or the Bamboo may be the gold standard for traditional tablets, the 3rd party alternatives often remain solid and reliable. The build and pen quality can often vary, but (apparently) the basic tech is kinda hard to screw up. That’s why we see quite a few viable competitors in the arena of traditional tablets.

Pen displays are a little different though. They’re not just about stylus tracking, but also the screen itself. The user actions and visual output must be coordinated. The screen has to be clear and durable. The parallax causing gap between the screen and the pen has to be at a minimum. There’s so much going on and, unfortunately, this is the kind of tech that is much easier to screw up.

Instead of me retyping my older response, I think that I’ll just link you back to it instead: http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?f=23&t=1512165

IN GENERAL, I have some very basic advice to offer you… Go big or go home.

The idea of a small pen display sounds nice, but it isn’t in practice. Look at the size of your hand. Now look at the size of the screen. Look at both. Now imagine your hand competing with the Photoshop or ZBrush interface. It’s annoying. I have very average guy sized hands. Maybe a bit less so. Small pen displays feel pretty cramped. A larger 12, 22, or 27 inch pen display will offer you more room to move around. You’ll also suffer far less eye strain.

Small pen displays are good if you’re constantly traveling with your traditional laptop. I would not use a 12 or 13 inch pen display on my desktop. I’ve done it. I’ve hated it. Once you go to a large format pen display, you’ll never go back. It’s the difference between trying to draw on your shiny new iPad VS trying to draw on an old iPhone 4.

IMO, save the pen display for when you’ve got more money and more experience with tablets under your belt. A cheap pen display sounds like a nice idea, but you might burn through it quickly and complain all throughout. That’s just my advice.

AS FAR AS PHOTOSHOP ALTERNATIVES GO…

When it comes to CMYK work, the type you might use for 2D print, there is no adequate 1:1 substitute. However, for purely RGB work, you’re in luck. Photoshop is super robust, super stable, and might only cost you about $120/year as a subscription.

However, the 3rd party alternatives are often 100% free and end up being about to do 90%+ of what PS can do in RGB mode. The learning curve, switching from PS to an alternative can be a little tricky, but it’s doable.

Were I to recommend a PS substitute (for RGB work), I’d definitely go with either Gimp and/or Krita. Gimp leans more into the image editing side of things. Krita can do all of that stuff too, but is better suited if you’re into drawing or painting. Its brush engine is pretty darn good. Tack on some freebie plugins. Reorganize the UI. Remap the shortcuts. With fairly minimal effort, you can set things up in such a way that your transition would be painless.

Photoshop is the standard in just about all studios and offices. It’s practically a verb these days. However, if you’re cheap, strapped for cash, or just prefer an open source pipeline, alternatives like Gimp and Krita do the job just fine. They won’t prevent you from getting the job done in the least. I say this as somebody who’s been using Photoshop for about 26 years. PS might be 24k gold, but there are many very fine 18k substitutes.

FWIW, PaintShop Pro is pretty solid. I’ve used it in the past. Layer support is spotty and a few of the features don’t work as you’d expect though. Given the choice, at that price point, I’d opt for Photoshop Elements instead. It also has a perpetual license, but operates more like Photoshop because it IS Photoshop. It’s just a stripped down version.

Tack on the 3rd party Elements+ script pack for $12 and you’ll instantly regain countless removed features that were not so removed, but only hidden from Elements users. (Seriously. Adobe just strips out access to some of these features instead getting rid of the actual features themselves. Weird. Probably just more cost effective this way.)

As far as it comes to not being able to draw as well on tablet as on paper… It takes time and adjustment. You have to commit to it every day. If you leave your tablet for a week or more, getting back into the groove CAN feel a little foreign. The longer your absence, the more pronounced the disconnect. I’ve been using tablets since the C64’s old KoalaPad in 1985. (Only been a Wacom User since about 1997 though.) It still happens to me from time to time, especially if I’m caught up doing non-tablet related CG work for a period.

Overall, as with any other skill that requires hand eye coordination, there’s a sort of certain teething period before the muscle memory sets in. You might never feel 100% as comfortable as you might with real paper - even with a Cintiq or similar pen display. However, eventually, it does all feel like second nature.