Got an I5 8GB, 256SSD surface pro 4 today. Very happy to report that it can handle a 4000x6000 image with 10 layers with no issues. However, I discovered that the pen does not transmit angle data to photoshop's brush engine. This is a rudimentary feature of the Wacom intuos tablet that allows for natural brush rendering. With the wamcom, the brush engine interprets the angle of the pen just like it would a real brush so for example as you press down harder and at an angle, the brush's bristles compress out and leave a very natural trail just as if you did this with a real brush. Or with a pencil tool, angling the pen allows you to shade an image as if you were drawing with the side of a pencil tip.
You can control the brush angle manually but it's extremely cumbersome to do compared to just angling the brush and it's akin to trying to draw using the mouse. So basically, the pen in the surface pro 4 acts like a mouse that can sense pressure. Without the angle characteristics that even the inexpensive drawing tablets support, i'm not sure the features of the surface pro 4 are enough to warrant using it over a laptop with a tablet.
Does anyone know if the capability to transmit angle data exists in the pen and will it ever be supported? Because if not, I'll probably just go back to using my notebook computer and the wacom tablet.
This is an advice posting, but I'll try to make the journey to the question a little diverting.
I'm a casual scribbler. I love drawing; love comic books, but I've never derived an income, it's always just something I've done to have fun.
I spend most of my time in IT in one form or another. I have some graphic design experience (studied it 20 years ago)... Purchased my first Wacom tablet for some crazy amount of money, but I could never get past the cognitive dissonance of drawing on a surface while watching the screen somewhere else.
At one point I owned a Cintiq 12x? the little one... I replaced it with a first gen iPad, because I can't sit for long periods at a desk (busted spine) and I don't like being tethered in general.
I fell in love with Adobe Ideas. Being able to freehand vectors (Macromedia! Woo!) and apply lighting effects via semi-transparent layers: Awesome.
Then I repaced the iPad with an iPad 2 for the additional grunt and cameras (Facetime my folks).
Until the ipad 2, I drew with a stubby Wacom bamboo stylus. The end of the first gen iPad started a journey of disappointment as I went on to purchase and become disillusioned with around 15 different styluses.
A combination of no palm rejection and no decent Initial Activation Force (IAF - a term that describes a problem I've always had but couldn't articulate)... At the end of the iPad 2 era, I was mostly happy with a Maglus.
Then along came the iPad Air. The change in display tech (in the Air) made all my existing iPad styli mostly useless, including the Maglus.
So I splurged on a battery-powered Evernote(branded) Bluetooth fine point stylus... And spent the next 12 months getting angry at it (because it was mechanically faulty and I didn't gather up the guts to confirm/replace it).
Eventually I did, and the replacement is okay... But in the meantime I picked up an Apex - no Bluetooth, still no pressure sensitivity... But all I cared about was IAF and having a non-stubby tip. If I'm writing notes in a meeting or just mucking around, I want every contact between pen and display to register, not some: It's irritating to have to 'rewrite' letters because the hardware didn't register the strike-though on a 't'.
I gave up drawing on the iPad air. I still co-draw stuff with my 4 year old daughter, but we mainly use our fingers (Artrage+finger painting = fun).
Then this year, I was looking for a cheap windows 8 tablet to install Steam, so I could stream/play PC games on the couch while my wife watches bad TV.
I picked up an Ausus VivoTab Note 8 (32Gig) for $200 on Amazon, funnily enough, because it has Wacom tech in it. 'Turns out I really like scribbling in OneNote. The lines look lovely and it seems like you have an infinite canvas size(?) - you just keep drawing and scrolling.
I purchased a $40 copy of Manga Studio, because I miss layers.
When the Wacom tech works, its... Fantastic. I don't mind the little stylus; a couple of days a week I catch the train to work (cycle most of the time) and I can knock out a few quick sketches.
I'd forgotten how much joy I derive from it.
But then: On the AVN8, the stylus goes nuts along one corner, and every now and then a 3cm area on the stylus will 'go dead' - usually fixed by a restart of the device - but annoying when it happens. I've read enough forum posts to know that there's no such thing a working AVN8, just varying levels of not working, so replacing it isn't really an option.
Do I spurgle on a SP3? Sight unseen, Do you think I'll get annoyed by the increased IAF required?
Do I go look for a SP2? Do I run the risk of getting one with dodgy Wacom tech in it - Until the AVN8, I didn't know there was dodgy Wacom tech- is there another Manufacturer I should consider? My requirements are:
be a capable Steam Home streaming client
be light (relatively)
Not have a resolution so high and a screen so small that I can't make out anything
have 6+ hours battery life
Not be crazy expensive
has inking tech that will register fine touches (see: fast notetaking)
not have dodgy corners or dead spots, temporary or permanent
Have nice (Agnes Nutter nice I mean) software.
Please note that my life doesn't depend on a perfect solution, I do fine as a low level Database administrator. I just like drawing (even more than playing videogames I finally realise)
Thanks btw for existing, Surface pro artist. The recent stuff about the N-trig hub software is very informative.
I've got a problem with using my stylus annotate PDF documents. I got my Surface Pro 2 primarily for the utility of being able to 'write' on/annotate pdf documents. I'm a PhD candidate and I download hundreds of journal articles in pdf form from academic providers. I've noticed that in a significant number of the documents I download, when I try to write at a specific place on the document, such as when I want to underline a particular line or write a note adjacent to specific text, whatever I write "jumps" approximately two lines below the point of where the stylus nib contacted the document.
This problem makes using the feature extremely difficult. I have to attempt to 'underline' starting a couple of lines above the text I actually want underlined. I can't write in print form at all because each time I write a letter and lift the nib the letter immediately jumps below the point where I write and then I have to estimate where to put the next letter. Usually, what I've written is indecipherable, and if I try to write entirely in running writing with the stylus the result is equally indecipherable.
I spent several hours in a chat session with a Microsoft support person to no avail. We downloaded a new driver for the stylus but it made no difference.
I tend to think the problem is specific to certain PDF documents - possibly something to do with how some are formatted compared to others. I have nowhere near enough understanding of such matters to be able to go any further without help to resolve this problem. I hope it is resolvable, because the only alternative I have if it's not is to start printing journal articles out and marking them manually, which I hoped to stop doing by getting the Surface, because of the enormous cost and amount of paper used.
I tried to upload a short video to illustrate, but the page won't let me do it.
Any smart geeks got any ideas?
Thanks in advance!
I just tried the "Back to drawing board" app and it is really cool. Imagine CAD on a tablet. Works well with touch but really excels when using you cover or external keyboard and mouse. I have tried on both WIndows 8 and RT and it works well. I would not want to edit a super complex drawing on a Surface but it is nice to know you can.
I was wondering if the use of a screen protector is necessary and if there is any loss in sensitivity when drawing. I have just bought a SP3 and intend to use it mainly for digital painting.
I was thinking to buy some matte screen protector to have some kind of resistance when I draw, but I am also concerned this resistance will ruin the nib of the stylus, Any advice?