Friday, May 6, 2011

If I Could Draw: Cintiq

If I could draw, I’d buy a Wacom Cintiq.  I first discovered them years ago at the Game Developer’s Conference and was blown away.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the Cintiq, it was like an early iPad for artists.  It was like electronic paper: you drew on it with a stylus and it immediately turned whatever you drew into an electronic work of art.
Okay, more useful than an iPad.
When I was a kid, I was annoyed by paint.  Part of the problem is that all the art teachers in our school thought watercolor was the greatest.  They probably liked it because it was cheap.  However, watercolors are irritating, especially when combined with cheap paper.  The colors run around like crazy.  It’s hard to make any clearly defined shape.  I really wanted tempera, but that came later and had its own problems (tell you about them later).
Hint: It has something to do with this color.
When computer-based art programs came out, I spent a lot of time using them.  Then, as graphical capabilities improved, my own lack of skills became apparent, and I gave up again. 
Honest, it wasn't all that hard to make something look good.
Then I saw the Wacom.  Here, I figured, was a machine that would help me make great art.  The price tag was prohibitive, so I waited, and waited, and waited.

This year, at the GDC, I stopped by the Wacom booth as I always did to check prices.  This time I noticed a couple of young kids sketching on the Cintiqs.  It looked something like this:
Only, you know, better.

And I realized, hell, even a Cintiq won’t help me.

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