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  1. #1
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    Question about iPad pro for art vs other mobile options or desktops

    So I'm hoping someone can please share some insight with me here. I have an older (around 8 years old) desktop that I use an Intuos tablet with. due to my health, I find it difficult to use a lot of the time, due to the awkwardness of using non-screen tablets and end up just going back to traditional materials.

    I was looking to upgrade to get a Cintiq to do digital art because the process is a lot more natural to me and find it a lot easier to draw with, but then I started doing more research on iPad pros. From the research I've done, it seems like it would be a nice compromise from also having to get a new computer that is compatible with the cintiq. I mostly use photoshop so it doesn't seem like I'd be limited in terms of programs to use (I've heard procreate and Affinity are great alternatives). My main concern is will it be sufficient for doing professional quality work on it? As my intent is having it be my main source of creation. I know the ecosystem is a little bit limited, so if I wanted to use programs like Blender or ZBrush in the future, I wouldn't be able to vs if I got a surface pro or new desktop. However, I'd be saving a considerable chunk of change (As I can't afford computer/cintiq+ipad). Do you think the tradeoff in price is worth the difference in functionality? Or would I be better off getting a full desktop operating system to do my work?

    My health issues could prevent me from taking full advantage of having a spiffy new computer, whereas if I got the iPad pro, with the ease of use/simplicity of it, I know I'd be able to take more advantage of right now.

    Would love to know what your thoughts are!


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  3. #2
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    I know pros who still use a Bamboo. Money wise, you're always going to get more from a tower; it's what you do do with it that's important. I'm still happy with my Volito II. Tools are just that, tools. Don't get suckered into every upgrade if you don't need it. 3D needs tons of ram, do don't look at the shiny, look at the engine.

  4. #3
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    Have you done much digital art? (so you know what you like?) I find that size counts and an ipad wouldn't be big enough for me, but your mileage may vary.

    The ipad adobe programs look pretty good. I saw a demo of the Illustrator mobile app that had a good workflow. But the guy was zooming in and out a lot.

    Also remember you can get off brand cintiq style tablet monitors these days. I have a 22 inch XP-pen that I got for about $400 or $500 US if memory serves.

  5. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Checkerknight View Post
    Also remember you can get off brand cintiq style tablet monitors these days. I have a 22 inch XP-pen that I got for about $400 or $500 US if memory serves.
    whats the longevity/customer support on those kinds of things? It seems like Wacom is a crapshoot depending on the year and what planets are aligned. I’d be curious if other companies have better lifespan on their pens and software
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  6. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by octopuscats View Post
    whats the longevity/customer support on those kinds of things? It seems like Wacom is a crapshoot depending on the year and what planets are aligned. I’d be curious if other companies have better lifespan on their pens and software
    Looks like Wacom's once solid reputation is gone. My Wacom is serving me for 8 years now, but it looks like this is getting more and more exceptional nowadays. Forget about Apple, if you want even the least kind of service, you will need to buy AppleCare, which adds 20% to the already ridiculous price, repairs are routinely done with refurbished replacements, and Apple reserves itself the right the declare your model 'vintage', meaning that it is out of warranty there and then.
    Grinnikend door het leven...

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  7. #6
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    When my Cintiq dies I won't get another Wacom I don't think. I've recently been hearing so many bad things about Wacom's products, no thanks. Tehy are no longer the king of the hill due to sloppy quality control.

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    From what I’ve heard, you can still beat the giant Cintiqs into the ground and they’ll run beautifully. It’s the tablets without a screen (eg Intuos) that seem to have problems after a few years, sometimes even less.
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  9. #8
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    They just came out with a new 12.9 inch ipad on Oct 30th. They also came out with a new apple pencil. The ipad has processor and graphics upgrades like what you would expect but they also got rid of the home button on the front and reduced the bezels to be one large screen. Since they did that the device is 25% smaller than last years model with the same size screen. The 10.5 inch pro had a 11 inch screen put in and kept the same size too. The apple pencil is now magnetic and magnetically charges and sticks on the side of the new ipad. it also auto connects. the plug has been completely removed from the back of the pencil and you can tap the side of the pencil with your finger to switch to eraser. If you go to youtube you will find tons of artists who have switched to ipad both from cintiq and also from devices like mobile studio pro. I have no loyalty and use both but the ipad is no doubt a nice device. its so accurate it doesnt even need calibration software.

  10. #9
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    What kind of work do you do / want to do? An iPad is decent for sketching, but I find it kinda hard to do finished work on it, because of a combination of the feel of the pencil on the screen (even with a matte screen protector it still feels too slippery), and because the apps aren't fully-featured (even the upcoming "full" version of Photoshop will be a stripped-down version, although it looks to have plenty of stuff in it).

    Since the cheaper non-Pro 2018 iPads have Apple Pencil support now too, you can pick one of those up and an Apple Pencil, and try it out for 2 weeks before you have to return it. You might decide you like it as a portable sketching tool, and that would leave you money left over if you wanted to buy a used Cintiq off ebay (or one of the cheap Cintiq knockoffs, they're getting pretty good), plus a cheap computer.

    On the other hand, if you want to get into 3D, you'll need a beefy PC like Black Spot said--high-end GPU, CPU, lots of RAM, etc) That wouldn't be cheap as a tower, but it would be even more expensive as a laptop.

  11. #10
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    You all make some very solid points. I had no idea how far off the horse Wacom has fallen. This makes things even more....difficult lol.

    The kind of work I'm trying to get into is concept work/ Illustration. I think the reason I was considering it is because I'm looking for something that makes it simple and easy for me to be like "Hey, I feel like doing something quick today.. I'll knock out a few sketches/designs" or "I feel like making this sketch into a finished piece because I'm feeling really good today".

    I have experience doing digital work, but I'm no professional. I want something that encourages my growth. I thought the iPad would be a good use for that since the portability would allow me to use it whenever the mood strikes and hoping it has the capability to do a finished piece if I so choose. IDEALLY, I want to get a nice computer so that I can do casual 3d sculpting but it would be used mainly for polished digital paintings. For now, I'm limited in my abilities (due to health) so putting that money into a full blown work station wouldn't be practical because most of the time I'd just be doing a lot of unfinished work. However the iPad pro isn't cheap either and since I'm looking to get the new one that was just announced, I'm having a hard time deciding if it's worth it to get it to defer my need to purchase something pricier.
    Last edited by mikemanpete; 2 Weeks Ago at 11:16 AM.

  12. #11
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    Well, there is at least on guy who does finished work on iPad Pro+Procreate:

    https://www.artstation.com/nikolailockertsen

    https://www.youtube.com/user/nikolailockertsen


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  14. #12
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    ^ nice, that guy's definitely getting his money's worth out of Procreate

    OP, there's a guy on YouTube who does reviews of lots of different drawing screens, look through some of these and check out pricing on some of the Cintiq alternatives that catch your eye: https://www.youtube.com/user/thebradcolbow/videos

    EDIT: he's got his favorites ranked here, along w/ links to video reviews: http://bradcolbow.com/reviews/wacom-...ernatives.html

    Also, just like with the iPad, a lot of these companies will let you try the product in a return window, so you're not married to whatever you buy.
    Last edited by diamandis; 2 Weeks Ago at 04:57 PM.

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  16. #13
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    That's pretty awesome. That makes me happy to see how comprehensive it can be.

    Ah yeah! I've watched a few of these. From everything I've seen, as far as mobile options go, the iPad seems to deliver the most seamless experience. I was looking into the wacom mobile studio pro, but that's like 3x the price and everyone seems to shit on it lol. That test trial might be the best thing to do to see if I'll get what I want from it though. Appreciate the advice

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    I should say - I have an iPad Pro (2016 version I believe) and I love it. Still use it semi-regularly. It's also nice when you're feeling lazy and just want to read some stuff on the couch instead of getting on your computer. The battery life is very good. The pen takes some getting used to (and I've seen all kinds of creative solutions to make it thicker as some people have a hard time with the thin stylus), but it's also very responsive. Unfortunately there's nothing on the app store at the moment for good digital sculpting, which is why I'm also looking at PC tablets at the moment. Procreate is a killer program though, and supports exporting to psd for the things you just can't do without Photoshop. In school I did a lot of my art on Procreate and then exported to PSD or Indesign for layout. Nowadays I basically only use Procreate when the 2D painting bug hits.
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  19. #15
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    Yeah, from all the research I've done, iPad seems to have the best in terms of battery life and how well it operates. The only downside I can see is the limitation of being on a mobile OS, but it appears that line is getting more and more blurred. I saw that theres an app called sculptris that I've seen a few people use (but that's just for purely sculpting things). May be enough for me. Thanks for the input!

  20. #16
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    I used Sculptris and found it generally clunky, unresponsive and unintuitive. Unfortunately Zbrush has set the standard for digital sculpting so high that anyone who comes below that standard is just impossible to work with.
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  21. #17
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    sculptris and zbrush are owned by the same company. sculptris was bought by zbrush because it was a free alternative to zbrush at one point. so instead of fighting with the competition they simply bought it so it wouldn't develop any further. for that reason it will never be as complete as zbrush.
    Last edited by Kangum; 1 Week Ago at 01:44 AM. Reason: spelling

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