Sunday, June 17, 2012

Trying Out a New Tablet: The Yiynova DP10 Digitalizer Display

For various reasons, I don't always have my Cintiq, and I wanted a backup tablet. But a Cintiq is so far out of my price range*  On the advice of several other artists, I went for the Yiynova DP10. made me despair. I could not, for love nor money, get the thing working. Uploaded new drivers, nothin'. Checked my plugins, nothin'. Pray to the gods of technical endeavor, nothin'. I gave up and told the Yiynova support email that I was giving up and sending back the tablet.
And they CALLED ME, and actually walked me through the setup process. It's kind of weird! And it turns out that my favorite way of operating (Mirrored screens) just isn't an option. And, to be honest, tech support between someone as hopelessly monolingual as me and someone for whom English is a distant second language is tricky and frustrating for both parties. But! They were very polite and professional, and my tablet works! Bwahaha! It's aliiiive!

So here's the first quick sketch I did with it:

Using Painter. Quick review, based on admittedly little experience:
It's not as good at pressure sensitivity or color representation as the Cintiq. But it's not BAD, either. The Cintiq is industry pro for a reason, not being quite that good still leaves a lot room to be quite nice. There's a lot of play in the sensitivity of the pen, too; I don't doubt, as I play with the pen and settings, I'll get more sensitivity out of it.  The color, well...I think I can adapt, once I'm used to the Yiynova's particular representations.

The pen is awesomely light and easy to hold. I say this as an arthritic person with fingers prone to hyperextension. I could play with this thing all day. I may get a gel wrap for it or something, because it is just flat plastic, but still. Very nice.

The tablet is also very VERY light. Lighter than my travelin' sketchbook. Sweetness. if I were traveling (and had a laptop that could run Painter or Photoshop) I would actually be able to take the Yiynova, and the price range means I wouldn't be losing a second mortgage if it got broken or stolen. So that's nice. 

Not so sweetness: Can't quite prop the tablet up at a useful angle with the given support. But that's what my laptop tablet's for! I prop  up everything on pillows and stuff anyway. But not everyone does, so, be aware- at certain angles the tablet loses some visibility.

The double USB hub hookup means I can't be online and drawing, which is problematic, although perhaps also beneficial. You'd say 'just attach a USB hub, Cara!" but that's not workable for me for the technical reason of not having an extra USB hookup for the hub. >_> This won't be a problem for everyone! But it's my review, so there.

I'm not ready to forswear my Cintiq-- but I am embracing the Yiynova. I wouldn't quite want to rely on it for finished works yet, especially color ones.  And setup really was a counterintuitive bear. But despite its limitations, the Yiynova's pretty nice. The customer support is exceptionally active and dedicated. The tablet's quite pretty and the buttons are easy to use.  It's light, doesn't run hot, and I think the feel and design of it actually encourage sketching and studies in a way the Cintiq doesn't.
That's probably the best way to think of it, actually- a digital plein air sketchbook as opposed to a full painter's studio. Fewer colors to hand, not quite the control over lighting, but light, comfortable, and still offering a lot of options for someone who's ready to take them.

And cheaper. Oh my gosh. So much cheaper.

So yes, if you've been drooling over a Cintiq but aren't in a position to sell any vital organs, give Panda City and the Yiynova a try. Just be ready to use tech support!

*The existing Cintiq in our house was a gift. One HECK of a gift. Like, the next step up is a vehicle, and a new one at that.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Summertime Triple Sketch Party!

My most devoted fan (hi, Mom!) recently asked me why my blog has not been updating, and honestly it's because I find myself wordless these days. That, and a  constant inability to feel like I've quiiiite finished any of my pieces, has pretty much caltropped  both this blog and my Etsy shop.

But I can still post sketches, I suppose! So here: have a small bug explaining the intricacies of my back yard, and a bunch of ferrets making hats.