Recommendations for Cintiq alternatives ?

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D.T. Nethery
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Joined: 27 Sep 2006, 19:19

Re: Recommendations for Cintiq alternatives ?

Post by D.T. Nethery »

Jet wrote: 16 Apr 2021, 13:53 I'm personally trying to transition over to iPad which is why I started small, it's my first time, one big problem I have is I usually rest my palm on the surface when doing precise lines, iPad has no bezel and is 1.3CM combined with its case thick, so I made a cutout from balsa craft wood (you can cut it with some sharp scissors or a craft knife) and stacked it that it slots into which makes it flush, it worked wonders, but I'm looking at purchasing something more refined like this:


PS: I don't have a Mac, but I think you can use iPad as a Cintiq (so you could use TVPaint on it), if anyone has experience with that would be good to hear from.
Here's an interesting DIY drawing table to mount the iPad :


About using the iPad as a "Cintiq" -

I've tried the three different applications that allow you to mirror your computer screen on your iPad: Astropad Studio, Duet Display , Easy Canvas.

I could not get Duet Display Pro app to maintain a reliable connection. The display and Apple Pencil would randomly stop working , so I would have to quit the app and restart to get the connection working again. Also the drawing with the Duet app was very laggy. (like having line smoothing "pulled string" mode enabled all the time ... the tip of my Apple Pencil was always ahead of the line. Not an enjoyable experience to draw like that) . Also , Duet has no way to assign keyboard shortcuts via a shortcuts toolbar, like Easy Canvas and Astropad. If you plan to draw with your iPad connected to your Mac I would not recommend Duet based on my experience. (for use as a second monitor it probably works fine). Duet Pro is $34.99 a year subscription.

Easy Canvas works well, maintains a solid connection. The drawing experience is pretty good, minimal (if any) lagging. Easy Canvas has a floating tool bar with 8 programmable keyboard shortcut buttons. Easy Canvas is the least expensive of these apps. You pay a one-time payment of $11.99 for a perpetual license. (for using Easy Canvas with a Mac computer wireless connection is not supported. You must have the iPad and the Mac physically connected via a cable. Actually, the physical connection via cable works best anyway , in all three apps - Duet , Easy Canvas, and Astropad ... in my experience the wireless connection can get unreliable if you're not close to the wifi router.)

Astropad Studio is the best of these apps in my experience. It has a toolbar that can be configured with multiple keyboard shortcuts , with customized shortcuts for each app you use (so one set of shortcuts for TVPaint, another set of shortcuts for Photoshop, another set for Illustrator, etc.). There is a pop-up onscreen mini keyboard. The connection is stable. (you can connect via a physical cable from the iPad to the computer , or you can use wifi connection. In my experience using the physical cable connection is best). For me the experience of drawing in TVPaint on my iPad with Apple Pencil was very good. The big drawback to Astropad Studio is the higher price: it costs $11.99 a month to subscribe ($143.00 a year) OR you can make an annual payment of $99.00 , which works out to $8.33 a month. That's a bit more than I can afford to pay for this sort of app (on top of my other various subscriptions) at this time. My dream was to use Astropad to animate with my Apple Pencil in TVPaint, but I think instead I will use the native iPad app Callipeg to animate with the Apple Pencil on iPad and then transfer the drawings over to my Mac to continue working in TVPaint.


Animator, TVPaint Beta-Tester, Animation Educator and Consultant.
MacOS 12.4 Monterey , Mac Mini (2018) , 3.2 GHz 6-Core Intel Core i7,
16 GB RAM , TVPaint PRO 11.5.3 - 64bit , Wacom Cintiq 21UX 2nd Gen.
,Wacom Intuos Pro 5 , Wacom driver version 6.3.38-3
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