July 11, 2012

Wacom Cintiq goes multitouch

Lust-worthy:

I can’t wait to see what Adobe tools can do with multitouch plus a super high precision stylus that pays attention to pressure, tilt, and rotation.

This bad boy costs $3699 and will be available in early August.

Posted by John Nack at 10:44 AM on July 11, 2012

Comments

  • BJ Nicholls — 12:17 PM on July 11, 2012

    I bought and Intuos5 tablet and hate the touch feature implementations. Wacom uses its own gestures (not the OS-standard gestures) and when I disable touch via the Wacom control panel, it eventually magically turns itself back on and all hell breaks loose. It’s a PITA to set up Photoshop (or any other application) specific tablet controls via the Wacom driver’s control panel, and if you put in the work you can’t share those settings and save someone else the effort.

    • Jerry Harris — 5:37 AM on July 19, 2012

      So what level of touch would be useful to you guys in PS? Obviously using the free hand for grasping (document navigation) is the first no-brainer. We have lots of other one off ideas, but pervasive use of touch requires that touch targets scale to 15 mm with 5 mm spacing.

      The possible beauty of touch, or the other hand tracking device, is that it can be spotted and treated differently than stylus or mouse input. It can augment the experience, possibly freeing one from the keyboard.

      • david — 9:00 AM on July 19, 2012

        Multi-touch puppet warp could be fun

      • Ryan — 9:47 AM on July 22, 2012

        I’ve been waiting for something like this for so many years.
        (now just waiting for the price to come down…)

        Digital painting needs to be re-imagined without reliance on the physical keyboard.

        Stylus input cannot stand alone. It needs other input options to modulate tools and navigate the UI. Traditionally this has been the keyboard/mouse combo, which are proven and great, but take you away from the tablet/stylus.

        Sylus input has been waiting for Touch input.
        But they shouldn’t sleep in separate beds.

        Imagine modulating brush parameters realtime in mid-stroke with the other hand. You cannot do this currently, even with the physical touch-strips/rings on Wacom products.

        Right now, paint w stylus, pan/zoom with gesture is about the only complementary use I’m seeing.

        There is potential for a delicate haptic dance that replaces the keyboard-hotkey dance of old for something that is more inline, dynamic, fluid, agile, and versatile. Something that feels more native to the digital experience, and moves beyond simple natural-media metaphors (stylus=pencil, everything else=touch).

        Also, there is use for painting with multiple points (like some iPad art appz). A fat-thin-fat-thin “line” could be made with a 2-fingered gestural stroke. And since the stylus can be differentiated from the touch points, it could be used a s special 6th finger to pull off complex touch-UI.

        • Al — 5:33 AM on September 16, 2012

          On the “keyboard liberation” front, check out what these guys MacGuyvered in order to turn a keyboard-free Windows 7 tablet with wacom digitizer into a decent portable Photoshop machine. Check the Photoshop screenshot on page 1 and the Illustrator screenshot on page 9:

          http://forum.tabletpcreview.com/samsung/47422-how-set-up-your-samsung-series-7-slate-serious-photoshop-work.html

          It’s all completely customisable, too. But not easy for non-techies. Something like this native and configurable in Creative Suite would be amazing.

          Unfortunatley their efforts can only go so far. We’re all let down and held back by Adobe’s failure to have their apps listen to multi-touch input from native OS drivers.

          Just listening to the basic standard OS defined gestures, like pinch (zoom), pan, rotate (maybe rotate canvas for two fingers, rotate selection for three?), would be enough. Having these configurable like keyboard shortcuts, by gesture and number of fingers, would be amazing (I’d set three-finger pinch to up/down in stacking order, 4-finger to scale…).

    • Ryan — 9:53 AM on July 22, 2012

      I’ll second that Wacom drivers are a PITA.

      They seem to have stabilized somewhat in the bug dept.

      But you can’t save or share your settings, or even copy them to the next version of an app.

  • david — 4:11 PM on July 11, 2012

    $1100 more than the normal 24HD gets you:
    1. Touch functionality that looks like it isn’t very well implemented.
    In the demonstration videos, there was sometimes a lot of lag when panning, and the scaling and rotation looked more like gestures than direct manipulation. I’ve wanted touch control with a Cintiq, but I’m not convinced.

    2. 10 bit color, which isn’t supported by OS X. Also, a higher gamut, which can be good or bad depending on the use.

    These things could really use retina displays. Cintiqs are often used at a very close viewing distance, more like an iPad or smartphone. 94 ppi is quite grainy.

  • 43242 — 4:31 PM on July 11, 2012

    who cares what your crappy mac can do or not?

    if osx supports no 10 bit.. get a better system.

    higer gamut is only bad if a noob sits before the device and does teh output. otherwise higher gamut is always better.

    • Scott Valentine — 8:30 PM on July 11, 2012

      Well, professionals across the digital imaging industry in nearly all disciplines care. OSX supports more than 10 bits, but everything in the chain has to support the depth – including the video card (Mac uses DisplayPort or Thunderbolt, both of which support 10-bit displays) and display.

      Higher gamut is neither good nor bad by itself – again, it depends on the pipeline. Everything has to match properly.

      So… did you have a point? Or even an informed opinion?

    • david — 9:02 PM on July 11, 2012

      If the display has a built in sRGB preset that is as accurate as a native sRGB display, then there is no dowside to having higher gamut as an option. (unless there is some processing lag)

      Scott: according to Chris Cox, “Photoshop supports 10bit/channel framebuffers. But MacOS X does not suport 10bit/channel framebuffers, so Photoshop can’t use it on MacOS.”

    • Scott Valentine — 3:09 PM on July 18, 2012

      @david – Apple doesn’t provide video drivers for 10-bit/channel, but through OpenGL on some ATI cards, it is possible. So the OS allows for it. I realize I was very sloppy with what I wrote up there :)

      • david — 4:23 PM on July 18, 2012

        Can you link to a website that backs up your assertion? Everything I’ve read says otherwise.

      • Jerry Harris — 5:32 AM on July 19, 2012

        Apple offers no solution for delivering > 8 bits per component to any video card as part of the main display. The window server simply does not support it. They recently added support for dithering 32 bit per component window backing stores to 8 bit, but I really doubt anyone wants to 4x the costs of each window just to get 8 bit dithering, as this would both slow down the window server, and lower the total amount of windows one could have open at once. That is why 10/10/10/2 is so useful, it requires no more bandwidth nor memory footprint than normal 8 bit per component windows. Apple does allow for > 8 bit on offscreen GPU surfaces, but a developer simply cannot get those bits past the window server.

        Having said that most folks on both platforms would often get a boost by avoiding poor panels (some of which are in very pricey 30 inch panels).

        What I have seen of the 30 bit displays is that even without using the 30 bit route, the panels display excellent 8 bit results.

  • Al — 5:23 AM on September 16, 2012

    “I can’t wait to see what Adobe tools can do with multitouch”

    Erm, pretty much nothing, actually.

    I’ve been using a combined Wacom digtizer / native multi-touch combo with CS5.5 and CS6 for a year (Samsung Slate 7), and the Adobe software just flat-out ignores multi-touch input.

    There are a couple of bare bones multi-touch features which, as I understand it, work on a Mac trackpad and nothing else.

    It’s like Adobe are stuck in 2008. I’ve asked and researched about this on the Adobe forums and just seen ignorant responses from people who think multi-touch is for phones and nothing else.

    I’ve seen nothing to suggest that the Adobe developers are interested in multitouch (except a prototype from I think 2006 which seemed to go nowhere). Interestingly, Corel are providing multi-touch features for their design applications, and Autodesk have had these features for years in everything from Maya to Sketchbook.

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