August 30, 2011

Check out the new Wacom Inkling

“Wouldn’t it be great if your ideas could start as sketches with a ‘real’ pen on paper & immediately become electronic vector graphics?” Er–yes, please:

So, why not just sketch with regular pen & paper, then snap a photo of the results? A few things come to mind:

  • Layer creation while drawing
  • Fidelity (vs. a photo) and pressure sensitivity
  • Sequence: “As Inkling records your drawing,” the site says, “you can play it back to see how your drawing was made, stroke-by-stroke. You can use the ‘scrubber’ feature to isolate parts of your drawing to separate into individual layers.”

I haven’t tried the device, but it looks exciting. Props to Wacom for thinking in some interesting new ways.

Posted by John Nack at 1:49 PM on August 30, 2011


  • BJN — 2:28 PM on August 30, 2011

    Cute, but if this stuff is recorded as vector the fidelity will be less than a good scan, not better.

    I’d like to see just how well the vector conversion is handled. Lord knows, it’s far from ideal using a Wacom tablet sketching in Illustrator. If it does a good job, vectorization might be the true utility of the tool.

    The big limitation here is the pen itself. The drawing implement is as important as the paper medium. A ballpoint isn’t on my list of good drawing tools.

    I expect a flood of animated sketches clogging up the YouTubes.

  • quentin — 3:38 PM on August 30, 2011

    I’m inclined to believe that the hobbyists who would post animated sketches to YouTube are probably the target market.
    Digital artists probably would benefit pretty well from the ability to create layers from sketches though. It would be faster than successive scans, and probably easier to work from. The direct output from the device is probably largely useless for any type of polished final work, but it’s a nice alternative to a large, cumbersome, flatbed scanner to scan sketches in from.

  • Reese — 6:26 PM on August 30, 2011

    I bet it would be nice for wireframes and website sketches…

  • chris parker — 6:52 PM on August 30, 2011

    Although that is pretty cool, I wouldn’t have any use for it as a photographer/album designer.

  • Gilles — 8:02 PM on August 30, 2011

    Hmmm. I’ll be interested to see some “hands-on” reviews.

    Every time the little box thing jiggles or moves even a tiny bit in relation to the paper you’re drawing on…

    And as @BJN points out, a lot hinges on the quality of the vectorization. I wonder if there’s also a “don’t vectorize” option with the ability to specify the resolution. Given the size of the device and that it’s meant to work untethered, I’ll guess not.

    Even if it doesn’t hit everything out of the park, though, I can see this being a very nice addition to the digital artist’s toolkit.

  • Brian Spence — 12:24 PM on August 31, 2011

    Put me in the ‘wait and see’ camp as well. I have a Cintiq, so I don’t know how much use I’ll get out of it. I agree with others who say it’s biggest use for designers would be if it converted your sketch into vectors. Excuse me, QUALITY vectors. That would be great.

    One big question though. How do you erase? And what happens?

  • haleonearth — 10:40 PM on August 31, 2011

    I’m not big on the necessary peripheral pice of hardware.

  • Jean — 8:37 AM on September 01, 2011

    Oh great! cant wait to get one,I never liked the plastic way of my wacom, paper will feel so natural.

  • moefinley — 9:23 AM on September 01, 2011

    If you just want a paper feel to your Wacom tablet, put a bit of paper over your Wacom tablet! I do it all the time.

    I think the really useful thing about the Inkling is you can take it into a meeting or cafe etc. sketch and then use those in your wireframes or designs in format much better than scans.

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