August 31, 2011

Wacom’s New 'Inkling' Looks Mighty Handy for Storyboarding

Despite writing about Apple's iPad -- repeatedly -- I've been holding off on getting one. On my wish list: the ability to use a stylus. And while there are a few iPad styli out there, it's hard to beat the feeling of real paper. As someone who does a lot of freehand writing (my first draft of Man-child, for example, was freehanded in a notebook), I've been considering a Livescribe, which is popular with the entrepreneur set but seems a bit primitive since the dawn of the iPad. Now Wacom has join the paper-to-digital party with a new product named the "Inkling," and watching the video demo, I can't help but think of storyboarding:

When you're done, you can plugin (why not transfer over Bluetooth, I wonder?) the Inkling to your Mac or PC and open your drawings -- as tweakable vectors -- in Photoshop, Illustrator, or Autodesk Sketchbook. My main question at this point is how good it is for handwriting recognition (in addition to drawing capture). But for storyboarding or shot diagrams, this looks pretty handy, right? I mean, you can do layers on paper. Haven't seen that before.

If you're on Android, also see the Apen. But there's a reason Wacom is the best-known stylus company -- when it comes to drawing and freehand writing, there are a lot of intangibles (weight, balance, friction, pressure sensitivity, etc.). We'll see how well the Inkling works when it hits store shelves in mid-September for $200.

Link: Inkling Product Page - Wacom

[via TechCrunch]

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5 Comments

This looks great. I agree, wonderful for storyboards. I've been waiting for something like this ever since I saved up to buy a scanner for my comic book drawings 13 years ago. :-)

August 31, 2011 at 5:25PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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I agree this would be very cool for story boarding as nothing beets the tactile feel of drawing on paper. I do all my storyboarding in flash for its ability to quickly resize, copy/paste and insert camera moves and audio. This would be a great addition.
The first thing I thought when I saw this was how great this could be potentially for "traditional" hand drawn animation. I studied animation years back and my graduate short film was all hand drawn. It was a nightmare process trying to figure a good efficient way to digitise drawings for clean up and colouring. Any time you tried to vectorise a raster image it would destroy the line quality and make a mess of the image which ultimately meant keeping all images as raster files which made the colour process so much slower. I would be very interested to see how well this product retains the line quality of the original drawing.

August 31, 2011 at 5:56PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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Ben

Saw this on macrumors. Looks very cool.

August 31, 2011 at 8:50PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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I too was disappointed by the ipads lack of tablet pen or ability to run a full version of photoshop or corel painter. You may want to check out the (pricey) Asus ep121, its basically a full computer in the shape of a tablet with a high quality Wacom surface.

This pen looks pretty darn neat though, I will always prefer drawing on paper vs. a tablet.

September 1, 2011 at 11:47AM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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Adrian Jans

I have the ASUS ep121 (eee Slate) and it's a dream. Photoshop CS5 64-bit runs perfectly smooth. I do wish it had the textured surface of the Cintiq but I got over that pretty quickly. I can't recommend it highly enough. I also run After Effects on it with no trouble and use it for simple changes or roto. I have Max installed on it as well, but only to review models with clients. Stylus interface in Max is clunky at best. Love my eee Slate.

September 2, 2011 at 3:10PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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danj