Thursday, 10 November 2011

Wacom Inkling - First Impressions

I ordered an Inkling of these within a minute of getting the product release email from Wacom Australia. its Wacom's latest toy for the digitally minded artist/designer/man-child/lady-child.
I'm not going to make a habit of posting reviews/impressions here but I have had a few people expressing interest "if it works". I've had the Inkling for 5 days and spent a little time playing with it. here it goes.

What the devil is an Inkling? According to this the pen records your strokes across a notepad up to A4 in size. Recording them onto the nifty little black thingymajig as layered (optional) vector files to be imported into your digital image manipulator of choice. The vectors will  remember the pressure applied allowing you (with the right brushes in Illustrator) to have a more painted look.

Wacom already make widely acclaimed graphics tablets (I've had my Intuos 3 since 2007 and just picked up a large Intuos 4) which plug into your home computer of choice allowing you to paint and draw digitally. The downsides to these are that you need a computer, which needs a power supply and can be heavy to carry around all day. 

That's where the Inkling comes in. Charged via USB and holding about 10 hrs sketch time (I haven't tested) the promise of lightweight and mobile digital sketching is offered, with the backing of a highly regarded brand in this particular field of electronic wizardry.

Your AU$219.00 (inc postage) will get a little black carry case/charging base (170 x 60 x 25mm ish) complete with pen, replacement cartridges, the receiver and a short USB cable. the software and manuals are all pre installed on the device and show up in explorer/finder when plugged in.

To Start simply attach the receiver to the page you with to draw on, turn it on and start to draw. pressure activates the pen. A green light on the receiver indicates its on and ready, a central light glows when its recording your strokes and the left light indicates you pressed the new layer button. Easy. When your done, you plug in the usb cable to either the reciever (or to charge the pen as well the carry case) and using Wacoms own software review and export the images to whichever software your partial to. the software is fairly basic but functional. I do recommend skimming the manual before using the Inkling or the software.

I ran some highly un-scientific tests with the Inkling. above are some doodles with the virgin inkling results next to them.Testing how it handled light sketchy, heavy expressive and controlled mark making. Half the a face is missing, this is down to me not making sure the pen was on to start with. Something to keep an eye out for but otherwise the results are fairly accurate for sketches.


To try to test the accuracy over the whole page I quickly drew over some squared paper and this shows my biggest problem with the Inkling, the accuracy isn't quite as good as could be hope for. To be fair this is new tech, and has been sold as a sketching tool not for precision drawing, if the variation was about 20-30% less it really wouldnt be worth mentioning. This is much more pronounced when drawing on A4.


Worth mentioning are the limitations, you cannot draw closer than 20mm to the receiver. Also if any object gets between the receiver and the pen nib the stroke will not be recorded. The nib area is from the tip of the ball point up to the rubbery grip area, which seems like a large area but the ergonomics of the pen help make holding the pen properly feel natural. 

One last issue some people may have is that you are only able to use ball point cartridges, that is what your given and strongly advised to use. This maybe prohibitive to some, personally it doesn't bother me too much. Would I of preferred a drawing pen style nib? probably. But would that not enable the use of pressure sensitivity? I'm not sure.

So in closing, do I think its worth the $200? Yes.

I'm not sure where the Inkling will sit in my array of tools for image making, that will come with more use. The accuracy was a little disappointing but nothing to get hung up on. The choice of pen nib might keep some away from buying. Other than these tiny gripes the Inkling is light, easy to use and some pretty special technology. Its not a "must have" like the Intuos tablets, but comes very close.

I am very excited at the possibilities it opens up and that is all you can ask for from a tool. It cant create awesome work for you, that is all down to your brain.

The inkling is available via the Wacom Store and no I'm not seeing a cent from this.

all photos/illustrations ©jasonpoley 2011

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Poley Inc Ident

indent for a fictitious Research and education company I'm going to have some fun with in the future.

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Poley .Inc Logo

playing with a logo for the tech/science corporation behind a short.
Highly original name I know, but hey I know its not already in use...

Monday, 12 September 2011

The Boxes, their Full of Blue.

Experimenting with some the level of modelling right above "I made a square, I done good" almost weird lego vibe. but the cool secret lego I am not meant to know about.

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Early Tests

So after a month fiddling with scripts I have finally "go into production" on my very own short.
Called "How to Keep a Secret" and will be a (hopefully) humorous info-graphic animation.

here are some straight out of Cinema 4D renders of early texture tests. pretty happy with the fresnel

Friday, 24 June 2011

C'est La Vie

I designed these titles for a travelogue project recently, which where well received by the client. until they remembered they had a brand guidelines they had forgotten to brief us on. All good fun. I'm posting them here because it was a nice change of pace to work in a different style, ended up giving the graphics an art nouveau flavour.

Monday, 20 June 2011

Fathers Day

It was fathers day in the UK on Sunday, and that is where my dad is so he found this in his inbox. plus a bottle of wine (not in his inbox) because that is what really counts. He is my dad after all.

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Robots aren't always 'armless

Started modelling a new furry/hairy robot, I have also sketched ideas for a science probe robot. will see how far this train of thought goes.

its not a finished model, the hair is doing some odd stuff around the eye. not sold on the cameo hair colouring.

modeled in Cinema 4D, post in After Effects.

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Name Drop

Another experiment with dynamics in Cinema 4D. shot on a 550D with my highly technical "Office Chair Dolly"tm motion tracked with boujou and post in AE.

Name Dropping from Jason Poley on Vimeo.

Sunday, 6 February 2011

MK 2.5

Spent most of my sunday figuring out joints, to large amounts of frustration. re worked the fingers and added hair to his cuffs. tempted to make the hair thicker and even more stylised.


what i did instead of going out last night, this and watched 7 episodes of Boardwalk Empire whilst I modeled.

next step is to add a little more detail, want to figure out how to add little logos and text.

Friday, 4 February 2011

Introducing MK1.0

So today sees the birth of MK1.0, hopefully he will evolve over the next few weeks as I get to grips with C4D some more.

Alien Artifacts

More funtimes in Cinema, tiny touch up in Photoshop. playing with sub polygon displacement along with deformers to create interesting shapes.

Friday, 28 January 2011

GSG 5 second Project - Reverse

GSG 5 Sec Project - Reverse from Jason Poley on Vimeo.

Entered the current 5 Second project over on Greyscale Gorilla

next time maybe wont have 50 + lights in my scene though, took 3 computers on and off about 20 hours to render 100 frames...oops.

Monday, 10 January 2011