Monday, November 1, 2010

How to prevent scratches on the Wacom Cintiq / Tablet

Hi everybody.

For those who are curious, I do all my illustrations using Wacom's Cintiq 21UX (the early version with the acrylic screen). I've been using it for almost 2 yrs now and I started noticing a lot of fine scratches in the middle of my screen which blurs the lines of my images. The Cintiq claims to be anti-scratch but be warned.. it is not.

After fiddling with the settings and doing some research online, I found some tips to help prolong the life your Wacom screen. I know a lot of people who visit my page are artists too so I thought I would share this info for those who have a pen tablet or those who are looking to purchase one.

Tips to protect your tablet from scratching:

1. Go to your Tablet Properties and increase the Tilt Sensitivity to high and the Tip Feel to soft. This will increase the sensitivity of your pen so that you don't have to press down as hard to get your lines. You'll have to get use to a more sensitive pen but its worth it.

2. Change your pen tip frequently. Your Cintiq should come with a few so when you start to notice that it's losing its smooth curve, replace it with a new one so that it doesn't scratch your screen.

3. The Cintiq comes with one 'felt nib' which is suppose to be softer on your screen. Use that instead of the other ones if it's available.

4. To Shield or not to Shield. ZAGG came up with an invisible screen protector that is scratch resistant available for $52.99 and made specifically for the Cintiq and other tablets. I would think twice before investing in one of these babies. It works but it's pretty much like drawing on mud.

5. For those who have very bad scratches on their screen, I just received an email from Wacom stating that the cost of replacement is $209 for parts and labor; which does not include tax and shipping. Is it worth it? Well, it's definitely cheaper than buying a new one.

Hope you find this helpful. If you have any more tips, feel free to post them below :)

Also, it was Halloween on Sunday. I was just a plain cat but my friend was the beautiful Neytiri from Avatar. Here's a pic of us together though I must say, she looked even better in person.

~Bye for now


Jason K. said...

I think wacom should cover the scratching in their warranty.

Thanks for the very informative post and nice costumes.

Archee said...

So did you actually end up replacing the screen or bought new one?

Paul said...

I have had a Cintiq 21UX since 2010 and have had no scratches at all! Needless to say, it is not because I am extra careful, and I do use it rather regularly. I have even let my Neices and Nephews have at it without effect. Of course I made a slight addition to my display that protected the display. You might even say I did it on a "shoestring" budget, and no, I didn't buy one of those anti-scratch covers that make the display feel too tacky to draw on.
My solution was to simply put a piece of glass in front of the display. I used a rather thin piece of antiglare picture glass from an art shop. (this type of glass seems to have a little tooth to it on one side.) I used two shoestrings to hold it in place. The shoestrings are tied using a set of loops to tighten them and hold the glass in place.
I just bought a Cintiq 22HD and did the same thing to it. I have gotten used to the slightly slicker surface and I have found the felt tips seem to drag more consistently across the surface.

Doug Schenek said...

This blog post is a bit old but I found this just now. Very informative, thank you

Cindy Dy said...

I'm so happy that I found your blog. You had a really wonderful site. Thank you for sharing this steps and information to us. It is really a big help.