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