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Old 07-30-2009, 02:02 AM   #1
Jürgen Hubert
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Drawing on the iRex 1000S?

I'm very close to buying an iRex 1000S (I'm mainly waiting for my next monthly wages). But I am curious about one function of the device in particular - its tablet function.

I am a hobby artist, and I use Wacom tablets for drawing digital artwork. Since the 1000S also incorporates a Wacom tablet into its screen, I'm wondering how easy it is to use it as a digital sketchpad and drawing instead of "just" taking notes.

Has anyone else used it this way? What are your experiences? And how easy is it to export the art to the computer?
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Old 07-30-2009, 03:48 AM   #2
Mackx
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First thing: Don't expect it to behave like a PC. The device was developed for reading books/journals/papers and annotating them, but not for sketching or making drawings.
However sketching/drawing IS possible, don't expect that you can make the same 'art-work' then on your PC, but for making some first sketches to be further detailed (or redrawn) on a PC is possible.
Currently there are two possibilities:
- Using the build in functionality to annotate pdf files (just use an empty 'template')
- Using Xournal.
Both have their advantages and dis-advantages, you will have to experiment yourself. Both will produce pdf-files, which might not be the best basis to do further processing.

Do NOT expect to have tools that 'support' sketching, only a few pen-sizes are available. Selecting different pen-sizes can take a 'lot of time' (compared to a PC). The refesh of the screen takes almost 1s, so most of the times a quick-refresh mechanism is used that will make your picture appear different then after a full-refresh. Positioning of your pen is not always accurate, towards the borders it seems to deviate more then in the centre. Around the border your stroke can be off by 1 or 2 mm. In the centre it is more accurate (less then 0.5mm). Some people manage to get their stylus calibration better, I hope that iRex will come up with a better calibration and compensation method in the future.

I use it so make simple (technical sketches), but I am not an artist so I am not making 'art'.

All software for the DR has been released as public domain and it is 'easy' to add extra programs. So if you have programming skills you can also create you own sketching program or improve an existing one. (Don't expect miracles on this part, porting programs is a hard-job and the capabilities of the DR processor are limited, but small things can certainly be improved. If you make a good case in this forum someone even might be willing to do the changes for you.)

I hope this gives you a better understanding of the tablet-function (or scribble-function as it is mostly called in this forum).
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Old 07-30-2009, 05:17 AM   #3
Jürgen Hubert
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mackx View Post
First thing: Don't expect it to behave like a PC. The device was developed for reading books/journals/papers and annotating them, but not for sketching or making drawings.
However sketching/drawing IS possible, don't expect that you can make the same 'art-work' then on your PC, but for making some first sketches to be further detailed (or redrawn) on a PC is possible.
That's actually the plan. So far, I've mostly drawn by using online references, but various other people have told me that I need to draw from real life to get a better grip on perspective. My idea was to use the 1000S to draw from real life examples away from a regular computer without abandoning digital art for that step.

Once I have created a sketch on the 1000S, I can always improve on it on the computer with a regular tablet. The main thing is that I get the perspective right, for which the 1000S should hopefully be sufficient.

Quote:
Currently there are two possibilities:
- Using the build in functionality to annotate pdf files (just use an empty 'template')
- Using Xournal.
Both have their advantages and dis-advantages, you will have to experiment yourself.
Thanks, I will test them.

Quote:
Both will produce pdf-files, which might not be the best basis to do further processing.
As long as the lines drawn still look correct when exported to a computer, it should be enough - if in doubt, I can always convert them via a GIMP screen shot.

I've read somewhere that the lines drawn with the stylus are saved as vectors instead of bitmaps, which might be useful as well. Does anyone know how to convert PDF files to Inkscape SVG files?

<snip>

Quote:
All software for the DR has been released as public domain and it is 'easy' to add extra programs. So if you have programming skills you can also create you own sketching program or improve an existing one.
While I have done some programming in the past, I'm sadly not much of a programmer...

Quote:
(Don't expect miracles on this part, porting programs is a hard-job and the capabilities of the DR processor are limited, but small things can certainly be improved. If you make a good case in this forum someone even might be willing to do the changes for you.)
I've heard that while the hardware supports pen pressure (i.e. it can measure how hard you press the stylus against the surface), the software so far doesn't - so some kind of software that does make use of such a function would be very interesting. Maybe some folks who work on developing GIMP could be convinced to make a custom version of it for the 1000S...

My own goal is to make using the 1000S more popular among the art crowd if this device works out for me. After all, the more people use it for artistic purposes, the more people will try to create art-related applications for it and future generations of such devices...

Quote:
I hope this gives you a better understanding of the tablet-function (or scribble-function as it is mostly called in this forum).
It helps a lot, thanks.
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Old 07-30-2009, 12:51 PM   #4
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Just want to add a word of caution. The sketching ability is fine for very rough sketches - but drawing anything in the slightest bit artistic would be very difficult. There is a delay in the time between you draw a line and when it appears on the screen, and also the fine level of control you may be used to with drawing on PCs just isn't there. You will find that even drawing a square or a circle will result in something quite wobbly.

It is fine for underlining text in a document, or roughly circling a section of a document, or even drawing simple boxes-and-arrows diagrams. But drawing a horse, or a landscape, or anything similar from the real world would be a tough challenge if want it to look half decent.

Overall, the DR1000S is an excellent reading device (probably as good as any available) but would be a very expensive and most likely disappointing electronic artist's pad. Since you will not be able to export the sketches in a useful format to your PC, you would probably be better off with a paper notebook and pencil.
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Old 08-04-2009, 08:07 PM   #5
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I own a device that seems to be what your looking for. its called Genius G-Note 7000 and works very well. there is a new version which looks nice its the Genius G-Note 7100. It's available from newegg here http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16823102009 BTW I only used this for drawing not anything else.
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