Ever animated with a Cintiq?


I draw with a pencil and paper and scan the drawings into Toonboom. Works pretty good, but I have to do a lot of smoothing to get the drawing to look like I want them to.

I’ve never got the hang of drawing with a Wacom Intuos tablet, so I don’t animate with one.

Anybody out ther ever animated using the Wacom Cintiq? How does it compare to drawing on paper? For animation especially, is it worth 2500 dollars?


There is currently no 100% equal to the feel of artist materials on paper. There will always probably be a difference between the feel of pencil to paper. But the Cintiq is in my experience a very close approximation. Sketchbook Pro software has some amazing properties that actually add a significant amount of the feel when you draw using the Cintiq. I’m not sure what or how it works but there is almost a natural drag in the feel of the pen on the screen. TBS also works great with the Cintiq and the difference between using a tablet and drawing directly on the screen is significant and much more natural. As to the cost, that is totally a personal or business decision. Some people have compromised and bought Tablet PCs. There are pros and cons to that decision too. We use all four methods: paper, tablet, tablet PC and Cintiq in our studio. Personally I find that for rough and loose drawing nothing beats paper and using the side edge of a soft lead 6B pencil, but for clean up the Cintiq is great. -JK

Hello all,

I am planing to buy a Cintiq 21UX, which I believe is quit big, but as you all know it has a price tag that matches the size. I currently draw with a tiny LG tablet. I like the feel of drawing directly on the screen. Since I am new to animation (I have a modest experience with painting in general, but I am more confident with water colors), I decided that a tablet PC is the closest I can get to drawing on paper, but with the size of screen limitations I started looking for the largest tablet pc in the market until I cam a cross the Cintiq. The largest I have found was the 21UX.

My question is that: If I get the Cintiq, would I be able to use it as a normal PC monitor? I use adobe programs like InDesigen for publishing alot. I have the feeling that I would benefit from the screen size to spread my pages on it. Am I right?

Yes, the Cintiq is a great display besides having tablet capabilities. It could function as your only display or in tandem with a second display to expand your total “desktop”. I actually have my Cintiq as my main display with a second display as my extended “desktop” on my Mac. I write, edit and even read PDFs on the Cintiq all the time. I like my drawing surface tilted at a 45 to 50 degree angle so that also is a pretty good viewing angle for any kind of work. The Cintiq is adjustable for many viewing angles and easy to reposition depending on what you want to do. It also rotates like a normal animation disk. -JK

Great, the Cintiq it is! I get frustrated with having to move the windows (the Timeline, the Top View, Side View, Properties… etc) arround, so I guess I would not have to do that with a Cintiq, right?

One other thing please. How clear is the Screen as compared to LCD tablet or laptop monitor? If the LCD laptop monitor is 8 in a scale from 1 to 10, how would you rate the Cintiq?



Extended desktops are great for TBS on the Mac. They aren’t as easy to set up on a Windows PC, so be advised. It is a difference in the way the TBS interfaces are implemented between OSX and Windows.

As to display quality, if a laptop or tablet PC is an 8 then a Cintiq is a 12 on a scale of 10. -lol- Seriously, it is a high quality display, it just also happens to have tablet capability. No tablet PC can even come close.

By the way, just set up your panels in TBS with hot keys and the screen real estate of the desk top is not a big deal even in windows particularly with a 21" display. -JK

Please can elaborate more on this? Does a Cintiq works better with a Mac than with a PC? What kind of problems am I expecting with a PC?


It isn’t really a Cintiq issue but rather a dual display issue and a graphic support issue. TBS on Windows is built inside a desktop frame, we will call it the parent window for this discussion. So all the panels that TBS can display must be contained inside the parent window frame. The way that Windows supports dual displays makes it tricky to extend a parent window across dual displays. It works best when the parent window is displayed on one display. Also many PC systems dictate which display must be the primary display, particularly laptops. This also produces conflicts in configuring the desk top. So because of this TBS is tricky and even sometimes not able to be used with dual displays on some PCs. The graphics cards used in some systems add additional issues to this problems as well. So, many users end up having to only run TBS with a Cintiq as if they only had the Cintiq as a single display. So be advised that before you buy a Cintiq for an existing PC it might pay to do some homework. If you are going with a Mac this isn’t an issue. TBS isn’t built inside a parent window frame on the Mac so all the panels are free floating and you can spread out to your hearts content. You could lay TBS out across 4 displays if you had your Mac set up with quad displays. So just understand that there are issues you may want to investigate before proceeding. -JK

AHHAA… so I can have the Top View window on one monitor, the Side View on the second, and the Timeline and Drawing windows on the third and forth monitors? If this was what you meant, then this is an animators Heaven!! :slight_smile:

I have not used Mac since 1997 when it was a little box of computer and monitor fused together:)

I have always used laptops ever since, Now I am looking to buy a powerful desktop computer and decided that it’s main screen should be a Cintiq since I am going to do lots of graphics and design work.

… Sorry, this should (more appropriately) be posted in another forum altogether, but: Mac and PCs are no longer incompatible, right?

I mean most of the people I am dealing with have PCs and now I am tempted to investigate the possibility to buy a Mac for the Cintiq Screen. So a Mac or PC is no longer an issue I suspect!! Am I right here?

Many thanks for you constant support, I really enjoyed all my visits to this forum.



you can install windows os on any intel mac, but not the other way round. my son has a mac book and he uses xp on it for his school and osx for himself private.
my friends who are doing graphic design are using mostly the new imacs, either 20" or 24" displays.
if you’re a notebook user you could consider also the new mac book pro, rather 17". some use it as a desktop tool, too.

Thanks Rob, I will consider that.