Tag Archives: cintiq

Artist Review: Smudge Guard

After 5 years of using a hacked up $1 work glove (it was actually a dollar for the pair), I finally got a Smudge Guard glove to use with my Wacom Cintiq tablet. The question is, does it perform 15x better than the work glove to justify the $14.99 price tag?

Dollar Store work glove with 4 fingers cut off.

The benefit of using a pair of fabric work gloves is that if you take a pair of scissors and remove the thumb and first three fingers, you’ll end up with two gloves that you can use on your drawing hand. Also, it will only cost you a dollar plus sales tax. The disadvantage is that they probably won’t fit very well and let’s be honest, it looks pretty shoddy.

Smudge Guard Glove

The advantages of purchasing a Smudge Guard glove are that you’ll get a glove that is specific to the size of your hand and it will look and feel much more professional. The only disadvantage is the price. Many people have a hard time justifying $14.99 for what is essentially a mini sock for your pinky finger.

Both the work glove and the Smudge Guard are helpful in preventing your hand from sticking to a Wacom Cintiq screen. However, the Smudge Guard’s material feels much nicer on your skin and if you plan on drawing for hours each day, comfort is definitely a factor to consider. If you’re a serious digital artist, which you probably are if you’ve already made the $2000-$3600 investment for a Wacom Cintiq, it’s worth picking up a Smudge Guard in my opinion. It fits well and looks so much nicer than a hacked up work glove. 

App Review: DoInk

As many of you probably already know, Wacom announced their new mobile tablet line, which allows digital illustrators to draw on the go. This is a great idea, but many people aren’t too fond of being tied to Windows or Android operating systems, or dropping $1600-$2500 USD for the luxury to be mobile. Wacom also announced a pressure-sensitive stylus for the iPad for a more reasonable $100 USD, but it doesn’t have much of a benefit if your drawing app of choice doesn’t support it.

So lately I’ve been the hunt for a good drawing app that is similar to Adobe Flash and supports Wacom’s new stylus, does animation, vector lines, .PNG exporting, canvas resizing, and has features like pencil, paint brush and paint bucket. After downloading about 20 drawing apps, I’ve come to the conclusion it doesn’t exist or I still have yet to find it. A few I’ve tried are Sketchbook Pro, Sketchbook Ink, Adobe Ideas, Animation Desk, iDraw, Paper, Penultimate, Bamboo Paper, Skitch, Drawing Pad, Procreate, Artrage, ArtStudio, Inkist, and FlipInk.

Charles McKeever (@CoronaGeek) mentioned DoInk to me a few days ago, but before I bought another drawing app that didn’t fit the bill, I first decided to email the company who makes it. I asked if it supports individual .png exporting and Wacom’s new pen. To my surprise, DoInk is created by one developer who gave a prompt response saying those items were on his to-do list, but it’s difficult implementing everything he would like to see in the app. As an individual developer myself, I completely understand the balance of features you want to create and time available to do so.

I decided to give DoInk a shot, especially since I figured it’d be a fun app and it’d support a fellow indie app developer. The app is very similar to Adobe Flash, which was a great surprise. The lines aren’t vector, but they’re still pretty crisp and there is paint bucket support. The user interface is pretty intuitive, as soon as I opened the app I was able to draw a character and animate him. Once you have your animation drawn, you can overlay it on top of a background drawing, a pre-made background, or even a picture from your camera roll. Then when your scene is setup, you can export the video to your camera roll. From there you can send it to your DropBox or even edit it in iMovie.

So is DoInk the drawing app I’ve been searching for? Not really, it doesn’t support .png exporting or Wacom’s pen yet. Is it a lot of fun to use? Yes, it’s nice being able to create Flash-like animations on the go. Honestly, I think I might be stuck to sitting at a desk when it comes to drawing artwork for my apps, but DoInk is definitely a great app when you want to animate away from your computer chair. If you’re looking for a good animation app, definitely pick this one up.