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Wacom's Sketch Pen Ditches the Digitizer Tablet

Tuesday Wacom revealed the Inkling, a new digital sketch pen that literally traces what you draw (via its ballpoint tip) on any sketchbook or standard piece of paper.

The device seemingly addresses that gray area between sketching on paper and drawing the final product in Adobe Illustrator or other vector-based software, the place where creative brainstorming and rough conceptual art takes place. Inkling is not meant to replace the Wacom Intuos pen tablets and Cintiq interactive pen displays, but does replace the annoying task of scanning a pencil or pen-based sketch onto the PC or Mac for digital re-tracing.

"Virtually anyone who uses sketching to capture their creative ideas and wants to have their drawings in a digital format to e-mail, archive or further refine on their computer can benefit from Inkling," the company said. "A graphic designer could use Inkling to create rough concepts on paper for a new advertising campaign and then review and share these concepts on the computer with colleagues during a brainstorming meeting later that day."

Wacom's Inkling comprises of both hardware and software components. On the hardware side, the pen and a wireless receiver captures and stores the digital artwork -- thousands of sketches, according to Wacom. The ballpoint aspect even uses Wacom's pressure sensing technology (1024 levels of sensitivity) which captures line thickness based on how hard the artist bears down on the paper, and the angle of the pen. The receiver itself can be clipped to the edge of standard paper or sketchbooks, and the position can be adjusted for left or right handed users to provide the receiver with an uninterrupted line of sight with the pen tip.

"When sketching is complete, the receiver is connected to the user's computer via USB to transfer the digital files," the company explained. "Files can be opened with the included Inkling Sketch Manager software to edit, delete or add layers as well as to change formats and transfer the files for adjustment and editing in creative software applications."

Currently Inkling is compatible with Adobe Photoshop (CS3 or newer), Adobe Illustrator (CS3 or newer) and Autodesk Sketchbook Pro 2011. Alternatively, files can be saved in JPG, BMP, TIFF, PNG, SVG and PDF formats for use with other applications.

Wacom said that Inkling will be available online at Amazon (www.amazon.com) and the Wacom Store (www.wacom.com/store) beginning in the latter half of September for $199.00 USD.

  • demonhorde665
    as an artist that uses computers , for my work this sounds cool but at the same time it sounds a bit pointless , normally i sketch something to my pc , i just take it to photoshop darken the lines by adjusting the level settings , then do eraser clean up woolah , no need to digital trace my drawing to get a clean image .
    Reply
  • jecastej
    Kevin, as a Wacom user I am intrigue on this technology as this pen also uses a real ink cartridge inside. I checked on Wacom web page and the package includes 4 spare pen ink cartridges. It was not obvious to me because I am so used to my "all digital" Wacom pen. It is odd to discover they figure how to solve this. Great! For the next Wacom product I want one with a pencil or crayon tip, Please.
    Reply
  • jecastej
    demonhorde665

    I don't know if this is obvious to you (I needed to go to Wacom's web), but this pen does not depends on a computer at all. You can take it everywhere and use it on a regular drawer sketch book. But is oriented specifically to ink technique not pencil, airbrush, etc.
    Reply
  • mlopinto2k1
    demonhorde665as an artist that uses computers , for my work this sounds cool but at the same time it sounds a bit pointless , normally i sketch something to my pc , i just take it to photoshop darken the lines by adjusting the level settings , then do eraser clean up woolah , no need to digital trace my drawing to get a clean image .This is for folks who want the line-work in vector format. While someone could just go and draw right in illustrator, some people still like to draw on paper. This is essentially "digitizing" the image rather than just copying it as a jpeg and doing some clean-up on it.
    Reply
  • alidan
    i LOVE wacom products. but what i realy want is a tablet from them.

    a pen, a tablet, and i would be in heaven.

    sadly a tablet just for drawing would cost allot for very little, so i wish they would lissense out their tech to a tablet manufacture so we can get a tablet with a wacom inside, but sell it as a normal tablet too, that way it brings cost down. i cant spend 2k on a monitor alone, but i could drop 500 on a tablet if it had wacom in it.
    Reply
  • love the concept but it has to be able to scale up larger than A4/letter size before it can have practical applications
    Reply
  • maestintaolius
    alidani LOVE wacom products. but what i realy want is a tablet from them. a pen, a tablet, and i would be in heaven. sadly a tablet just for drawing would cost allot for very little, so i wish they would lissense out their tech to a tablet manufacture so we can get a tablet with a wacom inside, but sell it as a normal tablet too, that way it brings cost down. i cant spend 2k on a monitor alone, but i could drop 500 on a tablet if it had wacom in it.Well, that 'kind of' exists as the Cintiq line effectively as LCD displays built into an Intuos, but you better have a money tree in your back yard if you want one. A 500$ wacom tablet seems really unlikely considering how much they charge for just their Intuos lines.
    Reply
  • user_ace
    i want two! :)
    Reply
  • ravewulf
    alidani LOVE wacom products. but what i realy want is a tablet from them. a pen, a tablet, and i would be in heaven. sadly a tablet just for drawing would cost allot for very little, so i wish they would lissense out their tech to a tablet manufacture so we can get a tablet with a wacom inside, but sell it as a normal tablet too, that way it brings cost down. i cant spend 2k on a monitor alone, but i could drop 500 on a tablet if it had wacom in it.You can buy touch laptops that have Wacom digitizers built into their screens. I have an HP tx2517cl with the Wacom "Penabled" sticker on it. HP doesn't make them anymore, but you can get similar laptops from Lenovo and other manufacturers.
    Reply
  • alidan
    maestintaoliusWell, that 'kind of' exists as the Cintiq line effectively as LCD displays built into an Intuos, but you better have a money tree in your back yard if you want one. A 500$ wacom tablet seems really unlikely considering how much they charge for just their Intuos lines.
    ravewulfYou can buy touch laptops that have Wacom digitizers built into their screens. I have an HP tx2517cl with the Wacom "Penabled" sticker on it. HP doesn't make them anymore, but you can get similar laptops from Lenovo and other manufacturers.
    the way that im thinking, is that tablets, at least drawing tablets, are specialty items, and cost more because of it. no one is buying them in bulk.

    but if you put the tech to a tablet (what most people think of when you say tablet) the tech should come down significantly in price. i would pay an extra 100$ for an ipad or such for a wacom quality pen interface, but i dont want to pay close to 900-1700$ extra for it (what they currently charge for a 12 inch display is 1000, and a 1600x1200 21 inch is 2000)

    that said there is a pen for ipad they make, going to look into that a bit more, even if its just a more accurate finger replacement.
    Reply