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Cintiq 12WX

Wacom displays a new Cintiq By Ko Maruyama
Wacom tablets have come to be the most trusted digital drawing tools in the visual effects community.
After working in Hollywood digital effects for over ten years, I have yet to see any company to use anything other than Wacom.  The company announces today that they will offer a new tablet.

The Cintiq WX is a smaller version of the LCD Monitor and interactive pen display, the Cintiq 21UX. Over the past three years, the name "Cintiq" has come to be synonymous with the 21.3" (21UX) high resolution display offered by Wacom.  We'll all have to make room in our vocabulary for the arrival of its new sibling, the Cintiq 12WX.

Unlike the massive UX, the Cintiq 12WX weighs in at a reasonable 4.4 pounds.  It's light enough to keep on your lap, or even hold in your arm while you sketch with the stylus.  While it's light in overall weight, it's no feature lightweight.  The Cintiq 12WX has a 12.1 TFT LCD display, and holds it own with 1280 x 800 resolution. 

Matching other Intuos3 and UX options, the 12WX sports a touch strip on either side of the tablet (1, 2).  These are handy to assign zoom or scrolling features.  A quick drag along these and the function is performed.  In addition to the touch strips, there are 5 separate function ("Expresskeys") keys which are activated by pressing (A, B).   Users of previous wacom tablets may recall the functions assigned to top portion of the active area.  You won't need your pen to activate the Expresskeys.  Although you can stab them with your pen, a finger will do just as well (if not better).  There are ten separate buttons (5 left, 5 right).  So you can get a wide range of features right onto the tablet, eliminating the need to reach for pulldown menus.  **One handy function to assign the "switch displays" function to a single button.  Those two little blue lights at the top of the tablet (3) are indicators for power and stylus contact activity.

Just because you have an LCD tablet, you're not limited to using the tablet's screen.  You can connect multiple monitors to your computer, then choose to use either the tablet's screen, or use the tablet as you would if it had no screen.

The 12WX, just like other Wacom tablets is a perfect fit with every digital paint or drawing application on the market today, whether it's consumer or professional software.  Of course, the Cintiq 12WX is an obvious pairing for ┼dobe Photoshop and Corel Painter artists.  Users of Painter software and ToonBoom software have enjoyed the ability to easily turn the direction of their digital drawing to mimic rotating a sheet of paper.  The new Cintiq 12WX gives you the ability to turn the digital image by physically turning the tablet.

The Cintiq 12WX comes with an adjustable stand that is conveniently and completely integrated into the Cintiqs body. The stand is optimized for use in three different orientations at a 25-degree angle from horizontal, at a 65-degree angle or flat (with stand totally retracted) for use on the desk or lap. Due to its compact size, the Cintiq 12WX can be used in a similar way to a traditional analog sketchpad, meaning that ideas and creative content can be shared in a digital format immediately and spontaneously. When placed flat on a desktop, it also rotates on a pivot point to fit the architecture of the human body.

The display comes profiled out of the box and can be calibrated with most color measurement solutions on the market from companies including X-Rite« and Datacolor«.   Additionally, the Cintiq 12WX supports Wacoms optional input devices such as the 6D Art Pen and Airbrush in addition to the standard pen.

The Cintiq 12WX should be available this month.  With an estimated price of $999, this is a monitor, a tablet, and your key to the finest digital artwork you can produce.  You can find more about the display by visiting the Wacom site :

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Ko Maruyama is a freelance animator in Los Angeles.  In addition to working on film and broadcast animations, Ko teaches at Pasadena's Art Center College of Design - focusing on motion design.  When working, writing or testing software allows, you can find him lending a hand in the After Effects board and lurking among the Cinema4D, Visual Effects and Photoshop posts within the DMNForums.
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