I’ve seen the newest doo-dad app that was launched lately that’s supposed to make use of the ipad as a makeshift cintiq. And by that I mean astropad. I’ve also tested it, and I’ll outline my personal impressions below.
At first I thought I would be a regular 9.99 app. Boy was I in for a treat. This app costs 49.99. 50 bucks in order to be able to just use it. I would say off the bat that it’s overpriced. Given, it has nice features like panning, and in some way it tries to emulate a wacom’s ring dial/button. But it pales miserably in comparison to that.
Now in all fairness, I have to admit I don’t own a wacom pen or a 53 pencil. But as far as I’ve seen, they don’t offer much on the pressure side. And a tablet without pressure sensitivity for a painter is about as useful as a potato. I somehow have my doubts that with a pen, things would fix themselves. I’ve used a regular stylus. It sucks. It feels like using paint. Incredibly neanderthalian. The performance is better than that of duet, what speed and fluency is concerned. But I would still not spend 50 bucks on a glorified duet app. My sense of practicality would just go and wring my neck.
So, 50 bucks for the software, another 50 or more for a “pressure-sensitive” stylus and you got yourself a poor-man’s cintique, right ? Wrong. For about 100 bucks you could just as well get a first hand wacom (small but still useful, 1024 levels of pressure beat the shit out of 0 levels of pressure on those overpriced styluses) or a second hand one, which could be bigger even if it’s older. You would gain far more.
For me personally I think astropad is a waste of money and time. Others might differ. But think about this: if you still want to use you ipad to paint or sketch, why not get a 53 + paper and use that, rather than use cluncky photoshop and pan around to see parts of the UI ? It’s like shooting yourself in the leg. Ugh.