It’s not a new disco, a cutting edge designer or the stylist from the Hunger Games. It’s a revolutionary technology in the drawing industry. “Think of it as an interactive iPad connected to a computer,” says C.J. Yeh, professor of communications design. “You use a special ‘pen’ to draw or manipulate images directly on a touch screen. Cintiq is precise. It’s pressure sensitive, too, so it feels like working with traditional media,” says Yeh.
“In Chinese, we say: ‘good tools are essential to a job well done.’ Professionals spend a lot for tools like Cintiq because they are critical to reducing friction in the creative process. Technology is not equal to creativity, however. Technology provides the necessary support to facilitate the creative workflow. – Prof. C.J. Yeh
Cintiq is a natural evolution of stylists-on-tablets also pioneered by Wacom. In the previous version says Yeh “When you were operating the mouse, your eyes were looking at the screen not at the mouse. In a sense, your hand and your eyes were only remotely connected. With Cintiq, you work directly on the screen so you have much more control. You are looking at what and where you are drawing.”
“It’s number one virtue is its immediate connection between creativity through the hand to the computer. It gets a lot of students over the hump of going digital” says Dan Shefelman, professor of illustration.
“This is so cool,” says illustration student Naya Diaz as she draws on a Cintiq. “It’s not something you’d otherwise have access to.” Cintiq displays can cost well over $3,000.”
“We need to be well rounded in both the traditional and cutting-edge methods of making artwork,” says illustration student Rebekah Bennington. “While I love that the FIT illustration program has focused heavily on traditional media, it’s great to see the school embracing this awesome technology. The touch screen really helps narrow that gap between traditional media and computer media in a way that a tablet doesn’t quite manage.”
Cintiq can open students’ eyes to new possibilities in digital imaging. I believe it is a perfect bridge into the world of digital media for visual artists because it resynchronized the hands and the eyes,” says Yeh.
In the past, illustration student Giancarlo A. Fernandéz says he “stood staunchly on the side of traditional media…I was reared on traditional media, and for the most part work faster and more efficiently with pencil in hand…While working with a stylus on a tablet seemed to make digital work less alien, it did nothing to push me toward embracing software.”
Fast forward to Fernandéz’s first experience in the Cintiq computer lab. “For the first time working digitally seemed visceral–no need for an extensive knowledge of the inner workings of a program. This felt like a new incarnation of ‘traditional’ media. The possibilities are so exciting…Working on the Cintiq made digital work so approachable and familiar…I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to see the artistry that can be achieved on a screen as opposed to a canvas.”
It turns out, says Fernandéz,”Cintiq can make a believer out of even the most reluctant traditionalist.”