22.03.2018

Some facts about Wacom Intuos Pro Paper Edition

Friends asked me about the paper mode of Wacom’s latest graphics tablet - Intuos Pro 2. I’ve been using it for about 5 months already and it's wonderful. But its paper drawing side was not reviewed much, so here’s my small review. I’ll not discuss surface, Pro Pen 2 and just concentrate on paper and Wacom fine tip gel pen.
Gregory Avoyan's sketches for sticker pack
Some paper mode sketches for a sticker pack

























The paper that comes with Intuos Pro 2 Paper Edition feels and looks like ordinary printer paper. It’s not something special. This tablet works fine with any kind of paper, so use any but don't forget about common sense. I don't actually see reasons to use some kind of watercolor paper for drawing with 0,4 tip gel pen on it. Neither it will make your sketches look any better when they will be sent to digital realm via the Inkspace app. Various kinds of printer paper work fine, remember – those are just sketches.

The pen works fine, it feels good in the hand and is rather weighty. I enjoy longer pens, so if you put the cap on the back side of the pen while you are drawing, it becomes longer and more balanced, as for me. Ink is black, dries quick and flows smoothly. I prefer wider tips, my favs are 0.8 but I just started to make sketches smaller with this pen. There is also 1 mm Wacom ballpoint pen but I have not bought it yet and am not sure if I will.

Refills are very small! The pen comes with 3 additional refills when you buy Paper Edition tablet, and you can order those refills in the number of 5. Rather a high cost, by the way. And they are not universal, like if you think that you’d just put refill from your cheap ballpoint pen in the Wacom pen and it will work fine - you are just wrong. The diameter of Wacom refills is rather small, ordinary ballpoint refill is a little bit wider and it will not fit. So the only way is to order Wacom refills and use them. This is rather sad. Empty refill works good, so you can sketch with pencil on paper and then trace it with Wacom pen with empty ink cartridge - it will still appear digitally, you can even turn real-time mode on and see your lines on screen!

As to the output, lines are captured very good and digital sketch feels almost like your hand drawing. The line has almost the same thickness, almost no variance. Cant say its very pleasant, but well it’s a sketch. It can be exported, the best quality export is PSD. PNG export is rather blurry and small in size. SVG export was not just very good at first but this seems to be fixed now. But I’d personally prefer to export in PSD and then trace it in Cocoapotrace.

So to conclude, I must admit that this technology is actually very interesting and promising. Right now it’s better to be thought of as of a special kind of sketchbook. And it is great this way. I’m not sure about being able to create some kind of finished linework this way, lines you get are not so pretty and you will run out of refills rather quickly. But for doodling and sketching it's very cool and I really hope to see much more various types of pens sometime.

Alien's sticker pack by Gregory Avoyan
And the final product. I had to redraw each line in vector form. See the difference

I’d really like to hear your thoughts on this device and it will be especially interesting if you have bought or tried Wacom Intuos Ballpoint pen and can share your experiences. 

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