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CES 2010: Best pen input demo at the show



SansungCaricatureSmallSamsung really went all out this year at CES with display areas dedicated to all sorts of little details, like the various aspects of their mobile phone platform, and demos that go beyond their field, such as an artist doing caricatures in digital ink.

On a PC hooked up to three monitors, the work of an artist drawing caricatures of visitors was clear to see by artist, model, and passer-by alike. Sitting there, unable to see what the artist is drawing, is limit of traditional caricatures vaulted in the digital age. Not only does this digital system allow a model to see what’s happening, but it’s possible for the artist to undo or erase missed strokes as they happen.

The artist here was using a Wacom Bamboo pen tablet and used it quite well despite its small drawing space relative to his work’s appearance on the screen. The software was Alias Sketchbook Pro, not sure what version but it was branded as Alias so it pre-dates the current version by Autodesk. I would have put myself on the waitlist, but I had eReaders to see. Guess I’ll just have to draw my own.



  1. Shogmaster

    01/12/2010 at 5:21 pm

    Ehehe… You’ll love this, Sumocat…

    So I was walking by this booth on day one, and I saw a poor girl trying to do caricatures with Photoshop CS3 without a keyboard. She was struggling (not with drawing, she was skilled, but with the menus and UI of Photoshop, which she obviously was not too familiar with).

    I started talking with her and found out that Samsung hired her to do caricatures, but didn’t tell her about the tablet part. She thought she’ll be drawing with pen and paper. Now she’s being forced to do it on the computer and Photoshop + tablet, but no keyboard and no real idea how to use Photoshop for rendering.

    So I whipped out my thumb drive and told her I have something better than Photoshop for her purpose. Asked if I can install it. She asked the Samsung guy and he doesn’t like it. License issue, I’m sure. I tell them that the software has 14 day trial mode. All very legal. So they let me and I installed it.

    It’s Sketchbook Pro 2.0, BTW. Perfect for using without a keyboard since the UI is built around hold down and flick motion.

  2. Sumocat

    01/12/2010 at 5:58 pm

    So not only did you put pen to the TM2, but you’re also semi-responsible for the best pen demo at the show? You are definitely the man. None of that “you probably don’t know me” nonsense next time.

  3. Shogmaster

    01/12/2010 at 6:00 pm

    I seriouly didn’t think you’d remember my user name from the forum since I posted like 30 times or something.

    Next time, we’ll take a trip to Osaka (best sushi in Vegas) on me.

  4. RJ

    01/12/2010 at 6:54 pm

    Lol, I feel so sorry for that poor artist in your story Shogmaster. That’s a pretty big communication failure on Samsungs end not telling her that it was all digital, but that artist should have inquired about the medium she would using when she took the job. Even something like “Will you be supplying the paper” could have clarified the whole situation.

    I have to say though, I let out a big grim with the guy using the Bamboo Tablet. There are so many elitist snob artists out there who make asinine declarations like “You need a Mac and a Cintiq for Serious Art.” A serious artist can do just as great work on Mac or Windows, and as the video beautifully illustrates, a Bamboo Tablet is just as useful as an Intuos or Cintiq in the hands of a serious artist.

    I’m kind of surprised Samsung didn’t hire Digital Blacksmiths.
    They do digital caricatures as well, but pretty much fall in my elitist snob category for Being Mac/Cintiq only. That and they bashed the Tablet PC format pretty harshly.

  5. Shogmaster

    01/12/2010 at 7:12 pm

    Hehehe, I would have made their CES experience “interesting” to say the least if they were there. I teach digital drawing with Cintiqs on PCs and Macs part time, so it’s right up my alley.

    Not only that, I always travel with my Tablet PC loaded up with Painter and Photoshop, ready for any draw off with Mac fanboys. ;)

    I can be a real pain in the ass when I want to be. Yes I can… :D

  6. Scott

    01/14/2010 at 10:47 pm

    RJ, thanks for the mention!

    I agree with you a hundred percent that you can make awesome art with anything from a Cintiq to a Bamboo to a pencil! My hat’s off to this artist for doing some cool stuff.

    Sorry I come across that way to you. That’s not my intention by any means! I just love the Mac and Painter as a tool.

    And in the end, it’s just that… a tool. And I’m all for finding the tool that gets out of the way of the artist and lets us all create. Painter and Sketchbook Pro are GREAT tools in that regard (both the Mac and PC versions!)

    Anyway, thanks for visiting our site and I appreciate your honesty! We need more of that!

    Once again, my hat’s off to the artist here for showing off a great combo of art and tech! Wish I could have seen him in person!

  7. RJ

    01/15/2010 at 2:57 pm

    LoL, too be honest, I probably wouldn’t have worded my mention of your site so crassly if I knew you would have read it. I actually thought your site was great, and I was all like “Dude, this is so cool what their doing, I could do this too!” However I’m primarily a tablet PC artist and there was one thing that kind of ticked me off on one of the FAQ pages. You mentioned how the audience would have to “suffer” with a Tablet PC artist because of the lack of a keyboard and thus lack of keyboard shortcuts. It ticked me off because you could just as easily plug in a USB keyboard to a Tablet PC making it really no different from the Cintiq/keyboard configuration. So it just seemed like baseless and unfair point to make. And since Tablet PCs are really the only other on-screen alternative to Cintiqs, and since you can’t legally run MacOSX on a Tablet, it just seemed like you were trying to knock the other options to just further support Mac/Cintiq only.

  8. Scott

    01/15/2010 at 3:31 pm

    Again, thanks!!! It is a lot of fun and I didn’t realize that page came across like that.

    I’ve reworded it based on your comments and hopefully it’s a bit more toned down now.

    I’d love to see your work, you have a site? If you don’t want to post your email publically here, email me sometime.

    Again, always s pleasure to meet another digital artist ( still wish I could have met the artist above in the video).
    Best wishes!

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