My first impression of the Inkling

Guess what finally came in the mail yesterday: the Inkling! I was supposed to get this thing for Christmas, but the Wacom factory got flooded, so there were some delays in the order. But hey, my birthday is in less than 2 weeks so this is actually good timing.

I was quite busy this week with an assignment, so I only got to try the Inkling out yesterday. Some people have been asking me about the Inkling, if it's accurate etc. I don't really know yet, because I only tried it out really fast, but here's my first impression of the Inkling so far.

The case is pretty cool and quite light. I can definitely picture myself carrying it around in my handbag along wit a sketchbook so I can doodle while I'm traveling somewhere. I think the plane trips to Porto (to visit David's parents) are going to be a lot less boring from now on.

I don't want to talk about the case and the Inkling's design too much, because there's already so much tutorials and video's about it. I'd just like to say I'm pretty impressed. It's really smart and super compact. Perfect for taking with you to sketch somewhere outside.

Starting up the Inkling was incredibly easy as well. I just had to pop in a little battery at the end of the pen, charge the Inkling (this was torture because I just wanted to try it out so bad) and it was ready to use. The pen is really light, it has more or less the same weight as my other sketching pens. Maybe it's even a tad bit lighter. I also like the way it handles. The center of gravity is just fine and I like the thick grip, it's the same thickness as most of my other pens and mechanical pencils.

I prefer the thicker pens because if I'm drawing for hours, working on an illustration, I've found that I would sometimes get cramps in my hand if the handle is too thin. I recently even bought a little handle to slide over my normal (colored) pencils. So I'm used to working with a pen this size. But I can understand if you normally use thinner pencils/pens you might have to get used to the Inkling pen.

The clip works great too. It's quite firm so you can clip it to pretty much any paper, no matter how thin or thick. You really just clip it on the top or side of the paper, press the "on" button and you're ready to go.

Although I do have to mention that maybe you should wait a few seconds before starting to sketch. The first time I used the Inkling, it didn't record my first strokes, probably because I started drawing too fast or maybe it was because it was the first time I used it. I didn't seem to have any problems with this the second time I used it (for the small sketch you can see on the photo below).

The pen comes with black ink cartridges, which for me is perfect. But you can replace the ink with any other color you want, because the refills are standard pen cartridges which you can buy at pretty much any (art) supply store.

Here's a screenshot of the first sketch I made with the Inkling (I scanned it in). I sketched down some really rough lines with a pencil first and then went over the lines with the Inkling. I have to mention I was really sleepy while drawing this and jotted it down really fast, so I think I may have accidentally put my hand in front of the scanner a couple of times. It still recorded the lines, but they became a little wobbly (see next picture).

And here's what the Inkling recorder after I transferred it to Photoshop. I already read some reviews of other people, so I knew the Inkling wasn't going to be super accurate, but I think it's actually not that bad. I drew the face and the hair quite calmly, still feeling a bit insecure trying it out for the first time and those lines came out perfect.

The bottom part is drawn further away from the scanner/clip and I drew it a lot faster and more sloppy, so maybe that's why those lines came out a little bit more wobbly. But I still have to try that out more.

By the way, the first time I ran the Wacom Sketch Manager, it wouldn't export my drawings to Photoshop. There's a really useful button in the program, just click it and your drawing gets exported to Photoshop in a few seconds. Problem was that when I clicked the button it opened Adobe After Effects instead of Photoshop, which was quite annoying. I googled it really quick and found out I had to change some settings to fix this:

The problem with After Effects has been seen on OSX systems where the JSX file association (for scripting files) is not correct. It should be possible to fix this in the following way:

Select Go To > Documents > Adobe Scripts, right click on the script ‘pngloader.jsx’ and select the option ‘Open with ...’, then select Adobe Photoshop CS5 and make sure to activate also the option at the bottom ‘always open with’. Save this, then start Inkling Sketch Manager and test the export.

After fixing this it worked just fine.

Seeing my sketch like this in Photoshop was a really cool experience. There's an extra button on the clip to make layers in your drawing. So while I was drawing I kept pressing that button to draw all the different elements of the sketch on separate layers. After opening the sketch in Photoshop it took me maybe 1 or 2 minutes to change all the colors of the lines and make this nice illustration. 

I can also select a layer and move the lines around to make small adjustments to the sketch, but I didn't try this out yet. I made this drawing in about 15 minutes, so I think if I try it out more, I'll get more used to it and maybe learn some new tricks. So far I think it's a pretty nice tool, as long as you keep in mind it's not a pen tablet. Right now I just really want to try it out more and see what else this thing can do.

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0 #2 data entry 2014-03-10 13:30
Great delivery. Sound arguments. Keep up the good work.
0 #1 Pks 2013-03-02 07:28
Hi! thanks for sharing. The photoshop trick works!

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