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Royk

To all illustrators: Can you do it all with Designer?

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Hi peeps,

I am looking for a device that makes me much more mobile. I use powerfull desktop pc now hooked with a 27" cintiq. It would be nice to doodle, sketch, practice, finish or start work in the park, at a client, on the couch.. you get my point.

I am on the edge of purchasing an iPad pro or a Surface pro 6 i7/16gb. Both different machines and i have a hard time making a good choice. The iPad is a real tablet trying to be a laptop. The Surface pro is a laptop tryting to be a tablet. I think this is the best way to explain it. With the Surface Pro I have access to a full OS & Adobe CC suite and control over files / onedrive. With the iPad pro i would have access to the best drawing experience and strong drawing apps like Procreate and Designer. With iPadOS, it looks like we are getting more controll / access to a filesystem. I dont know if Onedrive is also an option on that part.

I think the iPad pro is more "sexy" and the OS simpel. The Surface pro is more allround and a PC.

 

So..other illustrators out there.. please help!!! :D My question for other (professional) illustrators out here using the iPad:

can you start / finish your vector artwork in Designer just like you do in Illustrator? I own the Designer version for the desktop and they are doing a great job. But for me, it is not on the same level as Illustrator (yet). Specialy the pencil tool is superb in illustrator. Can you deliver your clients with work on the iPad or do you need to finish on your desktop? Is switching between desktop / iPad <-> iPad / desktop possible with onedrive or do i need to create a other workflow for that?

 

I am very curious with your thoughts and experiences. For me it looks like this part (vector illustration) is one of the big things to choose an iPad or a Surface. 

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1 hour ago, RM f/g said:

Could be off topic, but maybe there is a plan B. Have a look at this: https://lunadisplay.com/

Thanks for your reply but that is not the goal. I dont want to carry a 15" laptop and an extra device to draw anymore. I own several intuos devices. I want to be way more mobile.(iPad or Surface)

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Hi, Royk,

Here is what I can offer.

I have an iPad pro. There are a few Affinity features not available on the iPad, but nothing that bothers me. The interface is quite different, so I sometimes have to thrash around to find out where some settings  and commands are. I don't use the iPad much. With age, my hands and eyes are not working so well, and the touch/gesture based interface and the smallish screen are not very pleasant for doing work. The hardware does seem to me to be quite adequate for the job. 

But when I need gestural work, Affinity w. the iPencil is wonderful. Far nicer than the Huion tablet I use w. my iMac.

One of my daughters uses a Surface Pro for her illustrations. She's tried the iPad w. iPencil, and says it is far more responsive. She does use Adobe products, but has mentioned the licensing is getting problematic, and is happy Affinity is available.  She has tried the demo versions, and noted right away that Affinity had more blend modes. She has also said she may buy Affinity for her husband's mobile machine. I don't know what platform he is using, but he needs to do graphics for interactive educational apps.


iMac 27" Retina, c. 2015: OS X 10.11.5: 3.3 GHz I c-5: 32 Gb,  AMD Radeon R9 M290 2048 Mb

iPad 12.9" Retina, iOS 10, 512 Gb, Apple pencil

Huion WH1409 tablet

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I just bought the Huion tablet to experiment with Affinity Photo/Designer but it doesn't behave as expected yet so something has to be wrong. Looks like it's laggy then my Apple Pencil on my iPad device (non iPad Pro) so that's an improvement.  Do you see the lagginess too? 

Also I don't need to pay £20 per year to enable tablet mode on my iPad using Duet Display. I think for £44 the Huion tablet ain't bad the last tablet I had for the Wacom Intuos2 (2001) so a great improvement over all for me ;)

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I have the Huion WH1409. I would not call it laggy, but until I messed w. the driver software, the pressure response was not to good. It tended to jump up and down between low and high pressure response. At this point, it is OK, but no where near the iPadPro and iPencil. 


iMac 27" Retina, c. 2015: OS X 10.11.5: 3.3 GHz I c-5: 32 Gb,  AMD Radeon R9 M290 2048 Mb

iPad 12.9" Retina, iOS 10, 512 Gb, Apple pencil

Huion WH1409 tablet

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Can we please stay at my question? :D It is difficult enough to choose and it is a lot of money i can spend only once for a long time hehe.

I am not interested in a Huion and not going to buy one. It is about the iPad pro with superior pen / drawing experience vs the Surface pro. I have done so much research that it doesn't make the choice much easier tbh. All tho i think the iPad is in front with 60 / 40 over the Surface.

One of my questions is.. can Designer replace Illustrator for you on the iPad, or do you finish your work on the desktop in designer or illustrator. I know my way in Illustrator very good because i work with it for 8 years. It is hard to give that up. I am also worried about sharing files to the PC and back. I work with onedrive to store all my files in the cloud.

So i hope there is an (full time) illustrator that can share me his thoughts so far about vector and delivering / starting / finishing illustrations.

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Hi,

I guess it depends on what kind of work you do in Illustrator and what tools you use to whether you could make that jump to the iPad. Im not a pro but most of the pro artists and designers I follow on Instagram who are pixel/raster based, use the iPad Pro with the Apple Pencil.

I don’t follow that many vector artists but the ones I do are still using Illustrator. Designer and Illustrator don’t support each other’s native file types so you would have to export as a pdf if you was switching between them. Designer also doesn’t have a vector image trace facility if your scanning in sketch work for tracing or pixel/raster work from other apps.

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Hi Royk -  I've used Adobe Illustrator for over 20 years for basic graphic design layout.  My last Illustrator upgrade was the release of CS6, so I'm not familiar with any of the *new* features of anything past that.  My preferred method for working with Illustrator is a 28" monitor, a keyboard, and a small Wacom tablet.  

I've recently purchased Affinity Designer and would say that it will do everything I've ever done with Illustrator.  I have it on a Surface Pro 6 AND on an iPad Pro.  Not the 12", but the next size down.  In general:

Surface Pro:  you can use keyboard shortcuts!  Of course if you take the keyboard off the Surface Pro, that's gone  :)    If you want, you can hook up the Surface Pro to a larger monitor.  The drawing space is pretty good sized, and you can hide all the tools and just draw.  But then, you either have to call up all the tools again to change colors, or have a keyboard (there's the keyboard again!) shortcut to make a particular tool reappear.  And this is why I've got my Surface Pro hooked up to a larger monitor and a keyboard.  The new Surface Pro 6 pen is really nice to draw with.  It has a nice feel against the glass (I've since purchased a second one for my Surface Pro 3).  

iPad:  the drawing area is quite large because of the icon-based tools.  And there is a *?* at the lower right hand corner of the screen that, when pressed, will display a small description of ALL the tools.  Very handy.  Many of the drawing options rely on hand gestures.  For example, two fingers down and, using the pen, click on something.  That's great if you've got the iPad sitting on something.  If you've got it on your lap and are holding it with one hand, all of a sudden you've got a balancing act going on.  The iPad pen is also really nice to draw with.  It feels good against the surface.  There are differences between the two platforms, and it can be a bit fussy when moving between the two.  Since the 1.7 upgrade, it seems the icons have gotten smaller and darker.  Maybe its just me?

Since I'm retired now and don't have reason to "finish" anything for a client, I don't know what sort of capabilities there are for exporting/printing, etc. a file from Designer.  I do know that the current file system for the iPad would drive me to the madhouse is a short period of time.  I think if you do need to go back and forth between the two that OneDrive would be your best bet.  Easy to access from a Windows machine, and the iPad's very limited filing system.  The newest OS from Apple is supposed to address an improved file system in the future.  We can only hope.

Personally, if I had to run my business solely using an iPad Pro, I'd have to think twice.  It is a powerful little tablet, but I think the screen size would eventually wear on me.  I'm a happy camper with dual 4K monitors, so you may wish to take my comment with a grain of salt  :)  

However, the iPad is a whole lot of fun to draw with; I'm having fun with it.  And it is lightweight.  

And now that I've completely confused the issue, I'll sign off . . . 

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Thank you @MaryAnne for your quality comment! Very useful for me. The mobile device will not be my main driver. I have a powerfull PC with a 6 core cpu, 32gb mem and a GTX1070. Hooked with a 34 curved Dell and a 27" cintiq screen. So.. here i am, always behind my desktop, also when the weather is fine.. or when i only have to sketch, doodle, practice.. it is always there. I want to go out, practice more, doodle more, draw on the couch, in the garden. I am not so with traditional paper / pencil stuff. I like the digital way much more.

So.. the device (iPad ore Surface) will be added in the workflow, and if possible.. will be a big part of it. Maybe it is a bit to romantic between my ears. I have good hopes it turns out this way.

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completely understand!  Grab that iPad and get outside!  Its not a romantic notion at all; it will be a great way to get away from your desk. 

And since the new device isn't going to be your main device, I'm going to go out on a limb and recommend the iPad.  I'm sure some of my friends are dropping dead right now as that news spreads through the universe.  The iPad is my first non-Windows computer (device?), so it was a bit different to get used to, but I was surprised how easy it was to figure out; most questions answered via a quick Google search and a YouTube video or two.  The file system still does have me baffled.  As you had mentioned, OneDrive seems the best way to transfer files back and forth.  There is a fun-factor to the iPad that the Surface Pro just doesn't have.  Maybe its the fact that the iPad is so completely different from my "work" machine?

A Cintiq 27 . . . how cool is that?!  How do you like it?  I've never had the opportunity to try one. I've read where some of the Cintiqs have fan noise that can be a bid loud.  Do you find that the case?   How about the GTX1070 . . . is it very noisy?  As you can see, I'm sensitive to a noisy machine. 

Happy drawing!

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thank you again @MaryAnne for your comment. The iPad pro is indeed getting on top of the two devices more and more hehe.

The Cintiq is great. It is just a monitor. No fans inside. I use a big arm to put it away so it is like a normal screen vertical. When i want to draw i just pick it up and lower it to my desk. It is really awesome. The 1070 can make some noise, but this only happens when i play games. It never happens when i do my work. The 1070 evens cool passive when he is kinda running Idle. The system i have build (let build by the webshop) is about 35 / 40 degress which is not that warm at all so all the fans are working low profile :D

 

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No - the iPad version has too many quirky ways of doing what should be straight forward functions like scaling with locked aspect ratio.  Should be simple, right?  But the padlock in Transform doesn't work and I'd have to drop my iPad to plaster fingers all over to "lock" scaling.  Totally ridiculous so I still have to use other vector apps on the iPad and export them to the desktop version.

I'm hoping that someday there will be alternatives to using fingers to do functions so I don't have to drop my iPad just to scale an object.

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If I may add my few cents... iPad Pro is the only way to go. Especially with the new iPadOS and new pencil being released. Designer is maturing by the day, and the iPad lets you work without being worried about the OS underneath. If you are using Affinity on your Desktop as well, bonus because iCloud will keep you in touch seamlessly.

There’s plenty of room on the iPad. For goodness sake, I use an iPad mini most of the time and like you I work out and about. I use Scrivener for writing. iMovie for video clips and trailers, a bunch of Adobe stuff that I’m slowly untangling from, and the Affinity stable. Photos and Designer, And I wish they had Publisher on the iPad. Maybe in the future? Oh and I use Keynote and Pages. I do a lot of lesson prep. So it all works together. When at my desk... its all there waiting for me. Brilliant.

Now of course the iPad software packages ‘does things differently’ ... it is different. But stuff is all there, and you’ll soon learn how to find what you want. I’d never go back to lugging around those giant slabs of metal. Not even a MacBook. 

If it doesn’t fit in my man-bag... I don’t want it :-)

... probably more than a few cents worth, but there you are.

robert

 

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thanks for all the comments. I have a iPad Pro 12.9" in front of me, brand new! Just installed Procreate and fly through in quick peek mode through the software. Will add Designer too soon.

I wish i could stop the 50$ subscribtion with Adobe, but i also feel that i need it to do my work. I work for all kind of clients, and a part of those clients are in publishing and marketing. They simply work in the whole Adobe range. It talks better when you work in the same toolsets.

When i can not effort the 50$ a month no more, i have to question if i have a healthy business as an professional anyway.

So far, the iPad looks amazing. I orderd a nice case on Ali expres and hope to have it next week.

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That’s great. Adobe does work really well on the iPad. Well, all that I’ve used. Even XD. Apparently they are bringing out Photoshop for iPad in September, but Affinity Photo will do me now. 

So yes, I still have my Adobe sub, but now have the option to exit if I wish. 

Glad it’s working for you. 

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that sounds good. 50$ a month is still 50$ a month. I have to find a way to do my daily work around with it. So far.. i still sitting behind the desktop hehe... stupid me!

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