Welcome to the last in our series of interviews with artists and designers from some of the UK's leading VFX, animation, advertising and branding companies – who've been using the Wacom Cintiq 27QHD Touch tablet display on a long-term trial.
All the participants are using the Cintiq devices on their professional projects – and telling us about their experiences.
This time we're with Kathrin Hawelka, Lead CGI Artist at Saddington Baynes.
Based in London, Saddington Baynes is a creative production agency that works across media, covering image production, interactive content and pitch visuals for the advertising industry.
Kathrin originally worked on the photography side for an advertising company in Germany, shooting commercials and doing product photography.
However she retrained in design, illustration, concept and CGI. And it was while studying these subjects at university that Kathrin first encountered a Wacom tablet.
“That was one of the old ones though,” she explains. “This Cintiq has a great design. It just sits nicely on the desk. The resolution is amazing, particular good for work on print projects.”
Previously Kathrin has worked on a print ads for VCCP’s Be More Dog campaign for O2.
"I'worked on the cat in the spacesuit," she explains. "I was responsible for compositing, lighting and texturing."
The campaign Kathrin is currently working on centres on creating a branded character for the sports brand Asics.
The jellyfish, or ‘gellyfish’ developed for the brand’s Gel 360 campaign, via agency Vitro-Nitro, is a hybrid of a jellyfish and an innovative sports shoe.
With its resolution of 2,560 x 1,440 and display capable of 1.07 billion colours, including a full 97% Adobe RGB colour gamut for true-to-life colour, the Wacom Cintiq 27QHD matches this sort of campaign perfectly.
"The is the first device I was thinking I could use in print campaigns, because colours are so critical there," Kathrin explains.
"We have to proof work and colour calibrate the device, but the Cintiq is able to be colour calibrated and will shows all these colours."
The Wacom Color Manager (sold separately) is available for even more precise colour matching.
In a project like Asics, Katherine works in Maya for modelling and uses ZBrush to add detail. She then moves the models into Mari for texturing, roundtripping the model back into ZBrush and then Maya again to add lighting and shading before rendering.
Finally the elements are rendered out and comped together in Photoshop.
With support for all major creative applications, and offering innovative shortcuts for them to boot, the Cintiq 27QHD encourages a faster, more flexible workflow while keeping your skills with professional tools intact.
"I can properly test it within the pipeline and see how it reacts from one of my image creation tools to another," says Kathrin.
The Cintiq 27QHD comes with a variety of innovative stand options. Its wedge design has a 5-degree angle, which can be increased to 20 degrees using the sturdy integrated legs. This allows artists to find their most comfortable working position.
For Kathrin, such a setup meant the Cintiq was ideal to use angled upon her desk, where she could work comfortably - and directly - upon the edge-to-edge glass display.
"You don’t have the transition in your head between a tablet on the table and the screen," she says. "You can go back to the roots again. It’s so much easier and it’s less stressful as well."
For full flexibility, an optional Cintiq Ergo Stand provides a variety of additional working positions, including off the desk positioning.
The Cintiq 27QHD comes with a Pro Pen included, which offers ultra-fine precision through 2048 levels of pressure sensitivity, tilt recognition and a comfortable ergonomic design.
The pen performance, and perhaps more crucially the 27-inch size and extra wide viewing angle of the Cintiq means that Kathrin can employ and more relaxed and intuitive way of working.
"You can actually use brush strokes using your whole arm rather than doing tiny little strokes," she explains. "It's more similar to working with pencils and paper for 'proper illustration'."
The Touch version of the display has an additional treat for artists - they can pan, zoom, rotate and navigate using standard multi-touch gestures supported in both Mac and Windows.