Welcome to the latest in our regular 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 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.
Our participant this week is the talented concept artist Nadia Mogilev. Formerly a games artist in San Francisco, Nadia jumped ship (and continents) for a career in film VFX. After a few years freelancing in London, she is now firmly ensconced in the film department at MPC.
You’ll have seen Nadia’s work in the visual effects on Guardians of the Galaxy, Exodus: Gods and Kings, The Jungle Book and Cinderella. At MPC she is currently working on the next instalment of Pirates of the Caribbean, Dead Men Tell No Tales, which follows Captain Jack Sparrow in a search for the trident of Poseidon.
According to Nadia, the key skills her job demands are the ability to think out of the box and be able to come up with new fresh ideas, have strong communication skills and have a critical eye for your work.
That critical glance will be aided and enhanced by the Cintiq 27QHD’s 27-inch screen, with its resolution of 2,560 x 1,440. As a 10-bit display, it’s capable of displaying 1.07 billion colours - and 97 per cent of the Adobe RGB colour gamut.
Given all that power, it might be surprising that the tablet only takes up the same footprint at its predecessor the Cintiq 24HD. It also adds in several new features.
Wacom's newest creative hardware allows artists to work with hands-on fluidity as they create with a pressure-sensitive pen on an expansive edgeless glass display – and, with the Touch version, with multi-touch gestures too.
It’s not the first experience Nadia has had with Wacom by any means. She’s well versed in wielding the pen on a Intuos Pro Medium Digital Tablet for example, and until recently made great use of a Cintiq 21UX Pen Display Tablet.
However she found that the new Cintiq Companion 2 suited her mobile lifestyle more and swapped the Cintiq 21UX for the more portable device.
Such a description can't be stretched to apply to the new Wacom Cintiq 27QHD tablet display however. This is a device that belongs on a desk in a studio.
With a background in fine art and illustration, Nadia still does quite a lot of fine art on the side, with Photoshop as her software of choice.
"When I draw, I try to go no smaller than A3 to A4 format, so the size of the new Cintiq is good for my drawing," she says. "I can fit all of my tools as well as the artwork on the same screen."
This is another advantage offered by the extended screen real estate of the Cintiq 27QHD; Nadia no longer has to keep looking over to her second monitor to access panels and palettes.
"So the second screen that I have in a usual setup becomes really secondary, just for keeping up emails or reference pictures," she adds.
I’m old-school, I use keyboard shortcuts," admits Nadia, but adds that she admires the design of the new ExpressKey Remote.
"It's so customisable," she enthuses. "You can put it anywhere."
Fully 17 programmable buttons and a three-mode Touch Ring for use on the tablet means that the ExpressKey optimises the creative pen tablet and display experience.
With this device, artists like Nadia are offered the power to condense multiple keystrokes with the press of a customised button, while the Touch Ring helps scroll, zoom and rotate with ease, all in an ergonomic and handy profile.
The 27QHD’s sturdy integrated legs can be folded or extended for optimal positioning, but even so Nadia was was a bit daunted by the size of the device at first.
However she soom warmed to the optional Cintiq Ergo stand, which provides artists with scope for multiple positions and makes movement easy. The ergonomic stand is designed to engender the natural feel of working on an easel or drafting table.
"One advantage is that you can move the Cintiq up and over the desk," she reveals. "I would be very interested to see Wacom explore other possibilities with moving this big screen around."