Question regarding pen sensitivity (SP 2 vs 3)

Discussion in 'Microsoft Surface Pro 3' started by YanivP, Oct 24, 2014.

  1. YanivP

    YanivP New Member

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    (Sorry for the double post I accidentally posted this on the SP1 forum)

    Hi :)
    I'm planning to get a new surface pro and I'm a bit concerned about the pressure sensitivity.

    My main use for this tablet is for drawing and painting in Photoshop (I don't care about anything else), so the pen is the most important feature for me (other than the screen resolution etc which is nice too).

    I don't have much experience with NTrig, however I have a Wacom Intuos3 tablet. What I'm concerned about is whether the NTrig can detect light pen touches which is what I use while sketching. I'd like to hear a short review about the difference between the SP2 and SP3 on this particular thing. I could get the Wacom Companion which will probably work best regarding the pen, but it's super expensive and I'd like to avoid the high cost.

    I live in a country where I can't get the surface or try it out here (I'm going to order it online). So I'm relying on other people's reviews. No one had mentioned this particular feature :(

    Thank you!
     
  2. sharpuser

    sharpuser Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I use Photoshop and Paintshop Pro (Corel) with the pen on my Surface Pro 3 i7 512, previously also with my Surface Pro 2. Both work fine. I create and annotate/ammend engineering illustrations, often with extreme detail in some portions. The pen sensitivity was good with my SP2, but better with the SP3 for two reasons: The pen nub is smoother, and the response of the computer is better (don't know how much the i7 contributes to that nimble response).

    On the Surface Pro 3, I did visit the "Surface Hub" app (free from Microsoft) to adjust pen sensitivity to just the way I like it.
     
  3. nipponham

    nipponham Active Member

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    I am not an artist nor do I use SP3 for drawing, but from all that I've read and heard about N-Trig is that the gap between it and Wacom is not as large as some perceive it to be. Each do well in certain areas but it's becoming more difficult to call out a clear winner in general functionality. This article will be able to explain it better than I ever could: http://www.ticktakashi.com/2014/05/wacom-vs-n-trig-modern-comparison.html

    However, with that being said, it does seem that Wacom has an edge over N-Trig in registering light pen strokes because of superior pressure sensitivity.
     
  4. YanivP

    YanivP New Member

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    sharpcolorado:
    Would you say that applying super light touches with the SP3 are caught by Photoshop? Imagine working with a pencil and having just the weight of the pencil do the drawing. Does that kind of drawing work well with the NTrig pen?

    Good to hear from some one working on fine detailed work (that's how I work too which is why all this is super important for me).

    I'm planning to get the i5 128GB because I think that would be enough for what I need from the tablet.

    nipponham
    Thanks for the link I'll go over it right now
     
  5. Moonsurface

    Moonsurface Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I tried drawing in Photoshop CC for the first time last night. I'd previously tried in FreshPaint but didn't like the way you had to press hard to get it to do anything. The same thing happened in Photoshop. However I visited the Surface Hub app and adjusted the sensitivity curve and it's MUCH better now. I'm no artist (there's teh caveat), but it seemed fine for me, and there's more sensitivity to be had as I didn't adjust the curve as far as I could have done. I drew my avatar pic using the SP3 and Photoshop CC. I used a pencil tool for the lines and a paint brush for the fill.
     
  6. YanivP

    YanivP New Member

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    Oh Surface Hub, that's great! I wasn't aware you could adjust the pressure curve.
    So you would say light gentle strokes could be detected well after some adjustments?
     
  7. Moonsurface

    Moonsurface Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I saw pretty happy with it but like I say I'm not particularly an artist, most of the time I use the SP3 pen for writing notes in One Note (which it was fine for before adjustment, for some reason in PS it needed a LOT more pressure!!) I'll try some experiments later and see if I can provide some further information on the finer pencil strokes. I was happy with it for my little doodles. I do sketches/cartoons like the avatar sometimes, I used to do them on paper but I did enjoy doing them on the Surface. I also use a Wacom Bamboo with my desktop PC. I prefer the "feel" of the pen on the surface of the bamboo as it's less shiny, but I find the experience of drawing on the actual screen of the surface that's showing the image is very rewarding.
     
  8. JoshB

    JoshB Member

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    Moonsurface, if you have to press really hard in fresh paint, have you tried installing the N-Trig Wintab Drivers? That fixed the issue for me. Without the wintab drivers I had to press REALLY hard for Fresh paint to work. But other apps worked fine.

    http://www.n-trig.com/Content.aspx?Page=wintab
     
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  9. Moonsurface

    Moonsurface Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Interesting, I like the idea of freshpaint but really COULDN'T get on with how the sensitivity was set up .. haven't tried it again after the Surface Hub adjustment, but if it's still bad I'll check out that link, thanks.

    Actually that might be the same problem I had in Photoshop, it needed just as much pressure as Freshpaint before correction...
     
  10. GreyFox7

    GreyFox7 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I feliz su feliz :)
     
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  11. sharpuser

    sharpuser Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Just now tuning back in... Surface Hub allowed me to make the pen very sensitive.
     
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  12. Liam2349

    Liam2349 Active Member

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    To answer your question, the SP2 requires less force to begin inking, it has a lower actuation force. This is because it has 4x the pressure sensitivity.

    You can now adjust the pressure curve on SP3, but not the actuation force, which I can only conclude is because to do that you need more pressure points.
     
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