Wa­com Pro Pen 3d

The Pro Pen loses its eraser and gains an ex­tra but­ton – but what does this mean for 3D artists?

3D Artist - - CONTENT - Rebekka Hearl

Wa­com is the fore­run­ner of man­u­fac­tur­ing high-end dig­i­tal art hard­ware, but it’s been a long while since it pro­duced some­thing that felt truly in­no­va­tive. The Wa­com In­tuos 3D tablet and pen pack­age marked Wa­com’s first foray into man­u­fac­tur­ing hard­ware specif­i­cally with 3D artists in mind. Its lat­est prod­uct, the Pro Pen

3D, not only im­proves on its pre­vi­ous model, it feels like Wa­com has cre­ated a new gamechanger that will al­ter the way you work.

In lieu of a pen stand, the Pro Pen 3D comes en­cased within its own carry tube, in­clud­ing four nib re­fills. The pen it­self is as sleek and com­fort­able to hold as its pre­de­ces­sors. It’s shorter than the Pro model, as are its nibs. Though lack­ing an eraser, it has gained a third func­tion but­ton. These but­tons are po­si­tioned near the tip of the pen so they can be com­fort­ably ac­ti­vated by the user’s thumb or fore­fin­ger. These but­tons aren’t as ‘clicky’ or sat­is­fy­ing to press as the Pro’s but­tons, but users of 3D soft­ware will still ben­e­fit from the ex­tra, eas­ily-ac­ces­si­ble hotkey.

Hov­er­ing the pen over the sur­face of the cin­tiq guides the cur­sor across the ob­ject, and press­ing down in­ter­acts with the ob­ject. So far so stan­dard, un­til you dis­cover the Pro Pen 3D is ca­pa­ble of ma­nip­u­lat­ing the X, Y and Z axes.

While work­ing in 3D art soft­ware, such as Zbrush­core, mov­ing the pen over your tablet/ cin­tiq’s sur­face (with­out mak­ing con­tact) causes your cur­sor to move around the ob­ject. In Pho­to­shop, pen pres­sure af­fects brush size, but with the Pro Pen 3D, artists can now mod­ify their 3D mod­els in the Z axis. The harder you press into your pen dis­play, the fur­ther your se­lected tool will go into your model. The afore­men­tioned func­tion keys put all the hotkeys you need to move through all three axes at your fin­ger­tips, greatly in­creas­ing work­flow speed. ar­guably the most im­pres­sive as­set of the Pro Pen 3D is its in­creased pen pres­sure lev­els, now boast­ing a whop­ping 8192 lev­els of pres­sure. artists will have far greater con­trol than ever.

new­com­ers to pen dis­plays may need time to ad­just, and even pro­fi­cient users will need time to get to grips with the ad­di­tional z-axis con­trol, but this break­ing-in process is made eas­ier thanks to Wa­com’s user-friendly hard­ware and soft­ware de­sign. Users un­sat­is­fied with the de­fault set­ting can set the func­tion keys on the Pro Pen 3D and cin­tiq dis­play to their most com­monly used tools and hotkeys us­ing the Wa­com Tablet Set­tings soft­ware.

The Pro Pen 3D is com­pat­i­ble with the cin­tiq Pro and In­tuos Pro range and the two make a per­fect pair. If you were com­fort­able us­ing the touch con­trols on the In­tuos 3D tablet to op­er­ate your soft­ware’s cam­era, the cin­tiq Pro’s touch sen­si­tive sur­face en­ables you to pan, zoom and ro­tate ob­jects with multi-touch ges­tures, free­ing up the pen’s func­tion keys for your per­sonal set­tings. The cin­tiq Pro also has nat­u­ral pen tilt sup­port, vir­tu­ally no lag, 4x greater ac­cu­racy, and the 16” model sup­ports 4K res­o­lu­tion and 94% of the adobe RGB colour range. This is with­out a doubt Wa­com’s most pow­er­ful pen dis­play to date, leav­ing the In­tuos 3D ut­terly in the dust, and the Pro Pen 3D’s in­creased pres­sure sen­si­tiv­ity pro­vides a level of con­trol that will im­press. Whether you’re look­ing to up­grade from your old hard­ware, or you’re delv­ing into the use of pen dis­plays for the first time, the Pro Pen 3D will not dis­ap­point.

It feels like Wa­com has cre­ated a new game-changer that will al­ter the way you work

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