1. #1
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    Default Zbrush 4 on a Convertible Tablet PC (Video Demo)

    TabletDemoThumb.jpg

    Hi, so I've been meaning to post a review/demo of using Zbrush on a convertible tablet PC, since when I first started looking into it there was not a whole lot of information about how well it would run. I've been using it now for about a year and loving it the whole time. It works better than I had hoped, and I have no idea why tablet PCs were always marketed to the "business" customer and not to the artist. How useful is pressure sensitivity in spreadsheets anyway?

    Anywho, the video is a little long (2 parts) but I tried to cover most of the basic considerations. Thanks to 720p portrait size, it's probably best to watch on the youtube site in HD full-screen mode (I guess ZBC doesn't have the full screen button enabled in BB Code ).


    Part 1

    Part 2


    (sorry for the crappy halogen light reflections, and also the lame demo sculpts... stupid bihemispherical brain...)
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    Hi, thx for the review. I have a tablet Pc (HP TX2000) myself as second Pc and its nice to be able to paint directly on the screen. Because i cant use my quicklaunch buttons(never figured out why they dont work, but it seems a common failure of this model) i attached a wiimote and remapped my hotkeys to them. With 3gb ram and a Turion64x2 Processor im able to sculpt smoothly about to 3 million polys high. At least i was in Zbrush 3.5... In Zbrush 4 i have some odd bugs. Wisptis.exe eats after some seconds about 50-100% cpu and this makes it quite impossible to sculpt in zbrush anymore. Also because i cant use the quicklaunch buttons to rotate the screen i have to do this manually in the display settings. It seems this is something Zbrush 4 dont like. The screen rotates and so does the Zbrush Interface/Display but the Input dont. So when i do that i paint mirror inverted. For example when i paint down right zbrush paints something up left... so i cant rotate my display anymore to use zbrush. Another major bug i have is that the tablet display or some of the quicklaunch buttons( i dont know, i just know its not the keyboard) send constantly signals which zbrush interprets as keyboard inputs (normal programms dont, i just write this text with my tablet...) which makes it impossible to type any value or text in zbrush. That is kind of my review on Zbrush 4 on my Tablet Pc and im not happy with that.
    A generell tip to anybody who is using a tablet Pc for Zbrush is to deactivate the finger input. If u dont this can cause some odd behaviour when u sculpt.
    My sculpting improvement thread
    http://www.zbrushcentral.com/showthread.php?t=91352

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    This makes me feel sorta funny inside, thanks for posting.....
    Dustin
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    Did the tablet come with pressure sensitivity or was that some sort of hack, or just a special feature of that particular pen?

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    MDGeist: Have you tried turning off "Tablet PC Components" under control panel > Programs and Features > Turn Windows features on or off? I think that will disable wisptis.exe and let the Wacom driver do the work instead. Doing that seems to help with certain issues sometimes, since Windows ink seems to interfere with the Wacom native sensitivity. And as long as you have the latest version installed (I had issues with their outdated driver for TabletPC so they told me to use the most recent Bamboo driver), Zbrush seems to have no problems. I haven't had the issue with flipped rotation, it just resizes to fit the screen and I can keep going. As far as your quicklaunch buttons go, I wonder if you have installed a newer version of Windows than that which came with the computer and thus lost some of their proprietary software/drivers for the hardware buttons?

    Dman3d: I hope that's funny in a good way.

    crumbaker
    : Good question. You wouldn't know if from the pathetic info that's out there, but YES, it comes with pressure sensitivity! It has the Wacom "penabled" sticker on it, and the pressure sensitivity of the pen communicates with the built in sensor board and is configured through the Wacom drivers. Here's a cool link I found that shows how it works: http://www.wacom-components.com/engl...ology/emr.html

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    I love sculpting on my tablet!! For the last year it has been my main ZBrush machine and that's saying alot since I also have an (aging) 7yr old Alienware dual Xeon workstation that was a beast in it's prime but now is easily outpaced (in ZBrush) compared to my little tablet.
    My tablet specs are: Fujitsu T5010 dual core 2.8 ghz, 4gig RAM, win7 64bit. I can easily take each subtool to around the 15 mil poly range with this little beast. And when I'm in tablet mode and can't access the keyboard I use the Belkin Nostromo n52 gamepad for all my shortcuts. Highly programable little device that just loves ZBrush!
    ZB 3.5 ran very well on my tablet (with semi frequent crashes) but ZB 4 seems to run even better and much more stable. I've been doing things in 4 that I wouldn't have dreamt of doing in 3.5 for fear of a crash and it is handling it all in stride. Maybe one crash since ZB 4 was released.
    -Ryan Harrison-

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    That was a great advice. Wisptis is still there but it seems it doesnt eat all my cpu anymore. It still goes up to 50% when i project some displacement with lightbox but it looks like i have to go up to about 5 million polys before it starts doing that. Thank you so much, at least i can start playing around with zbrush 4 without this depressing slowdown.
    I recently updated to win 7 64 bit from the preinstalled vista 32 bit and there no actual QLB driver for this machine. At least i found a driver that says in the device manager under keyboard standard 101/102-Key with Hp Qlb but with or without the buttons itself wont work. They also didnt work on vista 32 bit and i read in a lot of forums that this is a common failure on this machine. The only life sign of these buttons are a continuosly sending signal from the next track button(keycode 176, scancode 25 before writing a scancode map to the registry, now keycode 255 scancode 0)Its fine for windows and other applications but zbrush dont like that and makes it impossible to enter any value. On vista and zbrush 3.5 i oriented the screen by directly entering values in the registry, on win 7 and zbrush 4 i did that with the geforce driver. I guess i can get rid off the mirror inverted bug when i search the right entry in the registry and modify it there. Again thank you for the great tip, zbrush doodling here i come
    My sculpting improvement thread
    http://www.zbrushcentral.com/showthread.php?t=91352

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    rynomyte: My tablet is my main Zbrush machine too. I have a nice workstation, and great big Intuos pad, but it's no fun compared with the tablet! Great that you can go to 15 mil polygons. I just tried a test with ZB4 and got it to 6 million now with no problems. How much battery life do you get on that thing?

    MDGeist: Hey I'm glad it worked somewhat. There are probably other fixes out there too to get rid of it completely. That's part of the "fun" of computers I guess. Figuring out how to beat them into submission. The Wiimote idea is really cool too. Quite a few buttons on there, and some you can press simultaneously with no problem.

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    Quote Originally Posted by drkdve
    rynomyte: How much battery life do you get on that thing?
    Hehe, yeah, that is the only drawback. All that constant ZB processor usage kills the batt pretty quick. I usually have a modular battery where my dvd drive goes and even with the two batteries I'm lucky to get 4 hrs out of it under heavy use. And thats with my brightness and power settings set as low as I can tolerate too. I do love it so though. Sometimes I miss having a really large screen but its not really a problem either...my little 13 inch does pretty well for me.
    -Ryan Harrison-

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    Yeah, it's fun. I think a 12-13" screen is pretty good. At least it's still portable, and you can always just get your face closer to it I guess.... . 4 hours isn't bad actually. I can only get about 5 on minimum brightness/power settings. Of course my battery is old and abused, but 4-5 hours is a pretty good stretch. I never even have a chunk of free time that big....

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    This is an awesome thread Drkdve. Thanks homie (I'm originally from DC).

    I have been curious about lablet PCs' usefulness for 3d but could never find enough useful information. Just finding out which ones use Wacom technology was trickier than I expected (thanks for that link..)

    The fact that modo doesn't work well on it (and I'm guessing Maya neither) is a big negative for me. modo is my polygon manipulator of choice. I'm thrilled to finallly have GoZ up and running and would hate to give that up so soon.

    Still, you put forth some very compelling arguments for the x60.

    Is the x61 better? Worse?

    Have you tried Sculptris on your x60? How does it perform?

    I am guessing the tablet can be flipped the other way for right handers?
    No one ever expected a pencil to draw for them.

    www.podagraph.com

    podaart.blogspot.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by poda
    This is an awesome thread Drkdve. Thanks homie (I'm originally from DC).
    Thanks fellow-ex-Washingtonian (I just moved to Howard County) I'm glad you found it helpful. There really isn't a lot of info on tablets targeted at digital artists for some reason. Yes, it's hard to even find out which ones have pressure sensitivity...

    The fact that Modo doesn't work well is a technical thing I haven't had the time to tackle yet myself. It pretty much crashes right away on the render tab, I assume due to the nature of the preview render window. I can do basic stuff in the modeling tab with view set to shaded instead of Advanced OpenGL, but still get crashes quite often there, so it's not very usable. There may be some settings or video configurations that would help this, but I haven't found them yet. Sometime I'll probably try to troubleshoot it on the Luxology forums, but I'm guessing it will just come down to being underpowered video-wise.

    Thanks to shadowbox I don't need modo quite as much to make base meshes now, but the fact that it doesn't work on the x60 is really the only reason I might start considering newer tablets. Maya seems to work ok on there for modeling (I downloaded the trial and messed around briefly) but who wants to use Maya for modeling after they've got Modo . So I'll continue to keep my main computer around until they come out with some new uber tablet.

    Right now I just have a shortcut to my dropbox in the Zprojects folder so if I need to, I can GoZ on the main, and get it right back to the tablet afterward.

    The x61 would probably be just as good. I think it was just more expensive at the time, and I found a great deal on the x60 I got.

    Sculptris works great. Only just barely less responsive than Zbrush when sculpting.

    Yes it can be flipped for right-handers, just press the rotate button twice and you are there!

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    aren't the x60 and x 61 older models? the x201 is quite expensive.

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    Quote Originally Posted by womball
    aren't the x60 and x 61 older models? the x201 is quite expensive.
    Yes, they are both older. The x201 aside from being very expensive also has a wider screen, so not quite as good for sculpting probably. They also got rid of the great directional toggle pad which is unfortunate.

    I'm waiting for someone to come out with a nice 17" convertible tablet with 1024 pressure levels, a good cpu, long battery life, and discrete graphics.... Then I'll get rid of my desktop and become a nomad...

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    Obtained a Toshiba Portege m400 for a fairly cheap price but for some reason the pressure sensitivity wont work in zbrush.

    It works in other applications such as flipbook.

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