04-15-2013 08:34 AM
I was asked by readers to start a new topic on the concerns around the pressure sensitiviy of the digital pen when using programs like Photoshop, Autodesk Sketchbook Pro and Painter. My own experience when using Sketchbook Pro and Painter is that there is no sensitivity to pressure to alter the size or darkness of lines as there should be. As I have previously mentioned, in Fresh Paint, the Windows drawing and Painting App, there is excellent sensitivity to pressure.
In general pen input on the Helix is great. There is no lag at all in writing and drawing. And text recognition in Windows 8 converting handwriting to usable text is very sophistitcated and work amazingly well.
But the deal-breaker so far is that, for those of us who want to use the pad as a drawing surface, for the legacy applications that we all have been using for years and years, the advertised umpteen levels of pressure sensitivty is just not there.
04-15-2013 12:07 PM
As I mentioned in the other thread, this is a major issue for a computer that supposedly has over 2000 levels of pressure sensitivity.
I previously had a Surface Pro which I eventually returned due to a lack of pressure sensitivity in Photoshop and Zbrush. As an artist, it is something that we can not do without.
I have ordered the Helix, and I am now very worried that this is an issue that may linger for quite a while.
Does anyone know what the problem is and how this can be solved? Is this primarily a Windows 8 issue, or is it a problem with the hardware?
How long will it be until there is a fix?
04-15-2013 02:16 PM
I can respond to some of your question. I don't think this is really a hardware problem since, as I mentioned, pressure sensitivy works beautifully on the Helix with Fresh Paint, the Microsoft painting program . But it is a newer "App" rather than a legacy windows program.
And to complicate matters, pressure sensitivity works really well in all the industry-standard programs like Photoshop, Painter, Autodesk Sketchboo Pro on Samsung's comparable machine the ATIV 700T on Windows 8. I read somewhere that Samsung wrote their own drivers for their pen and did not rely on the Microsoft or software companies. I can vouch for how well this tablet worked since I owned one for a while.
I downloaded drivers from Wacom and installed them on the Helix but it did not make any difference. I still had lots of fluid lines, no lag, and great touch, but no matter how hard or soft I pressed, there was no variation in the line size, darkness or any other sign that the screen was responding to the pressure of my hand. And, of course, this is really baffling since Lenovo must have know that this feature did not work.
For the average business user this is probably not an issue but for artists and designers who I know have been waiting for a machine like this, it is a disappointment.
04-16-2013 12:03 PM
More information about the pen issue on the Helix. I talked with Lenovo tech support today and they had nothing to offer in the way of a solution. In fact, the tech I talked with did not have any info that this was a problem. His only advice was to reload the drivers which I have done to no avail.
I have made adjustments in all of the Control Panel pen attibutes and in the preferences menus of most of the drawing programs, all without good result.
I have seen lots of threads for the Surface Pro that complain of exactly the same issues spelled out here - lack of pen pressure sensitivity with Photoshop, SBP and Painter (and PaintTool). I found this tweet from an MS person:
I also saw posts about Skectchbook Pro (SBP) having its own drivers which, when the Win8 pen drivers are removed or disabled, enable pressure sensitivity on the pen within that program. Don't know if this is relevant.
Many people say this is an Adobe issue, others say a MS issue. Clearly Lenovo has build a machine that CAN do pen pressure sensitivity (as evidenced by the outstanding sesitivity in Fresh Paint) but which is being hindered by the lack of consistent and/or usable drivers either in the OS or in the individual programs.
04-16-2013 12:26 PM
Hi tghyatt, could you please elaborate (or provide links) on where you found people reporting similar issues between specifically Sketchbook Pro (hereafter referred to as SBP) and the Surface Pro? The only complaints I've seen with regards to pressure sensitivity was the lack of WinTab support, which they're working on fixing now. I know that Gabe from Penny Arcade (among other artists) have reported using SBP just fine with the Surface.
While I can understand the WinTab issue with how widespread it is, lack of support for SBP would be a dealbreaker for me considering it's my drawing program of choice. =(
04-16-2013 12:37 PM
What I read (and unfortuatley I cannot find the link) is that the Sketchbook Pro drivers on the Surface Pro would not work to provide pressue sensitivity when the Windows 8 drivers were enabled. I cannot vouch for whether this is true or not on the Surface since I have not used one.
04-16-2013 04:21 PM