As a journalist, I have spent many hours working on illustrations and graphics that started out as doodles on a sketchpad. Scanning the image and then importing it into Illustrator or Photoshop isn’t difficult, but it is time-consuming, especially if I have to retrace the image to manipulate lines.
The new Wacom Inkling should make things a lot easier for artists, illustrators, graphic designers and pretty much everyone who doodles on real paper with a ballpoint pen and then needs to get it onto a computer. With the Inkling, you use the included ballpoint pen to doodle whatever your heart desires, and a wireless receiver stores the sketch digitally. The receiver can be clipped to the edge of standard paper or sketchbooks, as long as you’re using them on flat and rigid drawing surfaces.
Then, when you’ve finished drawing, you just hook up the receiver to your computer via USB to transfer the digital files. Files are opened with the Inkling Sketch Manager software where you can manage layers or change file formats to JPEG, TIFF or PDF and then open the fully layered files in Photoshop or Illustrator.
Yes, we know ink-to-digital pens are nothing new, but the pressure sensor technology of the Inkling is pretty neat. The gadget has 1024 levels of pressure, and pressure variations all appear in the digital version of the drawing. You can export your doodles as a vector illustration to Adobe Illustrator, which will allow you to re-work your lines in any way you want. That sounds pretty good to me.
The Wacom Inkling comes with a pen, receiver, rechargeable batteries, four spare pen ink cartridges, charging case and the Inkling Sketch Manager Application, which can be stored in the Inkling receiver. The Wacom Inkling will be available in the middle of September for $199.