New user: Inking on a Linux tablet


#1

I have a Windows 10 tablet, a Cube i7 Stylus with a Wacom pressure sensitive touch screen, but since I run FLOSS software on almost all my other computers, I have long thought about converting this fine hardware. I tried Ubuntu and Debian 9, but none of these otherwise fantastic pieces of software managed to leverage the full potential of my tablet. Found out that GNU/Linux Mint 18 did.

I finally installed MyPaint and this is my first 1h drawing, trying out the great sketch and inking tools. Thank you all for this amazing piece of artistic software. Looking forward to exploring its full potential.

Cheers,

Staffan, Gothenburg, SWEDEN


#2

Getting aquainted with the tools… This is so much fun!


#3

Great work! I’m really interested in that tablet, it seems very affordable-- $350 for a whole computer and a wacom pen surface?? That’s awesome! How is the performance? So, there are no keys or buttons? I wonder if we could get some on-screen interface that gives you some virtual buttons that work mid-stroke for realtime controls… or would that conflict with the palm-rejection. maybe you can carve out an area on the screen where palm rejection is disabled? Ahhh so many questions.


#4

Thanks! The performance is very good with 4GB RAM and an SSD-like drive. I can easily work with 300dpi A3 images.

There are no keys but you can buy an attachable keyboard, which I recommend.

I have still not palm rejection. Instead I disable the touch screen (and only work with the Wacom screen layer), as I haven’t managed to make pinch to zoom work. There is a FLOSS tool called Touchegg that should be able to solve this, but I haven’t had any luck sofar.

I have also tried out Krita and it seems to work just fine.

So, awesome FLOSS tool. Kind of a poor man’s Cintiq.


#5

Awesome! I was thinking of a solution for using it with just two hands while sitting on a bench, like a sketchbook. Hmm you should play with the on-screen virtual keyboards. There are also tricks for preventing applications from stealing focus, so maybe lock focus for mypaint and then the keyboard could float on top and put in a corner or something (or maybe that’s the default behavior for virtual kb)? Oh, maybe you can just tell mypaint to ignore the touchscreen input-- go to Preferences, Devices, and see if you can set it to “ignore”.

Looks like Florence virtual keyboard is hackable, so we could make a simple and small controller for mypaint:

http://florence.sourceforge.net/english/hacking.html#idm139761312816336

So, maybe you don’t need to worry about fancy pinch+zoom. If you can just click a button and use the stylus to zoom/pan/rotate it might be just a good :-D. Ok I might have to get one of these soon :stuck_out_tongue:


#6

Yes, that is exactly what I do – tell MyPaint to ignore the touch screen and only use the Wacom. Works fine! And I can use the pen for zoom and pan after clicking one of the buttons in the tool bar (BTW Full screen mode is awesome with this combo.)

I use it everywhere to not only sketch, but make print ready stuff at 300 dpi.

I use the Onboard floating keyboard, works nicely, and lets me use the tablet as a quite powerful normal linux computer.

I am very happy that I have taken this tablet down the Linux road. I normally use Debian 8/Jessie, but Linux Mint 18 was the only thing that worked (WIFI and screen).


#7

Aha, cool. I misunderstood what you meant by disabling touchscreen. So are you able to use the virtual keyboard and mypaint at the same time while freehand drawing? So, while drawing a line can you increase the size or change the opacity mid-stroke? I’m curious if there are focus issues or what-not. I’m also very interested in making real-time brush controllers more accessible to everyone even if they don’t have fancy tilt and pressure pens :smiley:


#8

These Cube i7 Stylus pcs are one of the best cheap alternatives to an Android and expensive Windows tablet pc. They have similar specs to the 2016 MacBook and, based on a few reviews, any Wacom stylus works with the screen, including the S-Pen.


#9

I’m not sure. I will try and report back! I am thinking about making a custom layout for the on-screen keyboard (Onboard), it’s possible, it is just an XML file. Problem is lack of screen space, the Cube is only 10.1".


#10

Right! And they have a “real” processor (a Core M) so they run any OS without problems. A real computer in tablet format.


#11

I can report that the OnBoard screen keyboard works fine for doing things like pressing “F” for a larger brush when painting.


#12

That’s awesome. I just took a look at OnBoard. Looks like when you make a new layout it creates several svg files. I think you’ll have to edit them in inkscape to trim out the stuff you don’t need. The good news is, it looks like each key has its own ID embedded in the svg, so you can rearrange the keys however you want and it should just work (I was worried it would be based on x,y coordinates). I bet you can get the size of the keyboard down to maybe 1" x 2" on screen and maybe 8 buttons?


#13

Would be a great tool. Let us see who gets there first! :slight_smile: