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  • New Toy

    I stopped in our local Radio Shack yesterday and found a device called an " i-pen" on sale for $49.95. It's essentially an optical mouse in the shape of a pen. Being a sucker for a good deal (it was $99.95), and electronic toys, I bought it. So far I've only experimented with this thing a short time, but it appears that it will be a great aid in creating patterns for shadow and segmented portraits once I get the feel of operating it.
    Has anyone out there ever used one of these things? If so, what applications do you use it for and how do you like it? I tried tracing over a photo in the draw mode, using Photo Impressions 3, and it worked pretty well except for the shakey lines as a result of my two cups of morning coffee.
    If it don't fit, don't force it....get a bigger hammer!!

  • #2
    OT: Computer Input devices!

    Neal:

    There are three classes of computer input devices. Track Ball, Mouse, and Input pens. I have a Kensington Track ball, basic mouse, and recently acquired a Graphire 3 pen device by Wacom. In the past, I tried to use another older pen and tablet system that was sold as an input device for AutoCAD version 10, and 11 (DOS versions of AutoCAD.)

    My biggest problem with the PEN and Tablet technology, as I have experienced it, is my muscle co-ordination in relating pen movement with on-screen cursor movement. For example, in drawing a French curve segment on a drafting board, I just use one of my French curve templates and draw away with a pencil. However, to create a French curve in a CAD drawing, I cannot just draw away using the template and a Pen input device. I can never get the ratio of pen movement in my hand to relate, or match where the curve is supposed to go on the screen. Maybe you will have much more luck in training you eye-hand movement to match you desired drafting.

    This is not to say a trained and skilled draftsman cannot do wonders with a computer PEN. But it does take some effort to train you eye, and have your hand follow where you want it to go. There are training exercises to work through to help with the skill building, but I generally need a quick drawing NOW, and seldom have the luxury of time to build the skill needed to become proficient using a computer PEN.

    For precision work with a Vector Graphic program, I WAY, WAY, prefer the use of a track ball over anything else. And that is just a personal preference due to my eye-hand co-ordination and how my brain is wired. Everyone else may, will, and generally do have their own preferences.

    There is much more I could go relate on this subject of input devices and how they interact with bit mapping graphic programs, vector graphic programs, and CAD programs, but my main point has been expressed- so decide for your self after giving it a fair amount of time to get accustomed to it.

    {BTW: the shaky lines you experienced are due to your eye-hand co-ordination built-in feedback loop, without your conscience control, your hand is trying to correct for very minor changes in what your eye is trying to direct you hand to do. Try do draw the same line (curve) on paper with a pencil and see if you have the same shaky lines!}

    Phil

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    • #3
      Sounds about right to me Phil. I'm not going to try to do a whole drawing with it. I just want something I can make "on screen" corrections with, ie; add a line here or change a line there. All my patterns are started as paper and pencil then scanned into the old CPU. I used a trial version of a raster/vector conversion program for an hour or so once. It gave me nice thin lines but it takes too much time. It's much faster for me to use the old pencil and tracing paper. If I wind up with fat lines, I generally know where I need to cut because I drew the pattern. I do a lot of free hand cutting on the segmented portraits anyway, sort of like a loose oil painting.
      If it don't fit, don't force it....get a bigger hammer!!

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      • #4
        Hey Neal can you scan a photo, then place the photo under the "I pen" and trace over it? That way getting a shape on the screen, Just a thought.
        I can see if that is the case it would be an awesome tool for your work
        CAЯL HIRD-RUTTEЯ
        "proud member of the best scroll sawing forum on the net."
        Ryobi SC180VS scroll saw EX21

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        • #5
          Tracing

          I don't know about tracing yet. The photo would have to be taped down so the orientation never changes while tracing. If it moves even a little everything already on the screen would be disjointed. I have, however, played around with tracing over a photo "on screen". The problem there is that I still have to print it out and re-trace the lines. Also, as Phil mentioned, the lines are really shakey. I know this thing will be good for something......I just need to figure out what it is!!!
          If it don't fit, don't force it....get a bigger hammer!!

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Neal Moore
            .... I know this thing will be good for something......I just need to figure out what it is!!!
            It will be good for signing online cheques made payable to Canadian Scroller
            CAЯL HIRD-RUTTEЯ
            "proud member of the best scroll sawing forum on the net."
            Ryobi SC180VS scroll saw EX21

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            • #7
              All righty then!!!!
              If it don't fit, don't force it....get a bigger hammer!!

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