The ability to use Wacom Wintab based pen drawing tools on my Surface Pro has really made a difference in my artistic workflow. I’ve been photo painting using a combination of Adobe Photoshop CS 5.5 and Corel Painter 12 (I got one sweet deal when I called them to purchase, $159, good on three computers).
From what I have been reading online, it appears that the drivers that Wacom released will indeed by repackaged by Microsoft and released during some future update cycle. With the current Wacom supplied driver, my feeling is that this is the best experience I’ve had yet on a touch device with pen drawing.
The painting below has quite a lot of work yet to do, but I’m having a great time with my new digital art tools working on it.
Hope to move on to watercolors soon.
People have been asking me why I was so determined to have working Wacom Wintab drivers for Surface Pro.
The above is a work in progress. A combination of Photoshop CS 5.5 and Corel Painter 12 (Trial Version) on my Surface Pro (using both the Microsoft Surface Stylus and a Feel IT Wacom Stylus). I’m finding that everything works (although some processor/graphics intensive operations tend to take a while). Seems like I now have a great portable tool set. Not as powerful as a full graphics desktop workstation, but definitely usable.
Corel Painter is fantastically awesome. I’m not going forward with upgrading to Adobe Cloud so I’ll be staying at Photoshop 5.5 and adding Corel Painter 12 on my desktop soon as well. It looks like Corel licensing, unlike Adobe, requires a separate purchased license for each computer and I’m looking for discounts on Painter 12 so I can use on both my desktop and my Surface.
After a long and ridiculous wait for functionality that in February was promised to be coming soon, Wacom pressure sensitive functionality has arrived for users of Photoshop and other products that rely on the Wintab API.
On May 9, Panos Panay tweeter he was using beta drivers. I replied to that tweet asking if drivers were/would be made available to the public. No response. No indication in the on-going forum thread at http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/surface/forum/surfpro-surfusingpro/surface-pro-pen-pressure-sensitivity-is-not/72f34b0e-e931-4fa0-8322-5f3933b061f6?page=1&tm=1368189377290 of driver availability either (but Microsoft personnel abandoned users in that thread long ago)
Strangely, not a single mention of Surface Pro in the description. The description reads “Expand the capabilities of your tablet computer with the enhanced tablet driver for systems that use Wacom Feel IT® technology! Installing this driver will provide many advanced pressure-sensitive features that Wacom pen tablet users have come to enjoy.” And no mention of Feel IT on the official Surface Pro specifications page at http://www.microsoft.com/surface/en-US/surface-with-windows-8-pro/specifications
Shortly after that tweet from Panos Panay, strangely labeled drivers appeared on the Wacom driver download site. And again, not a single tweet from Microsoft, Panos, or the official @Surface Twitter account about this.
I downloaded the drivers, and after a restart, launched Photoshop CS 5.5 and did this quick and dirty test.
Yes! Exhale. Deep sigh of relief.
I find it odd that the Microsoft folks are so quiet over this release. There are release notes showing some potential bugs, but to have ANY driver in hand at this point is great.
There have been a lot of Windows 8 users looking for a solution to keep Windows Media Center on top of other applications. Here’s a quick and dirty registry setting. Use at your own risk, back up your registry, etc. etc.
First, find this key on the registry:
Right click and edit – change the Value data from 0 to 1
Reboot and enjoy.