Apple pencil - how much pressure is needed?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by mrklaw, Mar 16, 2016.

  1. mrklaw macrumors 68020

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    Jan 29, 2008
    #1
    I have a surface pro 4. I bought it mainly as a laptop but also a bit as a tech toy. I wanted to like the surface pen and to use it for drawing, but I'm finding it quite annoying. It needs too much pressure to make even light marks. It just feels wrong to have to push the pen into the screen to get a mark (even adjusting the pressure setting in the surface app). Also you can feel the nib of the pen moving when you press, like you're pressing a little switch.

    Is the apple pencil more sensitive? I'd like to actually draw faint lines with roughly the same pressure I'd use an actual pencil. Or is it still a bit artificial when used gently?
     
  2. millydog macrumors regular

    millydog

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    #2
    You just have to lightly touch the screen to draw. Applying a small amount of pressure or tilting the tip changes the thickness of the line.
     
  3. sjleworthy, Mar 16, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2016

    sjleworthy macrumors 65816

    sjleworthy

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    #3
    the Pencil, depending on which app you're in, uses pressure sensitivity wonderfully. like using a real pen or pencil.
     
  4. friedmud macrumors 65816

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    #4
    Pencil is incredibly sensitive. Barely tocuching the screen produces a nice fine line... any more pressure (depending on the app) fattens it up nicely.
     
  5. yaxomoxay macrumors 68020

    yaxomoxay

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    #5
    To do a light mark you barely need contact. If you want a bolder stroke, just apply more pressure. It's like using a real pencil.
     
  6. Newtons Apple Suspended

    Newtons Apple

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    #6
    Like the others said the application has much to do with the pencil's line characteristics.
     
  7. off_piste macrumors 6502a

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    #7
    Swing by an Apple Store if you have one nearby. I played around with it last week and was extremely impressed with it in Procreate.
     
  8. Deane2000 macrumors member

    Deane2000

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    #8
    Yes, go in spend some time actually using one and you'll get the feel for it very quickly especially with your Surface Pro experience. Have one of the sale associates set you up in a drawing program with the pencil and have at it. You'll know in a few minutes whether it will work for you or not. As someone who has spent their entire life touching real pencils to real paper to draw, the Apple pencil is pretty good.
     
  9. TrueBlou macrumors demi-god

    TrueBlou

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    #9
    Very sensitive by default in all of the apps I've tried, the lightest of touches against the screen produces a thin, light line.

    Procreate is brilliant, it's the closest I've found on any tablet/stylus combo at reproducing the effect of using an actual pencil.

    But go play with one if you can, even the stock notes app will give you a good idea of its performance.
     
  10. capathy21 macrumors 65816

    capathy21

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    #10
    It's night and day between the Surface pen and the Apple Pencil. The pencil really is just like writing on paper. If you are going to be using it for drawing/writing, you need an ipp and Apple Pencil.
     
  11. Tom G. macrumors 68000

    Tom G.

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    #11
    As stated in previous posts you don't need to use much pressure at all, however, I personally have found that I get more control by applying a little more pressure and pressing my palm more firmly on the screen. The palm rejection is so good that you can do this with without any problem.
     
  12. mrklaw thread starter macrumors 68020

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    Jan 29, 2008
    #12
    well I like the feel of the surface pen on the screen - but more of a pen feel than a pencil (and the pressure issue as mentioned)

    Does the ipp in apple stores have procreate installed as standard for demos? Sounds like that is the next step to try. Or buy one and then return it if I find it too big, when the 9.7" comes out
     
  13. Max(IT) Suspended

    Max(IT)

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    #13
    ipad Pro are available at every apple store. Cant you just try one ?
    The best things to do is to try it by yourself...
     
  14. TrueBlou macrumors demi-god

    TrueBlou

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    #14


    I very much doubt they'd have Procreate installed due to the price of it. But they might well let you download Paper by 53 and Adobe Photoshop Sketch as they are free to download. Both of which are also great with the Pencil and would more than serve as a good introduction to the Pencil.

    As far as the feel goes, while the Pencil is definitely more sensitive as far as I can tell. You still don't get a pencil feel as it's still hard rubber against glass. It doesn't feel bad, but there's no real friction to it.

    But if you don't mind a slightly softer image, you want to draw a lot and don't mind screen protectors. Fitting a matte anti-glare screen protector to the Pro does actually offer up more friction with the Pencil and surprisingly does feel more like the real thing.
     
  15. mrklaw thread starter macrumors 68020

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    #15
    are there any built in apps that let you draw on them for a quick test - as a fallback if Apple don't want me to install stuff?
     
  16. TrueBlou macrumors demi-god

    TrueBlou

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    #16

    The built in Notes app allows you to write and draw freely so it's a good one to try.
     
  17. off_piste macrumors 6502a

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    #17
    The Apple Store by my house has Procreate installed on the iPads. Well, at least the iPP I tried that had a pencil alongside it.
     
  18. TrueBlou macrumors demi-god

    TrueBlou

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    #18

    That's good, hopefully more stores will. It makes sense to have a selection of the best showcase apps to try. I didn't need to try the Pro or Pencil to know I wanted them so I didn't bother going to the store to try them.
     
  19. sjleworthy macrumors 65816

    sjleworthy

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    #19
    And the Notes app is probably the best pencil simulation any app can produce so far in my opinion. Great to test ink hand writing on too. So yes, even though i personally dont use Notes and rate it, it's a great resident app to demo Apple's wares.
     
  20. TrueBlou macrumors demi-god

    TrueBlou

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    #20

    Yeah, it's funny, before getting the iPad Pro and Pencil I was a fairly light user of Notes. But now I actually find myself using it far more often than I did.

    But as a demo of the Pencil's capabilities it's really good. Toggle on the drawing mode, select the pencil "brush" and doodle away, it's really good. You get the pressure sensitivity, the shading when you tilt the Pencil, I like the ruler in it, it's become far more useful, even though I still mainly use other apps.
     
  21. DaniJoy macrumors 6502

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    California
    #21
    i had a SP4 and a IPP at the same time. kept the IPP and returned the SP4. SP4 is good, but the apple pencil was slightly better. its more sensitive to initial force. the pressure sensitivity is pretty good also. i found the IPP to be a better tablet, with better battery life, and easier to use with just the hands.

    IPP and apple pencil are the best drawing experience i have tried. the pressure is almost as good was wacom emr and the parallax is the lowest out of any device i have tried. that said, its not light years better or worse than any other tablet. they are all really close IMO. they all make great art. you have to get used to every device. they all have quirks.

    Apple pencil feels nothing like a real pencil on paper experience. tilt is very weird. not natural feeling- but its good for shading once you get the hang of it. The pencil does work great for light duty digital art and illustration. just dont expect to be photobashing in HD, using custom shapes or dropping fractal 3d elements into a art work like you would in photoshop or painter. IPP is limited by slow specs (compared to a mobile workstation- its fast compared to other low end windows tablets) and phone applications.

    i totally recommend it over the SP4 unless you need desktop applications.
     
  22. mrklaw thread starter macrumors 68020

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    #22
    damn. its way nicer. you can pretty much just let the pencil hang from your fingers under its own weight and it'll make a fine line. perfect for me.

    only negative is that it kicks in 'tilted shading mode' at too steep an angle - where i'd still want to be making fine lines.

    now its just a question of screen size. think i'll go with the 9.7 as that is a comfortable size for me
     
  23. SR71 macrumors 68000

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    Boston, MA
    #23
    Just want to add in that you can get the iPad Pro brand new from eBay for $649 (even cheaper if you can get it open box at Best Buy... one near me has it for $622) which is only $50 more expensive than the $599 that the 9.7" iPad Pro is rumored to cost. I initially was going to be getting the 9.7" as I too think that would be a more comfortable and compact size, but for $50 more I figured I might as well go all out and get the larger one. Just thought I'd let you know in case you weren't aware of that low price on eBay.
     
  24. Krevnik macrumors 68040

    Krevnik

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    Sep 8, 2003
    #24
    What I'll say about this is that how tilt is handled is completely up to the app, they just get the altitude/azimuth values raw along with the pressure value (and a pressure max value since I think Force Touch and the pen use different ranges). So it is somewhat important to test the app you will actually be using to know the full details of how it will behave.
     
  25. DaniJoy macrumors 6502

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    Nov 19, 2015
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    California
    #25
    ive been using procreate, i get the weird tilt behavior there. have not tried other apps much. i have not found out how to get it working in a more natural way in that app.Im hoping a future update will address this. that and the palm rejection is not very good for me. hope that gets tuned more. so i agree, test it yourself.
     

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