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Thread: Modlock- for Tablet PC's

  1. #1
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    Modlock- for Tablet PC's

    Here's a handy little freeware utility I found for use with Tablet PC's
    Modlock

    It's a floating horizontal/vertical button array of your modifier keys and works with all your applications. In the attached image you can see it to the right of my menu bar in Artrage on the Asus eee ep121 tablet.

    The modifier keys can be set to timeout or can just be used as an on/off toggle.
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Last edited by Juz; 07-29-2011 at 07:39 AM.
    "I paint because I love to cut mats" (Arthur Alexander)

  2. #2
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    hey that's pretty spiffy! that is a great find.

    oh I would so miss having my wacom pen programmed to hold down the option key/ click. and float over the canvas and sample colors wherever and whenever you release the mouse click... that I would miss.

    and also have it programmed on the top click to shift key to change brush size on the fly.
    that I would miss also.

    I look forward to a reasonably priced full portable computer tablet with built in wacom on the screen. the future will come. it is close I think.
    Last edited by screenpainter; 07-29-2011 at 11:39 AM.

  3. #3
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    Well, you can get a used convertible tablet for 500-750$ easy nowadays on ebay (Lenovo x200t, HP 2730p, Fujitsu 5010, etc)-- quite powerful core2duo, up to 4-8gb ram, great 12.1" screens with good viewing angles, full wacom 512 levels of pressure, one or two programmable-button pens, just like a normal Wacom pen. It's all I use currently, and it runs Artrage like a dream. Even better now that's it's multi-thread capable. I can whip the watercolor brushes up to 500 and paint away with little in the way of lag. About the same price as a typical good laptop. Some come refurbished too, from certified sellers. Others come from individuals. That's how I got mine. I always feel like I'm spreading the gospel, but if you're a little tech savvy they're awesome, IMO.

    Modlock is great for that because I don't have a keyboard available when using Artrage, so shortcuts are harder. There are some onscreen programmable buttons, but modlock might be easier. ???

    I've also been thinking about trying Stroke It, a gesture-based program (much like the "flicks" you can use in Win7, or the "All In One Gestures" addon for Mozilla) where you program certain key combinations to be activated when you "wave" you stylus above the screen in certain ways (while still close enough for the digitizer to read your pen movements), while pushing one of the buttons. For example, in a circle, or up and down, with the 2ndary button pushed, that sort of thing.

    Has anyone tried this?

    edit: My mistake re: pressure sensitivity. The tablet pc's are only 256.

    Although, honestly, I find it totally reasonable to paint with. "Reasonable" sounds like I'm having to compromise though. It should be more like "The final product looks just as good as if I had 1024 levels." Some people find it seems like a major setback, others say there is a slight difference in feel but that it's overstated, as the final product looks the same either way.
    Last edited by Steve B; 08-06-2011 at 02:17 AM.

  4. #4
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    thanks Steve. have been looking at older ones too. which one do you use? after looking around the asus ep 121 is a pretty good deal alright. not sure if I want to lug around a keyboard because of the additional weight.
    Last edited by screenpainter; 07-30-2011 at 04:26 AM.

  5. #5
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    I use a Lenovo x200t. There are a host of other really good laptops-- other Lenovo's, Fujitsu's, and HP's being the best. TabletPc Review is a really good website to go and do research on if you're thinking of getting one. They're very helpful.

    Re: slates versus convertible tablets-
    The real question is "How often are you going to be using the computer, and for what purposes?" The Asus is a pretty good computer (for 1000$), but if it's going to be something you plan on using a lot for things other than art, IMO a keyboard becomes pretty essential. If you're going to use it's portfolio cover as well, then it's not appreciably lighter than the Lenovo x200t or the Hp2730 (perhaps 1 lb lighter). If you're going to generally use it indoors and not be carrying it around in it's portfolio case, and are really mostly using it for art (kind of like a cintiq) then I think the slate format really is a good one. If you're concerned about thickness, it's about 3/4" thick I think. The convertible tablets are about 1 1/4" thick. So, there is a legitimate difference, but not a HUGE one (atleast not IMO).

    As you can see, I love the convertible tablets. I actually had a Motion Computing le1700 slate, which is also a pretty good older slate (core2duo), but it ran pretty hot for my tastes, I missed the keyboard, and it didn't have good enough battery life. The Asus is clearly a better computer than that, but it has some similar issues with battery life (maxes out around 3 hours of usage, 1.5 hrs of heavy photoshop usage).

    The slates are more expensive, because you're basically paying for the form factor-- they're slim and very sexy, ergonomically a nice fit for a hand, etc. The used convertibles run much cheaper, and have longer battery life, but are about 1-1.5 lbs heavier and 1/2" thicker. The guts inside are the same though. The Asus ep121 does have a really, really nice screen, I'll give it that. Which is nothing to sneeze at. And if you find the ease of the form factor important enough, it's a really good computer. If battery life, price, or an attached keyboard for general usage are more important, than I'd go for a convertible.

    Either way, I think they're all very capable of running Artrage and a host of other art programs very well. I love drawing on mine.

  6. #6
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    Thanks for all the information. It is appreciated. One other thing to consider is that the apps are a lot cheaper on the slates. Granted they may not be as developed as their computer counterparts, but still very reasonable. 7.99 for instance and on special during comic con for $1.00 was it?

  7. #7
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    I suppose that's true, but I thought it was only on the slates like an Ipad or one of the ones using an Android platform. Most people get the Asus 121 because you can run Win7 on it. That's one of the major selling points for it. If you're running Win7, I don't think you can just buy it as an app. I think you have to use the full version-- besides which, the 121 comes with a full Wacom pressure sensitive pen, like all of the convertible tablets do. The app is, I think, designed for painting with your fingers or a blunt stylus. I also didn't think they were designed for Win7, but I don't actually know that. We'd need an Artrage rep to clear that up.

  8. #8
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    That's right regarding the EP121, it runs Windows 7 and so you need the Windows version of ArtRage, the iTunes ArtRage app will only run on iOS. However, the EP121 comes with ArtRage Studio, so you get that right away as part of the package and can use the serial number ( Help -> Change Serial Number will allow you to view it ) to register on the Member Area and upgrade to Studio pro at a discount if you choose to. Alternatively, if you already have a Studio pro license, you can download the installer from the Member Area and install it on your EP121.

    The iPad app is designed for using a standard iPad stylus or fingers. You can see a featurecomparison chart for the different versions here: http://www2.ambientdesign.com/files/...comparison.pdf
    Dave
    Resident Bug-Hunter
    Ambient Design

  9. #9
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    Ok, I tried out Modlock last night, and after a few hiccups (running it as an Admin in Win7 to be able to set all the settings in the Options button), I've gotta say...... THIS THING IS AWWWWWWWESOMELY USEFUL for a tablet pc user.

    I'm all about making art while sitting at the breakfast table, so I love the portability of my x200t, but a keyboard would be nice sometimes. This program allows me to paint, say, 50-75% of the time in Artrage in full-window mode without menus anywhere. You can set up modifier buttons to be automatically released after a set amount of time, you can right click them to make them stay "on" instead of having a timed release, and you can set up up to 3 or 4 extra buttons, which can also be special key combinations. You can increase the size of the buttons, their opacity, as well as where you want it to float, and you can make them vertical or horizontal as well. Plus, many buttons function differently if you're touching the screen while it's pressed, versus right-clicking while floating. For example,

    Alt = eyedropper tool
    Alt + floating right click= rotate canvas
    Ctrl= a straight line in any direction or angle
    Shift= change tool size
    Shift + floating right click= change canvas magnification

    With Ctrl Z already programmed to an onscreen button, I can't think of much else I'd like.

    This is very very very useful for a tablet pc user. Awesomely cool.

    I also have to say it makes Painter about a million times easier to use, as it has something like 843 menus and palettes which clog up the screen, with 79 drop-down menus to use. Key shortcuts are practically essential for that program. Artrage has always been very tablet friendly, but this program just makes it even more so. It just..... changed the way I work.

    ::bow down to the man who made this program and distributes it for free::

    Holy crud, thanks Juz. I've known about this program for a while, but seeing you run it made me download it and try it. I am forever thankful.
    Last edited by Steve B; 08-06-2011 at 02:51 AM.

  10. #10
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    Your most welcome Steve, glad you find it as useful as I do

    One thing about the Asus worth mentioning is the fact that it contains a Solid State Drive (SSD), which accounts for a lot of its cost. I don't think the speed difference between a SSD drive and a electromechanical HDD drive can be overstated enough. Especially concerning booting into windows (12 secs from a cold start), booting applications in general and reading and writing files. Programs that use a lot of vitual memory (swap disk) like artrage and photoshop run so much faster, due to the fact that there are no moving parts on a SSD and they have substantially lower seek time.

    Heres a comparison between SSD drives and HDD drives
    http://elitepcbuilding.com/ssd-vs-hdd

    If you plug SSD vs HDD into youtube you can see comparisons of the same machine other than the drive being tested in all sorts of situations (boot time, gaming, art) on both mac and PC platforms.
    Last edited by Juz; 08-07-2011 at 08:16 PM.
    "I paint because I love to cut mats" (Arthur Alexander)

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