In a half lifetime littered with ill-advised impulse purchases, there are few I've regretted as much as my Wacom Inkling. 

The Inkling is a pen and digitizer you clip to any drawing pad to record your sketches. When connected to your computer, the analog drawing is captured. Sounds magical, right? Especially two years ago when I plunked down $200 for it. 

Once it arrived, the magic quickly wore off. Like all Wacom hardware, the Inkling is a premium, well-designed device. But the included Sketch Manager software was terrible, the digitizer missed many lines and the end results were pretty much useless.  

And so the Wacom Inkling went into my closet of obsolete technology to be forgotten...until this morning.  

The Autodesk Sketchbook Pro Facebook feed posted a link to this video produced in June for ImagineFX magazine by Nick Harris. It's the first time since its release that I've spotted the Inkling mentioned as more than a technological curiosity beyond Wacom's product page.

The Inkling's contribution to the workflow in this video is very brief, but it does demonstrate the pen's potential. I really like the idea of developing thumbnails on paper and transferring them to the pc for further refinement. I don't think the Sketch Manager software has been updated beyond version 1.1 released in early 2012, so it remains to be seen if it is compatible with the current versions of Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. And the price has dropped to $99, so Wacom may just be clearing out remaining inventory.

In any event, I'll unpack the Inkling this weekend and give it another go, while also testing its compatibility with Windows 8.1 and the Surface Pro. I'll let you know how it goes soon.

This video by Nick Harris came with a step-by-step Sketchbook Pro and Inkling tutorial, featured in ImagineFX magazine issue 93. 


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AuthorRick Rodriguez