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Wacom is the undisputed leader in making tools that allow freehand art to become digital graphics. However, Wacom tablets don't replicate the same feel as sketching on a pad of paper. After all, pen (or pencil) and paper is more for fluid and portable than a bulky Wacom tablet.

However, with Wacom's new Inkling, digital artists can now have the best of both worlds. Using a pen and a receiver, your penstrokes on any piece of paper can be captured and uploaded to your computer for use with graphics applications like Photoshop or Illustrator.

"Inkling's inspiration comes from a desire to give artistic people the freedom to draw on paper and to provide an easy way to transition the drawings to digital media," said Don Varga, Director of Professional Products at Wacom Technology Services Corp.

Inkling uses a wireless receiver that can be attached to any standard paper or sketchbooks. As you sketch, the receiver captures a likeness of the sketch and stores it digitally. The ballpoint pen uses Wacom's pressure sensing technology to detect how hard the pen is being pressed to the paper while sketching. Sketches can be opened with the included Inkling Sketch Manager software to edit, delete or add layers, but many users will likely export layered files directly to Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator, or even Autodesk Sketchbook Pro. Files can be saved in JPG, BMP, TIFF, PNG, SVG and PDF formats for use with other applications.

According to Varga, "Inkling's support of raster based applications such as Adobe Photoshop, as well as vector based applications such as Adobe Illustrator, will provide users with options for incorporating their preliminary sketches into further developed work."

Inkling will be available in mid-September online at Amazon and the Wacom Store for a $199.  Since it bridges the gap between freehand sketching and digital drawing, Inkling may soon become the perfect companion for digital artists. Get a closer look at Inkling below.


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