Disney animators test Apple's iPad Pro, reveal screen has roughed surface for drawing

Posted:
in iPad edited October 2015
A week after Apple offered Pixar staff an early look at the new iPad Pro with Apple Pencil, the company let animators at Walt Disney's Feature Animation studio take its upcoming tablet for a spin. Interestingly, the artists commented that the device's screen surface has "tooth," or textured roughness, to augment drawing feel.


Source: Paul Hildebrandt via Twitter


As seen in the photos above, Apple's visit was documented by Disney's senior software engineer Paul Hildebrandt in a series of tweets on Tuesday, while others chose to conduct live drawing demonstrations via Periscope.

Using iPad Pro's 12.9-inch workspace, in conjunction with the pressure and position sensing Apple Pencil, animators like Paul Felix recreated classic Disney characters like Mickey Mouse and Olaf from "Frozen." A Periscope cast by Jeff Ranjo was perhaps most interesting as the video reveals iPad Pro's screen has a slight "tooth" to it, allowing for a bit of tactile feedback while drawing with Pencil. It is unclear if the screen design is part of the shipping product, as Apple has not officially discussed the reported tweak.

From offscreen, Ranjo says he spoke with Apple engineers about iPad Pro's creative capabilities who noted the tablet's surface is not as rough as comparable pen-and-tablet solutions offered by Wacom. With the slight change, Apple is looking to offer better picture clarity than competing products, Ranjo says. Apple staff also commented on Pencil's pressure sensitivity, saying the device is not tuned to mimic the response of Wacom's stylus technology, but stand alone as its own optimized system.

Overall, Disney's animators seemed impressed with what Apple accomplished in iPad Pro, especially paired with Apple Pencil. Many compliments echoed sentiment from Apple's visit to Pixar, with staff commenting on how well features like palm rejection technology were implemented.

Apple's iPad Pro is set to debut in November. While Apple has yet to set an official street date, the latest rumor out of China claims the tablet will debut in the first week of the month.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 69
    cornchipcornchip Posts: 731member

    This is incredible news.

  • Reply 2 of 69
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 26,168member

    Oh boy. This is looking better and better!

  • Reply 3 of 69
    cpsrocpsro Posts: 2,172member

    I'm wondering if the "tooth" doesn't mainly derive from the Pencil's nib, and not from any substantive change to the display surface, as Apple will be selling replacement nibs for it.

  • Reply 4 of 69
    cornchipcornchip Posts: 731member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Cpsro View Post

     

    I'm wondering if the "tooth" doesn't mainly derive from the Pencil's nib, and not from any substantive change to the display surface, as Apple will be selling replacement nibs for it.


     

    What I read:

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post



    From offscreen, Ranjo says he spoke with Apple engineers about iPad Pro's creative capabilities who noted the tablet's surface is not as rough as comparable pen-and-tablet solutions offered by Wacom. With the slight change, Apple is looking to offer better picture clarity than competing products, Ranjo says.

     

    My understanding: iPad Pro has some texture to it, but not as much as what Wacom's solutions have. Maybe I'm reading too much into it?

  • Reply 5 of 69
    nagrommenagromme Posts: 2,834member
    The nib might be replaceable just because it's a heavy-wear part. But I feel like I read something a while ago that the "texture" sensation is from the nib material rather than the surface. (Can't remember where, sorry.)

    Sounds like interesting engineering, whatever it is, considering that the screen still looks crisp and clear, unlike a Cintiq!
  • Reply 6 of 69
    milkmagemilkmage Posts: 151member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Cpsro View Post

     

    I'm wondering if the "tooth" doesn't mainly derive from the Pencil's nib, and not from any substantive change to the display surface, as Apple will be selling replacement nibs for it.


    so.. penny on the washing board makes a noise.. just like pen on screen

     

    washing board is the texture.. not the penny.

     

    how would they put the texture on the penny?

     

    wacom has extra nibs too - that @ $10 for a 10 isn't meant to address wear and tear.

    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1002082-REG/wacom_ack20006_intuos_4_art_pen.html

  • Reply 7 of 69
    I think this could be a big seller. My wife -- a piano teacher -- is excited about the large size for displaying full-size sheet music.
  • Reply 8 of 69
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 26,168member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Slprescott View Post



    I think this could be a big seller. My wife -- a piano teacher -- is excited about the large size for displaying full-size sheet music.



    That extra screen size should be quite nice.

  • Reply 9 of 69
    This is a must buy. My girlfriend can't wait to get this for her art projects.
  • Reply 10 of 69

    I will most definitely try out the iPad Pro, with Apple Pencil for use to markup P&IDs. I tried it with my iPad Air with a Wacom Bamboo 3 stylus, and it just still didn't feel right, with palm rejection still feeling imperfect. And 9.7" screen size is still not equivalent to an A4 size paper, let alone an A3.

     

    I'm sure the 12.9" for the iPad Pro will now be just the right size for me to use it at work. Can't wait to try it out.

  • Reply 11 of 69
    Can't wait for this to be released. Getting the kids one for Christmas, but I think one's going to find its way under the tree with my name on it.
  • Reply 12 of 69
    A lot is being said today in the tech news about Microsoft's product reveals, the jokes made about Apple's Pencil, how they are comparing their products to Apple products.

    I look though at where Apple is testing iPad Pro and it seems clear to me that they are not intending it to be a Surface-like device. That product is the Macbook.

    Looking forward to seeing what is achieved with the iPad Pro
  • Reply 13 of 69
    jm6032jm6032 Posts: 146member
    slprescott wrote: »
    I think this could be a big seller. My wife -- a piano teacher -- is excited about the large size for displaying full-size sheet music.

    Yes. My wife leads a string ensemble. Years ago we looked at iPads as electronic music books. The software and hardware was available, but the screen was too small. We will look again. Also, the screen must be bright enough to read outdoors.
  • Reply 14 of 69
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 29,087member
    My daughter and I are so stoked over this, it's hard to wait. She's a pro photographer and editor, and I used to do that professionally.

    If this works as well as it looks to, it will be great. Having the equivalent of a Wacom built into a lightweight computer is a really useful tool. No longer needing to carry both a notebook and a Wacom is a liberating feeling, or will be. I'd love to see Adobe enhance their apps even more for this. The new Lightroom app for iOS is great, but doesn't include some things. The lack of a noise reduction tool is the biggest lack right now, and one I don't understand.

    Next year, I'd like to see this with 6GB RAM, and a max of 256GB storage.

    Also, since Apple doesn't offer a place for the Pencil, I'd like to see a clip for a pocket. Some of my styluses fall out if I bend over.
  • Reply 15 of 69
    My concern now is how thick the glass is from the display itself.

    When trying to draw on an iPad using Wacom's Intuos 2, I found it hard to draw since the area where the pen nib touches the glass surface and the actual screen where the "paint" applies has a significant offset between them.

    It would also help if there would be a 'cursor' that hovers over where the paint will actually draw on the surface even before the nib touches the glass, similar to what Samsung's Galaxy Note does.

    If they do any of the above and apply it to the smaller iPads (like the regular iPad Air), then I'd absolutely buy it.

    For now, the iPad Pro is too big and would probably be too heavy for me to keep carrying around.
  • Reply 16 of 69
    melgross wrote: »
    Next year, I'd like to see this with 6GB RAM, and a max of 256GB storage.

    I agree with this. Much as I like the currently expected one, given that it'll set me back well over $1000, I think I am going to wait for V2 with the hope it'll have a faster processor and 256GB. That'll get pretty close to making it a substitute for my laptop for a lot of my daily use needs.
  • Reply 17 of 69
    solipsismysolipsismy Posts: 5,099member
    melgross wrote: »
    Next year, I'd like to see this with 6GB RAM, and a max of 256GB storage.

    You think going to 6GiB next year, as opposed to staying at 4GiB or going to 8GiB, is the most likely scenario?
    Also, since Apple doesn't offer a place for the Pencil, I'd like to see a clip for a pocket. Some of my styluses fall out if I bend over.

    I can see a couple Kickstarter programs for both Pencil and Siri Remote. Each could use the Lightning port as an adapter with a magnetic element. For Pencil, a pocket clip, perhaps one with a small battery pack if that's issue, or a way too have it clip securely against the 3 magnetic pins on the one long edge of the iPad Pro (assuming one doesn't need the keyboard cover, or even just a cover with a holder for the Pencil. For the Siri Remote, a small Lightning plus with a flat base that goes under the backside of the remote for inductive charging so you can lay it down on a small pad when not in use, perhaps even on-top of the Apple TV, assuming the USB-C diagnostic port does supply power out.
  • Reply 18 of 69
    boredumbboredumb Posts: 1,335member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Cpsro View Post

     

    I'm wondering if the "tooth" doesn't mainly derive from the Pencil's nib, and not from any substantive change to the display surface, as Apple will be selling replacement nibs for it.


    A characteristic of Force Touch & the pencil, rather than texture, perhaps?

  • Reply 19 of 69
    solipsismysolipsismy Posts: 5,099member
    boredumb wrote: »
    A characteristic of Force Touch & the pencil, rather than texture, perhaps?

    I don't think the iPad Pro has the the Force Touch/3D Touch display layer, just a digitizer.
  • Reply 20 of 69
    rcfarcfa Posts: 667member
    milkmage wrote: »
    cpsro wrote: »
     
    I'm wondering if the "tooth" doesn't mainly derive from the Pencil's nib, and not from any substantive change to the display surface, as Apple will be selling replacement nibs for it.
    so.. penny on the washing board makes a noise.. just like pen on screen

    washing board is the texture.. not the penny.

    how would they put the texture on the penny?

    wacom has extra nibs too - that @ $10 for a 10 isn't meant to address wear and tear.
    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1002082-REG/wacom_ack20006_intuos_4_art_pen.html

    As we know at least since Einstein, motion is relative.
    So which surface moves is just a matter of the observer's perspective.
    If two surfaces move against each other is thus irrelevant which one has the texture.
    On the other hand: if one surface is perfectly smooth, then the texture on the other has nothing to grab onto, lest it actually scratches the other surface (think rubber tires on ice vs tires with spikes)
    So likely the glass has some texture onto which either a relatively soft or textured pen tip can bite.
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