Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Do-It-Yourself Cintiq Display

I have to look in to building a dedicated digital puppetry workstation for work which has me thinking about all sorts of possibilities for controllers and input devices. One thing I would absolutely love to incorporate is a Cintiq. If you aren't familiar with these, Cintiqs are hybrid monitors/graphics tablets that allow you to "draw" on a screen and interact with a computer using a stylus. I think this is a much more elegant interface for a production environment than having puppeteers fiddle with a keyboard and mouse while they are putting together a performance. There's only one problem - money. The Cintiq costs about $2,500 US which is a difficult cost to justify for a somewhat unnecessary (albeit very nice) peripheral.

Luckily, the underlying technology in the Cintiq isn't new or terribly expensive, you just have to know how to put it together and of course some enterprising artist has already built their own Cintiq for roughly $150 US. The preceding link goes to their build log and you can watch a video of it in action above. It looks pretty nice!

This is slightly beyond my current level of electronics experience, but I just may try building one as an experiment if I can round up the necessary parts.

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