Yesterday TZ published a review for Smith Micro’s new version of their animation software, Moho — and on that same day, Microsoft revealed their big entry into the professional digital artist market, the Surface Studio. Best described as a Wacom Cintiq merged with a PC, it’s a giant 28″ screen that folds down from a display into a touchscreen, and contains a complete desktop computer inside.
It works with a new accessory called the Surface Dial, which serves the function of a mouse but is designed primarily for artists. You stick it on the Surface Studio screen and by turning it you can rotate a color wheel, or zoom into a drawing, or rapidly shuffle through layers. Now that the Cintiq finally has competition, the market should start getting interesting for artists.
Today Smith Micro announced Moho 12 will be optimized to work with the Surface Studio and even sport some features exclusive to it. When they meet, you’ll be able to do this…
- Overlay Timeline: Users can navigate in time and animate using the entire screen
- Rigged Characters: Users can easily select frames within the timeline where new animation can be added to rigged characters
- Rotating Canvas: Users can rotate the canvas by turning the dial left or right, making free-hand drawing easier by changing the canvas orientation up to 360 degrees
- Frame-by-Frame Animation: Users can quickly add new frames with a double-click and can draw on a sequence of still frames
This is all assuming you have the $3000 required to buy the Surface Studio and the extra money for Moho 12. However, the equivalent of all that equipment exists in the market today (Cintiq, a desktop computer, and Moho) and would run the same amount of cash if not more, so it’s actually a competitive price for this kind of thing.
Moho 12 is available today; the Surface Studio has no announced release date but preorders will be open soon.