Pixar Tests iPad Pro: “Perfect Palm Rejection”

Can the iPad Pro really replace pen and paper for aspiring and established artists? The answer seems to be yes, according to Pixar.

Apple visited its narrative animation powerhouse yesterday, bringing in a dozen or so iPad Pro tablets, each with Apple’s newest stylus, the Pen.

Studios like Pixar are known for demanding high quality from their tools, and often work with tech companies to help create or provide feedback on new products specifically to fill their niche (for example, the partnership between Dreamworks and HP has resulted in gorgeous DreamColor displays). ).

As such, it’s not uncommon to see unreleased products tested in the wild, particularly by Apple, a company known for both its support of the creative industry and its marketing skills.

Unsurprisingly, once you start playing with unreleased Apple products, you want to post about it on all your social media profiles, and Pixar employees are no different. Artists’ streams yesterday were lit up with pictures and videos of the new devices, and people liked it. Michael B. JohnsonHeading the division at Pixar responsible for creating the tools his artists use to surprise us in cinema, he found himself answering a series of questions from excited Apple fans and tech bloggers.

According to Johnson and his compatriots, the iPad Pro features “perfect palm rejection,” an essential consideration for serious artists looking to replace their existing sketchbook. Palm rejection is the ability of a device to ignore accidental input in favor of what the user is actually trying to achieve – it gets its name from the fact that your palm rests on the touchscreen when writing or drawing with a pen, discarding input.

Contrary to what you might think, this type of technology is not new, even when it comes to the iPad. Apple has had to work on accidentally ignoring touchscreen activation since the launch of the first iPad Air, where the bezel size has been drastically reduced (meaning you have to hold the tablet by touching the screen) and at least one app maker has used it. placed in shipping products.

Still, even the best palm rejection tends to be a little flaky, so it’s both meaningful and exciting that Pixar artists are so impressed with the technology on the iPad Pro.

Overall, Johnson seemed both pleased and excited about the new technology:

He was not alone in this assessment. Pixar artist Don Shank also played some games with the new tablet; When asked if it felt more like a toy or a tool that a professional artist could use, he was “definitely” in favor of classifying it as a professional tool.

I played some games on an iPad Pro today. So much fun! I can’t wait until November.

a post shared by Don Shank (@donshank) on

Michael Yates, Story Artist at Pixar, posted a short video of him drawing on the iPad Pro. He said Apple’s Pencil, the Pencil, was “pretty great,” and compared the tool favorably to one of Wacom’s Cintiq drawing tablets. When asked if the tool could replace Cintiq in a user’s workflow, he seemed unsure, but “wasn’t sure how to deal with it.” [photoshop] yet.”

I have to try the apple pencil.

a post shared by Michael Yates on (@yyates05)

This seems to reflect many of the sentiments expressed in the industry – people are excited about the opportunities the iPad Pro offers, but there is a lot of uncertainty as it requires software developers to build the necessary tools.

When it comes to consumers, the iPad Pro’s competition can mostly be found in Android tablets, some 2-in-1 PCs and smaller iPads. But for many pros, the competition will be between the iPad Pro, Wacom Cintiq and Microsoft’s highly capable Surface Pro lineup.

Where Cintiq (and Surface) stands out is that it offers access to all the tools a user could want on their regular desktop. You can draw directly in Photoshop. Where the iPad excels over the Cintiq is tighter OS X integration (a key consideration for many artists), a higher resolution display and its lamination – eliminating the air gap between the touch glass and the screen, parallax effect Between the tip of the pen and the drawing.

Still, the reaction and all the news it produces bodes well for Apple and the iPad Pro. iPad sales are falling year-over-year, and Apple could use the boost from the launch of a new category to boost declining sales and offer an alternative to the lukewarm reception of the MacBook with Retina display.

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