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November 7, 2017

Wacom’s new Pro Pen 3D looks to draw in artists and creative professionals

by John_A

Wacom, known for its pen tablets and touch-sensitive displays for creatives, has introduced a new pen for creative professionals, particularly those working within 3D applications. The aptly named Pro Pen 3D does away with the eraser found on older pens in favor of a third button on the grip. The default behavior allows 3D artists to easily tumble or rotate objects while they’re working on them, without having to put down the pen or reach for the keyboard.

It may seem like a simple change, but the Pro Pen 3D is a direct response to customer requests for a three-button stylus. Wacom says it is designed to work in popular 3D applications like Pixelogic ZBrush and Autodesk Maya. Digital Trends was given a sneak peek of the new stylus at Adobe Max earlier this year, where Wacom demonstrated how it can improve 3D workflow by providing a more seamless and natural way to manipulate on-screen objects.

One potentially unfortunate change is the loss of the eraser, which allowed digital illustrators to flip the stylus over just like a pencil to undo brush strokes. As Wacom explained to us, however, its customers have simply stopped using the eraser. While the act of turning the pencil over in one’s hand was a natural analog for traditional artists, those familiar with working digitally found it unnecessarily cumbersome compared to simply hitting a keystroke to toggle the eraser tool while keeping the pen tip on the tablet.

Fortunately, all of the buttons on the Pro Pen 3D are fully customizable through Wacom’s driver, which means the stylus isn’t limited to 3D applications. If they really need it, users can easily program the third button to switch to the eraser tool in their favorite applications, like Adobe Photoshop.

Other than the new button and a sleeker appearance thanks to a slimmed-down aluminum barrel and the removal of the eraser, the Pro Pen 3D is essentially the same on the inside as the Pro Pen 2 before it. The pen tip features the same 8,192 levels of pressure sensitivity for very precise control. It sells for $99 and is available now directly from Wacom.

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