What are the devices people recommend if you want to be an Animator? Some may say you should get a particular Computer with a big Cintiq, others may say to get a heavy duty Laptop. I chose to get a Samsung Tab S6 to animate my Original Series, Color Me Geeky. I think I know what some of you are thinking right about now.
“A tablet!? Why a tablet!? You animate on that!? No way!?”
You may not be thinking it but I’ve gotten responses similar to that throughout my year with this device. I am hear to clear the air on why I recommend the Samsung Tab Series to animators. That goes for 2D, 3D and stop motion. Some disclaimers, I won’t go full in depth on 3D or stop motion because I am a 2D Animator. I know that 3D and stop motion is possible but may be limited on certain aspects, but possible. I will be mostly going over frame by frame 2D Animation. That’s what I do to make my animations week after week. I am also not certain on 2D Flash animation on the device but I have heard there are apps out there. Okay, without further ado, let’s get started.
In my opinion, from some observation since 2019, many people who were IPad users didn’t see the Samsung Tab series as anything but a weaker version. Let me give you all some context. Thanks to my big brother, he showed me the potential of these Samsung Tab devices. He showed me that you can draw very Detailed on these devices. Fast forward a little later, the IPad was rising in popularity due to the Apple Pencil. Ever since then, what have you all seen, YouTubers, Tech reviewers, bloggers have praised the Apple IPad with the Apple Pencil as the alternative for all things art related. When Procreate gained more popularity and updates, like the animation update, many people started to push the IPad even more further. What’s the problem? Well, people were ignoring other tablet form factor devices. When people were to review devices like the Samsung Tab Series, they would just say something like,
“The drawing is good, the S Pen is good, but the Android ecosystem doesn’t have many art options.”
All I can say to these people is that they haven’t ventured enough. I am going to give you all my review on the device as an Animator. Talk about the S Pen, the app I use to Animate, comfort, mobility and more. Sit back and relax because this is my in depth review on the Samsung Tab S6.
Let me say this first, the Android ecosystem has many apps for animators. Not just beginners, but also for seasoned professionals as well. I Flipaclip Premium is what I use. People get confused on the versions. Flipaclip Premium is the full bundle. So your getting all of the features that the app has to offer. Though you can also just use the free version. You have Rough Animator, Animation Desk, Clip Studio Paint, Pixel Studio, there are much more. Some of them are free, some have subscriptions, but you have a lot to choose from. Like I said earlier, I use Flipaclip Premium and it’s buttery smooth. I can be scrolling through over 1000 frames and it wouldn’t even chug. People kept talking about IPad being buttery smooth but the Tab S6 is also very fast. You can imagine the smoothness on the Samsung Tab S7 or the Tab S7 Plus. Your in good hands.
I heard from people comparing the S Pen to the Apple Pencil that the former is a lot more precise than the latter. Mostly because the Apple Pencil nib is very big compared to the S Pen. The S Pen is a lot more thinner so you can get more lean lines. A good comparison is like a
marker versus a pen. You can draw with a marker but it may be a little difficult to do thin lines because of the size of the tip. I never held or used an Apple Pencil but seeing countless videos and reading a ton of reviews, there’s truth to it. Using the S Pen has been very smooth and comfortable.
The shape of the S Pen is a more unique compared to the S Pens on future models. It is more like an oval shape. People have claimed that it feels uncomfortable. The S Pens for the Tab S6 Lite and the Tab S7 are shaped like your usual writing utensil. However, the S Pen for the Tab S6 isn’t as uncomfortable as what people say on their reviews. Let me say, people will have different opinions but for me, it didn’t feel any cramps or pain. In that first month, I would feel very minimal soreness but at times I felt like it was because the way I was sitting than the stylus itself. I Even though I would recommend people get the Tab S7 because the Tab S6 is discontinued, the S Pens shape did not bother me at all while I was animating or drawing.
I wanted to spend a few paragraphs on the S Pen because I know this is one of the more controversial things when it comes to Samsung Tab S6 users. This time, I want to get a little more controversial, let’s talk about animating on the Samsung Tab S6. Why this is controversial? Well, if you ask other animators on social media what device is good for animating, you may get a few responses. One big response is what I said early on of this blog, big Cintiq with a desktop computer with multiple monitors.
Another response would be a desktop computer with one big or medium size Cintiq. Another choice for budget buyers would be a Graphic tablet with a computer. However, one choice that’s been growing lately more than ever is an IPad with the Apple Pencil. However, why aren’t much people talking about the Galaxy Tab series? There are a few but there aren’t enough. The Tab Series is just as much of an animation device than any other. Shout out to an artist on YouTube that says it better than I can. Link to Art Face’s video here, https://youtu.be/eDY2btHW3r4 .
Yet another controversial thing, I use Flipaclip to animate, more specifically, Flipaclip Premium. Many animators would recommend you use Toon Boom, Clip Studio Paint, but Flipaclip to many animators is considered a “beginner” Animation app. Let me tell you all something that I believe in, any app can be useful. Skill is ultimately what decides many things. You are the animator, not the device, not the software, you are. You can use any animation app, you will bring out whatever greatness it has. The software can hinder you, but for 2D animation, your skills are in your drawings. Whether you know the fundamentals of animation, timing, squash and stretch etc. You don’t need an app with over 1000 features to become a great animator, that’s where Flipaclip comes in.
Before Flipaclip, I’ve animated on Flipnote
(link here to my Flipnote blog post, https://andianimations.com/2021/09/28/flipnote-my-first-animation-app/ ) , after that, on Pencil2D. Trust me, I’ll make a blog post on it in the future. What all these apps have in common you may ask? Well, they all don’t have any Flash Animation perks like rigging or symbols. You only frame by frame animate. I personally call it, old school combines with new school. You have the perks of the digital age with undo, redo, lasso tool, copy, paste with the techniques of the legends with drawing characters, objects, settings, frame by frame creating the illusion of motion. Using Flipaclip with the Tab S6 makes for a smooth experience. People would say why not make it easy on yourself? Animating frame by frame makes my animations move uniquely compared to any flash software. I have full control with moving characters and objects compared to rigging them in a Toon Boom or something. Researching this app the first time, I knew, this will be a good companion with my device.
After I gave all of you that context, using the Tab S6 with Flipaclip is so smooth. I have animated 1000 plus frames at the least for each Color Me Geeky Episode Part and there is no delay when it comes to animating. The Tab S6 has adequate amount of ram to handle the app flawlessly. Drawing is so buttery smooth. There is no delay at all. One final point I can say with the Tab S6 is animating when ever. You can long animations where ever. Animating Color Me Geeky throughout where ever I go is a huge plus. Different from when I animated on Pencil2D using a computer with a graphic tablet. It’s like animating on a Windows Laptop wherever. Cause Android has a lot of customization, you can animate your way.
Unlike Apple devices, Samsung Tab series has expandable memory. If you run out of space, no worries, you add more using a SD card. The device has been very good with heat as well. There has only been one time when the device felt a tiny bit warm on the back and that was when I animated for almost the whole day. Battery also lasts for more than a whole day. Flipaclip does take quite a bit of battery but not by much. You will still have a days worth of battery to animate with. There aren’t many downsides to the Tab S6. Oh, did I forget to talk about the price. It costed me over 800 dollars for the device. All the Samsung Tab devices come with the S Pen built in so you don’t have to pay extra for it unlike the IPad. It is almost perfect to my workflow. It was definitely an amazing purchase that I don’t regret at all.
To finalize my thoughts, I made this blog to say that there are alternatives to the IPad. Alternatives that do things just as if not better than the IPad. People have given IPad the past because of Procreate’s animation section and how varied the Apple Store is compared to the Google Play Store. Now more than ever, there are a ton of apps on the Google Play Store if you want to animate on it seriously. I believe I said this earlier but if you want a Samsung Tab device I recommend the Tab S7 or Tab S7 Plus. If your on a budget, I definitely recommend the Tab S6 Lite. Tab S6 is now discontinued so I highly recommend the devices I said earlier. This blog is mostly for the people who’ve said the Samsung Tab S6 is not a good choice for artist. I recommend these devices not just to artists, but Animators as well. There will be more blogs in the future giving updates on my experience with my Tab S6. I thank my Big Brother for showing me the Samsung Tab series. It was a great investment, I don’t regret it. I guess, to end it. It’s the animator, not the device or software. So, where ever your animating on, as long as your making animations your happy about, then you do you. You shouldn’t judge someone’s animation skills based on the device or app their using. There is a lot more to animation than the tech your using. The fundamentals are much more important.