Cintiq 21UX and cursor jitter

I see, thanks! I’ll look into it Monday through the dealer first and see if they’ll get a replacement unit and I deal with him. If that won’t work, then I’ll go to Wacom.

I thought I’d do one more test to be sure that I covered all the bases.

Since all my troubleshooting was done on 2 Macintosh computers, a G5 and a Powerbook running OS X 10.4.11, a buddy suggested I try the Cintiq on a Windows machine.

I have a Dell M70 and Alias Studio Tools. So I installed the Wacom driver into the Dell M70 and after some fumbling about, I got the Cintiq to finally light up. Running Alias, I still wasn’t able to draw a smooth straight line along the left and right edges. With the app off, and the stylus held along the left and edge sights, the cursor was doing the same jitter, while it was still in the center area.

I think that about covers it all.

If anyone is still reading this thread, I spoke to Wacom tech support and had some great feedback. I went through a range of questions and tests. Updated the drivers, tried the Cintiq at another house, and I did a full screen drawing of parallel lines 1" apart, horizontally, vertically and diagonally to show how jittery it gets along the edges.

From what they’ve been able to determine, what my CIntiq is doing is within the norm! We eliminated all external influences.

They explained that the edges of the LCD there is a sheetmetal frame. The way the pen works, it needs to receive a signal from the display to help it triangulate it’s position on the screen. So there is a circular area that the pen receives data to help it position itself. As the pen gets close to the edges, that circle is reduced by the sheetmetal frame blocking the signal. So it has less area to receive a signal to triangulate it’s location. So it sort of gets confused. I’m just surprised that when I get within an inch and a half of the edge, it starts to get jittery.

So if anyone here who has a Cintiq, let me know if the cursor gets jittery along the sides. Cyberdemon, how is yours?.

Another thing, calibration is important. One thing he suggested was to touch the crosshairs within the corners. This will get the cursor a bit ahead of the pen tip. This way, when you get close to the edges, the way it works, it sort of still reads towards the center of the screen, so there is more stable area to read from. BUt it still gets jittery as you reach the edges, no mater what.

The majority of the time of course, I’ll be drawing in the center area of the screen, so there is no jitter there.

I have to give a lot of thanks to the Wacom guys. The guys at tech support were really great and responsive to my questions and trying their best to help me determine if my unit was okay and how I could optimize it.

Let me know what you think. Thanks!

Are you drawing your lines slowly?

I just tried again - this time making sure sketchbook was fully maximized to the window and tried it on all edges, but drew my lines slowly instead of fast like normal - and yes I get all kinds of jitter too.

Bottom line - I’ve used this thing for a year and not noticed it till now (thanks! :wink: ). If I draw my lines quick (thats how I sketch) the jitter doesn’t effect those lines. Drawing straight lines also isn’t a big issue since you can either just constrain them horizontally or vertically in sketchbook by holding shift.

I think you just need to get used to it - I’m willing to be this issue exists on every screen. Focus on moving your canvas to the center and drawing there. You shouldn’t need to be living on the inch near the bezel. And since it shouldn’t be so dramatic that you can’t pick your tools I don’t think it’s a big deal.


Thanks for the insight and trying again.

I’ve enclosed an image I did earlier today in Sketchbook Pro. I would estimate the lines were drawn about 1 inch per second. Not fast, sort of on the slow side. The canvas is expanded to the edges. When I draw faster in this region, there is still a bit of wavering in the line. You can see a piece of a sketch I was working on towards the top.

Like you said, I probably need to get used to it. Typical use is focused on sketching towards the center of the screen. And sorry I made you aware of it!


1" per second is pretty darn slow haha. Most of my strokes cover the entire screen in a second. :laughing: Draw fast, and if I don’t like the line I use the touch strips to undo/redo.

I will say though that looking at your lines - mine even drawn slow with a shaky hand aren’t nearly that bad.

If you don’t have parkinsons it definately seems like something is wrong, or towards the bad end of Wacoms tolerances. Most of the lines I drew right at the edge most closely match your 3rd line from the right or so. My jitter is about +/-2, maybe 3 pixels at most at the close edge. It really looks like you’re getting like 4-5 pixels of jitter.

I might try getting in touch with them again…this seems unacceptable.


You inspired me to do another sample. I’ve split and cropped the image to show the left side and right side of the screen.

The image shows some fast and slow lines drawn with a straight edge. Fast is less then a second each, slow is about 1" per second. You can see some cubes and other shapes sketched in to show how they look, all drawn with very quick strokes. One cube within an inch of the left edge and the sphere and cone out beyond 2 inches.

The left side is very jittery, especially the shading on the cube. You can see a consistent waviness of the lines.

So are my fast lines comparable to your fast lines?

Funny thing is, if I rotate the screen so the left side is near the bottom, the jitter almost goes away.

Based on the feedback and explanations I got from the Wacom customer support and tech guy, this is within the normal range. I could send this to them and get their reaction. But I think they’ve taken it as far as they can go for me.

I am left handed. My settings are for a left handed user and I suspect the reason it jitters more on the left then the right is the way it’s calibrated and how the range of the pen’s ability to receive a signal could be reduced more on the left side then the right. Calibration was a factor they explained to me. I know a buddy who just got a 21" and I am going to try to meet up with him and try his out to see first hand how his behaves.

By the way, the dots you see on the left side are me holding the pen still and the jitter drew those marks!



hmm I can see how that can get a bit annoying…I never noticed on mine I’ll have to give it a try tomorrow at work.

for such a high end product you would have thought the would have moved that metal frame a bit further away from the edge of the sensor board, or used a different material.

PS: Can’t you just make your canvas smaller so it doesn’t go all the way to the edge?

Yes, the canvas doesn’t have to go to the edge, nor would I normally draw that close to the edge.

I just started down this path because after I started using the Cintiq, I noticed the jitter of the cursor as I hovered over the tool palette to the far left side when using Painter X and SBP. Then someone asked if the linework is affected by the jitter, and I tried it and it was. So it seemed there could be a problem with my unit.

I’m only a week and a half into ownership, so I am getting used to it still!

Here’s a follow-up to the my cursor jittery issue.

I spoke to the dealer I bought my CIntiq from. He wants me to be happy and he offered to exchange my unit. In the interim, he lent me his demo unit. At that time, he stopped by my studio and tried mine out and could see how jittery it was compared to the demo unit he left me. Definitely a big difference! There is still jitter, but not as bad as my unit. Jitter when I hover the pen above a menu palette along the left edge is half of what mine is. I could definitely be happy with a unit like this one.

And this demo unit was built in 2006. I can’t wait to try the new unit when it arrives!