Author Topic: Yet another.... tablet thread  (Read 3067 times)

InCreator

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Yet another.... tablet thread
« on: 14 Sep 2010, 10:12 »
I want one.

Should I buy one?
----------------

That was my whole point in 2 sentences.
But really, I do want one but I haven't used one and not quite sure is it worth it.
Will it get daily usage or act as expensive dust collector?

So, if you have one, tell me which case is yours?
Please dont' give me "it depends....blah blah" replies. A quick search in Critics Lounge shows clearly what I do, and how I draw.
I'm drawing something about 3-4 times a week. Enough to justify Photoshop installation. And I want to become an awesome 2D artist.
So be down-to-earth-honest.

Also, how important is the size? Wacoms are either really tiny, or really expensive.
Is there noticeable difference between A4 and A5, for example? It's half the size  I know, but does it matter somehow?
Also, is name of Wacom foolproof quality guarantee or it varies greatly by models also?
« Last Edit: 14 Sep 2010, 10:16 by InCreator »

juncmodule

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Re: Yet another.... tablet thread
« Reply #1 on: 14 Sep 2010, 11:29 »
Well...it depends...

j/k

You are trying to buy a tablet at the worst time possible. Every vendor under the sun is about ready to start a mad rush to sell these things. I say give it 6 more months to a year. You will have a choice with lots of reviews discussing quality for price. Not to mention artists that might recommend one over another. The iPad will benefit this market a great deal. Ideally, you would want to wait for the second generation iPad and see what kind of responses other companies have come out with. That way the market will be well established.

later,
-junc

Snarky

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Re: Yet another.... tablet thread
« Reply #2 on: 14 Sep 2010, 12:00 »
There's a big difference between a Wacom-style drawing tablet and an iPad-style tablet computer, juncmodule. InCreator was asking about the former.

I say go for it. If you draw 3-4 times a week you'll definitely get enough use out of it, and after you learn how to use it it really does make computer drawing more natural.

Khris

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Re: Yet another.... tablet thread
« Reply #3 on: 14 Sep 2010, 12:23 »
My limited experience with tablets and with drawing on a table pc should justify two cents:

You'll only use it if you've already created art using a pencil or brushes. The only reason for getting a tablet is overcoming the difference in swinging a brush or pen (with your wrist) and moving a mouse (with your arm/fingers).

A5 should be sufficient big time; by default the whole screen is mapped to the whole table surface (though you can change that), and A5 is usually way more than is covered by mouse movement.

If you can test one before buying it, by all means, do. If you can't get a cheap one with a sufficient pressure sensitivity (256 should be more than enough). If you really find yourself using it all the time, you can always buy a more expensive/bigger one later.

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Re: Yet another.... tablet thread
« Reply #4 on: 14 Sep 2010, 12:26 »
Just a little rant.

I have an A5 Wacom (like this one) and it's, well, tiny. Although you may map the tablet to only part of the screen. Also there are two buttons on the pen which are next to impossible to press. I think they too can be mapped to do stuff you may want to do with them via its driver. But then again, they are next to impossible to press, and I think they work only when the pen is near the tablet, so I barely use them at all. I also tended to press them whenever I didn't want to.

This said, it's virtually turned into a dust collector now.

juncmodule

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Re: Yet another.... tablet thread
« Reply #5 on: 14 Sep 2010, 12:41 »
Ugh, sorry, my head has a hard time not thinking in the immediate new and awesome gadget. Dear god...I went back and read that post, I should not reply to threads before coffee.

I agree with Snarky. I paid $100 for a wacom tablet (3x3 I think (I guess about an A7?)) years ago and pretty much never use it. But, I don't regret it at all. When I do use it, it is nice, but not my thing to use all of the time. Heck, I even mailed it to Darth Mandarb and he used it for a few months and sent it back :)

Since you do draw a lot, I recommend trying one out, you might not like the feel. If you can't test one, just be prepared to deal with adapting to using it (I think this is where that "it depends" thing comes in a lot). On mine the surface was really slick so I used to lay a piece of paper over it, felt more natural to me that way.

Regarding size, I recommend against getting one too small. If you want to be a serious artist you will want to save up some money and dump a decent amount on it. This will, after all, become your primary drawing tool. Then again, maybe start small and upgrade later. I feel that my small wacom has kept me from using it more than anything else. Everything feels cramped. Are your options really A4 or A5, that seems off. In the US we tend to have A7 and A4 and then maybe an A3. I would recommend you go for the A4 if you can, that is the size of a piece of notebook paper, which most people are comfortable with drawing on that size surface I think.

Wacom seems to be the defacto standard. I imagine there are other brands out there that are better, but I think Wacom just has a better reputation. Just do your research in this regard. Figure out the size problems and if you want to get one at all before worrying about the brand.

Oh, and back to my original screwed up post: Have you considered that route? The non drawing tablet-tablet? One of my problems with the drawing tablet was not seeing the results on the pad with the pen, it didn't sit right in my brain. My wife is an artist and she HATES the wacom tablet (then again she mostly paints and dislikes anything digital). The pricing point on those two is about to get really close I think.

Sorry about my bashing around in your thread. :-[

later,
-junc

Babar

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Re: Yet another.... tablet thread
« Reply #6 on: 14 Sep 2010, 13:29 »
I have a tablet similar to what FSi posted (A5 Bamboo Fun Wacom, 2 buttons on pen, 2 on the tablet itself, etc), and my experiences seemed to have been a lot better. I've mapped right-click to one of the more easily reached pen-buttons, but don't have anything important mapped on the 2nd one, so I don't usually use it anyhow. A5 seemed more than adequate for my stuff, not that I use it as often as I'd like.


On a related topic, does someone have some links to tutorials (or is willing to gimme a lesson here :D), about tablet-styled drawing?
I mean, I did pixel-art before, but the methods don't seem to really correlate well...in lo-res, I'd have first done some sketchy line-art, then I'd add perspective lines of what I'd need, then I'd draw the properly perspectived art, then I'd fill it in with colours, then I'd do the textures. It doesn't seem to be similar with the tablet...
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loominous

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Re: Yet another.... tablet thread
« Reply #7 on: 14 Sep 2010, 14:07 »
You can most likely get a large wacom tablet at a bargain price, if you go with an older model, which in my experience work just as well as new ones.

Just be sure that your comp has the required ports if you go with the oldest models (which use serial ports, though I suppose there must be serial-to-usb converters out there). I have yet to see a broken wacom tablet, so I wouldn't worry much about buying older stuff.

And really, those old tablets are still great, unless you need the fancy new functions such as pen tilt detection.

Edit:

There is quite a substantial difference between a4 and a5 in how you work your arms and hands - the smaller the tablet, the more wrist/finger action, instead of mainly arm/hand action - but there are plenty of outstanding artists out there who work with small tablets, so you're hardly doomed if you end up with a smaller one.

Edit 2:

Babar: I would suggest looking up video tutorials, which there are plenty of, for instance this guy that I found the other day, who have tons of free videos:

http://idrawgirls.blogspot.com/2009/12/drawing-war-machine-ironman-2.html
« Last Edit: 14 Sep 2010, 14:28 by loominous »
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Ali

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Re: Yet another.... tablet thread
« Reply #8 on: 14 Sep 2010, 14:15 »

Snarky

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Re: Yet another.... tablet thread
« Reply #9 on: 14 Sep 2010, 14:21 »
I have a Wacom Graphire 6"x8" (which I think is A5), and personally I find the size big enough to work comfortably. But I generally draw at a pretty small scale anyway.

I don't think the touch screen on the iPad or similar devices is all that suited for drawing (they don't work with a stylus at all, do they?), but I certainly wouldn't mind a Wacom Cintiq.

Darth Mandarb

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Re: Yet another.... tablet thread
« Reply #10 on: 14 Sep 2010, 15:54 »
The Wacom Cintiq is next on my "must own toys" list ... that thing is sooooooo cool!  But my stupid A/C is on the fritz and will probably have to come first (nowhere near as cool a toy but, shockingly, not much more expensive!)

My major need for a tablet is because I'm left handed and I simply cannot use the mouse with my left hand (for some reason) so "drawing" with the mouse is just not possible for me.  I can pixel fairly well with my right hand but the free-style you can have with a tablet is invaluable for somebody in my position.

junc I hadn't thought of that in a long time (and welcome back?)!  Yeah that was a cool little tablet!

Chicky

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Re: Yet another.... tablet thread
« Reply #11 on: 14 Sep 2010, 16:21 »
The Cintiq is great if you have somewhere tidy to use it, it's pants for use with a laptop on a sofa  :-X

Also has some annoying issues when drawing near the edges, but as i found out recently... they're beer proof!

InCreator

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Re: Yet another.... tablet thread
« Reply #12 on: 14 Sep 2010, 19:54 »
« Last Edit: 14 Sep 2010, 19:58 by InCreator »

LimpingFish

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Re: Yet another.... tablet thread
« Reply #13 on: 14 Sep 2010, 20:19 »
I have a Bamboo Pen and Touch. Painting with your fingers is fun.

Which is nice, since apparently the new paper-like drawing surface on the Bamboo and I4 wears down pen nibs like a mofo.

Only 99 funbucks. Works well. Can't complain, really.

Besides, I couldn't really justify spending a lot on a tablet. Unless I was a paid professional. Which I'm not.
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Mr Flibble

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Re: Yet another.... tablet thread
« Reply #14 on: 16 Sep 2010, 03:32 »
Ah! There is no emoticon for what I'm feeling!

Wonkyth

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Re: Yet another.... tablet thread
« Reply #15 on: 16 Sep 2010, 05:26 »
I've been considering buying a Bamboo for some time now, as if I find it useful enough I can get a bigger one, but still have use for the Bamboo.
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Virgil

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Re: Yet another.... tablet thread
« Reply #16 on: 16 Sep 2010, 06:19 »
I have an Intuos4 Medium (6x8 methinks) and its lovely. I mapped right and middle click to the stylus buttons and can function perfectly without a mouse, in everything I do, which is a lot of 3d modeling as well. The sensitivity is a bit overboard (2048 dpi), but its probably the last tablet I'll buy for several years.

If you draw as much as you say, certainly look into a cheaper bamboo, or an even cheaper brand to try it out. I don't ever go into a paint program without it.

Size is a big factor, you instantly get more precision on a larger scale with a bigger size drawing surface. The smaller it is, the more you are zooming in to get more precise linework.

Pinback

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Re: Yet another.... tablet thread
« Reply #17 on: 16 Sep 2010, 08:27 »
If  you're serious about being an artist/illustrator, and you already have a strong grounding in the traditional mediums, then I'd say definitely get one. I too was unsure about digital painting, having used mostly oils and watercolors for a decade, and simply using a mouse for pixel art. But after having borrowed a friends tablet (A3 Wacom) I have found I can't live without it now. Especially for game graphics- it's an indispensible tool.  It also helps a lot for concept art and quick colour mockups, and practicing your fundamental skills without messing about with actual paints.
For actual illustration I will always prefer the traditional mediums (Nothing beats the smell of linseed oil, and having an actual painting to hang after all your hard work), and (as is the case with many professional illustrators in the field) sketching in pencil will always be my square one, but for almost every other aspect of art, especially game graphics, you can't beat a tablet for ease of use and fast turnaround.

Bear in mind though if you have little experience with traditional mediums (ie real pencils and paints), then a tablet would probably be a waste of money for you at this point, and you should instead invest in several cartridge pads of varying sizes, some decent pencils and an eraser. Use them all up, then rinse and repeat.

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Re: Yet another.... tablet thread
« Reply #18 on: 16 Sep 2010, 09:49 »
Not to contradict Pinback and Khris by any means, but I am rubbish at drawing with pencil/pen/paintbrush and paper, but still am very fond of using my tablet - and I know people who really like drawing organically and yet cannot get used to using a tablet.

My biggest advice for anyone is to see if they can try out a friend's and give it a really good go to see if it is going to be the right thing for you.

Khris

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Re: Yet another.... tablet thread
« Reply #19 on: 16 Sep 2010, 12:14 »
Btw, after using it more as a netbook than what it's intended for, I reinstalled the WinXP tablet edition on my Acer TravelMate C110: