I am thinking of doing some digital art and I have never used a tablet and am a bit behind the times on this one:
- Does a tablet have to be connected to a computer to use it or is it also possible to use it on its own - e.g. Take on trips / travelling.
I am going to have a play with a couple of programmes but I can't draw with a mouse so a tablet is the answer... I'm just not sure what the limitations of its use are. I guess its used instead of a mouse - but can it be used on its own - and, if so, how?
Sorry for being a noob on this one :) I am only going to start with a cheap one.
Yes, I think you are right - I think the whole point is the use of a pen / stylus isn't it? So, almost an alternative to the mouse perhaps?
I don't want to pay out as much as an ipad, I have a house full of comps and laptops etc and I just want to try something cheap and cheerful specifically for art.
I was hoping I could sit on a plane and draw etc - but it seems that may be unlikely... never mind.
it has to be attached to the computer, i don't know if they make wireless yet. the disadvantage is, your arm moves more across the screen, compared to the mouse which moves less than an inch. don't get a huge size or you'll tire fast, 6x8 is a good size, it's about 12" long in total. the 4x5 doesn't have the same resolution. i have a intous 3, i wouldn't mind the latest. maybe after the pen breaks.
you can bring it with you, but you need a lap top and your tethered, don't lose the pen it costs like $80 to replace.
Faye -- I intro'd several artists to using a stylus & smaller tablet to start out with -- relatively inexpensive -- the wacom site's the place to explore --
-- the Bamboo Splash @ 79.99 is a great one to start with.
In the course I was teaching --Digital Dreams -- my lab was set up with several computers all hooked up to these.
Faye I bought the Intuos 5 - large and I love it! I had a small Bamboo and it was just too small. I bought both the tablet and Painter 12 together on sale, as a bundle for about $500 in February. I then purchased the wireless for it for about $35 so I can sit back and use the tablet wirelessly. I wanted to be able to have plenty of room and make sweeping motions to mimic painting motions. I would look at the sizes and make a template and then play like you are actually using it to see which size fits the way you move. Maybe use your mouse in that space to pretend even those it's different. They also make the Cintiq, which you draw right on, but my eye/hand coordination is pretty good and I didn't feel I needed it.
think of it as a big piece of paper, with paper you can rotate the pad. the tablet you can't. the scale of the tablet equals the scale of your screen, and bringing your hand across a long distance, that would be tedious. but the large ones have better resolutions, with finer detail which might be good with sketching, i like the size i have. the intous 3 isn't made any more i think they are up to the intous 5.
You're welcome Faye...just to clarify -- yes, the Intuos 3 tablet I'm using (latest model is a 5) -- has a 17" x 13" overall size with a 12" x 9.5" drawing surface. At $400.+, vs. 80. for an intro model -- I recommend the smaller version to get the hang of it. I keep my Bamboo tablet for my portable/laptop -- the Intuous is on the desktop.
Guarantee that after using any stylus, on any size work area -- you'll wonder how you managed using a mouse in art process.
Using a mouse trying to create lines & such always felt like drawing with a bar of soap clutched in my hand ;)
Keep us posted on your journey -- look forward to hearing your rave reviews :)
I have a larger Wacom, and I really enjoy it. I don't use it for much besides textures anymore. Mike makes a reasonable point about the size, but for me it's just like working on a large sheet of paper, which is how I usually prefer to work when I use traditional media.
Check Ebay - used tablets can be had for great prices.
You cannot possibly go wrong with a Wacom Intuos medium-sized (this has about an 8" x 6" drawing area, and is reasonably priced) tablet. Like iPhones, a new version of the Intuos comes out almost every 12 - 18 months replete with new features that one seldom uses. If it were me, I would look for an Intuos 3 or maybe even a 4 on someplace like Amazon. Despite the fact that they are the prior versions, they will be much more affordable and possess all of the same fundamental features as a the most recent versions.
As others have stated the tablet stylus basically takes the place of a mouse but is a far more sensitive instrument than the big ungainly mouse. The two predominant programs that people use for digital painting are Corel Painter and Adobe PhotoShop. I use PhotoShop to do all of my digital paintings:
PhotoShop certainly performs better as a program, but Corel Painter is an amazing approximation of traditional art media, although if you have a less-powerful computer, you might find that Painter taxes the PC's processor quite a bit. There are also plenty of free programs available that don't cost an arm and a leg: Gimp, PaintShopPro, etc. At least they USED to be free.
I have a large Intuos 4. I was never comfortable with smaller tablets, as I had an issue with the scaling. Just too much difference between what I felt and saw. The large one is so much better. Contrary to what Mike said, long distances across the tablet are no problem if it's positioned correctly. Here's what my setup looks like. To set the scale, the monitor is a 24".
Not exactly something you'd want to use on an airplane, though.
FYI: Wacom makes a wireless adaptor for its latest generation of tablets.
Faye...for what you want to do, you may actually want a tablet, because there are digital programs made just for that. I don't know much about them but I know that they exist, tablets and programs for them.
it's actually easier to draw on paper than on a tablet. but it's faster and cleaner. and with the right hand you can do some nice sketching, partly it depends on the graphic brush you use and the program (how pencil like it can be).
i would vote corel, because they bought that painter company and now have software that mimics the best. photoshop can work, but you need brushes set just right. typically it's a size and shade kind of thing. but i haven't found anything i like yet, since many of the brushes in photoshop tend to leave a solid shape at the end of the line.
Be aware that if you have windows 7 (and maybe 8) on your computer it will try to take over the pen functions. You can turn off the annoying animations (ask Google - its not hard to find or hard to do.) Several people - including me - are having problems with the pressure sensitivity, which is the main reason I bought a tablet (Intuos 3, years ago). I wanted to draw and color variable lines and/or transparencies. I haven't come across a fix that works for me yet. I'm a bit frustrated.
@ Mike - you can turn off the sensors on the right side (or left) by going into the tablet menu. I had to turn off the right ones because I kept accidentally scrolling larger/smaller when I made certain motions.
Wow... thank you very much for all this great advice.... seems that Murray's neat work area has put us all to shame. How nice of you to share your setup - thank you :)
- I think you are right too Murray, I might be happier with a slightly larger one. Price is an issue for me but if I find I'm using it and its working for me then I'd happily invest in something better. I went looking around Youtube etc too and many starters have tried the cheap Monoprice one - which literally costs peanuts, but might help my initial discoveries?
I will let you know what I ended up with initially and long term.
I can't thank you all enough for the great discussion - it is really helpful to me. Much appreciate you all :)
I never turned any tablet around. That makes no sense. The "keys" on them are self-programmed, so you control what they do and the tablet sits on the desk, so it shouldn't have to be turned. I would think that means you would also have to draw upside down.
The tablet I have at home does not have sensitivity in the pen, but it's an older one. The one I used at work I got used to pretty quickly with the pen and, again, had no issues with its sensitivity. It's all something you adjust to quite rapidly.
Actually, Louise, the reason to turn the tablet is a simple one. If you're right-handed like I am, you want the buttons on the left side, where you can easily reach them with your free hand. The opposite is true if you're a lefty. Wacom makes that easy by having two USB sockets on the Intuos tablets.
Pen sensitivity is a valuable feature.
Faye, over the years, I tried a few smaller tablets, but was always conscious of the scaling issue, which isn't noticeable when using a mouse, for some reason. That's probably because I'd become so used to it. But the pen was different, and I wasn't satisfied until I got a tablet where the pen movement approximated what I saw on the screen.
As for my neat workstation, it is what it is. No need to be jealous. Just clean up your act, guys. LOL
There were 3 designers at the studio, we all had tablets and none of us turned it-I'm the only lefty and I never used the buttons anyway-they're a convenience some might want. It's like keyboard shortcuts-some people never use them, some of us swear by them (I could never get my boss to use them and she always thought I was doing something wrong because she couldn't grasp the concept. She also couldn't understand how to use a tablet). Weirdly enough, at work I preferred the tablet on the desk but at home, for the longest time, I had to have it on my lap. Conversely, one of the other designers always had hers on her lap but said she had it on her desk at home.
My point is, once you have one, turning it, using the buttons, lap or desk, it's all on the user to decide how best to utilize it and telling someone that they should do x,y,z with it should be a suggestion;that's what great about them-they are not something you have to adjust to but something you can adjust to your work habits.
That's true, Louise. But, on the other hand, Wacom must have gotten enough input from users to adapt the hardware for turning. Sure, it's personal preference, but I was just responding to your statement that it "makes no sense" to turn the tablet. It apparently makes sense to some of us.
For example, the wheel is useful for resizing the image and for changing brush sizes. Sure, you can use the keyboard, or use the pen to do it on-screen; but it's nice to have a choice.
To each, their own, said the old woman as she kissed the cow. One of my exes used to say that. ;-)