AuthorTopic: Tablets  (Read 12904 times)

Offline Feron

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Tablets

on: February 08, 2007, 12:29:14 am
I'm thinking about buying a tablet, which ones would you recommend and why?  are there many benefits of having a tablet as opposed to paper/scanner?  are tablets hard to use, and do they take long to learn to use properly?

Can i use a tablet with any software, eg. photoshop - or is there special software that comes with it? I also use Mac and would appreciate some info from mac-people if they have had any trouble or any models to recommend.

I have never even touched one - but i think it would be a good way of broadening my artistical horizons, (my desk cant really take much more paper!), whilst also remaining within the digital art sector.   

Thanks
Feron

Offline pkmays

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Re: Tablets

Reply #1 on: February 08, 2007, 12:41:45 am
I'm thinking about buying a tablet, which ones would you recommend and why? are there many benefits of having a tablet as opposed to paper/scanner? are tablets hard to use, and do they take long to learn to use properly?

Get a Wacom Graphire 4x5 as starter. Tablet's aren't hard to use, they're just different from a mouse. You'll probably feel extremely awkward using a tablet for the first week or two.

Can i use a tablet with any software, eg. photoshop - or is there special software that comes with it? I also use Mac and would appreciate some info from mac-people if they have had any trouble or any models to recommend.

Well, assuming you do get a Wacom, there's no difference between using it on PC or Mac. I use a Wacom at home on my PC, and Wacoms at school on Macs. The drivers are stable and the configuration utilities are identical. You can use a tablet just as you'd use a mouse, in any program. (I make pixel art on a tablet. Find it's a lot more comfortable.) It can even be mapped to act as a 3 button mouse for use in 3D programs, which is sweet.

I have never even touched one - but i think it would be a good way of broadening my artistical horizons, (my desk cant really take much more paper!), whilst also remaining within the digital art sector.

A tablet will never replace good old pencil and paper. I've been using tablets for 5 years and it's still much more comfortable for me to draw and ink on paper. I find digital painting to be a joy on a tablet, because you can do more in programs like Painter than you can with traditional media.

Offline 9_6

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Re: Tablets

Reply #2 on: February 08, 2007, 12:48:15 am
A wacom tablet is definately recommended.
They are the best.

Using a tablet can massively speed up your drawing speed on a computer which is good for sketching and colouring but it will never be able to fully replace pencil & paper.
At least it didn't do that for me.
It's really nice to have one though, once you get used to it.
Does scaling an image blur it?
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Offline Sherman Gill

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Re: Tablets

Reply #3 on: February 08, 2007, 02:59:09 am
I love my tablet. It's a Hanvon, so it doesn't have some of the fancy features a wacom does, but it works wonders for drawing lineart (Going from an hour to 20 minutes to get some good lines) in pixelart and the pressure sensitivity is great in Photoshop.
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Offline AdamTierney

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Re: Tablets

Reply #4 on: February 08, 2007, 10:53:19 am
I've used Wacom and Aiptek and they're both lovely. If the size suits you, get an entry-level Wacom (more software support and a more solid product). If you need something big and don't have the cash, get an Aiptek.

- Adam

Offline Snaily

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Re: Tablets

Reply #5 on: February 08, 2007, 12:42:35 pm
I've found a tablet (or in my case, a tablet PC) does wonders for initial sketching, line work etc. However, for pixel pushing I much prefer a mouse.

Offline leel

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Re: Tablets

Reply #6 on: February 08, 2007, 08:01:40 pm
I agree with snaily, but maybe that's just because mine is pretty new and I haven't gotten used to it enough to have the control I need for pixelart.  But I love it anyway!  I bought a 6x8 Wacom Graphire4 on ebay, and it was way cheaper than a 4x6 at the store.  I don't know about the prices in the UK but, just thought i should mention that ;)

Offline goat

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Re: Tablets

Reply #7 on: February 08, 2007, 08:52:11 pm
I've used a ton of tablets and although I'm not really qualified to give a review of them all, I have to say the graphire4 is very suitable for just about anything you could put it through, probably my favorite non-lcd tablet since the original Intuos :p

Personally I coughed up the extra money for an LCD tablet (well not really, I got a pretty good deal on it :p) and love the heck out of it.  As far as pixels go, I use it a lot more for figures and lines than I do for tiles, textures, or details, but during the course of a piece I tend to flip between mouse and tablet a few times regardless of what I'm working on... being able to draw directly on the screen is simply too badass to pass up.  Plus, extra monitor.

From what I've seen a lot of people don't like lcd tablets, or don't think the extra expense is worth the benefit, but if you can afford it it might be worth a look.

The best advice I can give to someone looking at buying a new tablet is to try some out in a few different sizes to see which size suits you the best.  Most people I know prefer a smaller size because they can make big sweeping curves with minimal movements, but it all depends on how you work.  Mine's a 17" monitor (13.6x10.2 inches, if my math is correct) and sometimes I wish it was a little smaller, but being able to draw on the screen as well as have a full-size secondary monitor more than makes up for that.  The tablets at my school are gigantic, and quite unwieldy imo, especially when you're used to high mouse sensitivity.
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Offline Feron

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Re: Tablets

Reply #8 on: February 08, 2007, 10:52:25 pm
So are Lcd tablets where you can see the screen on tha tablet?  Thats pretty boss - but might hurt my eyes, and get a bit confusing?
My monitor is 20-21 inches big and i have a huge resolution, what would be the best size - id be mainly looking to sketching and "painting" so not really an sweeping curves.

From the feedback from you guys im probably gonna get a Wacom.  Looking at this:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Wacom-Graphire4-Classic-Tablet-Pen/dp/B000BD86YS/sr=8-4/qid=1170974782/ref=pd_ka_4/202-2367292-3104616?ie=UTF8&s=electronics

and maybe this one:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Wacom-Intuos3-Tablet-Pen-Mouse/dp/B0006ZOY60/sr=8-6/qid=1170974948/ref=pd_ka_6/202-2367292-3104616?ie=UTF8&s=electronics

although 100 difference between the products, is that 100 worth the difference in quality.  Don't mean to sound arrogant - but money isnt really an issue - id rather get a better quality product even if it costs more, but if the 100 difference doesnt make much odds then i'd rather go for the cheaper one. 

What do you guys think?

Offline goat

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Re: Tablets

Reply #9 on: February 09, 2007, 08:10:07 pm
The Intuos3 fixed a couple issues with pen response time that the Intuos2 had; I've tried both the graphire and I3 at various points and although I wasn't comparing them side by side I didn't have a preference. Really, either one will be a solid choice. IIRC the Intuos will be a little more accurate (by like, almost 1/4 of a pixel :p), with twice the pressure sensitivity, but you'd have to make some pretty extreme (extremely long and drawn out with varying levels of pressure) strokes to notice a big difference I'd think :p
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Offline Helm

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Re: Tablets

Reply #10 on: February 10, 2007, 03:47:23 am
Every artist - even oil artists - substracts from his strokes with strokes of different color over them, so pressure sensitivity is overrated. You could work with a brick no-pressure black brush in photoshop and with a brick white brush and with adding and substracting you'd eventually get what you need.

movement tracking is what you need in a good tablet.

Offline legofreak

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Re: Tablets

Reply #11 on: February 10, 2007, 06:18:42 am
i have a toshiba tecra m4. its a tablet pc, meaning the tablet is built into the screen. it has pressure sensitivity built into the pen.

even though i like it i wouldnt recommend it necessarily. its kinda expensive. $1600
its just that i really wanted it. i like to be able to see where my hand is while im drawing

Offline Ai

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Re: Tablets

Reply #12 on: February 10, 2007, 06:27:13 am
So are Lcd tablets where you can see the screen on tha tablet?  Thats pretty boss - but might hurt my eyes, and get a bit confusing?
More precisely, the tablet IS a screen -- it is not a mirror of the monitor image, but an independent display.
Quote
My monitor is 20-21 inches big and i have a huge resolution, what would be the best size - id be mainly looking to sketching and "painting" so not really an sweeping curves.
Resolution is fairly moot as most modern tablets provide way more resolution than the screen - even 2048x1536 (twice my screen resolution) is only 192 dpi, and my modest Graphire3 provides >2000 lpi.
Quote
and maybe this one:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Wacom-Intuos3-Tablet-Pen-Mouse/dp/B0006ZOY60/sr=8-6/qid=1170974948/ref=pd_ka_6/202-2367292-3104616?ie=UTF8&s=electronics

although 100 difference between the products, is that 100 worth the difference in quality.  Don't mean to sound arrogant - but money isnt really an issue - id rather get a better quality product even if it costs more, but if the 100 difference doesnt make much odds then i'd rather go for the cheaper one. 
Intuos has far better shielding from radio interference (has not been an issue for me) and tilt sensitivity (might be good for painting).


Every artist - even oil artists - substracts from his strokes with strokes of different color over them, so pressure sensitivity is overrated. You could work with a brick no-pressure black brush in photoshop and with a brick white brush and with adding and substracting you'd eventually get what you need.

movement tracking is what you need in a good tablet.
Movement tracking is definitely the most important.

Pressure sensitivity for anything but size can indeed be very overrated. However for size, I've found it key to maintaining a consistent style (the important element being that to maintain style I need to quickly get down something that not only looks about right but has about the right stylisms.)
Pressure sensitivity for size is really nice for shading and detailing much much quicker than usual. On the pixel art side, it can speed up custom dithering a lot.
It doesn't need to be very precise, though. (64 steps of sensitivity would be plenty for me -- my tablet has 512!)

with twice the pressure sensitivity, but you'd have to make some pretty extreme (extremely long and drawn out with varying levels of pressure) strokes to notice a big difference I'd think :p
Actually, additional pressure resolution is primarily useful for software-based stroke smoothing (more data implies better ability to guess at the intended result). Having a smoother pressure curve can be useful for any function that depends on pressure (eg size, color, subbrush, opacity, color jitter, brush distribution jitter..)
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Offline Skull

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Re: Tablets

Reply #13 on: February 11, 2007, 10:20:59 am
Tip: But one with a fair price tag. My dad bought me one for about 10, I used it only once for like 5 minutes.. and it broke soon after.. :o?!

Offline Silver

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Re: Tablets

Reply #14 on: February 11, 2007, 12:31:34 pm
Mine was like 15$, I Bought it like year ago and it's working fine.
However I think it's better to have a scanner and a drawing tablet. No one can skip the traditional media.

Offline Rox

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Re: Tablets

Reply #15 on: February 11, 2007, 12:43:04 pm
I got a Wacom Graphire 4 A5 as a christmas present for myself. It's like... um... well, it's like a Wacom. Completely beautiful. And the batteryless pens are heaven sent. A friend of mine used to have a Trust tablet for, like, $50 or something. That thing didn't last very long. The pen tips needed to be changed now and then, and when he ran out of pen tips, the thing started sticking randomly, so occationally you'd lift the pen and move it across the board and it'd give a nice, firm, black line between the spots. Then you need to lift the pen up and tug some at the tip to make it unstick... it was awful.

Like with many other things, you do get what you pay for. I paid for a Wacom Graphire 4, and that's what I got. I wouldn't want anything else now.

Of course, I only use it for freehand sketching and texturing in 3D. Mouse is for pixels!


Ohyeah, as for LCD tablets... How can they be worth it? Especially when people are making their own for a fraction of the price...
« Last Edit: February 11, 2007, 12:46:28 pm by Rox »

Offline Ai

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Re: Tablets

Reply #16 on: February 11, 2007, 12:54:15 pm
Mine was like 15$, I Bought it like year ago and it's working fine.
However I think it's better to have a scanner and a drawing tablet. No one can skip the traditional media.
Clearly. That's why I jump it instead.</sarcasm>
Traditional media ARE dispensable with.
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Offline Helm

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Re: Tablets

Reply #17 on: February 11, 2007, 01:04:04 pm
Clearly. That's why I jump it instead.</sarcasm>
Traditional media ARE dispensable with.

But then again, your art suffers heavily from lack of good art foundation in my opinion.

Offline Ai

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Re: Tablets

Reply #18 on: February 11, 2007, 01:28:08 pm
Oh, it does, I agree. That's a separate point however, down to my methodology -- when I actually bother to lay things out, use refs, take my time establishing framework and perspective things go a lot better, but that is hardly ever, I am too rushed for that and often I'm just poking around 'What does this do if I do that?', or otherwise self-expression is just falling out of my head onto the paper.

I'm not sure what one does with conventional art, even. I guess that really makes a strong statement that action is >>>>>>>> art in my consideration. (how >>>> what, then?)
Maybe I just push myself too hard. ???

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Offline Helm

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Re: Tablets

Reply #19 on: February 11, 2007, 01:30:53 pm
Traditional art training breeds a lot of good practises that help overcome a lot of the stuff that otherwise could hold back your art for a long time.

Offline ptoing

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Re: Tablets

Reply #20 on: February 12, 2007, 06:56:30 pm
Traditional media ARE dispensable with.

I have to disagree here. NOTHING digital can totally dispense of traditional media. The tactile quality alone you get from actually drawing or painting stuff on paper/canvas, digital media can not compare to. That said, I need to do more natural media stuff.
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Offline Xion

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Re: Tablets

Reply #21 on: February 12, 2007, 07:26:27 pm
Aye, Nothing can hearken to the feel of stuff that, when you're done, you can feel it - the brush strokes, the coarseness of the paper, the incredible fact that you did it all without hitting undo. The experience alone cannot be duplicated on any digital form. If anything, CG media are dispensable. I mean, if you do away with traditional media and a few years later there's a global crash or all the computers die or something, what then? But if you do away with CG media, you'll always be able to go find some clay and mix your own paints, or some chalk or hammer and chisel.


Sorry, I don't actually have anything to say about tablets. I've only had one once and it was cool, but that was for just like a couple months and I hardly used it. I don't even know what kind it was.

Offline Feron

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Re: Tablets

Reply #22 on: February 12, 2007, 10:28:29 pm
I have to disagree here. NOTHING digital can totally dispense of traditional media. The tactile quality alone you get from actually drawing or painting stuff on paper/canvas, digital media can not compare to. That said, I need to do more natural media stuff.

Yes.  One gets a lot more from viewing a painting in a museum, than browsing through DeviantArt.  I think with traditional media you can feel the artists emotions a lot more, whereas most CG art is just pixels on a screen.

Offline Ai

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Re: Tablets

Reply #23 on: February 12, 2007, 11:50:46 pm
Yes.  One gets a lot more from viewing a painting in a museum, than browsing through DeviantArt.

This is true.
Quote
I think with traditional media you can feel the artists emotions a lot more, whereas most CG art is just pixels on a screen.
But not for the reason you specify (which is kind of a fluffy reason, it seems to be just made of emotions rather than facts.)

a) In a gallery, the surroundings are arranged to at least somewhat match the painting. If you can't pick the background color, then you can pick the light level or relation to the corner of the room. In Deviantart, they're all a uniform color, with uniform surroundings and the commentary also surrounding. In that light I would not consider Deviantart a gallery but a forum for critique or commentary. Something more directly comparable with a real life gallery would be a private site where each picture had it's own page with custom color and positioning, title and information. Comments may be visible (or creatable) by clicking a link, but certainly not in the same page as the picture.
It all comes down to -- in a real life gallery, pictures have some privacy and their surroundings have some personality.

b) The process of creation is more easily visible in a picture's texture, color layering, etc..
by contrast CGs may be non-obvious (use of filters). Probably this simply means that pictures rendered in traditional media are more primitive (in the literal sense -- you can see the primitives)




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Offline Helm

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Re: Tablets

Reply #24 on: February 13, 2007, 12:04:43 am
a CG piece that has taken the amount of effort a real painting takes to make in my opinion when you look at it there's about the same chance of you finding something worthwhile in it as with the real painting.

Offline Alucard

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Re: Tablets

Reply #25 on: February 13, 2007, 01:10:06 am
Awsome I was about to make a thread about this too

Im planning to find the walcom tablet that my dad has in the basement now :D