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Advice regarding the Wacom Tablet

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  • Advice regarding the Wacom Tablet

    As a graduating graphic designer is it a good idea to get a wacom tablet as I am better at drawing by hand than on the computer? Any advice would be great please. Thanks heaps in advance.

  • #2
    It depends on what kinds of work you do. I find the tablet is good for jobs that require brush tool like photo retouching in Photoshop. Mouse is better for pen tool jobs like vector work.

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    • #3
      I use one fairly often, but if I didn't have one I could get by.

      Scanning a drawing and tracing (either livetrace or by hand) in Illustrator is a fine option for certain types of work. But like Buda said, a tablet is really handy for brush stuff. Drawing with a mouse is like drawing with a bar of soap.


      • #4
        I have a Wacom Intuos 4 that I bought a few months ago. It's sitting right here on the desk next to me begging me to use it, but I never do. It's not because I don't want to; I'm sure it's a great and wonderful thing. Unfortunately, it just doesn't feel right to me. I've seen great things done with Wacom tablets, and I'd really like to get the hang of using one, but so far I've found myself at odds with it. Maybe if I had a copy of Painter, I'd like it better.


        • #5
          Its one of those things that when I use it, I tend to use it quite a bit. If I'm not using it though, it sits on the shelf for months.


          • #6
            As a designer I do not find myself using my tablet very much. Like Budafist mentioned, if you are using for photo retouching it can be invaluable. I have found that I can be much smoother with my strokes on the tablet than with the mouse. Then, like <b> says, it can be awkward to get used to. I think I would get more use out of a Cintiq than any of the others, but I don't have extra thousands laying around.

            Design - It will probably sit there more than get used.
            Photography - You'll get some use out of it in a variety of ways
            Digital Painting - Pretty much a must if you are painting on the computer.

            You may be different though. I'm just saying what my experience is.
            Some people don't know that they don't know...and they don't know how to find out.


            • #7
              I really don't need one for my day-to-day design work, but I really want to start doing digital painting for fun.
              "Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works."
              -Steve Jobs


              • #8
                I love mine! But, I do more illustration with my work than a lot of people. But, I do still draw by hand on occasion, you just can't replicate the feel and result of hand-drawn sometimes. But, when you need to draw something quick, a Wacom can't be beat. And, really, they're not that expensive, as hardware goes. Mine was like $200 for the 6x11".
                The early bird may get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.


                • #9
                  Originally posted by <b> View Post
                  I have a Wacom Intuos 4 that I bought a few months ago. It's sitting right here on the desk next to me begging me to use it, but I never do. It's not because I don't want to; I'm sure it's a great and wonderful thing. Unfortunately, it just doesn't feel right to me. I've seen great things done with Wacom tablets, and I'd really like to get the hang of using one, but so far I've found myself at odds with it. Maybe if I had a copy of Painter, I'd like it better.
                  Check out ArtRage. It's just a tiny fraction of Painter's price and I find it far, far, more intuitive and streamlined to play... er, I mean work with.

                  Most people take a few good solid weeks of neural-muscle rewiring to get comfy with the whole tablet thing. Especially the 'angular offset' of working to the side while watching a screen. An easy to use, fun, drawing program like ArtRage will do wonders to motivate you.


                  Basic package at $21 all the way up to the Pro Studio for 85 or so.

                  Great app.


                  • #10
                    Thanks Broacher! I will definitely look into that. I hadn't heard of ArtRage before.


                    • #11
                      I love the thing and tend to use it whenever I need to do more detailed tracing, drawing anything that involves more fine work and blending and such. The thing is most of the time, I don't use it outside of any design programs. So when I go to open Illustrator or Photoshop and I know I will be doing something that I feel the wacom works better than the mouse, I pull it out. Once I have it out I set aside the mouse and the Wacom and the keyboard are all I use. I use it to surf the net for info. I use it to open and close and navigate other programs, I use the Wacom for almost everything once it is out. But I tend, I think because I put it away later everyday when I am finished, to feel like the tasks outside of the design programs do not feel as natural as they do with the mouse. So when I am finished with the project I put it away and then won't pull it out again till another project calls for it.

                      I think another reason I put it away a lot is that I work out of my home and I have 3 teenagers that tend to just come in and place things on my desk. I often worry that if I just left it out, it might get damaged. I also have one of the larger ones so it takes up a lot of desk space. So up it goes out of harms way and to free up the keyboard area.

                      For me it was certainly worth the money, but do you need it that would depend in my opinion on what else you need. ;-)


                      • #12
                        Thanks for the responses, I think it is a 'want' at the moment and not a need but will keep in mind all the advice you have given and hopefully when I find my niche I'll know which direction to go in. Thanks again ;-)


                        • #13
                          I know the thing about sharing with teens (and spouse). Also, at my office workstation, I have to share the setup with others if for any reason I'm away (sick, or on vacation).

                          My first choice is always keyboard font and centre, tablet (a 12 inch model) off to the left, my stylus nestled between thumb and forefinger as I type (I have large hands). Because I work in a 'corner' arrangement workstation, this works fine. But I have my mouse on the right side for all the 'righties' who need it. Or, sometimes I use the mouse myself in a hurry, say to the right hand monitor (until I remember where I left my stylus!).

                          I don't have a tablet at home, but occasionally I take it home to work with. Because I'm the only lefty, our mouse setup at home is for right hand users. I've become actually quite good at using a mouse with my 'wrong' hand as a result-- and its become kind of an advantage to be able to use both tablet and mouse fluently. Though rarely at the same time -- unless I'm showing off, I guess.


                          • #14
                            I'm a semi ambidextrous person, I draw, write, etc with my left hand and throw shoot hockey etc with my right. and as such I just got used to using the mouse with my right hand and doing anything artistic with it in a graphics program felt like I was trying to write with a horse's leg behind my back held at full extension in 6pt edwardian script. I found the wacom tablet to be freeing to my design skills in ways that just can't be described eloquently without innuendo.

                            I use the mouse on the right side the keyboard in the center and the tablet off to the left, shifting each tool towards a more comfortable position as I am using it. Combining keyboard shortcuts with the tablet is great. I can't help but thinking that using a programmable tool such as a Nostromo N52 might be able to speed repetitive things up tremendously. particularly for storing action script macros. On the other hand it could just end up being a cumbersome piece of garbage on a design desk.






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