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November 1st, 2007 #1
Buying first drawing tablet? Read here first!
If you are new to concept art and want to take your art to the next level, then a drawing tablet might be the next viable path. But, there are things that you need to know before you plop down money for one. Below are a couple of pointers and helpful links to get you on your way, along with advice from professionals in the posts following.
Maybe the de-facto drawing tablet for artists today, the Wacom Intuos is perhaps the most widely used and widely touted pen tablet on the market for novice to intermediate artists and creators. Featuring 1,024 points of pressure, a redesigned interface, tons of editing options, and support by some of the top art programs today (Adobe Photoshop, Corel Painter), this is the first tablet bought by artists entering the field of concept art, graphic design, illustration, and many others.
Wacom Intuos3 Pen Tablet
This is the introductory pen tablet for creating art by novices. The latest one is the Graphire4 that boasts any where from 512 points of pressure to 728 points of pressure. While not as elegant or widely used as the above Intuos, it is still popular and lasts a long time. Stories have circulated about dropping them to running over them with *gasp* a car. That is a testament not only to the strenght and durability of the Graphire, but to the Wacom line of pen tablets as a whole.
Touted as the top tablet in the industry, this tablet is used by professionals who need more hands on with their subjects. This tablet features an interface that allows artists to draw directly on the screen. With 1,024 points of pressure, this gives the artists complete control over his creations, while also giving him a more up-close feel for what he is creating. Once you become an established artist or just have the money, this is a viable option.
True to its roots, the Cintiq 12WX allows you to work directly on screen in the most natural way possible.
Create, compose, and design with the comfort of the thin and lightweight 12" widescreen pen display. Boost your productivity by adding pressure-sensitive, pen-on-screen control to your computer when and where you need it. The compact 12WX easily accompanies you between your studio and client locations. Fresh comfort, control and productivity
Tablet PCs and Laptop tablets
This is a new addition to the growing number of ways that designers in all fields are choosing to create with. Tablet PCs are like your traditional drawing tablets that feature many of the same features that you can find from an Intuos or a Graphire, minus the many many levels of pressure. But the main thing seperating these from others is that is a fully functional computer that allows you to not only draw directly on the screen, but also work on it as if it were a portable PC (needs a standard PC connection to work I believe). Laptop tablets function in the same way as tablet PCs, giving you a either a bolt accessory option or a true laptop with touch screen option. The only difference is...well, it's a laptop and is designed for maximum portablility.
TabletPCs today come in two flavors:
A) The most common and widely used kind of TabletPC is a normal laptop where the double hinges have been replaced by a single swivel-hinge and there has been a Wacom sensor board placed behind the LCD.
These are called convertibles, because you can convert them from a normal laptop into a "slate".
B) The second kind is called "slate" and is basically a laptop without a keyboard (you only get the lower-right from the picture above) + the Wacom sensor board.
They are usually lighter than their convertible counterparts, but on the downside there is no keyboard/touchpad/trackpoint and the screen is unprotected because there is no base to fold it down upon.
What both kinds of TabletPC have in common is that they are fully functional laptops that work exactly like you'd expect from any common laptop.
If there are professionals out there that want to chip in their professional experiences with their tablets, the sizes, and how long you've had them, That would be very beneficial.
Disclaimer: I did not include pricing in this post, as I just wanted to get the information across. Also, the words "he/his/him" are not sexist and is used as a generalization of the artists culture as a whole. And last, I am not a professional. I made this thread so that new comers who visit this site will have some kind of information on what they may want to do next.
Thanks to several CA.org members who have sent me PMs with additional information and to those who have posted their personal experiences with these tools. Appreciate it everyone.
Last edited by Stark; December 26th, 2007 at 05:50 PM. Reason: title and additional information.
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November 1st, 2007 #2
I remember when I made this thread. lol But always good to have another
* Help a CA artist! Visit the Constructive Critique section! *
November 2nd, 2007 #3
November 2nd, 2007 #4
Well, I did this rather quickly. I'll go into more depth soon but if anyone has any more to add, PM it to me and I'll throw it in the first post. Also, anyone who uses a tablet of any kind, size, model, feel free to add information that I may be missing.
November 2nd, 2007 #5
November 6th, 2007 #6
Instead of creating a new thread I'll ask my wacom question here in here if it's ok with you guys.
I have a intous3 a4 and I like it quite alot. However after using it more than 2+hours the cursor starts 'shivering'. Not alot but still enough to make straight lines look bumpy. Have anyone else experienced this problem with the intous3 series and is there a solution to it? I tried replacing the tip but the problem remains.
November 6th, 2007 #7
Aiptek Hyperpen Line
Cheap Taiwanese graphics tablets that pale in comparison to Wacoms, and which may suffer numerous and annoying faults such as low precision, or wavy line input. Often repackaged under different names, a prominent example being Trust. Avoid unless absolutely broke and in need of a tablet.
November 6th, 2007 #8
wasker, it sounds like you may be the problem. 2+ hours shouldn't cause your wacom to start 'shivering'. Take more breaks if needed to calm your nerves and then try again.
November 6th, 2007 #9
November 7th, 2007 #10Registered User
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Wasker, i had problems with shivering cursors once. took me a bit of time until i noticed that it happend only when i placed my wacom on top of the keybord of my laptop. in the area of the wacom overlapping the laptop the shivering ocurred. maybe that could be your problem?
November 7th, 2007 #11
I've got a pretty large CRT monitor and I find that if the tablet is too close then you get some cursor shake. It's probably something to do with the magnetism or radio waves given off by other electrical equipment. Or it could be you have low blood sugar levels I had the shakes yesterday because I forgot to eat.
December 7th, 2007 #12Vagabond
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hello, i'm new here. i'm buying a new tablet and i like some advice from anyone who has experience. i like to buy tablet from wacom graphire series.
in my country, graphire 3 cost around 380 bucks, while grphire 4 cost around 580 bucks. however, wacom bamboo was release recently, with the 4x6" costing 390 and the 6x8" costing 690. since wacom had stop manufacturing graphire (i think), does this means bamboo is better than graphire?
currently i'm doin both 3D and 2D graphics. i'll be buying a new pc along with my tablet. base on my budget, if i get a better tablet, i'll be sacrificing my pc specs (a bad thing for doing 3D) and vice versa. on sidenote, i'm a student with some financial concerns. the things i'm buying will be sticking with me for a few years and i can't afford to buy a new one.
thanks for the advice and have a nice day.
December 7th, 2007 #13
Has anyone bought a tablet on Ebay? Did you experience any problems? Should I be wary of tablets that seem too cheap?