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...if, that is, I ever choose art as a profession.
I ask because for me, it's very hard to do tablet work not because of the tablet itself, but because my eyes are more sensitive to light than the average person and I have trouble staring at a screen for too long. When it comes to paper and pencil, I have no problems at all, but when I use my tablet and start getting into detail work, my eyes trip out on me and I can't look at the screen for a few minutes. My resistance begins to weaken as I return to the screen more often.
So I ask: with this massive influx of technological improvement, how essential is it to learn how to use a tablet?
Only if you don't like using a mouse...
I find sketching, outlining with marker so the scanner can't funk up the sketch, and then using that image in Photoshop is just as effective as starting a line drawing on a tablet. You just use a little more paper instead of a little more electricity. Using a mouse as a drawing tool obviously takes a little practive but not much...
Up to your preference really. There are some who will swear by tablets but I never really found the use for them outside of doodling in my Pocket PC, which is kind of tablet-like; using a stylus and all.
Big Zam it strikes me that the issue (as you acknowledge in your post) is not the use of a tablet but, because of your light sensitivity and difficulty with screens, but with a digital medium on the whole. Am I right?
Is this an issue or hinderance to an individual who wants to become an artist? Well, obviously as art continues to evolve and change around the techonology that surrounds it the digital medium is becoming more and more central to the creation of art (especially within the commercial side of things). On the other side, all the traditional methods and tools which have existed for hundreds of years will continue to exist and I am certain that some artists (whether by choice or due to conditions such as your own) will continue to depend and strive within these realms rather than that of the digital arena.
Last edited by Nathan House; November 2nd, 2007 at 05:31 AM. Reason: spelling
computer eye strain?
do you know the 20-20-20 rule? every twenty mins, look twenty feet away and blink twenty times.
or use visine. dry eyes make me tired, especially after long bouts of gaming.
This might be a dumb suggestion but is there a way to lower the brightness of your monitor?
 DRAW EVERYDAY >
Does usage of the computer as a digital medium with a mouse affect you the same way?
Then you're asking the wrong question.
If you want to maintain accurate colour you wouldn't want to lower the brightness too much.
I see no use in using a tablet if you're forced to not use it in the end...
It can be important since it is advantageous to many illustrators who otherwise wouldn't be able to put out as much work in as little time.
I have sensitive (and bad) eye sight as well. One of the things that bugs out my eyes the lost is a low refresh rate. Any refresh rate below 75 I can actually see. So for me eye strain is an issue on a CRT.
Conversely I can use a Good flat panel with out the same issues. Used my Brother's Very large iMac for about 4 hours and still my eyes felt fine.
Do you wear corrective lenses? If so, your problem can be addressed in any number of ways.
If you're wearing glasses: (do one of these, not all)
-Get an anti-reflective coating on your lenses. That will cut down on glare and eye strain when looking at the computer. AR can not be put on old lenses unfortunately, due to the way that it is processed. A regular AR coating should be around a $50-$60 add on. There are some higher quality AR coatings out there like Hoya's Super HiVision but it'll run you more money.
-If it's the actual light that you're sensitive to and not the glare then the above won't work... And you're pretty much limited to reducing the brightness of your monitor. That is not an ideal situation unfortunately (for reasons already stated)
-Get contacts, if you can. (Once again, only if it's an eye strain thing)
Monitors tend not to project enough light to cause eye sores to light sensitive individuals. Getting eye pains when you go out on a bright sunny day is vastly different from staring at a monitor for a couple hours at a time.
You can always go to an eye doctor for him to examine you and identify a solution to your problem.
Unfortunately the concept art world would be very difficult to succeed in if you're a traditional only artist. Deadlines are too stringent for that sort of thing.
Anyway, good luck.
Thanks for the feedback guys. I think my problem lies in actual sketching with the Wacom (which I'm terrible at anyway). I think if I use moderation I could probably color scanned drawings.
Speaking of which, do illustrators/concept artists usually work directly by sketching with the Wacom or more with scanned sketches?
I've been strugling with some light sensitivity also.
Lower the brightness on your monitor, most monitors got really high light levels that no one can stare at(I promise this). The newer the screen , the higher the lightning is in most cases, because it's an selling argument. I've heard people go as low as 20% on brightness to be able to use their monitor.
I have my lcd set on 50%, so you must find what works for you.
some stuff that can irritate also is the anti-glare coating on a monitor, the "shimmering" effect.
there's also a huge difference between monitors if you see to backlight.
some do produce much better backlightning, more even.
another tip, get good light conditions in your room where you have the computer, make it evenly lit and never to dark.
and for the tablet issue.
Practice is your friend.
Set the options for the tablet correctly (don't forget force proportions!)
just scribble around, try doing perfect squares, circles etc.