For all the new artists coming to the website
Also referred to as a digitizing tablet, graphics pad, or drawing tablet, a tablet is an alternate type of input device that can be used in place of, or in conjunction with, a mouse, trackball, or other pointing device. The tablet consists of two parts, a flat surface for drawing, and a pen, stylus, or puck that is programmed to work with the tablet. Usually, you also get a pen holder, and some tablets even come with a cordless mouse that works on the tablet surface.
The most popular brand of tablet, for any use is a wacom
brand tablet. They come in 3 different classes of tablet, with various sizes...
What model is best for me?
Best for those who are looking to experiment with digital art, but don't want to drop alot of cash on an expensive tablet incase it's not thier cup of tea...
Not so much for digital art, but for business pruposes. East changes to spreadsheet documents and the like.
A very basic, small and crude, but ok tablet for beginners, and have a very nice price tag...
The most commonly used model by artists, both professional for serious art students. Very good control and nive sizes available. They even have a new tablet made for widescreen monitors. Moderately priced.
Some notes about Intuos -
Intuos with serial ports are no longer supported for 64 bit systems officially by Wacom.
Intuos Models 1-3 have 1024 levels of pressure
Intuos Model 4 has 2048 levels of pressure
Intuos Models have programmable shortcuts that you can use and change on a per program basis (where other lines of Wacom except the Cintiq do not have this ability). This varies where you can program the shortcuts.
Intuos 1-2 have it on the top bar.
Intuos 3 has them as express keys and strips - the number of keys varies in the size of tablet purchased
Intuos 4 also has express keys and as well as a touch wheel. - the number of keys varies in the size of tablet purchased OLED display is available on medium, large and extra large.
Intuos 4 has a wireless version of tablet.
The amazing Cintiq. An incredible machine that allows you to draw right into a screen built into the tablet. Very expensive. When used by a professional, it can be used to make incredible peices of work. Overkill for new artists, or those not too experienced with digital art. To my knowledge, seeing a Cintiq is not a common thing,
UPDATE: Might be old news to some, but Wacom also has a couple new models. the Bamboo, Bamboo Pen and Bamboo Fun.
Both very affordable, small and well worth every cent. I friend it's great for travel with a laptop!
Notes about Bamboo -
This model has gone through several revisions.
Some older models of Bamboo only have 512 levels of pressure.
The predecessor to the Bamboo are known as Graphire tablets.
Notes about Bamboo Pen -
Bamboo Pen has no eraser end on the stylus
Bamboo Pen only has 512 levels of pressure
Bamboo Pen and Touch
Notes about Bamboo Pen and Touch -
This tablet costs more than the Bamboo Pen
Bamboo Pen and Touch has an eraser end of the stylus
Bamboo Pen and Touch has 1024 levels of pressure sensitivity.
Some notes about Bamboo Fun -
There is the Bamboo Fun and Bamboo Craft
The difference between these two models are the size.
Bamboo Fun is a smaller tablet equivalent to 4x6 (inches of active surface - like an Intuos small)
Bamboo Craft is the larger tablet equivalent to 6x8 (inches of active surface - like an Intuos medium)
Both tablets have 1024 levels of pressure sensitivity and come with software for beginners.
What about Software?!
Some very popular software, which is pretty much the standard to use with a tablet are Adobe Photoshop
, Corel Painter
, and growing in popularity, Autodesk Sketchbook Pro.
There are also a number of freeware programs out there like ARTRAGE
Don't worry about the price tag right away.. most of these companies will give 30 day trials, to see if the software if right for you.. and some are FREE! So just get painting!
Here are some threads that may help you start out when you purchase a new tablet
UPDATE: Customizing Express Key Functions.
Feel free to add anything, y'all.
Oh... and keep clear of lensflares