I'm curious about purchasing a pen-mouse alternative to assist with drawing within Photoshop. Is this a wise purchase? If so, how can I tell which is the best for my budget? I've seen packages that has the pen, mouse, and board with it, and others with just the pen. Which is ideal? What do you think?
Colin *the confused buyer* Burwell
Wacom, Intuos is the way to go. They have the best sensitivity range and great Customer Support. As you get used to it you'll really begin to notice that even the Intuos isn't sensitive enough. Particularly is you've done a lot of analog drawing in the past. If you can't afford the Intuos, wait and save for it or find another tablet with the same or better sensitivity. As far as the mouse goes, I have always been righthanded on the mouse, but I draw with my left; so I use both at once. Pen for my main monitor and mouse for my palette monitor.
Myself, I always thought I would hate a pen tablet. Then I got one at work. Then I began to feel the lack of one at home. I worked on an art piece at home that took me about 12hrs to get halfway complete. I gave up on it. Then I got my Intuos for home, and redid the project (to completion) in about 4hrs. All that time difference was in being able to use the pressure of the pen on-the-fly to change density and size of the brush. It still isn't like using a real pen, pencil, or charcoal; but it's as close as we can get for now.
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Wacom Intuos 3. It has more levels of pressure sensitivity than the less expensive Graphire so it will be a little more capable of very small and subtle changes. I prefer the smaller sizes as it's easier to go from corner to corner of the monitor. I use a 6x8 in the studio and 4x5 with my Powerbook when traveling.
I frequently use the stylus instead of the mouse these days.
I have the Graphire 4 with the 4X5 board and I love it! Best purchase I've ever made!!
any good links to getting more out of these things. i have a wacom at work but wish i could understand how to interface it better as a tool.
for example, i still am not able to get drastic enough variation between thick and thin with pressure. is there a dynamicv range cpontrol or something like that?
another thing that is tricky for me is when im drawing lines, i will draw one, but then if i draw one near the last line, the last one dissapears and i now have a new one, do i need to create new layers for every line.. i think not, but right now i cant bunch up my lines like 'real' drawing.
and i wish there was a good list of shortcuts to use with this. i have the brackets and a couple of other ones going, but i know there is so much more to be had with this tool. any tips/tutorials forthcoming would be awesome! i know the handdrawn thing is sort of getting saturated but personally i like the authentic handdrawn scripty looking stuff, but the tablet doesnt allow for that automatically, there is definitely a learning curve...
luckily i'm an editor, and i know my way around those shortcuts well enough...
as for the drawing lines in a row, no, you don't have to use dif. layers. I draw eyelashes, which are extremely close and I sometimes draw over another lash and this has never happened to me. This is odd.
i bought one of these about 5 years ago, thinking it would greatly improve my on screen skills in photoshop/illustrator. I got the wacom 4x6 tablet because I didn't have enough money for something bigger. Althought it was ok at first, it takes a while to get use to the pen itself. To be honest, the drawing area is so small you can run off the drawing area really quick. If you have the money go with a bigger size. The bigger the better. Unfortuntly your looking at several hundred dollars for one that might be very comfortible for you. I wish these were a bit cheaper as the same size tablet i have still runs about 100 bucks, the same i paid 5 years ago :(
btw-i stopped using it 6 months after I bought it :(
Tablets are GREAT!
But they do have a learning curve. If you're left handed like me - even more. I was used to using my right hand to mouse around - so now being able to use my left like I draw was totally disorienting.
I had to take my mouse away to force me to use it.
One thing i learned: Buy Wacom - Intuos III. I've bought tons of different ones. They really don't work so good - but the Intuos III is magic. The pen is different - the surface is different - the pen tips are different and you have the extra keys right on the tablet. It's VERY worth it
Second thing: Get a 6x8 - or better - the new widescreen version (if your monitors are wide - or use dual monitors)
I used a 4x5 for about a year and a half. When I got a new 6x8 I was like "THIS Is what I've been missing!!!!" It allows for much more natural drawing. I also have a 9x12 - which is my favorite. However - when i'm on the road I take my 6x8.
Dealnews has the 4x5 for $49 and the 6x8s really cheap too - so check out dealnews.com and search for wacom.
Third thing: try it on your lap. I was so uncomfortable until I tried placing the thing in my lap. Then it's like a lil notebook you're drawing in.
Fourth thing - really play with the control panel settings to make it fit you.
Fifth thing - forget the mouse that comes with it - I never use that. I have my Logitech Laser Mx1000 always plugged in at the same time for things like 3D and scrolling long documents. Other than that I usually use the pen.
Sixth - having the pen in your hand while typing will take a lil while to get use to - but after a while you won't notice it.
Seventh thing - your coworkers really seem to respect you more when you use a tablet... odd. :-P
Thre's a lot i could tell you - but I hope that helps.
And about the lines disappearing - are you working in Illustrator perhaps? There's a setting you have to change for that inside Illustrator. I've never heard of that in Photoshop tho - but Wacom tech support is usually pretty responsive.
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