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Wacom Intuos and After effects

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Andrea Marini
Wacom Intuos and After effects
on Jul 30, 2013 at 1:39:25 pm

Hi, I just bought a Wacom Intuos 5 M no touch.

After a day of work mainly in PS and AE I have 2 issues:

1) I set the ring to pgup + shift and pgdown + shift to scrub the timeline, but it's not working as expected. If I scroll with the ring, AE keeps going forward step by step in the timeline even if I take away the finger from the ring (it's like when you press a lot of time and fast the pgup key, he caches the commands and execute it one step at a time). Is there a way to configure the ring in a more "reactive" way to scrub the timeline? This would be great if working in Premiere as well.

2) This is a bit offtopic but I think you can give some advice. I bought the M size after everyone advised me it was the best size/price I could get. I used a bamboo fun small for the last month, I got comfortable with an "all tablet setup", and wanted something more "pro" so I upgraded to Intuos 5 M. I don't paint or draw, I use daily AE, PS C4D (animation, roto, masking etc... mainly motion graphics). After a couple of days with the new tablet I feel that I have to do large movements, and the elbow is always on/off the desk side (specially when I reach the bottom part of the tablet). With the small bamboo I was moving only the wrist to accomplish almost everything (but the sensitivity and general feeling was worse of course).

Do you think It's better to wait and it will become comfortable (consider I'm coming from a month on an S tablet, and it was first time for me) or should I change it for a small?


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Joseph W. Bourke
Re: Wacom Intuos and After effects
on Jul 30, 2013 at 3:19:51 pm

I can't help with your specific problem, but I know that there have been past problems with Wacom tablet functions in CS4 and CS5:

http://forums.creativecow.net/thread/2/978928

I have a slightly older Intuos, and I have never put in the time to get the comfort level of working with the pen in AE or PPro, but there are many users who say that after a week or so of working with it, they never go back. My first experience with a pen in graphics work was on a Quantel Paintbox. It required large numbers of gestures on the edge of the tablet, and, although I didn't experience this, one of our graphic artists got carpal tunnel syndrome from working in this way. But as I say, the Quantel was early on, and many of the gestural strokes required repetition to get them to work.

I find that it's more comfortable to work with my Wacom in my lap (I have the smaller tablet), and, in terms of AE and PPro, I find that a wireless mouse is the way to go for me.

Joe Bourke
Owner/Creative Director
Bourke Media
http://www.bourkemedia.com


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Jeff Hinkle
Re: Wacom Intuos and After effects
on Jul 30, 2013 at 7:55:40 pm

1.) If you set the scroll speed to the slowest setting in the Wacom control panel for After Effects, it should work closer to what you're expecting. You still can't spin around the ring too quickly, but you'll get a lot less "inertia" on the CTI.

2.) I've been using a Wacom large on a two-monitor setup for years and am able to do most of my work with wrist movements. Yes, I need to move my arm some, but it's pretty minor. Basically I just slide my arm slightly to a new position on the tablet and then it's all wrist again. It's very comfortable and natural. I'd say if you can wait before you have to decide about returning the tablet, to give it some time. I've always found the small size tablet to be too confining.

---
It is easier to destroy than to create.
More fun, too.


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Walter Soyka
Re: Wacom Intuos and After effects
on Jul 31, 2013 at 10:57:34 am

[Andrea Marini] "Hi, I just bought a Wacom Intuos 5 M no touch. After a day of work..."

Give it a little more time. It took me a couple weeks before I really felt adjusted to a tablet as a mouse replacement.


[Andrea Marini] "Is there a way to configure the ring in a more "reactive" way to scrub the timeline?"

I don't have a direct answer here, as I use a different method. I pan the timeline by holding the spacebar and dragging with the pen. I don't use the ring for scrolling, either -- I assign Pan/Scroll to the rocker switch (more on this below) so I can do all my scrolling with the pen strokes.

I do use the ring all the time in Photoshop -- it rocks there.


[Andrea Marini] "After a couple of days with the new tablet I feel that I have to do large movements, and the elbow is always on/off the desk side (specially when I reach the bottom part of the tablet). With the small bamboo I was moving only the wrist to accomplish almost everything (but the sensitivity and general feeling was worse of course). Do you think It's better to wait and it will become comfortable (consider I'm coming from a month on an S tablet, and it was first time for me) or should I change it for a small?"

I use the deepest part of my desk (the corner in an L) and arrange it like this, back to front: monitor, keyboard, wrist rest, tablet, empty space. All are in a line, and as you note, that empty space to rest or anchor your arm can be important. When I travel, I carry an M tablet and I often have to place the tablet to the side of the keyboard instead of in front of it to keep a little depth free for my arm.

Personally, I couldn't go back to an S. One of the things I like about larger tablets is that you are not just using your wrist -- you can also use your elbow and your shoulder, just as if you were drawing. This is great for avoiding repetitive stress injury (RSI), which was one of the reasons I started using tablets in the first place. If you can make the strokes near the bottom of the tablet from your shoulder, or if you can push your elbow out to the side instead of pulling it in toward your body, you may find it more comfortable working in limited space.

A final tip for a new Intuos user: explore and change the defaults! Personally, I find them useless. I immediately change the rocker switch on the pen for Pan/Scroll on the forward/lower switch and right-click (on tap, not on hover) for the backward/upper switch. After a bit of trial and error, that's felt the most natural for me and is the most useful across applications, but you may find settings that work better for you.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Andrea Marini
Re: Wacom Intuos and After effects
on Jul 31, 2013 at 1:09:31 pm

Walter, thanks for your extensive reply.

[Walter Soyka]
Give it a little more time. It took me a couple weeks before I really felt adjusted to a tablet as a mouse replacement.

After two more days, I feel a lot more comfortable. Tried the mouse yesterday, and instantly wanted to grab the pen again.

[Andrea Marini] "Is there a way to configure the ring in a more "reactive" way to scrub the timeline?"

I assigned the spacebar keystroke to the lower pen button so I can pan easily in each panel. I'm ok with dragging the timeline cursor as usual. I also assigned ram preview to one of the buttons on the tablet and some useful shortcuts to the radial menu, so I don't have to reach the keyboard for every step (but this is very hard, I'm still comfortable with a hand on the pen and one on the keyboard).


[Walter Soyka]I use the deepest part of my desk (the corner in an L) and arrange it like this, back to front: monitor, keyboard, wrist rest, tablet, empty space.

Very similar to my actual setup. I made some adjustments pushing the monitor backwards, so I gained more desk space and now I can place my elbow on the side. The more I'm getting used to the tablet, the less movement I'm doing (or noticing).


[Walter Soyka]A final tip for a new Intuos user: explore and change the defaults!

I already tweaked the settings for After Effects and Cinema4d. I will give more time to the basic settings as I'm still keeping all the time a hand on the keyboard forgetting that I have 8 buttons and a ring. I'm taking notes as I work of which are my personal (most used) shorcuts, later I will assign them to express buttons.

Some issues I experienced yesterday:

1) Dual monitor (macbook 15 and external 24): I'm using the single monitor mapping as 90% of the time I work on the big screen. Yesterday I had problems when I tried the dual monitor mapping. I was watching a vimeo tutorial fullscreen on the macbook and following along on the 24". The pointer started to behave strangely, I couldn't go back to the monitor where the video was running fullscreen.

2) I'm confused when it comes the time to write with the keyboard. Sometimes I place the pen in the holder, sometimes I keep the pen and I write normally with the left hand and using just one finger in the right. If I need to write a long text like this one, I put the pen away.

3) Here in Italy it's very hot now...sweat is a problem with the tablet!!


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