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View Full Version : A Love Letter to My New Tablet



su_liam
01-15-2008, 02:31 PM
Here's a little experiment I did with the tablet I got for my birthday.

I also tested some new ideas I had for using textured bevel and emboss layers. Well the ideas were new to me anyway.

I would post the actual psd, but it's hugenormous and not really worth the download time.

RPMiller
01-15-2008, 04:01 PM
As a tablet user myself, I'll say welcome to a whole new better way of doing things. Since I've been using my tablet I have no idea how I got by so long without one.

Perhaps you could post a screen cap of your layers and blend options?

su_liam
01-16-2008, 01:17 PM
Took me awhile to set this up. I wanted to try to recreate the effect, so I'd have some idea what I did ;-)

First, I created a bottom layer, 'green', with clouds filter in green and kind of a golden yellowish color. I added about 2% monochromatic gaussian noise to that.

On top of that I added a 'texture' layer. This was basically drawn in in low opacity green. The layer used bevel and emboss with contour and texture.

Next, I added a 'rivers' layer. This was a little more complex. I drew in my rivers on an alpha channel. I used the channel as a selection and ran the clouds filter with a couple shades of blue for the river. This made for a more interesting look than drawing blue lines. I then applied an outer bevel to the river layer. Direction 'down.' After playing around a bit, I also added a satin effect to the layer. That seemed to tone down the color pleasantly. meh...

Finally, I drew in mountains in kind of a golden brown color on a layer called, 'mountains'. I'm so clever with those names ;) heehee Anyway... I used about the same layer effects settings that I did on the 'texture' layer. Inner bevel, smooth, upward, I created a kind of peaky, downward concave contour(on the 'texture' layer, I think, I used a simple linear contour for a more subtle effect).

su_liam
01-16-2008, 01:24 PM
More captures here. I also added a cap showing the layers and the actual final image which I neglected to put up before. I think this one is better than my previous. By the way, how do I save brush settings in PS7?

If there is any interest I can put up the psd.

RPMiller
01-16-2008, 01:26 PM
It's been a while, but I believe you can save the brushes from Edit-->Define Brush Preset...

su_liam
01-16-2008, 02:25 PM
Well, here's a quickie. I decided to add some towns and labeling text. I think I need to work on my symbols.

Oh yeah, I found a 'New Brush' item in the menu associated with the Brushes tab. That did the trick.

Qin
01-16-2008, 09:38 PM
Quick Question, im looking buy a tablet. What kind should i get?
Is there anything that i should Know before i buy one?

RPMiller
01-16-2008, 11:11 PM
You may want to read through this thread.

http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=552

pyrandon
01-17-2008, 10:07 PM
Su_liam: thakns so much for that! Wonderfully, wonderfully helpful! That's just great of you to post that!

su_liam
01-18-2008, 03:14 AM
Thank you for the kind words Pyrandon. I owe so much to this little group and to the guy at zombienirvana.com that it's good to feel as if I might be giving a tiny measure back.

I'm really liking the ability to quickly and easily change the landforms simply by changing the pattern in the texture part of the bevel and emboss effect.

Doing it again, I'd probably do the mountains as a selection mask like I did the river, so I could apply a subtle cloud shading with a couple shades of gold or brown or greyish. That would also increase my ability to go back and recolor parts. I could see a virtuoso photoshop artist(not me) doing almost all painting in grayscale in alpha channels.

This has kind of gotten away from my wacom tablet(which I still love), but many of those little squiggles I made would have been a whole lot more difficult without benefit of that pressure sensitive stylus.

I've been trying to get a better feel for my stylus by using it for a lot of my computer work, instead of the mouse. I've gotten to where I can successfully click without dragging most of the time, and my pointer pretty reliably goes where I expect it to when I put stylus to pad. It's still a little inconvenient and without a scroll wheel it will never replace my mouse, but I am getting the feel for a new tool. My wife is a pro with the pressure sensitivity, I think her calligraphy experience tells.

RobA
01-18-2008, 11:18 AM
I've gotten to where I can successfully click without dragging most of the time

OK- spill the secret for that one. I have to keep alternating between tablet and mouse because of my complete inability to click without moving....possibly the way I am holding the stylus?

-Rob A>

su_liam
01-18-2008, 11:48 AM
Well, it's not 100% reliable. Beyond just practicing till my hand is permanently into a painful cramping claw, I don't know of any secret.

One thing that helps a little when I'm not on photoshop is to use the eraser end; it seems a little less sensitive :shrug:. All my teachers tried to teach me how to hold a pencil the "Right Way®" without success. Maybe there's an upside to the way I hold my pencil. Or maybe it's the effect of having my knuckles rapped with a ruler for years on end... Catholic school rocks... and stuff :x. I know the way I hold a pen certainly wakes up the carp in my tunnels. :oHm? That sounds a little dirty...:P

Oh! Try reducing tip sensitivity in the Pen Tablet control panel. I don't know the Windows(©Microsoft, Inc.®) way of doing that, but there would have to be some equivalent driver preferences or settings panel.:?:. Might help.

RPMiller
01-18-2008, 02:32 PM
OK- spill the secret for that one. I have to keep alternating between tablet and mouse because of my complete inability to click without moving....possibly the way I am holding the stylus?

-Rob A>
I don't understand. I haven't had this problem at all. Are you clicking with the tip or are you using the side button on the stylus?

RobA
01-18-2008, 03:52 PM
I don't understand. I haven't had this problem at all. Are you clicking with the tip or are you using the side button on the stylus?

Clicking with the tip.

-Rob A>

su_liam
01-18-2008, 11:42 PM
I think I understand the problem: you thunk the tip down and it skitters across the surface a little. The only solution I know is practice. I've found the softer my touch gets, the less I have the problem. This is my observation from less than two weeks of constant use.

RPMiller
01-21-2008, 02:23 PM
Clicking with the tip.

-Rob A>
Interesting... Do you have an acetate sheet covering the writing surface? Maybe that is why I haven't had that problem. I got the sheet with the tablet since it was part of their special edition series so I don't know if it is standard or not. It definitely gives a different feel than drawing directly on the normal surface.

RobA
01-21-2008, 03:23 PM
I think the issue is that when I press down with the tip it registers as a "click-drag" with the OS rather than just a click.

For example, I find it very hard to select a node in Inkscape without moving that node (as if I had click-dragged).

It could be related to the way I hold the stylus/wrist mechanics. Do you hold your pen angled or vertical?

-Rob A>

RPMiller
01-21-2008, 03:44 PM
I hold it different ways depending on what I'm doing. I think when I "click" the tip I do tend to move it into a more vertical position though. I'll have to pay attention to it when I use it next to see. I will say that yesterday I sat my son down at it and had him play around in PhotoShop to see how he took to the tablet as well as the application. He had no problems with the stylus right out of the gate except for two things. The first was that he kept trying to use it like a mouse and picking up and dragging it, and second was he kept hitting the stylus button. Once I showed him how the tablet mapped to the screen and that the stylus would "jump" the cursor he was zooming right along. He didn't have any clicking issues either as he moved from one tool to the next and selected layers and such.