View Full Version : Tablet Position

08-18-2011, 10:06 AM
While looking at the PenMoto video I noticed that the tablet was set up square to the keyboard and screen. I normally use my tablet at an angle....

I did some google-foo and discovered the "ergonomic" approach is square:

Once you find a comfortable location for your tablet you will want to affix it to the work-surface in order to maintain its exact position in relation to your monitor, aligning them to each-other along the same parallel plane. This is critical to learning, and mastering the necessary eye/hand coordination between your monitor and the tablet. If the table is moved or rotated even slightly you will need to relearn the necessary eye/hand coordination. You can affix the tablet to your desk with double-sided tape or museum putty.

This was from the brilliant illustrator Kevin Hulsey.

He also has suggestions on layout:

(from http://www.khulsey.com/computer-workstation-ergonomics.html )

I also need a mouse as I find it is hard to do node manipulation with a tablet in most software.

Any graphic tablet users want to share their layout?

-Rob A>

08-18-2011, 10:10 AM
I have mine to the right of my laptop and at a slight angle. I like to be able to have the same distance to my keyboard as my tablet as I use both constantly - so having the keyboard further away would not work for me at all.

08-18-2011, 10:26 AM
My tablet is usually stored behind my monitor, when I bring it out I have it directly in front of my keyboard. I've been meaning to move my second monitor to the right (I'm right handed ) for some time but it means a total reorganisation of cables etc. so...sometime soon.

08-18-2011, 10:26 AM
I had to get used to a different layout as I am not at home for one year. Normally I prefer a slightly different setup back home but now it looks like this:

______[Moe (.)]_____

I reach the Keyboard easily with my elbows situated left and right to the tablet (usually the pen is behind my right ear ;) ),
the center of the screen is the center of the tablet is the center of the Moe.

08-18-2011, 12:13 PM
ROFL... ergonomic is NOT how I would call most of my drawing(perhaps that's why I have such problems!). In about 80% of the time, I am sitting in my adjustable bed with head raised about 45 degrees and knees/legs about the same with my laptop on my lap... then.. my tablet is sitting SIDEWAYS on my chest to that it's inline with my right arm bent at around a 30 degree angle... yea... I probably looks as funny as it sounds....

Since I have a laptop.. the other 20% of the time, I usually have the laptop close to the edge of the work surface and my tablet to the right and away from the edge a few inches and at about a 10-20 degree angle...

08-18-2011, 12:57 PM
Tablet - Mouse.

And I am right handed, I dunno why my setup is like this.

08-18-2011, 03:30 PM
My computer table has a separate shelf underneath the main table for the keyboard, which makes it easy just to roll it out of the way/roll it back out, allowing me to leave my tablet right in front on the main table surface. I'm right handed, so when I first got my tablet I tried angling it to the left slightly, thinking that would be more ergonomic, but through trial and error, I've found that for me, having it directly aligned with the monitor actually does work better, with the mouse to the right of the tablet.

08-18-2011, 04:25 PM
Mine is much like Moe and Ravs but I sit in my easy chair and when I work with the tablet I turn to face the monitor head on and sit cross-legged and then draw. Otherwise I sit in my easy chair normally so that I can turn my head and see the tv in the other direction (in this pic it would be lower left) and do everything with my right arm on the desk manipulating the mouse. I have a cordless keyboard and mouse so I move them around a lot but this is how I look when drawing. The pic makes it look like I sit on the arm of the chair but I sit in the middle of the chair, I just don't draw well with a mouse. When not using the keyboard and/or tablet they go on the roll-out shelf underneath the desk top.

08-19-2011, 12:34 AM
When I use my tablet, it's usually held in the crook of my left arm like I hold a writing tablet (I have the 8"x6" Intuos 3 that's just the length from the crook of my elbow to the crook of my wrist). Then again, my artistic ability is slightly less than that of a rock.

08-19-2011, 01:46 AM
I don't have a tablet yet...still trying to save for the Cintiq but it seems like something is always reaching into my savings bucket :( This time it's likely to be all the medical bills I'm about to get hit with for my wonderful wife. After a day in the ER and an appointment scheduled for Monday to set up a minor surgery I'm quite sure my tablet funds are going to be more than depleted but that's another story.

The real reason I posted is because while viewing the PenMoto stuff I ran across this guy and when I saw his setup I instantly hated him, ROFL.


08-19-2011, 03:06 AM
My desktop setup is very much like Ravells - except my monitors are ahead and to the right (the way you say you want it set up). I have a keyboard shelf that pulls out under the desk, that's where I keep the tablet and mouse (usually I use the one on the tablet), then reach up to use the keyboard.

When I'm using the laptop at the dining room table I use the tablet directly in front of the keyboard (square), no mouse, just the pen. If I'm sitting at the couch I keep the laptop on the tray in front of me and the tablet in my lap. No angles, though I can deal with it if need be (not so much now that I was able to justify upgrading to cs5 and can rotate the canvas on a whim)

08-20-2011, 07:28 AM
The real reason I posted is because while viewing the PenMoto stuff I ran across this guy and when I saw his setup I instantly hated him, ROFL.
Holy Sh... a kingdom for his equipment - though, of course, it won't help you if you can't use it. But it looks pretty impressive ;)


08-24-2011, 01:26 AM
My layout is pretty much like Fig 4 (left side), with the tablet centered just a little more, and my mouse is a bit further to the right and when I am not drawing I put my tablet somewhere further to the left and instead pull the keyboard closer.

I am right-handed, and I surely couldn't use a mouse with my left hand (Fig 5, assuming his trackball is the mouse-equivalent he uses).

Also, my right eye is MUCH worse than my left, with Fig 5 layout the 2nd screen would be too far off beyond my peripheral vision. Last but not least my desk is in a corner with walls in front and left of me, so it feels moe natural to have the 2nd screen at an angle to the left wall.

08-24-2011, 12:03 PM
I couldn't affix my tablet to the desk. For one thing, I have to share it with my wife, but for another, I find it more comfortable sometimes to hold it in my lap, or supported on my left arm. I don't find that I have any trouble with hand/eye coordination by moving it around; I seem to adapt to a new configuration within a few moments.

My typical set up is primary monitor straight ahead with the keyboard centered in front of it on the desk. The mouse to the right of the keyboard (like bart, I can't use the mouse with my left hand). My second monitor is to the right and angled toward me. The tablet is either held in my lap, or I can push the keyboard back to put it on the desk directly in front of me. The pen is mapped only to the primary monitor, and I've disabled the touch strip on the right (it's an Intuos3) because I frequently brush it with the side of my hand as I draw. I've remapped one of the buttons to Alt, and I replaced the double-click on the pen with middle mouse, so I can navigate in Maya more easily.

08-24-2011, 01:11 PM
I can't say I'd ever stick my tablet to the desk but, then again, I don't exactly have an ergonomic setup. I have a large flat-screen monitor in front of me with a small keyboard in front of that and my tablet in front of that, with the mouse and pad to the right. I move the tablet out of the way when I'm doing a lot of non-tablet work. My tablet (Intuos4 medium) has a mouse but I've never been able to get the hang of using it (drags too much for my taste).