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torstan
11-18-2009, 10:55 AM
Hi all,

So my tablet gave a worrying hiccup this morning - not powering up when I plugged it into my laptop the first couple of times. Looks like I'll be buying a new one before too long... So I have a question.

I've been using a Wacom Graphire4 - essentially the equivalent of the modern bamboo. If I were to considering upgrading, what benefits does an Intuous4 provide over the lower price tablets? It's 2 1/2 times more expensive, so it's got to be good!

Tear
11-18-2009, 11:39 AM
The main advantage of the Intous is a higher accuracy. It has 2x-4x (depending on the Bamboo model) the pressure level sensitivity and also has double the movement resolution.

It comes with a small array of different pen nibs stored in the pen stand. There are 5 standard replacement ones, a flex nib, a stroke nib, and three felt nibs.

It also has those fancy programmable buttons and the programmable touch ring. Not really needed, but I like those because I got used to them. Some Bamboo models have express keys as well, though.

All those things combined might be worth the high cost for some, while for others it's just unnecessary bells and whistles. It really depends on what's important to you, personally.

You can certainly draw on both.

guyanonymous
11-18-2009, 12:28 PM
Does it also register angle of the pen? Or is that another line up?

Tear
11-18-2009, 12:59 PM
Yes it does.

DevinNight
11-18-2009, 01:51 PM
What size are you looking at?
I know everyone has different ideas, but I get along just fine with the smaller tablets. Mine is an Intuos 3 and is 4x5 active area. I don't make many large arm movements when I work.

torstan
11-18-2009, 01:55 PM
I'm using a little 4 by 6 graphire and that's quite large enough.

How does the angle sensitivity work. Is is useful? How often do you use it and does it feel natural?

I also saw that the new bamboo doubles as a mutli-touch track pad that works with your fingers. That's really cool. I guess the Intuous doesn't have this?

Thanks for the responses.

Tear
11-18-2009, 02:39 PM
Mine is an Intuos 3 and is 4x5 active area. I don't make many large arm movements when I work.
I'm using a little 4 by 6 graphire and that's quite large enough.

Seconded (thirded?). Bigger is not always better. Mine is an 8.5 x 5.5 active area which is the absolute upper limit for me. I had a really big one before because I got it really cheap, but I rarely used it because it was so unwieldy.


How does the angle sensitivity work. Is is useful? How often do you use it and does it feel natural?

It depends on your drawing style I guess. I heard some people really like the feature, especially when combined with the optional airbrush pen, but I never used that pen myself so I can't really comment on that.
It works with the standard pen too, but for me personally it's nice to experiment with at best. I never used it for any serious work.


I also saw that the new bamboo doubles as a mutli-touch track pad that works with your fingers. That's really cool. I guess the Intuous doesn't have this?

Yes, the Bamboo Pen & Touch models do that, though I never tried it myself.
The Intuos4 is pen only.

Midgardsormr
11-18-2009, 05:23 PM
I haven't really gotten to the point in my work where the angle sensitivity is useful (I'm using an Intuous3), but I've experimented with assigning both the angle and the roundness of the brush to pen angle in Photoshop. It makes it a little bit like using a Chinese calligraphy brush. But since I never did get any good with a real brush, having a digital version isn't terribly helpful for me! You can assign other functions to pen angle, as well. I imagine things like opacity and flow might make it work a bit more like a paint brush.

On the subject of usable area, I have heard some artists say that they've mapped their large tablets to a smaller area to make it more comfortable to paint with them, which seems to speak to the greater utility of a small drawing area. I have a 8 x 6.5" tablet and find it the perfect size, although it doesn't match my screen's aspect ratio, which sometimes makes things difficult. Maybe I'll try that remapping trick to match it up.

Ascension
11-18-2009, 05:52 PM
I saw somewhere that the I4 can be configured to rotate your image if you rotate the tablet...that would either be tremendously cool or tremendously annoying. For me it would be both because I move my tablet around a lot but I can't draw certain curves and lines otherwise...doesn't feel right. I have an I2 9x7 and it can be annoying at that size but I've had smaller sizes and they annoyed me much more - I'm a big arm movement kind of guy and hate to be restricted. I'd rather have more space and not need it than have something too small and feel confined - only to end up buying a bigger one anyway. Since the I4 is so pricey to begin with I won't be getting one at the size I want for a long time - I'll stick with my old big one rather than buy a fancy new small one.

torstan
11-18-2009, 06:00 PM
Thanks everyone. That's really useful feedback - especially from those of you with Intuous tablets. I'll see how flush I'm feeling when the one I have dies, but the small I4 is looking awfully tempting.

Tear
11-18-2009, 06:06 PM
I also saw that the new bamboo doubles as a mutli-touch track pad that works with your fingers. That's really cool. I guess the Intuous doesn't have this?

One more thing. As I said, I didn't try any of those myself yet, so I'm not really qualified to comment, but if you consider buying, I would really recommend to give them a live try first.

I imagine resting your hand on the surface and lifting up your pen to think for a minute can do all sorts of wondrous things if that thing suddenly switches into touch mode. Just a thought really. Wacom usually provides top-notch software, so I don't expect it to behave wonky, just saying.

torstan
11-18-2009, 06:56 PM
Certainy - but thanks for the salutory warning :)