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Thread: A tablet, do I need one?

  1. #1
    Guild Novice Servant Of Thor's Avatar
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    Question A tablet, do I need one?

    I have been thinking about purchasing one. What are the benefits, downfalls of a tablet, and what are some good models, so far all I know of is the wacom tablets.
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    Guild Artisan Aval Penworth's Avatar
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    If you are actually going to sketch and draw with it then it might be worth it. Because you can more easily get a freehand feel with a tablet, than a mouse.

    But I and many others I know who have been using photoshop and other similar programs prefer using a mouse. I used to employ a few photo retouchers, one of them used a Wacom tablet, and got excellent results. But they mainly seemed to use a mouse.

    I still have the tablet, but I never use it. Mainly because if i want to draw something, I draw it on paper then scan and edit it with the computer. I get a better freehand feel from pencil and paper and the tablet doesn't give me the precise control that I can get with a mouse.

    I will now open the floor to the tablet devotees who, I am sure, can't wait present their re-butts
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  3. #3
    Guild Novice Servant Of Thor's Avatar
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    Cool, so what the learning curve on a tablet (a scanner is not practicle btw, I don't have one and have access to one rarely) cause I heard they can be hard to learn?
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      Clercon is offline
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    I think I belong to the righ corner of the boxing ring where all the tablet devotees are standing :-)

    In my humble opinion I must say that I never would stand working in photoshop without using a tablet (a wacom in my case). In other programs like CC3 I rarely use the tablet, it works just as well with the mouse, and sometimes better I think. All maps I've done here on the forum are made with a tablet and are drawn in PS, nothing is scanned. What you prefer is very much up to your self and what working method you like. But the tablet will open up new possibilities for you in completing things in PS that will be very hard to do without a tablet.

    The learning curve is quite light I would say in learning to use a tablet. After some practice it works really nice.

  5. #5
    Guild Artisan Aval Penworth's Avatar
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    I agree regarding the learning curve of tablet use. When I first got the tablet I taught myself how to use it over the weekend. So if that is one of the things putting you off, don't let it. There are many more difficult things to learn, in this game.
    Hi ho, hi ho, it's off to work I go..

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      tilt is offline
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    I'm hopefully getting my first tablet today (after working with graphics for 15+ years with a mouse) and looking very much forward to it. The reason I've bought a tablet is for being able to make more hand drawn stuff directly in photoshop and to start painting again - only this time digitally (although I also just purchased 4 canvasses as they were on sale with frame).
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      Coyotemax is offline
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    On a personal note, I started off with a mouse while doing computer artwork (all forms, not just maps). I got great results, and still can. Then I got a tablet, and while I can work without it quite effectively, I rarely use the mouse for *anything* anymore (unless i'm not at home, and using my brother-in-law's computer). The learning curve was insanely easy to overcome for me, I just played a few solitaire games and such for a weekend, plus puttered around in photoshop, and booyah.

    Overall my review would be along the lines of "Need tablet, no. i can work fine without it. Want the tablet? Heck yes, I love using it and can do more than I thought with it."

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      waldronate is online now
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    I have invested many thousands of dollars over the years looking for the hardware or software package that will give me some sort of artistic ability. I have come to the conclusion that if you aren't happy with your freehand drawing skills then a tablet is unlikely to help you much. Another consideration is that using a tablet introduces a disconnect between where your hand is and where your eye is lookling. Some people can tolerate this, other can't (as always, practice helps to mitigate the possible issues).

    I've owned several Wacom tablets over the years and they have all performed flawlessly. The Intuos 4 models are a little pricey but have many nice features. The Cintiq is very pricey but includes that fancy screen directly behind the tablet to mitigate the eye/hand disconnect issues (there is a teeny bit of lag that can be annoying, but it's usually not noticeable on a fast machine). Size is the big thing for a tablet. I have been more comfortable working with the 6x8 model because the physical unit is about the size of a tablet of paper (the drawing area is still 6x8 inches). Some folks like big desktop units that they don't pick up and hold. If you are prone to big sweeping strokes then the smaller drawing area will take some getting used to, but most folks find that they are usually only drawing in a small part of the media at any time and a smaller drawing area isn't a problem.

    The only way to find out if a tablet is for you is to try one. It may end up like mine always do, sitting on the shelf until I need to do some major retouching work, but at least you'll know. Scanners are inexpensive and give pretty good quality (the CanoScan LiDE series, for example, is usually less than $100, not much bigger than a mid-size tablet, and only needs a single USB cable to operate), but they are still subject to the basic limitations of pen and paper. A digital camera can also be used to take pictures of artwork drawn on paper as well as to capture texture elements for doing drawings, but cameras work best for artwork when used with a carefully-positioned tripod and lighting sets (a frame with light and camera port makes for the most consistent results).

    A tablet opens a lot of techniques that you can't really do well with a pen and paper, but they aren't for everyone.

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      Larb is offline
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    I used to use a mouse but then I picked up a tablet (not for maps originally, but because I wanted to draw again and improve my art and I thought having something connected to the computer I'm always sat at might motivate me more). Now that I've got a tablet though, I'll never go back to using any kind of image editing software with a mouse, I just love it so much.

    I did get that initial disconnect waldronate mentions, but found it quickly dissapeared once I got used to it. I used to play a sketch game called BrokenPictureTelephone (it's dead now though sadly) and after a few months of that, it felt like using a regular pen.

    If you're doing any sort of drawing, maps or otherwise, I think they are definately worth it. If you're unsure but still want to give one a try then go for the Wacom Bamboo. It's cheap and still nice (a friend of mine picked one up after I got my tablet).

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      Ascension is offline
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    I prefer to do my drawing with pencil on paper and scan it. I rarely use the tablet to draw the same way I do with real media. The tablet is fun for doing quick sketchy things but I have yet to learn how to control it exactly how I want it. Could I get by without one? Easily. If I wanted to get real serious and do professional work then it's pretty much required but I'm not that serious about anything.
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