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OPR Workshop Information Exchange => Photoshop Discussion => Topic started by: Kenny on July 22, 2006, 11:47:50 AM

Title: Graphics Tablet
Post by: Kenny on July 22, 2006, 11:47:50 AM
I've always wanted to get an Intuos tablet to use with Photoshop, but I've never even tried one out to see if I would like it. To me it looks like I would have a lot more control than trying to draw with a mouse.

I would love to hear some reviews on using a graphic tablet. I have a few questions about using them, so I hope some of you are using them.


Thanks,

Kenny
Title: Re: Graphics Tablet
Post by: cmpentecost on July 22, 2006, 02:48:43 PM
I absolutely love my Wacom tablet, and can't imagine working in Photoshop, much less photo restoration, without the tablet.  It was very easy for me to learn to use....pretty much in a day.  If you do  lot with Photoshop, I strongly recommend getting a tablet.  Mine is the 9 x 12, and at first I thought it was too large, but I have a very large flat panel monitor, so I think the size tablet I have is perfect.   :up2:
Title: Re: Graphics Tablet
Post by: Kenny on July 22, 2006, 03:00:22 PM
I guess the main question I have is this: is the tablet simply an input device or does it display the part of the image you're working on?
Title: Re: Graphics Tablet
Post by: cmpentecost on July 22, 2006, 06:31:04 PM
The tablet is an input device, much like the mouse, but you have a drawing surface on the tablet on which you can use either the pen or the mouse that comes with the tablet.  The display remains on the screen.  With the pen, you have a lot more control with pen pressure, and small, fine detail work.  Again, I couldn't imagine working in Photoshop without my tablet.

If you have a photography store or computer store near you, they may have one you could look at.
Title: Re: Graphics Tablet
Post by: Kenny on July 22, 2006, 07:32:23 PM
Eh...I live 100 miles south of Nowhere  :D. I'm serious, we have nothing near us. The nearest realy computer store is 2 hours away. I'd love to try one though, it really looks like it would be easier to do detail.
Title: Re: Graphics Tablet
Post by: Peter_AUS on July 23, 2006, 12:59:49 AM
Slasher you really do need to try one out, buying one without trial at the price they are is a huge disappointment if you get it wrong.  Also the sizes of them do matter to individuals.

I have an elcheapo one and am seriously looking at getting a Wacom one but am unsure between the Graphire and the Intuous, being that the Intuos one costs twice as much, reasoning behind the difference in both is important.

I was looking at the 6 x 8 size because of desk real estate.
Title: Re: Graphics Tablet
Post by: Carol on July 23, 2006, 02:19:31 AM
Hi Slasher,

Couldn't live without my tablet.  (well I guess I could, but I'd prefer not to).  The Graphire is good value and, if you have never used a tablet before, is probably all you would need for photo restoration.  If,  however you are doing a lot of illustration work, you might find the intuos more suitable, especially because of the added pressure sensitivity.  I dream of owning a Cintiq, however, the budget simply doesn't allow it.

They are all very simple to use.  You have much more control than simply using a mouse and if you do sit and work on an image for hours, you will probably notice that your hand does not get as sore.

Carol
Title: Re: Graphics Tablet
Post by: Peter_AUS on July 23, 2006, 06:27:33 AM
Carol what do you think about not having the extra buttons on the tablet and also not as good a pen that is on the Intuos compared to the Graphire.  Also do you know where the best price is to purchase from here in Australia.  Thanks.
Title: Re: Graphics Tablet
Post by: Carol on July 23, 2006, 07:56:35 AM
Hi Peter,

As far as the extra express keys and touch strips are concerned, I'm not sure if I would really utilise them because I am so familiar and comfortable with keyboard commands.  They have become second nature. 

As for the pen sensitivity;  For restoration work I have been happy with the Graphire.  I have, however been doing a lot of illustration work lately and learning to use Illustrator.  Here, I think (when using vector based graphics), the extra sensitivity would be really useful.   It would also be nice to have the pen tilt capability that the intuos has.  Coming from a Visual Arts background, I would probably find that more natural for drawing. 

I bought mine from AIM in Box Hill.   http://www.ausmedia.com.au/wacom.htm  At the moment, a 6"x8" graphire 4 is AU$275.  You can pick up a 6"x8" Graphire 3 or a smaller size tablet  for much less than this. 

One other thing you may like to consider, if you have a widescreen monitor, the wide format intuos may be more suited to you.

Carol
Title: Re: Graphics Tablet
Post by: vhansen on July 23, 2006, 09:21:12 AM
I've been using Wacom for years. I currently have the Intuos 2, 4x5.  I highly recommend the use of a tablet for restoration work.  Those who don't find it useful usually don't have it set up correctly.  Tablets work the same way a mouse works, however, instead of holding a mouse, you're holding a pen, and using the tablet much like a mouse pad.  I find the most valuable feature the pressure sensitivity.  Extra features, such as the programmable buttons aren't really a necessity, so even an older Wacom model, without those features, would be adequate.  I only use the pen when working in Photoshop, and use my regular mouse when doing everything else (you can have both working simultaneously).

It's important that you check whether the program you use supports a tablet and pressure sensitivity.
Title: Re: Graphics Tablet
Post by: Ptollemy on August 01, 2006, 08:06:28 AM
Peter_AUS: Wacam have just launched an Australian site: http://www.buywacom.com.au/

They have a very basic starter model for $149. I've just ordered one (postage to Melbourne was $13 via courier, NOT Australia Post). I'll let you know what I think once it's arrived.

Kind regards
Ptollemy
Title: Re: Graphics Tablet
Post by: pcraft on August 01, 2006, 10:19:02 AM
Hi Vikky,
 
I recently purchased a Wacom Intuos3  6X11 and have been having a heck of a time with it... 
In your recent post you stated, " Those who don't find it useful usually don't have
it set up correctly."  I'm wondering if you might have some setup tips for a novice user?
 
 
Robert  ( pcraft  )
Title: Re: Graphics Tablet
Post by: vhansen on August 01, 2006, 11:07:14 AM
Here's a screen shot of the settings in Windows>Control Panel>Wacom.
http://www.pbase.com/image/64448837.jpg
Title: Re: Graphics Tablet
Post by: pcraft on August 01, 2006, 12:59:17 PM
Thanks for the link Vikki...  Although, my tablet came default mapped to the entire screen..  I've fiddled with pen settings somewhat. Been trying to optimize it for tilt etc. without much luck...  lol  Maybe I need an airbrush pen to optimize it to it's full capability..  I've also had trouble with pressure sensitivity, when drawing, it does darken some but not as much as one would figgure it would..    Anyway, thanks for your prompt reply!!!   ;)
Title: Re: Graphics Tablet
Post by: cmpentecost on August 01, 2006, 01:31:20 PM
Robert,

Although I picked up on the "basics" of the tablet fairly quickly, the skills of pen sensitivity and using the little tabs on the left and right side of the tablet took time to get used to.  Now, however, they are second nature, and I don't know how I could possibly work in Photoshop without my tablet.  Stick with it, and it will eventually all fall in place.

Christine
Title: Re: Graphics Tablet
Post by: Rob Accomando on August 02, 2006, 02:05:14 PM
I have a tough time with my wacom 4x6 because I'm not used to drawing without looking at my hand on the paper. :-) I'm also used 2 using the mouse w/my right hand even though I'm a lefty. Am I a freak or what? heh.  Still trying 2 get used to it all.
Title: Re: Graphics Tablet
Post by: oksyl on August 07, 2006, 01:20:49 PM
I recently bought an Intuos 4X6  @ 8x12pad. At first it took a little practice to get used to it.  Now that I have had it for 5 months, I think its worth every penny I paid for it.  I wasnt sure at first if the size would be just right. I always perceived the bigger the better. I wouldnt use this theory in selecting a pad size. Because I am older and not as flexible, the 4x6 pad is just the perect size, because I can work the whole screen with very little arm movement. I bought my pad on Ebay and it also came with a 8x12 pad, I never use it. I leave my origional wireless mouse hooked up and I also have my pad hooked up. I can easily interchange between them with little problem. I feels so natural. I just have to remember to remove the pen away from the pad if using my cordless mouse. I also received a mouse to use with the Intuos pad, but I never use it. I dont think that if you ever purchased one used or new, that you would ever regret it. Its just plain an outstanding tool to have when working with any graphics or photos. The only drawback, is that they are not cheep. I prefer the intuos model, but both work just fine. Oh by the way, I have a plastic flap on my pad that I use to draw on, the flap lifts up so that a photo or graphic can be placed underneath for tracing or guide. I also live out in the country, and have to drive 1 hr to a electronics store. Compared to the price of new, a used one on Ebay suited me just fine.  Good Luck.  Jerry
Title: Re: Graphics Tablet
Post by: cmpentecost on August 07, 2006, 02:43:09 PM
I am a lefty also, but use the mouse in my right hand.  Just keep with practicing on the tablet, and it will eventually become natural to you.  I've had my tablet a year, and absolutely love it.  I couldn't imagine working in Photoshop without it.

Christine
Title: Re: Graphics Tablet
Post by: pcraft on August 07, 2006, 03:13:41 PM

Thanks Christine and Jerry

Quote:"I have a plastic flap on my pad that I use to draw on, the flap lifts up so that a photo or graphic can be placed underneath for tracing or guide."

That's an excellent idea Jerry...  Did you add the plastic flap yourself or was it manufactured that way?

Here's a photo of my desktop...
(http://i67.photobucket.com/albums/h293/Pcraft_photos/IMG_7291bcopy.jpg)
Title: Re: Graphics Tablet
Post by: oksyl on August 07, 2006, 04:41:05 PM
Pcraft - it was manufactured that way.
Title: Re: Graphics Tablet
Post by: rcarey2 on August 10, 2006, 11:45:56 AM
I started using a tablet about 11 years ago at an agency I worked for. We used the tablets for Photoshop, Xpress, Illustrator, FreeHand, etc. When I started doing stuff at home I had to have one. I've found it difficult to do work w/o it. When I freelanced I brought my tablet to job sites. It's one of those tools that changes everything.

I am a lefty too. I use my mouse with the right hand and the pen in the left; both in hand when I work so I can quickly change styles or tools.
Title: Re: Graphics Tablet
Post by: cmpentecost on August 10, 2006, 10:47:00 PM
as an added note to the tablet.  I've had mine a year, and have used it a lot.  I finally replaced the "nib" or whatever you call it (the "pen tip") today.  Wow, I can't believe the difference a fresh nib makes.  Part of the reason I hadn't replaced it was I didn't know how, until going online.  You just pull it out with a tweezers or pliers, and put the new one in.  Wow, what a difference it made.  Hard to believe a piece of plastic would get worn down so much.

Hope this helps you other tablet users!

Christine
Title: Re: Graphics Tablet
Post by: Peter_AUS on August 10, 2006, 11:49:54 PM
I have ordered a 6x8 Intuos3 from citysoftware.com.au here in Australia over 2 weeks ago now and have been getting the run around from them.  I get told will be here in a couple of days, several times, then they had a problem with their account and the supplier, then get told they have sorted that will be in a couple of days, and on and on and on.  As the price is the best I could find, $369Aus, I am waiting, but unless it is here middle of next week, I will be really getting annoyed.  Certainly not the way to run a business.  They have never contacted me to keep me informed and have only returned my calls twice, after berating them for not returning calls.  Even the manager has been giving me the run around.  Certainly will be mentioning this lack of service in some Aussie Forums when and if I receive my order.

It is nice Christine that you can change the pens nibs to other things, you can get an assortment of them, here they cost about $40 for the pack of accessory nibs etc.
Title: Re: Graphics Tablet
Post by: Peter_AUS on August 17, 2006, 06:07:15 AM
Update, to the Intuos Tablet that took 3 weeks to get after ordering.  Arrived yesterday which surprised me and my girls.  Wow is the 6x8 bigger than I thought it would be, but it does give you much more area to work with.  Certainly takes a little time to get used to.  Have got it working in vanilla mode with Photoshop at present and have been doodling with it on a blank workspace just to get used to the feel of it.  Now I have to buy two Graphire 4x5 for my daughters or they will be using mine which I don't want.

The Educational Version doesn't come with any software apart from the driver disk and a quick demo, the pen and some extra nibs, but no tweezers to pull the nibs out easily.

Looking at whether the pen holder and extra nib set is worth getting what do those with the Intuos 3 think ??

If you setup the buttons etc can you set them to work differently depending on what application is in use at the time ??

Any hits or extras that people might have let me know what works ??

Thanks.
Title: Re: Graphics Tablet
Post by: happyheart on August 29, 2006, 04:12:16 PM
I started with the Graphire tablet a couple of years ago, just to give it a try.  It isn't as sensitive to pressure as the newer ones.  I got an intous 3 at the last Photoshop World, and absolutely love it.  I'm not using the strips all that much yet, but I think it is a matter of training me!.  I use this tablet at work.   Recently my big Viewsonic monitor quit working.  I looked at replacing it, and finally gave up and decided to indulge myself with the Wacom Cintiq.  It is FABULOUS!  You draw right on the screen, and it can be rotated from portrait to landscape, depending what you are working on.  I absolutely love it, and think it will be worth every penny.
Title: Re: Graphics Tablet
Post by: Sonya K on September 05, 2006, 05:27:56 PM
Okay...now you've all got me very excited about my new purchase.
I've been using a trackball for the last while for my restorations.
But today! Today I purchased an Intuos3 6x11, for overnight delivery.
Before I read all the great feedback in this post.
I am so excited I probably won't sleep at all tonight. ;D

Sonya K