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hell astro course
Dec 10, 2009

pizza sucks



Hey everyone,

My ancient (90s era) Entry level Wacom tablet (I think it was a Graphire 2) finally died out on me..and it's about time I sprung for a new one. It was adequate for using with Photoshop/Illustrator, but it never really had the level of control I liked.. I mostly used it with Open Canvas, which was okay, but I'd like to start working extensively on projects..

I've been considering a Cintiq..but they're expensive, and I'd like to know if the visual screen really gives you the bang for the buck..


So, what do you use? and is it worth it?

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Elentor
Dec 14, 2004



I use an Intuos 3. After trying many other tablets and feeling extremely frustrated, the Intuos 3 was a warm welcome.

It's definitely not the best out there nowadays, but it does the job perfectly to me.

hell astro course
Dec 10, 2009

pizza sucks



Mind if I ask a few follow up questions? What do you use it for, and what programs do you use it with?

hmmxkrazee
Sep 9, 2006
why

I use a Graphire4 8x6. Got it for about $100 on Ebay a few years ago. I used a friend's Intuos3 briefly before getting the Graphire4 and I don't really feel a difference (they both have 1024 levels of sensitivity). I use it mostly for drawing and doing t-shirt designs in Photoshop.

I bought a Tablet Laptop (Hp tx2500) but I keep coming back to my Wacom since it's much more sensitive and just better overall. I'd like to eventually get a Cintiq but I've heard mixed reviews.

Anomalous Blowout
Feb 13, 2006

I crashed Thunderdome's 6th Birthday and all I got was this av!

Unless you've got piles of money to spare, I wouldn't bother with a Cintiq. The cheapest I've ever seen one was $800 refurbished, and having used one at an old job, I could hardly figure out how it was worth that price. Comparatively, you can get a brand new 9x12" Intuos3 for less than $400 (see below why I say Intuos3 rather than Intuos4).

Perhaps it's just that I wasn't using it to its full capacity, but I could hardly detect a difference between it and my old Intuos3 as far as performance. The on-tablet screen was nice, but I can't say I ever found it necessary or missed it when I switched back.

If you decide to go with an Intuos, I strongly suggest buying an older Intuos3 rather than an Intuos4. The newest Intuos4 models have a heap of problems and tend to wear down very quickly. I know anecdotal evidence isn't the be-all end-all of that sort of thing, but literally every person I know who bought one ended up having problems. The drawing surface on them is extremely susceptible to permanent scratches even from its own stylus.

I don't do much digital painting anymore, but that's what I can offer. Hope it helps!

hell astro course
Dec 10, 2009

pizza sucks



Thanks a lot Blowout, that's exactly the kind of info I am looking for... my Graphire 2 lasted forever, but I don't think they even continue the model anymore, and it'd be nicer to have a wider drawing area..

Anomalous Blowout
Feb 13, 2006

I crashed Thunderdome's 6th Birthday and all I got was this av!

Haha, yeah. I miss the Graphire series quite a bit. Hell, when I do wander back into the world of OpenCanvas, my boyfriend and I are both still quite happy with our pair of old Graphire3s. I'll be using mine 'til the day it stops working.

OtherworldlyInvader
Feb 10, 2005

The X-COM project did not deliver the universe's ultimate cup of coffee. You have failed to save the Earth.




Whats the consensus on the Bamboo line? I assume its supposed to be the replacement for the Graphire series, but Wacom seems to be marketing them more as a novelty than an entry level tablet.

Anomalous Blowout
Feb 13, 2006

I crashed Thunderdome's 6th Birthday and all I got was this av!

I'd rank the Graphire as the middle-model between Bamboo and Intuos, quality-wise. Unfortunately, it seems that when they discontinued the Graphire line, Wacom's decision was to make their new entry-level tablets cheaper/flimsier and their new mid-level tablets more expensive/fancier. Of course, the Bamboo tablets are much newer, so they do come with a few extra features that the Graphires never had.

For the average home-level user who doesn't use a tablet to actually draw much, I think the Bamboo series are just fine. However, I used tablets mostly for sketching and concept work and I don't think a Bamboo would work well for that. It's fairly slow to respond, you can't alter its settings for specific applications, and the biggest turn-off for me is that compared to the Graphire series, the Bamboo Fun model seemed lightweight and very cheaply made. (That might not be an issue for you if you don't constantly cart your tablet around in the back pocket of a backpack on cross-country bus trips, though.)

I'd say Wacom's marketing is pretty on the money for the Bamboo: it seems to be better suited to touching up photos and the like than any actual artwork. A telling sign is that the Bamboo models don't come with the bundled software (PS Elements, Painter, etc.) that comes with Graphire/Intuos.

That being said, people can whip up amazing artwork with a mouse. If you're looking for a first tablet and don't want to drop 400 bucks or hunt for a used Graphire, I don't think a Bamboo would hinder your work in any way. You just might find yourself wanting to upgrade shortly after purchasing it, especially if you've used more expensive tablets in the past.

didi-mau
May 1, 2007
"Hed sell you for a muffin"

Does anyone have any decent training exercises for tablets on hand?

I got a Graphire 3 bundled with a secondhand laptop not long ago. I do quite a bit of illustrator work and photoshop touching up but I'm struggling to see how it could make things more efficient.

At the moment the two main issues I have are;

- I can't get the accuracy I need to 'snap off' the bezier when making lines in illustrator because clicking on a precise point means you have to press down on the surface of the tablet but there's always a little wobble of the curser before the pen makes contact. how do you get around this?

- I can't work out how to bind a tool to the button on the side (undo springs to mind given the amount of mistakes I'm making at the moment)and the 'eraser' on the top.

hell astro course
Dec 10, 2009

pizza sucks



Didi: Open Canvas is a great program to use the graphires with, as Blowout mentioned (I used my Graphire 2 with Open Canvas all the time and I loved it)...but really the best exercises are draw-draw-draw..

As for your issues with Illustrator (I've been wrestling with it lately) I'm having a similar problem..I tweaked the brush settings slightly, and told it not to stick..or just bruteforced my lines afterward with the arrow tool.. I'll probably try to pick up an Intuos later this year..

No i in Teamocil
Apr 29, 2007

At least not where you'd think.

I have a 4x6 Intuos3 that I got refurbed on Academic Superstore for cheap. The difference between it and the Bamboo I used to have is tremendous. The customization for specific applications is huge, and the pen feels a lot more real. I mainly use it to speed up my Illustrator workflow and for photo retouching in Photoshop; I don't really do any digital painting, except in Facebook graffiti.

I don't really know all that much about the Intuos4 or the Cintiq, but I will never recommend the Bamboo to anyone who intends to use his tablet for any sort of serious work or hold his pen for more than 10 consecutive minutes.

eggyolk
Nov 8, 2007



My Intuos3 9"x12" has been going strong for almost 5 years now and has survived countless flights, roadtrips and drops. Tough old bastard, can't reccomend it enough. Just to back up what Anomalous Blowout was saying.

Daddy Two-Coats
Jul 11, 2006

I AM HULKING UP


eggyolk posted:

My Intuos3 9"x12" has been going strong for almost 5 years now and has survived countless flights, roadtrips and drops. Tough old bastard, can't reccomend it enough. Just to back up what Anomalous Blowout was saying.

Adding more support to the Intuos3. I've had mine for about 5 years and it's still working great, has a lot of great control options and such and draws like a dream in Photoshop. Everyone at my agency works on intuos3s at work, too. GO FOR IT.

Lets Play Arson
Aug 5, 2007


I haven't been able to find the dimensions of the Intuos 4's drawing surface anywhere on Wacom's website. Maybe i'm not looking hard enough but does anyone know what they are for each model?

hell astro course
Dec 10, 2009

pizza sucks



For whatever reason the Intuos 4 sizes are buried under Small Medium and Large

Medium is 48.5 square inches
Large is 102.5 square inches

Why they don't give proper dimensions is beyond me

Al-Saqr
Nov 11, 2007

The Islamic Orb Illuminati.

I must be the only person in the universe who does this, but I regularly use Genius Tablets, they are cheap, versatile and does what it does well enough for its price.

Oh and you can get a Genius Tablet that's double the size of a bamboo for half the price.

Pick
Jul 19, 2009



Grimey Drawer

I have a Cintiq 21x and whenever I am not near it, I want to cry. It is essentially the love of my life. To be fair though, I could do essentially the same work with my old Intuos 3. The biggest difference is I use "Undo" less and my digital inking is more accurate.

Oh, and it meant I could have a dual-screen setup (since I have a desktop computer), which vastly improved my canvas space. But you could still have that and an Intous 3 for less than a Cintiq.

Pick fucked around with this message at Jan 2, 2010 around 07:45

hell astro course
Dec 10, 2009

pizza sucks



Anyone have any recommendations on where actually find an Intuos 3? They don't seem to manufacture it anymore (It looks like it's been replaced with the Intuos 4)..

Also..I'm considering the 6x8 over the 9x12... my old graphire 2 was 4x6, a bit small for me..anyone notice any difference with the larger sizes, or is 6x8 enough?

brian encino man
Nov 19, 2008



I have an A4 intuos 3 and its amazing. The widescreen A5 is pretty decent too. It depends how serious you are as they are quite expensive. I bought mine new from Amazon Marketplace.

silentbrains
Mar 18, 2009


didi-mau posted:

- I can't get the accuracy I need to 'snap off' the bezier when making lines in illustrator because clicking on a precise point means you have to press down on the surface of the tablet but there's always a little wobble of the curser before the pen makes contact. how do you get around this?

You might want to actually hover with the pen and click with a mouse. Otherwise, I don't know, perhaps you can bind a mouse-click to one of the face buttons (if you have them) or use a 3rd party key binding program to bind a mouse-click to something else. There's no other way except practice, I guess. After 15 years of tableting, I still can't do it, but my nerves are shot.

Also, somewhat related, if you have a CRT really close to the tablet (-1.5'?) it will cause interference that results in wobble.

didi-mau posted:

- I can't work out how to bind a tool to the button on the side (undo springs to mind given the amount of mistakes I'm making at the moment)and the 'eraser' on the top.

I'm not sure how different the graphire control panel is from the intuos one, but from what I'm seeing you can do this from Pen Tablet Properties. Set your desired button to "Keystroke..." and then you can set it to something like ctrl+alt+z.

Also, just to add to the Wacom durability love, I still use my Intuos 1 (which I've had for the past 10 years) and it still works perfectly, aside from the center being ground down from so much usage.

OtherworldlyInvader
Feb 10, 2005

The X-COM project did not deliver the universe's ultimate cup of coffee. You have failed to save the Earth.




Al-Saqr posted:

I must be the only person in the universe who does this, but I regularly use Genius Tablets, they are cheap, versatile and does what it does well enough for its price.

Oh and you can get a Genius Tablet that's double the size of a bamboo for half the price.

Two of my friends bought these things, the drivers didn't have any feature for adjusting the aspect ratio so they were useless with any monitor that was different from the tablet.

kedo
Nov 27, 2007



Pick posted:

I have a Cintiq 21x and whenever I am not near it, I want to cry. It is essentially the love of my life. To be fair though, I could do essentially the same work with my old Intuos 3. The biggest difference is I use "Undo" less and my digital inking is more accurate.

This. I love my Cintiq as well. There's nothing you can do with a Cintiq that you can't do with another tablet, but it just makes everything so much faster and more precise. Also it's just a generally pleasant experience using a Cintiq. You feel more like you're actually drawing (or doing whatever it is you're doing with a tablet) than just using an extra spiffy mouse. I recently brought mine into the office as I wasn't using it enough at home and had to bring it home a few days later because all my coworkers wanted to use it all the drat time.

However they're extremely pricey. An Intous can and will do pretty much everything you'll probably ever need a tablet to do. So if you don't have around two grand just lying around for a Cintiq, get an Intous.

Bamboos are not great. They're fine for a starter tablet, but they're not super precise and don't have all the same options for calibration. Anyone at all will outgrow them within a few months, imo.

Malalol
Apr 4, 2007

I spent $1,000 on my computer but I'm too "poor" to take my dog or any of my animals to the vet for vet care. My neglect caused 1 of my birds to die prematurely! My dog pisses everywhere! I don't care! I'm a piece of shit! Don't believe me? Check my post history in Pet Island!


For you intuos guys...how long have you had 'em..I swear, my first tablet was an Intuos..it lasted about 3 years.. then I picked up the Intuos2 and that lasted about 3 years Id say.... now I have an Intuos3 and well. Assuming the trend continues...

I don't even bring them everywhere/drop them/whatever... the signal from pen -> tablet seems to futz out so maybe its a different problem?

BrokenCycle
Nov 15, 2004

A Rough Job, But...

If anyone wants an alternative to Photoshop, check out Sketchbook Pro from Autodesk. The interface is really bad, but actual drawing feels and looks way better.

pretty princess
Jan 3, 2010

-|-
/ \


I have an Intuos 4. It's a great tablet. I used a Bamboo Fun before. The only difference I felt was that the Intuos was just generally more efficient, and much more comfortable, as well as professional.

SENSUAL DAD KISS
Oct 28, 2006



Tortured By Flan

I have a bamboo but I desperately need to upgrade to something bigger. The thing is so small it feels like performing neurosurgery.

pretty princess
Jan 3, 2010

-|-
/ \


Moist von Lipwig posted:

I have a bamboo but I desperately need to upgrade to something bigger. The thing is so small it feels like performing neurosurgery.

With a stick. It's also important to remember that the less expensive you go, the less pressure points and accuracy you have with the tablet.

RizieN
May 15, 2004

and it was still hot.


Space-Bird posted:

For whatever reason the Intuos 4 sizes are buried under Small Medium and Large

Medium is 48.5 square inches
Large is 102.5 square inches

Why they don't give proper dimensions is beyond me

They do? Theres a picture just under the description, Intuos4 - Large




I'm wondering about all this 3 vs 4 talk, I want to get one, but I dont see why the 4's would be any worse, people are swearing by their intuos 1, 2 and 3s, why would the 4's be any lesser quality given the track record? Or is it just price?

(edited out surprise info, seems she's signing up for an account)

RizieN fucked around with this message at Jan 4, 2010 around 18:11

hell astro course
Dec 10, 2009

pizza sucks



RizieN, yeah Shame on me..stumbled upon it later, I was just looking at Amazon at the time..not the Wacom site. As for the 3v4 argument...

Anomalous Blowout posted:

If you decide to go with an Intuos, I strongly suggest buying an older Intuos3 rather than an Intuos4. The newest Intuos4 models have a heap of problems and tend to wear down very quickly. I know anecdotal evidence isn't the be-all end-all of that sort of thing, but literally every person I know who bought one ended up having problems. The drawing surface on them is extremely susceptible to permanent scratches even from its own stylus.


Maybe quality dropped from the 3 to the 4?

-Also, the 3s seem to be slightly more expensive and harder to find than the 4s..

The medium range seems to be pretty comparable between the two, so I'll probably get a 3 over the 4

hell astro course fucked around with this message at Jan 3, 2010 around 20:46

anaaki
Apr 2, 2008


prettyprincesspony posted:

With a stick. It's also important to remember that the less expensive you go, the less pressure points and accuracy you have with the tablet.



I have a Bamboo Fun and a 2007 13" Macbook. I never, ever use the bamboo because it feels so awkward and hurts my wrist. However, I'd love to learn how to draw digitally and eventually learn Flash and animate. Any suggestion on what I should get? (Besides a PC... )

hell astro course
Dec 10, 2009

pizza sucks



Well Flash is bundled with the Adobe Creative Suite packages, So get CS3 or CS4... I like the illustrator tool set more than the Flash drawing tool set, so I'd say start with Illustrator... The Flash tool set is fairly adequate depending on what you want to do, however.. Other than that, Flash is pretty straight forward for simple animations... Unfortunately I don't have any books to recommend..

anaaki
Apr 2, 2008


Space-Bird posted:

Well Flash is bundled with the Adobe Creative Suite packages, So get CS3 or CS4... I like the illustrator tool set more than the Flash drawing tool set, so I'd say start with Illustrator... The Flash tool set is fairly adequate depending on what you want to do, however.. Other than that, Flash is pretty straight forward for simple animations... Unfortunately I don't have any books to recommend..



Wow... you know, I have the CS3 bundle and never realized that I had Flash. That's a good start. I only did one mini lesson in Illustrator but I'm really rusty on it. Luckily, my mentor teacher next semester is from a wealthy school that has a digital progam, so I think I will be learning Illustrator from her.


Thanks!



e: Another question, what do you all find to be the best setup for digital art? I have used both Mac and PC just for leisurely use, never anything professional. But I found there were more programs available for PCs. I found my Mac froze/crashed less while working with programs open, but my Mac had by far the worst, unrecoverable, hard drive failure ever.

anaaki fucked around with this message at Jan 4, 2010 around 20:34

hell astro course
Dec 10, 2009

pizza sucks



anaaki posted:

e: Another question, what do you all find to be the best setup for digital art? I have used both Mac and PC just for leisurely use, never anything professional. But I found there were more programs available for PCs. I found my Mac froze/crashed less while working with programs open, but my Mac had by far the worst, unrecoverable, hard drive failure ever.

Use whatever you're more comfortable with....It doesn't really matter...
As for learning.. I find the best method is to roll up your sleeves and start playing with the tools yourself.. try something simple like a stick figure walk cycle and go from there..

Megera
Sep 9, 2008


I have a large Intuos2 that's lasted me for at least 8 years. I love coloring with it, but I find drawing/tracing really hard. Like someone above said, so many "Undos". I'll be working on the large Cintiqs this semester for my internship, and I'll report back whether it's worth it or not.

Halx
Jun 13, 2002



Just to answer a few questions that have come up:

The latest Graphire Wireless model is officially discontinued.
The Intuos4 is a direct replacement for Intuos3.

There is a comparison grid for Intuos4 here: http://www.wacom.com/intuos/compare.php

The major differences from Intuos3 to Intuos4 are a new pen sensor and the physical controls on the tablet. The 4 has a touch ring now instead of a strip, and the buttons each have a small light-up display to remind you how you have them assigned in different applications. Info on these: http://www.wacom.com/downloads/videos.php?id=22

Also, an advantage with Intuos line is that the bundled PS Elements allows you upgrade to Photoshop CS4 for $299.

Muttonchop
Jul 12, 2008


I've recently started drawing again, and decided to dust off my old Graphire 4, which I never even actually used (it was an impulse buy).

One thing that prevents me really from using it, is that when I draw, I have to look at where my hand is actually moving. It's hard to have my eyes focused on one space, and my hand moving on another.

Are there any exercises for that, or ways to get over this?

Lets Play Arson
Aug 5, 2007


Muttonchop posted:

I've recently started drawing again, and decided to dust off my old Graphire 4, which I never even actually used (it was an impulse buy).

One thing that prevents me really from using it, is that when I draw, I have to look at where my hand is actually moving. It's hard to have my eyes focused on one space, and my hand moving on another.

Are there any exercises for that, or ways to get over this?

You could try using it in place of a mouse for a little bit as in using it to click on menus and hyperlinks and stuff.

gmc9987
Jul 25, 2007


Malalol posted:

For you intuos guys...how long have you had 'em..I swear, my first tablet was an Intuos..it lasted about 3 years.. then I picked up the Intuos2 and that lasted about 3 years Id say.... now I have an Intuos3 and well. Assuming the trend continues...

I don't even bring them everywhere/drop them/whatever... the signal from pen -> tablet seems to futz out so maybe its a different problem?

I've had a lot of problems like this at work, and buying a new pen fixed it every time. New pens are ~$70 or so if I remember, but that's way cheaper than a new tablet. Also, that's how I found out that you can have multiple pens for each tablet, with different settings stored for each one!

Space-Bird posted:

Anyone have any recommendations on where actually find an Intuos 3? They don't seem to manufacture it anymore (It looks like it's been replaced with the Intuos 4)..

Also..I'm considering the 6x8 over the 9x12... my old graphire 2 was 4x6, a bit small for me..anyone notice any difference with the larger sizes, or is 6x8 enough?

I have a 9x12 at home and a 6x8 (or whatever the medium-size widescreen version is) at work, and the 9x12 is just too huge for me to be really comfortable with. It's too big to sit next to my keyboard on the desk, and that means I have to keep it in my lap while I draw which is a hassle. The 6x8 was just about perfect so I can use the keyboard and the tablet at the same time.

Muttonchop posted:

I've recently started drawing again, and decided to dust off my old Graphire 4, which I never even actually used (it was an impulse buy).

One thing that prevents me really from using it, is that when I draw, I have to look at where my hand is actually moving. It's hard to have my eyes focused on one space, and my hand moving on another.

Are there any exercises for that, or ways to get over this?

Draw more digitally. Eventually, you get used to it.

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MasterBuilder
Sep 30, 2008


Oven Wrangler

Will the jump from 512 to 1024 to 2048 levels of sensitivity really be that extreme of a change or just dicking around photoshop/sketching? The entry level tablet is only 90$ and I think anything more would probably be excessive for my needs/wallet?

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