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TraceR
05-03-2005, 04:59 PM
Hey guys,

I am thinking about purchasing a Wacom tablet to use with Photoshop. I am not a 2d artist, and spend most of my time modeling in 3d. But as I am learning to use Photoshop and advancing in 3d, I think having a Wacom would be a great benefit. I will be using it to paint textures, make concept art, minor digital image painting, and image touch up.

But I have a few questions first.

1. How exactly does a Wacom work?

2. How much do they cost?

3. Where can I buy one?

4. Do you think the purchase of a Wacom is worth it if I am not going to be primarily painting 2d stills?

5. How well do the intergrate with Photoshop CS?

6. Which Wacom brand should I buy?

Well, guess that is all for now. If anyone here can offer any more tips and suggestions, I am all ears. I have been to www.wacom.com. Very useful site.

Thanks for the help guys,


TraceR

Skjoldbroder
05-03-2005, 06:01 PM
1. A tablet works by mapping the screen to your tablet, so that when you place your pen in the top left corner, your mouse pointer is in the top left corner of the screen. The bigger your tablet, the better the "resolution" of your pen strokes on the tablet. Basically Imagine that you put you screen horisontally and that you're painting directly on it. It's really intuitive when you try it.

2. It depends on the size. I paid about 220 for mine (an A5) five years ago, they're still about that as far as I know.

3. Online. Try Wacom's homepage for local dealers.

4. A tablet is a fantabulous tool, once you've tried it you'll wonder how you ever got by without one.

5. They integrate well with any program - a tablet is basically just another input device, (anything that accepts pressure sensitivity will benefit especially well - i.e. Zbrush, Painter, Photoshop and more)

6. Wacom is a brand. 'Graphics tablet' is the product itself. Wacom are the ones most people use, but other brands (so I'm told) can be just as good. Wacom's a sure-fire hit though.

Anyways. Back when I got my first tablet (because my coworker got one, so I thought "what they hey, I'll try that") I didn't really see the need for it. Now I can't work without it, whether I'm doing modeling, animation or 2d work. So there we go =)

TraceR
05-03-2005, 06:11 PM
Ok great. Thanks for the help. I am looking at the Inotius Wacoms and they look nice. But the Graphires are cheaper. I took the test on the site and it said the best Wacom for me was the $250+ Inotius 3 6 x 8. But what would you reccomend?

guypapyrus
05-03-2005, 08:21 PM
I just got my Intuos3 6x8 a couple of weeks ago: definitely one of the best purchases I've made in a long time. I owned an old 4x5 way back when, and had an opportunity to use newer 4x5s recently, but they were too small for my liking. I also tried a 12x18, or whatever the jumbo size is: it actually felt uncomfortably big. The 6x8 seems to work well, especially as you can zoom in to what you're working on and make bigger strokes that translate to a different area. Doesn't take up more desktop room than you'd need for the mouse; and I've actually come to like Wacom's mouse :) (most people don't, from what I gather).

Check out www.pricegrabber.com (http://www.pricegrabber.com) or similar sites for good prices.

Best,
Andrew

Velk
05-03-2005, 09:05 PM
I have an Intous 2 tablet and I wouldn't trade it for anything (except maybe an Intous3). The main difference between the Intous and Graphire lines is the levels of pressure. The Intous has 1024 levels and the Graphire has 512 levels. The Intous 3 also has a series of buttons on either side that can be really useful once you map them to your tastes.

As far as integration with Photoshop, that is where this thing really takes off for me. It is so much easier to do subtle effects like slight dodge and burn with a tablet than with a mouse. Painting is a ton better as is photo retouching. The only issue that I've had is with sketching, Photoshop tends to make rather blocky lines rather than nice smooth arcs, but for sketching I prefer Alias Sketchbook Pro anyway.

TraceR
05-04-2005, 04:55 PM
Ok cool. Thanks for the help guys. I am going to start looking around to try to find the best deals. I'll give that link a shot guypapyrus.

Velk: What does Alias Sketchbook Pro do? I have heard of it, but never used it.

Djampa
05-04-2005, 05:07 PM
First of all,

Think of Wacom as INVESTMENT. :deal:

I see you know have much more knowledge of the Wacom you wanna buy, so I will tell you my own experience with tablets.

I use tablets since 1986 compopad for Apple ][, so it is a long long time now... and I got away from them for over years ago because I changed my work focus and stoped drawing and painting for a while, and just last month I got my Wacom Intuos 3, wacom was always my best choice.
I used literaly a dozen different tablets, none of them was like Wacom.
Wacom is a serious investment, you will never regret and it will pay off, you will love it.
I got a 9x12 because I like using both long and wide hand strokes as well sometimes I prefer to use short hand movements, using this Intuos we can setup it to work at 6x8 ou 4x5.
I use it on my lap all the time and I feel confortable with it, and rarely use its cordless mouse.
Some people may prefer to get even more confortable so if you see the statistics the 6x8 is the best choise for everybody, it fits well on any desk, fits well on lap, and is enough for everything you may think of doing in Painter, Photoshop or any other application.

Don't ever think of getting another tablet, only Wacom, the worst I got was a huge(a3) Genius tablet once, it gave me a sore arm *lol* and a headache.

When you get it, tell us your experience ok? ;)

Good luck!

TraceR
05-04-2005, 05:14 PM
Thanks Djampa!

I am glad everyone here is so positive about Wacoms. I think I will really like one. Are there wireless Wacoms? Do I have to use the Wacom for a mouse pad with the wireless mouse, or can I just use the mouse I have now on my own pad and just use the Wacom when I need to draw?

Djampa
05-04-2005, 05:30 PM
Welcome :)

I use my regular mouse by the side of my keyboard when on the web, and programming, typing, and really rarely use the Wacom's.
Wacom is USB, not cordless, but has a long enough USB cable so u can just work away from your screen and confortable, the pen is cordless and is amazing, can capture tilt angle of your hand and it works perfectly in Painter for this feature.
Also the mouse is cordless, but works 'over' the Wacom surface, not a regular cordless mouse, if you do the same as me using another mouse together for a change, you will use your mouse on a mouse pad or wherever off the Wacom.
Some professionals use the 4x5 and 6x8 as mouse pads also, using the Wacom mouse very well, since my is a 9x12 it is not that confortable for mouse action, altough I use it for precise works, by the way, it is 'really' precise.
You can keep it all connected, your mouse, the Wacom, they will not interfere as long you dont try to use them at the same time *lol* (that would be insane anyway, only if you are a rare painter using both hands same time *lol*).

Hope it helped out.

TraceR
05-04-2005, 06:08 PM
ok cool. I will probably use my mouse when I get a Wacom, unless I really like its mouse.

So a wacom has a screen and you can put the photoshop interface on it and paint with the brush? When you use the brush and paint in PS, do you see the changes in reel time on your computer monitor?

One more thing. I don't have a whole lot of desk space. Could I just lean the Wacom on the ground against the side of my desk when I am not using it?

Sorry for all the questions by the way. But thanks for the help.


TraceR

Voldron
05-05-2005, 02:29 AM
So a wacom has a screen and you can put the photoshop interface on it and paint with the brush? When you use the brush and paint in PS, do you see the changes in reel time on your computer monitor?

Yes you will see it in real time, but as for putting it on the screen those are the $2000 ones and they aren't that hi-res(yet).


One more thing. I don't have a whole lot of desk space. Could I just lean the Wacom on the ground against the side of my desk when I am not using it?

You can put it there but will feel akward, I own an Intuous 3 6x8 and love it. I don't have alot of desk space either so I put it in my lap and prop it a little on my desk. Then I just sit back and paint.

TraceR
05-05-2005, 01:55 PM
Yes you will see it in real time, but as for putting it on the screen those are the $2000 ones and they aren't that hi-res(yet).


Really? So you just have to watch your computer screen to see what you are doing? I saw a picture of a wacom, and the guy was painting a pic and you could see it on the Wacom screen.

Voldron
05-05-2005, 01:59 PM
Yeah that is the Cintiq model, $2000. Basicly it is like having the mouse in your hand, where ever you put the tip of the pen on the tablet(where the tablet reads the pen touch the tablet is) it will move the mouse to that point. Takes a little getting used to but I have used it for 3 months and I will never go back, I am so much faster with it.

Velk
05-05-2005, 02:09 PM
The Intous and Graphire models are like having a piece of paper that you draw on and the results are placed on you computer monitor rather than the paper. It took me about 2 days to get used to the idea and about 1 week before I broke the mouse habits and stopped looking at my tablet. The trick is to watch your cursor, once you get that down it becomes really easy and intuitive.

Voldron
05-05-2005, 02:11 PM
Velk has got it, that is a great way of putting it. Thanks for making that clear. You have to break a few habits, so grin and bear it, after the learning stage is over and you are used to it. Trust me, you will feel very proud of yourself and will want to work with the tablet any where you go.

TraceR
05-05-2005, 03:43 PM
oh ok. Yea, I can see how that would take some time to get used to. I am so used to looking at my hand when I draw and not at something in front of me.

Voldron
05-05-2005, 04:31 PM
Heh maybe at the next company party you can show everyone a trick and draw something with your eyes closed lol, I couldn't do that lol

TraceR
05-05-2005, 06:09 PM
haha yea. That would be funny.

SuperMax
05-05-2005, 06:22 PM
how durable are these wacom?

can you leave your 3yr old nephew in the same room with a wacom?

Skjoldbroder
05-05-2005, 06:26 PM
well they're not titanium, and if he sits on it it'll probably snap in two.

but I've had mine since 2000 and it still works peachy, I haven't been particularly fussy about what I've done with it. Took it skydiving, river rafting, used it as hammer to forge swords. The whole kitncaboodle really.

Velk
05-05-2005, 07:09 PM
how durable are these wacom?

can you leave your 3yr old nephew in the same room with a wacom?When I was at Photoshop World last year the Wacom rep said that he generally shows them off to schools by throwing one across the room at a wall, then plugging it back in to show it still works. I've never done this myself (and in fact Wacom doesn't officially condone this) but your 3 year old nephew shouldn't be able to harm it unless you leave chisles and screwdrivers laying arround.

Snow Fox
05-05-2005, 11:31 PM
Hi...

I'm also considering getting a Wacom but here in Argentina the prices are a bit higher than the prices appearing in Wacom's website, so I can't have an Intuos yet. Then, my question is if I loose a lot of benefits with a Graphire than with an Intuos.

Another question, I don't think to have read this in this thread, but appart from PS and other programs, can it be used in Max??:curious:

Voldron
05-06-2005, 01:40 AM
Yes i can be used in Max, as well as Maya, XSI, and Cinema 4D. Also if you buy the Graphire it depends on what you really need it for, if you are doing just a couple things wiht it and not using it all the time then the Graphire will suit you nicely. As for leaving it in the room with your 3 Year Old Nephew, I say don't unless he knows how expensive it is, and I am guessing he doesn't. But if you do, or you have to because your sister or brother says do it, then leave it in a high place. Signs that say do not touch don't work for nephews or nieces

TraceR
05-06-2005, 01:47 AM
How would a Wacom be used in a 3d app??

Voldron
05-06-2005, 02:43 AM
Well I use it in Maya to paint weights when rigging, but also you just use like a normal mouse but for me it doesn't hurt my wrist like a normal mouse.

RiKToR
05-06-2005, 04:34 AM
You could also use it in the sculpting tools that maya has and paint effects as well. And for real sculpture feel using it Zbrush helps. In my opinion if you don't intend to create digital paintings and perhaps just do texture work than you may want to consider Aiptek brand tablets they are like Wacom's Graphire tablets without the tilt tracking, and extending pen controls. I own a 6x8 and am pretty happy with considering I only spent $40.00 on it and I believe the 9x12 go for $130. They are not the best for digital paintings but for texture work and in 3d apps it should be fine.

But even so I do some quick story boards in painter on mine and it gets the job done.

paintbox
05-06-2005, 03:28 PM
how durable are these wacom?

can you leave your 3yr old nephew in the same room with a wacom?


I happened to crash my weighty 17inch CRT monitor on my then brand-new Wacom Intuos3 A4, when I was testing a new monitor stand I built. I believe I skipped a breath or two when then happened...

Anyway, when I removed the monitor there was a cracked keyboard underneath it (completely wasted) but the Intuos3 didn't have a scratch. nothing.

I guess that says something about its sturdiness...

Skjoldbroder
05-06-2005, 04:53 PM
Are there wireless Wacoms?

i missed this one.

In fact, Wacom are putting out their first wireless tablets soon / now!

wohey!! :thumbsup:

TraceR
05-06-2005, 06:01 PM
i missed this one.

In fact, Wacom are putting out their first wireless tablets soon / now!

wohey!! :thumbsup:

Sweet! Hope they make it Bluetooth because of the range. Will probably cost to much for me though. :sad:

GhostInTheMachine
05-06-2005, 07:25 PM
Ill post a simple answer since most has been said. i use a wacom intuos3 (A4) with ps cs and it works VERY well. it is of greatest benefit if you are used to drawing by hand and you want to use those skills.
im going to use it for texturing in 3d as this will work just as well (bodypaint for c4d). worth ever penny.

Snow Fox
05-09-2005, 06:20 PM
I have read this in other thread I think but anyways my question is if both the Intuos and the graphire are easy to configurate with a dual-monitor configuration??. Is there any problem with having a dual monitor config?

Velk
05-09-2005, 08:37 PM
Sweet! Hope they make it Bluetooth because of the range.I've always thought that this is a silly thing - Wireless. Who cares? I have to sit close enough to my monitor to see what I'm drawing, and my Intous 2 has a 3-4 foot cable on it plenty long enough for me to get comfortable with (but not long enough for me to take to the kitchen and loose).

titopte
05-11-2005, 03:55 PM
hi,
just as snow fox, i am from Argentina, and prices here are really high an a bit out of range for young freelance professionals starting their independent activities. at least, thats my case.
so, money do really matter and my question is: if do you think that is a better inversion to purchase an small (lets say 4x5) Intuos, than a medium 6x8 Graphire. I think i would prefer to spend the little extra money now, and not having to buy a cheapper now and be forced to aquire a more precise one in a near future. Im an architect using it for arch visualitation, but planning to focus into more soft and artistic modeling and texturing.
But as i have no experience i ask for your advice.
Thanks in advance.

edit: i reached this tread from a search, and just realized its on the 2d>photoshop forum.
sorry if this abit OT.

Voldron
05-12-2005, 06:58 PM
the 4x5 is so small you can't use it, it is for idiots, I don't know why they make it. Go with the 6x8 Graphire3. It may be a later model but if you are just starting it should be fine for you. I bought the Intuous 6x8 and I use it all the time, reasoning was that I need a good model that I can have for 3 years and not one that is already a year or so old.

aaraaf
05-12-2005, 08:52 PM
I have a 4x5 Intuos3 at work, and a 4x5 Graphire3 at home.

The 6x8 is a little large for mouse replacement. I'm having problems with my wrist, and over the last 3 months, they've made a huge difference.

And, just to be clear, I'm not an idiot. :D I used a buddy's 6x8 for a day, and it was just too darn big for mouse replacement for me. I'm primarily a 3D/compositing guy on the computer, and it took FOREVER to get across the screen. You can set up the tablet to use a smaller are for different apps, but it's not very intuitive for me that way. For Photoshop (yep, this IS the Photoshop forum) The 6x8 is a bit nicer, but a little extra arm motion getting to the menus.

One main advantage of the Intuos3 over the Graphire3 is that the Intuos active area is larger. The 4x5 is actually 4.5 x 5.5, while the Graphire3's 4x5 is 3.5 x 4.5. You can't find that info anywhere... I dunno why it's not documented. I've had both tablets in the same place, and it's a REALLY noticable size difference.
The second main advantage is the Intuos pen. It's the single most comfortable pen I've ever used. The Graphire pen is a little thin, and not quite as easy to control.
A couple quick things going for the Graphire is that it's thinner, and has a really nice spot to put your pen if you're on the go a lot.

Voldron
05-12-2005, 11:38 PM
And, just to be clear, I'm not an idiot. :D

I wasn't refering to you in general, I am talking about people who draw. Not 3d and compositing people. When you draw you need a fair amount of "tablet space". That just doesn't happend with a 4x5

aaraaf
05-13-2005, 01:44 PM
I wasn't refering to you in general, I am talking about people who draw. Not 3d and compositing people. When you draw you need a fair amount of "tablet space". That just doesn't happend with a 4x5


I was just playing... I hope it didn't come off as confrontational. I didn't think you meant anyone specificially.

If I had it my way, I'd use the 4x5 for navigation and have a 6x8 for Photoshop and Painter... or better yet a 21" Cintiq! :love:

TraceR
05-13-2005, 02:07 PM
yea, that is one of the things I have been thinking about. I'm not sure I'd like having this huge tablet as a mouse pad when I am not using it to paint. That is why I will probably just take the tablet off my desk when I am not painting with it.

Will this end up being more of a hassle than it ought to be?


TraceR

aaraaf
05-13-2005, 03:57 PM
Hey Tr@ceR, don't get me wrong... I LOVE my tablets, and I'll never go back to a regular mouse again.

The Intuos3 is the way to go if you're a professional and spend ALL of your time on it. If you're doing it part time, or are really curious as to what they feel like before commiting the Graphire's not bad.

If most of your painting is simple textures (1024 x 1024 or so) then the 4x5 Intuos (which is larger than the Graphire 4x5) will probably more than suffice. If you're doing really detailed honest-to-goodness drawing, then the 6x8 is a better option.
The driver options for the Intuos3 are FAR superior to the Graphire's. You can have different settings and mappings for the different tools... use the mouse in a smaller are and not map it to the monitor but have it work like a regular mouse, and have the pen act a completely different way.

You can even have the devices work differently in different programs with the Intuos.

The 4x5 graphire is smaller than most mouse pads and not much thicker, and the 4x5 Intuos is a little larger than most mouse pads and just a bit thicker and darn sexy on your desk! The 6x8 Graphire is rather small, because it hasn't got the hot keys on the side. The 6x8 Intuos is so nice, and worth the desk space if you've got it.

You will in no way whatsoever ever even think of regretting having gotten one. :thumbsup:

titopte
05-13-2005, 04:15 PM
thanks voldron and aaraaf for your opinions.
so you think that if im not a digital illustrator the 4x5 should be fine, and its enough for 3d and ocassional 2d painting?
and you think the Gph 6x8 size is more valuable than intuos tilt detection?
ok, i apreciate your suggestions and will consider them a lot.
maybe i should try to test them.
thanks

KahlanAmnell
05-13-2005, 11:33 PM
All your questions can be answered here, in this cg thread.

http://www.cgtalk.com/showthread.php?t=239956

Snow Fox
05-14-2005, 03:42 AM
Hi titopte.......I wonder if you know a good shop or you can tell me where I can get a tablet here in Argentina so as not to buy it in MercadoLibre or Deremate:curious: :curious: :curious: ........(I mean if you are from Capital) Thanx...BTW Great thread!

Voldron
05-14-2005, 08:57 AM
aarf the thing about calling people idiots is not meant to be confrontational, it was for shock value. I do that alot. Nothing I say should be taken personaly, being mean to people isn't in me. Anyways. WACOM IS THE BEST, but if you really want to maximize your fun with it. Use it all the time lol.

titopte
05-19-2005, 01:48 PM
Ok SnowFox,

ill send you a private message.

.:ZRDwD:.
05-19-2005, 03:00 PM
I've always thought that this is a silly thing - Wireless. Who cares? I have to sit close enough to my monitor to see what I'm drawing, and my Intous 2 has a 3-4 foot cable on it plenty long enough for me to get comfortable with (but not long enough for me to take to the kitchen and loose).

That's understandable for us who use the tablet for OUR reasons. If we paint/draw, we usually have our nose on the monitor anyway. Wanna browse the web? 3-4 foot cable should be efficient for us loungers. It's not like we have to cook/make the bed/shower to need a wireless. But..............

Think about those who do presentations. This will come in extremely useful. Hide the box off to the side of the conference room and sit down with your team as they watch the projector screen. Kinda like an advanced transparency/opaque projector. Home users, no need. Even if they are professional users. The wireless, in my opinion, is more work related, especially for teams.

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