View Full Version : LW and wacom tablets?

10 October 2004, 01:16 PM
I'm seriously thinking of purchasing a Wacom Intuos3 A5 tablet.
I just want to know how lightwave is in combination with wacom tablets.

Can you guys give me some feedback?


10 October 2004, 02:06 PM
I'm using Wacom Tablets for many years now, and no problems with Lightwave or any other software. Just use Tablet as input device in the preferences of Layout and Modeler. It will take some time until you get used to it, but your wrist will say thank you. The only thing where I'm using my mouse now is Internet surfing.


10 October 2004, 02:07 PM
I have a wacom that I use just for quick sketch'n but I never use it for modeling. It's possible and LW has no problem with it, but I just find using a mouse more practical for modeling. Some might not agree and that is fine, I'm just saying my opinion. :)

10 October 2004, 02:17 PM
yeah the tablet has its definate uses. ive got a wacom as well and its great for alot of my image map creation, but as the lady says; for modelling, it isnt quite precise enough, if that makes sense. when working at speed you sometimes fly off the edge of the tablet and maybe do some damage on the geometry! hehe. well maybe just me :shrug:
anyhow. well worth it for image maps etc.

10 October 2004, 02:31 PM
I'm one of those people that loves to model with a tablet. No way I could go back to a mouse. I still keep one plugged in for those times you need a very steady hand. Using the tablet I model much faster though.

10 October 2004, 03:05 PM
...but I just find using a mouse more practical for modeling... My opinion: if you find the time to get used to modelling with a tablet, it will certainly be worth it. I'm modeling/animating in MAX, LW and FormZ and sitting next to some very, very fast mouse-modelers they still can't beat me and I'm sure that's because of the tablet, not purely because of MY skills :)

BTW: I have an A4 Intuos and an A5 Intuos2. If you have a 1-monitor setup use the A5, if you have a 2-monitor setup and insist on using the tablet in absolute mode (which IMO is the ONLY way) use the A4. I first had the A4 with one 21"screen and always had a relatively small portion of the tablet defined as my working area: that was a lot od wasted desk space !!

10 October 2004, 03:38 PM
The main reason i want to buy it is because of making textures.

I heard they also could be very usefull for modeling, i have never tried that though.

TRick: I do sometimes use dual screen, but the A4 tablet is definitly out of my financial range, i'm still just a student, so i think the A5 I3 is big enough for me also because i don't have much space left on my desk :rolleyes:

thanx for all the feedback so fast

10 October 2004, 06:35 PM
I use my tablet for everything. LightWave, photo editing, first person shooters, and every other program and/or game. I'd never go back to a mouse for any reason.

10 October 2004, 06:44 PM
Wow even for 1st person shooters :thumbsup:

I just placed my order and this beauty ( should be here in a couple of days.

I just can't wait.

10 October 2004, 07:31 PM
A tablet does not make you a faster modeler. Speed with any input device is more related in part to your own personal preference, but also to how the app itself is designed.

To answer the original question, LW makes almost no use out of a 3-button wheel mouse's extra input features. It's practically dumbed down to make the difference between a tablet and a mouse negligible for input, which is simply bad design, or rather a failure to evolve with the mouse as an input device. The mouse isn't even effectively being utilized to make a decent comparison. So yes, a tablet is fine with LW, at least, no better nor worse than a mouse.

Programs like Silo or XSI make far better use out of a 3-button wheel mouse for example, and as a result I would say they are better designed for modeling with a mouse and less for a tablet, since it lacks the extra buttons and simply cannot compare. But that doesn't stop tablet users from using the device with those programs. Again, personal preference. If you are more comfortable using a tablet in general, you will go to the extra lengths to make it more compatible with software that doesn't necessarily favor it by design.

10 October 2004, 07:50 PM
As i mentioned before, the main purpose of using the tablet will be for making the textures. I was just curious how people experience the use of lw with a tablet.

10 October 2004, 08:16 PM
And I hope you gained an additional perspective from my post. I just purchased an Intuos 3 6x8 myself. Even if only for 2D work I'd highly recommend it. Increased resolution, the extra modifier keys and touch sensors built in to the tablet... very nice additions, especially since you can customize them for different things on both sides of the tablet. I set my right sensor to work for zoom control and my left for brush size in photoshop. Works great!

10 October 2004, 09:19 PM
I've only started using my Wacom for more than texturing for a couple of months now, and still I'm not as fast a mouse, only more control. For painting/texturing you need that, but I'd go nuts trying to 3D model with a pen. They say it's better for you wrist, but then again, I never really understood that whole mouse/RSI story.
Perhaps it's best if you have both. I wouldn't wanna loose my Wacom, ever. :)

10 October 2004, 09:20 PM
A tablet does not make you a faster modeler... Physiologically it should make you a faster modeler. Even my speedy mouse collaeges have to admit that a tablet can make you a faster modeler: it's just that you have to spend at least as much time as you learned to use a mouse in your first modeling program to get up to speed and that is what most of them are not prepared to. Because of some circumstances I had to and now I'm glad I had to. The process of selecting and transforming is way more direct then with a mouse and at the end of the day there is no fatigue. But don't take my belief as absolutely as your own experiences; just be sure your belief is not by a lack of endurance...

11 November 2004, 02:44 AM
Faster with a mouse? You gotta be kidding. I do all of my serious work with a wacom. It is so much faster to select things and to move things accurately with a pen than with a mouse.

I ditched my mouse about 5 years ago. I only use a mouse on my other computer to do office stuff.

For graphics one hand on the keyboard and one with the pen, you should see me move... noone can follow my pace once I get into the groove.

even the quick menus are easier to reach with a pen. It's like doing a gesture.

The moment I got my first wacom I loved it to bits. Maybe tastes are different and ppl have different habits, but surely a pen is much RSI friendlier than your average rodent.

11 November 2004, 04:41 AM
Who said anything about a mouse being faster? Maybe reread the thread. I don't think anyone said a mouse is faster in LW. A few opinions expressed a preference for the mouse, which are no less valid than yours.

11 November 2004, 09:18 AM
I've been toying with the idea of purchasing a wacom tablet (A6 Graphire3 - mainly for texturing work). The only concern I have is the size of the tablet: Is A6 size worth buying?


11 November 2004, 02:05 PM

I use my tablet as follows: I have the smallest tablet and i have cut the active square to half from it! This is perfect configuration. No need to roam around. I can precisely access every area of my desktop instantly. Very speedy. No need for huge tablets. No worry of slipping off the corner.

11 November 2004, 02:45 PM
I've been toying with the idea of purchasing a wacom tablet (A6 Graphire3 - mainly for texturing work). The only concern I have is the size of the tablet: Is A6 size worth buying?

-------------------You have to try that for yourself. For me A6 is too small and A4 is too big.

11 November 2004, 02:48 PM
I bought the Intous2 A5 model when it came out and its the best thing I've ever done. I didn't want to get a size smaller since I didn't know what future uses I would for it. (it was mainly bought as a last resort to minimize the pain in my wrists)
I absolutely love it and like many others, the mouse is solely used for gaming. Works great in LW and any other program.

I did initially try to set the active area to a smaller size than the A5 but I soon found that it didn't give me the accuracy I needed. (Had a lot of jitter problems... could hover the pointer over one pixel with any stability... could be due to my drinkin' problem, who knows...)

I have since my purchase tried out the graphire series and I would not recommend getting it. I know it's cheaper but I guess you get what you pay for. I would definately recommend an Intous and in size A5. It mimimizes the zooming in and out (for texturing) and it doesn't take up too much of your destop.

11 November 2004, 05:06 PM
A recent purchaser of the 9x12 Intuos3, I tend to lean towards this size. My first was an ArtZ II 6x8, then an Intuos 9x12. I just like to have more space. Usually, I shrink the active area a bit so in reality my tablet is somewhere in between.

Oh, and wacom tablets for games and first person shooters rock. I can't tell you how many times I've been accused of cheating because of how much more precise aiming is with a tablet. :D People have even bought tablets just to use for first person shooters after seeing me wield it. Of course, they don't work for everyone.

11 November 2004, 07:18 PM
You have to try that for yourself. For me A6 is too small and A4 is too big. And I thought the bigger is always better :p Seriously, thanks for your insights, allankiipli, Robsi, Trench and Phyrea. Phyrea what first person shooters do you play? I wouldn't use something as expensive as a tablet for gaming (Quakeworld by the way) - I have broken my mouse couple of times while playing :D


11 November 2004, 08:27 PM
Eh.. I've dabbled in LW using a tablet. Actually, I have a Tablet PC, so it's sorta like having a 12 inch tablet only I can draw directly on the screen. To be honest, I'm not a huge fan of it. It makes clicking buttons a little easier, but lack of a practical right click + flying the stylus around the screen took away that advantage. I suppose if i used it more i'd get better times, but the reality is that I have to move my mouse significantly shorter distances than my stylus. It is difficult to say for certain, but I have a real hard time imagining that I could work faster and less strenuously in LW with a tablet.

Photoshop is another story altogether...

11 November 2004, 10:45 PM
I have used all the A6 size wacom tablets since the Artpad series. As an experienced tablet user the Graphire series is not comparable to the same size Intuos concerning both speed and precision. But if you are just starting with a tablet you should get the same feel with the cheeper Graphire: if after a month you know you will keep using a tablet you can still switch to the more expensive Intuos. However if you do a lot of painting (e.g.PS) and would like more control, don't doubt and buy the Intuos. If you have a 1-monitor setup the A5 size is the best. Bigger sizes are only good if you do a lot of precision CAD or digitizing which does not require lots of arm movement (like 3D-modeling), but then again the Calcomp tablets are more suited for that job. If you do a lot of modeling do realize that if you persist on buying the A4(+) Intuos you will have a very big distance between the left CTRL-key on your keyboard and the right upper corner of the tablet which requires a very unergonomic position for your body...

11 November 2004, 11:19 PM
And I thought the bigger is always better :p Seriously, thanks for your insights, allankiipli, Robsi, Trench and Phyrea. Phyrea what first person shooters do you play? I wouldn't use something as expensive as a tablet for gaming (Quakeworld by the way) - I have broken my mouse couple of times while playing :D Pipari,

I used to play Unreal and UT a lot back in the day. So much that I would wear a blister into my right wrist where it rested against the tablet! Lately between work and projects, I haven't been into games as much. I plan on playing Half-Life 2 when it's released.

A Wacom is quite durable, though. I used the same tablet and pen for years - both for games and for work, and there were never any problems. I did wear thin the center of the plastic overlay on my old 6x8 Artz II pad. That was the part where my pen rested the most during Unreal and UT. But I also think there are advantages to using a Wacom in other games. For instance, I played Ultima Online the first year it came out (in '97/'98 I think). Many times I found that when a monster dropped a bunch of treasure and items and a mob of players swarmed to pick them up, I was able to walk away with EVERY single item. That can be attributed to the fact that you can repeatedly click a pen against the tablet a heck of a lot faster than you can click a mouse button.

11 November 2004, 02:05 AM
Please forgive for such a dumb question!!! But I'm not used to the a5 a4 a... sizing, is the a5 6x8?

I'm also looking to buy one intuos3 and the only thing I'm not sure is the size of it, and I see that an a5 it's the recomendable to englobe all needs (texturing, painting, model, games, etc...)

11 November 2004, 08:00 AM
A6 = 4x5,
A5 = 6x8,
A4 = 9x12,

Inches that is ;)

11 November 2004, 06:00 PM
Thanks Trick! :) Now I can speak same language...

11 November 2004, 09:04 PM
I use a intuos 2 platinum 6 x 8.

To determine my size, i took a look at how i tend to draw freehand. If you draw large, go with the larger tablet, if you draw small, a smaller one might be all you need.

11 November 2004, 09:59 PM
I am a Wacom user since 2001 and I enjoy texturing and modelling with it.
An Intuos 6x8 was my start and then I got a 9x12 at work.
This seemed to be too big the first few days, but after a while it was a good experience. Both in photoshop and in 3dsmax.
At home I model in LW using a tablet, as it is more relaxed than to use the mouse.
And it feels more natural and "smooth".

Best bet is to try it out. Find someone, who has a tablet and use it in a modelling task.

It is pure taste.

11 November 2004, 02:31 PM
whoohoo my intuos3 just arrived, now let's see what this baby can do :deal:

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