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Anyone know about graphics tablets?

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#11 · Posted: 5 Nov 2004 12:00 · Edited by: jock123
tybaltstone explained:
The A6 tablet represents the screen, so bottom left is bottom left etc... if you see what I mean.
That’s what I’d thought, so thanks for the confirmation!

I should say that I am still part luddite...
Not at all - I’d prefer to think of it more as the right tool for the job; I’ve been involved in supplying people with computer systems since 1987, and it has been a job to get people to realise that a computer is only one tool in the arsenal, not a be-all-and-end-all. Things are better now, but it hasn’t always been so!

Way back, the Glasgow Herald gave Macs to their graphics people; one chap - who might be best described as a hard man - ended up on the ’phone weeping. When calmed down, it turned out he had missed the deadline for the paper’s “Spot the Ball” contest, due to one malfunction after another. After telling his tale of woe of a wasted afternoon, he concluded, “and it only used to take ten minutes using ink, glue and the photo-copier!!” At which point I had to say that if that was the quickest way to do it - why didn’t he?

Another guy I knew there used to do ink sketches, which appeared sort of postage stamp sized, for articles - maybe a subject for an interview, or a view of a city or whatever. Thing was, he did them on A3 sheets, tacked to a wall, with a foot long brush held at arm’s length - not a style that lent itself to a nine-inch monochrome screen - yet they tried to make him draw on the computer with a mouse! He was likewise heart-broken!

So, basically, this is just me admitting to myself that a graphics tablet will not turn me into an artist (like Garen and Les and the others), but it will be another tool in the box. Also it reminds me yet again that I got involved in computers because of what they can do, and wanting to use them (I may be the last person on a planet who is still in awe at what a laser-printer can do - “Wow! A printed page! Cool!”), and ended up years later still supporting them...

So I’m with Tintinrulz - any tips for using tablets or apps. would be gratefully received! Les’s tutorial on creating the “Jonny Crossbones” cover (here) is a great example.
#12 · Posted: 5 Nov 2004 12:39
You've definetly got a point. At the moment doing drawing, painting; anything on the tablet takes longer than doing it 'freehand.' I would like this to change. I remember printers in primary school. I think they were Dot Matrix, it took almost 6 minutes to print a picture and about three minutes to print a page of text. In regards to the graphics tablet I think its a matter of getting used to the tool more than anything. Like they say: the more you practice the better you get", but I'm finding its a higher learning curve then I otherwise presumed.
#13 · Posted: 5 Nov 2004 13:30
Tintinrulz has given the only answer to getting better with a tablet... practice!

Two things I did have to get used to included: i) looking only at the screen (and not the tablet) while working - it's odd drawing on the tablet while your results appear in front of you at eye level, and ii) not turning your tablet at an angle, as you might do a sheet of paper when drawing something, as it won't change your view (unless you also skew the screen).

One artist I really admire is Brian Bolland, who does stunningly stupifying work, and always has. He now does all his work on-screen - no 'real' 'hard-copies' at all. His site used to be at www.brianbolland.com (with an excellent tutorial) but that doesn't seem to work now... there is a quite limited gallery at http://www.jensantarelli.com/bollandgallery/

- G.
#14 · Posted: 5 Nov 2004 16:29 · Edited by: Admin
Hmm, I find drawing from scartch on the tablet much easier.Just use as many layers as you need to get your drawing right. I can clean-up a drawing much faster than by copying or tracing with the light table which is just too much of a hassle for me.

Mine's a small A5-A6 (the 'screen' size is between those two formats) Genius tablet, and it cost me only 60 U$ which for a student like me is pretty nice.
(I love it, because Genius make very affordable hardware, of good quality).
The pen's wireless,and it comes with an optical mouse too, in case you get tired of the pen (why??); the mouse's supposed to be easier to work with than your regular mouse, but I wouldn't know, I don't use it
Just to prove you don't need to shell out 100$+ on a Wacom...

UPDATE: ... and I forgot to add in regards of the 2 previous posts (and sorry for flodding), that yes, drawing and painting with the tablet was very difficult and uncomfortable. At FIRST. Now I'm so used to it, it's even easier than with a regular pencil, some of the times.
I tell everyone who can't handle the tablet, that they should try some more times before deciding they don't want one.

[Edited by Admin: Combined two consecutive posts made on the same day. Please note that posts--unless edited by Admin--can be edited for up to 48 hours after first posting. :-)]
#15 · Posted: 5 Nov 2004 17:22
Not only is Brian Bolland a fine artist, he may be the lost Thompson “Twin”! A bit too much hair, but the ’tache is spot on!

Was it a Batman cover that he did the tutorial on?

Dave Gibbons is another who is moving/has moved to doing everything on the computer; I’ve got a couple of pages he did for “Doctor Who Weekly”, where he did everything by hand, on the same sheet - pencils, inks, balloons, lettering, applied ziptone... and now those days are gone for him!

Those are very good pointers on looking at the screen and not turning the board! I recall that I used to have to show people that they could pick the mouse up and put it down again to get more space - sometimes they’d reach the edge of the desk before they got to the edge of the screen, and you’d find them trying to “extend” the desk with their hand or a book... Some things are not self evident!
#16 · Posted: 20 Dec 2004 15:38
hello, jock123! my mom has a Wacom Intuos2 and she is completely delighted w/it . . . she used to use a mouse for doing a lot of tiresome work and now she doesn't compail one bit! hope that mighthelp
#17 · Posted: 20 Dec 2004 21:57 · Edited by: thmthm
Using one right now for illustrating...the new WACOM 2- I dont have to touch the keyboard anymore other than to type...Ive customized every botton on my pen and pad for shortcuts...so much so that when I use a regular pen/pencil, I automtically start clicking imaginary bottons...
I use PHOTOSHOP to paint and PAINTER to draw (I know that sounds weird).
here are some amazing "digital" artists
#18 · Posted: 21 Dec 2004 13:07
Thanks, tonicWater and thmthm!

I eventually got an Intuos3 A5 tablet, and I am very pleased with it. I’m still getting the hang of it, as as has been mentioned above, it does require a technique all of its own.

I found the active surface just a tad too slick to begin with, but with the aid of a sheet of paper to give a little more bite to the nib of the stylus, it’s very comfortable to use. I’ve not tried the different nibs yet, so that might help too.

Not really made use of the buttons yet, although the active strip area is useful for zooming in and out.
#19 · Posted: 19 Jan 2005 17:22
oh, by the way jock123 - you don't actually have to touch the surface of the tablet to make it work, thought you do have be a cm or less away
#20 · Posted: 19 Feb 2005 13:13
I've got a ruby Wacom tablet, it's served me well for some years now. It's definitely a good investment, and is probably the one piece of "art supplies" I've used most.

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