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[Question] Wacom

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ActivEcks

Recruiter

12-20-2011

I've used a mouse for photoshop for years but always found myself fighting the tool rather than it helping me. Over the past several months I've been looking at the Cintiq line of Wacom. Specifically the Wacom Cintiq 21UX. How many artists here use them, which accessories do you use, and how easy was for you to adapt to using it? If your career is art based, do you find yourself not enjoying work even though you enjoy making art outside of work?

I have no schooling in art or photoshop, its a self-taught hobby and have been wanting to get even better at it. I've made portraits of my RPG characters and Tabletob characters (I love central casting for crazy character concepts).


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Shadeykris

Senior Member

12-20-2011

Long ago and in a galaxy far away, I too used to paint in Photoshop with a mouse. Whenever I try to do such a thing now, I am shocked and appalled by how difficult it is, and can't imagine how I used to do it. Definitely get something else, haha.

Mouse to Cintiq is a pretty big jump in terms of cash though.... There are a lot of options in between! I'm not sure what kind of budget you have, but if it isn't easy for you to drop $2000 on a hobby tool, you might want to think about getting one of their other products. There is a huge range of tablets and cintiqs, and they're all really good for drawing and painting on the computer. Even the smaller tablets. Some computer stores have some set up so that you can try them out before you buy.

I use a wacom 9x12 Intuos tablet, it's about 12 years old... haha. It has served me well thus far. Only now, am I thinking about upgrading into a Cintiq.

Using a tablet: There is a bit of a learning curve. There's a disconnect, because you don't look at your hand while you draw, and it's different from using the mouse. The tablet's surface is mapped to your monitor's screen area... click on the top right corner of the tablet, and the cursor appears in the top right of the screen. This takes some getting used to.

Using a Cintiq: You're actually looking at what your hand is doing. It is very close to actually drawing on paper, only the surface texture is different. It's definitely great for painting, animating, etc. Workflow is definitely improved. But... it is a LOT of money. They're also very large, heavy, and can get quite warm while in use.


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ActivEcks

Recruiter

12-20-2011

Thanks for the response, but there's a few reasons for me aiming for the cintiq; I've heard the lower-end Wacom's and other brands that have the LCd behind your writing panel, is that the mouse and pentip do not match up in the older or lower end ones.

The second reason is I want to use the cintiq to get even better at my hobby in hopes of finding a career where I can apply those skills.

I use Adobe Photoshop at the moment and all the video's I've seen of people using Wacom's are using Corel Painter. Is this also a suggested transition?


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Shadeykris

Senior Member

12-20-2011

Of the things Wacom makes, only the Cintiqs actually have LCD screens. The other tablets (the Intuos and the Bamboo) have sensor panels but no screen. They take some getting used to, but they work perfectly fine. They have the same levels of pressure sensitivity as the Cintiqs do.

Painter is a different tool, for a different look. It's neither better nor worse than Photoshop.

A Cintiq will streamline your workflow. It will save you time. A tablet or cintiq will let you work better on the computer than you would with your mouse. But... neither of them will help you to actually draw better. The only thing that will help you with that is lots of practice, drawing from life, and more practice.


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Khatha

Senior Member

12-20-2011

Quote:
ActivEcks:
Thanks for the response, but there's a few reasons for me aiming for the cintiq; I've heard the lower-end Wacom's and other brands that have the LCd behind your writing panel, is that the mouse and pentip do not match up in the older or lower end ones.


For other brands of graphic tablets, this is the issue but Wacom tablet rarely have this issue unless you are purchasing the first generation of tablets (not recommended at all). But even with being out of sync, there are options to adjust it.

Quote:
The second reason is I want to use the cintiq to get even better at my hobby in hopes of finding a career where I can apply those skills.


Cintiq's are nice but they are expensive. Having the pleasure of using one in a lab from my college as well as a friend's monitor they are the best if you want absolute control with minimal learning curve. And like the previous post, if you have $2000 to drop for the Cintiq, I would personally look into the tablets and get a X-large or large sized one which range from $100 (used) to $400-$500 (new). If you still really want to stick with the monitor, I really have not seen and Cintiq lower than $1100 used but good luck in your search for one.

Quote:
I use Adobe Photoshop at the moment and all the video's I've seen of people using Wacom's are using Corel Painter. Is this also a suggested transition?


It's just personal preference for people for what program they use to illustrate with. Corel is a cheaper digital illustration software oppose to Adobe products. If you do a bit of digging around on the web, you can find other programs that try to mimic as many features of Photoshop. (Hint: look for manga/anime fan-made software.)

It doesn't really matter which one you start out with, you will have a small learning curve getting hot keys down to smooth out the illustration process.


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ActivEcks

Recruiter

12-21-2011

Yea, I did not meanto create the understand "I want the cintiq to make me draw better". I should have worded more along the lines of "I continue drawing with a mouse and Im tired of fighting with it and would like to continue doing art with a wacom".

I haven't been able to a bamboo or cintiq before, but the way the non-LCD ones require you to not look at your hand, would drive me insane. A mouse's surface is the size of your desk while the tablets have the given area and where you are in that area determines where you are clicking. So it's no longer trying to control just direction and speed but also positioning.

I have a full-time job and it would only take me about 3 months (after bills, car-note, insurance, blah blah) to set aside the money for the wacom. So money is not the issue.

Thank you all for your responses. Can you share your own personal experiences with the devices or with the transition of starting to use one?


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Bloodseek

Recruiter

12-21-2011

Try out a wacom bamboo first, which is cheaper, that way you get the hang of how to use the pen first. It takes a little practice and when you get the hang of pressure and angles. If you like how that works then go for the cintiq. I know a person who did everything by mouse and bought the 12" cintiq and he rarely uses it because he is too used to scanning and using mouse.


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Khatha

Senior Member

12-21-2011

I've used graphic tablet products for 6 years, 3 years with specifically wacom tablets.

Transition to using a tablet? Hard to describe since it's second nature to me just like using a mouse. I do recall it was a struggle for me at first because you do want to look down and see what your pen/mouse is doing to see if you are doing it right. It just takes time and practice. Open up Photoshop and play with the tablet for an hour or so. Doodle, mess around with different tools, just getting practice using it will improve your coordination with it and it will become second nature to you like using your mouse or typing on your keyboard.


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Lord Hiryu Rhys

Senior Member

12-22-2011

Wacom tablets are very nice & it wouldn't hurt to just start small with a bamboo or intuos before jumping into the cintiq. After all why by a Lamborghini if your just going to drive it to the convenience store.
I just got myself a wacom this holiday season & so far it does take some getting use to but I am very happy with the switch from mouse to tablet. No matter what you decide it is definitely a nice change from using the mouse


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Tidy Cat

Senior Member

12-23-2011

I bought a used Intuos 4 tablet for cheap that I am pleased with. I know you said you don't want to get a non-lcd tablet, but if for some reason you have a change of heart (or finances), and decide to buy a plain tablet, I would definitely suggest getting the mouse accessory along with the pen. This way you don't have to move the tablet at all and will become more quickly accustomed to drawing without looking at the tablet. If the tablet is in the same place each time you use it you won't have to "adjust" to the different angle each time you use it. I simply have the pad permanently where my mouse pad would be and switch out the pen whenever I need it.

Good luck, hope you enjoy whatever you end up buying.


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