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Drawing Tablets

drawing mouse tablet

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#1 mogencreative

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Posted 02 April 2009 - 04:03 PM

So far I've just been using the mouse for illustrating, but sometimes I have to draw something by hand first, scan it in, then trace it with the mouse because drawing just comes more naturally with a pencil in my hand.

So I've been considering getting a drawing tablet, but know pathetically little about them.

So what do you guys think about them? Which programs do you find yourself using them with? Any particular tablet you recommend?

Thanks

#2 Coy

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Posted 02 April 2009 - 04:37 PM

Check out this thread title Wacom Tablet. There are some good comments in there and about different tablets available. http://www.designcon...com-tablet.html

I think there is another one or two. I'll SEARCH and see. :D

Here are the search results. http://www.designcon...searchid=511957

#3 jecrt

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Posted 02 April 2009 - 05:49 PM

yeah - there was another thread.

short answer - wacom tablets are incredible. I'm a fulltime freelance illustrator and use an older Wacom 6x8 Intuos2. I do 95% of my work in Illustrator with just a few differently-sized calligraphic brushes set to pressure sensitive. You get great line variation.

I used to do illustrations with the mouse - I'd draw out all my linework, expand the stroke and then pull the edges to get varied thickness. A tablet will save you HOURS of work.

#4 _Redrum

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Posted 04 April 2009 - 04:19 AM

I think sketching promotes mistakes, which are usually required to perfect a design. I wouldn't give up sketching altogether, but you could still trace a sketch easier with a tablet. Also, if you have a tablet, then you can make your sketches in Photoshop, which can save you time on things like versioning and erasing; plus it's just much more versatile. Though I have to say, sometimes nothing beats sitting down with a pencil and just creating a super rough design, or ten, before you get into something more official like Ps or Ai.

#5 jecrt

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Posted 04 April 2009 - 04:44 PM

Though I have to say, sometimes nothing beats sitting down with a pencil and just creating a super rough design, or ten, before you get into something more official like Ps or Ai.


I actually feel less inhibited sketching in Illustrator with my tablet than in my sketchbook. I feel like it's a lot easier/cleaner to erase. The problem with sketching in Illustrator/photoshop though, is that you're always tempted to take an idea further, instead of exploring a lot of different ideas. You start playing with color, type, etc. when the sketching stage is really about getting ideas/shapes/layouts out.

#6 _Redrum

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Posted 04 April 2009 - 06:32 PM

I guess it depends on the person. I've always felt more comfortable making mistakes on paper, because it's all messy and it doesn't look as official.

#7 jecrt

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Posted 04 April 2009 - 07:17 PM

I guess it depends on the person. I've always felt more comfortable making mistakes on paper, because it's all messy and it doesn't look as official.


that's interesting. I feel like once I put something down on paper, it's worth more, because it's a tangible thing. I'll have layers and layers of sketches and then just trash them...because I don't need them anymore, whereas a sketchbook I keep forever, just because it feels more...I don't know?...valuable?

volume of work probably matters, too . A lot of my jobs are full pages of multiple images (20 - 30 per sheet) for use on kids' products - collections, basically. If I were to sketch/scan in each piece I'd lose a lot of time.

It's always interesting to me to hear how different people work.

#8 _Redrum

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Posted 04 April 2009 - 09:10 PM

In my case I don't think I'd ever get to the point of having one piece on a page. I use sketching as a rough starting point, so there are usually 20 or so drawings on the same page. None of them are very detailed - some are just simple strokes.

I don't mean to give the impression that I'm creating the full thing out on paper beforehand. I just use it to rough out ideas that later evolve into complete designs. Also, there's no scanning involved normally; the ideas are so rough, there would be no point. Sketching for me is just the next roughest thing following a thought in my head. I put as many of those down as I can, and go from there. Having a common surface to draw on helps. I suppose one large layer in Photoshop would do the same thing, but I just like the feel of the natural tools.

Edited by _Redrum, 04 April 2009 - 09:13 PM.


#9 geek

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Posted 04 April 2009 - 09:47 PM

I just want to share this article about writers should exercise their brain by writing and copying freehand - pen and paper.

>How To Get Great Copywriters to Mentor You For Free ? Copyblogger

I think it's the same way as us (designers). Old ways are still the best method. Computers are just another tool.

#10 nyxxie

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Posted 06 April 2009 - 05:17 AM

I use a cheap Wacom, it's old and when I bought it was only like 40 bucks. I have dropped it. Lost the pen several times. And it still works brilliantly. lol. So Wacom is the way to go.

#11 Coy

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Posted 06 April 2009 - 03:20 PM

>How To Get Great Copywriters to Mentor You For Free ? Copyblogger


I liked the article. It's something I tell my kids to do when preparing for a test. Since I was always bad at testing and read somewhere that you only remember ??% of what you read but remember a higher % if you physicly participate. so I started writing the parts down that I needed to remember. The results I went from testing with C's to A's and B's.

I think this can also be true for drawing. When I was teaching my self to draw I always looked at other cartoons or other peoples drawings and started learning the way things "went togeather". at first it was tracing then, redrawing the ruff tracing lines to make it look less traced. then just keeping the drawing next to me. The my dad purchased a cartoon mag called CARtoons - all about cars/trucks. I them they had a "how to" section on drawing cars this showed me there were actual steps people did to come to an end product, so I got my hands on as many How to books as possible.
To this day if I find something interesting and don't really know how it was done I'll sit down with a copy of it and start trying to duplicate it.
it really does help.

I also do the same thing as _Redrum draw/sketch it on paper first. If it ends up like I want it I'll go ahead and finish it out.

As far as jecrt comments about it being more valuable. I usually end up selling my sketches from $5 to $300 :D depending on size and detail. but average about $25 for a 8X5 pencil sketch. You'd be surprised how many people want an origonal drawing, if nothing else but to hangup in their work space. lol

Edited by Coy, 06 April 2009 - 03:22 PM.


#12 jecrt

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Posted 06 April 2009 - 07:48 PM

I think it's the same way as us (designers). Old ways are still the best method. Computers are just another tool.


I'd say for design, pencil is a good method for sketches - it keeps you focused on layout/form - not typography distractions, etc.

However, as an illustrator that works almost exclusively in vector art, it makes more sense to create on-screen.

I'm sure you guys are tired of me posting on this one - but it's always been a pet peeve of mine. Even in art school, it was always insisted that people sketch in pencil/paper. I just don't see the problem with utilizing new technologies, especially when it meshes better with the end piece. A lot of people argue that it's "more natural" to use pencil - but for many - it's not. I've been using a tablet for 10 years now - I currently use it about 55 hours a week for work as well as when I'm just browsing - my wacom pen feels like an extension of my hand.

#13 .:FMD

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Posted 11 April 2009 - 02:21 AM

my wacom pen feels like an extension of my hand.


This is true.

I use a intuos 3 6x8 wacom tablet as well. I bought it about 2 years ago and have not gone back to a mouse since. I take it everywhere I go. I feel its more accurate than the mouse. I dont think I even work as fast with a mouse.

jecrt is also right about the illustration part. It's good to sketch on paper with a pencil. I mainly do it for boards for my motion pieces I make and quick layouts and such. But as for making illustrations, and especially at the workflow he is doing it at, i do not see the harm of creating the illustrations directly on the screen. I find myself doing that quite a bit.

A tablet is also a lifesaver for photo retouching as well as photo manipulation in photoshop. I feel that I can follow the contours of an object much easier (and more natural feeling) with a pen and tablet than with a mouse.

As far as size goes, i recommend a 6x8. It fits perfectly infront of my macbook pro and you can pack it up in your backpack, or laptop bag, and take it anywhere with you. The bigger ones dont fit too well on smaller surfaces such as coffee shop tables, your lap, in the car while you are taking a long trip and just have the urge to make some illustrations :D. I also have a 26" monitor that I use it with as a second monitor.

You just get used to it and do not think about the size the pad is and how little you are trully moving your hand.

#14 evanfields

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Posted 30 April 2009 - 08:08 PM

So far I've just been using the mouse for illustrating, but sometimes I have to draw something by hand first, scan it in, then trace it with the mouse because drawing just comes more naturally with a pencil in my hand.

So I've been considering getting a drawing tablet, but know pathetically little about them.

So what do you guys think about them? Which programs do you find yourself using them with? Any particular tablet you recommend?

Thanks


Buy an Wacom... can be different to get used to the first few days, but you'll never go back to a mouse again.

#15 mik3y

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Posted 05 June 2009 - 08:27 PM

Buy an Wacom... can be different to get used to the first few days, but you'll never go back to a mouse again.


I own a wacom but one of the cheaper versions.. and I gotta say its pretty sweet! doesn't really replace the mouse tho..

i'd love to get a really high-end one but theyre like 2000 bucks

#16 jecrt

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Posted 05 June 2009 - 08:31 PM

I own a wacom but one of the cheaper versions.. and I gotta say its pretty sweet! doesn't really replace the mouse tho..



Really? I haven't had a mouse in probably 6 or so years. I actually HATE using my wife's computer because I have to use her mouse...I just feel like I'm moving in slow motion.

#17 hattori

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Posted 15 October 2009 - 03:37 PM

i'have some genius tablet but didn't use it too much.
not because of tablet, but more because i found out that it's much easier for me to draw the concept on the paper, scan it and trace it manually.

#18 HippieFaerie

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Posted 31 October 2009 - 08:26 AM

Really? I haven't had a mouse in probably 6 or so years. I actually HATE using my wife's computer because I have to use her mouse...I just feel like I'm moving in slow motion.


LOL I have a wacom and the feeling is that I'm going too fast for my own eye. You gotta show me how you do it because i can't replace my mouse yet. :)

#19 Mir

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Posted 31 October 2009 - 11:03 AM

I bought a Wacom Bamboo tablet for my Mac about a year ago and I absolutely love it. I even use it for non-art work quite often - it's just nicer to use than a mouse. If I have been using a mouse a lot I find get pressure spots on my wrist (I have very prominent wrist bones!) and a sore finger from clicking. The Bamboo tablet avoids all these things, and scrolling is easier than with a mouse too. I daresay I haven't perfected the technique yet but - my gosh, for the price this is one of my best ever purchases. Hooray for tablets.

#20 scorpionagency

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Posted 31 October 2009 - 05:01 PM

I've been using a Genius G-pen graphics tablet for about 4+ years now. It's become an essential tool in my everyday design / production rituals. I used to sketch pencil to paper all the time & then scan it in, after a while on the tablet I quickly found that using the vector pencil tool & having the tablets sensitivity set properly, it not only achieves the same freehand sketch goal, it also helps cut down on time.

I just can't see how any designer can get by without a tablet anymore that is into digital art, even if it's only used for vector pencil rough sketch ideas. Definitely proven to be one of my largest assets when it comes to my trade & helps cut down on several areas of time investment in both the design & production process. Time being important to me. :)





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