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Images, Graphic Design, and Digital Photography Discussion of all things graphics.

(( wacom tablet. yes/no? ))


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zzMac

 
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I was wondering if anyone on here owns or has used a wacom (or any other brand) tablet?
ive never used one, and have heard some mixed reviews.

is it worth it? pros/cons?


tia

zzMac
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knucklehead13

 
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i've been a graphic designer for over 10 years now, and 4 years ago, i switched. over the past 4 years, i've used both the wacom graphire (bargain basement version) AND the wacom intuos (higher end -- what i use currently).

that said, i can tell you these important things...

-> the learning curve from mouse to tablet and stylus is a couple weeks, TOPS. (more like a couple days, really.)
-> pulling points (such as in illustrator, or pathing in ps) is about seventeen THOUSAND times easier with a stylus and tablet.
-> higher end tablets (such as the intuos 3 and above) offer built-in macro keys, which you can use with your fingers or with the stylus, and which, when programmed with savvy, can make your life a lot easier. (consider zooming in and out on a photoshop doc by simply sliding your stylus on a small pad to the side of your main tablet area.)
-> the tablet's "work area" is automatically mapped to the aspect ratio of your screen. thus, there is no more of that "move-pickup-move-pickup" thing that you have to do with a mouse.
-> the "posture" of your hand, when using a stylus, is far more natural than with a mouse, and thus, more ergonomically correct.

i resisted the switch for about a year, and finally "gave in" only because the pain in my forearm was starting to get worse and i realized i really needed to do something. once i made the change, i found that not only did my arm not hurt anymore ... like, EVER ... but i had unwittingly stumbled across the single greatest interface peripheral ever invented.

obviously, it comes highly recommended from this kid.

hopefully, this is helpful.

blair cerny | sf.ca

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zzMac

 
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thank you!

that was extremely helpful! especially coming from someone that is using it as i would be.

thanks again
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knucklehead13

 
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no problem. my pleasure.

(as a final bonus, i should add that anyone sitting down to your computer has no idea how to make it work, and THAT is some funny stuff to watch.)

haha!!

blair cerny | sf.ca

"on a long enough timeline, the survival rate for everyone drops to zero." - tyler durden, "fight club"
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dtownley1

 
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well said, Blair. I agree with almost all of that. Certainly, photoshop becomes much, much easier. I'll rarely use photoshop without my tablet now.

I've found some elements of illustrator become a bit awkward though - selecting a point with a tablet can occasionally select it, and also move it a little - but practice usually bests this. Creating paths is a breeze with a tablet, and far faster than with a mouse or anything else. Even just general Finder navigation is a whole lot smoother, as I find I can move the tablet more fluidly than I ever could with a mouse, so in general, most tasks become easier.

I have a small 4x5" Graphire (or Graphire II, I can't remember which) that still serves me well today, after over 4 years of use. I've never had a single problem with it at all. Funny, I was just talking about this today with the other designer I work with. He's never used one, but maybe I could get him onto them

If you are considering buying a tablet, Wacom really is the way to go. I shopped around before buying mine, and no others I came across had the sensitivity and overall quality that Wacom did. No doubt you'll be using it for a range of tasks in all kinds of apps, so it's better to go for the quality that Wacom offers. Buying a cheapo one will likely come back to bite you later.

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JRV

 
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I also have a Wacom Intuos. It only took a few days to get used to it. The tablet really makes it easier to do things. It also helps a lot if you get wrist pains from using the mouse. The pen puts your hand in a more natural position. I have the 6x8 Intuos and love it. I would save up and buy an Intuos model over the Graphire. I also say that the 6x8 is the perfect size. Not too small, not too big.
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I have a cheaper graphire that works fine. I would like a larger intuos but have never decided to actually spend the cash on one.

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