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CockroachTeaParty
2007-12-16, 11:29 PM
Hail all. I figured those of you who frequent this section of the boards would be able to help me.

'Tis the Christmas season, and the only thing I've put on my list is some manner of Wacom tablet, or similar device, for I will be doing lots of drawing on the computer in short order, and I believe something of this nature would help facilitate the process, rather than scanning images from paper.

My question for the techno-artists among you is thus:

What is a good, reasonably priced tablet? (I speak of those things that you draw on, and then by some manner of witchcraft, the doodling appears on screen) I mainly use macs, and though I have access to labs with computers more expensive than all my internal organs, I often work on my humble laptop, an old iBook G4.

I'll be doing some research on my own, but does anyone have any suggestions for a tablet that would work with said tech? Any advice, warnings, bad memories, happy memories, etc?

I'll be working a great deal in Flash and Photoshop, and perhaps Adobe Illustrator if I can get my grubby mits on it. I would greatly appreciate any advice, links, or amusing anecdotes. A thousand thanks well in advance!

Sneak
2007-12-17, 07:21 AM
Well, I have a Wacom tablet. I believe it's a Graphire 4, but I could be wrong. I have a laptop and the touchpad is teh suck for drawing, so I use my tablet all the time. I mainly use it for Adobe Illustrator, but I've used it for Photoshop Elements and Flash. It does everything I need. I'm happy.

Of course, Wacom tablets aren't cheap. I know nothing about other tablets, however, so it is possible that they are less reliable, not as good, or they just won't work with your computer. Shrug. I personally would just stick to what I know, but you can make up your own mind.

Nameless
2007-12-17, 07:35 AM
When buying a tablet for drawing, there's 2 main things you need to make sure.

1: It doesn't jump and skip, make sure that the mouse is dierectly in the same place as where you draw on the tablet.

2: make sure that the tablet has it's own screen. this will make your life a heck of a lot easier to draw.

These things mean that the tablet will be rather expencive.
But it's really worth it, if you go for the cheap options that are availeble, you might as well not buy one at all, because they make your life extreamly difficult.

Personally I use the mouse, if you practice with it you can still produce some pretty decent stuff, but it might take you a while to get the hang of it if you haven't really used it before.

In other words, here's a warning: Do not go for the cheap ones
You'll be wasting your time and money.

Trazoi
2007-12-17, 05:23 PM
From my understanding Wacom is the best maker of tablets. I've had a Wacom Graphire 2 (4x5 inch) for a while, and recently bought a Wacom Intuos 3 (6x8 inch). I still use both; the Intuos is much nicer, but the Graphire is smaller for when my desk is cluttered or when I need to take it with me.

There's a number of questions you'll need to ask yourself as for what type of tablet you need:

Do you tend to draw with large sweeping strokes or do you prefer to draw small compact strokes?
How much desk space can you give to a tablet?
Do you need to take the tablet with you in your laptop bag?
How much money can you afford to spend?
Do you need the extra pressure sensitivity and buttons on the Intuos, or would a Graphire be alright for you?


If you're using a laptop, you might want to look at the smaller models. The 6x8 inch Intuos is about the same size as my MacBook Pro, so it can fit snugly in my laptop case. However I prefer to take my smaller Graphire (4x5 inch) instead, as it fits much easier, is a bit lighter and I don't mind giving it a bit more punishment. Another option you should consider is the Bluetooth Graphire if your iBook has that functionality; you can work without wires.

For vector work like in Flash, Illustrator or Inkscape it depends a bit on how you use it, but I tend to clean up my curves with the mouse anyway. I can get similar results with the tiny Graphire as with the Intuos. I tend to use the tablet the most for drawing draft sketches in this case, so it doesn't matter if it's not quite as nice with the Graphire over the Intuos; the final result will be built with the mouse either way.

Tablets with a screen like the Cintiq sound very nice; I know artists drool over them; but they cost an arm and a leg. I wouldn't recommend getting one as a first tablet unless you or your gift giving friends and family are swimming in cash.

To start with, you can always get the smaller Wacom Graphire or possibly even the Wacom Bamboo. These aren't that expensive; here they cost just a bit more than a computer game, or twice the cost of a nice mouse. If you like the tablet but find it a bit cramped, you can then save up for a larger model.

Keep in mind whichever model you get that it will take some time to practice with drawing on the tablet while looking at the results on the screen. It's a bit unnatural at first, but you get used to it after a while. Doesn't apply if you're lucky enough to afford a Cintiq though :smallbiggrin:

Mysticaloctopus
2007-12-17, 05:57 PM
I'm a bit of an expensive peripherals freak (Razer mouse and keyboard, two monitors), but I own a small wacom tablet. Cost me 40, I bought it because I saw it and though "Ooh!"

Long story short: A cheap one is enough for me, as I just use it for fun. If you see arts as seriose busness, buy a better-ish one.

CockroachTeaParty
2007-12-17, 06:54 PM
Some helpful info, thanks! It sounds like that Graphire is more than enough for what I'll be doing... I don't think I have the dough for one with a screen, but I've been drawing with a mouse (or touchpad) long enough that watching a cursor on screen do what I want should be fine. I play a lot of video games, so I've got good hand/eye coordination.

Well, I'm off to continue searching. That bluetooth one sounded nifty, maybe I'll check that out.

Nameless
2007-12-18, 08:31 AM
Some helpful info, thanks! It sounds like that Graphire is more than enough for what I'll be doing... I don't think I have the dough for one with a screen, but I've been drawing with a mouse (or touchpad) long enough that watching a cursor on screen do what I want should be fine. I play a lot of video games, so I've got good hand/eye coordination.

Well, I'm off to continue searching. That bluetooth one sounded nifty, maybe I'll check that out.

See... video games do help you in life :smallbiggrin: