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    Titan in the Playground
     
    Yora's Avatar

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    Apr 2009
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    Question Buying a Graphic Tablet

    I've been working on a fantasy setting for a good while now and more and more feel the need to do my own artwork for it. I have really clear images in my mind with very bright colors, but I don't want to deal with the messy logistics of painting, so I want to do it digitally.

    A long long time ago I had a pretty cheap graphic tablet with which I had played around a bit (I did this ) but really wasn't happy with how imprecise and unresponsive it felt. I still liked it a lot more than using a mouse, though. I feel reasonably decent at drawing and it's a much more comfortable and intuitive form of input. I actually have no idea what happened to it, so I can't tell you which one I was. And other than that, I really don't know anything about this type of hardware.

    I am feelin quite serious about this now, but I know myself and would say there's a more than 50% chance I will give up before I fully get the hang of it.
    As such, I don't want to spend a huge amount of money on it. But at the same time, I want to get something solid that doesn't make the experience needlessly unfun, or that I would want to soon replace with something better if I stick with digital drawing.

    Can you give me any advice on how to make my choice?
    Last edited by Yora; 2018-12-09 at 03:55 AM.
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  2. - Top - End - #2
    Pixie in the Playground
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    Nov 2013

    Default Re: Buying a Graphic Tablet

    Howdy!

    It kinda depends on your approach and what you intend to do and learn along the way (the program you're working with is probably just as important as the tablet itself, for example as 'getting the hang of it' has a lot to do with brush use, layers, layer modes, settings etc) and what constitutes as a 'reasonable amount of money'. Tablets range from around 30 bucks to thousands of dollars.

    From a motivational point, I came from the same place as you do: mechanical / traditional drawing doesn't come as easy to me as working digitally, especially painting. I started with a Wacom Bamboo, basically the small noob tablet with decent performance but no convenience features. It gets the job done, but tool navigation is a bit tedious.

    If you want to commit to drawing digitally, I would recommend any 9" X 12" tablet and if you want to go for quality, go for the Wacom Intuos variant. Those are really sturdy and have very good performance (been working with mine constantly for 5 years and I'm still happy with it. Mine is also a fairly old model and prices vary a bit, so expect something around 100-300 bucks for a tablet of that size. There are cheaper variants from other manufacturers, but your mileage there may vary. They're available for ~80 bucks.

    Size matters, so I wouldn't recommend settling for anything smaller.


    Hope that helped : )

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Sean Mirrsen's Avatar

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    Default Re: Buying a Graphic Tablet

    As far as "comfortable and intuitive", I would personally suggest some manner of tablet with a stylus tilt sensor. Tablets of the Wacom Intuos Pro family usually have that, and I don't know if it's just the difference between the quality of the respective sensors, but I never feel like my tablet PC's digitizer (Samsung brand, but the digitizer is Wacom) is as accurate as the Intuos 5 Touch I used to work with (which now broke). I think it's because no matter how well-calibrated the sensor, without detailed information like tilt the tablet can't account for different positions of the hand.

    Wacom Intuos Pro tends to be expensive though, so I recently dug around (since mine broke, as I mentioned), and found that Huion has recently made several "V2" variants of their tablets with improved features and added tilt sensitivity. The one tablet I was specifically interested in, is the Huion H610 Pro V2. It's decently sized, has various control buttons, a fully wireless stylus, and the impressions I read of it seem to be positive. Amazon lists it at $64. I can't really say anything of its quality beyond that.


    For programs, if you ever feel like trying to sketch something, I would recommend a free program called MyPaint. It has a simple interface, an infinite canvas, and just about the best brush engine I ever saw. The included default brush sets are very varied, and the pencil brushes especially look and feel very natural if you ever used physical pencils.

    For going beyond sketches, especially for coloring and detailing MyPaint sketches, there is a program (also free) called Krita. This is an excellent replacement for just about any art program, with excellent features, good performance, animation support and a lot more. It integrates MyPaint's brush engine (since it's been made standalone), and there are brush packs with all kinds of interesting tools and effects. It's also the only program I know that supports the Open Raster format (used by MyPaint) properly.
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    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    5crownik007's Avatar

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    Default Re: Buying a Graphic Tablet

    I use a Wacom Intuos Pro. For all the times that it doesn't work, when it works, it's very helpful. The pain of debugging, installing drivers, uninstalling drivers, messing with settings is worth it when your drawing actually looks how you want it to. I should warn you that I did receive this tablet as a gift, and so I am not aware of the economic status of the drawing tablet market. I recommend following the advice of the other posts above.

    For drawing programs. Paint.NET is an intuitive, direct upgrade from regular paint. I do believe there is also a Paint.NET modification that gives it all of the same features as Adobe's Photoshop.

    Speaking of Photoshop, if you're a student at a university, or a particularly well funded high school, you should check to see if you can grab a student license for Adobe Creative Cloud. It essentially gives you all of the Adobe products for free as long as you're a student.

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    Pixie in the Playground
     
    Lizardfolk

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    Default Re: Buying a Graphic Tablet

    I also use a Wacom tablet.
    There are many models and prices.
    If your goal is good fidelity, don't skimp on the price. Yeah I know these can be expensive but in the end you pay for what you get.
    Think of it as an investment.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Pixie in the Playground
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    Feb 2019

    Default Re: Buying a Graphic Tablet

    Graphic tablet is not an usual one.It has more definded structure as inbult also in design. Graphic tablet must have most priority for graphic design softwares like Adobe Photoshop, Adobe InDesign, Adobe Illustrator and Corel. Most graphic tablets have sustaining ability for hardwares and also for the design software.
    enjoy with it,
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    Pixie in the Playground
     
    Buji's Avatar

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    Default Re: Buying a Graphic Tablet

    A few years ago, I bought my fiancée a Wacom Cintiq 13HD for like, $700-800 USD on Amazon, it works really well and it's basically like drawing on paper due to the drawing display (rather than drawing on the tablet while looking up at the computer monitor) and it's very accurate.
    She uses Photoshop and Paint Tool SAI for her art.

    Pros:
    • 13 inches, so it can feel like drawing in an art book.
    • Digital Display
    • Light weight (kinda)
    • Precise
    • Doesn't lag
    • Returns, repairs, and customer service in general are all pretty good.

    Cons:
    • Cords, kinda a lot of them and they can get in the way.
    • May not be compatible with older devices (fiancée has an old Mac that doesn't work with it)
    • The cords/ports on ours were kinda loose and I feel are easy to damage
    • Bit pricey
    • Can probably get a better Wacom tablet for around the same price


    But Wacom does pretty good tablets, just browse around and see what best suits your needs.

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