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2D All the way! / New Graphics Tablet - Any Helpful Advice?

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TDK
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Posted: 12th Apr 2010 22:29
I've just bought a new graphics tablet as I've always wanted one (and I've seen lots of users recommending them).

But it's absolutely awful to use and very weird compared to the mouse. I'll never get used to using it! Yes, I know, I probably said that about the mouse when I first used one twenty-odd years ago!

Anyway, to save me throwing it out of the window, does anyone with experience of using one have any useful tips on using it?

I didn't pay much for it, but I want to persevere with it as I'm told it's worth the effort.

TDK

Quik
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Posted: 12th Apr 2010 22:31
i had say use it as a normal pen, and u will get used to it eventually, just like u did with a pen a lot of years ago =)


[Q]uik, Quiker than most
David Gervais
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Posted: 13th Apr 2010 00:55
if it is a touch sensitive type pad, place a sheet of tracing paper over it and draw with a well rounded pencil. (not a sharp point one because it can damage the tablet surface.) draw like normal, and concentrate on looking at the tablet/paper. every so often glance at the screen to see how it's shaping up. if an area needs touching up, place your pencil at the spot, take a good look a the paper drawing, then looking at the screen, draw on the pad keeping in mind the paper drawing.. as you make adjustments you soon be watching the screen and only occasionally glancing at the pad.. it's a slow reverse process.. start by keeping an eye mostly on the pad while you draw, glancing at the screen,.. move to about half and half, then the occasional glance at the pad, before you know it you won't need to glance at the pad and you won't need the pencil/tracing paper, just the little plastic rod they give with the tablet will be enough.

I hope this help,.. it's a learning process, you have to train yourself to use the tablet,.. eventually you'll thing the tablet is the best thing since sliced bread, and wonder why people still use mice lol

patience and tenacity are the keys.

Cheers mate!

Van B
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Posted: 13th Apr 2010 01:01
I find mine very handy for adding small, more organic detail. For instance, take a line drawing and fill it with solid colour, then use just black and white to shade it and add detail.

What would you say was the problem with it though? - is it too smooth, not responsive enough?
I can't use anything smaller than an A4, have you got one of those little uns?


Health, Ammo, and bacon and eggs!
TDK
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Posted: 13th Apr 2010 20:22
Quote: "place a sheet of tracing paper over it and draw with a well rounded pencil"


That doesn't work - it comes with a cordless pen which has a battery in it. Nothing else will draw on it. But I'd not thought of the tracing aspect. It comes with paper sheets which have icons round the edges for launching apps (if you turn the option on in the settings). I'll have a bash at a bit of tracing later this evening.

Quote: "What would you say was the problem with it though?"


The cursor does seem to leap around a bit. Maybe I need to press a little harder. There's a sensitivity level adjustment which you can set between 0% and 8%. I'll have to experiment with that.

I think it's just that I'm not used to it and it felt uncomfortable to use. It's annoying in that the cursor moves before the pen touches the surface and that puts me off.

I have improved things a bit myself as I found a setting which allowed me to change the mode to 'relative' so it works more like a mouse. Before, the drawing surface was mapped to both of my monitors and it was like having a mouse that you couldn't lift off your desk!

Maybe I now have it on a setting which isn't as good as the one it was set to before...

Quote: "have you got one of those little uns?"


No it's a reasonable size. There is a piece of clear plastic on it which you can lift up and put a sheet of A4 under it. The drawing area extends to the edges of the paper, so it must be an A4 tablet even though it doesn't actually say that anywhere on the box.

Quote: "patience and tenacity are the keys"


I guess so. I'll just have to forget how horrible it is to use and just get on with it!

Thanks...

TDK

Van B
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Posted: 13th Apr 2010 20:39
Ahh, I think the weird resolution from both displays being active would cause some issues - can you try with just 1 display?

Sounds a lot like my tablet, you do get used to it, but it has to be the positional mode, otherwise it'll be like painting with a football.

What art package are you using? - remember you might have to select what the pressure does etc, it can get a bit fiddly with PSP9.


Health, Ammo, and bacon and eggs!
TDK
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Posted: 13th Apr 2010 21:00
Quote: "can you try with just 1 display?"


Yes - I'll give it a try later.

Quote: "What art package are you using? - remember you might have to select what the pressure does etc, it can get a bit fiddly with PSP9"


I use PSP7 and that doesn't respond to it at all - though I haven't had time to check out the options yet. I might be able to enable an option somewhere.

It came with CorelDraw Essentials 3 and Corel Photo-Paint Essentials 3.

TDK

Van B
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Posted: 13th Apr 2010 21:16
PSP9 comes highly recommended, it's got everything you'd need, and for sprite work it blows PhotoShop out of the water. It has some nice art tools, like oil paints and pencils that mimic the real thing.

It's a different gadget altogether once the pressure sensitivity works properly, no wonder your not getting much joy from it!.


Health, Ammo, and bacon and eggs!
greenlig
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Posted: 14th Apr 2010 15:04
I used to use my tablet, in my noobish days, without pressure sensitivity. I wondered what all the fuss was about too, cause I really found it more painful to use. It was actually only in late 2008 that I learnt how to use it properly.

Once you get that though, you will have some joy with it.

I usually have my mouse, keyboard, and tablet all handy. I use hotkeys, the mouse to navigate stuff, and the pen to draw. Seems to work for me.

Wow, medication is kicking in...this post seems really fragmented. Is it??

Greenlig

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Van B
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Posted: 14th Apr 2010 16:56
It

Might

Just

Be

You...


Nah, I find myself posting like that too sometimes, when it's just little bits of opinion and not explaining something or ranting. I think it's good, because people are more likely to read the little nuggets of info than a big chunky paragraph.


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greenlig
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Posted: 15th Apr 2010 16:08 Edited at: 16th Apr 2010 06:48
[Whole post edited due to return of senses]

Cheers Mod

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Neco
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Posted: 26th Apr 2010 19:10 Edited at: 26th Apr 2010 19:10
Have you gotten the hang of it yet? You could always pay someone to teach you, or look at a class?

Sometimes that is the best way to learn too.. I can't really learn that easily unless I am in a structured class room setting for some reason.. Hence why I've never been able to learn C/C++ etc.. Can't afford classes and can't manage to teach myself.

Hopefully DB will change that tho

I've always wondered what it would be like to use a tablet myself, but never could afford one.

TDK
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Posted: 2nd May 2010 15:11
Quote: "but never could afford one"


I know what you mean.

Where I live, only the tiny ones were worth buying due to the cost, but a new store opened up here called 'Lidl' (common here in Europe) and they had this A4 tablet on offer for €29 so I took advantage.

I'm still persevering with it, but I'm still pretty useless!

TDK

Oolite
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Posted: 2nd May 2010 23:08
I've took a quick glance at the posts but i'm just quickly giving my two pence.

I started off with a Volito 2, thing was too small for what i wanted and was often difficult to use. I always ended up doing the larger lines with the mouse and then using the tablet for the smaller details.
To get used to the tablet I started to write or sign my name over and over again in various sizes, using all of the tablet space, and then certain parts of the it and eventually you get used to using the space.
With the wacom drivers, I had to turn down all of the settings in the drivers just to get it to feel right.
But yeah, my one tip, keep writing or signing your name over and over again until you get it exactly as it looks when writing with a pen.

If you are interested in just creating textures for games then get fiddling with the tablet settings in PS or PSP. If you want to do some painting then i'd recommend corel painter. I bought it about a month back on a whim. I absolutely love the program, perfect with my tablet and the closest thing to painting on canvas that a 2D program can get.
Give it a bash.

TDK
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Posted: 2nd May 2010 23:37 Edited at: 2nd May 2010 23:38
Thanks for that - it came with CorelDraw Essentials 3 and Corel Photo-Paint Essentials 3.

Probably very similar...

TDK

Oolite
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Posted: 3rd May 2010 03:13
Probably, i only have experience with Painter though.

Another thing i'd recommend doing is drawing basic shapes, squares, circles and triangles.
Are you using it in mouse mode or pen mode? I've generally found it is better to use it in mouse mode unless you have a tablet roughly the same size as your screen, it's hard to judge where the mouse is meant to be in relation to the tablet.

It is like learning to write all over again, but soon it will become second nature.

On a side note, i've always noticed lidl have really good electronic products, which is strange for a supermarket chain.

Nickydude
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Posted: 5th May 2010 01:34
What's the name of the tablet? Sounds similar to the one I have.

TDK
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Posted: 17th May 2010 03:39
Silvercrest Home Tech.

TDK

Zergei
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Posted: 27th May 2010 04:41 Edited at: 27th May 2010 04:44
Some advice here...

1- Draw a perfect circle on it using some circle-shapped object (careful not to scratch the tablet). If what you see onscreen looks nothing like a circle, then you need to redefine the active area of the screen the tablet is mapping on. Else, when you try drawing circles you end up drawing elipses, and that gets confusing plus you'll be learning to draw the wrong way.

2- Grab a sheet of paper and draw something (not too complex). Pay close attention to how you position the paper, at what angle mostly. (i tend to draw better ar 45º angles). Now try drawing with your tablet positioned at that same angle, and correct as you go on, in order to achieve a better feel for it. I personally lift of the table and hold it over my arm so to have full angle control of it.

I don't know what paint program you use, but i found SAI to be best for use with tablets, for many things but mostrly because i can rotate the canvas as well.
Ask arround artists sites, such as deviantart, about tips and tricks about it. Also i highly recommend watching other peaple draw online. I saw a few of them on ustream, and by just seeing them draw i learnt a lot.

Oh, and just imagine it's a real pen/pencil.

Further on my stuff at...
TurboSquid.com
The3dStudio.com
Quik
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Posted: 31st May 2010 12:45 Edited at: 31st May 2010 12:47
Quote: "I've generally found it is better to use it in mouse mode unless you have a tablet roughly the same size as your screen, it's hard to judge where the mouse is meant to be in relation to the tablet."

i use an small intous 4, works totally fine in pen mode, acually i find it more comfirtable(i know, wrong word, but i hope it got through anyhow) because using mouse mode, well.. it just feels like using the mouse on an laptop - too little space.

it is all up to taste though, i just felt like i needed to give my opinion aswell =) i hope ur finding ur Tablet useful TDK

oh and edit: i noticed ur third post u said: "it feels uncomfirtable to use" and i gotta say, at first it did feel weird and wrong to use, but i got used to it eventually^^


[Q]uik, Quiker than most

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