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Just got my 1st tablet! What should I do now? (Concept Artist)


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#1 CFrac2   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 09 June 2012 - 09:23 AM

Hello ladies and gents, I just got my 1st drawing tablet, a Wacom Intuos 5, and I was wondering how I get started. Normally I am a good/decent drawer (using paper and pencil or acrylic painting), but on the computer it is much more difficult I think. I would love it if somebody please taught me how to get my ideas/concepts out of my brain and onto the canvas. Thanks! -Chris

(I have already watched so many videos and I am trying to pick up some of those techniques. I guess I just need to keep practicing?)

Edited by Tillofolofogus, 09 June 2012 - 09:25 AM.

Game Designer and Creative at http://www.xstreamtech.co.uk/

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#2 Tom Sloper   Moderators   -  Reputation: 10067

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Posted 09 June 2012 - 10:24 AM

(Concept Artist)

You're a concept artist, you say. Do you have an art degree?
-- Tom Sloper
Sloperama Productions
Making games fun and getting them done.
www.sloperama.com

Please do not PM me. My email address is easy to find, but note that I do not give private advice.

#3 O-san   Members   -  Reputation: 1727

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Posted 09 June 2012 - 11:22 AM

Post some of your artwork if you want critique or comments on it, maybe your idea behind it too. I don't think anyone here is going to explicitly teach you how to get your ideas onto canvas.
Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image

#4 Hamsta   Members   -  Reputation: 919

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Posted 09 June 2012 - 05:27 PM

Practice, practice, practice.

The difficulty when using a tablet is hand eye coordination: The lines you see appear on the screen are actually being drawn on your lap or desk, on a surface and stylus combination that aren't what you are used to.

Otherwise, you would use the same process you do with graphite or acrylic.
Itamar Reiner: Self Financed Concept Artist http://www.hamsta180.com

#5 CFrac2   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 09 June 2012 - 06:47 PM

Post some of your artwork if you want critique or comments on it, maybe your idea behind it too. I don't think anyone here is going to explicitly teach you how to get your ideas onto canvas.


Posted Image
Game Designer and Creative at http://www.xstreamtech.co.uk/

#6 MartinH.   Members   -  Reputation: 123

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Posted 13 June 2012 - 02:10 PM

To improve hand-eye-coordination with the tablet you can play some Diablo or Path of Exile (not joking it does help without being frustrating).

Photoshop can be figured out well with trial and error, practice and RFTM. The Adobe help files are usually surprisingly helpful.

Judging by the picture you still can use some more non media specific painting basics. I recommended some books here:
http://www.gamedev.net/topic/400142-good-reading-for-game-artists/

Personally I'd stay away from all books that have "digital painting" or similar in the title because all that I know are crap. Putting the focus on the DIGITAL in the title imho is usually a sign of failing to make the correct destinction between painting problems and problems with the digital workflow.

Just my two cents...

p.s.: a few thousand hours of practice also will get you a long way, so... happy painting!

#7 Hamsta   Members   -  Reputation: 919

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Posted 13 June 2012 - 05:15 PM

You play Diablo with the tablet? And it's not frustrating? I would be frustrated even if I was just using the mouse that comes with the tablet, especially if it was a smaller one (the OP didn't specify size.)
Itamar Reiner: Self Financed Concept Artist http://www.hamsta180.com

#8 MartinH.   Members   -  Reputation: 123

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Posted 13 June 2012 - 06:19 PM

Yes I sometimes play hack and slay games with the tablet (have not yet played Diablo 3 yet and don't intend to). Mine is A4 sized but A5 would work too for me. I also tried to play Quake 3 and Call of Duty with the tablet, but for that you have to switch the pen to mouse mode and it's not really an advantage over the mouse. I'd say using the pen I'm a little bit better with the railgun in Quake 3 but a fair bit worse in everything else.
For Diablo and the like I find the pen to be a bit less strainfull on my arm.
And yes, the mouse that came with the tablet is total crap and I never used it.

#9 Hodgman   Moderators   -  Reputation: 30964

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Posted 13 June 2012 - 09:36 PM

You play Diablo with the tablet? And it's not frustrating?

At my last job, a few of the artists would use their tablet/pen as a complete replacement for the mouse -- not just in Photoshop, but also in the web browser, Windows Explorer, 3DS Max, and yes, games too.

I'm not a tablet user, but I get that the biggest hurdle is simply building up your "muscle memory", so that you can naturally move the cursor around and interact with the PC without having to consciously think about it -- the only way to develop that kind of muscle memory (whether it's a new device, instrument, sport, etc) is a lot of practice.

In physiotherapy, "constraint based" techniques are often used, such as restricting a stroke-victim's good hand, to force them to re-learn to use the damaged hand. I imagine that unplugging your mouse is a similar "therapy": by you out of your comfort-zone and forcing yourself to use the new, difficult method, you're forced to get in a lot of practice and learning.

#10 MartinH.   Members   -  Reputation: 123

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 07:09 AM

Exactly, and I'd consider it far less frustrating to miss a click in a game than to accidentally move one of your file folders into another folder without you noticing it (those things can happen).

#11 DemonRad   Members   -  Reputation: 290

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 11:47 AM

What should be really worth is ability to draw directly on the screen (not very cheap). I tried a small tablet and finally switched to inked drawings (when you scannerize a ink draw it is just matters of adjusting contrast to get edges for easy digital colorization, with pencil you can instead have all sort of troubles).

Peace and love, now I understand really what it means! Guardian Angels exist! Thanks!


#12 Hamsta   Members   -  Reputation: 919

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Posted 15 June 2012 - 12:45 AM

With my 8 years of experience drawing with a tablet, I'm pretty confident with my hand eye coordination and muscle memory for this task, but I doubt I would have the same luck playing with it as I do with the track pad or a DDR mat. ;)
I think of it as eating soup with a fork. Right tool for the right job and all that.

I could probably benefit from some drawing from the elbow practice, though.
Itamar Reiner: Self Financed Concept Artist http://www.hamsta180.com

#13 eclat521   Members   -  Reputation: 101

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Posted 18 June 2012 - 04:37 AM

Throw away your mouse.
Seriously, I've not used one for 10+ years... for anything at all (I'm an Art Director and concept/game artist btw).

Wacom ftw!




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