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ziabatsu

Drawing Tablets

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Hey forum, looking for some experienced advice here. I've never had a drawing tablet, or known anyone who does, I'm old fashioned, using pen, pencil, paints etc. I'm looking into Drawing Tablets now and I need some help finding some of good quality. I don't have a bunch I can spend, probably around a $150-200 limit. My goal with the pad is to draw comic/manga and anime/concept art. If anyone can point me in the right direction I would be very grateful, thanks.

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look around ebay, and a seller with a good reputation, for a used wacom tablet. Though with $200 you are not going to be able to afford the holy grail of tablets, the Cintiq, you should be able to get a good intuos 2 6x8 tablet for $200 or so.

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Right now the best bang for your buck probably comes in the form of a Wacom Graphire 4x5 USB, which should cost a little less than $100 US. Though depending on your art style, a 4x5 may feel a bit cramped. If there's an Apple store nearby you may be able to find a model on display to play with, though they generally only stock the bluetooth models, which cost an arm, leg and gonad. However, the "feel" of the tablet is about the same between the bluetooth and USB versions.

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Though with $200 you are not going to be able to afford the holy grail of tablets, the Cintiq

People say that its too big to be comfortable, and having the LCD display on it actually make it less useful, because you will cover parts of the picture with your hand, which doesnt happen with ordinary tablets, LOL.

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Wacom Bamboo

Warning ! It is known that the first party was defective and emitted a constant audible high-pitched noise. Wacom had to take back up to 20% of them, by some sources. Of course for some people it was their first tablet (also due to its marketing), and they thought it supposed to do that. Wacom says that the next party was fixed, but Bamboo reputation is somewhat damp right now...

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Original post by Karnot
People say that [the Cintiq is] too big to be comfortable, and having the LCD display on it actually make it less useful, because you will cover parts of the picture with your hand, which doesnt happen with ordinary tablets, LOL.

Those people are just bitter because they can't afford one, IMO. I used a Cintiq at GDC '07, and I want one, bad. And I already have an Intuos3 6x11.

Good call on the Bamboo! I'd never even heard about it until I looked up Wacom's current entry-level offering. I'd recommend ziabatsu stick to either Graphire or Intuos2/3 for now, instead.

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I have a tablet PC, having gotten it for drawing on it, and never had any problems with fact that the image is underneath my hand. I've also used a Cintiq and didn't have that problem with it either.

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Original post by Oluseyi
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Original post by Karnot
People say that [the Cintiq is] too big to be comfortable, and having the LCD display on it actually make it less useful, because you will cover parts of the picture with your hand, which doesnt happen with ordinary tablets, LOL.

Those people are just bitter because they can't afford one, IMO. I used a Cintiq at GDC '07, and I want one, bad. And I already have an Intuos3 6x11.

Oh just get a good tablet pc instead. Cheaper, plus it comes with a pc too. [grin] Sure it's locked to one set of hardware, but since it's at least half the price you could get a shiny new one in a couple of years and you'd still end up cheaper. Possibly not an option is you want to do really high end 3d though.

For some odd reason I can't draw with a separate tablet (can't seem to get the hang of drawing in one place and looking at another) but drawing on a tablet is totally natural. :)

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Original post by OrangyTang
Oh just get a good tablet pc instead.

The digitizer simply isn't sensitive enough. But I'm ambitious that way. [smile] (Plus, it's gadget porn!)

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Possibly not an option if you want to do really high end 3d though.

I want to do really high-end 2D.

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For some odd reason I can't draw with a separate tablet (can't seem to get the hang of drawing in one place and looking at another) but drawing on a tablet is totally natural. :)

Learning to draw while looking elsewhere takes some getting used to. I find that the following two things help:
  1. Look at the cursor as your hand. It takes a little practice, but it becomes natural with time.

  2. Draw with your arm, not your hand. When you're trying to draw with just your hand, the fine movements have very little kinesthetic feedback (the sense or awareness of precisely where your body is), whereas the feedback is much larger when you use your whole arm.


Good luck!

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A few years back I bought a Wacom Graphire 4x5 as a starter tablet to see what they were like, and loved it. I've since bought an Intuos 3 6x8 which I love even more; I think the 6x8 is about the right size for me. The 4x5 Graphire is good for simple sketches and drafts but you need to zoom in a lot for fine detail.

I'd recommend trying some out at a local store if you can (Apple stores around here often have one; I know the local one has an Intuos 6x11 set up) and seeing which one you like.

As for purchasing, the cheapest option for a new tablet is to get the latest Graphire 4x5. It's a bit small but it's not that much more pricey than a good quality wireless mouse, so you can see how you like using a tablet.

If you want something a bit bigger and you can afford it I'd recommend the latest Intuos 6x8. If you qualify for the education pricing you can get a discounted model that doesn't come with some of bundled software. It might however still be outside your price limit though - I think in Australia the education pricing is just over A$300, so it'll probably be somewhere from US$200-250 (I don't know for sure, sorry).

Alternatively you can hunt around on ebay, as the older Intuos models are still good.

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