Sign in to follow this  

Help with Tablet + Art combo

This topic is 1102 days old which is more than the 365 day threshold we allow for new replies. Please post a new topic.

If you intended to correct an error in the post then please contact us.

Recommended Posts

Greetings!

At work, I have a lot of downtime, so I am looking to invest into a portable computer and an art program so I can draw while at work.

The computer doesn't matter. It's really about what kind of art program I can use on it that matters. I am looking for something that can emulate Photoshop 6's Pixel editing capabilities, i,e, grids, pixel painting, etc.... Basically whatever a pixel artist uses on PS is what I want on the tablet.

I assume the best deal I can get is a cheap tablet and GIMP, but maybe there is something more out there? 

Any suggestions? 

 

- BuffoTheClown

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How much can you spend? OS you want to use?

 

Are you comfortable drawing on a standart graphical tablet, or would you like a tablet / screen combo (screen with digitizer layer like cintiq)?

 

 

Depending on what you want need, your hardware could be many things...

 

1) cheapest is to get a Bamboo Wacom Tablet, or a similar, maybe even cheaper no-name (= non wacom smile.png ) tablet, and hook it up to your existing Windows/MAc/Linux laptop.

 

2) if you want more oomph from your graphical tablet, the Intuos line will give you more precision and additional express keys as well as more selectable sizes.

 

3) You could try to pick up a mobile tablet with digitizer layer... just forget the Samsung android ones, besides lacking software they are NOT fast enough for serious art work.

The Windows Surface generally gets good reviews from artists, as you get a full fat win 8 machine with digitizer and decent hardware for aroun 700-1000$.

Get the surface 3 if you want to try the new digitizer, don't be fooled by the lower specs than on the older wacom digitizer, people said its just as good as the old wacom option, just with a heavier pen, and no jittering around the edges like what plagues all wacom digitizers. That said, you can still pcik up a surface 2 with wacom digitizer if you search around.

 

4) Premium options would be the cintiqs from wacom. Obviously the stationary ones are to big and unwieldy in your case, but the mobile ones might be interesting. As long as you are prepared to pay around double the price you pay for a surface 3, you will get a machine with just as much oomph, that has been better tuned for creating art. The more precise digitizer layer might make a difference, or not, depending on your skills and needs, but what I personally like are the cintiq style express keys and rocker rings. Missing programmable physical keys on all the other mobile tablets are a MAJOR pain in the ass for creating art, wacom made just the right decision by making their mobile tablet fatter and keeping the physical controls from the stationary cintiqs!

You can get a an android mobile / stationary cintiq tablet for windows hybrid, if you feel comfortable that you can live with the limited software support on Android, with the benefit of saving quite some bucks...

 

 

For the software, your cheapest option is Gimp... if you are looking for something more specifically tuned for drawing and sketching, have a look at sketchbook pro and manga studio / clip studio, both available for under 100$. The latter, while being created as a program for comic drawing, is especially cool for mobile use because of its stroke stabilizing... I use it on my old Samsung slate 7, which is just not up to the task even though it has quite beefy hardware. The old Wacom digitizer layer is not that good, or it could be bad drivers... anyway, it is hard to get clean, smooth lines on it.

Not much of a problem with Manga Studio thanks to the pen stroke stabilizing. Allows me to work quite accuratly and in detail even on this less than optimal machine.

 

 

EDIT:

 

Just checked current prices on Wacom companion and Surface tablets... if you pick a surface pro 3 with similar hardware to the lower specced Wacom tablet (8G RAM, 256G SSD, i7 CPU), the price is actually not that far apart anymore.... the wacom device is only about 10-20% more expensive (altough you do get older hardware, meaning less battery life, with it).

The surface Pro gives you lower specced options which start at roughly half the price of the wacom companion, and you can get a surface 2 for 50% off nowadays (which again offers 8G RAM and 256G SSD, but just an older i5 CPU) which makes it even cheaper than the cheapest Surface 3 option. 

 

So if you can put all that horsepower to good use and think about a highend device, the surface will not really be that much cheaper.... its nTrig vs wacom digitizer, 12" crisper glossy 3:2 display vs 13" matte less crisp (still Full HD though) 16:9 display, newer CPU with longer usage time vs older CPU with shorter, smaller and less heavy form factor without physical buttons vs heavier bigger with physical express keys. Price difference is small at this point.

 

Though the type cover, while pricey, is a very nice addon that Wacom should include for their next version.

 

Speaking about newer versions, word has it that Wacom might release newer companion versions in 2015. So you might want to wait some months if you want to get a companion, to either snatch an improved version with better battery life, or get the old version at a further reduced price.

Edited by Gian-Reto

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow that is a lot of info!

 

Most of that, I think, is way beyond what I'm loking to do.

 

I can't have a large computer at work, so it has to be small, say 10" screen or less.

 

And I just want to do sprite work, so I don't require any kind of fancy power or anything. Just tap and drop a pixel. I'm mostly looking to draw environment sprites on my down time. 

I was thinking of getting some tablet for a hundred or two and using a cheap or free program for pixel art. Not looking to sketch or draw, don't need pressure sensitivity. If I didn't hate MSPaint I would just use that on a mobile device.

I'll probably look into getting some tablet for 200 bucks and GIMP. Any suggestions? Or does GIMP run pretty much the same on any tablet?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow that is a lot of info!

 

Most of that, I think, is way beyond what I'm loking to do.

 

I can't have a large computer at work, so it has to be small, say 10" screen or less.

 

And I just want to do sprite work, so I don't require any kind of fancy power or anything. Just tap and drop a pixel. I'm mostly looking to draw environment sprites on my down time. 

I was thinking of getting some tablet for a hundred or two and using a cheap or free program for pixel art. Not looking to sketch or draw, don't need pressure sensitivity. If I didn't hate MSPaint I would just use that on a mobile device.

I'll probably look into getting some tablet for 200 bucks and GIMP. Any suggestions? Or does GIMP run pretty much the same on any tablet?

 

Why not the wacom Bamboo tablet? I haven't compared it to other no-name (Read non-wacom) tablets, but wacom tablets will be recognised by pretty much any program (though Gimp tablet support has its smallish problems, its not as smooth a ride as in PS to set it up. Got it fixed though, and Gimp works fine on my Cintiq).

 

you might even be able to get the bamboo in a bundle that ives you some art software for a reduced price.... there was a bamboo + manga studio bundle some time ago...

 

Oh, and AFAIK there was a wireless upgrade for some of the Wacom tablets....

 

 

If by tablet you mean like... mobile tablet, yes, getting a tablet, and maybe a cheap chubby-pen would be an option. HAve a look at the Nexus 7 in this case. AFAIK still one of the best lowprice tablets around. You can get Sketchbook Pro or Photoshop for Android for around 10-15$ each, both are quite good apps, if you can live with their limited nature (light sketching -> no problem, but don't try to touch up some pictures professionally on them :) )

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have been doing extensive research on the surface pro 3 vs the cintiq companion. At this point the "real" artists and not some paid advertiser are suggesting to stick with the Cintiq. The most notable difference is the display. Surface pro went with a gloss top (horrible for art) unlike the Cintiq. That said, the surface is considerably lighter and has the ability to be more robust.

 

Good luck and keep us informed on what you get.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you gentlemen. If I decide to go down this route, after a week or two of using what I get, I'll report back to you :)

 

Take care and happy developing!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, I forgot that Nvidia built their very own pen ditizing system in the newer tegras. Good call.

 

As far as I read it, must be pretty good, even has some pressure sensibility. No tilt though AFAIK, and while it seems to be better than the chubby pens for iPads, its not a true art tablet like wacom or nTrig.

Still, might fit the bill as lower price alternative for light drawing and sketching.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You dont need a surface pro or anything like that just for sprite work. Pick up a Motion Computing Le1700 for 150 bucks or whatever from ebay and put gimp on it. it has wacom digitizer and it still used today by many many artists.

Edited by Komatsu

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You dont need a surface pro or anything like that just for sprite work. Pick up a Motion Computing Le1700 for 150 bucks or whatever from ebay and put gimp on it. it has wacom digitizer and it still used today by many many artists.

 

True, was just listing options you can buy NEW today....

 

As soon as you are looking at used and refurbished hardware, you might be able to pick up something useful for less.

 

 

Personally I am not to fond of older mobile tablets with digitizer layers or laptop/tablet hybrids. My Samsung Series 7 slate is one of the most powerful from the Win 7 generation, and its still just usable.

Can I make it work if I have to? Yes, of course, I use it on trips and in holidays for concept sketching and it does the job fine. Would I want to use it to create actual production ready work on it? God no, even with the pen stabilizer in Manga Studio the thing is just inaccurate and laggy. I always end up opening my files on my main workstation and retouch things, IF it is anything more than a rough concept.

 

Now, as has been said before, this will of course depend on what you need and expect, and how you work. Personally I draw with rather quick strokes, so any kind of lag will quickly end up in inaccurate strokes I need to redo. I can force myself to draw with slower strokes, but that feels unnatural to me. I guess depending on how you draw, the Series 7 slate could also be seen as a brilliant piece of hardware. It has the second latest generation wacom digitizer, and has rather beefy hardware, and an acceptable battery life... and a good screen to boot. Of course you will not find a used one for 150$, not yet....

 

 

Oh, and don't forget older Windows hardware has horrible palm rejection (or none)... you end up having to deactivate touch. Which isn't a big problem per se, its just that entering anything on virtual keyboards with the pen is.... painful. But that comes from someone that also hates touchscreen devices in general.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This topic is 1102 days old which is more than the 365 day threshold we allow for new replies. Please post a new topic.

If you intended to correct an error in the post then please contact us.

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Sign in to follow this