graphics tablet

Discussion in 'Photoshop' started by Ruth, Nov 21, 2003.

  1. Ruth

    Ruth Guest

    I'm considering buying a graphics tablet - I find myself drawing more stuff
    freehand these days, and also want to reduce the stress on my wrist.

    I've never used one before and I'm looking at the Wacom Intuos2.

    Can anyone tell me how "integrated" this is with Photoshop and/or CorelDraw?
    I'll be using it for freehand vector drawing and also painting. Does size
    matter a great deal - I'm looking at A4/A5?

    Or can anyone recommend a better one? Obviously I have a budget but I'm
    prepared to pay more if there is something a great deal better.

    Any help in this area greatly appreciated - thanks.


    [cross posted to and]
    Ruth, Nov 21, 2003
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  2. Ruth,

    There's a short thread over in the Draw 11 newsgroup
    (corel.graphic_apps.cdgs11-draw) that you might want to look at. The Intuos
    seems to get two thumbs up. You also might want to look in the Adobe user
    (registration required), lots of Wacom users there. It seems to be the
    choice for high-end use.

    Craig McWalter, Nov 21, 2003
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  3. Ruth

    Joe Guest

    I don't do sketching to know the difference between different model's,
    but I have gone through 3 different sizes and companies I started with
    12x14" (or something like that) then Up/Downgrade to 12x12" (or 11x11"
    can't remember) and I found it was still too big for what I need so I
    replaced it with the Wacom Graphire II about 2 years ago.

    Wacom Graphire II, the drawing area is MUCH smaller 3.5"x5"
    comparing to 11x11, but the board is only about 3.5" smaller (the
    drawing area of other boards are almost all the way to the edge). I
    switched to Wacom because it's a smaller size, and they have driver to
    all OSes and the driver works well with all OSes and applications.

    The thing I don't like much about Wacom is their cheap design and
    materials. If you go for Wacom then I suggest to get a cheap CLEAR
    plastic folder (around $1 at Wal-Mart, Targer etc.) which you can cut
    and cover the drawing area, cuz Wacom uses very cheap and soft plastic
    which will be scratched so easily.
    Joe, Nov 21, 2003
  4. Ruth

    Lon Stowell Guest

    Approximately 11/21/03 05:21, Ruth uttered for posterity:
    Once you try it, you will wonder why you didn't buy one years
    Very good pads, after you load the driver, check their website
    to see if there is a newer version available.

    I actually used the small 3x5 for years, mainly due to lack of
    desktop space. The bigger ones are fantastic.

    Draw and Photoshop use the pressure sensing, dunno if current
    versions can handle the tilt or not. The Wacom website had
    a "Pentools" download that worked as a PhotoShop/PhotoPaint
    plugin that did some tilt sensing.

    A mouse is still nice for drawing straight lines and geometric
    figures IMNHO, but nothing compares to a Wacom for touch ups,
    freehand editing etc. etc. The Wacom also integrates nicely
    with your mouse driver allowing you to use both.

    Plus you have different Wacom pens, including a nice crosshair
    style if you are doing which case the Wacom
    combined tablet/display is worth looking at.
    Go Wacom. You'll fall in love.
    Lon Stowell, Nov 21, 2003
  5. Ruth

    Jannie Guest

    Go Wacom. You'll fall in love.

    I have bought a Wacom Graphire3 XL just this week.
    I really like working with the pen; I don't like the Wacom-mouse that came
    with the package.
    My Logitec-mouse works better; (far less.heavy)

    Jannie, Nov 22, 2003
  6. Ruth

    Hecate Guest

    Not true on the new Graphire 3 which has a hard plastic cover.
    Hecate, Nov 22, 2003
  7. Ruth

    Hecate Guest

    Wacom is good, in fact the only one worth buying.

    Integration - very. PS reacts to pen pressure and angle.

    I have an old artpad II which is A6 and it's great. Prehistoric with a
    serial connection, but it's bulletproof. And unlike a lot of
    peripheral manufacturers, Wacom constantly update the drivers so that
    even those using old kit can still work with it.

    Personally, I wouldn't go bigger than A5 and there's now a Graphire A5
    which you might like to consider as it's cheaper than the Intuos A5.
    There isn't a better one unless you can afford a Wacom Cintiq and
    that's definitely not for anyone on a budget ;-)
    One thing I would say though, consider the included mouse as a free
    paperweight. ;-)
    Hecate, Nov 22, 2003
  8. Ruth

    Joe Guest

    I don't have the new Graphire 3 to have and comment on it, but the
    plastic of Graphire 2 is so bad (it's thick too but cheap material).
    The plastic of the other tablets I had not only thicker, much better
    material, the surface also had special designed (have tiny micro dots)
    to feel like drawing on paper instead of glass.

    Anyway, if you see any change to the plastic (suppose to be no
    slightly mark or fading) then it has stronger, better material else you
    may want to get extra protection before too late. My others, I used for
    years without a single scratch mark.
    Joe, Nov 22, 2003
  9. Ruth

    Joe Guest

    I guess later when you get used to with the pen you can retired the
    mouse for good. I use pen for everything, and haven't touched the mouse
    for years (yeah! I am having the pen in my hand while typing this
    Joe, Nov 22, 2003
  10. Ruth

    RTM Guest

    Depends which model you get. The Graphire 2 isn't worth the plastic bubble
    its packed in.


    RTM, Nov 22, 2003
  11. Ruth

    Eliska Guest

    I use both. I'm left- handed but right-moused : )
    So when I draw, I use the left hand w/pen and make other changes like
    color, undo, etc.with the mouse hand.
    Just need to remember to move the pen a bit away from the tablet.

    portraits of pets and people
    Eliska, Nov 22, 2003
  12. Ruth

    Guest Guest

    The Intuos 2 isn't worth the cash. The Graphire 3 is the best deal and is a
    lovely tablet and mouse. The 6x8 is the size you want especially if you plan
    to use the mouse. Using a regular size mouse which is what comes with these
    tablets including the 4x5 on a 4x5 tablet is not a good way to go. The 6x8
    works out to the size of a good sized mouse pad which makes using it easier.
    Well, worth $199.

    The only thing I don't like and I can't figure out why Wacom did this is
    that the Graphire 3 tablets do not use the same drivers as the other
    tablets. Currently, they don't seem to have any new drivers up. This kind of
    bothers me. But I trust Wacom enough to think that if updates are needed
    they will be made available. That said I haven't had any trouble with what
    came with the tablet.

    Guest, Nov 22, 2003
  13. Ruth

    Ruth Guest

    thanks everyone for your help.
    now i need to have a little study and see whether i should get the graphire
    or the intuos.
    seems from the comments that it will work ok with my current mouse. at least
    until i can ditch it :)

    Ruth, Nov 22, 2003
  14. Ruth

    Jannie Guest

    Agree; but the price was EUR 224,= (for 6x8)
    ( that about $ 267,= )
    Jannie, Nov 22, 2003
  15. Ruth

    Lon Stowell Guest

    Approximately 11/22/03 12:04, Ruth uttered for posterity:
    The Graphire's are better bargains. Unless you need something in the
    Intuous series, save the bucks.

    I still have an old ArtPad 3x5 that works great and still offers the
    tilt/pressure stuff and works with PenTools. [Support/download]
    I dunno, some things I still prefer a Mouse for, YMMV.
    Lon Stowell, Nov 23, 2003
  16. Ruth

    Peter Reid Guest

    thanks everyone for your help.
    Hi Ruth --

    Just in case you're thinking of tablets other than Wacom, make sure that the
    resolution of the one you're looking for is high enough. Some of the
    cheaper tablets only sense the position of the pen in a crude way, so
    that -- as you move the pen smoothly across the surface -- the cursor
    appears to move in a series of little horizontal and vertical steps. This
    is even more noticeable if you scale a part of the tablet to represent the
    entire screen, since it effectively degrades the resolution even more. All
    of the Wacom tablets I've used (an old A3 Ultrapad at home, and an Intuos 2
    and Graphire 2 (both A5) at work) are fine. (We'd bought a "bargain" tablet
    for work, but it had to be replaced when I couldn't get a smooth diagonal
    line out of it!)

    The other thing I found: once you've got the tablet set up, make a note of
    its coordinate settings (if you map a portion of the tablet to the screen,
    that is): once you're used to the feel of the device it's a nightmare if you
    lose the values (through file corruption, say), and have to try to reset the
    active area.

    But once you get used to the tablet, you wonder how you ever managed with a
    mouse. (Apart from the obvious dexterity bonus -- a bit like comparing the
    use of a pen in the normal way with having all your fingers chopped off, and
    a pen taped to the stump... -- the other advantage is that you can shift
    from using the tablet to using the keyboard, while still having the pen in
    your hand (as I'm doing now, typing this message), then back to the tablet,
    all in one motion. Wonderful.)

    Peter Reid, Nov 23, 2003
  17. Ruth

    Ruth Guest

    Thanks Peter.

    Actually I am not considering any other tablets besides those made by Wacom.
    I've got my heart set on the Intuos2, and just wondering if its perhaps too
    high spec for me, and I should perhaps get the new Graphire.

    I see you use the Intuos2, do you mind if I ask you if it has the problem
    mentioned by some - that it gets easily scratched? Are there any other
    little bugs you think you could tell me about?

    Or could you sing its praises and then I'll rush out and buy one?

    Thanks for your help.


    Ruth, Nov 23, 2003
  18. Ruth

    Hecate Guest

    In the days when I first bought a pad, I bought the Artpad II thinking
    I'd upgrade to something bigger and with more street cred ;-)

    I'm still using it though, and thinking of upgrading to the Graphire 3
    simply because I'd like an A5 rather than an A6 pad. So, my advice is,
    buy the Graphire - I'll bet you never want anything bigger, or need
    anything more powerful. (I don't know why Wacom sells the Graphire -
    apart from a few specialist applications, it must cost them a fortune
    in lost Intuos sales <g>).
    Hecate, Nov 24, 2003
  19. Ruth

    Peter Reid Guest

    Well... this is something which, once you buy (IMHO), will be _the_ central
    means of communicating with your machine. You'll use it every day, for
    years and years, never needing to upgrade (my A3 pad's still going strong
    after six years of very heavy use). So if you spread out the cost of either
    of the tablets over that kind of time, it works out to be a pretty decent
    purchase either way. (Don't scrimp...:)
    I've been using the Intuos all day every day for over a year, and so far it
    doesn't have any scratches or pits at all [though now I come to look at it
    closely, it _is_ pretty grubby, ugh]. I don't think I'm excessively brutal
    with it; perhaps others are more, um, heavy-handed. (You can turn the
    pressure sensitivity of the tip right down, so that it needs but a
    featherlight touch to go from nothing to full pressure, as far as PS etc are
    concerned.) I recently had to turn over the clear inlay for my Ultrapad,
    because it had become pitted over a small area of the tablet (since most of
    the clicking was in a restricted region), but that was only after over five
    years of use. (So I'll get over ten years out of it, before I need to get a
    piece of acrylic to replace it; not a big issue.)

    [Perhaps the scratches referred to by others are to do with moving the
    tablet around (and bashing it), or placing rough objects on top ("got to
    store that sandpaper _somewhere_"). The material probably isn't up to that
    kind of treatment, but if treated properly I think it's fine.]
    For me, it's one of those "if the building was on fire what two things would
    you take when you jumped out of the window?" items. That and the cat. Ah,
    and the girlfriend. (Wait, that's _three_ things...)

    Peter Reid, Nov 24, 2003
  20. Ruth

    Joe Guest

    Not deep scratches but the clear plastic no longer clear, and I don't
    press hard but very gentle (just move the pen over without pressing)
    Joe, Nov 24, 2003
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