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Author Topic: Tablet Topic  (Read 11392 times)

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Offline Nuke

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Re: Tablet Topic
« Reply #15 on: January 14, 2010, 05:10:39 PM »
I bought a Wacom Bamboo tablet and I am completely frustrated by it, I just cannot get the hang of the damned thing.  I feel like it could completely change my process if I could just get good at it, but everytime I use it I get so frustrated.

Did that happen to anyone else that is now a tablet samurai.  Is this a case of practice makes perfect, or do I need a better quality tablet, maybe a monitor tablet, or do some people just inhrently suck with a tablet?


I would love to help, but you haven't described what you're actually having trouble with yet  ???

Um, tablets do definitely take some practice. It also takes some learning in a technical sense - there are a few techniques that are helpful. What are you getting frustrated with?

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Offline NoahRodenbeek

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Re: Tablet Topic
« Reply #16 on: January 14, 2010, 05:17:42 PM »
The single most frustrating thing is the placement of the cursor.  I've tried setting it up proportionate to the screen and the other way, where it's like a mouse cursor, it just is where it is.  I just cannot get used to it.  My lines come out wobbly or stuttered, so maybe I'm just not being fluid enough in my strokes, but I can't get used to that either.

It feels like the kind of thing that takes practice to get good at, but at the same time it feels like the kind of thing that may just require better equipment. 

Offline Rob

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Re: Tablet Topic
« Reply #17 on: January 14, 2010, 05:31:12 PM »
I get really wobbly lines when I draw on my much more expensive Intuous 3 so I'm not sure better equipment will help. I think the article we have coming up about brush settings might help you a bit so stay tuned for that. As far as practice... when I first started using it there was a disconnect between what I was doing with my hand and what was appearing on the screen that I still struggle to get over. Sometimes messing with the orientation of the tablet helps a little but it's still something I have difficulty with. The more I use it the less it rears it's ugly head but it usually comes back almost as strong when I don't use it for a few days.

I think if you don't use it all the time that's probably the way it will always be.  :-\

Offline NoahRodenbeek

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Re: Tablet Topic
« Reply #18 on: January 14, 2010, 05:38:57 PM »
I'm open to practice more.  I guess I just wanted to hear that someone else started out wonky but came out comfortable over time.

Offline Nuke

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Re: Tablet Topic
« Reply #19 on: January 14, 2010, 05:43:34 PM »
The single most frustrating thing is the placement of the cursor.  I've tried setting it up proportionate to the screen and the other way, where it's like a mouse cursor, it just is where it is.  I just cannot get used to it.  My lines come out wobbly or stuttered, so maybe I'm just not being fluid enough in my strokes, but I can't get used to that either.

It feels like the kind of thing that takes practice to get good at, but at the same time it feels like the kind of thing that may just require better equipment. 

Better equipment probably won't help. Most people have this problem working with a tablet early on. I actually talked about this a tiny bit in my article, but there's no sense in withholding information: First off, you want to use the pen mode - or the 'proportional to the screen' thing you were talking about. Second, you probably want to work zoomed in about 2x - you can zoom in even further if you're still having problems. Third, you do have to be fluid in your strokes - just move swiftly and the lines should be less wobbly. Zoomed in *and* moving your hand fast should make the lines pretty smooth. Of course, they'll be harder to control too. That's where practice makes perfect. I'm no good at controlling the lines right now, really. I always do a sloppy sketch layer and draw right over that, and even then I've just gotten to the point where I have 'Undo' bound to the tablet and I end up using it probably every other stroke. Really hope I get passed that some day... Er, but yeah, I hope that helps.

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Offline KidGalactus

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Re: Tablet Topic
« Reply #20 on: January 14, 2010, 06:08:27 PM »
I bought a Wacom Bamboo tablet and I am completely frustrated by it, I just cannot get the hang of the damned thing.  I feel like it could completely change my process if I could just get good at it, but everytime I use it I get so frustrated.

Did that happen to anyone else that is now a tablet samurai.  Is this a case of practice makes perfect, or do I need a better quality tablet, maybe a monitor tablet, or do some people just inhrently suck with a tablet?

I don't think that very many people at all sit down with a WACOM for the first time and take to it like a duck to water. If you're not good with the tablet yet, it's just that simple. You're not good with the tablet yet.

It's an acquired skill. Keep at it and in the meantime brush up on pen/paper drawing.

What program(s) are you using, Noah?

Offline zieglarf

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Re: Tablet Topic
« Reply #21 on: January 14, 2010, 07:01:20 PM »
Noah, the Bamboo tablet is the easiest one of all. I think it's you man.  :o

JK. Of course like any thing else different people learn it at different rates. That said, I think there is a big learning curve no matter what, because of the disconnect from not looking where you are drawing. I have the Bamboo and one of the biggest problems I have is the tiny drawing area. I'm used to moving my whole arm to draw, not just my wrist.

If you really want to get good at it, then just keep going. Later on if you get a bigger/better tablet then you'll be that much further along already.

Offline NoahRodenbeek

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Re: Tablet Topic
« Reply #22 on: January 14, 2010, 08:48:38 PM »
Thanks for the input and encouragement, guys.  I've been hesitant to devote time to the tablet if it was going to just continue to frustrate me, but if my beginning pains are felt by everyone else then I'll move forward.  I use Photoshop for my strip and Illustrator for my animations... but those are drawn by mouse as a rule.  I'd be using the tablet with Photoshop.

"I always do a sloppy sketch layer and draw right over that, and even then I've just gotten to the point where I have 'Undo' bound to the tablet and I end up using it probably every other stroke."

When I watch Gabe make Penny-Arcade he seems to be doing this the entire time.  Rough sketch then he'll do a finishing pen stroke but he's constantly undoing his strokes until he has it just right.  I can't even make a rough sketch, that's how completely flabbergasted I am with this tablet.  I'm far from a slouch with a piece of paper, but I think I'll get a cleaner look if I can ink my strips in Photoshop.

Thanks again for the feedback.  Consider my question way answered.

Offline Alectric

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Re: Tablet Topic
« Reply #23 on: January 15, 2010, 05:16:02 PM »
Wait, wait!  I wanted to say something!

Okay, so as I said I only recently got my tablet, and I was a bit dissapointed with it at first.  I found it difficult to draw anything with it from scratch.  But I do believe that it gets easier with practice, as I'm sure I'm already better than when I first got it.  So what I did was do a sort of halfway transition from pencil/pen and paper to tablet and computer.  For my current storyline, I'm still sketching out my comic pages by hand in pencil.  But then instead of inking them, I scan them in as is, and use that as the "sketch layer" for my comic.  Because while drawing from scratch with the tablet is difficult, tracing over a sketch layer is remarkably easier.  By my next storyline, I think I'll be able to do it all on the computer, but I find it a good way to develop skills without the quality of the comic suffering.

Offline Funderbunk

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Re: Tablet Topic
« Reply #24 on: January 16, 2010, 01:02:35 PM »
Here's a trick that helped me get used to a tablet: put some of whatever paper you use on it and draw the borders on it with a pencil. Keep it at the same spot. It's so much easier to draw on when it feels familiar. The problem is that sometimes it'll have more difficulty picking up the movement, depending on the thickness of your paper.
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Offline GaborBoth

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Re: Tablet Topic
« Reply #25 on: January 16, 2010, 07:11:29 PM »
I see you are having problems with tablets, especially with the lineart. I hated inking with tablet too (redoing lines till they looked right while also being careful with the pressure and stuff). I thought I just need to practice because I only have my tablet since Christmas, but then I found this little wonder called Paint Tool SAI.
 It is a software on par with Photoshop, and the best part is you can do special ,,Linework" layers which automatically adjusts your lines to look clear and smooth, and you can drag the curves around by dots (much like with vector graphics) to fix mistakes. You could even just draw a lot of random lines and put up a drawing just from those. It's also able to read and write .psd format so going back and forth between SAI and Photoshop is easy. So, everyone who is having problems with doing lineart or find it long and stressful to be procedure, try it out.
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Offline Rob

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Re: Tablet Topic
« Reply #26 on: January 18, 2010, 06:55:45 PM »
I have a question that I've wondered about for awhile and maybe Ran or Nuke can give me some insight.

When I bought my Intuos 3 it came with 4 white tips that look the same, 1 that is black with a similar shape and 1 that is grayish that is more flexible. All 3 kinds seem to have the same general shape.

I also understand there are a bunch of different tips that can be bought as extras.

So my question is, what is best for what? As far as tips go I mean. Because there doesn't seem to be any guidance in the literature that came with the tablet. And I basically stuck in one of the 4 white ones and have never changed it (or tried the others).

Anyone have a link that explains this stuff or some guidance? ???

Offline GaborBoth

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Re: Tablet Topic
« Reply #27 on: January 19, 2010, 12:40:41 PM »
,,People never grow up, they just learn how to act in public."

Offline Rob

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Re: Tablet Topic
« Reply #28 on: January 19, 2010, 05:55:41 PM »
Thanks man, that's really helpful. ;)

Offline Gar

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Re: Tablet Topic
« Reply #29 on: March 10, 2010, 07:15:48 AM »
As far as I know, Gabe uses a Cintiq, so he's drawing directly on the screen. I picked up one of the older Cintiq models off eBay for about €300 a couple of weeks ago (The new ones are in the €2,000 range over here), and it's fantastic. It's only got a 1024x768 screen, but the whole 'not looking at your hand' disconnect is completely abolished. It's got a 15" screen, so it's about the same size as standard copier paper, which was what I was using before. It's basically my most fun toy (I've got a PS3, but not a sex swing).

I have noticed that it really rewards quick pen strokes. Doing a quick slash with the default brush gives a nice smooth controlled-looking line, and I guess practising up on that will ultimately lead to better-looking comics with a shorter production time (I currently draw lots of little lines to make a big line. Since getting the Wacom I've moved the 'undo' function in photoshop up to allow for the last 220 moves).

For the non-screeny kind of tablets, the sticking-a-bit-of-paper-over-it thing sounds like a good idea to get the right texture under your hand. Also I can see the benefit of not having your view of what you're drawing obstructed by your hand once you get used to it.

I do have a tablet-related question: How do I use the 'rotate view' tool in Photoshop? There's a button for it at the top of the window, but it keeps telling me I can't use it. Do you need to be drawing in a particular file format?

[Edit: I looked it up. Go to Preferences -> Performance and enable OpenGL drawing. It's not in all versions of photoshop, but it lets you rotate the view of the page without altering the pixels you've drawn, which is handy.]
« Last Edit: March 10, 2010, 10:55:38 AM by Gar »