The thread about Drawing Tablets

I was looking through some of the links for some cheap tablets but I was wondering if there is anything wrong with using them. Is it a matter that it’ll break or that some programs won’t work? The only possible reason I can possibly think of is the fact that they are small (most being around 6x8)

I posted a thread about this in Tech Talk, but figure it’s also appropriate here. Does anyone have recommendations or opinions about the various drawing/editing tablets available? Right now I understand that Wacom is the industry leader and tends to be the most expensive. Also, among the various sizes, it’s been suggested by SFMC that 6x8 is an appropriate size for most art/photo editing tasks. Any other opinions? Is there a tablet cheaper than Wacom but will do the trick? Is the Intuos excessive (albeit effective) power, whereas the Graphire will get the desired results? Any input at all is appreciated.

I have tried out the WACOM Graphire2 and Intous3 tablets. The Graphire range supports less levels of pressure sensitivity, and doesn’t support pen tilt at all – this means that you pretty much have to draw with the pen pretty much vertical. Of course, the program you’re using also needs to support the functions (tilt, pressure sensitivity, etc) otherwise there’s no difference.

I’ve seen other brands of tablets, such as Deleter (from Japan) and Genie (from China, IIRC), but I don’t know much else about them. I know of someone who’s pretty happy with his Deleter tablet, but I’m not sure what exactly he uses it for. Genie tablets seem more like they’re a business tool with some integration into MS Office.

Needless to say, these brands are much, much cheaper than WACOM.

btw I sprang for the A4 sized Intuos (I think that’s the 8x12 model?) and I’m finding it too big to carry around, but other than that I think it’s fine.

I couldn’t draw with the Graphire, since the way I draw requires my pen/pencil to be at a certain angle for me to feel comfortable. Graphire simply doesn’t support that kind of pen tilt that I need. Intuos does, so it works for me.

Ah, sorry. Didn’t see that. Still, thanks for the tip because I couldn’t tell what the Graphire lacked from my brief look in the store.

I’m using a measly 3x5 graphire 2 right now and it suits me fine but I want to upgrade to an INt 6x8 soon.

6x8 seems like the ideal size to me. If you’re at all serious and has the dough, you should just cop a 6x8 int.

I just checked out the deleter tablet’s site and it seems like it’s only compatible with its own software? Seems like it was designed for manga works.

I merged all the tablet talk into 1 thread.
apologies for any confusion caused.

I used to use an old 4x5 Graphire and liked it just fine. I didn’t have any problems with pen tilt like Rook said he had though. I could hold the pen at any angle and it seemed to work fine. shrug

I’ve recently upgraded to an Intuos 3 6x8 though, and it’s sweeeet. While the Graphire line is perfectly adequate for doing great digital art, the Intuos feels much more luxurious. It has more levels of sensitivity, feels overall more precise, has pen tilt control, and some fancy programmable buttons on it. IMO, 6x8 is the ideal size because it’s big enough to feel nice, but cheaper than a larger one, and small enough to fit into a backpack comfortably.

For those who are curious about using a tablet and want to give it a try to play around, I would say go for a Graphire. If you don’t like it, or don’t end up using it much, you won’t have wasted much money.

For those serious about doing digital art, I would say make the investment into a 6x8 Intuos if you can afford it. If you go for a used Intuos, the Intuos 1 does not have tilt control, but the 2 and 3 do. Sometimes you can find tablets with a serial connection for cheaper on eBay, but USB is much better. Serial tablets have to be plugged into the wall, and can have compatibility issues.

Does this thing need to benefit from all the extra peripherals and stuff? On the Wacom site I see that they offer extra pens, airbrush accessories going upward of $70 and beyond. And I don’t see a clear plastic screen protector like for a Palm pilot, although I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s a market for that, too. I imagine for the very “serious” artist there’s a valid need for all the extra toys but if we’re a notch below that is all the stuff in the box enough? Pricey.

no need for all the extra stuff. I’m holding out on until a new Int comes out and just gonna get that.

I agree with what has been said so far.

If you aren’t serious about the art and just want to play around I suggest going for the graphire. If you are serious you should go for an int2 or 3.

If you can make money off of your art, that will pay for your tablet is the way i see it. Not saying it’s easy or anything, but there are alot of freelance jobs out there.

Wow. Do you make money as an artist for hire? Does anyone here do that? That would be so cool.

I haven’t tried any of the peripherals, but I haven’t heard of anyone actually buying them. They work great w/o them. Clear plastic protectors would be pointless for a Wacom tablet because they don’t have a screen. The drawing surface is already quite resiliant, as long as you don’t mistreat it. On another note, Wacom tablets are almost indestructible. I know a guy who dropped his like a billion times, and it busted open. He used duct tape to secure it back together and the thing still works like new, haha. I have heard rumors that if anything on a Wacom ever breaks, it will be the USB cord, which isn’t too expensive to get replaced.

I know SFMC and I are both currently working professionally. Might be some others too, but I’m not sure.

I’m not professional or anything. Just word of mouth. I usually do portraits and commissions for 5 bucks around where I live. Could stand to get a website and PayPal though.:sweat:

I’m gonna have ta agree on this. I could use my “present slot” for a tablet and see what I want to do from there.

I’m also seeing the point about the Intuos being expensive (200 bucks for the cheapest around most places). It would take a while but it wouldn’t be impossible for me to afford it.

Ive got an Intuos3 that Im quite satisified with. The only problem I have is sometimes it seems to emphasize my shaky hand but thats usually fixed with a good wipe down.

I got the intuos 3(a5) for christmas, now i cant use my touchpad or mouse in photoshop. I also got the airbrush stylus, its grip feel kinda nice.

Just wondering… how effective IS the tilt feature for drawing performance? Does it make Graphires seem like absolute crap? I’ve also noticed four buttons on the Intuos3, are those for shortcut keys?

Just as an aside, we use tablets here where I work. When we first ordered them, we didn’t know which to get so we ordered several different sizes and types to try. The one that everyone settled on was the 8x11 Graphire.

When it came down to it, the size was right, and having extra features that you never use isn’t always the best thing. Of course, this is speaking from a business perspective. We want something that does what we need well, and extra crap is just more stuff that can go wrong.

There is one person here that prefers the 6x8 for speed, but most everyone else likes the larger size for detail work. Think of it this way, the smaller size means shorter strokes to do the same amount of work…

Anyway, I work on one 8 hours a day, I work for a photography company, and most of the work done on that tablet is photo retouching and pre-press work. Most of our have been in use for at least a couple of years with no problems.

I would recommend a Graphire for someone that actually has to make money because it has the right mix of affordablity and utility, but for someone that is doing this as a hobby, I would recommend the Intuos. I mean, if you are doing it for fun, why not get the best?

i was at an elctronic store and compared some tablets. and the one that was clearly most well built was the wacom. i have a 4x5 graphire myself and i use it mostly for my projects in design school. i like the size for its portability, although a 6x8 would be nicer. graphire3 is already out and i think its the best model so far. 100 bux could score you one of these. so if youre just gonna use it as a hobby, this should be enough. i tried an intuos, it doesnt impress me that much besides the programmable buttons. but keep in mind the intuos is 2-3 times more in price.