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How important is a graphics tablet?
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narwhalknight



Joined: 29 Mar 2013
Posts: 42

PostPosted: Sat Mar 30, 2013 12:01 pm    Post subject: How important is a graphics tablet? Reply with quote

I don't have one, and have never used one, and sometimes when artist friends find this out they think it's preposterous and they look at me funny.

Right now my webcomic isn't in color, but I have been known to make color images using photoshop with my handy mouse, which admittedly can be a little painful.

Do you use a tablet?
What kind?
What are the pros and cons?
Do I need one?
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nsanelilmunky



Joined: 12 Nov 2012
Posts: 120

PostPosted: Sat Mar 30, 2013 12:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you plan on doing any type of digital art in the future, you'll want one. It's not really a requirement, but it will make your life so much easier.

I use a Walcom Bamboo because it was within my price range.

Pros: I can draw on my computer and it looks pretty much like what I do on paper, it doesn't take anywhere near as long as a mouse would, and this smaller sized one is easy to take along with my laptop (somewhat portable).

Cons: Since I don't have a Cintiq and the working area of the Bamboos is small, I run out of room quickly when zoomed in or out and I have to go by feel where my hand is.
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narwhalknight



Joined: 29 Mar 2013
Posts: 42

PostPosted: Sat Mar 30, 2013 12:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How much did it cost you?
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nsanelilmunky



Joined: 12 Nov 2012
Posts: 120

PostPosted: Sat Mar 30, 2013 1:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Probably about $50-60 after shipping. There's loads of other brands that are cheaper though.
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narwhalknight



Joined: 29 Mar 2013
Posts: 42

PostPosted: Sat Mar 30, 2013 1:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Im looking at the Bamboo Splash. 66.98+tx. Looks like a good little tablet though, something to begin on.
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iaviv



Joined: 03 Sep 2011
Posts: 279

PostPosted: Sat Mar 30, 2013 2:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Monoprice have a bunch of really cheap tablets. They aren't as durable as Wacom's, though. I have a Bamboo and a Monoprice tablet that is twice as big (which costs less than the Bamboo) and they both work great. I'm using the Monoprice currently. The nibs last longer on it and everything else is the same plus I get a bigger tablet size. Why not. But the Bamboo is good, for sure. Anything from Wacom is good.
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Lavenderbard
^_^


Joined: 12 Sep 2006
Posts: 837
Location: Ohio

PostPosted: Sat Mar 30, 2013 2:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a tablet and I don't even draw a comic on my computer. The comic I am drawing I have been doing the old fashioned way with paper and a pencil.

But I own a Bamboo tablet, which I mostly use for my other comic, a 3D CGI comic, to do postwork. Or to make non-comic digital art.

I confess, I'm astounded by anyone who willingly draws with a mouse when they can afford not to. I hated trying to draw with a mouse. It's fine for precision point work, but I can't seem to stroke smoothly with one to save my life.

BUT my artistically inclined daughters hate trying to use the tablet almost as much as they hate the mouse, and prefer to work in traditional media, and then scan.

Many people find it difficult to get used to drawing in one place, and seeing the lines appear somewhere else. The possibilities for having something where you draw directly onto a screen seem to be expanding, and the cost overall seems to be getting less. So if you have the budget for it, you also might want to skip the tablet because you're going directly to something pricier but more intuitive.
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narwhalknight



Joined: 29 Mar 2013
Posts: 42

PostPosted: Sat Mar 30, 2013 2:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lavenderbard wrote:
I have a tablet and I don't even draw a comic on my computer. The comic I am drawing I have been doing the old fashioned way with paper and a pencil.

But I own a Bamboo tablet, which I mostly use for my other comic, a 3D CGI comic, to do postwork. Or to make non-comic digital art.

I confess, I'm astounded by anyone who willingly draws with a mouse when they can afford not to. I hated trying to draw with a mouse. It's fine for precision point work, but I can't seem to stroke smoothly with one to save my life.

BUT my artistically inclined daughters hate trying to use the tablet almost as much as they hate the mouse, and prefer to work in traditional media, and then scan.

Many people find it difficult to get used to drawing in one place, and seeing the lines appear somewhere else. The possibilities for having something where you draw directly onto a screen seem to be expanding, and the cost overall seems to be getting less. So if you have the budget for it, you also might want to skip the tablet because you're going directly to something pricier but more intuitive.


I do my comic the old fashioned way as well, and then scan, and I will continue to do so. But for post work I can see a tablet being beneficial. Also, for some of my colored art, which I draw traditionally then color in photoshop, it takes a LONG time. I think a tablet will probably cut that timeframe down considerably. Here is an example of something I did with a mouse in photoshop (The coloring anyways).

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Lady Tygry



Joined: 25 Aug 2006
Posts: 237
Location: Buckeye State

PostPosted: Sat Mar 30, 2013 9:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I use a Note for my inking and for some of my coloring: http://www.amazon.com/Samsung-Galaxy-Note-10-1-32GB/dp/B007M506WS

I personally HATED my Wacom. The pen felt cumbersome in my hands and since I've always used dual monitors (neither of which are the same size), it just wasn't conducive to my setup. I paid full-price for it several years ago and it only saw a few hours of use. So now I have this practically new-in-box piece of obsolete hardware=/

Now, I've always drawn traditionally, then scanned, and I still continue to do so but the tablet has made my life considerably easier in regards to producing a cleaner-looking final product. Coloring with a mouse is terrible and because I got tired of swapping out my mice, for a while, I was also doing my coloring with a Razer Naga, which was even worse: I either had to let it scratch the hell out of my desk or use an optical mouse pad with which it didn't play well.

As an example, here's how I used to do my coloring when I used my mouse:

http://www.ladytygrycomics.com/Pages/Xeno/Cellshading.aspx

EDIT: I should add that you CAN get nice-looking lineart without a tablet but both traditional inking and simulating digital pen pressure with the pen tool take a lot longer.

I haven't done an updated guide on how I color since getting the new tablet but here's a piece that was done almost exclusively on it:

http://www.ladytygrycomics.com/Pages/Xeno/Viewer.aspx?id=1

It took maybe three hours from start to finish. It easily would have taken me me six+ hours with a mouse. If nothing else, tablets make the process quicker and I would still think that for most people, a Wacom is just fine and well worth it. I'm personally going to wait another year or so as I anticipate more tablets to follow the path of the Note (portable, on-screen drawing) but with the capabilities to run a full version of Photoshop. If for some reason it doesn't happen, I'll probably just throw down the money for a full-size Cintiq.
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Spencey



Joined: 16 May 2008
Posts: 640
Location: Scotland

PostPosted: Sat Mar 30, 2013 11:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't use one at all. I sketch and ink on paper, scan it into the computer and then, in Photoshop I colour and shade with... the mouse. The tablet consistently made my hand ache. What choice do I have?

That said, I would recommend trying a tablet and seeing how you get on with it. I'm sure my experiences are not typical (I'm probably doing it wrong!).
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narwhalknight



Joined: 29 Mar 2013
Posts: 42

PostPosted: Sat Mar 30, 2013 11:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lady Tygry wrote:
I use a Note for my inking and for some of my coloring: http://www.amazon.com/Samsung-Galaxy-Note-10-1-32GB/dp/B007M506WS

I personally HATED my Wacom. The pen felt cumbersome in my hands and since I've always used dual monitors (neither of which are the same size), it just wasn't conducive to my setup. I paid full-price for it several years ago and it only saw a few hours of use. So now I have this practically new-in-box piece of obsolete hardware=/

Now, I've always drawn traditionally, then scanned, and I still continue to do so but the tablet has made my life considerably easier in regards to producing a cleaner-looking final product. Coloring with a mouse is terrible and because I got tired of swapping out my mice, for a while, I was also doing my coloring with a Razer Naga, which was even worse: I either had to let it scratch the hell out of my desk or use an optical mouse pad with which it didn't play well.

As an example, here's how I used to do my coloring when I used my mouse:

http://www.ladytygrycomics.com/Pages/Xeno/Cellshading.aspx

EDIT: I should add that you CAN get nice-looking lineart without a tablet but both traditional inking and simulating digital pen pressure with the pen tool take a lot longer.

I haven't done an updated guide on how I color since getting the new tablet but here's a piece that was done almost exclusively on it:

http://www.ladytygrycomics.com/Pages/Xeno/Viewer.aspx?id=1

It took maybe three hours from start to finish. It easily would have taken me me six+ hours with a mouse. If nothing else, tablets make the process quicker and I would still think that for most people, a Wacom is just fine and well worth it. I'm personally going to wait another year or so as I anticipate more tablets to follow the path of the Note (portable, on-screen drawing) but with the capabilities to run a full version of Photoshop. If for some reason it doesn't happen, I'll probably just throw down the money for a full-size Cintiq.


I had no idea you could use a note!! I have the exact same tablet!!! Did you download some app or something to make it work?
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Lady Tygry



Joined: 25 Aug 2006
Posts: 237
Location: Buckeye State

PostPosted: Sun Mar 31, 2013 2:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Get LayerPaint for $5 or whatever it was. Unlike PSTouch, LP supports PSDs and has MOST of the basic tools found in Photoshop. Not everything but enough to suffice.
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Marscaleb



Joined: 28 Aug 2012
Posts: 255

PostPosted: Sun Mar 31, 2013 9:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You know, there's nothing wrong with doing your work on actual paper. And for my two cents, I think it looks better and classier to see people work with physical mediums over digital ones.
Sure, people with amazing talent can create some amazing pieces with photoshop, but for the average comic, they have more character and feeling when they are made traditionally. And when a comic is poorly made, the digital ones look ten times as cheap and crappy than the ones who scanned in their art from a computer.

If you are looking to start a comic, I'd say start physical. As you grow into your skill and style, move to digital. Not only will this help you know what you are doing, but it will also save you a bunch of cash if you discover that making comics isn't working for you.
If you're looking to go into graphic design... I can't really comment on that, except to say that I have friends who do that professionally very well without the aid of a tablet.
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narwhalknight



Joined: 29 Mar 2013
Posts: 42

PostPosted: Mon Apr 01, 2013 12:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Marscaleb wrote:
You know, there's nothing wrong with doing your work on actual paper. And for my two cents, I think it looks better and classier to see people work with physical mediums over digital ones.
Sure, people with amazing talent can create some amazing pieces with photoshop, but for the average comic, they have more character and feeling when they are made traditionally. And when a comic is poorly made, the digital ones look ten times as cheap and crappy than the ones who scanned in their art from a computer.

If you are looking to start a comic, I'd say start physical. As you grow into your skill and style, move to digital. Not only will this help you know what you are doing, but it will also save you a bunch of cash if you discover that making comics isn't working for you.
If you're looking to go into graphic design... I can't really comment on that, except to say that I have friends who do that professionally very well without the aid of a tablet.


My comic is 98% traditional art, and will remain that way. It is black and white though. Coloring with water, oil, or whatever kind of paint, leads, whatever, just isn't going to happen. I've always been terrible with traditional means of coloring. I can use photoshop fairly well to color though. It wouldn't be for my comic though, just whatever else Im working on.
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mcmasters



Joined: 28 Jun 2012
Posts: 436

PostPosted: Mon Apr 01, 2013 1:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

narwhalknight wrote:
My comic is 98% traditional art, and will remain that way. It is black and white though. Coloring with water, oil, or whatever kind of paint, leads, whatever, just isn't going to happen. I've always been terrible with traditional means of coloring. I can use photoshop fairly well to color though. It wouldn't be for my comic though, just whatever else Im working on.


Yeah that's where I am except I'm not coloring yet. I have no intention of bothering at all except with digital coloring (I'm talking about another idea for a comic; Webcomic Pete can't really be improved with color) so I'm going to work on learning that. But pencil and then pen on paper just feels right. God forbid you make a mistake though. That's the ONLY place I'm jealous of tablet-inkers. Draw a line, undo, draw it again, undo, draw it again, ah, there we go. Currently I scan my stuff in and then make minor corrections in GIMP (screw liquid paper) trying to approximate the pen size and stroke of what I did manually. It would be hard, I think, to notice the difference.
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