Using a Draw Tablet

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muffysb
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Using a Draw Tablet

Post by muffysb » Thu Mar 25, 2010 2:50 pm

I just picked up a Wacom Intuos4 medium draw tablet. Unfortunately it doesn't come with pre-packaged skill or talent.

People are telling me to consider it a replacement for my mouse, and that in two weeks I'll be using it for everything. Is that the opinion of anybody in here? Is that a goal I should strenuously work toward, even when I'm accidentally dragging files into the wrong folders and then screaming?

If, instead, you use a tablet only within Anime Studio and other drawing programs, do you use it only for drawing? Do you spend a lot of time and effort programming the Anime Studio hotkeys into it? Do you lay it flat on your desk, tilt it up, or put it on your lap?

I'm sure I'll come up with my own techniques, I'm just wondering how much I should realistically expect from it and whether I should basically relearn Anime Studio's drawing tools for tablet use.

Any opinions are helpful!

Cheers,
Muffy.
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GCharb
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Post by GCharb » Thu Mar 25, 2010 3:19 pm

Hello there and congrat on your new tablet, they are great!

The way I got around getting used to these is by tracing images with it, like the ones you can find on Dragon Art

After a few days it became second nature to use it.

Mine came with a scaled down version of Corel paint, great app to learn, the software also has some usefull learning videos.

I still use my mouse for some stuff, like, navigating, browsing(the mouse wheel is a must for browsing), but use my tablet in Softimage, Photoshop, AS Pro, Combustion etc.

Mine lays on my desk, I use it left handed, so it is seating on the left, where my mouse pad would stand(I use my mouse right handed but tablet left handed)

A tablet will be a nice addition to your toolset.

G
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dsaenz825
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Post by dsaenz825 » Thu Mar 25, 2010 6:48 pm

I also got a tablet a while back ago to test it out. Unfortunately, it did not go well with me. I am much more efficient using a mouse than a tablet on anime studio. Right now, my tablet sits on top of my desktop collecting dust.

But dont let me discourage you, it all depends on the person and how great a tablet is for them. My problem was that I got so used to using anime studio with a mouse that by the time I got a tablet I disliked it.
I love comments for they help me improve on my weaknesses.
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GCharb
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Post by GCharb » Thu Mar 25, 2010 6:59 pm

Hello again

Like I said, a great exercise is to trace images made of lines, helped me tons and now I use it all the time with my tablet.

At first I also thought i'd use a mouse forever with AS Pro, but now I wonder how I got by without it, goes alot faster!

G
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Mikdog
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Post by Mikdog » Thu Mar 25, 2010 9:31 pm

I love both my Wacom Intuos and Cintiq tablets but I don't really ever use a tablet with AS. I use a mouse or my laptop track-pad. Or draw stuff in Photoshop with a tablet. It'd be awesome if AS felt more like Toon Boom's Animate drawing, or Photoshop.
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lwaxana
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Post by lwaxana » Thu Mar 25, 2010 10:06 pm

I also use my laptop track pad. Glad to hear I'm not the only one! It's probably the most inefficient method, but it works better for me because I like to sit in very lazy positions while I work... It's easier to do this without a mouse or tablet getting in the way. :)

For vector art in AS, I find that my tablet creates too many points. I like to be economical about points so that I can use point animation. I suppose it would be good for adjusting points, though. Never thought of that. I may have to give it another try. :)

I do use it any time I draw in Photoshop or Illustrator, though! In illustrator you have to adjust the settings (pressure sensitivity etc) the first time you use your tablet in order to get a good result.
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slowtiger
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Post by slowtiger » Thu Mar 25, 2010 10:24 pm

It's all a matter of habit. I use my cintiq the whole day, and in AS as well. Not only for drawing, but also for positioning stuff etc. Only to get the right keys in the timeline or other GUI elements I need the mouse.
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Post by Uolter » Thu Mar 25, 2010 11:25 pm

I have a wacom bamboo fun and I usually use it with bitmap drawings applications. I make all the sketches I need and then I trace them in AS. I never use freehand curves. After that I leave the tablet and continue working with a mouse. Actually If I had a scanner I'd prefer to draw with pencil and paper...but it's comfortable anyway.
muffysb
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Post by muffysb » Thu Mar 25, 2010 11:50 pm

Thanks for the comments! I'm thinking of using the tablet less for freehand curves than for regular "add points" drawing in AS, which seems feasible, though I'm still puzzling about which hotkeys to add to the buttons and radial dial.

And thanks for your tip, GCharb...I'll do some tracing to get myself used to the stylus! I'm sure it's an acquired skill. Incidentally, I didn't think the puck/mouse would be useful at all, but it's definitely earning its keep.

Cheers,
Muffy.
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Post by JCook » Fri Mar 26, 2010 1:27 pm

Hi Muffy,

I've been using a tablet for about 15 years, long before AS came along. I work a lot in Illustrator and Photoshop also. Before the tablet I used to draw freehand in Illustrator with the mouse, and it was like drawing with a bar of soap. When I got my first tablet (a Calcomp) it was a revelation. It's like drawing with a pencil, the difference being that you're looking at a screen instead of the place where the pencil is (which would normally be a piece of paper). That takes a little getting used to, but I bet within a few days you'll be doing it naturally. It's MUCH better for your hand/wrist health than using the mouse, and it feels right. The Intuos 4 has a better feel than the previous ones because it comes with different nibs that give you a feel like you're drawing on paper, with a little "tooth" to it, as they say. The Intuos 2 that I used to have had a smooth, slick surface that was too slippery, so the 4 is better. I use my tablet and pen for most things in ASPro, including (especially) freehand drawing, and I think you'll find you will use it for more things than you think you will right now. I use the mouse also for things like putting in text labels in Illustrator (on illustrations I do that need labeling), and for web browsing. But the tablet is indispensible. I think you're going to love it.

Jack
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I use a tablet exclusively...

Post by brucegulick » Fri Mar 26, 2010 8:03 pm

When designing in AS I usually make a "sketch layer" and just draw big and loose with the freehand tool, not worrying about points at all, just "pencil" lines..when I get something I like, I make a new layer and do a more refined drawing, deleting the first layer when done.

Now I have a pretty nice looking picture, I make another vector layer and build the image point to point with as few points as possible, getting rid of the old layer when done. So now this simple vector drawing is efficient, ready to be animated, but still retains the loose, free feel of the original sketch.

This is an adaptation of the tracing paper method I use for tattooing, so It's a very natural transition. Stick with the tablet, it's great. Trying this method with a trackpad or mouse is a big pain (to me).
My characters, props and backgrounds for AS6 at http://thecartoonboat.com/
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Post by GardenGuy » Thu Apr 01, 2010 8:59 pm

I use my wacom when drawing detailed sketches and to add points and move points. It has a mouse that can also be used on the tablet face so I switch between pen and mouse as needed (or when one works better ie. less frustrating to get results)

I actually set my tablet on my laptop keyboard and it doesn't hit the keys, so if I ever need to type something I can but otherwise it tightens up my "interface" so I don't have things all over, reaching this way and that
muffysb
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Post by muffysb » Thu Apr 01, 2010 9:43 pm

I'm not finding a lot of use for the draw tablet in AS yet, except as a way of giving my mouse hand a rest. I need to activate so many keyboard shortcuts -- enough that programming them all into the quick keys isn't feasible -- so putting down the pen, using the keyboard, picking up the pen again...it's not the fastest method.

I think the freehand, rough sketch method might work when I'm more used to the pen. Right now I'm doing all the exercises they recommend: draw circles, draw lines, draw dots...
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Post by rpc9943 » Tue Apr 06, 2010 7:05 pm

This is a great topic. I was luckily given a tablet, some medium sized wacom, and I would say try freehanding in as, or maybe pick up a copy of artrage, scribble up a pencil sketch, then import and mouse trace. That's what I would highly suggest. I'm no master with my tablet, but it is certainly nice to have :) I should spend more time w it!
Anime Studio, Xara Xtreme 4, Magix Movie Edit Pro 11, Papagayo, Ableton Live 8, Artrage Deluxe
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Post by wlan » Mon May 03, 2010 10:22 pm

I got a bamboo fun (Made by Wacom). I learned quickly and it is great for drawing if you use the pen tool in AS. It is very natural. I wish I had the Intuos model.
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