Should I Purchase a Drawing Tablet?

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chiefr_suthrland
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Should I Purchase a Drawing Tablet?

Post by chiefr_suthrland » Mon Aug 06, 2018 3:12 am

Sup guys, so I've been making 2D animations for probably about a year now. I've pretty much got the hang of everything at this point. The only thing I'm focused on at this point is getting faster. This crap takes forever. Time and time again I hear how much faster it is to animate using a drawing tablet. but I also know there's a bit of a learning curve and most people on YouTube say it took them months to get used to it. So my questions are...



1) Do you use one?

2) Is it worth it?

3) Which one do you recommend?

4) How long did it take you to get used to it?

5) What was the hardest thing to get used to?

6) How much time does it save you?
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Re: Should I Purchase a Drawing Tablet?

Post by dkwroot » Mon Aug 06, 2018 4:00 am

1) yes
2) yes
3) Wacom intuos (medium)
4) About a week
5) The disconnect between drawing on the tablet while looking at the screen
6) A massive amount of time
chiefr_suthrland
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Re: Should I Purchase a Drawing Tablet?

Post by chiefr_suthrland » Mon Aug 06, 2018 4:10 am

Where can I see some of your animations?
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Re: Should I Purchase a Drawing Tablet?

Post by alanthebox » Sun Aug 12, 2018 7:06 pm

1) Do you use one? - Sure do!

2) Is it worth it? - Depends on your art style, I think. If you mostly stick to creating and modifying shapes, then a mouse would be sufficient.

3) Which one do you recommend? - I first had a tiny Wacom Graphire, then upgraded to a Ugee 19", then an XP-Pen 22, and finally found a 27" Cintiq on Craigslist. The Cintiq is amazing and the ability to set different shortcuts for different programs is awesome! The XP-Pen also had shortcut keys, but they were global. So, you would have to change them for whichever program you're working in. The Cintiq has much better stroke detection, though.

4) How long did it take you to get used to it? - Probably a day or two.

5) What was the hardest thing to get used to? - I ended up having to buy a new chair to be able to comfortably sit at my desk and use the Cintiq. I also have to have my keyboard off to one side, so, it can be a bit awkward to use.

6) How much time does it save you? - For keyframed animation and illustration, it definitely saves a lot of time, especially when you have express keys set to toggle forwards and backwards on the timeline. But more importantly, it makes drawing feel a lot more natural and fun. And when you're enjoying the process, you're much more likely to be productive. So, I would say my tablet is invaluable.
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Maestral
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Re: Should I Purchase a Drawing Tablet?

Post by Maestral » Sun Aug 12, 2018 9:40 pm

What kind of 2D animation are you working on ("This crap takes forever.")?

If you`re comfortable with pens and papers (common physical media) - buy the first tablet you can afford. It would soon pay for itself.
If you`re not, it would most certainly not make you any faster.
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Re: Should I Purchase a Drawing Tablet?

Post by Greenlaw » Mon Aug 13, 2018 4:28 am

If you draw, definitely worth it. I've used either a Cintiq or Intuos for many years, and recommend either one highly. IMO, if you want something that lasts for years and years, you can't go wrong with either of these.

I've also a few owned lower-end Wacom and cheaper alternative brands, and for me, they just don't last, especially if you tend to work mobile a lot.

If you create elements for Moho in other drawing/paint programs (i.e, Photoshop, Krita, Illustrator,) a tablet will become your best friend.

That said, if you're buying the tablet specifically for Moho, you might be disappointed. At the moment, a tablet's usefulness for direct drawing is limited in Moho because the Freehand and Blob Brush has many problems. But for other things in Moho Pro, I like using a stylus over a mouse because it's faster to select items and menus with a stylus, and less stressful on the wrist.

FWIW, the Moho devs have mentioned a while back that improving Moho's drawing tools will be a focus, so having tablet will become more useful for Moho in the future
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Re: Should I Purchase a Drawing Tablet?

Post by Guyon » Wed Aug 15, 2018 3:13 pm

Drawing tablets are awesome, and I love my monitor tablet even more. I ended up with the XP-Pen and thrilled that I do not have buyers remorse for not getting the much more expense cintiq.

I also bought the XP-Pen AC19 Shortcut Remote and just loving that too.
https://www.amazon.com/AC19-Shortcut-Ex ... rds=xp+pen
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Re: Should I Purchase a Drawing Tablet?

Post by Greenlaw » Wed Aug 15, 2018 4:09 pm

Regarding 'getting used to it...", with a little practice, using a tablet and stylus really doesn't take any time at all. The so-called 'disconnect' is no weirder than using a mouse or a video game controller to move items on a screen...you get used to it pretty quickly. And, as I said before, if you already draw using traditional tools, you'll find using a stylus is more natural to use than a mouse. (Unless you actually like drawing with a bar of soap.) :)

BTW, if you're getting a smaller tablet, you might be tempted to go wireless. Be sure to research this feature before buying. A while back, my employer got me a wireless tablet, but the connection was constantly dropping on me so I switched back to wired mode with it. And last year, I got a new tablet for my daughter...same thing. The wireless connection was completely unreliable, so now she uses it only in wired mode. When I researched this after we got the tablet, I learned it was a pretty common problem. I don't know if this is still the case so be sure to check.

(If it makes any difference, I think the tablets in question were using wifi, not BT.)

I should add that, even though Moho's Freehand tool is still too frustrating to draw with, using a stylus for the usual point plotting method with Add Point and Transform Points can be much easier/quicker in Moho than using a mouse.
Last edited by Greenlaw on Fri Aug 17, 2018 4:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Should I Purchase a Drawing Tablet?

Post by chucky » Fri Aug 17, 2018 12:17 pm

DisconnectION :mrgreen:
Sequential offender.
my latest animations
lherntz
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Re: Should I Purchase a Drawing Tablet?

Post by lherntz » Tue Jul 21, 2020 6:32 am

chiefr_suthrland wrote:
Mon Aug 06, 2018 3:12 am
Sup guys, so I've been making 2D animations for probably about a year now. I've pretty much got the hang of everything at this point. The only thing I'm focused on at this point is getting faster. This crap takes forever. Time and time again I hear how much faster it is to animate using a drawing tablet. but I also know there's a bit of a learning curve and most people on YouTube say it took them months to get used to it. So my questions are...



1) Do you use one?

2) Is it worth it?

3) Which one do you recommend?

4) How long did it take you to get used to it?

5) What was the hardest thing to get used to?

6) How much time does it save you?
1. Yes

2. Yes

3. For beginners, Wacom Intuos or entry level Huion or XP-Pen tablets under $100

4. Around a month

5. Understanding the features

6. Almost half
bestazy
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Re: Should I Purchase a Drawing Tablet?

Post by bestazy » Sat Aug 15, 2020 8:54 am

Most of my friends have Huions, I personally had a Yiynova MSP19U+ which got me through animation school. I heard Monoprice tablets are pretty good too for that price. I noticed a lot of the asian brand tablets gave me problems with drivers though, I finally got a Cintiq and it changed my life. The cheaper alternatives are a great starting point though!
The one downside I find with tablets is it can be hard to use right click context menus at times since you need the pen to be in the air so the cursor wiggles around a bit, but in terms of precision both are exactly the same once you develop muscle memory. Also it took about a week to get to the same working speed going from mouse to tablet.
Last edited by bestazy on Mon Aug 17, 2020 6:22 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Should I Purchase a Drawing Tablet?

Post by Greenlaw » Sat Aug 15, 2020 4:54 pm

I've had some more tablet experience since my last post to this thread and would like to share what I learned:

I bought a Wacom One when it first came out. It's an entry level 'Cintiq' and priced accordingly, and I thought I could use it for my laptop. It works as advertised, but it lacks several features I rely on, most notably a second finger button found on a higher-end tablet stylus which I use as a 'middle-mouse' button. (It doen't have the 'eraser' button either but I don't really use that.) The Wacom One also lacks programmable buttons on the device so you will need to keep the keyboard nearby. If accurate color is important, you'll want something better. (My laptop screen is highly accurate so I was just going to use the tablet for drawing and the laptop display for final color evaluation/correction.) The final thing I didn't like was that it requires a separate power adapter so it really isn't suitable as a mobile device (to use on-the-go with my laptop, I mean.)

In the end, I wound up giving the tablet to my 13 year old daughter. It's her first display tablet (not counting iPad) and she loves it. She uses it for her laptop and since she's never used a full Cintiq, she's not missing any of the features I'm used to. So, I guess this proves Wacom One really is an entry-level device and it's perfectly fine at that.

A few weeks later, I bit the bullet and got a Cintiq Pro 16, but I use it with my workstation (which did not have a high-quality color display and I'm using the Cintiq Pro for that.) This model is very expensive though. (Also worth noting is that new Cintiqs no longer have physical Express Keys, instead they have a separate remote control with programmable buttons. Not sure how I feel about this yet...to me, it's one more thing to misplace or have to keep charged. Ugh.)

Last year, I got an XP-Pen Artist 13.3 Pro to use with the laptop. This device is very inexpensive compared to the Wacom display tablets. What I liked about this one is that it doesn't require a power adapter, it can be plugged directly into the laptop for power. I imagine it sucks the battery but I didn't use it long enough to determine this. Overall, I thought this tablet was fine as a 'beginner' tablet. The color accuracy wasn't the best but probably good enough for many users. It does have programmable buttons on the side, which for me is a plus. What I didn't like was that I couldn't program one of the buttons to switch screens like I can with a Wacom's ExpressKeys. (Maybe this can be done with the new Task View switcher in Win 10? Just a thought, but I haven't tried it that way yet.) At the time of purchase, the screen could only mirror what I saw on my laptop display but within weeks, they released a new driver that allowed me to have separate extended displays, which was more useful to me.

Eventually, my 'Wacom-bias' convinced me that I wouldn't be happy without a genuine Wacom display tablet, and that's around when the Wacom One came out. But between these two entry-level display tablets, I think I liked the XP-Pen Artist 13.3 a little better because it comes with a better stylus and it it has buttons.

TBH, my favorite display tablet was the Wacom Cintiq Companion 2. This was a second gen tablet computer from Wacom and I literally used it everywhere I went to create animation and draw comics. It was expensive but it was more powerful than other tabet PC's and it functioned exactly like a genuine Cintiq, just smaller. The downside was that the battery died after about three years and the device could then only be used plugged in. I was very disapppointed by that and it's been a couple of years since I stopped using it because of this battery issue. Next week I'm finally shipping it out to Wacom to get the battery replaced so I can start using it again. My current laptop is actually way more powerful than this tablet computer, but I have to say, for art and animation tasks, I was way more productive with this tablet than I am with the laptop.

All that said, if you're not hung up on having a display tablet, any of the Wacom Intuos Pro tablets are great! I have a 13-inch I use with the laptop and the stylus, feedback, and pressure is very good (as I would expect from Wacom.) Intuos Pro tablets also still have the physical Express Keys. Finally, past experience showed me that Intuos tablets just last forever. Until last year, my daughter was using an early Intuos tablet I bought maybe 15 years ago and it still worked great.

Edit: I also tried the 16-inch Intuos Pro with my laptop. I thought it would be a good idea to get a tablet the was closer in size to my laptop's display. In practice, however, I felt the 16-inch tablet was just way too big to lug around in my backpack and awkward to use with the laptop in places where I typically use my laptop (at work, at a diner, the park, the library, etc.,. Of course, living in a pandemic world these days, I don't do much roaming anymore.) Anyway, I exchanged this device for the 13-inch model and I've been much happier with it. To be clear, I'd probably be fine with the 16-inch model if I hadn't been using it as a mobile device.
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Re: Should I Purchase a Drawing Tablet?

Post by Greenlaw » Sat Aug 15, 2020 6:24 pm

BTW, I want to make it clear that I'm not against non-Wacom tablets, I just have a personal preference for Wacom. There are good reasons Wacom can demand a premium, but I do believe some third party companies are serious about offering competitive devices at more affordable prices.

I suggest reading and watching many comparative reviews by artists who actually use the devices, and taking many notes before making a purchase.
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Re: Should I Purchase a Drawing Tablet?

Post by Greenlaw » Sat Aug 15, 2020 10:44 pm

I just remembered something I don't like about modern Wacom tablets: Bluetooth performance is laggy and pretty much useless. This has been true for various models I've tried it with including lower-end Intuous and the higher-end Intuos Pro tablets. For best performance, you need to plug these tablets in directly to your computer. That's been my experience anyway.

(TBH, it's been a long time since I last tried using Bluetooth an Intuos. I'll try again this weekend and post here if I find it performs any differently now.)

I don't have any experience with wireless performance of third party tablets so can't say they're any better or worse.
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Re: Should I Purchase a Drawing Tablet?

Post by Greenlaw » Sat Aug 15, 2020 11:16 pm

Ok, I'm going to take back the above comment about Bluetooth performance, at least with the Intuos Pro 13 and my laptop. This test is obviously limited, but so far with the current Wacom drivers, Win update, and the latest version of Photoshop, Bluetooth support seems pretty decent and I'm not seeing that awful lag. I'll try this with other programs later today to see if performance is good across the board and if it sustains throughout the day.
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