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LimeiBook86
Feb 4, 2007, 11:04 PM
Hello fellow artists. I'm considering buying a Wacom tablet to use for work. I work at home as a Flash animator and although I am very fluent with the mouse (and even my PowerBook's trackpad) I think having a tablet would enable me to work faster and more efficiently. I mean I can sketch much faster on paper than I can on the computer using a mouse.

The mouse is nice but, I find myself erasing lines that I don't want because the mouse moved just a bit the wrong way. I haven't had any experience with any modern tablets, the last one I used required a serial port on the back of my old G3 Minitower. I've just gotten some graduation money so I think now would be a good time to look for a tablet, also I just started doing the animation for work and I'm realizing how much a tablet may help.

Now although the stand-alone tablets are nice I was looking at the big (and very expensive) LCD Wacom tablets. Now I'm leaning towards this thinking if I'm going to spend money on a tablet why not get a nice one? But then again I don't know I want to spend more than I did on my iMac on a tablet.

So I'm looking for advice for those of you who may have a Wacom tablet and would like to share your recommendations and experience with me. Now one concern with an LCD tablet is that my iMac has a built-in display, and I wouldn't mind using it as a secondary display but, do you know if there is a way to use it as my primary display? I just don't want to have to switch screens when going through the top menus in a program.

Here is some information about what I use that may be helpful.

System used: Intel iMac (Early 06) 20" (VGA/DVI output available)
Programs used: Adobe Photoshop CS, Macromedia Flash 8

Any advice or recommendations would be great, I'd love to hear from somebody that has had some experience with a tablet, thanks! :D

Edit: I'm seriously considering this, seems almost perfect for what I need: Wacom Intuos3 9 x 12 (http://www.thenerds.net/index.php?page=productpage&affid=7&pn=PTZ930AC&srccode=cii_11884&cpncode=10-35601133-2) Good price too :D



bmb012
Feb 5, 2007, 03:06 AM
9 x 12? Jeez man, I have a 6 x 11 and it's rather amazing, 9 x 12 sounds like overkill. Before I had this thing, though, I used a graphire 3, depending how serious you are about animating (or strapped for cash), you might want to consider a graphire 4...

dogbone
Feb 5, 2007, 03:27 AM
Yeah get the 9x12 intuos. You need a big tablet if you are using it for art because you want a 1:1 ratio to the screen to mainain gestural strokes, also not to run out of tablet mid stroke. Depending on your screen and the art you produce you might even consider a 12x16 which I used to have and I really enjoyed using it, although you need a fair bit of desk space although that's not such an issue with lcd's as it was with a monster crt like the 21" cinema display.

LimeiBook86
Feb 5, 2007, 03:33 AM
Yeah get the 9x12 intuos. You need a big tablet if you are using it for art because you want a 1:1 ratio to the screen to mainain gestural strokes, also not to run out of tablet mid stroke. Depending on your screen and the art you produce you might even consider a 12x16 which I used to have and I really enjoyed using it, although you need a fair bit of desk space although that's not such an issue with lcd's as it was with a monster crt like the 21" cinema display.

Well the Intuos3 6 x 11 is $314 and the Intuos3 9 x 12 for $359 - so for just a bit more I'd rather get the bigger one just in case. I really like the buttons on the side, I think those would become pretty useful.

The screen built-in on my iMac is 20" so I assume the 9 x 12 tablet should be fine for what I have to do. I mean I'm looking at a piece of paper right now and I usually don't draw anything bigger, so this'll give me more space if I need it. :) Thanks for all the advice!

tominated
Feb 5, 2007, 05:22 AM
i have a 4"x5" graphire4 and i have never regretted getting it! I reccomend getting one. No matter what ssize you get, it will still make productivity more efficient.

JasonElise1983
Feb 5, 2007, 08:34 AM
something you should think about... the 9x12 is formatted at 4:3 where as your monitor is formated to 16:9. the 4x6, 6x11, and 12x19 are all 16:9 ration tablets, which i think you would find more useful. With a 4:3 ration one, you would find out that your strokes will come out wierd, or you'll have to format off part of the tablet or your screen to make it work properly. it's actually quite annoying to use a 4:3 tablet on a widescreen monitor, which i've done before. Anyway, just something to think about.

-JE

CINTIQ's are awesome by the way!!!!!

LimeiBook86
Feb 5, 2007, 08:39 AM
something you should think about... the 9x12 is formatted at 4:3 where as your monitor is formated to 16:9. the 4x6, 6x11, and 12x19 are all 16:9 ration tablets, which i think you would find more useful. With a 4:3 ration one, you would find out that your strokes will come out wierd, or you'll have to format off part of the tablet or your screen to make it work properly. it's actually quite annoying to use a 4:3 tablet on a widescreen monitor, which i've done before. Anyway, just something to think about.

-JE

CINTIQ's are awesome by the way!!!!!

I didn't think of that. Suppose I had an 8 x 10 document in Photoshop, I can draw on that fine right? I mean, does the tablet form to the desktop size or the document size? Do you have a choice? The 9 x 12 seems like a good size for me, unless I'm going to run into problems like you've said. Anybody have experience with this model and a widescreen? I believe my screen ratio is 16:10 (1680 x 1050)

Thanks :)

JasonElise1983
Feb 5, 2007, 10:21 AM
there are lots of options on what the tablet actually formats to, but it always formats to some portion of your monitor, not your document. I mean, you have to be able to get to your palettes and tool bars with it as well, so it can't format to only the document, unless you are 1) that good with key commands and 2) don't want to use the menu bar at the top. I've used a 9x12 Intuos3 with a singl 22-inch CRT, 2-22-inch CRTs, and a 23-inch Cinema display at different times, and none of them worked as well as the single 22-inch one. On the dual monitors it stretched my strokes out twice as much to accomidate for formatting to two monitors. I tried formatting it to just one of them, but it locked me out of my palettes which i kept on the other monitor. On a widescreen it wasn't that bad, but since using a 6x11 on my MBP, i'll never go back to a 9x12 for a widescreen monitor. I loved my 6x11 (got stolen at school on day), and can't wait until i can get another one. Hope that helps some.

-JE

EDIT: i was just saying 16:9. It could be 16:10, but i'm not good at math. It's just formatted for widescreen monitors, but i don't know what ratio they actually use, probalby 16:10.

LimeiBook86
Feb 5, 2007, 10:27 AM
On a widescreen it wasn't that bad, but since using a 6x11 on my MBP, i'll never go back to a 9x12 for a widescreen monitor. I loved my 6x11 (got stolen at school on day), and can't wait until i can get another one. Hope that helps some.

-JE

So you used a 9 x 12 on a widescreen monitor and you've had bad results? This is the model I was looking to get and my iMac (which has a 20" 16:10 widescreen monitor) Hmm...:confused:

Update: I was reading a review on amazon and found this:

"As far as widescreen monitor support, this tablet can automatically adjust the active area to match the aspect ratio of any screen. So if you are considering the 6x11 widescreen Wacom, remember this tablet can double as a 7x12 widescreen. I used a grey Sharpie to draw faint lines on the tablet surface to map out different screen ratios."

A 7 x 12 tablet is plenty of room when it's maintaining it's aspect ratio, and I can always have it stretch if I need to. :) This sounds pretty good

ijimk
Feb 5, 2007, 12:30 PM
I an vouch I love my 4x5 wacom tablet as it did have a learning curve but once used to it it is a great tool. :cool: :apple:

LimeiBook86
Feb 5, 2007, 01:01 PM
Well thank you everyone for your advise, I just ordered the Wacom 9 x 12 model and I think I'll have a great time using it. It was on sale for $359.95 after rebate at Academic Superstore (http://www.academicsuperstore.com/market/marketdisp.html?PartNo=719772), also they had free UPS shipping so that was a nice bonus!

Thanks again :D

JasonElise1983
Feb 5, 2007, 02:35 PM
yeah, i knew it would crop it to 7x12 for widewscreen, i just didn't know if it was worth purchasing something more expensive just to have it cropped down. Nothing wrong with that though. It's a good choice and i hope you enjoy it.

-je

bmb012
Feb 5, 2007, 04:26 PM
Don't worry, tablets scale correctly no matter how small they are. I prefer making smaller strokes, so I usually zoom out anyway. Plus, my Powerbook and Pro Mac's monitors are both widescreen, so I went with the widescreen tablet, fits on a desk better too.

Speaking as a fellow Flash artist though, you're going to absolutely love having a tablet.

Apemanblues
Feb 6, 2007, 06:08 AM
I've been using a Wacom Intuos3 (9 x 12) for quite a while now and I can assure you that you will not be disappointed.

It takes a little while to get used to using the pen, but it's well worth the effort, so practice sketching a lot (even use the pen for navigating the OS and web surfing etc), just so you get used to the hand eye co-ordination thing.

I use mine mainly with Photoshop CS2, because the brushes are absolutely awesome and there are some things you simply cannot do with a mouse.

weg
Feb 6, 2007, 07:28 AM
CINTIQ's are awesome by the way!!!!!

I wonder why Tablet PCs aren't more popular in this community..
What's the advantage of the PC+Cintiq combination?

rutt
Mar 1, 2007, 10:40 PM
On the dual monitors it stretched my strokes out twice as much to accomidate for formatting to two monitors. I tried formatting it to just one of them, but it locked me out of my palettes which i kept on the other monitor.

I was having the same issue and just couldn't bear it, but wasn't really happy with using one screen or the stretching so I made a little app that you can bind to a button to swap between monitors (and other settings, if you so desire). At this point, it's only for OSX, but we'll see - if time permits I may port it a little further down the line. Check it out. (http://www.chrisruttencutter.com/?page_id=4) And if you have problems, just let me know.

LimeiBook86
Mar 2, 2007, 02:19 AM
Just wanted to let you guys know that I liked the tablet so much I wrote a in-depth review of it. If anybody is interested to read it here's a link to it on Epinions.com (http://www.epinions.com/content_325738139268) :) This thing rocks! :D

Ús:
Mar 2, 2007, 05:12 AM
Just wanted to let you guys know that I liked the tablet so much I wrote a in-depth review of it. If anybody is interested to read it here's a link to it on Epinions.com (http://www.epinions.com/content_325738139268) :) This thing rocks! :D


Thanks for the review. I use the A5 wide, I find this perfect for my wide screen 20 inch display (in my iMac C2D), all in all as long as you don't get the really small ones and stick with the Intuos3 range, then you can't go too far wrong. Congratulations on a great purchase, one that will pay for itself time and time again.

I did want to raise one point in your original post though. You (like me) use an iMac for high end work, I think this says a lot about the quality of the iMac and the Apple 'consumer' range of products. They can almost be called 'prosumer', a mix if you like.


http://img381.imageshack.us/img381/7550/picture1copysz0.jpg

LimeiBook86
Mar 2, 2007, 02:32 PM
Thanks for the review. I use the A5 wide, I find this perfect for my wide screen 20 inch display (in my iMac C2D), all in all as long as you don't get the really small ones and stick with the Intuos3 range, then you can't go too far wrong. Congratulations on a great purchase, one that will pay for itself time and time again.

I did want to raise one point in your original post though. You (like me) use an iMac for high end work, I think this says a lot about the quality of the iMac and the Apple 'consumer' range of products. They can almost be called 'prosumer', a mix if you like.


http://img381.imageshack.us/img381/7550/picture1copysz0.jpg
Yeah the iMac has definitely turned into a prosumer type of computer. Especially with features like DVI out and on the high-end models FW 800. ;)