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zen
Oct 5, 2004, 03:11 PM
Hi,

Hope this is the right place for this. Please move this post if it isn't.

I've just bought a Wacom graphire3 6x8 drawing tablet. It works fine, although the installer on the CD unexpectedly quits as soon as it is launched. I found the "real" installer on the CD and managed to run that ok.

My question is: according to the instruction manual, there should be a tutorial on how to use the tablet on the CD. I've looked everywhere but can't find a thing.

If there is anybody there with a graphire tablet, could you point me in the right direction? Or is there somewhere on the net which has more info and perhaps tutorial downloads, etc?

Cheers!

Zen

Inkmonkey
Oct 5, 2004, 03:24 PM
I just bought the Intuos2 a few weeks ago and definitely saw a tutorial on one of the CDs. Can't remember which one and I'm not home right now to check.

I believe when you launch the installer there are several buttons you can click on on the initial screen. One of them should be for tutorials. If you still can't find it I cna try and provide more detail once I get home.

mnkeybsness
Oct 5, 2004, 03:27 PM
wacom has short tutorials on their site. i recommend that once you are done with the tutorials, just doodle... more and more and more. it's the only way to get used to it.

Whigga Spitta
Oct 5, 2004, 03:33 PM
off topic-- but to those who own tablets, where are the biggest advantages? photo editing? illustrating? other? i'm kind of interested in one, but i'm not exactly sure I can get that much use out of it...

Inkmonkey
Oct 5, 2004, 04:00 PM
off topic-- but to those who own tablets, where are the biggest advantages? photo editing? illustrating? other? i'm kind of interested in one, but i'm not exactly sure I can get that much use out of it...

My primary reason for buying one is for illustrating. And it is amazing at that task. But I hear that it really shines when it comes to photo editting. I may never ever use it for photos though.

wrldwzrd89
Oct 5, 2004, 04:02 PM
I just bought the Intuos2 a few weeks ago and definitely saw a tutorial on one of the CDs. Can't remember which one and I'm not home right now to check.

I believe when you launch the installer there are several buttons you can click on on the initial screen. One of them should be for tutorials. If you still can't find it I cna try and provide more detail once I get home.
Hey Inkmokey - zen can't get the installer to even launch. It just unexpectedly quits every time. Therefore, the only way zen could access the tutorial is by opening it manually (if you can find it, that is).

aricher
Oct 5, 2004, 04:07 PM
I use my Intuos2 every day for photo editing and illustration. I use it so much now that I hardly ever use my mouse - muuch easier on the repet. stress synd. as well. I can't live without mine now - I think I'll probably pick up the new Intuos3 with program buttons so I can move further away from the keyboard - just program in the usual keycommands into the buttons and away from the keybopard you go.

Anyway, these tablets allow for the most finesse you can get when editing photos (opacity levels, pressure sensitivity, etc) or illustrating in Painter or Illustrator and let me tell you, creating bezier curves is a breeze with a pen. The pen becomes second nature withing a few days.

Wacom = ease of artistic input!

Inkmonkey
Oct 5, 2004, 04:30 PM
Hey Inkmokey - zen can't get the installer to even launch. It just unexpectedly quits every time. Therefore, the only way zen could access the tutorial is by opening it manually (if you can find it, that is).

Oh, sorry. Don't think I realized what they meant when they said they got the "real" installer to launch.

wrldwzrd89
Oct 5, 2004, 04:41 PM
Oh, sorry. Don't think I realized what they meant when they said they got the "real" installer to launch.
What zen meant was that the disc contains two "installers": the first one is just a launcher for the tutorials and the second ("real") installer, which is what zen found and started manually, bypassing the first one, since that one kept crashing.

Inkmonkey
Oct 5, 2004, 07:57 PM
I can't seem to find anywhere else to launch the tutorial other than the installer. Sorry that's of no help whatsoever.

In any event, I haven't even gone through the tutorial yet. I've just been playing with the tablet and pen in PhotoElements and Painter Classic. Probably just as effective.

zen
Oct 5, 2004, 08:03 PM
Hmm, thanks for the replies. The installer quitting is annoying, no idea what is causing it.

I've been playing with the pen in Photoshop CS, and have only used it for less than half an hour so far (and I've never used a pen and tablet before!). I guess I have a lot to learn!

I'm hoping to use the tablet mainly for comic-style illustration. I didn't install Painter Classic as I don't have Classic installed, and it didn't come with Photoshop Elements.

Do you think I should take a look at Painter and/or Illustrator as well?

Zen.

atari1356
Oct 6, 2004, 01:06 AM
I didn't install Painter Classic as I don't have Classic installed

Painter Classic runs natively under OS X - you shouldn't need Classic Mac OS installed to run it.

I've had an Intuos 2 tablet for a couple of years now and love it. I can't stand using mice any more. Death to mice! :D

cb911
Oct 6, 2004, 07:40 AM
zen from New Zealand! another (almost) Aussie on the boards! :D :p

well, i'd suggest getting the latest drivers from Intuos site, you can pretty much junk that CD and never touch it again...

once you get the drivers installed, you should be able to setup all the functions, and you'll get to learn all the functions that way.

i'd say just stick with PhotoShop, or Illustrator if that's what you know. Painter is an amazing app, but very complex, or at least it seems that way to me. :p for comic style stuff, you can do amazing work in PS. have you done much illustration before? comic style or otherwise? i'd recommend looking up some comic coloring tutorials, and definitely learn about 'cuts'. they'll make your work so much better. this might give you a hand finding tutorials: http://www.sumaleth.com/links/ - a massive archive of tutorial links, i always go there when i'm looking for something.

just play with the pen, then set the pressure etc how you like it.

sorry, i might have missed this, but did you get the drivers installed yet?

anyways, happy penning! :D

Inkmonkey
Oct 6, 2004, 09:21 AM
I'm hoping to use the tablet mainly for comic-style illustration. I didn't install Painter Classic as I don't have Classic installed, and it didn't come with Photoshop Elements.

That's why I bought mine too - comic-style illustration. I draw strips mostly. Keep in touch and maybe we can share what we learn with each other.

If you have Photoshop you're better off than I with Photoshop Elements. But I think Elements has most of what I need.

It can be a little intimidating to start drawing on the computer but I've been told to just get in there and doodle. Try a bunch of different brushes and find what you like. We should get the hang of it in no time ;)

edit - just fixing quote format.

zen
Oct 6, 2004, 01:41 PM
Thanks for the tips - I didn't realise Painter Classic ran under X. That'll teach them for calling an app "classic!"

The drivers installed fine, as I found another installer buried in the CD directory, so I could bypass the crashing main installer. My system preferences now has a "pen tablet" pane down the bottom.

I've actually got a Graphire3, not an Intuos tablet. I haven't had a look at the Wacom website to see if there is a newer driver.

Ta for the comic tips! I've got to shoot off to work now but will reply to you properly later today :)

Zen

zen
Oct 6, 2004, 03:40 PM
have you done much illustration before? comic style or otherwise? i'd recommend looking up some comic coloring tutorials, and definitely learn about 'cuts'. they'll make your work so much better. this might give you a hand finding tutorials: http://www.sumaleth.com/links/ - a massive archive of tutorial links, i always go there when i'm looking for something.

No, I haven't really done anything before, I'm just learning really. I've developed a keen interest in comics and have a lot of script ideas, so I thought I'd try and learn to draw so I can at least rough stuff out. Who knows, I may have hidden talents ;)

Thanks for the link - looks like lots of good stuff there.

Does anybody have any examples of artwork they've created entirely using a tablet?

Zen

zen
Oct 6, 2004, 03:42 PM
That's why I bought mine too - comic-style illustration. I draw strips mostly. Keep in touch and maybe we can share what we learn with each other.

Yeah, definately. Send me a PM and I'll grab your details. Calgary eh? I got marooned in Toronto in April 2004 when that snow storm hit. I loved every minute of it ;)

Zen

cb911
Oct 7, 2004, 07:39 AM
okay, you're in luck. i'm feeling generous so i'm posting some of my 100% tablet work. :p this stuff was done last year. we just had to do a few comic strips. i just sketched it out with a mechanical pencil using blue lead (that's the best way - use blue lead. that way it stay light, and you can very easily ink it later if you want. also, if you photocopy it after you've inked it, your blue lines won't reproduce, so you just end up with clean art work.:D)

http://img36.exs.cx/img36/452/RESTAURANT-comic.jpg

http://img79.exs.cx/img79/6421/ISLAND-comic.jpg

http://img48.exs.cx/img48/7548/COWS-comic.jpg

and the detail shots:

http://img43.exs.cx/img43/8761/COWS-comic_detail.jpg

http://img13.exs.cx/img13/5392/RESTAURANT-comic_detail1.jpg

http://img8.exs.cx/img8/3871/RESTAURANT-comic_detail2.jpg

sorry for posting them right here in this thread, but i was going to put them on my site, and it's not done yet. so i guess you're privelaged to be the first ones to see some of this stuff. :p :D

and one other tip - make your canvas, or document around 3 times larger than your finished size, then you can draw in heaps of detail, and when you zoom out, it looks really good. it's also a good idea to make your originals 300dpi, just in case you need to print them in the future.

edit>> i just dug up one more from last year. i actually inked this then scanned it, and all the coloring is done with the tablet (and various PS effects ;)) that's kind of a goofy pic, i think i have to try not to fit every color in there. :p

http://img23.exs.cx/img23/7923/Fungul-Jungle.jpg

and tablets are also very good for making starry skies. :) check out that link i posted for this tutorial... ;)

http://img34.exs.cx/img34/3893/Basic-Starfield.jpg

cb911
Oct 7, 2004, 08:02 AM
not really comic stuff... but just goes to show how a tablet is useful for designers as well.

this was an editorial design for Animal Logic (http://animallogic.com/intro.html). the 'polaroid' look photos were all 100% created from a blank canvas, used the tablet for the edges on those, as well as the red 'movie' stamps and the black border on the brown 'tickets'.

i think i'll post just thumbnails for these. the poor 56k users out there have already had a good punishing. :P :o

http://img15.exs.cx/img15/7373/AL-editorial.th.jpg (http://img15.exs.cx/my.php?loc=img15&image=AL-editorial.jpg)

http://img27.exs.cx/img27/4361/AL-editorial_detail.th.jpg (http://img27.exs.cx/my.php?loc=img27&image=AL-editorial_detail.jpg)

just had to post this, i really love it, as well as loving AL. :D wow, how awesome it'd be to work there... if anyone from AL is reading this and looking for a Shake artist.... :D

edit>> just realised that i've got some more design stuff i've done with a tablet. let me know if ya wanna see it...

zen
Oct 7, 2004, 06:38 PM
Very cool!

But you say you used a mechanical pencil with blue lead? So is that on the tablet or did you draw it on paper first?

Zen

cb911
Oct 8, 2004, 02:29 AM
yep, that's sketched on paper first. i'd strongly recommend that you try it out. just be careful with the blue leads, they're not quite as strong as graphite and snap easily. but the blue is just for light sketching anyway.

Inkmonkey
Oct 8, 2004, 10:28 AM
Yeah, definately. Send me a PM and I'll grab your details. Calgary eh? I got marooned in Toronto in April 2004 when that snow storm hit. I loved every minute of it ;)

Zen

You wouldn't be the first to be marooned in Canada because of snow. :D
I've PMed you.

Inkmonkey
Oct 8, 2004, 10:37 AM
just realised that i've got some more design stuff i've done with a tablet. let me know if ya wanna see it...

That's some great work, cb911. Love the detail on the strips. I'd love to see some more of your stuff.

I'm trying to understand the blue pencil thing. So you draw on paper and then trace it using the tablet? Just trying to relate the 2 things.

cb911
Oct 8, 2004, 05:03 PM
yeah, you can use it like that. basically you just use the blue lead to sketch out stuff (on paper) instead of a regular pencil, then if you want to ink it, it's alot easier thank having to ink & erase your graphite pencil marks. the blue lead also erases easier if you ever need to as well...

you can also scan the blue sketch, i've done that a couple of times. i've also sketched with a blue color with my tablet (on my computer). it just seems to be easier to recognize which parts are the sketch and which is part of the final pic. hope that expalins it all for you. :)

i will post more stuff (design work) later today. so stay tuned...

Inkmonkey
Oct 8, 2004, 10:26 PM
Hey zen, I finally went through the tutorial on the Wacom CD and you're not missing anything. it is VERY basic. Most everything I had already figured out on my own.

cb911
Oct 10, 2004, 05:52 AM
okay, more of my work, because you asked for it. :)

this time, it's up on my DeviantArt gallery:

CD cover design for Rob Zombie's "Dragula"

http://www.deviantart.com/view/11300798/ - the actual CD label

http://www.deviantart.com/view/11300872/ - the back of the CD cover

http://www.deviantart.com/view/11300894/ - the front and inside-front cover.

i'll have to come back and post the rest. i also did a CD cover for Meat Beat Manifesto's "Prime Audio Soup". i dont' mean to hi-jack the thread, but Inkmonkey did ask for more. ;) :D

zen
Oct 10, 2004, 07:24 PM
Bah, I'm so envious of you people who can draw. I'm just a-learnin'. Hopefully at 26 I'm not too late!

Zen

howard
Oct 10, 2004, 07:43 PM
Bah, I'm so envious of you people who can draw. I'm just a-learnin'. Hopefully at 26 I'm not too late!

Zen

i'm in the same boat as you!

i'd love to draw, and i know i could if i practiced, but i'm so ashamed of what i draw when i doodle that i just don't practice that much. hehe

i've been thinking of picking up an old graphire2 4x5 or a new graphire3 4x5

what do you guys think of first of all the size 4x5 for an AMATEUR and also the difference between the graphire 2 and 3

thanks!

zen
Oct 10, 2004, 07:47 PM
Do you mean 6x8? I thought the two sizes for the graphire were 4x5 and 6x8.

I've got a new graphire3 6x8. The size is pretty good for me (being a beginner like yourself).

Most people would probably recommend an Intuos but they are just way too expensive for hobbyists. I'd say give the graphire3 a go. Not sure what the difference between the graphire2 and 3 is.

Zen.

howard
Oct 10, 2004, 08:03 PM
yeah, i got the sizes mixed up... 4x5 is what i meant

i can't afford an intuos, and i can't even afford a 6x8 graphire. so basically if the 4x5 graphires are worthless i might as well either hold out until i can afford a 6x8 or don't got either.

i thought i read somewhere on the www.applegeeks.com site that the guy who draws that comic uses a 4x5 graphire, i'm not sure, i'm searching around for a quote right now...

howard
Oct 10, 2004, 08:07 PM
ah here we go:

http://www.applegeeks.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=502


also what do you think of tablets from these guys:

http://www.aiptek.com/

iMeowbot
Oct 10, 2004, 08:52 PM
i can't afford an intuos, and i can't even afford a 6x8 graphire. so basically if the 4x5 graphires are worthless i might as well either hold out until i can afford a 6x8 or don't got either.

You really want to find a place with demo units and try them if at all possible. The smaller pads a great for portability, and can be fine for freehand work. If you need to work on finer detail, you can always zoom your image.

The bigger pads do give you more detail at higher resolutions, and they win if you ever need to do any sort of tracing.

The Graphires are decent pads, and might be a wise choice if you will be carrying them around and exposing them to the possibility of damage or theft. They don't have as many pressure levels as the Intuos, but you can still get plenty of expression out of them.

The big benefits of the Intuos pads are really more in the selection of optional pens and the extra programmable surfaces. The Graphire pen feels like a cheap ballpoint, while there are nice solid-feeling ones available for Intuos. Those things may or may not matter to you.

All the models will give you smooth and natural-feeling movement. the rest comes down to individual comfort.

iMeowbot
Oct 10, 2004, 09:00 PM
http://www.aiptek.com/
the price looks great, but there are still no drivers for OS X. :mad:

howard
Oct 10, 2004, 10:28 PM
the price looks great, but there are still no drivers for OS X. :mad:

oh jeez i didn't even realize that

i would love to demo a pad but i have no idea where i could go. I usually don't see them at your average computer store.

cb911
Oct 11, 2004, 12:11 AM
on the subject of other tablets, i'd try and stay away from then. they somehow seem cheap and cheesy. :p at least you know that Wacom is a reputable brand.

also, check my DeviantArt gallery for more stuff.http://mugget.deviantart.com/gallery/

also, check back regularly, i'm going to be making some wallpapers...

sry, now - back on topic.

howard
Oct 11, 2004, 08:10 AM
cb911,

what tablet do you have? have you used the 4x5 graphire's? what do you think of them?

also if there is a big difference n the graphire 2 or 3, cause i could probably pick up a graphire 2 off ebay for 1/2 the price of a 3


ok...this may be a very stupid question about tablets but..

how exactly do they work, i mean, how do you know where your pen tip on the tablet relates to where you are drawing on the screen?

cb911
Oct 11, 2004, 07:05 PM
i actually use a Graphire 2, 4x5". that's the only tablet i've ever used, it's been really good for me so far. :)

next tablet (if i have the cash after purchasing a Dual-core 17" G4 PowerBook ;) :D) i'll probably look at getting an Intuos. the new 'TouchStrip' looks to be really handy for scrolling etc., plus it has twice the amount of different pressure levels.

but the Graphire has been very good for my needs. i don't really use it that often, i guess i should be using it with Shake... i don't really know about the Graphire 3, if you can find a good Graphire 2, might as well go for it. :)

tablets are a very different way of working. if i could afford it, i'd have a Cintiq any day. :cool:

about knowing where you tablet is on the screen... your pen simply takes over from the mouse cursor - you can only use the mouse or tablet, not both. the tablet just uses the regualr mouse cursor.

now the tricky part comes from setting up the tablet... you can set it to either stretch, so the area of the tablet area corresponds to the whole screen area (this is a bit tricky, because the tablet ratio is quite a bit different from a wide-screen res.), or you can just set the tablet to have a 1:1 ratio with the screen, so 1cm on the table = 1cm on the screen. but then the tablet will only be active on a certain part of the screen.

i use the first method, where the tablet is effective over the whole screen. you've just got to look at the screen while you're working. althought, with the Graphire 2, there is a clear piece of plactic on the tablet, so you can put a drawing under it and trace over it with the tablet...

hope that helps you out. :)

howard
Oct 11, 2004, 07:33 PM
that does help a lot, thank you.

my only question now is how do you "click" and also, say you are drawing in photoshop, how do you set it to draw lines, instead of just move the mouse cursor around?

i feel like i'm missing something, i apologize again if these are stupid questions.

zen
Oct 11, 2004, 07:44 PM
The pen acts as the mouse. By tapping the end against the tablet you can click, double-click, select, choose an option, operate a button, etc, just as you would with a normal mouse. My Graphire3 pen also has a couple of ergonomic buttons on the side which you can click with your finger as you hold the pen.

The thing that is hard to get around when you first start is that the tablet area corresponds with the screen area. It's not like that with a mouse so it takes a little while to work it out. But once you get the hang of it you can operate everything in say Photoshop with the pen while you are drawing. It's a lot of fun!

Regarding drawing lines in Photoshop, you drag the pen around the tablet surface and it will draw. It's like holding down the mouse button, whenever the nib of the pen is in contact with the board you are "clicking". In fact my graphire has an LED to indicate what it is doing - green when the nib is in contact, orange when it is not.

To move around without actually drawing you just lift the pen and move it to where you want to go (say to operate a menu or select a new option, etc). The pen will actually track the cursor on the screen while it is not touching the tablet - in other words, you can follow the cursor moving if the pen is about a cm away from the surface of the tablet. It's not hard, I found it quite a natural thing. I just drew, lifted the nib a little and slid my hand across to select something, then went back to drawing.

Because the tablet area corresponds to your screen in a 1:1 ratio, you can of course lift the pen completely clear of the tablet, then "click" with the nib on the area of the tablet that corresponds to where you want to go on the screen. This takes a bit of trial and error!

Hope that answers your questions. As I say I'm a tablet novice myself but after a couple of hours doodling I feel quite comfortable with it now. In fact I was doing some text layout in photoshop the other night using the pen, and I didn't draw a single line!

Zen

that does help a lot, thank you.

my only question now is how do you "click" and also, say you are drawing in photoshop, how do you set it to draw lines, instead of just move the mouse cursor around?

i feel like i'm missing something, i apologize again if these are stupid questions.

howard
Oct 11, 2004, 08:17 PM
thanks a lot zen, thats pretty much what i needed to know.

that really makes me want to buy a graphire!!

Inkmonkey
Oct 11, 2004, 09:35 PM
i dont' mean to hi-jack the thread, but Inkmonkey did ask for more. ;) :D

I did ask. Thanks. ;)

You do some great work. You have a unique style.
Is this your main line of work?

Inkmonkey
Oct 11, 2004, 09:40 PM
Bah, I'm so envious of you people who can draw. I'm just a-learnin'. Hopefully at 26 I'm not too late!

Zen

Never too late. The thing to get around is not trying to copy someone else. Develop your own style that you are comfortable with. I can draw cartoons but I'm terrible at drawing realistic life stuff. So I don't. ;)

And just pratice lots. You'll improve everyday. And I've heard taking an occasional drawing class doesn't hurt. I have to try that.

Inkmonkey
Oct 11, 2004, 09:44 PM
thanks a lot zen, thats pretty much what i needed to know.

that really makes me want to buy a graphire!!

I did buy an Intuos2 but only because it was a great deal from the Apple Education Store. Was only $20 more than the Graphire. Almost seemed like a mistake so I snatched it up before they changed the price on the site. ;)
Many artists I've spoken to use a Graphire. A Graphire2 will do everything you need if you can find one cheap. The 3s just have a few more buttons that you may never use as a beginner (or even advanced user) anyway.

cb911
Oct 12, 2004, 07:40 AM
I did ask. Thanks. ;)

You do some great work. You have a unique style.
Is this your main line of work?

very kind of you to say so. :) i did those CD covers last semester when i was at college studying graphic design. now i'm studying visual FX (for movies and stuff :D) hopefully i'll get to have editing/FX as my main line of work...

about how you click and draw on the tablet - you just think of it as a normal piece of paper. you put the pen in contact with the tablet, it draws (and acts as if the mouse button is clicked). to move the cursor, you just sort of skim it accross the top of the surface of the tablet, without touching it. if the pen is about 1cm from the tabet surface, it'll pick it up, so you can move the cursor like that.

best to go to your nearest Apple store and ask for a demo some time. :)

about not copying someone else's style... i'd say sure, dont' copy people, but nothing wrong with trying to emulate someone's style. i even used to try and copy other drawings, you'll be amazed how that can help your own drawing progress, and you'll pick up alot of different techniques that will blend together to make your own style. just remember to break objects down into their basic forms before trying to draw detail into them. this way you can get the proportions and perspective right before you start on the details.

another tip - it's not always necessary to have lots of tiny details. for example a hand doesn't always need to have 5 fingers (well, 4 fingers and a thumb :p) drawn on it. if it looks ok, just draw a sort of shaped blob, or maybe 3 shapes coming off the hand, and let the viewer fill in the rest of the details. :) if you have the right movement, shapes and colors to suggeset an action, the viewer will usually fill in the rest.

howard
Oct 12, 2004, 08:45 AM
I did buy an Intuos2 but only because it was a great deal from the Apple Education Store. Was only $20 more than the Graphire. Almost seemed like a mistake so I snatched it up before they changed the price on the site. ;)
Many artists I've spoken to use a Graphire. A Graphire2 will do everything you need if you can find one cheap. The 3s just have a few more buttons that you may never use as a beginner (or even advanced user) anyway.



hmm for me there are no price cuts on the educational store

Inkmonkey
Oct 12, 2004, 09:45 AM
hmm for me there are no price cuts on the educational store

This was the Canadian Apple Store. And the Intuos2 isn't even listed in there anymore. Was taken down shortly after I ordered mine. I assume because they will be selling the 3s soon.

cb911
Oct 15, 2004, 12:26 AM
i just found an example of how to best use the blue lead pencil i was talking about. check it out here:

http://www.victordavila.com/sketchbook/david.html

hope that helps to clarify that.:)