First time Wacom User: Bamboo or Intuos4

Discussion in 'Design and Graphics' started by Adamation, Jul 3, 2009.

  1. Adamation macrumors newbie

    Jul 3, 2009
    San Pablo, CA
    Hey guys.

    First off it probably shows this is my first post so i wanted to say hey. I've been a lurker on the site for awhile, usually in the iPhone section but I finally found a dire need to sign up so I could ask some advice. Since you have a nice Graphics section, I figure some people could help me...hopefully!

    I'm a student of Animation and just started at Going here and doing well is VERY important to me, so I want to expand my ways of doing things, and the tools I use. In this school, planning is going to be very important so with that in mind, I have decided to try a Wacom Tablet.

    It's important to note I have never used one. Ever. I'm anxious to try one and though I have researched a good amount, one question is nagging me. Which one?

    My choices are down to a Bamboo (not a fun) or an Intuos4 Small. The latter is all my budget can afford, at most right now. I'm not really concerned about the work area, when I draw, I always liked to draw small anyway so size-wise I think I'm pretty set.

    My real dilemma is what one to buy based on my complete newness to using one. As a beginner, will a Bamboo seem "good enough" to me or will I even feel its limits? Since I don't have a frame of reference for the advance features of the Intuos4, I just wonder if I will miss them?

    I will say I'm leaning towards the Intuos, since I know it's better and I don't mind the money. But if a Bamboo would work for me in all the ways I need, why spend the extra?

    The Wacom is something I want to like. It's funny because I've resisted getting one for so long, I never thought I would like it but now I'm actually excited by it.

    For initial uses of whichever I get, I plan to use it for simple digital drawing, for school thumbnails, possibly some flipbook animations, trying out personal photo touching up with Photoshop and then maybe I'll try it with applications I'm extreme comfortable with using a Mouse, like Maya (which I use for school.)

    So that's my situation. I'd really love any advice and thank you in advance!
  2. design-is macrumors 65816


    Oct 17, 2007
    London / U.K.
    Hi :) Welcome to the Graphics section!

    Basic advice is simple - get the best you can afford.

    In this case, the Intous will be the best option as it is far superior to a Bamboo. If you plan on using this for years to come as you skills develop and technology moves forward, the Bamboo isn't really an option. Intuos is the professional version, used by professionals all over the world. If you plan on being a professional and don't want to buy a new one later on, spend that little extra :)

    All just my opinion however...

  3. jampat macrumors 6502a

    Mar 17, 2008
    I have the opposite opinion of the previous poster. The Intuos buys you increased pressure sensitivity, pen tilt and some more toys (buttons/sliders and whatnot). As it sounds like you will be doing primarily line drawings, I am not sure if you care about pen tilt (most "artist" type people really like it for simulating real media). I would go for the bamboo right now and see what you like or don't like about it. That will help you actually determine what you require out of a pad. You may decide that although you draw small, a larger pad helps you because you use multiple monitors or whatever. A bamboo is so cheap to begin with you have very little to use.

    I have a bamboo fun and while I don't think it is perfect, it is a huge improvement over a mouse and dirt cheap. PS Consider the fun, it (at least used to) come with Photo Shop Express, the $30 upgrade gets you $60 software (unless of course you have no need for the software).
  4. Adamation thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 3, 2009
    San Pablo, CA
    Hey again.

    Been a busy day, haven't had a chance to get back over here but thank you who replied.

    I slept on this again last night and coupled with the 2 replies I got, I am STILL torn. The thing is, I totally see the point of view from both of you.

    I'm a techie guy and I love gadgets, I like having the best possible, whenever possible...BUT only if I can actually use it. I try to get the nicest version of anything I need or want, but not excessively where I am paying more for no useful reason for myself.

    Oh one hand I may love a Wacom and want the best. So getting an Intuos would make sense. But then again like the last reply said, I AM only going to be basic drawing with this thing at best. Planning out animation with stick figures and such. I wont be doing any kind of elaborate digital art, it's just not me. So if that is the only reason to get an Intuos, I don't need one.

    However if the precision is useful in a lot of other ways, then again getting the better model makes sense. My wife often asks me to fix photos we took, like take people out of backgrounds, etc, and I can never really do it. Maybe having a Wacom will inspire me to learn Photoshop more. Does photo touch up benefit much from the more advanced Intuos?

    A few more questions if I may. In Laymen's terms, AKA ME, what does the 512 levels of pressure for the Bamboo vs the 2000 for the Intuos really MEAN? I see that and I think 512 seems a lot to begin with. So I'm just wondering how 512 is possibly good enough. What is levels of pressure even measured in?

    The other big feature of an Intuos model is the pen tilt. Again not to be stupid, but what does that mean? How is it used in applications? If I get a Bamboo that doesn't have pen tilt, that doesn't mean I have to hold the pen straight up does it? I'm assuming no, but still wanted to ask.

    I thank you again for your time. Hopefully I'm not annoying anyone yet. Just trying to spend wisely and make the best choice.
  5. Maccleduff macrumors regular

    Jun 26, 2007
    Pen tilt affects the shape of the pen stroke, imagine painting with a brush at different angles, the brush produces a different shape.
    Tablet pens without tilt still work in any direction but brush shape just doesnt change with tilt.

    Just get the bamboo, it sounds like you dont need any of the extra functions of the intuos, plus youll save a lot of money. Get the largest area you can afford tho, as this will be of most benefit.
  6. stainlessliquid macrumors 68000

    Sep 22, 2006
    Size is more important for drawing, so a bamboo fun medium would be better. Pen tilt doesnt do anything useful in applications, so its not a buying point.

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