Using a Wacom Tablet for Photography Brush Work?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by VirtualRain, Feb 15, 2015.

  1. VirtualRain macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

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    Vancouver, BC
    #1
    Hi, I'm wondering who's using a Wacom tablet for brush work in their RAW converter of choice?

    Any recommendations on tablet size (small or medium)? (I have a 27" 4K display)

    Do I need to spend the extra on an Intuos Pro or is the cheaper Pen & Touch just as good for photography?

    Any thoughts/recommendations are welcome! :)
     
  2. The Bad Guy macrumors 6502a

    The Bad Guy

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    #2
    You're only pretending to edit if you're not using a tablet and stylus of some description. :D

    Personally I use a Wacom Intous Pro (medium sized) and to be honest even that 'may' be a little too big. I'm looking to upgrade soon and might go with the smaller one next time.
     
  3. paolo- macrumors 6502a

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    #3
    For photo retouching, you should be fine with a small tablet.
     
  4. Attonine macrumors 6502a

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    #4
    Get the pro. As for size, I've never used a 4K screen, it may be worth seeing if you can borrow an Intuos to try. Screen size and pixel depth can make a difference as to which tablet size is optimum. I strongly suspect you will be fine with a small though.
     
  5. initialsBB macrumors 6502a

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    Oct 18, 2010
    #5
    With an Intuos Pro at bigger sizes you can do 1:1 mapping of the screen to the tablet surface and still have precise input. To be precise with small tablets you need to use them in a "touchpad" configuration, as on a laptop, where you might have to sweep across the tablet several times to take your cursor from one corner to the opposite.

    I use Intuos medium tablets, and even mapped to 2 1920x1080 24" screens in 1:1 (where a part of the bottom of the tablet is not used) it's very precise, so for a single 27" screen it should be more than enough.
    It takes some getting used to in the beginning but there is no going back.
     
  6. The Mad Kiwi macrumors 6502

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    #6
    Medium is a good size, I found the small too be just a little bit small, my hand ended hanging over the edge which I found annoying after a long day of editing.
     
  7. Hey Jude macrumors 6502a

    Hey Jude

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    #7
    I also have this tablet in the size same, and find it a bit large for my needs. I will definitely go with a small when I upgrade tablets.
     
  8. Robotti macrumors regular

    Robotti

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    Oct 16, 2014
    #8
    Many people who are experienced painters prefer larger tablets. With a large tablet you are using your arm more. With a smaller tablet it's closer to drawing than painting. I think it's a very personal choice. The application you are using it for is not the key. Your preference of drawing with your arm or with your wrist is more important.
     
  9. VirtualRain, Feb 21, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2015

    VirtualRain thread starter macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

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    #9
    I ended up buying an Intuos Pro small for brush work (local adjustments) in Capture One Pro. Small is perfect. These things are so sensitive that a medium or large just means you need to lift your hand or arm respectively to reach things... With the small so much is within pen reach without moving my hand it's amazingly fast to navigate yet incredibly precise. I have the small covering my main 4K display and its plenty sensitive enough even without zooming in. And if you do zoom in, the precision is ridiculous.

    I've setup the touch wheel to change brush size and hardness and also use the shortcut buttons on the tablet to change the pointer to one of brush (b), eraser (e), pointer (v), hand (h), and toggle the mask (m).

    It's been a bit of a challenge getting use to... I've had lots of errant brush strokes and mis-clicks... Hopefully that will improve over time with more use.
     
  10. simonsi macrumors 601

    simonsi

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    #10
    I left my employer on Friday, my team bought me an Intuos Pen & Touch Small as a leaving gift, how awesome!
     
  11. VirtualRain thread starter macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

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    #11
    Nice! Let me know how you find it with C1. I really like mine for brush work but I can't really get use to it in place of a mouse for other things so I'm constantly switching back and forth between pen and mouse. :eek:
     
  12. simonsi macrumors 601

    simonsi

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    #12
    For a few years I've been moving between a trackpad on my Macbook Pro, and a Magic Mouse on my iMac, I find it awesome I can ditch the mouse on the iMac and use the Intuos as a trackpad too - Win-win!
     
  13. MiniD3, Mar 14, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2015

    MiniD3 macrumors 6502a

    MiniD3

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    #13
    Hi There,

    Ive had the Wacom Intous Pro medium for a couple of years now,
    I have got that good with the track pad, I've been a bit slack but for serious and accurate brushes, it is a whole lot easier

    Now, It may be me but I had to finally delete all the gestures because when I was resting my palm on the tablet, an image would rotate for no reason except that I suspect my palm and possibly a finger made the change

    No Big deal though, I should not have struggled with the gestures causing problems for so long,

    Initially, I thought it was to do with the wireless operation, just thought I would mention that problem as it can become frustrating
    .......Gary
     
  14. The Bad Guy macrumors 6502a

    The Bad Guy

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    #14
    Tablet's are not really meant for C1 or LR (i.e. Simple edits). It's more a Photoshop thing.
     
  15. VirtualRain thread starter macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

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    #15

    I think what you're saying is that It's really a brush thing? It's much easier to brush with a pen than a mouse. So any app that uses brush strokes or requires fine control of your pointer will benefit from a pen and tablet. Thus C1 and LR can benefit.
     
  16. thekev macrumors 604

    thekev

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    Aug 5, 2010
    #16
    I find the smaller tablets to be way too difficult for that. If you have to do any really detailed masking or detailing, it's hard to get it right without something close to 1:1 hand to cursor, say around 66-100% zoom.
     
  17. simonsi macrumors 601

    simonsi

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    #17
    There is a switch on the top right back edge that turns the touchpad functions off...would that help?
     
  18. The Bad Guy macrumors 6502a

    The Bad Guy

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    #18
    The brush work you can do in LR / C1 is really quite minimal in comparison. See attachment (a soft light, dodge and burn layer).
    Curious.
     

    Attached Files:

  19. thekev macrumors 604

    thekev

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    #19
    It's clear you know what you're doing, but that is very rudimentary (edit:not as in bad, as in not requiring fine detail) work.

    If you have to really do anything requiring a lot of finesse, such as if you had to detail irises, eyelashes, volume around cheekbones, arm muscles, or whatever else, it does take some refinement. What if you have to mask something out from a background via either clipping paths or similar painting to what was done there?

    If you have to deal with real detail, it can make it a lot easier if the movement of your hand is as close as possible to the cursor movement on screen. It gets more extreme if you have to follow curves. Most of that involved straight lines. It looks like if you had to curve something, you used separate segments, but I was personally never able to get strong results that way.

    Edit: edit: I should also mention that for anything requiring longer smooth strokes, I tend to keep my wrist locked and move from the shoulder. It's hard to do that with a small tablet. It takes some time to get used to a big one, especially if you start with a smaller one. You'll notice that places that do have to deal with a lot of detailed work typically equip their artists with large intuos types (or in some cases cintiqs, but the large intuos ones are perfectly fine).
     
  20. MiniD3 macrumors 6502a

    MiniD3

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    Australia
    #20
    Could do,

    But I do use the express keys often
    ....Gary
     
  21. The Bad Guy macrumors 6502a

    The Bad Guy

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    #21
    Aaaah…sounds like you'd prefer this shot then.
    [​IMG]
    Alley the Boss
    by Adam_Campbell, on Flickr
    In fairness, I am using a medium sized tablet. But I believe that I'd work better with a smaller one. Less running around for my wrist 'n all. :)
     
  22. simonsi macrumors 601

    simonsi

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    #22
    Ah - does it disable those at the same time? So the express keys don't work in tablet mode with that switch set to off?
     
  23. VirtualRain thread starter macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

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    #23
    Cool, but I'm not sure why you can't do that in C1 (don't know about lightroom). C1 offers 16 layers of masks with different opacities and multiple adjustments per mask.
     
  24. thekev macrumors 604

    thekev

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    Aug 5, 2010
    #24
    I was thinking something more along those lines. In another lifetime I did post work on still images full time. I originally worked with an intuous2 4x5 back when I was learning. For work I always used a 9x12. I would have been miserable trying to do something like that on a smaller tablet, just because I can't stand being zoomed in past 100%, yet it takes a certain amount of precision to do some of that stuff without bumpy or wavy edges.
     
  25. simonsi macrumors 601

    simonsi

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    Jan 3, 2014
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    Auckland
    #25
    Hi Gary, just checked and on mine when Touch is switch off the Express Keys still function as intended.
     

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