Which drawing tablet for graphic designer?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by hulk2012, Oct 29, 2012.

  1. hulk2012 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2012
    #1
    I've getting more into drawing therefor need a good drawing tablet. Really looking for a good one but confused with which one should I go for. Any recommendations folks?
     
  2. darkcoupon macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2012
    #2
    I use an Intuos4 Medium sized tablet for photoshop work and it's fine or my needs. I have a friend who's a graphic designer and comic book artist who swears exclusively by Cintiq monitors for his digital work. He says the ability to detect the pen's angle makes all the difference in the world for him between the Cintiq and the tablets, so probably something to think about.
     
  3. DJenkins macrumors 6502

    DJenkins

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2012
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    #3
    Don't get anything other than a Wacom Intuos!

    As far as I'm aware they hold the patents which make the pens run without batteries and have the best feel & interaction.

    I still use my Intuos 4 every day and love it. Everyone else around me has the Intuos 5 which I would also get should mine die all of a sudden.

    I have the medium size which feels comfortable for me. The large ones sort of feel like you are waving your arm around in huge strokes, but if you were doing intricate work this could be an advantage.
     
  4. strausd macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2008
    Location:
    Texas
    #4
    Wacom all the way. I use an Intuos 4 medium for Photoshop and Mudbox and I love it. Great thing about the Intuos 4 is it came with a free wireless and batteryless mouse. Intuos 5 has multitouch but no mouse. Other than that they are basically the same.
     
  5. hulk2012 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Jul 13, 2012
    #5
    Sound like intuos 4 is the thing however so many selling with no mouse. Not sure why...
     
  6. BillyBobBongo macrumors 68020

    BillyBobBongo

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    Jun 21, 2007
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    On The Interweb Thingy!
    #6
    You don't need a mouse, I've not used one in years. You'll learn to use the pen for just about everything. :D
     
  7. darkcoupon macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2012
    #7
    Wacom stopped shipping mice with the Intuos 3 tablets, I believe. When the 4 came along the mouse was a separate accessory.

    Definitely get the 4 if you find a good deal, though. The Intuos 5 doesn't have a user-replaceable surface and the 4's resale value has skyrocketed because of it.
     
  8. DanielCoffey macrumors 65816

    DanielCoffey

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2010
    Location:
    Edinburgh, UK
    #8
    Just so the OP is aware of the (historic) issue - did the "nib wear" problem with the Intuos4 get fixed with the replacement surfaces that are now available?
     
  9. sigmadog macrumors 6502a

    sigmadog

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2009
    Location:
    near Spokane, WA
    #9
    I've used the Intuos line for the last 5 years or so. I started with the Intuos3 and loved it. I upgraded to an Intuos4 Large earlier this year (it shipped with the mouse at no extra cost) and was a bit disappointed with the rough surface; it was wearing my pen nibs way too fast.

    Recently I upgraded again, this time to the Cintiq 22HD. It's been a long time since I've been able to watch my hand while drawing with the computer, and it's fantastic! I feel like an artist again. I do a lot of sketching, drawing, and illustration using Corel Painter, so the hand-eye connection is important.

    I still retain the Intuos4 on my desk, but I'm using it less and less. I may eliminate it soon.
     
  10. DJenkins macrumors 6502

    DJenkins

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2012
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    #10
    I would really love to try a cintique!

    My Intous 4 surface feels pretty smooth, not sure what the other guys are talking about? I'm about due to replace my nib again but only for the second time in about 2 years!

    Here's a video to inspire you to never use a mouse again:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1q7s4E94-No
     
  11. DanielCoffey macrumors 65816

    DanielCoffey

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2010
    Location:
    Edinburgh, UK
    #11
    A bit of background into the Intuos4 "nib wear" issue...

    The early Intuos4 tablets had a rougher surface designed to be more "paper like" when they were released and the rougher surface seriously chewed the ends off the nibs, to the point where a large group of customers ran a complaint campaign via email and the Wacom forums.

    Ultimately, Wacom re-engineered the surface of the sheets to be slightly smoother and the complaints of excessive nib wear subsided since it seemed that the new surface had indeed struck a balance between the tactile feedback and the rate at which the nibs were abraded.

    If you got one of the "old stock" tablets, sigmadog, then you can always get a replacement surface from the Wacom store. For a while they shipped with a pack of free standard nibs as an apology for the issue. After a certain date (about a year or so ago), all the Intuos4 shipped with the revised surface.

    The old "rough" surface can be peeled off and the replacement one applied. One corner has no adhesive at the very tip and can be lifted. It is fairly thoroughly stuck down but can be persuaded to come up.

    Although I did take up their offer of the free nibs with the revised surface, my original "rough" surface had worn smooth itself by that point and I actually found I preferred the worn smooth feel over the replacement surface so I kept the worn one.
     
  12. halfcamerageek macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2011
    #12
    I use an Intuos5 Medium with a Dell 30" LCD. It works amazingly well, except for the touch input, which is not on par with a modern laptop trackpad.

    If you have a very large display, like mine, or use multiple LCDs, I'd recommend you to buy a mediu sized Intuos. The higher resolution is very apparent when you map the tablet to a large display area.

    Check out this guide for a handy model comparison and tablet size vs. screen size chart.

    If you're using a display up to 1920 x 1080 pixels, like most 24" LCDs on the market, the Bamboo Create would suit you well. It's a great tablet that can be used for professional work just fine.

    If you have a big display, 27" or 30", go for the Inutos5 Medium. As others said, this is the ultimate pen tablet. I have one and love it, even though I miss the illuminated buttons displays that my previous Intuos 4 had.

    I'd avoid the smaller Bamboo models. They don't have enough resolution for a precise cursor on larger LCDs.
     
  13. hulk2012 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Jul 13, 2012
    #13
    What do you mean by saying this?

     
  14. maxmaut macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2011
    #14
    Hi guys, I thought I also need to post my preferences here.
    Several years ago I bought intuos3 a4 size. I am using it since then, basically every day, and I never changed a pen tip or surface. I work on it every day for several hours, and I've seen my colleagues buy intuos4 and 5, and replace pen tips several times, and replace the surface as it was getting scratched, and always complaining about different drivers issues.

    I am stuck with my int3 and I love it, and after trying out int 4 and 5 would never trade mine for those.

    There is one issue though - the tablet does not go with newer wider monitors. It works, but the working surface is stretched. So when I take a round thing, like a cup or something, and just draw a perfect circle on my tablet using it, on the monitor it appears as an oval. This is a thing that I got used to though.

    I would switch only to cintiq, and never to int4 or 5, because those look like failed attempts to update the tablet line to me.
     
  15. halfcamerageek macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2011
    #15
    The tablet surface is mapped to the LCD screen, so each point on the tablet corresponds to a point on the screen. When you map a small area with fewer points (less resolution) to a large LCD, each point on the tablet represents a larger group of points on the screen, leading to a jumpy and less precise cursor.

    In my experience, the Bamboo Create is great up to 24" displays. Above that, the difference in resolution on the Intuos5 Medium is very apparent.
     
  16. thekev, Nov 10, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2012

    thekev macrumors 604

    thekev

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2010
    #16
    It depends what you're doing. If you're drawing or use it in a similar manner, smaller tablets suck. I use my shoulder quite a bit, and I like to do things somewhat by feel. When the cursor moves much further than I moved my hand, it forces certain things that I really dislike. Fingertips aren't that great for stroke behavior, yet you're forced into that a lot with small tablets. Even the large is small to me. It's just that the oversized versions are awkward to fit on the desk. I consider the large to be small with a 24" display and anything below it to be unusable. I've used the smaller ones too. It was much much much easier to do precise work with the large tablet. At the time I was using a 21" display in the now outdated 4x5 aspect ratio. Today I use a 24" 16:10.


    Look at the bottom of the 3s. Some of them would prematurely wear out cords by pinching them where they exit the tablet. I have electrical tape on mine, as I really don't want a 5. I've been looking for data on how well the surface holds up to wear. With the 3, I've gone through several.


    I could never work that way, with distorted proportions. You can use force proportions, or you can simply map it to a portion of your display, cutting off whatever part just isn't fitting within the tablet aspect ratio. It's much more comfortable when you can do freeform strokes without worrying about mapping ratios. I hate the direction Wacom has gone with the 4 and 5. I worry about the day I have to buy one:mad:.
     
  17. DanielCoffey macrumors 65816

    DanielCoffey

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2010
    Location:
    Edinburgh, UK
    #17
    The Wacom drivers have the options of mapping the active area of the tablet 1:1 to the screen or to design a custom map.

    The Intuos4 is 16:10 and if you have a monitor at that aspect ratio then you obviously would have no issues drawing circles, for example. A circle on the tablet would result in a circle on the screen

    If your monitor was 16:9 or some other aspect ratio, if you accepted the default mapping, you would draw a circle on the tablet and get an oval on the screen.

    The way round this if you are using it for hand-drawn art is to set up a custom map yourself and define thin letterboxed areas on the tablet surface that would remain unused but the remaining area would have the exact aspect ratio of your screen.

    It is all documented in the drivers and I believe you can even do it with a couple of clicks in the drivers themselves. Swapping between 1:1 or monitor aspect ratio as needed.

    Either way, your brain will very quickly learn the relationship between the pen and the cursor on the screen. If you persist in using a mouse (relative positioning), it will take you a little longer to adjust to the tablet pen (absolute positioning) but it will click after a little bit of use.

    Two issues to remember are this... it is always a little harder to right-click with the pen (thumb button) than it is with a mouse so if you are using the tablet to play games that require frequent use of right-click, you will be a little slower. Also games with 3D camera controls will take a little more effort if the chasecam isn't set up right.

    I successfully played WoW and Eve Online using my Intuos4 but I would say that my PvP suffered due to slower reaction times with right-click.
     

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