is a Wacom tablet worth it?

I am back and forth about buying a Wacom Tablet to sketch with. I am pretty good in photoshop, but sketching with a mouse isn’t too easy. I don’t really have access to classes to teach me how to use the tablet, does anyone know if they’re easy to learn on your own? I’m not a working designer (yet) but I still wonder if it would be worth it.

definetely, no question about it. It allows you to actually draw, as opposed to paths and stuff. 6X8 is as small as you should go, its the perfect size for me, i love it. I learned how to use it in a few days, but got comfortable with it in about 2 weeks.
a necessary tool for any designer.

A “must have” tool! :wink:

I prefer to sketch by hand and scan into the computer for Photoshop work.

The thing I hate about tablets is that you can’t see/control the trajectory of your marks until after you’ve made them. When you watch people who use tablets, they’re constantly marking/undoing, marking/undoing. And forget about using tools like french curves!

But then I got a Wacom Cintiq (tablet-monitor) and a Tablet laptop.
Problem solved! Now I’m hooked.

Very good point. I agree. I too start the old school way (pen and paper) to do my construction dwg then scan it. I use french curves and ellipses to do my base drawing.

The beauty of the cintiq is that you can STILL use french curves and templates just as you would on paper.

I’m always using circle templates on top of my screen in Alias Sketchbook. Comes out much more natural then it would to try and fake a perfect circle using a brush.

depending on how you want to ultimately use it, there is definitely a learning curve; but there not all difficult to use. that being said there are many people who can not get over the disconnect that comes from drawing on the tablet & looking at the screen…

in any case, if you use ps, rendering with tablet surely beats doing so with a mouse. and yes you will want a wacom tablet, there expensive so i recommend trying ebay to get a nice second hand one; avoid all other makes, because while they may work decently they generally do not stay on top of updates & generally do not have the customer support of wacom…

Just a regular tablet is great for rendering. I can’t sketch with them, but scan in a super loose sketch, and you can really punch it out with a tablet in photoshop. (I do know people who can sketch really well with them though)…

Cintiq’s are amazing and I love working with mine. It changed my work flow. All of my final concept sketches are done straight on a cintique. I still do most of my ideation sketching by hand because I enjoy it doing it that way, and I usually like to sketch at a big conference table with other designers, or in our design library, or wherever else removed from my desk, my office phone, and my email…

If I had the extra revenue a Cintiq is def the way to go.

I have an Intous 2, though I don’t use it as often as I like, it gets the job done. You also have more confidence knowing U can create anything imaginable. It does take some getting use to, and U may find ursef control Zing alot.

If I could spend $400 again, I would take the spoiled brat approach and save for a Cintiq or possibly tablet pc.

Opps…$400 plus another 1500 or so saved up or borrowed that is

i use a wacom at home. you can get a pretty large tablet from them for around $300. i tape a piece of paper over the surface of the tablet so when i sketch, i can get that “authentic pencil to paper” feel.

Yes. Go get one… that is all you need to know, haha.

Just Kidding,
I used a 4x6 graphire for years, up until just recently and I can say it will suit you just as well as the big ones if you need to be economical about this. Frankly, I zoomed in a bit, never noticed what the fuss is about. I also agree with styleRIZAL, paper on the wacom is the way to go…

9x12 seems to be the perfect size for me. Though, a Cintiq would make things much more exciting 4 me.

2d approach–> Sketch > scan > wacom + photoshop

3d approach–> Sketch > scan > model in 3d

Once you guys send me the money I will move to cintiq. Then it will still be sketch > scan and then work up more easily on cintiq.

Sounds like tablets are a cool tool to work with. I’m definitely getting one and wacom seems to be the way to go, however, does any of you guys have any recommendations regarding model and size?

1: Should one go for the Intous3 series, or is the Graphire or even Bamboo series sufficient (i would like to learn to sketch on it, not just render)?

2: How do you pick the size? I usually draw on A4 paper so should i go for something in that sizerange, or should i pick it from my screen size?

3: How about format? I’m running a 4:3 display and will the 16:9 tablets work for my screen or doesn’t it have any effect?

Hope some of you hardcore tablet users can give a few pointers…

Spend the money on the Intuos3 - Consider it an investment that will last you a while. The added size/features will be worth the additional cash over a graphire.

2: How do you pick the size? I usually draw on A4 paper so should i go for something in that sizerange, or should i pick it from my screen size?

3: How about format? I’m running a 4:3 display and will the 16:9 tablets work for my screen or doesn’t it have any effect?

The A5 (6x8") is a pretty good size. Consider the wide screen 6x11" as well. While you may not have a 16:9 (or more accurately 16x10) display now - if you plan on getting a new machine anytime soon you won’t be able to get one WITHOUT a widescreen display. The unused space could potentially be worth it for future upgrades.

If you’re really looking into spending money and have the option (late Christmas present perhaps?) then look into the Cintiq 12ux. Once you draw on a Cintiq you’ll wonder how you lived with drawing on a regular tablet. The added improvement of drawing on-screen is SO much more intuitive and easy to learn. It’s a lot of money for a student, but if you’re like many (who spend $100,000+ to go to college) then another $1k in debt really isn’t much.

Thanks a lot cyberdemon, that certainly cleared up my issues.

I would so much like the Cintiq 12ux, however the price tag is way to steep for me as a student (though college/university tuition is free* for all where I live so I could perhaps justify borrowing the cash :wink: , but probably wont…)

Instead I’ve started looking into a third option - the DIY way. Some of you probably allready have seen the blog+forum Cheap Escorts London | Cheap London Escorts | Sexy £90. It doesn’t seem that difficult (although problems will occur).

However, I think I’ll start out by trying and buying an intous3 A4 and maybe going for a DIY build later…

(* paid through a extremely high tax margin of 50-60%)

A BETTER deal than the Wacom Cintiq 12ux ($1000) is a Compaq tc4200 Tablet PC. For LESS MONEY than the 12ux, you get:

  • A bigger wacom display (15")
  • A convertible laptop with Windows XP tablet edition included

I’ve been using this as my PRIMARY MACHINE for over a year now and love(admittedly, I dock it at work to a 21" Cintiq–you DO need a big screen for desktop work.)

Anyone else have an opinion on this matter? 1K for the wacom or a little cheaper for the tablet?

CG are did you mean to say it had a 15" screen? I believe those are all 12" with only a 1024x768 resolution?

I agree that there are benefits to having a standalone tablet PC (since I have one myself) but I think the Cintiq is a little more of a high end drawing solution - especially if you want a more full functioned laptop for when you’re not drawing.

Plus the Cintiq will probably hold its value much better as a peripheral rather then a tablet PC which will be obsolete rather quickly – for students thats good news as it means you can probably sell it once you get a job and not lose that much on the investment.