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Keep Taking The Tablets.....


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#1 stusutcliffe

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Posted 21 April 2012 - 03:07 PM

Hi All,
Currently I am using a Wacom Bamboo and I am quite happy with it . But for no particular reason I have been wondering what it would be like 3DCoating with a larger tablet? Anyone got any thoughts on this?( what do you guys use by the way?)
Also whilst looking at the way I have my screens set up. ( a 24 inch IIyama and a 19 inch 4x3 ratio Azus) I have noticed my widescreen main monitor is not translated this way on my tablet,that is, my pen travels further vertically than horizontally! Obviously it does this to sqweeze in the two screens.Thus making the area even smaller... Ive never really had any bother with this before, but I was just wondering how this would affect ones "muscle memory" if I were to go back to just one widescreen or a larger tablet and have to start moving my arm further because the relative size of the tablet would be increased?

Anyone eccentric millionaires out there got a Cintique( spelling?)?

ta for listening ^_^

#2 Gravin

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Posted 21 April 2012 - 07:38 PM

I started out with a small Intuos 3 when I first got into digital drawing, I then moved up to a large intuos 3 once I got more serious about it and needed to do hand drawn 2d animation projects. I think the biggest difference you will notice moving up to a larger tablet is that you can use your whole arm to make long flowing strokes, once you get used to that it just feels right compared to primarily using just your wrist with a smaller tablet. Not sure how this would effect sculpting because I didn't start exploring 3dcoat untile after I had the large intuose 3 for a wile.

#3 johnnycore

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Posted 21 April 2012 - 08:57 PM

I startef out with a bamboo as well, then I switched to Intuos 4M.. BIG difference!
At my work we have an Intuos 5M available.. feels the same as the Intuos4M.. but we also have a Bamboo at a older Mac Pro.. dont like to work on that one.. going back to bamboo is not a good feeling..
So if you feel like spending money on upgrading some hardware I would recommend a Intuos 5 tablet.. its worth the money.. :)

About the two screens: in your Tablet properties you can set up a button which can toggle between displays instead of using the area for both screen you can toggle tablet area to screen one, or two.

I used this alot in the beginning but the Intuos 4M works well enough with two screens at the same time so I dont use that feature anymore.. :)
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#4 digman

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Posted 21 April 2012 - 08:57 PM

I have a 9 x 12 intuos 3. Yes you have greater fluid control. You will have to move arm further to reach the menus too. I think you will find a larger tablet feels closer to working with a pencil or paintbrush. You can set the amount of area on the tablet that the pen will use. I keep mine set for full area use which is the default.
Check Amazon for deals on tablets. I saw used ones 9 x12 ranging in price from 250 to 350 dollars. The newer tablets will have greater pen pressure sensitivity though. Intuos 3 1024----Intuos 4 2048 , I'm not sure about the 5.

It really depends on how much you want to spend. A good used older model with a larger area or forking out the dough for a Mercedes...

#5 Polygoon

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 02:47 AM

Yeh! I have been thinking about a new tablet also. I currently also use a Bamboo stick but don't use it that often because I find it awkward and slow to line up the cursor with the right part on the tablet and it feels dis - associated. Though it is good for variable pressure sensitivity .Ideally a touch screen type tablet Cintiq or interactive tablet where you draw directly onto the screen & your work would be best. Pretty expensive though! I think I saw somewhere some one had made something like this out of a IPad. I might see if I can find it. Has anyone used this? Whats it like?

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#6 TimmyZDesign

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 05:03 AM

I use a Cintiq 12WX (smallest version). In my opinion it's the best way to do 3D sculpting and 3D animation.
I used the Intuos 3 and 4 for a long time before I got the Cintiq and I believe that you can get the same results with either an Intuos or a Cintiq, but the Cintiq is just faster and more comfortable.
The only drawback to using the Cintiq 12WX is that the screen is pretty small, so your work area is therefore pretty small. After a while you get used to it though, and I have also customized the interface in all of my software to compensate. I put most of my palettes/panels on my other 21 inch monitor, and leave the Cintiq screen for drawing or sculpting. Unfortunately not all of my software allows me to work this way though. For example, 3D-Coat requires you to have all palettes and panels inside the master window, so the entire window pretty much has to be on the Cintiq. I wish Andrew would change the interface so that we could tear off windows and put them on any monitor we choose, but this request has been turned down multiple times on this forum. Perhaps making such an interface is very difficult to do, but it works that way in Maya and Photoshop, so it is not impossible. Maybe someday Andrew will do it....
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#7 stusutcliffe

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 09:35 AM

Excellent thoughts people! And thanks for the tips! I did a bit of window shopping and Im not sure I can afford anything beyond the smallest Intuos 5,Im not sure how much bigger than my Bamboo this is,I will investigate further.



Thanks Johnnycore! How did I miss that trick! My tablet seems massive now!! And its the same shape as my monitor.

#8 geo_n

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 01:53 PM

I use a bamboo I think the medium size one for 3dcoat but mostly for lightwave and AE, PS. At work there's Intuos.
Tell you the truth I don't like bigger tablets. It's physically tiring to use because you need a bigger stroke to translate on the monitor.
You probably do get more detail on the bigger tablet. But I'd rather zoom in on the object to do that stuff.
My car analogy. Bigger tablet is like driving truck with big steering. More precise and more "dpi". Smaller tablet is like driving an old sports car that has small steering. Little movement translates into bigger effect. But you learn to control that sensitive steering.

#9 stusutcliffe

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 07:36 PM

Just sorting out my preferances has made my Bamboo feel too big,Im having to move all my arm now. I think I will stick with it for now because the prices for the more "professional" kit seem a bit steep...in the same way that printer ink is!!

#10 Zeddicus

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 10:46 AM

The tablets I've owned, in order, are the following...

1) Graphire 3
2) Intuos2 9x12
3) Intuos3 6x8
4) Intuos4 6x8
5) Bamboo Pen & Touch

I'm probably the weird one here because I prefer smaller over larger. Unlike the older Graphires, a Bamboo (a first generation one) has pretty much the same capabilities as an Intuos3 so far as tech specs go. It just lacks tilt sensing and the programmability you get with Intuos drivers. I figured if the Intuos3 was good enough for everyone, then a Bamboo should be as well. I turned the touch abilities off though because they don't work too well. I have nothing against the Intuos4 mind you. I just needed something that fit easily in my lap along side a wireless keyboard because of the life style changes I was forced to make due to health problems.

Moving my whole arm to draw has always felt strange to me, as if I'm not in full control of my strokes. It's kind of hard to explain to be honest. I prefer making smaller efficient movements using only my wrist and have never found my ability to draw/sculpt lacking or compromised at all. Everyone is different though so the best advice I can give is to buy your tablet from a place which allows you to return it for a full refund, no questions asked. I never would have purchased the Intuos2 had I done that myself.

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#11 geo_n

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 04:40 PM

Zeddicus - exactly the way I feel. Maybe because I'm using the tablet for general purpose not only sculpting. But even for sculpting, painting, etc, it was very tiring to use big intuos at work because the arm needs to move. Maybe I'm not as fit as I think. Lol!

Just zoom in for fine details, zoom out for broad strokes with smaller tablet.

Well even my mouse setting speed is set on max.

#12 The Candy-floss Kid

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 06:32 PM

I would agree that smaller tablet makes the most ergonomic sense. In a seated position one draws from the wrist and hand from the pivot of the elbow. When traditional painting on the vertical or when standing - you describe from the shoulder. A graphic artist using say cross hatching would find it much more efficient to describe from the wrist or the hand to gain the rapidity and accuracy required.

The Cintiq I believe is the best solution simply because we are conditioned to have the best gestural accuracy when witnessing our hand moving over a surface. Wish I had one.

#13 Zeddicus

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Posted 28 April 2012 - 03:18 PM

The Cintiq I believe is the best solution simply because we are conditioned to have the best gestural accuracy when witnessing our hand moving over a surface. Wish I had one.


Cintiqs are nice, but I keep wondering why tablet manufacturers have been so slow to fill an obvious niche. For example there is the ASUS EP121 and Samsung XE700T1A,Windows 7 pads which are supposed to be capable of handling CG apps fairly well. They certainly have the potential to be a much better value than a Cintiq, which are beginning to look overpriced for what you get, especially the 12WX. They just need a few minor improvements so that they're more geared towards professional artists. I'd really love to be able to use 3D Coat, Photoshop, 3ds Max, and so on anywhere I happen to be. The real bonus is that I could do a ton of other things with it too, just about anything a desktop PC can. There's definitely money to be made from these things, especially when they finally get it perfect.

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#14 TimmyZDesign

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 05:50 AM

I have heard of some tablet PCs having Wacom pressure sensitivity built into them, but the pressure sensitivity has never exceeded 256 levels so far. I hypothesize that the technology required for more than 256 levels is still too big/heavy to fit sensibly into a tablet PC, or perhaps Wacom is not yet willing to give up the patent rights for their manufacture.
I have also heard some artists say that 256 levels is enough, and they happily use Zbrush and other 3D sculpting software on their tablet PCs. Personally I feel that 1024 levels is the minimum to get decent results.
Despite the existence of tablet PCs with pressure sensitivity, the 3D processing power of desktops still greatly exceeds tablet PCs, and because this kind of processing power is so important to 3D artists, a desktop with a standalone Cintiq is still the best choice in the end.
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#15 Zeddicus

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 01:47 PM

I have heard of some tablet PCs having Wacom pressure sensitivity built into them, but the pressure sensitivity has never exceeded 256 levels so far. I hypothesize that the technology required for more than 256 levels is still too big/heavy to fit sensibly into a tablet PC, or perhaps Wacom is not yet willing to give up the patent rights for their manufacture.
I have also heard some artists say that 256 levels is enough, and they happily use Zbrush and other 3D sculpting software on their tablet PCs. Personally I feel that 1024 levels is the minimum to get decent results.
Despite the existence of tablet PCs with pressure sensitivity, the 3D processing power of desktops still greatly exceeds tablet PCs, and because this kind of processing power is so important to 3D artists, a desktop with a standalone Cintiq is still the best choice in the end.


Desktop PC's will always exceed portable devices in all areas but one, portability. This is my only reason for being interested in them. I'm sure some day they'll be as powerful as the desktop PC I'm currently using right now though, and at the rate things seem to be advancing I'm willing to bet it won't be too long of a wait.

About pressure sensitivity, I was thinking about this the other day after commenting on the Bamboo. Specifically how they have the same pressure sensitivity as the old Intuos3's did (1024). It got me thinking that this may be nothing more than a marketing tactic, similar to the megapixel number on digital cameras. 2048 is double 1024, so it must be twice as good, right? The thing is the Graphire, with it's 512 levels of pressure sensitivity, never felt much different to me than the Intuos2 and Intuos3 did. Ditto going from them to an Intuos4. It would be interesting to study whether the difference some people feel is just a placebo effect or not.

PS: You're correct about it being a patent issue (with Wacom's electromagnetic induction technology). Their patent, US4878553, supposedly ran out around the end of last year. Hopefully this means we'll see a corresponding change in tablet PC's as a result now that other manufacturers are no longer limited by this. I could be wrong though. Looking at Wacom's patent record, I get the impression they keep applying for new patents using the exact same technology and are just rewording it slightly. Wouldn't surprise me in the least considering their near monopoly on good input tablets. I'd want to protect that too.

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#16 moska

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 12:37 AM

i tell you briefly my opinion
i need a cintiq for 2d animation and its also good for any drawing painting
for sculpting i dont like cintiq
may be its just the habit but i belive theres a reason:
for drawing acuracy you need cintiq
and for sculpting theres this distance like a chisel or something that cuts and beats
and i prefer banboo
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#17 Zeddicus

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 09:22 AM

i need a cintiq for 2d animation and its also good for any drawing painting
for sculpting i dont like cintiq
may be its just the habit but i belive theres a reason:
for drawing acuracy you need cintiq
and for sculpting theres this distance like a chisel or something that cuts and beats
and i prefer banboo


That's an interesting take on it and I think I understand what you mean. I've never used a Cintiq, but I imagine it must be a lot like working with actual paper/canvas, something we've all grown up with and so are very used to. However when I try to envision working on a 3D mesh with a Cintiq (and watch videos of others doing so) it just feels weird to me. Then again some find it more natural and feel the Intuos, which disconnects you from the true drawing surface, is the odd one. I wonder why that is? When I first used one (the Graphire), it felt completely natural to me and I was flying through sculpting/painting sessions in ZBrush right off the bat. Accuracy has never been an issue. Could it be the difference between left brain right brain dominance perhaps, or is there some other factor behind it I wonder?

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#18 Daniel Tynan

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 01:35 AM

I use the 21 UX cintiq at home. I bought it used off another animator who wanted to downsize. It's the older greyish colored generation. I like using it for drawing and 3d Painting. . 3d sculpting is so so. . . . .One big downside that nobody mentioned is the fact that on a cintiq your hand is always obscuring part of your model or drawing. even I can't see the tooltips properly because the text pops up under my hand. Also the quality of the monitor on my older generation Cintiq is a bit dated. . low rez.. not the best contrast or colors compared to my Samsung monitor.

Really wish there were more competitors in this market. . but I think Wacom holds the patents. .and thus the monopoly. I would love love that 24 inch HD one they have out now.
I don't use a mouse anymore after I got a lump on my wrist before from overusing it. Do all my 3d with wacom board or cintiq.

#19 TimmyZDesign

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 03:59 AM

One big downside that nobody mentioned is the fact that on a cintiq your hand is always obscuring part of your model or drawing. even I can't see the tooltips properly because the text pops up under my hand.


The workaround that I have come up with for this problem is to give myself a pretty big pen tip offset in the Wacom preferences panel. You can set the offset when you do the "calibration". At first I thought a big offset would be too weird to work with, but after only about 10 minutes using it I got used to it. It's kind of like using a pen with an invisible tip or something, but it feels very natural to me now. The offset is about a half inch, and that distance seems to be optimal for me.
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2nd display is ASUS VE245H (1920 x 1080)




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