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08/20/2005 06:54:30 AM · #1
Howdy all,

I have been thinking about buying a tablet for a long time now, but have stuck with my trusty mouse - till now. I am spending more and more time editing photos and web graphics these days and might make a purchase soon.

My question is just how much difference does using a tablet make, is it THAT much easier to do your editing?

Secondly, any recommendations, I would like to spend as little as possible really (maybe about £100/$160)

cheers guys n gals

D
08/20/2005 07:31:06 AM · #2
Hi,
Wacom tablets are the way to go. Should visit their site @ //www.wacom.com/ . Wouldn't give mine up for anything. They don't take that long to get used to either (much less than getting used to a mouse). Perhaps they could link you with a nearby shop to try one out.
08/20/2005 08:32:08 AM · #3
Thanks for that, the one or two people I have spoke too have also said that Wacom are the ones to get. Thanks for the advice

D
08/20/2005 08:40:22 AM · #4
If all I used it for was making complex selections and paths I would still keep using my tablet (Wacom Intuous 3). The control is just so much better. And doing just about any other editing is much easier for me as opposed to using a mouse. I think it is a great investment.
08/20/2005 09:45:17 AM · #5
Wacom Intuos 3 yes. Yes. If you're interested in the Graphire, mine may be for sale too. lol I want that Intuos!
08/20/2005 11:01:27 AM · #6
wacom intous3 4x5, I LOVE IT. You wont regret it.
08/20/2005 11:06:34 AM · #7
Wacom is the best for the price. Get the size you want, and plan on about a 5 hours usage to get used to it. Then, off you go.

I recommand the middle size one, as it lets you go on details and has more space to work with.
08/21/2005 05:54:23 PM · #8
you'll see cheaper tablets than Wacom, but none come close to the quality of Wacom :)

i've been using Wacom Tablets for the past 14 years and wouldn't touch any other manufacturer

Message edited by author 2005-08-21 17:56:18.
08/21/2005 06:07:10 PM · #9
I have the Graphire 3 and am pleased with it. It has pretty good "bang for your buck". It doesn't have the levels of sensitivity that the Intuous has but it work fine for me.
08/21/2005 06:21:32 PM · #10
Thanks for all the feedback folks, looks like its Wacom then LOL.

They are a bit more expensice than I would like, but perhaps I will pull out all the stops and pick one up, sounds like I won't regret it,

thanks again all

D
08/21/2005 10:14:11 PM · #11
I use a wacom tablet, can't beleive I ever used a mouse.. the difference in editing is like night to day.
08/21/2005 10:15:00 PM · #12
sorry, double post.

Message edited by author 2005-08-21 22:44:17.
08/21/2005 10:40:17 PM · #13
I think there is a reason most tablet pc's use wacom digitizers. I use an Acer C302xci as my computer (Sometimes I wish I had waited an extra 6 months for the new one with dvd multi burner and 3d video card, but whatever, I'm still happy).

I use mine primarily for practising chinese writing and now and again use it with Photoshop. I really like it. I have set up 3 buttons on the side of the screen as CTRL, Shift and ALT. I use an external USB keyboard. It certainly gives you an aspect of control that is beyond that of a mouse. However, the digitizer is a little inaccurate in the corners. The write anywhere screen that is used in english windows xp for tablet allows writing anywhere only within the middle 3/4 of the screen because of this.

You might find this to be helpful in your use of the dedicated tablet.

I talked to the people at another digitizer's company at the Taipei Computex show this year (they made full drafting table sized tablets) and talked to them about my idea of using a touch sensitive film on the screen (as in a PDA) plus the pressure sensitive transmitter based digitizer in concert for error correction and compensation.

She asked me if I was from Microsoft. I was quite surprised, but she told me that the next development in Tablets will be a dual system using one as error correction to provide extremely precise stylus tracking. Bill Gates has already set the wheels in motion.

This will be wonderful for photoshop users. In the meantime, edit at 400%
08/21/2005 11:02:29 PM · #14
if you use the pen and lay your hand down on the tablet, does that get picked up? or is it just when the pen hits the tablet

08/22/2005 12:03:08 AM · #15
The tip of the pen only, which is also pressure sensitive
08/22/2005 12:15:16 AM · #16
Originally posted by cvt_:

The tip of the pen only, which is also pressure sensitive

You can sometimes move the cursor around when the pen nib is just a millimeter or two above the tablet, but it won't "do" anything without touching the tablet.
08/22/2005 12:27:58 AM · #17
Any suggestions on the sizes? For the Intuos?
08/22/2005 01:30:57 AM · #18
I've been using a borrowed Intuos 2 tablet for a little while now, and have decided that it is a bit too big for me. The sensitive area measures 18x13 inches, with the outer border being about 23x17 inches, making the thing almost desk sized, not a good fit for a lap, and requiring too much arm motion to get from one side to the other. I'd suggest going smaller than that, but since I don't have all that much experience with the things, I couldn't tell you what's ideal
08/23/2005 05:53:36 AM · #19
the way u pick the size for your tablet is as follows

if you draw with ur wrist, then u only need a small tablet

if you draw with ur whole arm - large broad strokes then u need a larger tablet ;)
08/24/2005 12:45:39 PM · #20
Further to Bobster's comment, also don't forget to use Pythagoras's nifty theorum to figure your true DPI. Some like to see things as high DPI to get a feel for true quality. Smaller screens usually indicate higher DPI..

A digitizer is one of the coolest technologies that we have to think Nikolai Tesla for. His early experiments regarding sending power wirelessly have significant influence on the new technologies at work in Tablets powered by digitizers.

There are two types of stylus operated input systems. The first is used by PDA's and Smartphones. It is a simple film overlaid that responds to pressure. It can be activated by anything, plastic, metal, skin. (this is in contrast to a touch panel on your notebook computer which is totally different and can only be activated by touching it or playing around with metal things... These work on electrical capacitance principles)

The digitizer is where things get really neat. The stylus is the sensitive device, not the screen. This means that you can rest your hand on the screen, and because it is not pressure sensitive, there is no effect on the stylus's action. The Stylus contains a little transmitter, which communicates with the digitizer underneath the LCD screen. It is therefore able to localize the position of the stylus by its XY location based on the transmitter. This also means that the screen will have an optimal angle of use. Similar to a GPS system, the transmitters use a little bit of an offset to approximate the relationship of the tip of the stylus to the location of the transmitter. Hence, if you move to the side or the top and use the stylus normally from your perspective, your digitizer will miscorrect and you will find a slightly odd responsiveness in the position of the stylus tip.

It is this slight inaccuracy compounded by difficulties in triangulating position by radio transmission with a limited physical footprint that causes the tip to appear so far away from the cursor when using the corners of the screen. Avoiding using the outer 1/8th is a good rule if you want reasonable accuracy. The accuracy only improves as you get closer to the center. It would be nice if someone could design a really effective calibration program that used something like 45 points to fine tune that offset.

In the meantime, don't forget that the pressure response is in the Stylus itself, so you can place things on the screen and lose NO accuracy or responsiveness. (I have a rather decent screen protector on mine) Also, keep in mind that you can use your finger to press the stylus tip to mimic tapping and pressing with exactly the same effect. (I have experimented with this) This comes in VERY handy when trying to close things by the X box in the top right hand corner... often the only way is to move the stylus beyond the screen and tap there, when the cursor is finally able to move on to the box.

The last bit of useful/useless tablet information I have for you is that which makes stylus use really exciting. There is no battery. Some brilliant genius figured out a way to power the thing off the EM field around your display screen. Perfect! A big thanks to Nikolai on that one.

08/24/2005 01:07:40 PM · #21
Originally posted by eschelar:

The last bit of useful/useless tablet information I have for you is that which makes stylus use really exciting. There is no battery. Some brilliant genius figured out a way to power the thing off the EM field around your display screen. Perfect! A big thanks to Nikolai on that one.

I'd always wondered about that little detail. However, it makes me wonder how many brain proteins are denatured by that same EM field ...
08/24/2005 01:28:08 PM · #22
Originally posted by GeneralE:

Originally posted by eschelar:

The last bit of useful/useless tablet information I have for you is that which makes stylus use really exciting. There is no battery. Some brilliant genius figured out a way to power the thing off the EM field around your display screen. Perfect! A big thanks to Nikolai on that one.

I'd always wondered about that little detail. However, it makes me wonder how many brain proteins are denatured by that same EM field ...

Zero (unless you regularly take out your brain for cleaning and leave it on the pad). It's a distance squared law.
08/24/2005 01:31:34 PM · #23
Originally posted by Bobster:

the way u pick the size for your tablet is as follows

if you draw with ur wrist, then u only need a small tablet

if you draw with ur whole arm - large broad strokes then u need a larger tablet ;)


This is very good practical advice. I've been using a 5" x 7" Wacom ArtPad II and I didn't find a need to go to a larger sized model. The smaller sized models are cheaper than the larger ones an it doesn't require a lot of desk space.
08/24/2005 01:44:13 PM · #24
Originally posted by Zed Pobre:

Zero (unless you regularly take out your brain for cleaning and leave it on the pad). It's a distance squared law.

You mean I'll have to start going into the other room now?

I do actually worry about the cumulative effect. There are microwaves pretty much everywhere you go now, and some of them are a lot more powerful than that from a monitor.
If you've never read it, I suggest tracking down an old novella called Waldo by Robert A. Heinlein.
08/25/2005 08:48:53 AM · #25
I wouldn't worry too much about the EM field off your digitizer. EM fields aren't microwaves. They are fields. As mentioned above, it's a distance squared law, which is why when you move your pen more than a quarter inch off the screen, you can't move the cursor around.

The EM field of the Earth is much weaker, but we spend a lot more time within its effects. If there were cumulative effects from EM fields, that would be worse.

I can't remember where I read it, but there is a basic amount of radiation and chemical exposure that we are constantly being exposed to throughout our lives. In the average 70 year life span, it is still well under the amount that would kill a person by a factor of at least 6.

Worry more about exercise and getting enough fiber. These things affect your health thousands of times more than emitted particles or fields.
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