Thinking of getting a tablet, but need advice

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JGrubber
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Thinking of getting a tablet, but need advice

Post by JGrubber » Wed Aug 20, 2008 3:06 pm

I want a tablet, but heres the rub:

- should i get more experienced with photoshop before i do so (so i am not tackling two learning curves at once), or will a tablet help me work in pshop more easily (since i am a rookie)?

- given my style (old school brush and india ink), is an lcd screen tablet or simple tablet better (i imagine it will be used mainly for colouring)? Price being the obvious issue here

- should i get a bamboo or treally cheap tablet first to try the whole thing out?
(Tablets are still pretty pricey in Canada afaik)

thanks,

john

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Kazu
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Post by Kazu » Wed Aug 20, 2008 3:16 pm

Get the tablet immediately. It's quite frustrating working in Photoshop without one, and it would make digital painting nearly impossible to do well. I recommend the Wacom Intuos. Go get the tablet first before moving to the Cintiq. I use both, but I use my tablet about as often as I do the Cintiq, and I prefer the tablet for painting (the Cintiq for simply coloring and inking adjustments).
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Captain_Robot
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Post by Captain_Robot » Wed Aug 20, 2008 4:20 pm

Yes, and a tablet really has no learning curve...or...a very short one. If you've drawn on paper, you can draw on a tablet. Well, actually, I still don't like drawing on the tablet. I use it for inking my pencils and coloring, but anyway it's pretty straight forward.

JGrubber
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more tablet questions...

Post by JGrubber » Wed Aug 20, 2008 7:25 pm

Okay so now that i am leaning even more to the tablet, what sort of horsepower do i really need on my stystem?

I am running a dell dimension 4800 i think its only 2GHz with i think 1 gig of ram. I think its about 6-7 years old (that shows how old it is- i can't even remember when i bought it...)

So, is a tablet a reality at this point? Or should i splurge on a new system first?

And where is a good place to get one (a tablet) in Canada?

thanks,

john

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thirdeyeh
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Post by thirdeyeh » Wed Aug 20, 2008 7:42 pm

definitely get a tablet! Don't worry about your system. If its working decent it'll be fine. The tablet doesn't change the way your system works. It's just a high tech mouse. It's a great tool though. You can get a real basic tablet from Wacom if you just want to give one a try for a lesser price, but honestly its probably better to just dish out the money on an Intuos. I still use an old Wacom Graphire 3 that I bought about five years ago. Still works great, but I get pretty excited whenever I look at those intuos tablets. One day... One day...

At any rate, check the specs on a given tablet, make sure it runs on your comp and pick one up.
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Kazu
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Post by Kazu » Wed Aug 20, 2008 9:27 pm

Your computer will work just fine. Pretty much any consumer grade PC or Mac will be able to handle Photoshop smoothly on small to mid-size files. In fact, the computer I use is also a 2Ghz, but with 2 gigs of ram.
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Nick
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Post by Nick » Thu Aug 21, 2008 1:23 pm

Yeah that spec is perfectly okay.

With regards to Wacoms i agree with what's been said, it'll open up so many doors and make the process of painting in photoshop so much more intuitive.

Keep in mind that there is a learning curve of sorts. Some people don't necessarily like the feel of plastic on plastic (though you can get different nibs) and it can take a few days to wholly adjust, but you will. As you get to grips with it you'll forget it's there; just don't be put off if it feels strange at first, perisistance is the key.

Like Kazu and Thirdeyeh i would suggest opting for a Wacom from the Intuos range as it offers greater sensitivity and you may in time find the customisable buttons useful. You get what you pay for so i wouldn't buy anything other than a wacom brand no matter what.

Also take into consideration the kind of scale you usually draw at. A 4x6 area tablet might be too small, a 9x12 is probably too much too soon and financially abit draining. An Intuos 6x8 is a good intermediate, not too small, not too large, not too expensive. That's just my suggestion though. If you know anyone with a wacom, ask if you can try it out, see how it feels, ask them where they bought theirs from.

Otherwise a little googling will offer up a range of places you could purchase one from. I would have said amazon.ca but i had a quick look and i'm suprised they have nothing. Being from the UK i don't know if you guys have big, well known electronic websites. Over here we use websites like ebuyer, dabs, aria...maybe you have a canadian equivalent?
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nateomedia
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Post by nateomedia » Thu Aug 21, 2008 2:19 pm

For some reason artists have a hard time justifying to themselves the purchase of the tools necessary for their trade. If you were a carpenter, would you balk at buying a hammer? If you were hammering all day, every day, would you balk at buying a nice hammer or, maybe, a nail gun? What about a table saw, a plane or a belt sander? Even if you were a beginning carpenter, you'd know that those tools were necessary for you to buy and master. Well, the same goes for art. Sure, plenty of artists don't use tablets or computers for their work, but lots now do because they make things easier once they are mastered.

Photoshop is a hard program to learn. I think you can learn it without buying a tablet (I say this as a college instructor who has been teaching the program for 3 years), but it depends upon your goals. If you want to do digital painting, you must buy one. If you want to do comic book style coloring, you don't really need one.

Whether or not you buy a tablet, the only way you will learn to use one (or Photoshop, for that matter), is through lots of practice. The investment isn't worth anything if you don't put the time in.

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