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I'm considering buying a graphics tablet.

CptfluffnstuffCptfluffnstuff Registered User regular
edited July 2010 in Help / Advice Forum
My issue is that I have no idea what to look for in a tablet. I'm sort of a fledgling artist, and even that is generous, and I would like to attempt to start using a tablet but I don't want to pay for a nice setup till I can actually use it. I'm currently looking at this; http://www.staples.com/Wacom-Bamboo-pen-and-touch-tablet/product_811890?cmArea=sku_pd_box1

Any advice?

Cptfluffnstuff on

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    SpoitSpoit *twitch twitch* Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Go for the cheapest Wacom you can find, probably the bamboo. But should be a bit less than 100

    Spoit on
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    CptfluffnstuffCptfluffnstuff Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Why a Wacom?

    Cptfluffnstuff on
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    NightDragonNightDragon 6th Grade Username Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Because honestly, they're the best...and you can't really find comparable tablets quality-wise, for the same prices. A Wacom will last you many, many years - even the lower-end versions. I used one of their earlier, lower-end models (Graphire) for something like 8 years. It still worked when I upgraded to an Intuos (which I am using right now, as a mouse, and it still works fantastically after 5 years).

    Start off with a Bamboo, though, definitely. I've heard great things about them.

    Also once you start using it, post over in the AC! Despite what some on these forums may think, we don't bite (but we will push you to improve). :P

    NightDragon on
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    SatsumomoSatsumomo Rated PG! Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    From a friend's experience:

    Buy one that will allow you to use replacement pens for the cheap, or at least easily available. You could be getting a $30 tablet, but end up losing the special pen (Or have it wear out) and find that the replacement pen is $80, or completely non-existent as in my friend's case.

    Satsumomo on
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    WillethWilleth Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    The standard advice I see people giving in the AC is to learn to be comfortable with traditional media and learn the standard techniques of proportion, light and shade etc either along with or before getting a tablet. It's not going to make your work instantly better - it's just another tool to use to make pretty things and it still need skill to use. It may even be tougher to learn to use both at the same time.

    In my experience anything A5 or under is near-useless, but I realise that's only my experience.

    Willeth on
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    NightDragonNightDragon 6th Grade Username Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    I always recommend that people get a tablet that's sized in relation to how large they typically draw. In my case, I draw on 11"x14" paper most frequently, but I do lots of details and tight pencil work. I don't really move my arm around that much - it's mostly all in the wrist and the fingers. Because of this, the 4"x6" tablet (smallest one) is the perfect size for me, because I can draw (and use the tablet as a mouse) without having to move my arm around a whole lot. I always feel uncomfortable drawing with a much larger tablet, because it requires movement while drawing that I'm not typically used to.

    And as for the pens wearing out...it seems like the most common issue is that the plastic nibs on the tips of the pens need replacing...and that's extremely cheap, and extremely easy to do. Replacing an entire pen is sometimes necessary for some people (although to be honest, it seems quite infrequent)...and yes, that could run you around $80.

    NightDragon on
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    MagicToasterMagicToaster JapanRegistered User regular
    edited July 2010
    I have a Bamboo at work, its a great tablet, I recomend it.

    MagicToaster on
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    EshEsh Tending bar. FFXIV. Motorcycles. Portland, ORRegistered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Willeth wrote: »
    The standard advice I see people giving in the AC is to learn to be comfortable with traditional media and learn the standard techniques of proportion, light and shade etc either along with or before getting a tablet. It's not going to make your work instantly better - it's just another tool to use to make pretty things and it still need skill to use. It may even be tougher to learn to use both at the same time.

    Esh on
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    CptfluffnstuffCptfluffnstuff Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Wow, thank's a lot for the help everyone, I won't be able to get the tablet for another month or so but I will make sure to keep you all posted.

    Cptfluffnstuff on
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    WassermeloneWassermelone Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Satsumomo wrote: »
    From a friend's experience:

    Buy one that will allow you to use replacement pens for the cheap, or at least easily available. You could be getting a $30 tablet, but end up losing the special pen (Or have it wear out) and find that the replacement pen is $80, or completely non-existent as in my friend's case.

    The problem is, the only tablets worth actually getting are Wacom. Unfortunately pen replacements for them, yes, can run up 50-80 bucks. On the other hand, their tablets are not hobo machines. They have a stranglehold on the market, fortunately its a very comfortable, quality product stranglehold. I started using the first Graphire back when it was their entry level (no bamboo) and now work everyday on the newest Cintiq (its pretty fabulous) and have nothing but admiration for their products.

    Also, I have had 3-4 tablets over about 10 years, used 4-5 other tablets at schools, workplaces, as well as my wife having owned 3-4 tablets - I think only one tablet pen has ever needed to be replaced and thats because I accidentally ran over it with my chair. Oops.

    Wassermelone on
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    CptfluffnstuffCptfluffnstuff Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    What is a good program to use in conjunction with a tablet? I'm considering cartooning.

    Cptfluffnstuff on
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    MagicToasterMagicToaster JapanRegistered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Cartooning for animation or just drawing still images?

    MagicToaster on
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    TychoCelchuuuTychoCelchuuu PIGEON Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    I would just like to reiterate that if at this point you are considering cartooning and not actually drawing cartoons you feel perfectly comfortable with, buying a tablet is just going to get you an expensive gizmo that will split your learning between two different mediums and vastly retard the speed of your artistic growth (best case scenario) or cripple your ability to draw without a computer (not a happy scenario).

    TychoCelchuuu on
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    CptfluffnstuffCptfluffnstuff Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    I want to do still images. Sort of like...in panels.

    Cptfluffnstuff on
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    WassermeloneWassermelone Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    I would just like to reiterate that if at this point you are considering cartooning and not actually drawing cartoons you feel perfectly comfortable with, buying a tablet is just going to get you an expensive gizmo that will split your learning between two different mediums and vastly retard the speed of your artistic growth (best case scenario) or cripple your ability to draw without a computer (not a happy scenario).

    I can't help but disagree strongly. Naturally one should continue learning with traditional media, but exposing oneself to digital is not going to 'vastly retard the speed of your artistic growth'. Thats just stupid.

    Trying out other mediums is a good thing. Whether you are drawing on the page or drawing on the computer, they pull from the same skill sets.

    Wassermelone on
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    MagicToasterMagicToaster JapanRegistered User regular
    edited July 2010
    I never met anyone who's ability to draw without a computer was crippled by a tablet.

    MagicToaster on
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