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Wacom Tablets

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Old 12-18-2002, 10:03 AM
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jrolinc jrolinc is offline
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Aubrey, TX
Posts: 87
My tablet

I've got an Intous 9x12, and for some time had thought as you did...that I wasn't "artist" enough, or why should I??

Now that I have it, I'm like some of the others, learning, or re-learning to use it.

Using the Pen tool is SOOOO much better, picture yourself with a paintbrush type tool vs (to borrow a quote) a bar of soap!

It does take getting used to and I haven't even begun to take advantage of all of the niceties...the Tilt, Pressure, etc, but I am definitely using it more and more. It is so much better and easier in those tight situations, whether it is in your Selections, Masks, painting and a whole lot of other situations.

I'd recommend heavily, as to size, even though my desk/office layout REALLY needs a heavy rework, the 9x12 in my lap allows me to sit back and work away. Now if I can just couple that with a 21" or larger monitor!!

Good luck!
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Old 12-18-2002, 11:55 AM
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alceria alceria is offline
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Yeah, I think I would be using it on my lap too. Desk space has become a premium at this point! Hrmm, after reading all these reviews I definately want one - I should have never started thinking about this before Xmess - must buy presents instead! lol

Thanks especially to the person who said they were still able to use their original mouse. I've seen the 5 button mouse on the wacom site but I'm really not impressed with it. I have one of those optical intellimouses and the extra buttons are where the thumb rests, which I think is the most comfortable place for them. The extra 2 buttons on the wacom mouse are behind the regular buttons on the top and I think I would really hate that.

How does one switch between pen and mouse?
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Old 12-18-2002, 01:57 PM
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alceria alceria is offline
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Well here's an update - I found the Aiptek 9x12 tablet on amazon for $130. I couldn't find a lot of info about it, but it did get favorable reviews on (I searched the forum here too, but could only find one thread about it.) It differs from the wacom in that:

-it has 512 levels of sensitivity (same as Graphire, but half as much as Intuos2 line)

-the eraser function is different (I think you click a button on the pen to switch back and forth - not sure exactly, I couldn't find good info on that)

-the pen requires a battery (at least the smaller models did, but the 9x12 looks like a newer model, the design is a bit a nicer, and it didn't say anything about needing a battery on the aiptek or amazon sites)

-it's about $300 cheaper

I figured I'd give it a try and if I hate it I can always return it or sell it and wait until I have more money and can afford the wacom. I recently quit my job so restorations are my only income for the time being, so things are a bit tight right now.

It's supposed to arrive in two days and once it gets here I'll update with a review and perhaps post something to the review section of this domain.
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Old 12-18-2002, 05:39 PM
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angue angue is offline
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When you get the Aiptek, don't forget to write a review about it or at least tell us whether you like or not.


How does one switch between pen and mouse?

Just place the mouse on the tablet.
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Old 12-18-2002, 06:14 PM
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DJ Dubovsky DJ Dubovsky is offline
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Cool, hope you enjoy your new toy. We hear so much about Wacom that it's nice to see what else is out there and what options you get and how well it works for you. You know how we love to hear about new toys here.
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Old 12-21-2002, 06:21 PM
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alceria alceria is offline
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I will most likely post a more comprehensive review in the review section later, but here's my first impression since you guys are interested.

I recieved the tablet yesterday from amazon. I must preface this by saying that I've been ordering from amazon since their first days and have always been happy with my items. However when I opened the outer shipping box it was obvious that this item had been returned because the product's box was beaten up and stuff was coming out of the bottom of it. Not a very good first impression. Apparently someone else had already decided they didn't like it.

I opened it up and what first struck me was that it was pretty cheaply constructed. The mouse was super lightweight. (I never even bothered trying it because, like I said before, I'm in love with my optical intellimouse.) The pen is also very very light, even with the AAA battery in it. I wish it had a little more heft to it. The pen has a button on it that has different functions depending on whether you click the top or the bottom of it. However, the button is really stupid, there's no tension to it at all and it just wiggles around. It's also very easy to click it when you don't mean to, which I found pretty obnoxious. The buttons are programmable but the default is that one is the mouse equivalent to a right click and the other a double-click.

The tablet seems okay, except there's some kind of scuff mark at the bottom of it (not in an active part.) Again it's kinda plasticy and cheap looking.

I'm pretty dissapointed that amazon shipped me something that's obviously been used.

Anyway, I decided to plug it in and give it a try. I run WinXP so no installation was necessary. I didn't bother installing any of the extra software that was included either. I started working on a current restoration project with it and found it hard to control at first. The texture of the surface takes some getting used to. I use a pda with a write-right protector on it and I guess I was expecting a similar texture to that.

I opened up a blank file and started drawing some curves and loops. I could get much more accurate strokes done with the stylus as opposed to my mouse. However the more I played I noticed that the pen/tablet was freaking out a bit and making smooth paint strokes very choppy. Not good. I'm not sure if something was interfering with it or if it's defective or what. I haven't had this problem today.

I've used it for several hours today and it's been working better. I have noticed that if I try to hold the pen down to one point on the tablet w/o moving that sometimes after a few seconds it will start to jiggle around a bit. I'm guessing that's not supposed to happen, but I have no experience with any other tablet.

After using it today I can appreciate how much easier some tasks are using a pen - it's a lot less fatiguing than using a mouse. Also I can see how you can have some more control, but it's not as wonderful as I expected.

I was hoping the pen pressure would effect the opacity of the pen strokes, not the diameter of the brush, but I got used to this. Is this the same with the Wacom tablets?

The jury is still out on whether or not I will keep this. I emailed amazon and complained about the shape this product was in. I have a credit account through amazon so I was going to originally get the Wacom Intuos2 6x8, they have it listed but aren't selling it. In my email I asked if they would be offering the Intuos2 soon. If so I will return this and wait for the other one. (Buying it somewhere else is out of the question as I'm a poor student and can't afford to buy it outright right now. ) If not, I asked if I could get some money knocked off of this one since it is obviously used. If they knock off enough to make it worthwhile, I'll probably keep this one until I have the money for a wacom and then give this one away.

Bottom line: I like it better than a mouse for some things but it was not as life changing as I thought it would be. From all the raves of the Wacom users, I'm guessing that the Wacom tablets are much nicer.

I have a question for those with the Wacom tablets - how does the eraser function work? Does it work like the eraser took in Photoshop or is it like Undo?
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Old 12-21-2002, 11:42 PM
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jeaniesa jeaniesa is offline
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I can't remember if you have PS7 or not. If you do, you can set the pen pressure to apply to whatever you want in the brushes palette. For example, to make the pen pressure affect the opacity of the color you apply, click on "Other Dynamics" in the Brushes palette, then set the Opacity "Control" to "Pen pressure."

Let me know if that helps any. (If you don't have PS7, perhaps someone else can let us know if this feature is available in previous versions or not. I honestly can't remember. )

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Old 12-21-2002, 11:51 PM
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d_kendal d_kendal is offline
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Thanks for the tip jeanie, I was wondering if there's a way to do that in PS, but I never asked before.

Alceria - the Wacom eraser is just like an eraser on an actual pencil, you flip the pen over, and when you apply pressure it automatically switches over temporarily until you switch back to the regular pen tip where it goes back to whatever tool you were using before.

- David
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Old 12-22-2002, 10:36 AM
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alceria alceria is offline
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Thanks for the tip Jeanie. Yes I do use PS 7.0 and I will try that as soon as I get home. Good to know.
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