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|View Poll Results: Do you use a Wacom Tablet?|
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My tablet is here!
Ok I have it now... surfing the net with it just to get the feel for it.
Now, do you guys have any tried and tested tips for setting it up for retouching in Photoshop CS2?
The real key is to figure out what commands you use the most--and with which hand you'd prefer to use them. My set up (I'm right handed) looks like this:
Left hand buttons
CTRL - default
ALT - default
SHIFT - default
Touchstriip - brush size larger & smaller
Right hand buttons
one button - is set to pull up a menu with the following:
Overlay layer filled with its neutral color
Soft Light layer filled with its neutral color
Hard Light " "
Multiply " "
Touchstrip - zoom in or out
other buttons - I reprogram as needed
Left click - new, blank layer
Right cllick - right click function
Basically--anything I can do, to avoid having to use my keyboard--since that either means stretching my arms (leading to eventual RSI); or taking my eyes off what I'm doing, and looking at the keyboard, and thus interrupting my "flow". (Which is why I reprogram the other buttons on the fly--because there are certain things I might find myself doing more frequently on one image than on another). I don't use my pen as much as I do the tablet programming--I tend to forget about it, and have to force myself to use it. Cloning and healing with the ALT button on your tablet is HEAVENLY!
When I'm teaching someone Photoshop, and they've just purchased a tablet, I'll sometimes reach for it, to show them how to do something, and I always find myself nonplussed, when I can't resize my brush by using the left touchstrip--it's so automatic for me now! (And when I'm using my old, Intuos tablet--I find myself reaching for where the buttons "should" be--and tapping them, before I realize that I'm on the wrong tablet! ;-)
One thing I've found, while setting up my buttons, etc--is that it's easier to first, get used to the default settings...and then gradually add in new features. It's hard to remember how to do a whole bunch of new things at once--but once you're used to using CTRL, ALT, SHIFT--then it's very comfy to add in new programmable features, a bit at a time.
You're going to LOVE how your workflow changes, with your new baby--I'm so happy for you! :-)
Im wondering which model tablet to get. Now keep in mind I dont have a lot to spend on one, but I want to try one. Can anyone tell me the major differences between the Graphire and Intous? I have been slowly trying to start up my own restoration business and thought this is something I should purchase. Also, maybe someone can explain which size they prefer and why.
There are ony two big differences between the Intuos line and the Graphire line--and those are programmability and pressure sensitivity--how sensitive the tablet/pen are to the way you use them. A mouse--has constant pressure sensitivity--or near to it. If you draw a line with a mouse in Photoshop, it will not be substantially darker or lighter based on how hard you press on the mouse--whereas with a tablet, your lines will be darker or lighter, or even wider or narrower, based on how much pressure you apply, and how you hold your pen--just like when you draw on paper with a pen or pencil. And the Intuos line is more sensitive than the comparable model of Graphire--more responsive to your touch.
You can use the "compare a tablet" feature at Wacom, to get specifics on pressure and programmability: http://www.wacom.com/productinfo/differences.cfm There are differences between the number of programmable buttons/touchstrips depending on size, as well as model line.
(There may be additional differences in terms of included software--Wacom has VERY nice included software packages with their tablets!--and the Wacom privileges that comes with each model, but you can check that out on their website.) (Wacom privileges are discounts--often quite substantial--on other, external software packages, based on the model of tablet you have registered with them.)
If you are an artist--and are already very used to controlling your pen strokes through pressure, then you'll probably be happier with the Intuos line. If you're not--you probably wouldn't miss the additional pressure sensitivity of an Intuos--particularly if you haven't tried one already). I know that many retouchers use the Graphire line successfully are perfectly happy with it--and if money is a big consideration, then get what you can afford--and upgrade someday, if you feel you need to. :-)
As far as size is concerned, the most frequently recommended size is 6x8--as it seems to be the perfect compromise between "enough space to move on" and "small enough to fit on my desk comfortably". I've never used a 4x5, but I've used 6x8, 9x12 and 12x12, and I was pleasantly surprised to find that 6x8 didn't make me feel cramped. (I own a 9x12 and 12x12...but could see myself purchasing a 6x8 the next time I feel the need to upgrade.) Your hand size may also play into your choice. I'm a small woman, with small hands. One of my students, a guy, with large hands, found the 6x8 to be much too small for him, and returned it to replace it with a larger tablet.
Another thing to consider, is your screen size. If you have an LCD, and it's a wide aspect screen, then you might be better off with Wacom's new, wider aspect tablet. (Can't remember the size--and am not sure if it's available in Graphire, as well as Intous--but you can find this out on their site.) I do know that using my Intous on my 18" LCD is much easier than using it on my 19" LCD, because the pen strokes match the aspect ratio of 18" better--even with the included software set to compensate for the difference, my strokes are just a little less accurate on the 19". If I wasn't an artist, used to making precise strokes--I don't know if I'd notice it as much, but I am, and I do. It's a minor annoyance--but it IS an annoyance, nonetheless--and one of the reasons that I'm very intrigued by new, wider tablets that are available.
If you've only got $100, however--getting your feet wet with a 4x5 Graphire3 would still probably be significantly better than a mouse--and you can always buy another one, later on, if you need to. Once you get used to a tablet--you'll hate to use the mouse--and if anything ever goes wrong with your tablet, and it needs to be repaired--it's not a bad idea to have a backup. (I've never had a problem with either of mine--but I feel good, knowing I have a spare. My boyfriend DID have a problem with his Intuos3, a few months after he bought it--and even though Wacom replaced it within a few days, he's a fulltime artist--and was facing a deadline--and he would've been lost, if he hadn't had a spare!)
One final thing to consider, if price is an object--is Wacom refurbished tablets. If you purchase directly from Wacom, you can sometimes find an older model tablet at a significant cost savings. For instance, you could buy a new Intous3 6x8 for $289--or you could buy a refurbed Intous 2 6x8 for $239. Refurbs directly from Wacom have the same software, privileges, and one year warranty as a new tablet has. My first Wacom was one model out of date--but because it was refurbed, I was able to afford the 12x12--got it for $300, instead of the $500 it would've cost new. PCMall currently has refurbed 4x5 Graphire3 tablets for $49.99--$39.99 after mail-in rebate--making that a VERY affordable way to get your feet wet! :-)
Brush size question
I have been using my tablet and I am really happy so far, but one thing -
I am happy with it being pressure sensitive, but it is also brush size sensitive. If I press lightly then the brush size is small and soft, as I press harder the brush size gets larger and harder.
I need to be able to work with a large but soft brush at times.
How do I turn off the auto brush size.
I have made the two buttons on the tablet [ and ] to increase and decrese the brush sizes in Photoshop. I have made the bottom button on the pen the ALT or Option for cloning.
All of this was done through the System Prefs, choosing Photoshop, then changing the settings. I just cannot see where to amend the brush size one.
Briarrose- Thanks for all your input, I have another question. What do you think are the top couple of things that are made easier with a tablet over a mouse? Im not an artist, I basically do restorations.
To turn pressure sensitivity on or off for various aspects of your brushes, open the brush preset palette.
If you look at the attached image, item A (shape dynamics) determines whether or not pressure will affect the size of the brush.
Item B will determine if pressure will affect the opacity of the brush.
The second image shows how to make the stroke much smoother by turning the spacing all the way down to 1%. This is a good idea if you use broad or quick strokes as it will keep the stroke from having "lumps" or "bumps." Increase the spacing to see the effect in the sample window below it.
Hope that helps.
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