View Full Version : Graphics Tablets
01-03-2005, 01:32 PM
I was wondering if anyone here has any advice on whether a graphics tablet helps when creating textures for models. I am mainly thinking character and enivronment models for games. I use photoshop now and while I am getting better at painting textures for my models(I think) they take me forever. It seems like you could speed up the process of painting textures a whole lot with a tablet. Does having a graphics tablet speed up the process of creating textures in photoshop?
Does the size of the tablet end up being an issue a lot? I mean if I only got a 4x5, will I be constantly feeling like I run out of room?
I can draw fairly well with pencils, but have always found the mouse somewhat limiting. Does drawing with a graphics tablet feel like drawing with pencils?
Is there a large difference between the Intuos and Graphire lines?
Thanks in advance for any advice you can offer. I just need to speed up my texture creation time. I can model quickly, but my texture creation is what is keeping my demo reel from getting sent out.
It takes a while getting used to (it's different from using pencils and paints, but when you get used to it I think it's just as good - only fairly different!) - but when you begin to master the technique, you will be able to do textures much, much faster.
Basically, pressure-sensitivity is a huge bonus for painting textures - you can link it to brush stroke size, or brush opacity, enabling you to build up shading a whole lot faster. Drawing curves is also easier.
I used an original Graphire (the 4x5 one, I think) and it's perfect for a first tablet - it was only rarely that I felt like a larger tablet would be a benefit.
I do have an A4 Intuos2 now, the extra area is definitely good, gives you more freedom and ability to do detail at a higher level (don't have to zoom in so much) because there is more control.
The Intuos series have 1024 pressure levels, whereas the Graphires only have 512, but it's not a difference you're really gonna be able to feel, IMHO.
A graphire would be fine for just improving texture and digital painting speed.
I find it very hard to go back to just using a mouse in Photoshop now, it seems so imprecise, and having to control the brush size and opacity purely with hotkeys is an exercise in wasted effort...
If you can afford it, and are serious about game art or digital art in general (it seems you are), I think a graphics tablet is a must. Definitely a worthwhile investment in the long run.
01-03-2005, 04:39 PM
Painting in Photoshop with a mouse is like trying to draw with baseball glove on. Sure, you can do it, but it's clumsy and takes longer to get good results.
Take MoP's advice and get yourself a tablet. Even a cheap one will work.
01-03-2005, 06:57 PM
i would love to own a tablet one day, but then agian painting textures for me is more of a hobby then a profession, but i gotta admit drawing something decent with a mouse is pretty damn hard
I used to do all my texturing with a mouse, and the minute I started using a tablet it cut down my texturing time in half. They get a little time to get used to but it does not take a long time at all. Get a Wacom Graphire or Intous though or you'll be sorry, Aiptek are crappy. Later.
01-04-2005, 11:58 AM
Thanks for all the replies everyone, they have been very helpful. My birthday was just last Friday and combined with Christmas I got enough that I can get one and I think I am going to. The only dilema I have now is that I would like to get the 6x8 intuos3, and my parents ended up giving me $100 circuit city gift cirtificate... So I checked their website and they only carry the intuos3 in 4x5, but they have the intuos2 in 6x8. I just don't want to dish out money on the intuos2 when I could get the intuos3 elsewhere for the same price. Of course I don't have a gift certificate elsewhere. Grrrr!!!! Note to all prospective parents that can't read Christmas lists...cash is better than a giftcard!
Intuos2 is perfectly fine. I don't know of the differences between it and the Intuos3 though - are they significant?
Otherwise, find someone who is gonna buy something from Circuit City anyway, and swap them the certificate for cash /images/graemlins/wink.gif
01-04-2005, 02:43 PM
intuos2 will of course be sufficient /images/graemlins/wink.gif
but: there are quite some differences between 3rd generation and 2nd generaton models: hotkeys and scroll-strips on the tablet and an overhauled pen which allows to mount different types of nibs.
intuos1 and 2 are nearly the same just with different case colors and slightly different pens, though.
01-04-2005, 02:55 PM
Scroll-strips would be great I think, trying to hit a tiny scrollbar with a pen is awful but maybe the tablet size already negates that...
01-05-2005, 12:55 AM
I don't see a need for scroll strips, since you can hold down the space bar and pan the canvas in Painter and Photoshop.
01-05-2005, 03:29 AM
The scroll strips are pretty handy. I've got one strip bound to [ and ] so I can adjust brush sizes right from the tablet. Then with the other buttons bound to shift, ctrl, alt and space I rarley have to use the keyboard at all.
01-05-2005, 05:44 PM
Well I ended up buying it from another site. I found it at Ecost for a total of 272 including shipping and handling for the Intuos3 6x8. So I am only out 132 bucks for it since I had 140 in cash from Xmas and birthday.
I decided Circuit City wasn't worth waiting around for. I called their online store and a local store to see if they could order the intuos3 version but they couldn't. Then when I went back to the .com site they had pulled even the 4x5 in the intuos3. So I decided to splurge and go somewhere else. Maybe I can still use my gift certificate for at CC for a future video card upgrade or something.
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