Friday, 9 August 2013

Graphic tablets

Once, someone asked me if I had a graphic tablet to draw digital illustrations. I have actually used two... (Well, three if you count the one I used back in school when I studied Illustration).

So, I decided this time to make a post about the two principal graphic tablets I have used more. It's not going to be a post with a list of their characteristics or something like that, I will write only MY OPINION, nothing specific about each one.

The first one I used was one my sister got as a present, this Wacom Bamboo Fun:

Photography property of ©Wacom

I think nowadays it's discontinued, though I know a friend bought it some months ago from Wacom's online shop for a really cheap price, so maybe you could still find it.

It's a very basic tablet, supposedly, though it still works perfectly, considering both my sister and me have used it. It's small, very good to carry around and easy to place everywhere. Its pencil's tip has been very resistant, and it's been more than... five years without having to buy another one (it has never broken, only the wire got a bit worked out after some years, but it's replaceable). It has a little tactile circle zone which is used to rotate the drawing or photo by default, so you don't waste time zooming an image. Also, its surface to draw is very soft.

As I said, it was, in my opinion, a quite good tablet; I drew a lot with it. Right now maybe it has too much use, but it still works perfectly fine.

But as time passed by, my sister used it more and more, and I needed my own, so I got this Intuos4 S as a present:

Photography property of ©Wacom

When I got this one, the Intuos 5 was for sale for a while already, so its price was reduced and it was more affordable.

Did I feel a big difference between this one and the Bamboo? Well, when it comes to sensitivity, yeah. You can make more defined strokes with this one. I also like that it came with ten different tips for the pencil, five of them been just like the basic one.

I have been using it for a year, more or less, and what I don't like about it is that the pencil tips are weaker that the Bamboo's one. It looks like they want you to buy a new one soon, because after very few uses, the tip started to wear away. Also, the tablet sensitive surface is a little rougher that the Bamboo. Though I must say, that even that, it looks like the tip stopped to wear away, and for now, I still use the tip that the pen had integrated when I bought it.

Aside from that, I think it's a very good tablet, perfect for people who wants to have a big control on the strokes and sensibility (I saw the difference), but, I think that the "machine" doesn't make you draw better, you need to learn how to control it.

If you are a beginner, go for one of the new Bamboo Wacom graphic tablets (though I know from some people who got one of the newer with the feature of tactile surface (that Intuos haven't) that have problems precisely with the tactile part while drawing. It can be a little annoying, but I never tried one of them). The Bamboo tablets are perfectly fine, and it depends in your "talent" how your drawing/retouch will look. You can almost make the same thing with both of them, the sensitivity is the only difference (working a little harder you could make the same with one or another).

I recommend you to use the Intuos4 when you already have used another digital tablet, because it can be a little difficult to get used to it. If you want to control the stroke and have more freedom with the pencil and its angle over the surface, go for it. Perfect for digital illustrators, but also quite good for photographer who loves to retouch a lot their photos. You can buy it in different sizes, mine is S (Small) but for me it’s enough, also it's the same size that the Bamboo Fun tablet and I have accustomed to it. I tried one bigger when I was studying, but it was too troublesome for me, I work better with a smaller one.

But again, don't worry too much about the "name" of the machine or even the brand (there are other brands that make tablets, it's just that Wacom is pretty good and you can find them everywhere nowadays); you are the one who holds the pencil. At first, it will be hard, and strange, but practice makes "perfection", so don’t stop trying hard learning how to use it. Once you try it, everything will go smoothly. Give it a try!

Now that’s all for now, if you have any questions or something just tell me!! I’m not an expert, but I will try to help you out all I can!!

Have a nice day and see you tomorrow with an illustration!

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