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Is a tablet worth it?

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AcetheSuperVillain
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Is a tablet worth it? Jun. 13th, 2012 @ 03:20 PM Reply

Alright, so I've heard plenty of people cry "NEVER USE A MOUSE FOR ART! ALWAYS USE A TABLET!" I've never had the opportunity to try a real pro tablet, but all of the minor tablets I've tried (recently the Whack 'Em Bamboo) have struck me as much much worse than using the mouse. I've used the mouse to draw for many years. I'm used to it and I have techniques to get the most out of it, so I can't help but wonder if all the blablablah comes down to just doing what you're used to.

So here's me trying to ink this portrait with the tablet and the mouse. Since I'm not used to the tablet (Bamboo), I gave it two tries to even the odds. No undoing. For what it's worth, the mouse image was easier and finished faster, not that I timed it, but it felt like about 75% of the time to complete.

Is a tablet worth it?


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iceimp
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Response to Is a tablet worth it? Jun. 13th, 2012 @ 04:37 PM Reply

In my own experience with tablets and mouses, the mouse is there you are use to it however it can cramp up your hand if you draw for long and it seems to take a while, the tablet I find is quicker and I can move my hand more freely.

I'd say use both if your thinking of animating in flash, if doing quick sketches for animation tablet is great, however for good control you may want to use the mouse for finishing up art.

In Photoshop for painting I do love the tablet, however in flash it's always been mouse for finishing touches.


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Larwick
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Response to Is a tablet worth it? Jun. 13th, 2012 @ 05:03 PM Reply

If you've been using the mouse to draw digitally for a long period you may have negatively effected your ability to draw with a pen. When you draw traditionally with a pencil, is it worse than when you draw digitally with a mouse? It shouldn't be.

It looks to me like you lack confidence with your lines in the tablet drawings. Perhaps your strokes are too slow. It could also be the settings in the tablet, or simply that the tablet isn't very good.

Drawing with a tablet should feel more natural, less physically demanding, quicker and more precise (with the strokes) than a mouse. Also, how do you sketch with a mouse? It seems almost impossible to get a rough idea on the screen quickly using one.

Like with most things, experience with a tool will improve the results.


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Larwick
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Response to Is a tablet worth it? Jun. 13th, 2012 @ 05:08 PM Reply

I should also add that line-work is one thing, but proper paint-like shading simply cannot be done with a mouse - without pressure sensitivity and the ability to stroke back and forth about 5 times a second for instance.


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EnactJudo
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Response to Is a tablet worth it? Jun. 13th, 2012 @ 05:20 PM Reply

yes tablet is overated professionals use a mouse. Always.

Luwano
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Response to Is a tablet worth it? Jun. 13th, 2012 @ 05:28 PM Reply

What I get from your explanations is that you have practiced drawing with the mouse for years while you only had a handful attempts with the tablet and yet the mouse drawing is only slightly better than the tablet drawings.

There are however artists who can create stunning art with the mouse, complete with coloring and proper shading.

I suggest practicing with a tablet for the same amount of years you spent on drawing with the mouse and then draw another portrait for comparison. ;)


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Aigis
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Response to Is a tablet worth it? Jun. 13th, 2012 @ 05:56 PM Reply

I don't know if it's just me, but that first tablet one looks a lot better than the mouse one. It's not as smooth, but it has an element of naturalism to it, that gives it some life.

The mouse one, by contrast, looks mechanical and explicitly unreal.

Learning how to do smooth strokes with a tablet takes time and practice, but it is definitely worth it. Once you've mastered that, a mouse cannot compare.

Plus with a tablet you've got a lower risk of a repetitive strain injury.


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Nor
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Response to Is a tablet worth it? Jun. 13th, 2012 @ 06:15 PM Reply

I use a mouse,but it varies from person to person.


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AcetheSuperVillain
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Response to Is a tablet worth it? Jun. 13th, 2012 @ 06:46 PM Reply

well I definitely know what you guys mean about hurting your hand with the mouse.

Having practiced more with the Bamboo since, I'm having a huge problem just getting the tablet to draw in the direction that I think it's going, almost like using an old ball mouse. To that extent, the mouse feels more like a physical pencil to me than the stylus does.

but proper paint-like shading simply cannot be done with a mouse -

I think shading is one of the easier things to do with a mouse. http://www.newgrounds.com/art/view/acethesupervillain/reaper -shinigami <- done with mouse. That said, I don't much care for a real "paint" like result, and I don't shade with the computer tools the way I would with pencils, and now that I think of it, I hardly ever use colors on physical work.

I suggest practicing with a tablet for the same amount of years you spent on drawing with the mouse and then draw another portrait for comparison. ;)

^ That would be over a decade unfortunately.

My main reservation about using a pro graphics tablet is the cost. I could spend $1000 on much more useful things if it's only going to be slightly better than the mouse I already have.


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AcetheSuperVillain
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Response to Is a tablet worth it? Jun. 13th, 2012 @ 07:09 PM Reply

And since it was asked of me, yes, I can sketch with the mouse, although I've found it better to sketch with a pencil and eraser and later ink it on the computer. Before having a personal skanner, I used to do all digital works completely freehand with the mouse.

I think I'm sort of getting the hang of this Bamboo thing. Don't know how soon I would trust it for a real project though...

Is a tablet worth it?


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TurkeyOnAStick
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Response to Is a tablet worth it? Jun. 13th, 2012 @ 07:35 PM Reply

At 6/13/12 06:46 PM, AcetheSuperVillain wrote: My main reservation about using a pro graphics tablet is the cost. I could spend $1000 on much more useful things if it's only going to be slightly better than the mouse I already have.

I'd be a bit concerned if you dished out $1000 just to try something out.

I think shading is one of the easier things to do with a mouse. http://www.newgrounds.com/art/view/acethesupervillain/reaper -shinigami <- done with mouse. That said, I don't much care for a real "paint" like result, and I don't shade with the computer tools the way I would with pencils, and now that I think of it, I hardly ever use colors on physical work.

It's your decision if you want to use a mouse, nobody's forcing you to use a tablet. Looking through your art portal submissions, it doesn't look like you need a tablet anyway. You handle linework with a pencil, and your colouring is simplistic.

Some of your backgrounds are incredibly simplistic, either made from a photograph, web images or the shape tool. For this stuff I can see the benefit of the tablet: either to paint freehand with minimal effort, and to integrate the subject into the rest of the pic, without it looking like it's slapped on top of another image.


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Oo-Lan
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Response to Is a tablet worth it? Jun. 13th, 2012 @ 07:44 PM Reply

When I first got my bamboo, I did not like to use it at all. I kept using the mouse and I just didn't feel comfortable with the tablet. However, over time I just used the tablet exclusively, and it has been a year since I got my bamboo. Now I don't know how to use my mouse to draw anymore. It sort of human nature to not deviate from the old ways of doing things, but if you really wanted to make the best out of your tablet, I would just use it over and over again until you get used to it. Now i'm not even close to being a great artist, but I would recommend you to continue using your tablet, as they are worth it (in my opinion). You will get comfortable after a while, and with your abilities, i'm sure you won't need $1000 pro tablet to make the most out of your yourself.

I'll also put a little comparison here:

As you can see, the one drawn by the mouse looks like a complete mess... this shows my inability to use a mouse.

Is a tablet worth it?

Luwano
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Response to Is a tablet worth it? Jun. 13th, 2012 @ 07:49 PM Reply

At 6/13/12 06:46 PM, AcetheSuperVillain wrote:
I suggest practicing with a tablet for the same amount of years you spent on drawing with the mouse and then draw another portrait for comparison. ;)
^ That would be over a decade unfortunately.

I was exaggerating of course, what I wanted to say is, that you will get used to it with some practice. It shouldn't take you too long since you know how to draw, all you need now is get used to get the "new feel" for the hand-eye coordination.

Of course, it's not like I want to make you abandon mouse drawing, I just thought you could benefit from a tablet too for some drawings and occassions.


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Oo-Lan
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Response to Is a tablet worth it? Jun. 13th, 2012 @ 07:54 PM Reply

At 6/13/12 07:35 PM, TurkeyOnAStick wrote: integrate the subject into the rest of the pic, without it looking like it's slapped on top of another image.

I agree, the background is very important as it is still part of the composition.

ReNaeNae
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Response to Is a tablet worth it? Jun. 13th, 2012 @ 09:12 PM Reply

At 6/13/12 07:44 PM, Oo-Lan wrote: When I first got my bamboo, I did not like to use it at all. I kept using the mouse and I just didn't feel comfortable with the tablet. However, over time I just used the tablet exclusively, and it has been a year since I got my bamboo. Now I don't know how to use my mouse to draw anymore.

That's my story exactly! I HATED my tablet when I first got it and I was mad at myself for wasting money on it. But I forced myself to use it and now I can't function without it!! So just give it some time and don't get discouraged.

apologies to everyone that's sick to death of that story :P
AcetheSuperVillain
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Response to Is a tablet worth it? Jun. 13th, 2012 @ 10:47 PM Reply

At 6/13/12 07:35 PM, TurkeyOnAStick wrote: Some of your backgrounds are incredibly simplistic, either made from a photograph, web images or the shape tool. For this stuff I can see the benefit of the tablet: either to paint freehand with minimal effort, and to integrate the subject into the rest of the pic, without it looking like it's slapped on top of another image.

Backgrounds and I don't get along much, don't get me started. The backgrounds ARE just slapped on at the end of it. I probably should have left them blank. I can make decent backgrounds for games sometimes, but high quality digital art is still kinda new to me. (I'm a spriter)


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