The Amazing Wacom Tablet
|What Does A Graphics Tablet Do?
What makes a pen tablet so unique, so special and so superior to a mouse?
Well -- the first thing you will notice is the totally …
We started our artistic endeavors (no matter what level we were) with crayons and moved to pencils and pens, markers and brushes. We have been using these tools with paper all our lives.
The incredible software packages like Corel Painter, Paint Shop, Paint Shop Pro, Photoshop Elements and Adobe Photoshop have introduced a new level of creativity and fun for those who love digital drawing and photo restoration. A mouse just doesn’t feel right in an artistic environment.
Wacom tablets have changed all that because a digital pen is really no different from any other pen you have ever used ...
No matter what your skill level (from the artistically challenged to the artistic genius) a tablet takes you to a whole new level of creativity.
When you pick up your Wacom pen the first time it just feels, well, natural and when you draw your first squiggle on the tablet it feels right and you will be amazed at the level of …
Compare this to a Bamboo tablet, which detects 2540 dots per inch! This outstanding precision means that you have far more control of your digital art and photo retouching with your Wacom pen and tablet than you have with your mouse.
Your finished product done with a mouse is acceptable but the finished product done with a Bamboo is outstanding. The natural feel and precision of the pen produces smooth, flowing brush stokes that are a real treat for your creative senses.
You will no longer be frustrated as you struggle with a mouse in your digital art or photo retouching projects to produce acceptable results – your projects will flow smoothly and effortlessly, producing results you will be proud of.
The typical response I hear when someone works with a Wacom Bamboo for the first time is "woooo - is that ever smooth! I gotta get me one of these!"
OK – so far we have a natural feeling, precise tablet that is a real treat to use. If that isn’t enough the Wacom tablet is also …
What that means is this …
as you press the pen more firmly on the tablet your brush stroke will change, getting larger or smaller and/or darker or lighter depending on your brush settings.
A mouse has 1 level of pressure (well, 2 if you count both on and off).
The The Bamboo Pen and Touch and the Bamboo Craft recognizes 1024 levels of pressure and the Intuos4 recognizes 2048 levels of pressure.
No contest -- the pen wins!
Pressure sensitivity is extremely useful in your digital art or photo restoration projects. What you are doing is taking the brush size and/or the opacity setting at the top of the screen and putting them in your hand so you can change it on the fly as you vary the pressure on the pen.
If you want to see what Pressure Sensitivity really means without prowling through all of the tutorials on this site then ..Changing Brush Size with pressure - Quick Mask
What this means is that your pen and tablet work exactly like any pen, pencil or brush you have ever used.
This pressure sensitive, precise, natural feeling pen on your Wacom tablet gives you …
Another feature that differentiates a tablet from a mouse is the ability of the Graphics tablet to make local changes easily - and local control gives you so much power.
Photoshop, for instance, is an amazing program for making global changes to a photograph – by global changes that means changes to the whole image.
When you want to change just one small part of the image with a mouse (local control) it is a challenge because you have to mess with the brush size and the opacity by changing their settings and try to get what you want with an imprecise tool – the mouse.
With the Wacom tablet you have total control because you instruct Photoshop to change the size or the opacity of your brush through the Brushes Palette and then you vary your pressure between the pen and the tablet to achieve the results you desire.
What this does is take the opacity and/or the size adjustments off of the top tool bar and puts them in your hand.
Doesn’t that seem like a sensible place for the size and opacity adjustments to be?
Using a tablet to Dodge and Burn with a Soft Light Layer may be one of the most useful digital editing techniques you will every learn.
There is no doubt about it – a Wacom tablet is just flat out fun.
is just so far beyond the clumsiness of a mouse!
When you watch someone using a mouse with Photoshop they tend to be tense and tight. When you watch the same person with a Wacom tablet they are loose, smiling and enjoying the experience.
Want to see how much fun a tablet can be? Creating a High Key image with a lot of dodging is really neat and it is fun to watch the image change ...
Click for the Photoshop and Photoshop Elements version of High Key conversion.
And you will find the Paint Shop Pro version right here - High Key ...
Right out of the box the Wacom tablets work with both Mac and Windows.
If you are working with a Linux-based system there are free third-party drivers available for download.
It is a simple matter to install the tablet drivers and then you're good to go. You can fine tune your tablet in the Control Panel (Windows) or System Preferences (MAC) to your individual needs but many people find the default settings are fine. Your new tablet will work with any software on your computer.
If you have wrist problems from excessive "mousing" you can replace your mouse with the pen and tablet for a more comfortable computer experience.
Graphics software like Photoshop and and Corel Painter are enhanced and even more powerful when they tablet is installed. Photoshop has over 19 pressure sensitive tools and the adjustments are found in the Brushes Palette.Here's a great link for you Apple users ...
It really is amazing how technology has improved home computers, printers, monitors and software over the past few years – heck – they seem to improve monthly.
The one device that has not changed appreciably is your primary input device – your mouse – they are pretty much the same now as they were 15 years ago.
The Wacom pen tablet has changed all that and you will be amazed when you discover this for yourself.