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  1. #1
    Network Hub Chaz's Avatar
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    Graphics Tablets

    Hi, not really a gaming thing I know, but I am after any recommendations for a graphics tablet, preferably for under £100.

    Essentially what I want it for is to colour in my line art. What I want to do is scan in my hand drawn artwork and then colour it in basically. Nothing too fancy, mostly flat tones with a bit of shading. When it comes to going for a painted look, I prefer to, you know, actually paint the pictures. I don't know why but I always think stuff that's been painted in art packages all ends up looking a bit homogeneous somehow. A bit like the way you can always spot an Unreal Engine game, you can spot artwork done in these packages. And besides all that I actually enjoy the painting process; it can be very zen like. However sometimes I think certain pictures I do would benifit better from a clean digital look. I suppose I'm looking for more of a sort of clean inked in comic book style in the colouring. It's something I have done before in the past, but had no tablet then either, and using a mouse to do it was painstakingly slow and frustrating.

    I know Wacom tablets are generally the ones to want, but they cost and absolute fortune. Can anyone recommend any cheaper brands? The last time I looked several years back there wasn't much choice, however looking at Amazon now things seem to have got a bit better now in that regard. Are those cheaper £50 Wacom Bamboo tablets any good/suitable for my needs?

    Another thing is what size would you recommend? Is using a smaller A5 tablet easy to do? Not that I'd want something bigger than an A4 size on my desktop anyway.

    And lastly can you recommend some good software for that sort of thing. I have Photoshop CS and CS3, is there a better alternative, anything else you'd rather use instead, Painter or Art Rage for instance?

    Oh and also could you recommend another word to use as a good subsitute for recommend? I had a quick peak in the thesaurus, but nothing really won me over.

  2. #2
    Lesser Hivemind Node Shooop's Avatar
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    A low-end Wacom would suit you fine I think. The higher-priced models offer more sensitivity to pressure and so forth, but if you're just doing cell-shading you won't need any of that.

    Always go with the largest size you can fit on your desk and afford though. The tablet maps itself to your entire monitor - pick up the pen and put it down on one side and the cursor will instantly move there. So the closer your tablet and monitor are to being the same size the more intuitive it'll be to use.

    Lastly, use your tablet for all your daily computing except games to get used to it quickly. Once you get the hang of it, it'll feel perfectly natural.
    Virtual Pilot 3Dô NEVER NOT SCAM!

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chaz View Post
    Hi, not really a gaming thing I know, but I am after any recommendations for a graphics tablet, preferably for under £100.

    Essentially what I want it for is to colour in my line art. What I want to do is scan in my hand drawn artwork and then colour it in basically. Nothing too fancy, mostly flat tones with a bit of shading. When it comes to going for a painted look, I prefer to, you know, actually paint the pictures. I don't know why but I always think stuff that's been painted in art packages all ends up looking a bit homogeneous somehow. A bit like the way you can always spot an Unreal Engine game, you can spot artwork done in these packages. And besides all that I actually enjoy the painting process; it can be very zen like. However sometimes I think certain pictures I do would benifit better from a clean digital look. I suppose I'm looking for more of a sort of clean inked in comic book style in the colouring. It's something I have done before in the past, but had no tablet then either, and using a mouse to do it was painstakingly slow and frustrating.

    I know Wacom tablets are generally the ones to want, but they cost and absolute fortune. Can anyone recommend any cheaper brands? The last time I looked several years back there wasn't much choice, however looking at Amazon now things seem to have got a bit better now in that regard. Are those cheaper £50 Wacom Bamboo tablets any good/suitable for my needs?

    Another thing is what size would you recommend? Is using a smaller A5 tablet easy to do? Not that I'd want something bigger than an A4 size on my desktop anyway.

    And lastly can you recommend some good software for that sort of thing. I have Photoshop CS and CS3, is there a better alternative, anything else you'd rather use instead, Painter or Art Rage for instance?

    Oh and also could you recommend another word to use as a good subsitute for recommend? I had a quick peak in the thesaurus, but nothing really won me over.
    A bamboo should suit you fine.

    Software wise Photoshop is still kind of king, however you could consider Gimp which is free, or you could look at autodesks Sketchbook pro. Like all graphics software they have their pros and cons. My advice would be to just invest in learning one or two well.

    Lastly 'suggest' Vs 'recommend' ?

  4. #4
    Network Hub The Tupper's Avatar
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    A bamboo should suit you fine.

    Software wise Photoshop is still kind of king, however you could consider Gimp which is free, or you could look at autodesks Sketchbook pro. Like all graphics software they have their pros and cons. My advice would be to just invest in learning one or two well.

    Lastly 'suggest' Vs 'recommend' ?
    Yeah the Wacom Bamboo tablet sounds like it would be enough for you. The more expensive tablets allow great stuff like angled response and much higher levels of sensitivity (to the point where drawing feels as natural as pen and ink). The cheaper tablets are basically mouse pointers held like a pen which, as I say, sounds like what you require.

    My all-time favourite art package has to be Autodesk Sketchbook, but it's more (as the name suggests) designed for sketching. It's utterly brilliant for what it does and even works well on my ancient Compaq TC 1100 tablet PC.

  5. #5
    Network Hub Chaz's Avatar
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    Cheers for the advice and "suggestions" ;). I shall get one of those Bamboo tablets on order then. That Sketchbook Pro 2011 looks pretty darn good as well. Only £54 too, unlike the hundreds of £ that Photoshop costs, looking at the reviews it's much more intuitive too, so will have to give it a go.

  6. #6
    Vector Jams O'Donnell's Avatar
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    Another possibility is Monoprice who, kind of out of nowhere, decided to make graphics tablets. They're cheap and often get better reviews than Wacom tablets. The only drawback is that as far as I can tell there's no EU distributor and shipping is prohibitively high. :(

    http://www.monoprice.com/products/su...08&cp_id=10841

  7. #7
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    If you're not going for a "painted look" the Wacom Bamboo's are really great. I've had one for years (and it's probably not even as good/accurate as the ones they are selling now) and it works great for inking scanned line art and colouring and shading (it is of course limited in this respect because of the lack of tilting but it's good enough for most things). Size wise I think I own an A5 version (it was called medium back in the day) and it's certainly large enough, but bigger is always better (if you've got the space and the money)

    For software Autodesk sketchbook seems really great but I've personally never used it. Most of the time I use Photoshop myself but you might also want to check out the FREE MyPaint software, which is a great application which really puts the drawing in the centre and lets you forget about the software (without losing features and functionality), which I use for less "demanding" work.

  8. #8
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    If you're after a bargain, take a look at the Used section of the Wacom site. You can pick up some of the refurbs and ex-demo units for silly-cheap money. If you have no experience with a tablet, there's little point spending a lot. The Bamboos definitely aren't quite as good for detail work, and don't respond to a change in angle the way the Intuos models do. But they are perfectly good value if you want something to start out with.

    Personally, I use Painter most of all, but that largely reflects the work I use it for. PS is still an essential tool all the same.

    http://uk.shop.wacom.eu/Products/Others/Used-products
    Last edited by Quinnbeast; 06-09-2012 at 08:26 PM. Reason: Spelung eror

  9. #9
    Obscure Node Kimded's Avatar
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    As everyone has said go Wacom, I have an Intous4 and it is frankly awesome

    Adobe has started a new programme called the Creative Cloud (http://www.adobe.com/uk/products/creativecloud.html) which is a subscription service where you get access to almsot all of their software through it. While subscription services have their issues it does mean those of us on a tighter budget can get the most up to date software without shelling out hundreds up front.

    This is still not as cheap an option as Sketchbook or Painter but is simply just an other option to consider
    Last edited by Kimded; 07-09-2012 at 09:22 AM.

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