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Author Topic: Pen tablet or not?  (Read 7107 times)
RedRebel
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« on: December 03, 2006, 09:48:04 AM »
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I am currently using a MS intellimouse. I use it directly on my desk without a mousepad because that seems the smoothest way to use it. However I have to clean the mouse and desk at least every week because it pick's up dirt causing the mouse to move sticky.

I wonder what experiences others have with pen tablets like the Wacom Graphire and Intuos...
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jani
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« Reply #1 on: December 03, 2006, 05:01:37 PM »
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I am currently using a MS intellimouse. I use it directly on my desk without a mousepad because that seems the smoothest way to use it. However I have to clean the mouse and desk at least every week because it pick's up dirt causing the mouse to move sticky.

I wonder what experiences others have with pen tablets like the Wacom Graphire and Intuos...
I have a Graphire 3 (if I recall the model number correctly), and while it's quite precise, it also suffers from vertical oversensitivity. That is, if I lift the pen slightly, the tablet still detects it, so it's completely different from using a real pen or any other direct physical manipulation.

This is so annoying for me that I'm not using my tablet.

Other people may not see this as a problem, though.
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Jan
Graham Welland
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« Reply #2 on: December 03, 2006, 08:48:44 PM »
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I am currently using a MS intellimouse. I use it directly on my desk without a mousepad because that seems the smoothest way to use it. However I have to clean the mouse and desk at least every week because it pick's up dirt causing the mouse to move sticky.

I wonder what experiences others have with pen tablets like the Wacom Graphire and Intuos...
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=88410\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Once you use a tablet for photoshop it's hard to ever go back to a mouse - even a smooth working one ... For general navigation though the mouse is still better so they complement each other.
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ericstaud
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« Reply #3 on: December 03, 2006, 09:40:59 PM »
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Using the mouse and the pen together is a great combo.  Use the pen for air brushing masks and rubber stamping.  Use the mouse on the pen tool or for making exacting selections.  It will save your wrist from a repetitive motion injury if you do a lot of retouching.  I use the 6x8 intuos and love it.

When using the pen, your brush size changes with your pressure.  So when rubber stamping you can choose a slightly larger brush, and when you are stamping smaller spots, you simply press more lightly with the brush.  Once you get used to this, you spend much less time changing brush sizes and the mouse will start to feel clumsy by comparison.
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spphoto
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« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2006, 10:13:18 AM »
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  Use the mouse on the pen tool or for making exacting selections.  It will save your wrist from a repetitive motion injury if you do a lot of retouching.  I use the 6x8 intuos and love it.


[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=88517\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
I thought the tablet would be better for making selections with the pen tool - have not gotten it yet.... Your saying that the mouse is actually easier?  Please explain
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john beardsworth
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« Reply #5 on: December 04, 2006, 10:26:28 AM »
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Whether you find a pen useful is very much a matter of personal taste. It won't pick up dirt like a mouse, but you may find you just can't get used to using it - or might find it indispensable. Only you can tell what's right for you. Maybe pick up a cheap one and see how you go.

John
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ericstaud
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« Reply #6 on: December 04, 2006, 03:24:19 PM »
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I thought the tablet would be better for making selections with the pen tool - have not gotten it yet.... Your saying that the mouse is actually easier?  Please explain
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=88605\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


It is easier to move a mouse to a specific point and then "click it" on that exact pixel without moving.  If you move the pen to a specific point and then press down, you may end up a few pixels one side or the other of the line you were trying to stay on.  So I use the mouse for the Magnetic Lasso and the Pen Tool.

The pen is much faster for using the Clone Stamp, the Healing Brush, or the Brush Tool.

Part of this will be determined by how you learn.  I like watching professional retouchers work and then try to emulate their style.  If you are isolated from this kind of input, you will likely find the mouse easier to use for everything.  So if you do very little retouching then the tablet might be a waste of money.  I am doing about 10 hours a month of straight photoshop work, working to deliver images to clients.  So for me the pen really speeds things up and gives my wrist a break from spending 10 hours with the mouse (in addition to the mousing done in all my other programs).
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jani
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« Reply #7 on: December 04, 2006, 04:24:25 PM »
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I forgot to mention that I've found that a modern trackball is also a very handy tool; accidental movements of your wrist doesn't move the pointer.

With a bit of training, you have practically all the advantages of a regular mouse, though I'm willing to concede that there may be uses where the regular mouse wins.
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Jan
Bobtrips
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« Reply #8 on: December 04, 2006, 09:49:35 PM »
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I forgot to mention that I've found that a modern trackball is also a very handy tool; accidental movements of your wrist doesn't move the pointer.

With a bit of training, you have practically all the advantages of a regular mouse, though I'm willing to concede that there may be uses where the regular mouse wins.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=88656\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I've got a tablet but I find myself using my trackball.  Thumb version of Logitech.

Really don't like using a mouse.
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K.C.
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« Reply #9 on: December 05, 2006, 01:12:41 AM »
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I use a Cintiq, a mouse and a trackball. Surprisingly the trackball offers the most accuracy.

I think it all depends on your dexterity.
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sudarshanchari
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« Reply #10 on: December 05, 2006, 01:52:08 AM »
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I've been using a Wacom pen and tablet for a year and simply love it. I find it quite frustrating when i have to use the mouse now. The first two weeks, of course, were an entirely different story. I wanted to fling the wacom out of my window....the response is very different and like jan said it seems a bit oversensitive.  Its a pen ... just dont expect it to behave like a mouse   I have used the larger tablets and finally settled on a smaller one (5" x 3.3 " approx) I can cover the entire screen with minimal hand movement. I hope i have been of some help.(Model No. CTE - 440/S )

Sudarshan Chari
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SeanBK
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« Reply #11 on: December 05, 2006, 06:40:39 AM »
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I use a Cintiq, a mouse and a trackball. Surprisingly the trackball offers the most accuracy.

I think it all depends on your dexterity.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=88728\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
CINTIQ -do you think it is worth the price? I have been thinking @ buying it. I thought it might help in my lasso, masking... work, as I should be able to trace over the screen. Is that possible or is there a parallax involved?
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jani
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« Reply #12 on: December 05, 2006, 10:55:20 AM »
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Its a pen ... just dont expect it to behave like a mouse 
It's not a pen. The over-sensitivity makes sure it's nothing like a pen.

It's like a frankenstein assembly of the worst properties of an airbrush and a 1/2 inch felt pen.

Add to that the awkwardness of the pen buttons, and it quickly became the least used computer peripheral in a room nearly full of them.

I may be spoiled, but when I first used pen tablets, they didn't pretend that the pen was touching the table at half a centimeter above the surface; I'm surprised they can even sell this design to people who have used earlier pen tablets.
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Jan
mikeseb
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« Reply #13 on: December 05, 2006, 03:59:12 PM »
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I use a Logitech trackball and a Wacom Intuos pen pad. Love the Wacom for most PS stuff. Took a bit of getting used to as others have said; now it's intuitive. Haven't had any issues re oversensitivity of the pen--guess I'm acclimated.

I like the trackball because I don't have to chase a mouse all over the desktop, and I find it more precise.

I've been wondering whether that NuLooq device (can't recall who makes it) would be a good accompaniment to the right-hand devices above. Might mean I'd not have to switch between pen and trackball with the right hand.
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michael sebastian
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jjj
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« Reply #14 on: December 08, 2006, 03:25:25 AM »
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It's not a pen. The over-sensitivity makes sure it's nothing like a pen.

It's like a frankenstein assembly of the worst properties of an airbrush and a 1/2 inch felt pen.

Add to that the awkwardness of the pen buttons, and it quickly became the least used computer peripheral in a room nearly full of them.

I may be spoiled, but when I first used pen tablets, they didn't pretend that the pen was touching the table at half a centimeter above the surface; I'm surprised they can even sell this design to people who have used earlier pen tablets.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=88813\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
No, not spoiled, they improved tablets, but you haven't been able to adapt!  
It seems you simply haven't twigged how to use the pen properly. Moving cursor with pen above surface, moves cursor, which makes sense. Moving pen on surface acts differently. Move across text with pen on surface and it will select text.
It's exactly like a real pen in this aspect. Place a pen on paper and it writes, lift it up and move it across page and it doesn't write. Not exactly a difficult concept. A graphics tablet works just the same way, just substitute interact for write.

The other thing is you need to set up the tablet to your own taste. I use a small tablet and a partial segment of that area [to minimize arm movement] and have the tip set quite soft. Unless you draw artwork there is no need for a large tablet. You don't need an A$/A3 space to move your mouse so why need that much for a pen.
I have also used both the Intuous and the Graphire. The Intuous is waaaaay better. And the the Graphire is waaaay better than non-Wacom tablets. A shame there is no real competition as Wacom kit is a tad pricey.
I use the tablet with right hand and mouse with left - a good way to minimize RSI.
As mentioned above a mouse ids better for some things than a pen and vice versa.
Using say a brush in PS with a pen is much nicer and has far more finesse and control than a mouse.
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jani
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« Reply #15 on: December 09, 2006, 06:02:34 PM »
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No, not spoiled, they improved tablets, but you haven't been able to adapt!  
It seems you simply haven't twigged how to use the pen properly. Moving cursor with pen above surface, moves cursor, which makes sense. Moving pen on surface acts differently.
Not really. If it had acted differently, I might not have complained quite so much.

I guess this is yet another EPID (every person is different) kind of thing.

(And yes, I've tried tweaking the tablet settings.)
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Jan
katemann
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« Reply #16 on: December 09, 2006, 06:33:47 PM »
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I'm sorry that you don't care for the tablet. I bought one about 10 years ago and haven't used a mouse since. I can't imagine using a mouse for selection or for delicately using the history brush!

I have just ordered a 6 x 8 Intuos3 for Christmas. I can hardly wait to get it!
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James Godman
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« Reply #17 on: December 09, 2006, 07:54:20 PM »
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The Intuos tablets are wonderful.  They help me do better and faster work in Photoshop.
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Czechnat
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« Reply #18 on: December 27, 2006, 09:56:32 PM »
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I do a lot of B&W  restoration, digital, of course. Old images in poor condition and poor dirty scans from authors. Does anyone have experiance using Wacom tablets with this kind of work, I need a way to work more efficiantly.

Mike
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Pete JF
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« Reply #19 on: December 28, 2006, 01:36:30 AM »
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Most folks who have taken the time get used to a tablet will tell you that there is really no other efficient way to work. They are correct.

You do have to give it time and adjust to the feel. I like to work with a piece of paper over the tablet surface so I get a bit more resistance when i work with the pen...as Napolean D. would say...it pretty much rocks.

Using a mouse is crazy if you are doing serious work on a comp with photos in photoshop. Today I was sitting at this workstation, the one im typing on, and i started to goof around with a photo (no tablet here). After a couple of minutes of struggling with a selection, I started thinking about  when i didn't have a tablet and I couldn't even believe that I spent so much time working without it.  

I saved the image i was working on and re-opened it at another comp with a tablet and flew through stuff. I could feel my wrist nagging at me after a few minutes of trying to get the damn mouse to do what i needed.

moral of the story..get a freakin tablet, take the time to learn to use it and get used to it. IT TAKES A WHILE TO GET COMFORTABLE>WEEKS...after you adjust to it you'll never look back. Part of the pleasure of using it is that you can switch back and forth between the mouse and pen...this is a great thing in avoiding repetetive motion illnesses.



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