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Author Topic: Wacom Intuos & LR4  (Read 8039 times)
John Caldwell
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« on: September 11, 2012, 05:43:24 AM »
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My wife and I are still using the mouse or trackpad for all our LR and PS work. We'd like to try something along the lines of an Intuos 4, principally for brush work. Reviews are a little mixed regarding tablet usefulness in LR; much less so for PS. Several have offered that using the tablet to call up programmed LR shortcuts isn't reliable. We use Mac OS.

Does anyone care to share recent experience, meaning LR4, CS5 or 6, and OS 10.7 or 10.8?

Many thanks,

John Caldwell
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k bennett
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« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2012, 06:10:59 AM »
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I'm using a large Intuos 3 with Mac OSX 10.7.4 and LR4.1. Using the tablet does help with fine control when using brushes and gradients. I do find myself switching back and forth with the mouse when adjusting sliders in the Develop module, as I don't like the feel of trying to use the pen to make small slider adjustments.

Using a tablet with Photoshop is a huge advantage. With Lightroom it's nice, but for me it doesn't make as big a difference. Note that, in either case, knowing all the keyboard commands will greatly improve your efficiency - place the keyboard above the tablet, and use your left hand to change tools, brush sizes, hardness, etc., while your right hand uses the pen and tablet. (Or vice versa for left-hand-dominant persons.)

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Malco
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« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2012, 06:19:39 AM »
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I toyed with the idea of using a tablet for my, mainly, LR work but decided against it having searched many forums. In the end I settled with a Logitech Performance MX mouse. It allows you to set up two separate cursor speeds which gives you good control over tricky areas.

Malcolm
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John Caldwell
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« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2012, 07:38:05 AM »
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Thanks to both of you. Is it the case that no aspect of the tablet interface can be programmed to call up LR shortcuts or presets?

John Caldwell
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Jim Pascoe
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« Reply #4 on: September 11, 2012, 07:46:27 AM »
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Hello John

I cannot imagine not using my Wacom tablet for Lightroom.  Sometimes I am using it for 8 hours or more and the idea of using a mouse for that time does not appeal.  For instance I am typing this with four fingers and I have the Wacom pen in my right hand at the same time.  Besides the pen tool/stylus, the express keys on the Intuos 4 are really good.  They can be programmed for many of the shortcuts used often, and of course they can be different things for LR and Photoshop too.  For instance with LR I have the top four keys set up as Crop (r), Pick (p), Unpick (u), and Next (Right arrow).
These are the keystrokes I make most often initially.  I have the A5 size pad with the keyboard above.  I am on Mac OS.

Jim
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John Caldwell
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« Reply #5 on: September 11, 2012, 07:49:48 AM »
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Interesting, Jim; thank you. Do you own the Intuos 4 medium or large size, please?
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Jim Pascoe
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« Reply #6 on: September 11, 2012, 07:56:47 AM »
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The active area is 9x6 inches - so probably the medium.  Anything bigger would not be so practical I think with the keyboard etc.
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Josh-H
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« Reply #7 on: September 11, 2012, 08:18:27 AM »
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I use a large Wacom Intuos daily with LR4 and CS6 and wouldnt be without them.

In terms of set-up it takes a bit of space, but I like the real estate the Large pad offers. YMMV.
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john beardsworth
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« Reply #8 on: September 11, 2012, 08:28:38 AM »
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I'd say a yes, but only just, for using one with Lightroom - and only really with the brush tool. With Photoshop, more uses can be found. But don't feel you simply must have one.

The programmable buttons are OK, but no big deal.
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Jim Pascoe
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« Reply #9 on: September 11, 2012, 09:07:42 AM »
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No, no, no - you just HAVE to have one!  My mouse is in a cupboard somewhere - really.
I will warn you though that learning to use it is like trying to draw holding a pencil with your toes - but hang in there because it does quickly get easier.

Jim

(Note - I have not tried drawing with my toes, but I imagine it would be quite a challenge at first).
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john beardsworth
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« Reply #10 on: September 11, 2012, 09:14:29 AM »
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I was fine without one for the first 4 years of using Lightroom. It's only of any real use for the adjustment brush.
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k bennett
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« Reply #11 on: September 11, 2012, 09:21:31 AM »
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Mine is about 12 inches wide in the active area, so I think it's a large. (The label has completely rubbed off the back.)

I turned off all the active buttons and sliders on the tablet, and the button on the pen. Hate them -- I was always accidentally touching one of them and changing things. Using the keyboard commands is just as fast and easier for me to handle.
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Jim Pascoe
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« Reply #12 on: September 11, 2012, 10:07:31 AM »
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I was fine without one for the first 4 years of using Lightroom. It's only of any real use for the adjustment brush.

John, it's like anything - it is what you get used to really.  I just find using a mouse very fatiguing for the back of my hand.  Using the Wacom has transformed my comfort.

Jim
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john beardsworth
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« Reply #13 on: September 11, 2012, 10:19:12 AM »
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Wrong kind of mouse then!
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AFairley
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« Reply #14 on: September 11, 2012, 10:50:39 AM »
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I really only use mine for the adjustment brush in LR/ACR, and in painting masks and drawing selections in Photoshop.  For everything else, a trackball is way faster for me, though I suppose I could train myself to use only the pen and it would be about the same.
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Jim Pascoe
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« Reply #15 on: September 11, 2012, 10:51:19 AM »
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Wrong kind of mouse then!

That could be the case, but I have used the Wacom exclusively for so long it just feels like an extension to my body now and I cannot imagine not using it.  Because I use it for everything I have developed extremely fine control. Having the hot keys just under my left hand when it is resting is also a huge benefit.  I edit a lot of weddings and for much of the time my left hand can rest on the side of the tablet and just my index finger moves between the keys.  I use the hot-keys for shortcuts in all programmes including Safari when web browsing.

Jim
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John Caldwell
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« Reply #16 on: September 11, 2012, 11:26:41 AM »
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I'm glad I asked and this has been a nice discussion. Based upon this, I'll go with a Intuos4 Medium Size and see if I can learn to use the pencil to cover, at the least, LR adjustment brush function.

Thanks everyone,

John Caldwell
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john beardsworth
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« Reply #17 on: September 11, 2012, 01:36:05 PM »
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I actually changed my mind a couple of years ago after years of trying to get used to tablets. It only happened when I forced myself to use a tablet that Adobe leant to me for a trade show. After 4 days demoing PS/LR with this Intuos 4 / medium (and having lots of visitors asking exactly your question), I wasn't totally hooked but I'd found enough uses to make me get out my wallet. Two years later, I'm still using it for specific tasks - and using the mouse for everything else. But the point is - when you do get the tablet, force yourself to use it for a while and keep the mouse out of reach. If you still don't adapt to it....

John

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jpegman
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« Reply #18 on: September 11, 2012, 04:22:02 PM »
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One other thing to consider regarding the size - I have an Intuos 4 medium, and got tired of chasing the pen all around the surface.

I noted in the current issue of NAPP's Photoshop User magazine (Sept-2012) that on page 84 Corey Barker (the NAPP tablet guru!) makes a case for the SMALL tablet.  He says "I like the small tablet because I don't like to use big arm gestures when I'm working. The small tablet allows me to pivot on my wrist and cover the entire screen with small movements." 

This makes sense to me and I will retry my hate-love of tablets with an Intuos 5 small wireless tablet.
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John Caldwell
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« Reply #19 on: September 11, 2012, 04:25:29 PM »
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Thank you, jpgman. But can't you calibrate pen movement so that a small pen displacement translates to a large on-screen movement? You know, like we can with a mouse.

John
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