Artists who draw computer graphics need a tablet – there is nothing to argue about. But a graphics tablet can speed up and simplify work not only for artists. In what areas it is useful and how – in this article.
What is a graphics tablet and what is it for?
A graphics tablet is the realization of a long-standing idea to draw on a computer screen, as on paper. Historically, the pen appeared even before the mouse – positioning on the screens of the first computers was supposed to be done using a light pen.
But the high price of such a solution forced us to look for another manipulator, which became the mouse familiar to everyone. And if the “mouse” is quite comfortable for ordinary users and does not cause a desire to replace it with something else, then for artists this is not at all the case. Most artists who have tried a tablet will never draw with a mouse:
Pen tablet precise positioning comes out much faster.
It is more convenient to draw smooth curved lines.
The tablet allows you to change the characteristics of the working tool depending on the degree of pressure and the angle of the pen.
Therefore, most graphic editors – Adobe Photoshop, Corel Painter, Sketchbook and others – have support for graphics tablets. And all somewhat professional artists draw only with a pen.
However, the natural position of the hand and the ability to track the degree of pressure and angle of inclination have made graphics tablets in demand not only for artists.Graphic tablet XP-PEN G-640 3 999 *
If you are not an artist, but you need to draw something, a tablet will come in handy. You can put a printed photo or drawing on it and simply circle it with a pen. So it is quite possible to create, for example, someone’s portrait without being able to draw at all.
Just keep in mind that the pen nib wears faster on paper than on the surface of the tablet – if you are going to use this life hack often, get additional replacement nibs for the pen.
Many 3D modeling programs, and especially additional texturing and sculpting utilities, have settings that allow you to use a graphics tablet in your work. You can set changes to some of the tool’s parameters, such as the transparency or brush diameter of the Sculpt Geometry Tool in Maya.
As a result, work productivity increases significantly, because with a graphics tablet, the set parameter can be smoothly changed by pressing the pen. Thus, you can not only edit textures directly on the model, but also change other maps – transparency, luminosity, relief, and so on.
When working in ZBrush, a graphics tablet is simply indispensable, as it allows you to simulate the degree of impact on a virtual “plasticine” model.
Calligraphy and lettering
A type designer will need a graphics tablet when digitizing handwritten and calligraphic typefaces. Graphic editors are able to handle both the pressure level and the angle of the pen, which provides the designer with great opportunities. Although the tablet cannot yet completely replace the calligraphy pen, digital calligraphy is developing rapidly today, largely due to the spread of graphics tablets. Only on a tablet you can write as freely as you would on paper – a mouse does not give such freedom of movement.
Lettering (roughly speaking, the art of drawing letters) is also quickly “going digital” thanks to tablets. The power of modern graphic editors, combined with positioning accuracy on a tablet, allows you to create beautiful inscriptions much faster than on paper or a board.Graphic tablet HUION H420 2 699 *
Digital photo processing is greatly simplified when using a tablet. Many tools of the same Adobe Photoshop are able to change characteristics (diameter, transparency) depending on the degree of pen pressure. For example, to change the erase diameter of the Eraser tool, you need to open its menu and move the slider.
And with a tablet, you simply don’t need to think about it, just press the pen a little harder. And this is not to mention the fact that it is much easier to draw a tool along the desired contour with a pen, and not with a mouse. As a result, photo retouching is much faster.One by Wacom 2 Small Pen Tablet 4 999 *
Notes and diagrams
Previously, many lecturers supplied their lectures with diagrams and drawings to illustrate the material. Today, presentations have moved from film projectors to PowerPoint, and things have gotten worse with illustration material. Not everyone is ready to learn a graphics editor in order to draw a more or less understandable drawing for an article or lecture. And finding a suitable finished image is not always possible. With a graphics tablet, everything becomes easier – you do not need to master a complex program to quickly make understandable diagrams and drawings.
Basic Paint will be enough – and even without any drawing skills, the images will no longer look like they were drawn by a two-year-old child. And for those who just can’t get enough of Paint, Sketchbook is an easy-to-use yet powerful program designed specifically for tablets.
Schemes, drawings, handwritten notes to a graph or diagram built by standard means – all this is easily added to a modern digital document with a graphics tablet.
Wacom Intuos Pro S 16 499 Graphic Tablet *
Most drawing programs don’t have specific graphics tablet support, so you won’t get much benefit from switching from a mouse to a tablet.
Among draftsmen, there are many adherents of both the tablet and the mouse. Opponents’ arguments are as follows:
Long-term use of the mouse provokes a disease of the hand – carpal tunnel syndrome, there is no such danger on the tablet. You need to use the mouse correctly, then there will be no danger, and the pen has to make much more movements.
The pen is more precisely positioned, and in order for the pointer not to move, when you press the button, you just need to develop a skill. The pen moves when the button is pressed, so it is more convenient to select small points with the mouse.
By placing a drawing on the tablet, you can quickly transfer points to the program. And for greater accuracy, you can use a special mouse with a magnifying glass that comes with some tablets. It is much easier to scan a drawing and, by placing the scan on the back of the drawing, transfer points directly in the program. And there is no point in a mouse with a magnifying glass.
You can use the scroll bars or the Touch Ring on the screen. There is no wheel on the pen, which is inconvenient.
The tablet has many assignable buttons, plus some tablet drivers allow you to organize a drop-down menu with frequently used commands. As a result, all buttons can be removed from the screen, freeing up space. You can do the same with a mouse, you just need to buy a mouse with a lot of extra buttons.
You can work in CAD systems with equal success with a mouse and a tablet. True, when switching from a mouse to a tablet, it will take some time to get used to it.
Working in OS
Many people think that only the mouse can work with files and documents in the operating system. And without special need, there is no need to start another input device – it will only make confusion. In fact, all operations with files and documents are performed without the slightest problem using a graphics tablet – it’s just a matter of habit. According to those who switched from a mouse to a tablet, some inconvenience is noticeable only in the first days. A week later, it already seems that it is even easier to perform all operations in the OS with a pen than with a mouse.
So, if your work or hobby on the computer is not limited to just typing, it is quite possible that a graphics tablet will make your life easier and give you new opportunities.