Comic Talk, Tips and Tricks

Should I get a tablet?
solace at 10:02AM, Oct. 25, 2009
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Yes, should I?
I want one because I hate scanning and erasing all of my comic pages I also like to use photo shop.
But I don't think I should get one because I'm not actualy that good at drawing.

last edited on July 14, 2011 3:49PM
curlpop at 6:30AM, Oct. 26, 2009
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I've had my tablet for a long long time and can't imagine life without it. I used it so much even for homework especially now in college and obviously to draw my comic.

I think that you should def. get one, even if you say you're not that good at drawing. You can find a Wacom Bamboo for around 100 and that's a really good tablet to start out with! I've had my graphire for around 4 years and it's still working!


last edited on July 14, 2011 11:59AM
Swiftgold at 1:00PM, Oct. 26, 2009
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One thing to note about tablets is that it takes some time to get used to the way you are using the pen off to one side and looking at the screen, but once you do it becomes second nature. You might want to start by inking over your scanned-in pencil pages before you start drawing straight onto the computer. It took me a long time to move from scanned pages to drawing completely in Painter/Photoshop, and even now I still scan in thumbnails and sketches to use for guides.

I love my tablet, and like curlpop said, the Bamboo isn't very expensive comparatively.

I think it also helped improve my own drawing, because using the undo key is much easier than erasing, and it doesn't ruin the underlying “paper”, especially if you work in layers. So you can fix or change things pretty easily.
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:05PM
elektro at 2:08PM, Oct. 26, 2009
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Tablets are so worth it. I would never do color if it weren't for them.

Bamboo is relatively cheap, but I'm not quite familiar with them myself. If you can, try to find an old Intuos 3 on clearance, because that's what I got and it's the next best thing to a Cintiq monitor without spending a mint, plus they're less expensive than the new Intuos 4 and work just as well. Although, if you're strapped for cash, go with the Bamboo.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:21PM
cartoonprofessor at 6:07PM, Oct. 26, 2009
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You want a tablet? talk to me.
Tablets are my speciality.
I cannot sell them outside of Australia because of Wacom's strict trading policies but I am more than happy to help you decide what would be best for your needs.
It is my firm belief that every artist should be using one. Without one you are too limited. With one, the sky's the limit.
The new touch tablets are amazing.
Go to www.cartoonprofessor.com for an easy appraisal of what is available and for my contact details and help.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:36AM
Hunchdebunch at 3:43AM, Oct. 27, 2009
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I've decided to get a tablet. I want to use it for my comic that I do all on photoshop. I was fed up of using the line tool lol and it never had a very ‘sleek’ look to it, which I think I may be able to get using a tablet.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:51PM
skoolmunkee at 9:59AM, Oct. 27, 2009
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As long as you're not buying one with the impression that having a tablet will improve your skill magically or something, then it's just a tool which can make some processes easier and you can base your decision around that. If you have to do a lot of stuff in the computer (especially cleanup and coloring), having to use the mouse or line tools can get extremely tedious and a tablet is a godsend.

Not everyone can adapt to drawing directly into the computer with a tablet though. I've had tablets for at least 10 years and I still can't draw directly into the computer. I lose my sense of proportion when I'm not ‘drawing on the page’ so I still draw things out on paper in pencil, then scan it in and do inking and everything else on the computer from that point on. If I had a cintiq, maybe I could draw directly in- but it's not worth the price tag. :]


is there any reason you are using lined paper for your comics? If getting rid of the lines is your main goal, drawing on printer paper and using a ruler to make panels seems like a cheaper solution. And when you say you like to use photoshop- there are a lot of things photoshop can do to improve a basic pencil drawing, and many of them don't need a tablet to make them easy (like levels, basic fill coloring, etc). You've only got 2 pages up so it's hard to say whether having a tablet would improve the comic.
  IT'S OLD BATMAN
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:43PM
solace at 4:14PM, Oct. 27, 2009
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skoolmunkee
is there any reason you are using lined paper for your comics? If getting rid of the lines is your main goal, drawing on printer paper and using a ruler to make panels seems like a cheaper solution. And when you say you like to use photoshop- there are a lot of things photoshop can do to improve a basic pencil drawing, and many of them don't need a tablet to make them easy (like levels, basic fill coloring, etc). You've only got 2 pages up so it's hard to say whether having a tablet would improve the comic.

Ah the lined paper is just temporary. Because I'm lazy and these are just crappy filler pages.
Any way I think I need a tablet because drawing/colouring with a mouse is unnaturat for me.
Also how hard is it to draw with a tablet? How do you know where youre drawing?

last edited on July 14, 2011 3:49PM
jaex at 7:14PM, Oct. 27, 2009
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solace
Also how hard is it to draw with a tablet? How do you know where youre drawing?

It's different for a lot of people, some never get used to it, others catch on quick. I caught on pretty quick, probably because of good hand/eye coordination and lots of art classes with “blind contour” drawing assignments. Also, I drew pretty competently with a mouse for several years.

Using a tablet is a lot like using a mouse– but it's in pen form with pressure sensitivity, so it does feel more natural physically. Just like you don't look at the mouse to know where you're clicking, you don't look at the pen/tablet when you're drawing. So if the “unnatural” feeling stems from looking at the screen instead of your hand, then you might have a bit of trouble adapting to a tablet.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:05PM
Draven_Xero at 8:57PM, Oct. 27, 2009
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I've been thinkin' about getting one myself, mostly for the colorwork. Where I live, it's kinda a pain to restock my art markers when I need to. From everything I've heard, it seems like a solid buy. If nothing else, it'll probably cost less than it'll cost me to keep buying my art markers, and probably save some paper too…There's been aLOT of redraws in my making of comics.

My biggest concern is the adjustment period, but I've always had pretty good hand-eye coordination, and if it's for my art, it's worth the effort (wow, that sounded like somebody that actually takes themself seriously).
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:16PM
cartoonprofessor at 3:00PM, Oct. 28, 2009
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The adjustment period is really hard for some, but others pick it up pretty fast..
When I first started serious production of Min n Fin I soon realised that in order to achieve what I wanted I would have to use a tablet… so I bought a cheapie from a discount store, took it home, and boy, talk about frustration.

I had been teaching Cartoon Art for fifteen years, drawing on all types of surfaces from chalk boards to slippery white boards.

Using a tablet, I felt like I was learning to draw all over again… I mean seriously, I could not even draw a circle!

I was lucky enough to have the available cash to go out and buy a Cintiq and have never looked back.

Because I represent Wacom now I use regular tablets all the time but still cannot draw anywhere near as well with them as I can with my Cintiq.

However, I have developed some training excercises that do speed up the process quite a bit (if you do them… something I should do myself more… but hey, why bother too much when I use a Cintiq anyway)

My website mentioned above allows anyone to get these newsletters, and no, I do not try and sell you anything in my newsletters. They are strictly for serious digital artists who would like some help. Many subscribers send in their own tips and tricks for Tablet Users as well.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:36AM
JustNoPoint at 3:27PM, Oct. 28, 2009
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I wouldn't even worry about it unless you could afford a Cintiq.

I couldn't imagine trying to draw so far away from the surface :S
A Cintiq is the best thing you could ever get. It took maybe 3 days to adjust to it. It's so natural that once you are adjusted and go back to paper you will still be trying to hit the save button periodically out of force of habit :P

But only get it if this is like your MAIN hobby. You will want to get your money's worth out of it. Though TBH it's nice to have the Cintiq for lots of things outside of just art. It's a huge monitor that has many macro functions and a touch pen with macro buttons on it too.

Heck, I am saving up for the smaller cheaper one too ^_^ Will be awesome to have 3 monitors set up. 2 of which are touch screen!

But be sure you'll use it… A LOT!!!
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:12PM
solace at 3:42PM, Oct. 28, 2009
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Okay okay I think I'll get one. For Xmas. Thank you for your help.

last edited on July 14, 2011 3:49PM
ThePriestess at 4:40PM, Oct. 29, 2009
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Tablets do take time to get used to (I practiced by playing Everquest with mine), but once you do, I have to say they're all kinds of useful, even if you don't use them for drawing freehand all that often. I've been using one for years, and I love mine. It's not going to make your work look better magicly, but it's a new medium to work with and explore.
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:25PM
Aurora Borealis at 7:49PM, Oct. 31, 2009
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took me quite a while to get used to a tablet. I still do pencil sketches and scan them, but at this point I do all inking digitally.
Part of the problem was the fact that I have no room to place it correctly on the desk, so I had to keep it on my lap. This usually caused problems with aligning it right to the screen, so my drawings were off, plus photoshop was slightly laggy AND there was the usual problem of looking at the screen and not at where you draw (feels weird at first).

Well, at this point I just grab the tablet and without thinking place it right most of the time, switched from photoshop to sai for inking (less lag, much smoother lines) and I'm approaching a point where I'll be able to draw straight on the screen (right now I still need to lay down couple of sketches and tighten them up as I go, so it's not any faster than pencilling and scanning). I still can't doubleclick with the pen though, haha. The second tap always slips on the surface, and if I tried to start a program, I end up dragging the icon along. That's a minor problem though.

So yeah, my tablet experience in a nutshell? Initially very irritating, but after a couple of years it's a pretty comfortable tool that allows me to do things I can't do on paper (tiny detail after zooming, multiple layers, undo etc.)
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:08AM

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