Wednesday, February 17, 2010

I have a Wacom tablet but it's small and I just can't get the hang of it. I do all my Photoshop with a mouse. I know that's not the best way - what do you recommend for a good tablet and tutorial on just how to use it?
I hear you! In general, Wacom tablets are pretty flexible, since you can set preferences for the screen composition against the monitor screen, but I still always felt that the tiny one (with the 3.5 x 5" surface area or something like that) is pretty confining and difficult to work with.

Strangely, I know several designers who use a mouse quite happily, no tablet. So there are plenty of creative professionals who are quite happy without them. If you are an illustrator though, chances are that you are more comfortable with a pen in your hand than you are a mouse. If this is the case, I would persevere with the Wacom-try, try again.

I'm thinking that you may need a larger size Wacom-it sounds like that might be the major issue that is standing between you and productivity with the tablet. I would recommend the 6x8. I know they are an investment and its easier said than done sometimes. I'd look into a larger Wacom that is a factory refurbished unit. This will save you some money and you will feel better about your investment especially since you are still on the fence. Plus, factory refurb models are refurbed by the Wacom people themselves (or they approve of the refurb) so that can lend a measure of comfort if you're initially uneasy about purchasing a used unit. For what it's worth, I have never had a Wacom that has died on me. I've had several due to technological changes in connections, etc. But for my money it's a great manufacturer of a great, solid product.

You did not say what type of computer you are working with. When I was using the 3.5 x 5" wacom, I was on a Mac Powerbook G4 lap top. It was the least productive, and most frustrating, digital art set-up I've ever had. I mention this because if you are working on a laptop, it could be further throwing off your equilibrium and making it even more difficult to grow accustomed to the Wacom.

as for tutes, I can't really recommend any because I can't remember ever using a Wacom tutorial myself, and if I did, it was 13 years ago and would be obsolete now! :) You can probably find a list of "tips to get comfortable" with the feeling of using a Wacom if you Google it, or look on their site for support.

I wish you the best and I hope you will give the Wacom another shot. It's true that you could be one of those people who don't end up liking it at all, but I will bet that you just need to readjust your set up a bit and give it some more time. (Otherwise, you wouldn't be asking me this question -- you would have chucked it out the window instead! :)

Good luck!!

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