Looking for advice regarding tablet and brush tool.

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Zhukov
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Looking for advice regarding tablet and brush tool.

Post by Zhukov »

The title pretty much says it all.

I recently unearthed a graphics tablet (aka stylus) and have been giving it a bash. I was wondering if there are any other wesnoth artists who use one and could give me a few pointers in their use. So far I haven't found it all that much better then the mouse, but it's likely one of those things that comes with practice.

Also, I have been experimenting with GIMP's brush tool. I have never found much use for this is sprite drawing before but I have heard it can turn out some quality results. Any tips out there?

Thanks.
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Post by Quensul »

I'm far from an artist, but the greatest advantage I've seen with mine is the pressure sensitivity. In the GIMP, you can tie pressure to a number of variables for the brush tool, including opacity, brush size, hardness (not sure what this one is), and color (brush tool dialog, expand the "Pressure sensitivity" submenu thingy, and check some boxes). I've been using opacity and size, and the results are darn noticeable. The eraser tool works in a similar fashion. I think the pen tool also utilizes pressure sensitivity, but I'm not certaian, and I haven't had the time to pin down exactly whether/how the "Sensitivity" sliders relate to pressure.

Inkscape is also fun to play with - especially the calligraphy tool.

I've also found that the absolute cursor positioning can be an efficiency booster if you consistently keep your dialogs in the same place.

:insert large grain of salt here. swallow.:
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Jetrel
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Post by Jetrel »

I ken help you. :twisted:


The biggest hurdle to overcome is the disconnect between your screen and your writing utensil, unlike paper, where you are looking at both the paper _and_ the pencil at the same time.

This is hard to overcome, and can nullify any benefits otherwise gained, but only at the start. As you gain experience with the tablet, you will gradually get used to the disconnect, and all of your other pencil drawing experience will once again work in this new environment.

Once you "get it", it will rapidly leave your mouse in the dust for almost all work.

Sprite detail work (on the pixel by pixel level) is one of the few exceptions to this, but it remains useful on sprites for anything that doesn't require modifying individual pixels (all but the last step). It's very useful for blocking and refining the basic shape of your sprite, which can be odious to do with a mouse.

Also, if you're like me (or wayfarer) and use the brush tool instead of the pencil tool for a decidedly different way of making sprites (cf the shyde, or any of my special effects), then it allows you control over "strokes" which can be difficult to get with a mouse.


For one example, I constructed all of the village graphics with the tablet, as well as all the weapon icons. In working, I will occasionally grab the mouse to do some odd job that it is better suited to, but for the jobs I mentioned I spend 90% of my time with the tablet. I try to use the "best tool for the task at hand", switching between them within individual drawings.
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Post by Jetrel »

Quensul wrote:I'm far from an artist, but the greatest advantage I've seen with mine is the pressure sensitivity.
This is massive.

Photoshop, paired with Wacom tablets, can do other awesome things, like doing adjustments based on the tilt of the pen tool. It's ... shall we say, versatile?
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Post by Jetrel »

Oh yeah, uh - what kinda tablet do you have?
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Post by Quensul »

Jetryl wrote:Photoshop, paired with Wacom tablets, can do other awesome things, like doing adjustments based on the tilt of the pen tool. It's ... shall we say, versatile?
That assumes the tablet supports tilts - the Graphires don't. I think you have to go up to an Intuous to get tilt sensing.
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Zhukov
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Post by Zhukov »

Jetryl wrote:Oh yeah, uh - what kinda tablet do you have?
Were you are asking me or Quensul? Anyway, I have something called a "Wacom" model ET-0405A-U, if that means anything. It came with some bonus add-on package deal thingy. It doesn't look any the worse for wear having lain under a pile of paperwork for about two years :).
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Post by Quensul »

I'm guessing he was asking you. :-) If not, I have a Graphire4 4x5.

Looks like you have one of the original Graphires - the manual can be found here, under "Legacy Product Manuals" (specifically, here for Windows and here for Macs). By all appearances, it supports pressure sensitivity, but not tilt.
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Post by Eleazar »

i highly recomend using a tablet, when you want to change opacity or brush size on the fly. For certain kinds of task they are irreplaceable.
Feel free to PM me if you start a new terrain oriented thread. It's easy for me to miss them among all the other art threads.
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Post by Kestenvarn »

I'm still getting used to mine, but it's loads better than pencil.
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Wacom

Post by tatmf »

Been using Wacom for years: Artpad II (for those who know, it's old, but still functionnal), and Graphire 3.

Except for gaming -I lost numerous times for that reason- you won't need a mouse anymore.

After 9 years of using those, the worst part for me is not being able to change the tablet's orientation. Drawing a freehand straight line on paper is easy, but I need to turn the paper in the right direction. With a tablet, turning it doesn't make any sense: the screen won't reflect your actions anymore! You need your tablet and screen to stay along.

I guess a solution would be to buy a tablet PC or one of those expensive screen-tablets.

Tilt would be good too. I'll make sure my next tablet has that feature!
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ree
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Post by ree »

I have a wacom intuos3 12x9 myself.. and very happy with it. As for doing lines I rotate the computer canvas instead.. it feels wierd to start with but once you get the hang of the keys needed and such its great. I dont know if Photoshop has this feature.. but both Painter and OpenCanvas does.
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