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Recommended Draw Tablet?

Discussion in 'Game Design' started by Daryn-Flannery, Oct 30, 2019.

  1. Daryn-Flannery

    Daryn-Flannery

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    I use UNITY, and I am looking to get into graphic design side of things.
    And I am wondering if anyone can recommend to me what Drawing/Graphical Tablets are good out there. I am looking to buy one. Preferably from Amazon.ca, but no huge deal.

    The key thing is that I only have Wi-Fi internet. So I would need a tablet that supports Wi-Fi.

    Thanks to anyone who can help with some recommends.

    My budget is anywhere up to about $1400.00
     
  2. Olmi

    Olmi

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    TL;DR
    There are two choices here - one without a screen (i.e. traditional Wacom-style tablet), or a one with screen.

    What would you need that WiFi for? If possible, I'd use cable connection to minimize lag, connection issues etc.

    Most important thing in my opinion is that you go try a few different alternatives or order such models that you can easily return without much expense. And don't buy a deluxe model, thinking it will solve some artistic issues. It won't. You need a good tablet that works for drawing and fits on your desk. If you somehow get to the mood that it wasn't a good idea, you haven't spent a fortune on a tool. But tablets are very useful for many things, even if you don't exactly do "art".

    Wacom
    If you got the money, I would go for a Wacom. They have traditionally been pretty high quality and very durable. Instead of burning your hard earned money, I might also consider purchasing an used one, if there's a model available you decide to buy. I've never had a Wacom fail on me, and you can get spare pens, pen nibs and replacement drawing surfaces (depending on the model, not all) and some other parts too.

    Wacom alternatives
    Alternatives that are sold mainly on Amazon (Huion etc.) are pretty good too according to reviews I've checked in last 3-4 years, but I'd stick to Wacom if you got the budget. Even though the competitors have advanced a lot in recent years, they aren't up to Wacom specs in every area. There are things like screen parallax issues, drawing surface durability, pens that need charging/battery (Wacoms don't need a battery). That being said, many of them are much cheaper and still quite good quality.

    Traditional no-screen or screen?
    If you have not used tablets before and aren't using a pen/pencil all the time daily, it might be a good idea to consider a screen tablet, as that hand-eye coordination takes quite a while to develop. I've used Wacoms since late 90s or so and I don't myself see much point in having a screen. But that depends a lot on the person. On the other hand, nowadays you could buy a 4k 43" screen and use that with a screenless tablet to get a lot drawing real-estate; you can fit quite a few life-size heads on that screen and it also easily fits to your budget with a Wacom.

    There are definitely benefits of having a screen tablet, as you can see the things you are drawing. Obviously it's a bit more like having a drawing paper/painting in front of you. But remember that your hand is there blocking the view more often than not. So you need to develop that habit of moving your hand away and drawing. And depending on how greasy your hands get, you usually have to resort to drawing gloves (either just buy cotton gloves or those pricey specialized few fingers -tablet gloves) and get used to the chore of cleaning the screen quite frequently (daily). On the other hand, the traditional no-screen tablet can get quite dirty before it makes drawing difficult... And the screen models can be problematic depending on your work-space lighting, so you might have to adjust that lighting too. Move lights, add a dimmer to light etc.

    Other alternatives
    If you just want to do graphic design and especially sketching/concept stuff, iPad and Apple Pencil are an excellent choice. Very natural and good for drawing. There are a few good drawing apps now, Procreate being probably the clear winner, no matter who you ask. But that's very limited environment otherwise and you can't easily connect iPad to your pc/mac without extra software. I'd avoid this idea if you intend to have your tablet connected to your computer.

    Hope this helps!
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2019
  3. Daryn-Flannery

    Daryn-Flannery

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    Hey, thanks for all the information! That really does help a lot actually.

    I was looking at Wacom quite a bit there yes.


    About the wi fi. It is just so that I can connect the tablet device to the internet. In case I need to update drivers and get software or something.

    Question. Can I connect my wifi modem to my device tablet by cable? I have never tried that before. I read you about cable being better to reduce lag.

    Another question about Wacom. Can Incable connect a Wacom tablet to my PC monitor? So that I can see what I am drawing on the large screen.
     
  4. Olmi

    Olmi

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    Wacom updates the software like any other typical device, you just install drivers to Win/Mac device operating system.

    You connect your traditional style Wacom to your PC/Mac. Not to screen. Some of those stand-alone portable Wacoms can probably be connected straight to screen.
     
  5. Daryn-Flannery

    Daryn-Flannery

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    Right on thanks. :)
     
  6. Olmi

    Olmi

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    I think it's best now to check a few videos on Youtube, then you get a good grasp what the features are and how those Wacoms connect to your system etc.
     
  7. Daryn-Flannery

    Daryn-Flannery

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    Yes for sure Olmi. I will look into some YouTube vids too.
     
  8. MrArcher

    MrArcher

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    Just to add on to what @Olmi said, the biggest barrier you'll have to entry if you go without a screen will be getting used to looking away from where you're trying to draw. Even on tablets with a screen, a lot of artists will still be looking at photoshop on their monitor, rather than where they're actually drawing.

    So just to offer a little advice, whichever you choose, is stick with it. It's a bit like learning to ride a bike and getting your brain used to the idea of correcting your hand movements based on the cursor on screen, rather than where the pen physically is. It'll take a fair bit of practice to get over this initial hump (2-3 full paintings did it for me), but once you do you'll be set.
     
  9. Martin_H

    Martin_H

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    You can play games with a tablet to get used to that. E.g. Diablo or Path of Exile work very well for it. I do recommend the no-screen tablets for ergonomic reasons. You'll get back/neck issues sooner or later when you stare down at your drawing surface and if you mount it higher you'll get shoulder pain (though that would definitely preferable over neck & back issues imho).

    +1 for Wacom, I've been using the same Intuos 3 tablet for about 15 years. Don't know any other piece of hardware that lasts as long.
     
  10. Daryn-Flannery

    Daryn-Flannery

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    Right on. Thanks Martin, and MrArcher. Certainly noted.
     
  11. Griz

    Griz

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    Mainly a programmer here, but I also do graphics commercially at times. Some time ago i've been noticing new tablets at various places, which were Huion tablets. Gave it a test and enjoyed it, so I purchased one for myself. They are cheaper than Wacom, but they still are good quality products. I recommend checking some comparisons online, as if you decide to roll with a Huion you save quite some money.
     
  12. Daryn-Flannery

    Daryn-Flannery

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    (nods) Acknowledged Griz. Hm.
     
  13. BIGTIMEMASTER

    BIGTIMEMASTER

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    You can get refurbished wacom on Amazon for cheap. Around one hundred us dollars. Best quality tool there is.

    Unless you a traditional illustrator, get pad, not screen. Medium size wacom seems to fit most people ergonomically. Bigger isn't better. And the small bamboo is perfectly adequate too.

    Despite having money, I'd recommend to begin with cheapest bamboo. You do well with it for long time, and if you.need to upgrade you'll have experience to know precisely what you want.
     
  14. Ryiah

    Ryiah

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    Last edited: Oct 31, 2019
  15. Martin_H

    Martin_H

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    The active working area is listed as only 6.0 x 3.7 inch, I think that is way too small. There is a considerable factor of personal preference and I do indeed know one professional illustrator who prefers small tablets, but on average the consensus among illustrators is that "bigger is better" because the bigger the active working area on the tablet, the less precise you need to be with your strokes, and thus the less likely you are to cramp up your arm.
    It's probably technically fine, but I wouldn't recommend anything smaller than ~9 x 5 inches, and personally I wouldn't want to work on anything smaller than 12 inches wide. Plus with a bigger tablet it's easier to put your keyboard on the tablet when you don't use the tablet. If portability is a concern, you might prefer it to be on the smaller side and take a look at the weight. I wouldn't want to carry mine around.
    You can always use the driver settings to limit the active area used on the tablet to a smaller area (at least on mine you can) if you want to.