As we noted above, a graphics tablet is used to draw on its monitor. Just like on a sheet of paper. With the help of a tablet, information is output to a PC, which was created manually. This is done with a pen. Note that it arose much earlier than the mouse we are used to.
Initially, it was assumed that it would be necessary to work with a PC with a pen. But there was a snag – the cost of such an invention was too high. Therefore, I had to look for an alternative, which was found by Douglas Engelbart and created the first computer mouse.
But the feather has not disappeared from people’s lives. It continues to be used by artists who have no idea how to do it with other tools. The pen is quite comfortable to use and helps to perform primary tasks:
- allows you to accurately draw smooth curved lines;
- the degree of pressure of the pen and the selected angle of inclination are easy to change on the tablet;
- displays positioning much faster and more accurately.
Adobe Photoshop, Sketchbook, CorelDraw and other commonly used editors support graphics tablets feature. Therefore, all artists, beginners or those who already have experience, choose only the pen as their tool. This is the demand for graphics tablets.
Checklist for those who choose a tablet
Step 1. Decide what you need
To understand which graphics tablet is better to buy, we suggest finding out a few key points:
- Why do you need a tablet?
Are you about to learn how to draw, are you a professional illustrator, do you want to retouch pictures, or are you into vector graphics? In each case, different models will suit you.
- Are you an amateur or a professional?
The right moment if your budget is limited. To master drawing without a brush and pencil, a cheap model will suffice.
- Is mobility important or not?
As you already know, most models work in conjunction with a PC. But there are solutions that can function from smartphones or are able to do everything on their own.
Step 2: Get to grips with the main specs
To understand how to choose a graphics tablet for drawing, you need to delve into the main parameters of the technique and understand what they affect. We have selected the most significant:
The tablet can be formatted from A3 to A6. A3 and A4 are often used by professional artists, designers, architects, because it is more convenient to draw details on it.
For most users, the A5 size is fine: large enough to work on the details, and compact enough to always have on hand. If your budget is limited, you can take the A6 format. He is also great at all things.
For reference! When choosing a format, you also need to take into account the diagonal of the screen of your laptop or computer. The larger the display, the larger the format should be, and vice versa. Otherwise, it will be inconvenient to work out the details.Permission
Choosing a graphics tablet necessarily includes an assessment of such a parameter as resolution. It is he who determines how sensitive the device will respond to the movement of the pen. Very similar to the resolution of a regular screen, so the same rule applies here: the larger the better. But also more expensive.
Most standard tasks require a resolution of 2000 lpi and a little higher.
If the value is low, the cursor will move slower than the stylus. A novice artist needs 100-150 points per minute (pps), a professional needs more – from 200 pps and above.
Wired tablets work via micro-USB or USB-C. Wireless models are connected via Bluetooth, and the devices themselves are battery operated. Micro-USB/С is included in the package, but only for recharging the device.
The right pen is the key to success. Before choosing a graphics tablet, we advise you to test the stylus. So you will understand whether you can work with him or not.
You also need to take into account the following properties of the pen:
- Pressure sensitivity. The larger it is, the more realistic the picture. It is measured in levels and is responsible for line parameters: thickness and transparency. For an average user, 2048 is enough, but the maximum parameter can be 8192.
- Pen tilt. Helps to control the thickness of the line and brings the process closer to the usual drawing with pencils. Usually reaches 60 degrees.
- Maximum working height. Determines at what height the tablet recognizes the stylus. It is best if it is from 6 mm.
- Accuracy.Measured in millimeters, it defines the minimum area where the device can recognize pinpoint touches from the stylus. The smaller the value, the thinner the lines can be made without zooming in. Today in the range there are models with an accuracy of 0.25 to 0.3 mm.
- Power type. Passive styluses are lightweight and compact and do not require recharging. It costs more than active models, but it eliminates situations when the battery suddenly runs out during the drawing process. Active pens are battery operated.
Modern models can be equipped with buttons on the body to adjust the functionality, as well as an eraser and rubberized parts to make the stylus more comfortable to hold.
Step 3. Consider Additional Options
When you have dealt with the main characteristics, you can proceed to the additional ones. So it will be even easier for you to understand which graphics tablet is better to choose.
- Touch control. You can control your tablet like a smartphone by touching the screen surface with your fingers. The option improves performance, but many artists ignore it.
- Multitouch option. The device reads multiple touches at the same time. If you use a sensor, this option will make drawing even more enjoyable.
- Buttons on the case. Usually located on the sides or under the screen. The minimum quantity is from 4 buttons. But if you are going on a trip and do not plan to take the keyboard with you, but are going to use graphic editors, you need more. Some models are interesting in that they are accompanied by a miniature keyboard.
- Materials. Well, if the device has a durable case. Now most manufacturers use ABS plastic. See that the body did not creak from touch, did not have bumps and scratches.
- Connection to mobile gadgets. If the device is compatible with Android and iOS, it will be more convenient for you to travel. You can draw at any time of the day.
- Driver support. Make sure the software is new. If the manufacturer indicates that the device comes with drivers released back in 2010, then either the model is no longer produced, or the manufacturer does not care about updating the software.
- Equipment. Agree that it’s nice to get useful gadgets in the kit. For example, a pen stand, which also serves to store stylus nibs, drawing programs and tutorials.
Where are the graphics tablets used?
They are popular not only among artists. Let’s consider other options for its use below.
Most special programs for 3D modeling have certain features in the settings. With the help of them, a graphics tablet can be used in their activities.This is also facilitated by the presence of some sculpting utility. In the settings, you can change the options for the selected tool: brush diameter, transparency level, etc.
Thus, work efficiency is greatly increased. With a graphics tablet, the setting can be fine-tuned by pressing the pen. Accordingly, in the process of work, the designer can edit the necessary textures directly on the model. In addition, he simultaneously has the ability to edit the relief, shadow, luminosity, etc.
If you’re a type designer, then a graphics tablet will do just fine for your work. It can be used to digitize handwritten fonts. With the pen pressure and tilt processing function, you can realize many creative ideas. Due to the high level of development of digital calligraphy, the tablet is quite a convenient device.
Note that you can write on a tablet with a pen as freely as in a notebook. A computer mouse in this case will not give similar opportunities.
Drawing alphabetic characters is called lettering. This art is rapidly being “digitized” with the help of tablets. The power of graphic editors today is perfectly combined with the accuracy of positioning on tablets. Thanks to this, it is possible to create written masterpieces in the form of inscriptions much faster and more efficiently.
Processing photos and other images with the advent of the tablet has become much easier.If before that, when replacing a tool, it was necessary to open the corresponding panel and move the slider, then on a graphics tablet, these actions are minimized. When working on it, you only need to press harder on the pen and the parameters you need for editing will appear.
Also note what to draw along the contour, select a specific area for retouching, etc. much more comfortable with a pen. With a mouse, this is done longer and more difficult.
Various diagrams and drawings have always accompanied the teaching material as illustrations. Usually they are included in the manual, lecture courses, etc.
Today, electronic presentations in PowerPoint are used almost everywhere. Therefore, the illustrative material is already a thing of the past. Using a graphics tablet to build any graph or diagram is much more convenient. The necessary drawings can be made quickly and immediately put on display for others. This procedure will require only basic knowledge of Paint, which most users have.
If it comes to more complex exact sciences, then it will be enough to study the simple Sketchook program. This program is specifically designed to work with graphics tablets. With it, you can not only create various schemes, but also build the corresponding diagrams.
Many users use a graphics tablet in the drawing business. Of course, some draftsmen are used to working with a computer mouse and trackballs and have no desire to switch to a new device. But many who have tried the pen remain with it.
With prolonged use of the mouse, the so-called hand disease can occur. On the tablet, this situation is excluded. The absence of a scroll wheel on the pen does not in any way reduce the convenience of its use. It also has more precise positioning.
By placing the drawing itself on the tablet, you can easily display all the points in the program by simply dragging them there. At the same time, the device has the ability to apply scroll bars on the screen.
Actions in the operating system
Most users are accustomed to operating files exclusively with the mouse. They don’t need another input device.
But in the modern world, graphic tablets are gaining more and more popularity and working with documents on it is also simple and convenient. You just need to get used to it. When switching to it, a slight discomfort is felt only at first. Further, all the necessary operations in the OS are performed even easier than with a mouse.
Thus, the opinion that a graphics tablet is suitable only for artists is not entirely relevant. Above, we examined a number of its uses in other areas of activity.