Let me tell you about this graphics tablet and see if it’s right for you!

I had been looking at graphics tablets on and off for a long time but the more I worked with photoshop, the more I was frustrated with he limitations of using either a trackpad, or mouse.

While there are other manufacturers of tablets, I only considered Wacom due to them having a long history of making these and excellent reviews they generally get.

there’s a wide range of products to chose from which can be confusing. You have everything from the Bamboo range through to 27″ QHD displays that you can draw on and everything in between. After a lot of reading and watching videos, I settled on the Intuos Pro Small (if you want to buy one, please use this link which will help me out). Although it’s the small version, the surface is still quite large.

In the box you get the tablet, pen, pen holder USB cable and wireless kit. There are spare pen tips which are already stored in the pen holder (I thought they were missing at first!). The pen feels good in your hand and needs no batteries. It comes with a handy holder to poop it into when you’re not using it, which also holds your spare pen tips.

Once you’ve connected the device and installed the software, you can set it up. Never having used the a device like this before, I searched for videos on Youtube. The video below from Phlearn is a good starting point.

 

 

So, what’s it like to use? Well, I’ve found it to be really useful, especially in certain situations but there is a definite learning curve to it. I find it increbily useful learn I’m trying to clone stamp from one part of a photo to another. Having the pen pressure for for flow makes a huge difference. Similarly, when using the healing brush, being able to set pen pressure to brush size, or opacity is brilliant. If you’re not clear on the difference between opacity and flow, check out the video below.

 

 

The biggest problem I’ve found is that I’m still not completely sure how far away from the tablet surface my hand is, which can cause problems when you’re trying to do something precise. Quite often, I’ll be watching the screen while trying to line something up, then by the time the pen contacts the surface, I’m out of alignment.I expect  he more I use the device, the less of a problem this will be.

There is still the disconnect between what your hand is doing and the image on screen. This is where I can see the benefit of the Cintiq range, where you draw directly onto the image but the cost is significant!

I would definitely recommend this to anyone looking for more precise control in Photoshop, as well as many other applications. The functionality is great, for the price. If you’re going to buy one of these, please use my Amazon link. You’ll pay the same price and I get a small referral fee.