Wacom Intuos Tablet question
December 26, 2005 10:39 AM   Subscribe

I have the opportunity to buy an used x Wacom intuos graphics tablet to use with my photoshop program. It would cost about $85.00 with shipping. It is being offered on e-bay without the software that the owner says is free to download from the Wacom site. My question is to those of you with Wacom experiance, would it be better for a newbe to go for the more expensive (new) wacom to take advantage of the provided software and hard copy instructions or do you think a person that is reasonalbly technologically proficient with computers / downloading etc. be able to get up to speed using advice typically found on the internet? Thank you...
posted by orlin to Technology (17 answers total)
The paper instructions and cd, plus two dollars, buy you a cup of coffee. Go for it.

Here's a little internet advice: expect to be a little disappointed with the tactile feel of the tablet, unless you already know what they're like.
posted by evariste at 10:46 AM on December 26, 2005

I just got a tablet. I haven't looked at the instructions yet and I've been using it for four or five days without problems. The software is very small and installed very quickly from one cd. Once you've got it installed, you'll see a the set-up in your menu. The options are self-explanatory.

p.s. My experiences are with a wacom tablet on XP.
posted by miniape at 10:46 AM on December 26, 2005

A little more internet advice: go download a program called ArtRage. It's a really awesome drawing program designed for tablets.
posted by evariste at 10:47 AM on December 26, 2005

I see there is a slight typo in my question. I ment to write that it is a 6X8 tablet. I think that would be a good deal!
posted by orlin at 10:48 AM on December 26, 2005

Well, I see Wacom are still offering drivers for the tablet I bought seven years ago, so I'd say go for it. They're really simple to use, Photoshop will work with it without any complex setup.
Does anyone really ever use the supplied disc with any piece of hardware and not just hit the website for the latest drivers anyway?
posted by punilux at 10:54 AM on December 26, 2005

You don't need the disc. The downloadable drivers do everything and there's prolly plenty of instructions at the site, too. It's very simple really.
posted by wsg at 11:26 AM on December 26, 2005

The only thing the disk gives you is a light version of Painter, which, if you don't have the software already, is a lot of fun. Photoshop is nice for tablet stuff, but Painter is designed to simulate traditional media with a tablet and does it very well. If you haven't already, check out ConceptArt.org - they have great forums for digital painting, lots of tips, lots of inspiration. Get started doing their daily assignments, and you'll be well on your way.
posted by devilsbrigade at 11:35 AM on December 26, 2005

I concur with what everyone's been saying. The tablets last a long time and the drivers are always available for download from Wacom.com. I have an older model 6x8 Intuos at home and a newer one at work--I like my older one because it's less complicated. The only thing that I care about is the tablet and the pen. All the other extraneous buttons and scroll pads just get in the way.
posted by lunarboy at 11:37 AM on December 26, 2005

i use an intuous for graphics stuff, it's great... i was also pleased to recently find i could just plug it in to a friend's old win98 box and use it right away, no software, no drivers. the software does let you customize it a bit more, including shortcuts for the two buttons on the pen, so if you can DL it, it's worth it... but even without, $85 for a 6x8 intuous is a great deal.
posted by poweredbybeard at 11:41 AM on December 26, 2005

piggyback question: can a tablet drawing be turned into a vector file suitable for tweaking in something like coreldraw, without using coreldraw 'trace" routine?
posted by Rumple at 12:06 PM on December 26, 2005

Natural Painter, especially the latest versions, is completely mind-blowing. If you have any artistic talent, it's worth every penny to purchase.
posted by five fresh fish at 12:08 PM on December 26, 2005

rumple, a tablet is an input tool. you can draw directly with vectors using a tablet if you want to. i do it all the time in Illustrator and Freehand.
posted by zadcat at 1:29 PM on December 26, 2005

I love my Wacom. I have a teeny one; lust after a larger one. I use the stylus instead of a mouse all the time now. It's wonderful. Go for it!
posted by Corky at 1:29 PM on December 26, 2005

Just remember that if you can't move your mouse, and are getting really confused, to check where the stylus is... I leave my wacom propped up, and the stylus sometimes falls across it, and overrides the mouse. Very frustrating.
posted by devilsbrigade at 2:16 PM on December 26, 2005

Thank you for your expertise, I bought it on e-bay...
posted by orlin at 4:53 PM on December 26, 2005

One note about the wacoms -- be sure you know that the interface will work properly on your system. I had a serial tablet that worked fine with my MacOS 9 mac (using a serial to USB adapter), but they dropped support for that with the OSX driver. So long as it's a USB interface you should be fine.
posted by roue at 4:55 PM on December 26, 2005

thanks zadcat. i am going to look into that for doing my soild profiles from fielddrawings to digital. thanks for asking the question, orlin!
posted by Rumple at 5:50 PM on December 26, 2005

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