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Thread: start-up supplies

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2011

    Arrow start-up supplies

    After decades of resisting, I'm taking the leap to digital photography. I really like it so far but I can see a Wacom tablet will make editing much easier and better. (Great! I've coveted a Wacom for a long time!) I'm also going to buy ArtRage. I plan to get an Intuos4 b/c of its greater sensitivity and its radial dial.

    So my question for the forum is: which Wacom accessories (if any) do I need? I've never used a tablet before so I'm in the dark about what's essential, what's not, what works, what doesn't.

    As far as the traditional media I prefer: graphite, pen & ink, pastels, and oil. Maybe water color, but only if the digital version behaves nicer than the real stuff does!

    Many thanks in advance.
    Last edited by jonnie; 09-11-2011 at 08:23 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Wilmington North Carolina
    Jonnie, I have a wacom bamboo pen and touch and it works very well, but wait and hear from others as I have had mine for about a year and there may be better ones out there

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    From experience: you need only the tools you are going to use.

    After you compile a list from what everybody likes, I would recommend buying something that makes sense to you and use it (them) for a while to see how it works for you. And then add things as you go.

    If money's not an object, get the best that you're comfortable with because quality of tools matters. . . if you will use it a lot.

    It sounds to me like you are expanding your skill base with these new areas. Therefore, it is not a bad idea to ease into it because your direction within those areas may shift as you explore in an evolution natural to your creativity.

    The tools and your artistic intent sort of grow in a leapfroging fashion in dynamic ways that may surprise you, but hopefully not leave you with a room filled with stuff you won't have time to explore enough until after the quickly shifting technological advances has left what you bought in the dust.

    Personal testimony.

    But I wholeheartedly agree, this is a great question to see what people use and get due value.

    Having said that, I work with Photoshop extensively because that's what my job requires. I only use a mouse with that because it serves my purpose doing retouching and so forth. I don't do painterly painting with it so a mouse is fine.

    On the other hand, for art stuff, the old bottom of the line very tiny Wacom tablet I use makes great lines which Artrage loves and that's really all I need it for. Would I love a Cintiq or an iPad? You betcha. But I'm no longer doing that type of work. And my fun money goes into my guitars.

    Whatever, I can say this much, you will LOVE ArtRage!!!!!!!!!!! It's fantastic.
    Last edited by D Akey; 09-11-2011 at 08:34 AM.
    "Not a bit is wasted and the best is yet to come. . ." -- remembered from a dream

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    I personally prefer Intuos 3 coming with a 5-button mouse. It already has 1024 levels of sensitivity so I don't think 2048 is any 'necessary' (unless you really think you can tell the difference). I believe they are enough for your work, stylus for drawing and mouse for editing with quick shortcuts.

    The main reason I use Intuos 3 instead of 4 is that its shortcut button layout is much better (4 on each side with different sizes) and therefore easier to use. The ring touch stripe doesn't work as I though, since each time I press the central button it does different things... For simply zoom in and out it is way too big.

    Make sure you have 3 extra pen nibs to replace the old one in future. I wouldn't recommend any other accessories i.e. airbrush, funny pen nibs, drawing glove etc.
    Last edited by gb_whisper; 09-11-2011 at 08:36 AM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    I love my Intuos 4. I bought an art pen and an airbrush pen to go with it, but the only one that I really use is the grip pen that came with the tablet. It really depends on what you prefer - the stuff that came with the tablet and ArtRage is really all that I need. I use a wide range of digital media. Hope that helps!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    I use a convertible tablet pc laptop. It has a wacom digitizer in it- 256 levels of pressure sensitivity, with no tilt function. I love my little Lenovo. Artrage on it is a dream. I'm sure it'd be awesome to have 1000 or 2000 levels of pressure sensitivity, etc. but partly what it's taught me is that you can more than get by on what are considered old school specs. I don't miss the other stuff at all.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2009
    3438 ft above sea level
    If by 'accessories' you mean the ink pen, art pen and airbrush pen... artrage does not support them as yet so save your money and just use the stylus that comes with the tablet.

    If you mean which tablet line
    The Cintiq and Intuos are aimed at Creative Professionals and the Bamboo line of products are aimed at Creative Enthusiasts. Which is right for you will largely depend on your needs and budget and how much time per day you intend on using one. People are creating fabulous works in Artrage on both tablet lines.

    Whichever you decide on you will have all you need in the box and will just need to download and install the latest drivers from Wacom.

    At some stage you will need replacement nibs as your initial supply wears out but you wont need to get those immediately. You can purchase new ones from Wacom, Amazon and others.

    If you plan on taking a labtop and wacom out on a digital shoot then its worth investing in a good carrying case that is designed to hold both as well as any extras (SDcards, stylus pens, nibs, USB sticks, cords etc).

    At home I have a Cintiq21UX, Intuos 3 tablet, Bamboo Pen and Touch tablet and an Asus ep121 touch tabletPC. I have the 6D art pen for use with Painter (which supports its full functionality) but still don't use it a fraction as much as the one that came with the tablet. At work I use an Intuos 4.

    The only accessory I can't live without is a SmudgeGuard which stops hand friction on the tablet and is especially useful in Summer when my hand can get quite grabby on a tablet surface. It helps keep the surface free of grotty hand marks so that the tablet doesn't need cleaning as frequently. I like it so much that I actually have a few so that they can go through the wash regularly.
    Last edited by Juz; 09-11-2011 at 04:13 PM.
    "I paint because I love to cut mats" (Arthur Alexander)

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    hi jonnie, you got quite kind, helpful suggestions by other members on the tablet, its make and its model.
    i personally think, if u are to do digital photography and photo editing, in a way what photographers do, then ull be doing, color correction, value/tone editing, grading, playing with saturation and contrasts, cropping etc. to be honest u dont really need a tablet to do all that. but of course, if u plan to do more, more on a painting track, or like drawing, then only u need to have a tablet. so i think, first u must see what will u be needing for your work and what will really help u with it. photographers normally dont have a tablet, its not their work requirement. if in the future u plan to draw or paint digitally, other than photo editing, u can buy a tablet at that time, who knows what new options u can get then.
    in my opinion, if u still want it, then as a starter, you safely buy wacom's bamboo version, many professionals use it, its cheaper and will give u a good idea whether u need a tablet or not, u can grab an intous later.

    i do agree with D Akey on most points.

    all the best jonnie...

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    I'm new in the Artrage forums, but I've been exploring different tools for a couple of years.

    I first started a couple of years ago taking the plunge for an intuous4 medium tablet. I was new to digital painting and I wasn't very motivated so it didn't get used much. I also found a disconnect between the drawing surface and the computer monitor. For me this transition was difficult and didn't work. Because you draw on the tablet, but watch the screen. I eventually sold the intuous4 for a reasonable price. I picked up a Bamboo Touch to keep around and play with. The disconnect when drawing did get a little better. I'm convinced it would mostly go away if given enough time.

    Next I bought an iPad to try fingerpainting. I was satisfied with this solution for over a year. I still use this option on the go. I mostly use Artrage and another app named Procreate.

    I just recently (a few weeks ago) transitioned to a Tablet PC which lets me draw straight onscreen. This was big for me, because I was on a Mac for 12 years before this. I like this solution a lot because it allows me to draw at high resolution to make "large print quality" images.

    Painting is my passion, not my job. But I am pretty obsessed with painting. If I had to do it all over again with everything I've learned this is what I would do:

    1. Buy an iPad for sketching out and about
    2. Build a powerful desktop computer
    3. Buy a 21" Wacom Cintiq or a DIY Cintiq

    Even though I just got my Tablet PC a few weeks ago, I'm already saving for a Cintiq. Like I said though, I'm probably on the extreme end of things. Take everything in this thread as options, then research and make your own decision.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2011

    Thank you, one and all!

    What a great group this is! You've not only answered my specific question (no, I don't need to buy any accessories other than whichever tablet I choose), but you've also given me lots of experienced insight re: several related issues.

    After carefully measuring key parts of my workspace and getting the dimensions of the options I'm considering, I'll go to the Apple store and look at the various Bamboo and Intuos models in person.

    Thanks so much to everyone.

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