Why Buy a Graphics Tablet?
Computers simplify digital image manipulation, but mouse and keyboard inputs make it difficult to create detailed digital illustrations. Graphics tablets serve as an alternate input method for your computer. Most of them are not stand-alone devices, and only the most high-end options have an integrated display. These tools are made for artists and come in a variety of different styles, including small models that you can take with you and large models for detailed work at your desk. Check out the Wacom Cintiq 22HD, Huion H610PRO and Ugee 1910B for some popular examples.
Whether you prefer to illustrate or animate, graphics tablets translate your existing drawing skills into a digital environment. These devices let you draw directly on the surface of the tablet to input your work exactly as you draw it. This input method immediately shows your illustration so you can create your highest-quality digital work.
Graphics Tablets: What to Look For
When you shop for a graphics tablet, you want to find one that accurately captures your talent. Some of these tools give you a large working surface, and some come with illustration software. Some high-end graphics tablets even include monitor displays, so you can draw your work on the same surface where it appears. Most other tablets work as connected devices, meaning you need a separate monitor to see your work as you draw. Below are some of the features you should consider when choosing a drawing tablet.
When it comes to graphics tablets, the size of your working surface makes a big difference. Surfaces larger than 8.5 by 11 inches give you plenty of room to work, and they often come with higher input qualities than smaller devices have. Digital images, especially when used for commercial work, require high resolutions. These large images give you more freedom to manipulate the file without losing image quality.
Graphics tablets capture the motion of your stylus, but they can also garner pressure information. Many of these digitizer devices come with acute pressure sensitivity, creating a thicker line stroke when you press down with the tip of your pen, and a narrower one when you use a light touch. As you shop, note that tablets with 2,048 pressure levels capture more information than those with 1,024 pressure levels. Higher pressure-level specs ensure the device will gather more information from your stylus as you work and create more variety in line thickness as you draw.
Graphics tablet controls can be located in two different places. Some models include programmed buttons around the sides of the work surface, while others provide controls on the pen itself. Control buttons on the pen can save time, allowing you to immediately access your favorite settings and shortcuts without having to navigate on-screen menus.
Many graphics tablets come with their own illustration software. Like any hardware, this included software can be a benefit or a hindrance. Most graphics tablets work with third-party software, and you can opt to use them with many popular illustration programs, including Adobe Illustrator and Manga Studio.
Graphics tablets use your pen strokes to create on-screen illustrations. The largest models come with extra room for detailed line work. Units with programmable buttons save time, and most (though not all) are compatible with popular illustrating software. When you consider these features, you can find a model that suits your drawing style.