View Full Version : Tablet

05-23-2007, 04:29 PM
So I got the Graphire3 4x5. I found it on ebay for $65 including shipping and it arrived today. So far it's pretty cool. I like the "eraser" side and the pressure sensitive control of the pen is incredible. I'm already a little bit sorry that it's only 4x5. That's very small. The whole tablet is nearly twice that with this little workable area in the middle that I'm not thrilled with. I think that once I get the hang of it I'll get an Intuos3 9x12 and this will stay with the laptop for travel.

Great concept and it works great so far but definitely takes some getting used to. I know Mike had one but anyone else use these and have any luck with them?

05-23-2007, 05:33 PM
I use mine all the time at home. I have the intuous3 9x6 or what ever the size is... the middle one... I love it, except i need a new mouse, well i dont NEED one, I just want one... every few months or so i have to take mine apart and fix it. It sorta got smashed!!!

05-23-2007, 05:55 PM
have you used a graphire? i want to know if there's a huge difference between the 512 and 1024 pressure points and before all the wiseguys say "yeah, it's double" i mean the effective difference that's felt by the user. HAHA.

05-23-2007, 06:48 PM
I also have the Graphire Series, However mine is version 1, It STILL works great. There is no difference other than the resolution, and some hot key features of the larger more expensive pads.

I can’t live without my Graphire, when working in Photoshop.

The REAL power is the pen control, the best way to learn about how to get the best feeling with it is to write your name in cursive. You will also find that you will want to offset the pad, to have the proper pen control on a fixed monitor. Thus, you would angle the pad to have the mouse move properly on the screen.

Once you get used to this, you would never have to look at where the pad is relative to the mouse que/icon.

To see the coolest effect of them all, clip out a comic from the paper (black & white) and place it under the clear cover layer. Simply trace out the comic, and look at the screen!

That’s the coolest photocopier I have ever seen!

Have fun with it, but be careful, you will NEVER use a mouse again..


05-23-2007, 06:59 PM
i'm curious about your comment about offsetting the pad. i didn't really follow what you meant. could you clarify that or is there some place on the web that illustrates it more clearly?

i'm going to trace the image like you said and see how it comes out. sounds great. thanks for the ideas.

05-23-2007, 07:11 PM

This is the BEST example I can come up with.

Sitting at your Computer, Rotate your office chair 90 Degrees from the Monitor (Left or right) Now, place the pad in your lap.
Place the pen on the pad, and see where it appears.
Now rotate the pad in your lap so that you can; by watching the cursor, move the pen on the pad to all 4 corners of the monitor. Without looking at the pad!

This is what I am calling "offset the pad" this helps you too quickly learn the orientation of the pad, as well as your hand will feel natural when writing like on a pad of paper. People typically rotate the note pad to allow for cursive writing.

By doing this, you can draw in your lap. And it really speeds up the editing process.

To get the BEST effects, just write your full name in cursive over and over again, and you will quickly pick up the pen, and how to position the pad.

Hope that’s a bit clearer..

05-23-2007, 07:25 PM
definitely makes more sense to me now. i put the pad in my lap and started writing in paint shop pro with the brush tool. just my name, the alphabet, graphire, etc. just moving the pen.

so i'm guess you keep it set to pen mode and not mouse mode.

here's another question... i have dual widescreen monitors so when i leave it to the default setting it makes the corners of the pad reach across both monitors. that means that half of the pad works for each monitor, effectively.

so i set it to only focus on my left monitor (which is what i usually have PS or PSP open in). the downside to that is that i can't move it to the right monitor at all.

any thoughts on which setup makes more sense in this situation. eliminate an entire monitor or dedicating only half the pad to each monitor?

05-23-2007, 07:45 PM
I use only one PC, and have 3 PC's to do other tasks on. If your going to do some serious editing, then leave it to One (left) monitor to do your work. What ever makes the best to work with all of your resorces. Two monitors should not be a problem.

The focus is to mimic writing on paper, which the pen will do. Once your comfortable how the pen works, and it reacts like a pencile then you have good control.

I use my pen in PEN mode, I also have a USB mouse, that I could reach for for mouse level control. The cool thing is the pen, and how it acts.


05-23-2007, 07:48 PM
Thanks for all the information and tips Chris. I've already gotten a bit more comfortable with it. I cloned out some power lines in a discard photo just to see how easy it was to right click for the clone source and it was a breeze. especially just drawing over the line to take it out. I still think I'd have liked somthing bigger than 4x5 but i'll move up in due time. For now this is great.

05-23-2007, 09:47 PM
i have never used the graphire... im sure the pen pressuer isnt too big a deal esp. in photo editing.. remember, PS was started and prolly still is made to use a mouse so... i dont thing youll really need the extra pressure settings. Chris, I have always wanted to try tracing with the pen but just figured it wouldnt work.. i gotta try it!!

05-24-2007, 09:08 AM
I can't say that I have ever used one, but then again I really don't do a heck of a lot of photo editing either. I know you really wanted one though, so congrats!!!

05-24-2007, 01:13 PM
i have never used the graphire... im sure the pen pressuer isnt too big a deal esp. in photo editing.. remember, PS was started and prolly still is made to use a mouse so... i dont thing youll really need the extra pressure settings. Chris, I have always wanted to try tracing with the pen but just figured it wouldnt work.. i gotta try it!!

It's to each his/her own, The Graphire pad can connect you into so many diffrent avenues. I used to think that it was not needed. But once Photoshop uses the pressure sensitive mode, you can develop a full sketch controls over a master photo.

So lets say you want to get artsy, You take a photograph of say.. A butterfly. You print it out, Low res, then start a new blank page of 800 x 600, 72 DPI, and you have a white Background.

You now hand sketch your photo, back into Photoshop. This will have your hand pressure, and artist errors too. This would now be considered a cartoon/sketch of a real image. Yes you could filter your way there, but the idea is to learn the control of your hand.

Which ultimatly leads you to draw, draw with the ability to have an UNDO feature. When you get more comfortable, Smudging, and sharpening goes into this as some very powerfull tools to add to photo touchups.

I call it pushing pixels.

Ok you want to enhance a picture, take an image of a woman with long hair. Now add to her hair more color, or highlights , this is really a great tool to use long lines, and have razor sharp controls.

Take a picture or find an image of a bald man, and then add hair to him.

Again, controls, point sizes, and rapid.. The pen does circles around a normal mouse, and the pen's pressure is the best Human controled input, because it acts like a true pencil.

But for pure editing of photos, yes a mouse is fine.. Then again, an Artist/Photographer is the next digital evolution. The Graphire is that next logical step.

Well, thats my opinion..

05-24-2007, 02:08 PM
So Chris... are you on some sort of commission based pay for sales of Wacom products? :D I agree that it gives you tons of control in ways a mouse could never do - unless there's a mouse with pressure sensitive buttons.

Even more than photo editing, I'll use it for creating graphics in the web design world as well. That would be very helpful.

05-24-2007, 02:09 PM
oh, did someone say "Pushing Pixels"?

Here ya go chris, PSCS2, with my Intuouse3..

Photo to Oil paint.

05-24-2007, 02:09 PM
that's very cool. I can't wait to learn more about it and put it to good use.

05-24-2007, 02:13 PM
What i like about the Pens pressure points is this...when erasing or removing a BG, i set the eraser brush, to a pretty good (high) size and just use the pressure to control it.. so if i go into a tight spot, instead of decreasing the brush size, i just lighten up on my stroke and im erasing a hair line size instead of the larger size i was working with. I also like to "feather" my edges when cutting something out to be dropped into another "scene" the pen is great for that too!

05-24-2007, 02:14 PM
Ah, Your sandbagging me.. You already know that the Pen is mightier than the Mouse!:happy

Very Nice piece!

Yeah I fell in love with Graphires back when I was a Poser user. Thats where editing first came to light for me. Then Cameras got better, and cheaper, so I dropped poser, and went to the real world.


05-24-2007, 02:15 PM
now the thing i hate is the location of the buttons on the pen.. i always hit them when holding the brush...lol

05-24-2007, 02:21 PM
I notice that I already do that as well where i'm moving along with the nib and end up leaning on the buttons. i did see that there are other pens you can get for it that are a little different.

what kind of lifespan do you get out of your nibs, by the way?

05-24-2007, 02:24 PM
My 'Nib' has lasted me for 6 years now.. It still works for me.

As for the buttons, I roll them to point downwards so that I never hit them. But I also have the older style pen.