Tool For The Trade: The Wacom tablet

As a designer, the tools you add to your artist tool box can be important in streamlining your workflow. Last week I purchased a wacom Intuos 5 touch (medium) tablet in an attempt to improve my own personal workflow as an illustrator. I will give you a quick synopsis of what this tablet does and my thoughts on it in the short time I’ve had it.

In Wacom’s own words, the Intuos5 touch Medium pen tablet “combines Wacom’s most advanced pen technology with multi-touch functionality. Natural and intuitive to use, the tablet lets you alternate between using multi-touch gestures to position and navigate your artwork and the pressure-sensitive pen to sketch, paint, retouch and edit.” This is a drawing pad that syncs with a pen and recognizes minute differences in pressure, 2,048 different levels of pressure to be exact. This gives you the ability to make very organic and natural looking brush strokes when using the brush tool in photoshop. As you increase pen pressure on the pad, the brush width widens. As the pen pressure decreases, the brush width will reduce down to a fine point. The multi-touch functionality allows you to navigate the page by dragging your finger, zoom in and out by pitching two fingers, and easily rotate the page by twisting two fingers. You can customize gestures to your liking or disable them altogether if you find them distracting.

There are also customizable quick keys that you can set specifically for each program and you can orientate these buttons on the left or right side depending whether you are right or left handed.  I have not had the chance to do a lot of customizing yet to find the ideal settings for my workflow, but the capabilities are there to specialize the tablet as much as I want. So far I am impressed with this tool and would encourage you to test it out and see if it would be a good fit to improve your efficiency in creating digital art.