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Throughout this title, I am going to be taking advantage of the Wacom tablet and stylus, and I'm working with the Wacom Intuos4. One of the benefits of this tablet is that it has a control surface on it with some programmable buttons, and I am going to be going through how to take advantage of these programmable buttons, so that you can enhance your workflow. The other thing I'm working with is the Wacom Art Pen. The Art Pen senses all six degrees of motion, and we'll talk about that in a moment.
But the other thing that you want to notice is there is a pair of buttons on the barrel of this pen, and just like the control surface, we can program these for specific functions. I will be showing you how to do that, as well. All of an artist's gestural expressiveness is communicated by six axes of motion. Combined with an advanced input device like a Wacom tablet, Photoshop's Mixer brush and Bristle Tips take advantage of this information to faithfully simulate traditional mark-making media.
Let's take a look at these axes. Consider a flat drawing surface; we will use this as our point of reference. The X/Y axis - this refers to left, right, away, and towards motion of the stylus. A mouse works in this axis. Pressure, sometimes referred to as the z axis. This is up-down motion of the stylus. It is, first and foremost, responsible for opacity and stroke width control. The Tilt axis - this is angular motion of the stylus relative to the drawing surface.
Some mark-making tooltip surfaces, like brushes and chalk, change shape and reaction to tilt. The Bearing axis - this is directional motion of a tilted stylus. Strokes made by tools with a shaped tip vary depending on the direction of a tilted stylus. The Rotation axis - this is the rotation of the barrel of the stylus. Again, strokes made by tools with a shaped tip vary depending on the rotation of the stylus. The Wacom models, Bamboo and Graphire, do not support tilt, bearing, or rotation.
The Intuos4 and Cintiq support tilt and bearing with the standard Grip Pen. The same tablets, the Intuos4, supports tilt, bearing, and rotation with the optional Art Pen. The older Intuos3 and Cintiq support tilt, bearing, and rotation with the optional 6D Art Pen. The more axes of motion you have, the more faithfully Photoshop's Mixer brush and Bristle Tips can simulate their traditional counterparts. If you don't have the Art Pen, you can use the Initial Direction option found in the Brush panel's Control dropdown menu to provide some consistent bristle behavior.
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