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Introducing the six axes of motion

Introducing the six axes of motion provides you with in-depth training on 3D + Animation. Taught by … Show More

Wacom Essential Training

with John Derry

Video: Introducing the six axes of motion

Introducing the six axes of motion provides you with in-depth training on 3D + Animation. Taught by John Derry as part of the Wacom Essential Training
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  1. 4m 4s
    1. Welcome
      1m 46s
    2. Why use a tablet?
      1m 30s
    3. Exercise files
  2. 19m 18s
    1. Intro
    2. Drawing freehand
      2m 37s
    3. Tracing an existing image
      3m 17s
    4. Vector illustration
      4m 11s
    5. Using the tablet as a photo-retouching tool
      4m 28s
    6. Expressing yourself through painting
      4m 1s
  3. 12m 52s
    1. Intro
    2. A short history of the computing input devices
      2m 17s
    3. Understanding relative versus absolute positioning
      1m 47s
    4. Introducing the six axes of motion
      3m 15s
    5. An overview of the Wacom product line
      5m 8s
  4. 13m 52s
    1. Working with the Intuos: Symmetric and asymmetric placement
      2m 11s
    2. Using multi-touch on the Cintiq
      3m 41s
    3. Working with multiple displays
      3m 28s
    4. Going wireless
      4m 32s
  5. 36m 3s
    1. Intro
    2. Using the Wacom property pane
      2m 26s
    3. Setting up the tablet for handedness
      2m 20s
    4. Taking advantage of ExpressKeys
      5m 12s
    5. Utilizing the stylus side switch buttons
      5m 39s
    6. Using Precision mode
      3m 12s
    7. Improving application interaction with the radial menu
      6m 9s
    8. Using the Touch Ring
      5m 30s
    9. Saving multiple settings with the Wacom Tablet Utility
      5m 8s
  6. 17m 7s
    1. Intro
    2. The standard Grip Pen
      3m 40s
    3. The Art Pen
      3m 49s
    4. The Airbrush
      3m 30s
    5. Utilizing the eraser tip
      2m 23s
    6. Nibs: Tires for your stylus
      3m 20s
  7. 13m 0s
    1. An intro to tablet calisthenics
    2. Tablet calisthenics: Beginner exercises
      3m 16s
    3. Tablet calisthenics: Intermediate exercises
      3m 58s
    4. Tablet calisthenics: Advanced exercises
      2m 38s
    5. Tablet calisthenics: Master exercises
      2m 24s
  8. 12m 35s
    1. Setting up the Cintiq
      2m 57s
    2. Positioning the Cintiq for your working style
      2m 7s
    3. Optically aligning the Cintiq
      2m 44s
    4. Color calibrating your Cintiq display
      3m 32s
    5. Utilizing the hardware keys
      1m 15s
  9. 40s
    1. Next steps

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Introducing the six axes of motion
Video Duration: 3m 15s 2h 9m Appropriate for all


Introducing the six axes of motion provides you with in-depth training on 3D + Animation. Taught by John Derry as part of the Wacom Essential Training

View Course Description

Wacom tablets are a popular alternative to the mouse for painting, drawing, and navigating your computer in a more natural position. In this course, artist and teacher John Derry shows how to get up and running with a variety of Wacom tablets (Intuos, Cintiq, and more), covering everything from setup to stylus selection. He then shows how to speed up your workflow and enhance your command of the drawing surface with ExpressKeys, the Touch Ring, and other controls. Plus, learn about tablet ergonomics—which makes your Wacom even more compatible with your working conditions—and follow a few exercises to warm up your drawing arm.

Topics include:
  • Drawing freehand
  • Tracing existing images
  • Determining the correct tablet size for your work
  • Understanding relative vs. absolute positioning
  • Working with control surfaces like the Touch Ring and control keys
  • Selecting the right stylus
  • Working with the Bamboo, Intuos, Cintiq, and Inkling
3D + Animation Design Photography

Introducing the six axes of motion

In order to talk about the various Wacom Tablet models, as well as the pens that come with them, we need to have a discussion about how motion is sensed in three-dimensional space. Much of an artist's expressive strokes are communicated through the hand, and wrist, and arm. All of these motions working together move the pen in 3-D space. Known as the 6 Axes of Motion, these 3-D references can be used to describe the pen's location and attitude in 3-D space.

Let's take a look at how these axes work. If we imagine a pen in space and then add a two-dimensional grid to represent the tablet surface, we can now describe the location of the pen's tip anywhere on this two-dimensional space. These two dimensions are known as X and Y, and refer to the horizontal and vertical motion on the two-dimensional grid. Now let's add the third degree of motion, pressure. In the case of our pen tip, this is a slight height change of the pen tip through the artist's hand pressure.

Applications like Painter, Photoshop, and SketchBook Pro all take advantage of pressure input. For expressive mark making, pressure is the most important axis of motion. When the pen is not perpendicular to the tablet's surface, its angle could be described as tilt. This is the fourth axis of motion. Once you've describe tilt using the X and Y position, you can calculate bearing. Imagine the pen tip stationary on the tablet as the eraser end of the pen is swept out in a 360 degree circle.

This is bearing, the fifth axis of motion. Finally, we have rotation. This is the barrel of the pen being rotated in the hand by the artist. This becomes important when dealing with non-symmetrical brush tips. When all six of the axes of motion are being sensed and communicated to the application, all of the artist's combined hand motions can be interpreted for use by the expressive mark-making tools. Not all Wacom tablet support all 6 axes of motion.

The entry-level tablet, the Bamboo supports X, Y, and pressure. Intuos Tablets, using the standard grip pen that comes with the tablet, support X, Y, pressure, tilt, and bearing. The optional Art Pen supports these five axis plus barrel rotation. This is also true for this Cintiq pen display. So if you want the maximum expressive mark-making environment, you'll want to have either and an Intuos Tablet or Cintiq pen display and the optional Art Pen.

Keep in mind that pressure is the single most expressive axis of motion. As a result, all levels of Wacom Tablets make excellent expressive mark-making tools when used in combination with an application that takes advantage of this data.

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