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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.
When you first get your Cintiq, there's a couple of things you have to do. One of those is optical alignment, and that's what we're going to do here. I want to show you what I mean by this. When you first get the tablet, it's likely that you're going to see a situation like this. I have my cursor on screen and I have my pen down here, but you can see they're not matching up, and so when I draw, there's this offset, and that can get quite disconcerting. I could certainly use this, but it isn't very accurate, and where it really makes a difference is, if I'd go up here and try to click on this, you see what I'm doing, instead of actually addressing that interface element I'm just making a point sample down here that has nothing to do with selecting, so I've got to offset to get to that UI element.
So what we need to do then is to properly align the pen and cursor alignment. We're going to go down here to the Wacom Preferences, and you can see right there it's offset. What I want to do then to get to this is go to your Pen, and you're going to go to the Calibration tab, and this can be a bit confusing. When I see the word Calibration, I think of color calibration, which we will be doing a little later, but right now this is really Calibration calibrating the pen.
I prefer to call it optical alignment, but you'll see how this works here. So we're going to say Calibrate, and this brings up a screen where we now have a target to put the pen at, and what you want to do here is put your head positioned where you're normally going to be working because it's all about how your location is going to make this alignment work. So I'm now in the position that I would normally be using this, and I'm going to go up and I'm just going to visually put my pen from my eye location to the center of that point, and I'm going to go through and do that for all four points in each corner, and let's go ahead and say OK.
Okay, now when I'm drawing, it looks exactly consistent to me. Anybody else watching this, it might look as if it's not in the right position, but for the user it is, and that's the important critical setup that you want to have. Aligning your screen cursor and pen position will ensure accuracy while working on the Cintiq. This process is painless and will only need to be performed when you are making a big adjustment to your Cintiqs or your position.
As I like to say, an aligned Cintiq is a happy Cintiq.
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