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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.
If you are new to tablets, then you're probably going to find out that the tablet's Absolute Mode is in direct opposition to the manner in which your muscle memory currently engages the screen cursor. The exercises in this video are designed to begin to retrain your muscle memory with Absolute Mode in mind. You can reference your Exercise Files for this example tablet workout. Before we get started, I'm going to give you the lay of the land here. We happen to be in Corel Painter, and I'm using the Scratch Board Tool, which is an excellent tool for doing this kind of exercise.
If you don't have Painter, basically you just want a pen that goes from a very fine point to about 3.5 as I have set here, or 4, that is able to express that full range through pressure from the finest size up to the maximum size. Also, you're probably going to want to go in here and create a layer on top of this exercise file, because you don't want to destroy the exercise file, and by doing this on a layer rather than on the actual surface of the exercise file itself, you'll save yourself from accidentally perhaps saving this with your scribbling on it.
The other thing I'm going to do is I'm just going to switch to red here, so that it stands out a little bit more against the black, and I'm going to go, finally, to full screen mode. Now this is very simple. Basically, we're going to connect the dots, and in this case it's just going to be basically following this along, you don't have to keep your hand on the tablet the entire time, we're not worried at all in this case about the thickness of the pen at all, we're just completing the dots.
And the reason for this is, this is just a really good way for you to get yourself acclimated to Absolute Mode. And this is where, where your hand and pen are on the tablet are where you're going to be on the surface of your screen and in this exercise. So that's the first one. The next one gets into diagonals, which start to introduce another little twist. I won't be necessarily go through and complete every one of these, I'll go far enough so you can just see what this is.
Basically, it's this saw tooth pattern. So you want to go through and try this out, and I'm fairly facile with this, so what you're seeing here is what you want to aspire to, and you may find this very difficult at first. In fact, I recommend that you try this with a mouse after you've done this a few times and I think you'll already start to see that the pen in Absolute Mode is a much better way to do this. Finally, I have this little star, and I've got all these numbered, so basically it's just a connect the dots exercise, and I've got four of them here, once again, I won't go through in this case.
But this is just so you can practice it multiple times. Practice these exercises until using the pen begins to feel natural. This may take some time, but once you get comfortable, move on to the intermediate exercises.
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