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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.
Because the pen and tablet is expressive interface between the art and the artist, many of the ergonomics discussions we'll have here must be taken with a grain of salt. Tablet placement in the overall setup of your work environment is ultimately a personal preference. I am going to show you two basic setups here, and there is what I call symmetric and asymmetric. This is the symmetric setup, where you have the tablet directly in front of the display. And I've been using this for years, and I'm very comfortable with, it just works very well, because the tablet is central to your work area, and it's exactly in front of the display, which makes for a very comfortable drawing and painting arrangement.
The other thing that I do is I have the keyboard back here, so that when I need to type, I'll type where it is. However, though, I want to say that working in this arrange what we have here, this is a wireless keyboard, and I've found that this really works nicely. And in fact, I'm definitely going to get a wireless keyboard now, because it makes a little more ergonomically comfortable to work with the actual keyboard right up front. The asymmetric setup would be when you're off to the side like this, and perhaps you have your keyboard a little closer.
This way, your keyboard is available, and you draw in an offset manner. Now the reason for this is some people just like to have the keyboard more central, and it does take a little bit of practice to get used to this offset. At first you'll find your lines tend to draw a slightly different angle than you're used to, but within five minutes or so you'll acclimate to this and get it out of the way. The other possibility for an asymmetric setup is to do this, where you still have the tablet central, but you offset the keyboard.
Now it's back to kind of the way I like to work, so that it's right in front of me, but I also have the keyboard off to the side when I need to use it. These are some basic setup guidelines. In the end, it's going to be up to you to configure your own setup to meet your comfort and creative needs.
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