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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 own either an Intuos or Cintiq tablet, you already have the Grip Pen, as it is the standard included stylus. For most users, the Grip Pen is all you need. Let's take a close up look at it. Now, the main thing we want to concentrate on is that with the Grip Pen, as with all the pens, pressure is always going to be your most important attribute. Anything else after that is kind of icing on the cake. But as you'll see, you may want to have additional capability if the Grip Pen itself isn't going to handle it.
So, one of the things that we look at here is that the Grip Pen utilizes five of the six degrees of freedom. And going through them, the first are X and Y, which is simply the grid that allows the tablet to sense where on the tablet the pen is located. Next we have Pressure. So when you press harder, you're going to get in some cases a wider line, or a darker line. Once we have pressure, you can then have Tilt, okay. And once you have tilt, you can then describe Bearing. So we've got five of the six degrees of freedom.
That means even a single brush is going to be capable of a pretty wide range of expression. And to start off I've got a blunt, round, symmetrical tip to show you this. And I also want to give you a little demo of how it looks and there actually is a little icon here. If your machine supports a GPU, you will see this, otherwise you wouldn't be able to see this display. But what this does is it just gives me a mirror of what I'm doing with my stylus, and in this case I've got it set up so it's as if we're looking directly from above.
But you can already see how I can do tilt in stylus, and when you also see the tip mirrored on the screen itself, it's showing me, basically, you know, the attitude of the tip of the stylus, or in this case the actual brush tip that Photoshop is presenting. So, when I start using this, if I'm more or less straight up, I'm going to get kind of a nice set of narrow lines and in this case pressure is also changing things. But once you start to use tilt, it starts to use more and more of the edge of the tip itself so that I get a much fuller, thicker application of the paint.
And so, once you start to combine these, just this one tip starts to have quite a bit of variability within it. But I want to show you where the limitation begins, and to do that I'm going to switch to an asymmetrical tip. So we're going to go down here and select a Fan brush, and I'll change colors just so we get a good sense of difference here. So now this pen, you can see it's an asymmetrical tip, and I still have my tilt and my bearing, but what's going to happen here, you'll notice that when I start to draw, is that I can't change the angle of the tip itself.
So if I want a wide stroke this way, I really don't have a way to get a wide stroke in this angle. So, that's where the limitation of this lies, and the best advice I can give you is, this tip is great as long as you stick with symmetrical tips, like a round tip. But once you start getting into the world of asymmetrical tips like a Fan brush is, you're going to sense that limitation. Capable of sensing five of the six degrees of freedom, the Grip Pen will satisfy most casual users' needs. And hey, it didn't cost any extra.
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