Which tablet is best for Blender

Hi all,

I am thinking about getting some kind of tablet for use in Blender and Gimp and thought I should ask some opinions of others before deciding. I know Wacom is the major brand, but what is anyone else’s experience with Intuos versus Bamboo, etc. My first thought is to get the Bamboo Fun as David Revoy recommended it, but the Intuos line seems to have better pressure sensitivity and features. Thanks!

If you are new to tablets go with the Bamboo - It will teach you the ropes and is the least investment. If you want the base level “Pro” tablet do the Intuos. If you are very well off or making oodles of money from your work, invest in a Cintiq. There are a couple competing brands out there that are coming up in quality, but I’ve never used them so don’t know how they fare.

The leap from a mouse to a graphics tablet is large, while the leap from a Bamboo to an Intuos is rather small.

I have an Intuos 4, but I’ve owned a Graphire 1 and 4 in the past (Graphire was the precursor to the Bamboo). There isn’t anything I can draw with my Intuos that I couldn’t with a lower tier model. Intuos is nicer, especially the pen, but the pressure range on the Bamboo is plenty to draw and sculpt with – a lot of people here use them.

I’d probably go with David Revoy’s advice and just snag a Bamboo before blowing a lot of money on something you might not like. Some people can’t ever get used to looking up at a monitor while drawing. You can upgrade it to something better down the line if you outgrow it.

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In 2007 I had a Bamboo One tablet but it was very unusable for me because the surface was very small and any line I drew on had lots of jittering (I don’t know though if now Bamboo tablets are improved, I would like some feedback on this).

At 2009 I got this Trust tablet and has worked fine ever since, the response is very good and the lines are very smooth. I never had any complaints about it (rather than I suck at painting :P).

Try to avoid tablets that are not made by wacom. Wacom makes the best tablets and has the best drivers.

If you are just starting out, the bamboo lineup is good. Moving up is the intuos lineup and after that the cintiq lineup. I own both the intuos and cintiq tablets, they can get pricey but I never regretted the purchase.

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Thank you all for your feedback very much! I think I will start with a bamboo since I am new to tablets and would like to try it out. So which bamboo to choose. :slight_smile: Hmmm… Anyone have a favorite?

If you’re not super-loaded enough to take the dive on a Cintiq but still have an okay chunk of change to part with I’d take a look at this:

It’s gotten some pretty glowing reviews in comparison to the Cintiq line, especially considering the price difference. I played with one at a electronics showcase a while back and it performed like a dream. I plan on picking one up in the near future. I figure I spent as much on a PS3, and this will actually HELP productivity, so it seems like a win-win.

doesn’t matter much. I’d avoid the “touch” feature, thats pretty useless it just makes your tablet into a touchpad. Maybe consider a wireless kit of the bat, the usb cable is pretty short and can get in your way.

I knew exactly what you are linking to without even having to click on it. Frenden got a lot of attention for his reviews of the yiynova products, especially since they switched the digitizer from waltrop to uc-logic.

DO NOT BUY A YIYNOVA. It might be “stellar” for frenden who seems to focus mostly on comic style illustration, but if you are working inside a 3d application or want to do more than just limited illustrations, the yiynova is a horrible purchase. Yiynova is a chinese brand that rebrands generic pen enabled monitors. The lcd screens are of the worst quality and uc-logic makes use of battery powered pens that are extremely springy. This means every stroke has a ridiculous falloff. You are stuck with a vga connection, horrible drivers, bad color range and low pixel density, plus the glass screen is like drawing on lubed ice.

Its just a bad purchase. Better to get a used cintiq which can be found for cheap.

Btw I bought a yiynova out of curiosity awhile back and it was one of the worst products I have ever seen. Many of those giving it praise are doing so because they want to convince themselves they made a good purchase because they didnt want to shell out more for a wacom. A lot of those I see defending the yiynovas have a severe case of wacom envy. Now frenden did have a 20wsx prior to the yiynova, so he obviously isnt part of that wacom envy but in the same vein his work seem to fit the type of strokes you can get with the uc-logic digitizer. I personally think its a bad purchase, and not good for a serious 3d artist.

Why does it limit you to comic style illustration? Er, more likely, how?

Edit: -shrug- reading Amazon reviews and various other sites, consensus seems to be it’s not as good as a Cintiq, but not a bad deal for how much less it costs. Even Raph Kosterhas one apparently, which I find humorous given he’s like creator of Ultima Online and Star Wars Galaxies - I’d have guessed he already would have had a Cintiq if he’d wanted one.

I like the battery powered pen that are springy. I use a intous but I can control the pressure better with a genius pen. Well I have no extra money for a new tablet so whats it matter?
My intous freaks out now and then and starts to scroll on 2 MSI AMD combos.
I have never had any luck buying used. I watched and bid on tablets/Intous 3 till some went over 200 dollars then went to Amazon and got a new one for little more. Used in perfect condition 1/2 price used in good condition 1/3 price or buy new with a warranty.
The feel of the wacom is nice I forgot how to use a mouse.

I wouldnt say it limits you to comic style illustration as much as you will lose accuracy and control if you do anything other than that. You know the spring nib you can put into a wacom pen? Its that but about 5 x more springy. The normalized process of 0-1 for input is stretched out, so you have an offset. Even if you pull your pen off the monitor you will have that falloff. This is worse for 3d sculpting and general pen based workflows in any 3d app. Additionally, the non wacom pens are pretty bad quality. There is a thread about it floating around on the tabletpcforums, which was very informative.

I really dont know why any high profile developer would want to use one unless its just a scratch pad for them, or something for concepting. I cant imagine a serious next gen artist picking one over a cintiq. I would love for there to be some non wacom alternatives that are actually good, but the yiynova (bosto…ect) isnt it.

You shouldnt be able to. Go into your wacom properties and adjust the sensitivity slider. Also you might be having some interference if you have another driver installed on your computer.

My intous freaks out now and then and starts to scroll on 2 MSI AMD combos.

Yep sounds like either your wacom has been damaged or you have a driver issue. Remember you cant install two different tablet drivers on the same computer. Installing the drivers for the UC logic that yiynova uses for example will mess up wacom drivers and vice versa. So if you are trying to have two different types of tablets on the same PC then you will have issues.

The pen spring probably wouldn’t bother me that much. I’m not picky about that stuff at all. Watching a few YouTube demos, others don’t seem to have a terribly difficult time painting with it, so I doubt I’d struggle much. The only deal breaker I saw was their drivers conflict with Wacom drivers. I’m also not sure of its Linux compatibility, which is a requirement for me.

My Wacom drivers crash periodically if I do a series of small, quick strokes. I have to completely restart my computer to get them working again. It’s been the same problem on every win7 64-bit computer I’ve ever used my tablet with and it drives me insane. It only started when they started repurposing the Bamboo drivers for my Graphire wireless tablet, and their support has basically told me that I’m SOL here because they don’t want to fix it. Which is sad, because I love Wacom’s product as a whole.

That is so odd. I rarely hear of wacom driver problems. IN fact its almost unheard of. It might be due to the graphire being an old piece of hardware and they assume users will have upgraded by now. There is a certain point where hardware thats no longer being produced isnt updated for newer OS.

Yeah, I know. I really need to upgrade to an Intuos (or, maybe someday, one of those beautiful 24HDs drool). I just have trouble justifying it because of the minimal jump in quality, and more than a little sentimentality for my little Graphire thats taken me so far. We’ll see, it’s not like I wouldn’t love a new toy.

I’m using the wacom bamboo create pen and touch tablet since october of the last year, so far so good, first I used with Windows 7 with it, then I moved to Ubuntu as my main OS, I think I had the version 11.10 but for this version there wasn’t drivers for tablet build in at least not for wacom tablets, I tried to download the drivers but I couldn’t make my tablet work until I upgrade Ubuntu to version 12.04, then It worked as they said “out of the box”, I use gimp too, just have in mind that the tablet should be connected before gimp opens otherwise it may not recognize the tablet.

That your drivers crash completly is odd, there is however a problem with windows 7/8 and it’s build in tablet gimmiks - I had problems with that as well. http://viziblr.com/news/2011/8/14/the-ultimate-guide-to-making-your-wacom-tablet-work-on-windo.html this helped.

I’ve used a basic Bamboo Pen tablet for 3 years. Used to be a pain to get it working with Linux, but now that’s been solved. It works great with Windows 7 & 8. The fact that it doesn’t have a screen is a good thing in my mind. I learned to follow the cursor on the computer’s screen instead of looking at my hand. It’s not that much of a mental leap since most of us do that anyway with a mouse.

The pen tablet works great with Blender’s interface too, though you might want to change the 3d viewport control scheme to make it more tablet friendly.