Wacom Tablets

Date: Mon, 23 Feb 1998 12:56:10 -0800
From: Sonya Naumov
Subject: illustration: Wacom tablet + BubbleJet

I now am a proud owner of a Wacom ArtzII 12x12 graphics tablet and I can't believe how it's changed my life. It only took me 2 hrs to get used to although I still need some practice with the buttons...certainly makes illustration a breeze in photoshop. Last night I managed to do a scientific illo of a dragonfly nymph in half the time it would take with a mouse. It's just so accurate. Though the fact that my poor nymph died of heat exhastion and was pretty motionless might have contributed to the speed too. Must plan a burial at pond for him huh?

I know someone mentioned they had trouble with space for the Tablet. I got Dad (who's a carpenter) to put a bar across my computer desk in front of my monitor, which is on a shelf. The bar is about 1.5 inches in front of the shelf and monitor and the Tablet rest on the bar...hooked by it's little legs. It's on a comfortable 45 degree angle and I can slide it to the side when I need to get to the keyboard like now.

I also recently purchased another brilliant illustration toy that I just have to mention. A Photo Realism Cannon Bubblejet printer...BJC-7000.....WOW! You should see how the thing prints on plain paper and the results on Glossy Photo Paper are unbelievable. Now I can really fix up my portfolio!

Sonya Naumov
Uni of Newcastle, Australia
Design Department
Sonya: http://www.newcastle.edu.au/department/fad/ds/naumov/sonyahp.htm
Illustration HomePage: http://www.newcastle.edu.au/department/fad/ds/illus/illusthp.htm

Date: Thu, 06 Aug 1998 06:40:22 -0700
From: John Nez
Subject: illustration: Tips & Tricks: Wacom Tablet Makeover

As I know many of you use graphics tablets... I thought you might be interested in this studio trick.

I had bought a 4 x 5 tablet for my Mac... and after only a few weeks noticed that it was developing surface problems... scratches and rough areas that made drawing in those places difficult...even though they were almost invisible to the eye. First I tried polishing the surface with a polishing compound... that helped a little... but it was still a noticeable problem.

Then I discovered a solution..... I cut a piece of soft plastic from one of those clear school report covers (the kind with the stiff plastic spine that slips down over the fold to hold it together).

Then I taped this plastic over the drawing area... with the tape sticking to the borders along the sides.

Voila! Not only are all the scratches gone, but the tablet has a much improved feel for drawing... it's more like drawing on vellum with a pencil now, instead of feeling like drawing on marble with a ball point pen. I tried all sorts of other acrylic sheets, acetates, etc., but found the ordinary floppy plastic report cover works best. The performance of the tablet is in no way diminished.


Wacom has a 4x6 Pen Partner for around $99. This model has a cordless, pressure sensitive stylus and has a very quick and natural feel. Learning curve is also quick. It's a good tool to start with without investing the big bux for a bigger tablet with the (usefull) bells, whistles and goodies.

Vince Marine

Because the button is there, I always hold the pen in the same position. This causes the nib to wear down on one side, getting 'sharper and sharper', until it's noticeably different on the surface of the tablet. (mine is covered with soft plastic which I taped on and helps a lot)

Well, now to the replacement... it's real anticlimactic... you just pull it straight out and poke in a new one.

I've adapted one of those rubber pencil grip holders to my wacom pen... helps to grip it.


I hold my stylus like I hold a normal pencil and very lightly due to problems I've had with my hand. I use my thumb for the button and found I don't have any problems at all. It allows you to hold the pen at a sharper angle to the tablet and you don't need to press hard at all.

Do you use your thumb? If not give it a go. It takes a few days to get used to but I found the results better than using the forefinger which is more awkward and wears down the tip.


Date: Tue, 15 Dec 1998 10:09:59 -0400
From: art@visionqueststudio.com
Subject: illustration: Wacom - out of ports

Hi LEs.

Man, WHEN will Apple wake up and add more serial ports? Especially when there have been so many more peripherals added that require the serial port and there's only 2 on a Mac!

Actually on Mac if all your serial ports are used up you have a couple options. Of course, these means mo money, Mo Money, MO MONEY! ;-)

There are a few items on the market like the Port Juggler which adds (and "juggles") more ports, however this usually conflicts with other extensions, etc. Especially goofs up with art tablets & modems. Some printers. (so what DO they get along with??) Have tried a few, but always ends up you'd lose use of something else important (like your printer or modem...)

There is a processor unit that is added to your scsi chain that can add 2 or 4 more ports (depending on the model) by Creative Solutions Inc. (they manufacture the actual serial ports in the Mac supposedly) Was $300-$400. Don't know how much it is now. Probably at least half. Did have trouble with my modem software not liking the modem on these ports, wouldn't confirm faxes. And the Chooser doesn't see them for the printer. That may be different in MacOS 8.5. Most importantly, you have to find out which item LIKES to be on these additional serial ports. Wacom Art Tablet does fine on these ports.

There is a PCI card that can be installed internally that will add serial ports. I hear this is the best route. Used to be about $600, but have heard they have come down drastically in price. Don't know the source currently.

To use a Wacom tablet on an ADB port, you actually need the right model of tablet for ADB. They are not switchable.

Hope this helps. Email me if you need more info - it's here somewhere in my pack rat file system. ;-)


Date: Thu, 23 Jul 1998 08:56:08 EDT
From: PainterSkp@aol.com
Subject: Re: illustration: SIGGRAPH report

Wacom had their version for a `show special' of $79.95. Big deal. I checked with BuyComp when I got home and they have it for $55.45! Or for $149.00 with Painter 4, which is what I'll get.

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