Monday, May 04, 2009

Tablet PC tips 1

One of the things I found frustrating about Tablet PCs was that I could never replicate the pen feel of my Cintiq 15X exactly. The input on tablet PCs often seemed a bit binary - there were 256 levels of pressure, but the gap between 1 and 256 is not enormous if you're using the Wacom driver! I like to lean in a little and even on the high settings it was a case of thin line thin line FAT LINE!

However, in trying to solve an unrelated issue, I found the Pen Tablet diagnostics panel! You press CTRL and "About" on the Pen Tablet Properties control panel and you get a whole new screen. Bottom right is a dropdown called "pressure offset" and if you experiment with cranking that up slowly in conjunction with adjusting the pressure sensitivity, you can get a nice pressure curve. It even gives you a numerical readout of your current pressure so you can tailor it, and it's realtime so you can doodle in the TIP, switch it up a bit, doodle again.

To get a feel like my Cintiq (and my old Intuos2) on its middle pressure setting, I set the pressure sensitivity to the second highest setting (on the right of the slider, that is) and set the pressure offset to 8.

I have a feeling the best setting varies from tablet to tablet but this made drawing varied, subtle lines a lot easier. Please let me know if this helps!


Billy Kavanagh said...

Wow John, Tthat worked great. I always felt like I hat to push too hard to get a good response from my wacom. Now it's all lovely!

Sarah said...

Oh wonderful, I must try this as soon as possible! I thought my jaggedy lines were the result of a bad connection, but this sounds like the solution I've been waiting for. :D