The Pros and Cons of using a Wacom Tablet

July 10, 2009 - By 

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Many of you have been asking about my Wacom Tablet and how I like it. In this video, I answer all of your questions about the wacom including, “Why did you start using the tablet?” – “How do you like it?” and “How long does it take to get used to?”

Posted In:  My Work Reviews Tech Video
  • I’ve never adjusted to the Wacom for general use, and plug mine in for Painter or when using the brushes in Photoshop. I’ve heard it’s wonderful for roto work in AE, but I have yet to implement this advice. Nick, have you roto’d with the pen?

    P.S. Please talk to your robot more.

  • Excellent cast as always. I’ve used a large tablet for a number of years now and have always enjoyed. The biggest downside is finding the space on your desk, it cuts back on the arm strain for sure.

    In regards to web browsing there are some nice ADD ONs to Firefox that allow for gestures (All-in-One Gestures 0.19.1) and scrolling (Grab and Drag This really makes viewing pages with a tablet awesome.

  • On the web page scrolling tip.. you can use the swipe pad “zoom slider” on the tablet itself to scroll pages.. I believe it’s a setting in the wacom tablet preferences..

    you can also specify application specific functions.. like that scroll works in a web browser, but in Photoshop, that’ll cycle through your brush sizes, or other stuff..

    There are probably other interesting Pros, like using gestures with browsing, etc. Also you can get the 4-d mouse for certain procedures..

    I really enjoy using a wacom, but only when I’m doing more “analog” style work in photoshop..

    I can bet it would be a pain to use it in After Effects, though..

    Another con might be the problem that you don’t have real-estate on the tablet for 2 screens to function as a one-to-one movement ratio.. decreasing accuracy..

    good walkthrough though.. keep it up.

  • I’m definitely one of those with a tablet sitting on the side cuzz I simply didn’t have a week to give it. Things are slower at the moment, I’ll give it the week cuzz of this INSPIRING video 😉
    2 Questions: When my tablet is in front of my keyboard it’s at the edge of my desk so my forearms cannot rest on the desk like with the mouse. Does this happen for you guys? Also, don’t you miss how easy right-clicking is with a mouse?

    • Desk space can be an issue. Fortunately, the desk at work & home are deep enough that it’s not a big deal.

      And as far as right clicking? I just set the lower pen button to right click when it’s held and I tap the pen down. Way convenient.

      • I’m having trouble using my intuos3 in vista, I have to touch the board with the pen in order for right and middle click to work, which sucks. In mac os I could just hover it over the board and still right/middle click. (my mac died last week)

  • Nick,
    Love the site. I visit every day now.
    Anyhow, yes, Wacom….
    Just got one… because my hand felt like it was going to fall off. Digging it soo far. Got the Intuis 4… pretty sweet. The browsing is much better with the scroll wheel.
    Keep up the good work homey!!!

  • Ryan Butterworth July 10, 2009 at 9:54 am

    Wow. I switched to a tablet about a month ago and everything you said was seriously spot on. I tried a year or so ago and I hated it, but this time, I stuck with it and it’s all I use now. The only problem I have is using the buttons on the pen. Maybe I’m holding the pen too low, but I have to bring my pointer finger up along the pen side and find it very uncomfortable.. Anyway, I’m using the medium bamboo fun and find the scroll “circle” to be absolutely useless…

  • The Intuos4 is great. The scroll wheel—neé, TouchRing—is great. It takes care of the scrolling problem you mentioned. Plus it’s really useful for moving around in timelines in AE & FCP. It’s like a mini jog-shuttle wheel.
    The assignable buttons are also really nice. If you get the medium or larger, the LED screens are really handy to remember what’s what.

    I think one of my main complaints about using a tablet along with having to take it everywhere is that there’s no good way to take the settings with you. So for each new computer I step up to, I have to recreate all my shortcuts I’m used to. With the Intuos3 it wasn’t too bad. But now with the Intuos4, I have 8 ExpressKeys and 4 TouchRing settings to deal with.

    And I guess my other complaint is using it with a dual-monitor setup. I have the top pen button set to switch display modes, but it’s still a pain.

    All in all, though, I can’t imagine being without one now. It’s far too convenient.

  • I have the same tablet and I love it, you’re right I need it all the time and I don’t even have a mouse hooked up to my system. The new 4 model is hot also, I use it at work and would recommend a tablet to anyone trying to get in the biz. There’s nothing better than a Wacom, get on board people.

  • For scrolling on the web pages, I use the “middle click” on the pen. This allows me to scroll at the speed I want.

    • Is the “middle click” something new on the new pens? I only have two buttons on my pen.

      • i think he’s talking about mapping the “middle click” to one of those two buttons. i have the two buttons mapped to middle and right click

        • yep this is how I have my buttons set.

          actually I this it was like that by default, but if yours aren’t like this, its great because now the pen does what the mouse was doing.

        • yeah, just map the top button to middle click, and in firefox you can just middleclick=tap or hover (depending on your settings) and drag up and down to enjoy your ramping speed page scroll functionality. mouthfull that one.

          I hold mine so that my index finger is always ind of touching the lower button, so then its easy to hit it without adjusting my stance. But people have told me my whole life that i hold pens wrong. they’ll come around.

          for dual monitors, I have my tablet mapped to fit both of them. This is why is chose the 6×11 widescreen one. plenty of room even on a dual 24″ setup.

          smarter than house insurance, this thing is.

    • Yeah!! I used to setup the middle click in the upper button and I always browse with Chrome and its perfect

  • I used a trackball before getting my wacom because I HATED the problem with having to pick up a mouse and set it back down to move across the screen. I hardly ever use my wacom except for illustrating in manga studio or doing clean-up in Photoshop.

  • I’ve used a wacom for over 10 years and have found there is no better way for a designer (web, motion or graphic) with any artistic skills whatsoever to convey their ideas visually. It’s very natural and I can’t say I know of any ‘con’s’ to using them.

  • Do you guys model ( 3D package ) with pens ? i’ve using wacom for photoshop and some AE stuff but for modeling i think better the mouse. tell me what you think about it

  • Nice cast. I did wacom long ago, when they came with a mouse too. I couldn’t get into the whole drop the pen, grab the mouse. Really would like to see how the intous4 handles this. Also one main question. I always use dual monitors 2×22. How does the dual monitor layout work with a single tablet live-space? Seems like a lot of pixels to cover with one tablet.

    • The tablet pixels gets stretched across both screens no matter what the size of the monitors. It can be difficult to get used to on different set ups. But, it’s not too bad.

    • I have one of the buttons on my pen set to toggle the display modes, so it rotates through Monitor 1, Monitor 2, and both.

      I also make sure “Force Proportions” is checked as I really prefer to have 1:1 movement. It can waste space on the tablet with both monitors, but I’m rarely in that mode, and when I am, it doesn’t bother me much.

    • I have the Intuos 3 A4 with a 31×23,5 cm working area, and that’s great for dual screen, in order not to work on a thumbnail.

      The drawback : it takes much place on the desk.
      I built a “rolling” tablet just underneath the desk, where I installed the Wacom.
      It allows me to keep the keyboard not too far.

  • Nice post, so much of this rings true for my experience too. Picked up the mid-sized Bamboo Fun last year and found it pretty cumbersome to get used to – but since adjusting to it, I LOVE the ease of use and navigation it provides within CS3 and out of it.

    I’m running vista which has decent support for the tablet – but I would much rather use the keyboard to fill out a form or write a comment like this than the handwriting panel that becomes docked off-screen once the tablet software is installed. easily shut off tho if u never use this feature.

    For browsing and scrolling there’s a ‘pen flicks’ feature which can be turned on in the OS and comes in real handy. A quick flick right to left in the browser will bring u back and vice-versa to go forward. A flick upwards or downwards scrolls the page. Or this can be shut off and the tablet buttons customized to do the same.

    My only complaint about the model I’ve got is thelack of as much pressure sensitivity as the intuos and other higher-end models. This is a drag when drawing/painting in illustrator or photoshop – lines/strokes either come out faint or bold, getting the opacity somewhere in between has not been easy in my experience. If ur buying a tablet to get into digital painting and illustration, I would definitely suggest splurging on a model with the most pressure-sensitivity available – More than the Bamboo models at least!

    Cheers for a cool post gorilla, happy weekend folks

  • Your videos are really helpful. I want to congratulate you for your incredible work. Your website was suggested by my Multimedia teacher and since then I’ve been following it.

    And yes, I tried Wacom and it really sucked. But after some university works my wrist was a mess, so maybe I’ll give it a second chance.

    Cheers form Portugal

    • Viva a Portugal! the first time in wacom is always something strange. like some portuguese Poet said once! “primeiro estranha-se, depois entranha-se” by Fernando Pessoa. that was the first slogan for Coca-cola in Portugal! Long time ago 🙂

  • I love my Wackcom, only problem with it is it’s a 12×12, bigger is not always better. For firefox I’ve set up an application setting for pan and scroll for the bottom most button on the pen. So to scroll down a page I simply click and hold the button and swipe down, works great for me. Love the site, keep it up.

  • I have one of the bigger intuos tablets – 8×11 i think. I found that because i have dual monitors, the smaller tablets were to hard to make precise movements or hold the cursor still. I have one of the buttons on the tablet assigned to toggle between the tablet covering both screens or just one for even finer control. Also as far as web page scrolling, what i do is have the higher button on the pen assigned to middle button and then you can just click that and drag up or down to scroll the page. I think that only works in firefox.

    my 2 cents

  • I picked up a Wacom 4×5 Bamboo close to a year ago. It’s fine for my use; cheap, small, and gets the job done when I need it. The scroll/zoom wheel on it is garbage, as is the mouse that came with it, but I only really use the the tablet when I’m digging in for a session of retouching work. The rest of the time it’s unplugged and up on edge next to my machine. I don’t really have desk space – just enough room for 24″ iMac, keyboard, mousepad, and pens/notepad – so I usually use the tablet right on my lap.

  • Thanks for your real-life video on the Wacom tablet. We appreciate your honesty… the learning curve does exist, we admit it. Glad to learn that you stuck with it and have become a pen believer.

    BTW, love the bed head in your video.

  • Hi there!

    i agree with you, using a wacom is such a good experience. i use wacom 3 years ago i start to use it when i use computer do to creative stuff (i hope it’s creative). and i started with a little one, graphire 4×5 and i used that little one for 2 years, and always save my hand. but when i enter in university i buy another one the wacom bamboo 6×8.. It’s really good and have some com butons up, like you can zoom it whit a little touch circle and navigate very well in the web for scrolling, make undo’s and forward and have to more botons to configure like you want! and i prefer the medium size is much better to traveling and take to friends house’s. But my dream is to get the Wacom Cintiq!!! dreaming alot in this days afff.

    Anyway really nice review!

  • Love my Wacom tablet. It took me about a week to get used to it and now I hate using a mouse. It feels so huge in my hand. I lost my pen for about a month and it was horrible. Just found it yesterday.

    It’s nice to see that Wacom even likes your review! Hello Wacom!

  • 6×8 is sufficient even for painting, IMHO.

    Pressure sensitive pen is mandatory for painting. So the question is not mouse vs Wacom pen. One might ask Wacom vs other brand pen, but a pressure-sensitive pen is a given for painting.

    Most of the time (when not painting) I use a mouse, not a pen. But I use the Wacom mouse.

  • I just recently upgraded to the Intuos 4 and it is amazing. It feels so much more like you’re working on actual paper- not too slippery.
    The Wacom was a lifesaver for me too. I had horrible tendonitis from doing all my work on a laptop (my hand was frozen this crazy monkey-claw position). I couldn’t just stop working, so I got a wacom and I crammed the pen between my index and middle finger and used it like that for a while. After a few weeks of that, plus lots of ice, my hand became fully functional again. Life saver!

    Haha, I love “Robot! Split screen!”

  • I *love* Wacom tablets. I’ve got an Intuos3 6×11 and 9×12 and can’t think of working without them. I still think a mouse is more accurate for those single pixel adjustments.

    My only other issue is where my right forearm rests on the 9×11 it has begun to squeak from the layers of plastic rubbing. It can drive you a bit crazy.

    And since Wacom didn’t say it, I’ll plug it for them 🙂 Check out the new community site

    Thanks for the Vidoes Nick

  • I love the wacom it rocks, the pen is an extension on my hand, so much i take it ever where. I’ve caught myself using the pen as a fork or spoon. Sometimes this worries me cuz i’m gonna loose it and my world will end. I use a 6×8 Graphire.

  • Nice review. I’ve been using Wacom’s tablets for about 5 days less than I’ve been using computers (’bout 15 years), and it’s interesting to hear what you refer to as “cons” since you’re so used to a mouse. I’d never really realized web scrolling was an issue, as using the Wacom is all I’ve known.

    Regarding size, I really like my 9×12’s as I do a lot of drawing & painting with it. I also place the tablet to the right of my keyboard and hover my left hand over the keyboard for key modifiers/commands while I draw with my right hand. Fortunately, my desk is big enough to do this.

    Thanks again for the vid.

  • Got mine a while back and find it great for Photoshop work. I’m using the large Intuos 3 and just carry it around in a laptop case… works great, keeps everything organized and protected.

    Gotta get a 4 now!

  • Let me just repeat again what other said before. I love it.
    I use it daily with a mouse on the side for browsing and stuff. Just a quick info on my configuration.
    A5 wide tablet (See the wacom side for what that is in US sizing.)
    @ Greg If you like to work on dual screens get the wide format. I do work on two 4:3 Screens Dual mode with no trouble at all. Needs a few hours to get used to, though.
    I find that size perfect to fit on the desk (90cm depth) I can put the keyboard above it. If i’m typing a lot i normally put the keyboard on top of the tablet. Works fine for me.
    @SuperToaster I use it mostly for 3d work. Mudbox Zbrush and 3Dcoat are a joy to use with it. For c4d i normally switch between a mouse and the tablet.

    Two small contras. The buttons on the pen really suck. The buttons in general are not very nice also on the tablet. I think the keys on the side need to much force to actually be of any use. Tried them for a day never used them again.
    Second one – This tool is quite expensive. Especially if you have to buy it twice. This leads me to a third big problem. The tablet is not waterproof. I spilled a drink over it once and be assured the tablet wont work afterwards.


  • Nick, since you mention moving the tablet between multiple computers, how do you keep your settings straight? Is there an easy way to take your settings with you? (I’m on a Mac, too.) If there is, I haven’t found it, and it’s frustrating to have to (re)configure every computer I sit down to.

    • I try to leave the settings as default as possible just for that reason. Plus, I work 99 percent of the time at work or my home machine. If I was freelancing, it probably would be more of a pain in the ass.

  • For Lefties it’s even better. You can access the mouse for tasks of your choosing, and in no time go back to the pen- as it’s in your other hand.

    Mine fits conveniently in a pouch of my laptop bag. I’d highly advise the 6×11- especially for freelancers. You never know if you’ll be on a single or double screen. As for carrying your settings, memorize them and make a copy of the driver disc.

  • Great post. I’ve often wondered if there are any 3D artists out there using Wacoms. Please reply if you are a 3D artist and swear by your pen! Be sure to let us know your software of choice. -chad //

  • I own the intuos4 model. It does take getting used to but fortunately with the tablets there are several things you can do.

    You can adjust the mapping of the screen. You want to make sure that it has forced proportions for more accuracy. This will be true if you have a widescreen monitor and the older tablets, or vice versa. This is in your tablet properties.

    Since you have the smaller intuos you only have the touch strips on one side, those who acquire a larger intuos3 will get strips on both side. You can enable them to be application specific or other things.

    I have dabbled in Zbrush with the Intuos tablet and find them comfortable especially because of the shortcut keys.

    It’s really helpful when you have a dual monitor setup. I can’t go back to single monitor setup anymore.

    The only problem I’ve been experiencing of late is somewhat hard to explain. I notice the tablet has a “sleep mode” and turns off the OLEDs when not in use. Sometimes when I try to operate the tablet it seems to “shut off the driver” I noticed the HID device becomes disabled in the device manager and nothing seems to bring it back on via USB unless I restart the computer.

    Oh yes that and nib wear is more frequent on the intuos4 and bamboo tablets.

    • I should also mention that you can enable “pen” and “mouse mode” on your tablet depending on what you’re using Mouse mode moves more quickly like the mouse and helps speed up travel along the screen, however, it does lose accuracy.

    • I had that exact same problem on my last machine.(Sounds like you’re on PC, right?)
      There is an energy saving mode for USB somewhere in the sysprefs. Disabled that and never had that stupid problem again.


      • I am, but I don’t see this setting you’re referring to on Windows XP, can you elaborate on where to find it?

        I also found this hack rather handy for saving tablet prefs and Pressure Sensitivity tweaks

        • Ill try. I’m not on an english OS so if my translation is incorrect please try to find it yourself.

          Go to System preferences > System > Hardware Tab > Device Manager > You’ll get a long list with all yur devices > There s USB controllers somewhere at the bottom> Right click on any of the USB root Hub entries > You’ll get a window with 5 Tab. Don’t know what the name is on an english OS but must be something with energy options or so. In this tab there is an option allowing the OS to switch of USB power in order to save power.>Turn that of for all of them. > Done

      • Nevermind, I used my powers of Google-fu and found it. Thank you for letting me know. Too bad you can’t tell what devices are connected very well on the “Root Hubs” so you can decide which ones you can tweak for power management settings.

  • I own the Wacom Bamboo tablet, perfect in photoshop and illustrator. However I hate to use it in AE, don’t feel I have the same power as with a mouse.

    When working in C4D it only do weird things with scaling, moving, actually it does weird all over in cinema. I can move objets with perfection with the mouse, but with the pen moves objects of screen. Somebody have any idea how to fix it?


    • edit: it is the Bamboo Fun…

    • That’s an easy one bro, all you need to do is going to your preferences in C4D and switch on the Graphic Tablet in the Common options and voilà! You’ll be able to use your Bamboo in C4D which is great too!

      • Still, even with the option selected, their implementation of tablet support sucks.

        When zooming/panning/rotation the stupid thing stops when you reach the edge of the viewport! (or was it the screen). At least was that way in C4D v10, which shows the guy at Maxon who implemented does not ever use a tablet her/himself.

        I totally hate using a wacom in C4D for that, or rather totally hate Maxon for being so lame at such a basic thing.

  • I wanted to try out tablets after realising how much I felt held back by the mouse on Photoshop and Illustrator. I tried tablets before but, as for everybody, it sucked and I couldn’t get used to the pen floating right above the tablet, the click and shit.

    So I decided a few weeks ago to give it another try. And since I was not sure if I would really use it, I went with a Genius tablet, much much much cheaper than the cheapest Wacom. And now I’m used to it, retouching images in Photoshop, drawing path in Illustrator, trimming videos in FCP, all those things are just great and natural with a tablet when you get used to it (it took me probably 3 to 4 days to get used to it and about 10 days to really feel very comfortable with it). I reassigned the middle click button to one of the button of the stylus for web scrolling (although I’d prefer to have the scrolling button).

    and then at work, I picked up a Wacom Bamboo Fun that was not used and it’s just great! It’s definitely easier to use than my Genius one, buttons are better, the eraser tip is just so cool and the zoom ring makes things easier. So I think it’s worth the extra bucks if you are really serious about it.

    Although, I’m not sure about the wrist problem. I think other problems can occur internally because of the use of the tablet. You need to relax your hand and arm as much as possible.

    And I’m lucky enough to be left handed and using the mouse with my right hand, so I can switch to whatever I want quite quickly, and even use the pen and the mouse at the same time, which is useless, but funny. But totally useless.

  • The best hack I ever learned for my Wacom tablet was reassigning the buttons on the pan to pan/scroll with the tablet. Once I changed that, I became a total convert.

    I was able to even change the button functionality on my ancient Wacom tablet at home: Go into System Preferences>Wacom Tablet

    Under the Pen tab you can assign different functionalities to your pen buttons. I just use the stylus to click with.

  • My button set-up for Photoshop (you can do per-app config with an Intuos):

    – top button = modifier control + alt

    This will let you change brush size just by top-clicking and dragging and change hardness with command + top-click + drag

    – botton button = modifier alt

    Eye dropper (if using Brush) by bottom-click + pen-click; duplicate or move (if using Move; same in Finder, TextEdit, After Effects or pretty much any other app) by bottom-click + drag

    Before CS4 I used to have my top button = modifier control, on all apps, which basically means for context menus.

  • they are great!…the bigger tablets can be a little too much at times but the med one is just right. I refuse to do roto with out a pen.

  • Excellent:O)
    I am about to build my own workstation desk and buy wacom 4 medium at the same time :O)
    So your podcast leave me no questions about should I get one of the wacom or not :O)

  • PLUS you can do the pen flip while you wait for renders! plenty of time to learn it. this is the downside of the bamboo ones, the pen does flip as smooth around yuor thumb. major dealbreaker.

  • 63 post?! I remember when if you had 3 it was a big deal.

    Well friends.. keep it up and don’t forget you buddy;)

  • Great stuff! As any old school Quantel or Flame user will tell you, Wacom is the only way to go.

  • Hi Nick, I also use a tablet, not a wacom but a Genius one (insert hate comment here, haha).

    I think you forgot to mention on of the most important features of a tablet. The pressure levels. Would be cool if you make a short video about setting up your photoshop brushes for the pen pressure.

    Great video and review of a wacom for all the people that haven´t tried one yet.

  • I have used a Wacom for many years, initially a huge one on Flame but since then I have started to use smaller and smaller ones and love them. I use intuos 3 at present for almost everything, except Cinema 4D which goes crazy when moving around the view panels, so I have to go to mouse for this app. Anyone else have this problem?

  • Nice on! But isn´t there a slide panel on the device for scrolling? At least on the big ones there is one.
    @Darren: There´s a switch in Cinema4d´s Preferences that enables tablet mode … works perfectly!

  • thegorilla: so what size tablet do you have?

  • Where is the “robot split screen” button ? I searched it all day long and didn’t find it.
    Is it a plugin ??? ; )

  • I’ve enjoyed Wacom’s in the past but never really got stuck into them. I do like the pixel:pixel thing that you bought up – but I’ve gotta say, the best of any pointing device I’ve ever used EVER is the Unibody MBP track pad. It’s HUGE and I love all the multi-finger gestures… Very nice.

  • I laugh every time Nick says “wack-um”. It’s actually pronounced Wah-kum. The “wa” part is japanese for harmony.

  • Once you go Cintiq, you never go back to Intous. 😉

    Seriosly though, I got a Intous for a year and I never felt really comfortable with it so one day I bought a Cintiq 12WX. It’s like day and night. The sensation you get from actually pressing your pen directly on the screen is really like drawing with pen and paper.

    The drawback is that it’s fairly big (slightly larger but not as thick as a 15″ Macbook Pro) and it always needs power so mobility sucks. I used mine with a Macbook Pro for a while but eventually sold the Macbook and connected my Wacom to my stationary workstation (and it’s been there since).

    Instead I bought a notebook (tablet PC) which got a Wacom-tablet built in. It’s not quite as fancy as the Cintiq. The pen isn’t as good (and the Cintiq-pen doesn’t work on it), the structure of the screen isn’t as smooth (glossy plastic vs matte glass) and it got 512 pressure levels instead of 1024 but I’ve got to say that it’s a killer to work with on the road!

    As a matter of fact, I’m on my tablet-PC right now.

    To sum it all up – you really should take a look at the Wacom SCREENS. 🙂

  • I have wacom tablet, and by the way i do say it the way you hate it being said. Can be because i am norwegian and it dont realy know all the time how i should say things 😛
    And about using it, i feel like i have a reason to like using it for painting or zbursh, and i am not good at either of those things.
    I dont need it for my usual 3D work, and my wrist hurts alot when using it, so i cant use it for a long time without some pain. I think it’s because i put to much pressure on the pen. And if i use it more then the wrist pain would go away i belive, so it’s like a evil cirlce 😉

    Andreas Strømberg

  • Hey, anyone have any idea if Bamboo series is good or not? i am still a student so i don’t have a lot of money to buy Intuo series.

    But Bamboo is much cheaper. So anyone recommend Bamboo? or should I save more money for a Intuo?

  • Great video. I agree on all points, including why I started using it. I have been using the tablet for about a year now. I am using the older series 3 model that is the larger widescreen model. Love this format because the 1:1 mapping does not use the entire tablet surface with 2 23′ displays (the bottom part of the tablet is not used), and I can still have room to be accurate with the pen. The smaller one with 1:1 mapping did not give me enough room on the tablet surface. After a few weeks using the tablet I needed a scroll wheel also. The new model tablet addresses that somewhat, but what I have is even better than that.

    If you have a tablet you NEED this. Great for shortcuts in FCP, AE, PS, etc…

    Scrolling in web pages is awesome, shortcuts in google reader is great. I would not be using a tablet if not for this device.

    I have the same setup as Nick, but I have the ShuttlePro 2 where a mouse would be to activate shortcuts and scroll.

    Nick, I really think you would love this device. Well made and customizable. You will not regret it.

    And no, I don’t work for them, I just can’t believe no one ever uses the product. It has made my job that much faster and easier.

    • I just remembered to say that I am left-handed, so the shuttle naturally sits where a mouse would. If you are right handed, you would have to get used to using the shuttle with your left hand.

  • I completely agree with Nick, i think one more downside for beginner “Wacom’ers” would be the double click problem.. At the beginning when you want to double click the folder, more often yo may get the “click and drag” effect, which can be very harmful in certain situations.

  • Two things that annoy me at Wacko Intuos 3 (A4) is the buttons and the ribbon at both sides. totally useless an they just get in the way inbetween keyboard and tablet.
    Got to deacivate it completely.

    second is the narrow tip distance from eraser an tablet. if you start typing in the keyboard (eg. Ae expressions or numerical parameters) an you don’t watch the screen for blink of an eye when the rubber tip reaches near tablet, everything get messed up.

    Intuos 2 was far better in ergonomical and workflow terms.

  • I love my Wacom, but I still prefer pencil and paper for drawing. Am I the only one? I think tablets are alternatives to mice, not traditional media.

  • I totally agree with what you say about wacom on the video even de waicom vs wacom

    the only thing that I’m not that agree is about size,

    I have an A3 intuos 3, and I love it, I had the chance to try an A5 panoramic ones, but I feel like i’m loosing presicion just because I’m familiar with A3.

    I had pain on my arm and back because of 10 hours a day mouse use, but since i get into wacom on late, there is no pain anymore. and also is an amazing tool for painting and clearcutting on photoshop.

    Once you get in, you wanna throw your mouse away.

  • I have used a Wacom for several years now. I started off with the Intuos 3 and really liked it a lot. When I started taking some animation courses I decided that I wanted to go with the Cintiq. That was a big change. I love it and find it hard to go back to anything. I have used it from Painter to Photoshop to Cinema 4D. I find that it really saves a lot of time for me. I took a roto class last semester and the Cintiq and Bamboo doubled my roto speed. I cannot imagine doing roto without one. Another device I use a lot is a Belkin Nostromo. It’s a gaming pad, but you can map all the keys in each application. It really speeds up my workflow because all my most used keys are right under my fingertips.

  • fucking “Robot Split screen” … best shit ever.

  • I haven’t ever used a Wacom tablet but I’ve always thought I’d like to have one. After seeing your video and all the comments, I may give it a try.

    I did want to say however that the mouse shortcoming you describe about having to lift the mouse up and reset it because it runs off the edge of your mouse pad or desk or whatever can be overcome in settings. I always set my mouse sensitivity and speed close to maximum. By doing so, your mouse can span the entire width and height of your screen with only a couple of inches of movement. The sensitivity probably would take most people a little while to get used to but after you do, you never want to go back to the default setting. Also, who still uses mouse pads? I haven’t used a mouse pad since optical technology came out. 🙂

  • Wacom – I quick point. I have has my a5 tablet now for over TEN YEARS, and it still works perfectly. Unfortunately i can’t get drivers for it past XP, and between this and my tascam US-428 (same problems) it keep be back in XP land for my main art machine. while that may suck, I don’t really complain because this thing has worked perfectly now for a decade. Time to upgrade now though (the newer ones are much better anyway) but I thought I’d let you all know that wacom’s build quality is outstanding and these things will run forever.

  • Hey! I just recently got the Wacom Bamboo Fun tablet about a week ago. It’s the one that comes with both a mouse and a pen. I needed a new mouse, so the main reason I chose this tablet is so I still have a mouse because that’s what I’m used to, and so I could use the pen for retouching photographs in Photoshop. I also got it just to have fun. I’ll draw funny little sketches in Windows Live Messenger, and occasionally do paintings. I got the smallest size, and while it does the job fine, sometimes I find it a little too small. The actual tablet size is 5.8″ by 3.7″ so you can probably see what I mean. I think I’m going to take it back and get the medium size instead (same as yours). In response to one of your questions in the video, this tablet has a zoom wheel similar to the clickwheel on an ipod, and when you tap the top or bottom of the zoom wheel, it will scroll up or down. Working in Photoshop at high zoom levels, I’m also wishing it had horizontal scrolling capabilities as well, but it doesn’t at this point. Not only does the tablet have shortcut buttons, but the pen also has 2 buttons on it, which could be great to use as double-click and right-click. In my field of work, brush size, brush type, or undo and redo. This tablet appears to do it all in a small form factor and it’s not too bad on the wallet either. I’m satisfied!

  • sounds good , i actually have 1 at work but never use it (since like you said it sucks to use it for noobs ) , im going to take on your advice and forced my self to use it , great video as always , best part taking to the robot.

  • I’ve been using wacom tablets since the beginning of time. Ok not that long, but since the mid 90s. I bought my first one refurnished through PCMall back in the day. It was white and had minty green buttons… I used it until the cord frayed and it wouldn’t work anymore. Come to think of it, all of the wacoms I’ve used to date, I’ve used til they die. I use it for everything. Because of health problems I loathe mice, they make my hand hurt.

  • You say Um way too much. Try to edit your videos or have some coffee before you shoot.

  • “…and ohh ähh computer ähh … you know … unsplitscree!”

    its so funny

  • I converted to the tablet you have when it was released. Great but I found the pen too thick. So now I have the small Bamboo. Just as good and the pen is thinner; more like a traditional pen.

    One more thing. When you are freelancing, you have to ask if you can install the drivers. Some companies don’t like you doing that.

  • I LOVE my tab. Masking in Photoshop, you have to have a tablet. The 4×6 works awesome… good size, good accuracy, 2nd and 3rd mouse buttons on the shaft. Sweet. Snapping to grids and guides does get a little annoying with minor twitches moving stuff off point but pros far outweigh cons. And I carry a bag around everywhere for my sketchbooks so carrying isn’t a problem. YAY! Whack-omm!

  • well, i got used to wacom faster, since i use it more for drawing than anything, i really haven’t the time to explode it at 100% yet

    and you are pretty right about the wrist problems,i got the intuos4 and it comes with a slider, to browse the web, it actually works like the mouse scroll, but it’s more like an ipod’s slider.
    i still cant find myself in 3D space with the pen,so, sometimes i left the pen, pick the mouse, and so. It’s better than stick with the mouse all day.

  • I don’t know if anyone has mentioned it – I’m also a 8 year Intuis user and for a brilliant scrolling solution – try SmartScroll – not free but you can map the top bottom to scroll a lá iPhone style with inertia etc….

    Got to agree – I can no longer use a mouse 🙂

  • Came across your video, your advice came too late, I’ve spent like 400-500 bucks no the large ituos 4. It’s really hard to get used to it. I get mixed up with the left and right click. As I’m left handed (on the keyboard shortcuts) for about 6 years now and I use my right on the mouse. When i use the pen for drawing, I use my left. So it’s kinda weird. Confusing myself. I really want to milk this cow for what it’s worth but there isn’t much tutorials on wacom around. Kinda sucks right now man.

    Oh great video by the way…

  • I have two monitor, I would use the Quick Point Mode for dual monitor navigation,
    and tablet main area mapped to one monitor for drawing with photoshop.
    But i can’t figure how get this.

  • You know how you’ll never have to move the mouse “up and up and up…”? just set the damn dpi higher. also: I need some help. I have recently purchased the wacom bamboo pen and touch (2011 edition) and whenever the pen is near the tablet, it just scrolls upward until I move the pen away again. This doesn’t happen on windows itself, only on programs like PS or drawing programs. PS: forgot to mention: I use windows 7 64bit

  • Thank you for such an informative video. I just received my first Wacom and yes, I am having a hard time getting used to it. What is causing me some problems is my hand is cramping. I am wondering if I am holding the pen to tight? Did you have any hand cramps right away?

    Thanks again.


  • Thank you for this video.
    I had an Intuos 4 Wacom Tablet but the port fell out when it was accidentally bumped,
    so I couldn’t plug the USB lead in. A friend of mine had the same problem, also.
    The Intuos 5 have wireless now so hope that solves that problem.
    So don’t bump it!!
    That means for me – no Wacom Tablet

  • Please tell me that how will it work with dual screens…I wan’t to buy ‘Bamboo Create’

    • Yes it does work with Dual Screens and you’ll be able to go from one corner of one screen to the other other corner of the other screen in one swipe. But you can also restrict it to just one screen using one of the buttons on the tablet.


  • Thanks for the video! I’m typing while holding the pen like you showed lol. You can customize the tablet buttons to work with specific programs. For example, I’m an animator and I have specific buttons on my pen for that. But for browsing I have different mapping system. I mapped the pan/scroll into one of the buttons of the pen. That way, I can easily scroll up and down a page in the browser using that button, but then I can go into Maya and use that same button as a right click/middle click.

    Don’t think about getting one of these, just DO IT!

  • the only issue I have found is it makes render region scroll awkward.
    You marquee your region to start render but when you lift the pen is stops rendering – very frustrating

  • Hey Nick,
    my name is Ilyas. I´m from Germany and i studied Digital Film & VFX. I started to use Cinema 4D this Week. I´m very happy with C4D, because our teacher recommended us Maya and it was very hard for every student. So C4D is very nice to use and i put more easily some good stuff out.
    My request to you is: Which assignment of keys with the pen/tablet do you use? I´ve got a Intuos Pen & Touch small with Cinema 4D R15.
    At the moment i´m using the pen tip for left clicking, the lower side switch for middle mouse button and the upper side switch for right click.
    I don´t know if that´s a good way to use C4D, because i just started and i don´t want to get used to an assignment/configuration which isn´t right or reasonable.
    I would be happy to hear about your thoughts 🙂
    Until then i wish you all the best and your work is totally awesome 🙂
    Keep Going on like that
    Regards Ilyas

  • I love Wacom Tablets!
    Literally, this product save my wrist and my career.

    I solved the scrolling problem by setting as follows:
    TOP BOTON: Right-Click
    LOWER BUTTON: Pan/Scroll

    That way, when you click the lower button and touch the tablet it scrolls up and down.

    Hope this helps!

  • I bought the Wacom Intuos Pro Small and it arrived 2 days ago. After the first 2 hours of getting used to I fell in love, I FREAKING LOVE IT. It looks good it feels good, it does its job good. It does have a scroll thingy on it, tho it’s like touch wheel, not a physical one. Still scrolling is easy and nice that way. The only problem is that if you draw, the feel is nothing like paper, it’s very slippery and I guess it’ll take a while for my hand to increase its accuracy on the tablet. Other than that, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND IT!

  • I am searching for the most practical tablet for me that I can use for graphics, Microsoft softwares (particularly Outlook and Excel) and internet browsing – just wondering if WACOM can do all?

  • Hi Guys,

    I am using C4D Studio R15.057 on Mac Pro Mavericks and using wacom intous5 Medium I recently bought before seeing this video 🙁 Though, I am happy with the size personally.

    I have ran into a problem, I cannot find the Wacom Preference setting under the R15 setting?? Not sure what the problem is I use it to do the basics but it’s strange that there isn’t any Check box setting for in C4D?

    Plz help! Thanks

  • Hey man, great vid! I have been using a Bamboo for the last year and half because I was getting those same pains and I got used to it and all but double clicking with it sucks. I find with the Bamboo it’s inaccurate and sometimes I drag a file where I don’t want. How is double clicking with the intuos?

  • I know this is an old video, but i might have an answer.

    Is it possible to set the preset ¨pan-scroll¨ express key to actually pan in C4D? So far i’ve had to map one of the buttons in the pen to “middle click”, and use option at the same time.

  • Hi Nick,

    You hair looks good!

    I’m using a Wacom as an illustrator and for C4D, BUT when I go animate in C4D
    in the TIMELINE the pen is horrible!
    Because with 1,2,3 you can travel through the timeline with a ordinairy mouse, BUT with the wacom pen the timeline goes too far away from my keyframes!!
    I don’t know if this issue has already disscussed here (5 years of blog history), BUT I want to know how to fix the navigation with the wacom pen in the animation timeline.
    For now I pick the old mouse back again to navigate, if my pen is messing up again.

    So, with wacom pen –> travels too far away from the keyframes
    with mouse –> stays calm and stays with keyframes when I uses 1,2,3.

    Maybe you can help me with this?
    Thank you!


    • I’ve got it!!

      In Cinema 4D
      Go to Edit/ Preferences/ Input Devices and check them all.

      It works for me and my windows 7, R16, intuos4 tablet and pen by animation timeline mode issue!
      Problem solved!

  • I’ve used Wacom for many years and while l like the hardware their software drivers have never worked well, and forget about contacting customer support it is terrible. My last call they actually told me to get rid of my Bamboo tablet because they could get the drivers for it not to conflict with my Wacom Cintiq monitor. Just a terrible company to deal with.

  • My advice is that if you need a tablet go find another brand. The competition would not have to be all that grand in order to leave Wacom behind.

    Wacom is a terrible company to have to deal with. Everyone is evasive, most do not speak English as a mother tongue, and nobody know enough about the product to be useful. The hardest thing is to find out which model to choose. I used a PTZ630 for over eight years, some 26k hours, and it was wearing out, so I called Wacom and got little useful advice. Eventually I ordered a PTH660, an Intros Pro Medium which was an expensive model about the same size.

    This turned out to be a disaster. First off the surface of the top is rough not smooth like the earlier one, and the last thing I needed was to have more resistance between the top and the pen. I wore out a pen tip in ten days, and on the other model a tip would have lasted several years. The bottom if the ting has rubber strips that keep it from sliding on the desktop, also a huge hassle. These new features may be useful for some tasks but not for cleaning photo images all day.

    The worst thing was that nobody, after many calls and hours of listening to over-loud music while waiting , could tell me how to shut off the nine buttons on the left hand side of the tablet. Those silly buttons send the image sailing in and out or all over the place if you touch them, and nobody at Wacom knows how to turn them off. Their entire help staff are non-native English speaker living in Coata Rica. If they had had one competent person who knew the product line well for me to speak with that first day when I called to find out which model was best for me, then the company would have saved several dozen hours of phone time.

  • Thanks for your video.

    Very natural presentation by the way, doesn’t make me cringe like most.

    I have a bunch of illustrations to do and bought a Wacom CTH-680, but was very disappointed. I instantly hated the thing.

    And yes, the big problem is the non-intuitive action compared with a mouse.
    (which you describe very well!)

    So, will try using my Tablet for a week or so, and let you know how I go.

    Cheers …. Zim

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