View Full Version : Got my tablet, having a little trouble controling lightwave

06-01-2006, 02:11 PM
I just got my graphire 4 6x8 tablet. THe probem is when I move the pen even a little bit in layout, it swirls around and is almost uncontrolable. Is it my fault or what?

06-01-2006, 02:40 PM
Stupid me, didn't notice the tablet option in options... Anyway, tablets are great, especially in photoshop.

06-01-2006, 03:10 PM
Glad to hear.

06-02-2006, 04:27 AM
question relating photoshop. The tablet is set to act according to the whole screen. this makes it hard to paint right in photoshop. Is there any easy way set the table so it is scaled down to a single window?

06-02-2006, 04:47 AM
Yes, have a look in your Wacom prefs (as I recall, not having used a Wacom tablet for a while).


06-02-2006, 06:41 AM
question relating photoshop. The tablet is set to act according to the whole screen. this makes it hard to paint right in photoshop. Is there any easy way set the table so it is scaled down to a single window?

AFAIK not, the tablet can't recognize the window size of the PS window you have open. But you can define a part of the screen that is represented by the complete tablet, or the opposite, a part of the tablet that represents the complete screen.
I prefer to use it in mouse mode though, the fixed mode made me feel like my hands are chained to the tablet.

Lord Snarebotto
06-02-2006, 02:22 PM
question relating photoshop. The tablet is set to act according to the whole screen. this makes it hard to paint right in photoshop. Is there any easy way set the table so it is scaled down to a single window?

No, but if you get a Cintiq, it is no longer an issue. :)

06-02-2006, 04:02 PM
I dont like the mouse mode, it is harder to control.

06-02-2006, 04:55 PM
I have come across a problem. In absolute mode, when I try to move a pixel in modeler, it shoots out of view. Why?

06-02-2006, 07:57 PM
Hi lilrayray,

I don't know exactly where that feature is at. Could you point me in the right direction?

I've been using a Wacom for a while now, it sure is much better then using a mouse.

06-03-2006, 01:53 AM
I dont like the mouse mode, it is harder to control.

Its the opposite, you can control speed and acceleration in mouse mode, but not in absolute mode.

06-03-2006, 03:07 AM
I'm not convinced about tablets for modeler work. There's no question about their value in a paint program though.
I bought a cheap tablet I saw a store once just to try one out, it's a brand called Trust, I didn't think much of it even in photoshop and gave up on it, but I was thinking maybe it's just becasue it was a cheap shoddy tablet.
Has anyone here used a Trust tablet, and also used a highend one, and can you tell me if there is a lot of difference between the two?

06-03-2006, 03:36 AM
Hi Oddity,

I used both, and there's no comparison... Wacom beats all of 'em. If only for drivers and the 'feel'of the tablet.

Modelling without a tablet is like trying to drive a car with skiing boots on and having one arm amputated ;)



06-03-2006, 04:19 AM
Yeah, but leaving all features aside, I mean the actual physical action of using the pen on the tablet. What's the actual difference between a cheap one and an expensive one as far accuracy and sensitivity.
Price isn't always a guarantee of quality. I bought a microsoft mouse once and it was useless, while the optical mouse I currently have cost 4.99 and it's the best I've ever had, it's perfectly smooth and accurate, it never sticks or jumps, it's just perfect and can be used on any surface.

06-03-2006, 04:48 AM
As I understand it, the wacom tablets ae superior in quality and "feel" because they hold most of the patents on clever tablet tech. i was thinking about getting a tablet a while back and everyone i asked who uses one said get wacom.

06-03-2006, 05:03 AM
In this case it IS mostly a case of 'you get what you pay for'. The wacom tablet is ergonomically well thought out. Other tablets and pens often have a clunky feel, which makes them less precise to work with. In some cases the pen needs a battery to work and this adds to the weight. Making a good tablet is more involved than producing a good mouse and the markets are not comparable.

In my, and most other people's experience, Wacoms are the best to work with, both in precision, feel, ergonomics and software support.

If a application supports tablets specifically, it's in most cases only a Wacom tablet that fully feature supported. They're the standard in the graphics industry.

Through the years people keep asking this same question: can't I buy a cheaper tablet instead of a Wacom? Several people on the newtek fora and other fora, having doubts about the pricing, did buy a cheap non-wacom tablet, only to be disappointed about the build quality, reliablility, precision, drivers and software support. In the end, most bought a Wacom and lost money on their first purchase.

I can only say: don't bother with the others. If I ever saw a tablet that compares well to a wacom, I would tell you and other so, but, alas, I haven't so far. They're pricey, I know, but WORTH it. In the last 15 (!) years I only had to buy two tablets so far. Both Wacoms. They're almost indestructible in my view. (the first still works, but was getting too small).

Intuos tablets are more precise than graphire tablets, by the way. Go for an Intuos tablet. Don't bother with wireless versions, but buy the USB tablet. Cheaper and you don't have to mess with an adapter.

06-03-2006, 08:12 AM
Just to describe the problem more. When im in absolute mode (pen mode) and I select a point or poly and try to move it (in modeler) the point/poly shooots off the screen.

06-03-2006, 12:04 PM

Did you activate tablet mode both in Layout AND modeller? Modeller's viewport controls work fine without setting the interface settings to 'tablet', but try to move a point and it shoots of the screen...

This might be the problem. Setting Layout to tablet mode does not suffice; you'll have to change modellers' interface settings as well.



06-03-2006, 01:20 PM
Hah, that seemed to fix it. Turns out the tablet option is pretty hidden, anyway thanks for the help.

06-06-2006, 11:36 PM
After reading so many recommendations to try a tablet I ordered a 6x8 Grapphire 4 and received it today. Cost me $170 on Amazon. I couldn't justify the cost of the Intuous for an experiment. Here are my thoughts:

After spending about an hour modifying some existing mesh with it I agree that it is potentially a more precise way of working. I say potentially because I'm still trying to get the hang of zooming and orbiting with the pen. :) Selecting large areas precisely with lasso was always a problem with me on the mouse, but easy to do with a pen. Moving the model around in perspective will take practice but I noticed that it was very logical what was happening. Its just that we're used to how the mouse works. Indeed, I struggled mostly with remembering the shift/alt/ctrl combinations to do panning, zooming and rotating more than with the pen part. With the mouse I had always used the icons, but their placement makes them difficult to use with a tablet because I always ended up with the pen tip outside the active tablet surface on prolonged rotations or magnifcation changes.

The absolute positioning does take some getting used to over the mouse. The best thing to do is to try and get the tablet on a deep desk so that your elbow doesn't hang off the edge as much. The 6x8 is a perfect size for my desk. I briefly flirted with getting the 11" wide one for dual screens and am now glad I did not since I'd have no where to put something that large. I was worried that there wouldn't be enough space on the tablet itself with a dual screen wide desktop, but the control panel let me set it up to use just one of my dual monitors which was a nice feature.

It does feel more relaxed than using a mouse although my Logitech gaming mouse is a lot more convenient to use buttons for shortcuts. The 2 buttons on the pen are more difficult to use just because the pen tends to naturally rotate in my hand over time and I find myself needing to twirl it to find the button I need. I can't find a way to program the eraser end to do anything in modeller. There's 2 buttons and a wheel at the top of the tablet though that can be programmed.

It comes with a mouse that you can use with the tablet functioning as kind of a mouse pad. I found it too slick a surface for mousing. I also had a hard time getting the acceleration and speed settings to my liking and it felt a lot less accurate than my regular mouse. Then again I've spent 1000s of hours with my regular mouse.

I'm not sure if I'll miss the extra pressure levels. For modeling I can't see how that would make much difference and I still see myself painting on my tablet pc for that direct pen-to-screen feel.

Overall, I'm pretty satisfied with it so far and it delivers what I expected.

P.S. I first tried LW on my Toshiba Tablet PC but found that it was impossible to use without being able to simultaneously access the keyboard.

06-07-2006, 12:09 AM
Thank you,
That was a nice little article you did on the tablet.

06-07-2006, 03:32 AM
Hi Steamtunk,

I know, it does take some getting used to. The panning, zooming and rotating of views with a tablet isn't usable with those small buttons in Lightwave (nor are they in other 3d-apps); although it might take some practice, using the tablet in conjunction with the shortcut keys will make your work really fly.

Tip: to move anything in a precise manner with a tablet, don't forget to press and hold the <ctrl>-key. That way you'll restict movement of objects/points/polygons,etc in one axis. This also works quite nice in pespective view.

Another tip: To move or rotate anything just a notch, don't move the pen, but slowly tilt it towards the left or right (or up/down). I use this in cases I moved some points/edges and want to precisely position those points/edges at the end.

The extra pressure levels will come to their own when you use displacement painting :-) . Hexagon, Silo2, zbrush and Mudbox support that feature. Silo 2 is shaping up to be a good and cheap displacement painting app. Hexagon also works quite nice, though the daz3d offer to buy this for $1,99 has ended by now. If you do a lot of uv-texturing, you might have a look at Bodypaint. Works like a charm with a wacom.