View Full Version : Bamboo Wacom for comics

06-10-2015, 05:52 PM
I picked up a Bamboo Wacom and was hoping to use it for comics but I can't make heads or tails of it. For drawing it feels very unsteady and the stylus pen seems off center. Does anyone know how to use one of these? Or how well they work with comics?

Stewart Vernon
06-10-2015, 07:53 PM
Bamboo is on their lower end of things... Personally, I would have recommended one of the higher-end Monoprice tablets over the lower-end Wacom. I have a low-end Wacom (Graphire3) and it is more cumbersome to deal with than my large Monoprice tablet.

The Monoprice one takes batteries in the pen, which is a downside... but it costs barely more to get a 12x9 monoprice than one of the Bamboos.

All that said... what software are you attempting to use the tablet inside?

I use my tablets on a Mac, primarily with Illustrator and Photoshop... I have played a little in Flash as well.

06-10-2015, 08:25 PM
Sounds like a calibration issue. The Bamboo is a fine product and should give you solid results. Have you downloaded the driver and software to set the tablet up?

06-10-2015, 10:36 PM
@Stewart the Cintiq looks great but I wanted to try a low end device to see if I wanted to invest in something pricier. I'm trying to use it on Photoshop. @Bishop I downloaded something but it may have been the wrong driver, there was no setup. Also my tablet has a blank screen, is that normal?

06-10-2015, 10:55 PM
I'm not sure I understand the question. Bamboo does not have a screen it is just a USB tablet. There is software used to calibrate the tablets that will insure you don't have the situation you describe of the cursor being offset and jittery. I believe you can get this for free from the Wacom site.

I made the leap to a Cintiq late last year after saving up for quite a while. I love it and (for me) the drawing experience on the Cintiq is night and day from the regular tablet. I had a hard time drawing with my Intuous and Graphire models. I could manipulate photos and color artwork, but drawing never clicked. Using the Cintiq I give it as easy to draw as working on paper, only its a lot easier to correct mistakes. It feels so natural I actually have caught myself instinctively wiping the screen after erasing something as though I were wiping away the eraser debris.

06-11-2015, 01:47 AM
You're right Bishop. Even though I am getting a little more comfortable with the Bamboo I don't plant to use it for drawing. Should be great for coloring if I can just get used to it. Most of the 'How to' vids are about the Cintiq. If I can get some good out of the Bamboo I'll be sure to save up for a Cintiq.

Stewart Vernon
06-11-2015, 04:37 AM
Yeah... I don't have direct experience with the Bamboo. Like Bishop, my earlier experience was with a Graphire model and that one does have some accuracy issues at times even when calibrated and running the proper drivers. It also has a pretty small drawing surface, so if you're working on a large screen at high-resolutions it kind of enhances some of the jitteriness, in my opinion.

That's why I was saying I would have recommended a higher end Monoprice than the low end Bamboo. Wacom is great, don't get me wrong... but if you can't afford to go top-of-the-line with them, I find more bang for my buck with the Monoprice tablet that is larger and has greater response than the lower-end Wacoms I've tried.

06-11-2015, 06:48 AM
As mentioned, you need the newest drivers, probably 'Feel' from Wacom.

A good step up is the chinese pen/screen equipment, but you can also snag a Surface Pro (1 or 2 - both use Wacom, 3 uses N-Trig) for a very good price right now. Avoid the RT versions, you want the Pro if you go this route.

They have 10" screens and have about 1000 levels of pressure on offer. Plus, they're a whole system rather than just an add on to an existing system, so you can carry the whole thing around and be ready to go.

Mine fits into a 12L backpack, along with a Nexus 7 and all the other shit I carry around.
Alternatively, if you just want to get to grips with drawing on a screen, try the Fujitsu Stylistic ST5112 or better yet the ST6012.
Less pressure, but still an all in one system, drawing directly onto the screen. I've had both and they work great, although they are heavier and bulkier than something like the Surface Pro. Easy enough to upgrade RAM and HDD's in the Stylistics though, whereas Surface Pro's are locked down in terms of spec.

Duane Korslund
06-11-2015, 08:13 AM
I have to say. I have a surface pro 2 and love it. I really really really wish I had an extra couple of inches on the screen though...photoshop is just a little bit squished together. Surface Pro 3 seems pretty perfect for screen size, but I dont know how the Ntrig pen stacks up against a wacom. From what Ive read..its very close, but you definitely lose some pressure sensitivity, so I guess its a tradeoff. Still, those are 2 great models for mobile art.

06-11-2015, 09:51 AM
I have a Surface Pro 3 and a Cintiq 13hd. I prefer the Cintiq by a large margin. However, the Surface definitely has the benefit that you can easily use it while travelling.

I prefer the Cintiq for the drawing experience. The pressure levels and the slightly textured surface provide a better drawing experience for me. Also, the Cintiq is connected to a Mac that is much more powerful than the Surface Pro, so there is no lag or latency, and it doesn't get hot to the touch like my Surface does when it is running PS.

06-12-2015, 04:56 AM
A couple of things to add regarding the above:

- Photoshop - It's a UI thing. PS was designed, weirdly, for working at lower screen resolution/bigger screens (which is NOT a good thing) and as such, on a 1920x1080 10" or even 12" screen, is going to be difficult to work with. Photoshop is not a drawing or painting program, and as such they have no real impetus to alter the UI for us lot. Look into Painter, Manga Studio or Sketchbook Pro which all have much better UI for drawing/painting.

- Textured Screen - Easily solvable with a screen protecter. I use Hellfire Trading's Matte protectors, although I get the impression they're all basically the same. You get some nice tooth for the stylus to grab onto instead of it skating around like it's on ice.

06-12-2015, 09:30 PM
I think I'll look into Manga Studio. The tablet is becoming more comfortable but I think I'll keep the drawing traditional until I get the hang of it.

06-13-2015, 12:10 AM
Mang Studio is amazing for digital drawing/illustration. There is a learning curve, but once you get the hang of it (at least the basics) it is fantastic.

06-14-2015, 12:00 AM
This is a little off topic but since I am now looking into Manga Studio, is Manga Studio 5 vastly different than 4? From Manga Studio Debut4 to Manga Studio EX 5 the prices range from $14-$120.

Duane Korslund
06-15-2015, 08:53 AM
I've got EX 5, and its got everything you could need, so I'd definitely recommend that

06-15-2015, 10:18 AM
This is a little off topic but since I am now looking into Manga Studio, is Manga Studio 5 vastly different than 4? From Manga Studio Debut4 to Manga Studio EX 5 the prices range from $14-$120.

My buddy got Manga Studio 5 for $50. Then they upgraded him for to EX for $10. It might work better if you don't buy EX 5 right away. I think it is $120. I don't know why it works like that, but it did for him.

06-15-2015, 01:07 PM
Thanks Schuyler.

06-15-2015, 01:22 PM
I got MS EX 5 for $79 last fall. It goes on sale from time to time, so you may just want keep an eye on it.

06-15-2015, 03:16 PM
Very wise, thanks Bishop.

06-16-2015, 05:56 AM
If Manga Studio isn't currently on sale, I can very much recommend giving Sketchbook Pro a shot.

Looks like it's currently on the website for about $65.
It's very much like working traditionally, in that you can do pretty much whatever you want from scratch.
I pencil, ink, colour and hand-letter, all in the same file. You don't get the automated tools (like panel creators, vector balloons and lettering etc) but I can safely say I don't miss them one bit.

06-25-2015, 07:51 AM
I use the regular Manga Studio 5, and is been great to me (I was using the pirated Illustudio before), I have been ghosting inks on a few Marvel titles and it pleases greatly my boss, who is been more than 30 years in comics and around 20 of them inking on Marvel.
I use it for everything, even when sometimes they have the special sale upgrade to MS EX I don't feel I'm missing anything, I mean the extra features don't appeal to me. I'm not sure about prices now, but at the beginning it was 20 bucks cheaper to buy MS5 first and pay the upgrade afterwards (it was my plan) but I just like things the way they are. In fact I have both MS5 and Clip Studio Pro, one in my desktop and the other on my portable tablet, nevertheless I just learned you can install it in 2 machines, as long as you are only running one at the time.

08-09-2015, 12:09 AM
I ended up getting a Bamboo Wacom, and MangaStudio 5. Once I get a little confident inking with them I'll post some samples for critique.

08-09-2015, 01:43 PM
I dont know if there is a specific thread for it but I have a question about Wacom's in general. Firstly, Im green at everything; from pencil to ink to coloring and so on. I want to dedicate this whole year to build myself up as an artist. I am thinking about reading every important book there is and also using the most suitable equipments for drawing traditionally. BUT I also started to get curious about Wacom, Cintiq and Manga Studio etc. I did my little research and wanted to know one thing directly from you.

By buying the best devices and learning the craft of it, are there any things that I would miss since I didnt hone my craft in traditional way? So just focusing on digital and being a really good is enough for the breaking into the industry?