Unlimited PS Actions, graphics, videos & courses! Unlimited asset downloads! From $16.50/m
by
Lessons:15Length:1.7 hours
Masterwacom
  • Overview
  • Transcript

2.1 Basic Input and Navigation

Let’s get familiar with the feel of the tablet by using it as a regular pointing and navigation device. We will review the default properties, and discuss how to map the drawing surface to the screen, change the device to left-handed, and use the touch commands.

2.1 Basic Input and Navigation

Hello everybody. Welcome back to Mastering the Wacom Tablet in Photoshop. My name is Kirk Nelson. This is now chapter two on the basic use of the tablet. This is lesson 2.1, where we explore the navigation and mapping. So, let's start with the obvious, just the basic use of the tablet as a pointer device. Now the most obvious way of doing it is by using the stylus. Which may not seem so obvious is that you don't always need to touch the surface of the tablet in order to move the pointer. Simply hovering it about an inch or so over the surface of the tablet registers its movement. And then contact registers as a click. And actually drawing strokes on the tablet registers on the tablet as a click and drag. This is one of the things that confuses most new users of a tablet. Is that it's not very intuitive as to what the differences between moving the pointer and dragging a clicked down mouse button. And that difference lies in the fact that moving is hovering, dragging is touching. If your tablet is equipped with touch capabilities, it also means that you can use your finger as a pointer to navigate, which may seem a little bit odd at first because you don't have to hover over it. Then you do have to make contact with your finger on the surface.,. And the question then becomes, how do you drag? Well, if you just click, single touches do register as a click. Double-touch with two fingers registers as a right-click, three fingers registers as a click and drag. And even more, four fingers brings up the task bar and allows you to choose your programs. That's if you push it sideways. If you put four fingers down, it brings up that 3D view in windows 7 and 8, that allows you to choose programs from that direction. One of the primary differences between using your finger as a touch pointer and a pen as a pointer device, is that the pen is an absolute position. So that when you put the pen up to the top left, your pointer will also go to the top left. Likewise, with the bottom right. Whereas, if you're using the touch with your finger, it's relative, much like a mouse. So if your pointer is all the way to one side and you push on the other side, it just continues on in that direction. It's not absolute positioning, it's relative positioning. If you open up your Wacom tablet properties, you'll get several settings for the pen, the most interesting of which is the tip feel control. The Wacom tablet is sensitive to over 2,048 levels of pressure. You can adjust how much of your own manual pressure that actually senses by adjusting the tip feel from soft to firm. Likewise with the tilt sensitivity, although that doesn't really come into issue very often. Now as interesting as that is, and as fun as that is a play with, it's the mapping that is one of the most important settings of your tablet. First of all, you wanna make sure the screen area is set to what you want it to be. I'm running a system that has two monitors. By default, this usually comes out to full. Which means my tablet would cover both screens. But that's not really helpful for drawing because I don't run Photoshop on both screens; I just run it on a single monitor. So, I like to set that to my second monitor, which is Monitor two here on the right. I usually do not click the Force Proportions, because that tends to cut off some of my drawing surface. And I like to have as much drawing surface as I possibly can. And so this will almost skew the proportions so that the top left of the drawing tablet matches up with the top left of my screen. And the bottom right matches up with the bottom right. To me that feels very natural. You'll notice there's also an Eraser tab so that you can control the pressure sensitivity of the eraser much in the same way you can control the tip pressure. There's some other settings up here for the touch and the function. And these mostly have to do with the express keys. In fact, let's talk about those a little bit now. If you simply touch the keys, you'll see the on screen window changed to show you what each of the buttons are assigned to. The top one is touch on and off by default. By toggling that off, the tablet no longer responds to my touch. The pen will still work, but touching it with my finger won't do anything. Let's turn that back on. Let's look at some of the other ones. The second button brings up the settings. Or at least shows us what the settings are for all of the buttons, on both the tablet and on the stylus. The third one is precision mode. What this does is remaps the entire tablet surface to this small rectangle on the screen. So, it's much easier to get much more precise movements with our pointer. Hence the name, precision mode. The display toggle will toggle which screen the tablet is assigned to. Let's just leave that on our main screen now. The bottom buttons are set to shift, control, alt, and pan scroll. These'll be much handier when we start working with Photoshop. But even when you're working with just your desktop, sometimes you need to Ctrl or Shift+click within your windows when you're working. Now what's even more interesting is the touch ring in the center here. If you just push that button, it shows the four different assignments to the ring. The first one is the auto scroll zoom. And while you can't see with my lighting setup, there's a small light that shows up at the top left of the ring, which corresponds to where that label shows on screen. Second is the cycle layers, and that's at the top right. Then the bottom right is the brush size, then the rotation. Again, these are all very helpful once we start working in Photoshop. But when working just on our regular desktop, say for instance we have a web browser open, the ring becomes a scroll ring. So, it's very easy and quick to scroll up and down within your windows just by using the touch ring. Well, that's it for lesson 2.1, on the basic input and navigation with your tablet. Next lesson, 2.2, we'll talk about assigning custom functions to the buttons on both the stylus and the tablet. And I'll show you my preferred setup on what to do with those buttons

Back to the top