5 Best Drawing Tablets For Animation 2D & 3D – A Must Have Tool For Animators

Apr 15,2022 PM 16:46

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drawing horse in photoshop with XP-Pen Artist Pro 16tp.jpg

The original meaning of animation was ‘the state of being alive'. Animation is all about getting a group of individual images that change subtly but progressively and chaining them together.

Most 2D animation is done in Adobe Animate CC (almost every cartoon on disney, cartoon network, and nickelodeon is animated this way) or Toon Boom Harmony. Usually it is hand animated, but sometimes (very, very rarely now) they use rotoscoping.

Most 3D animation is done in Maya or 3DS Max (usually maya). Sometimes it is hand animated, but usually they use motion capture of some sort.

Tools used are usually drawing tablets, for 2D animation in Adobe Animate it's similar to hand drawn animation with parts overlapping other parts, animation cells, and frames. For 3D animation you use bones (the character/actor's limbs and body movement) and a few other things.

In terms of animation, a drawing tablet is an extremely various instrument and you do not have to look too far inside an animator's instrument field to seek out one.

Whether or not you're employed inside a 2D or 3D surroundings, when creating animations, a drawing pad can be utilized for all manner of duties from preliminary sketching and storyboarding, although to complicated scene creation and animating full frames.

Interestingly, you get to do these right from a digital screen. Doesn't that sound pretty fun-filled and convenient?

Many artists and illustrators have started to show their passion using a drawing tablet with a screen. Be it for unleashing their creativity or art jobs, the best drawing tablet can serve them in manifold ways.

Any digital animators who understand and value their trade will admit that graphics tablets are incredibly useful and powerful. They are a must-have for anyone looking to simplify the tedious animation and drawing processes.

While the power and usefulness of tablets are undebatable, not all the models are similar in design and capability. Therefore, your pick will depend on your skills and your objectives.

Benefits Of Using Drawing Tablets For Animation

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Mostly because it's faster. Way faster. If you've ever worked with a 3D software like Maya or 3D Max you know that you spend a lot of your time looking at the character model and moving its body parts around.

Doing that with a pen feels so much more natural than a mouse, it's like touching the model with you hands. You get more precise with your tweaking and you move around incredibly faster.

Absolute placement is the principle of drawing tablets, which is where the location of the stylus on the tablet appears at the same spot on the panel.

There are 4 corners of the screen on the tablet so you can travel around faster. Using the stylus, similar to moving the mouse around to get your cursor where you want it, takes less time. In an instant, you will be exactly where you want to be.

Working with a mouse can be tiring while using cartoonist's software since your wrist is flat and you can only work with harsh dragging gestures that include your whole side. Typically, the mouse is imprecise and clunky in your palm, and after extended use, your palm begins to cramp. A mouse is perfect for browsing the internet, scrolling, or doing basic jobs, but a drawing tablet for animation helps you to complete detail-intensive things more easily.

When you have a drawing pad, you don't have to get rid of your mouse. They work well together, so it makes sense to have both of them. Certain tasks are more mouse-oriented and others are simpler to complete with the stylus, it all depends on what you do.

Using drawing tablets for cartooning will also help to provide more clarity in the designs and figures. Since it's just like using a pen or a pencil, you can draw outlines or curves lined up very specifically. No more wondering when things start going to happen when you use a mouse for digital cartooning.

Shortcut keys are also a great feature that comes with most of the drawing tablets. You can customize the shortcut keys as per your requirements!

The drawing tablet may also be used in all applications; it is not exclusive to Photoshop, Illustrator, Clip Studio Paint or any other software that might be used by animators.

A Drawing Tablet Opens Up The New Empire of the Imagination

drawing in photoshop with XP-Pen Artist Pro 16tp.jpg

Once you get up to speed, learning digital cartooning drawing techniques is another enjoyable way to improve your artistic production. Think about cartooning art, interactive painting and animation using a dedicated drawing tablet, pen displays and apps. There is no limit to how you will show yourself. All that's needed is some creativity and a desire to place a pencil on paper or rather a stylus on tablet.

A drawing tablet normally comes with a stylus that is closely similar to the shape of a marker. They are usually much simpler and more convenient to keep in your hand than a mouse and allow an amazing degree of precision in your work.

Drawing tablets for animation and digital cartooning have up to 8192 different degrees of exposure to pressure. Whereas Mouse only has two degrees of sensitivity to the pressure; clicked or not clicked. This gives tablets a huge advantage over mouse , particularly for thorough digital painting. When using Photoshop, the sensitivity of the pressure spreads to the brushes as well. This makes it much easier to mix colours, incorporate effects, and apply cartoonist's tools.

With a stylus, you can rotate the pen and shift your hand and wrist to a normal drawing position. This helps you to have a lot of control on the strokes you're making. You can digitally paint with your stylus within Photoshop, and your work would look more realistic, simply because you have a natural range of hand and finger dexterity. If you want your digital cartooning to come alive and look organic, realistic, competent, then the drawing tablet is the perfect tool for your design work.

What tablet do animators use?

Drawing Tablets are now available in several sizes, ranging from lightweight, more compact ones to bigger options for creative digital cartoonists.

The smaller tablets are lightweight and simple to bear. They can be conveniently thrown into a suitcase or briefcase.

A stable animator's tablet needs to be responsive and simple to deal with. Some animators desire a transportable pill that may transfer with them on the go. Others need a big tablet for house use.

One of many greatest elements to think about is pricing. This will likely have the most important impact in your choice as a result of good digital tablets aren't low cost.

XP-Pen Deco 01 V2 VS Wacom Intuos Pro Medium drawing tablet.jpg

Wacom needs very little introduction, but for the sake of formality they are a Japanese company that specializes in making interactive pen displays, pen tablets, and styluses.

They've been around since the ‘80s, and over the years have grown to dominate the drawing tablet industry. They have produced legendary product lines, including the Intuos and Cintiq . Be aware, though, that their products are more expensive than other brands.

XP-Pen is one of the main manufacturers of drawing tablets, interactive pen displays and handwritten input digitizer products . They have been around since 2005, though for the first 10 years they only served the Chinese market.

However, in 2015, they took on the global market by launching their graphic tablet on Amazon. Over time, more and more of their products have been marketed internationally, and have received a warm welcome.

their tablets aimed at those who want the premium features of Wacom graphics tablets, but don't have the budget to afford one.

5 Best Graphics Tablets for Animation

Animators want as a lot precision as attainable to make correct marks, alter frames, and to maneuver by way of rapidly.

For this reason show tablets actually are the only option. In the event you're extra of a hobbyist then a easy graphics tablet could suffice.

However in the long term artists who work digitally sometimes transfer onto show tablets. They're higher high quality and simply really feel simpler to make use of.

1. XP-Pen Deco Pro

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XP-Pen Deco Pro is available in two different sizes ( Small - 9x5"active area and Medium - 11x6"active area ) and two connection models ( with or without Bluetooth connectivity ).

Large A5 or A4 working area allowing you to get creative without worrying about the space constraints.

With the Deco Pro Bluetooth model, you can enjoy the convenience of wireless creating with built-in Bluetooth.

The tablet has 8 shortcut buttons and an innovative dual wheels that lets you easily pan around and zoom in and out of your drawings quickly.

the Stylus is lightweight and battery-free, the device is capable of recognising 60° of tilt and 8192 levels of pressure in pen. You can use this device with any drawing software such as Photoshop, Paint Tool SAI and many more.

2. XP-Pen Artist Pro 16

XP-Pen Artist Pro 16 display drawing tablet.jpg

If you are a professional artist, XP-Pen's Artist Pro 16 can be a great choice. It has powerful 8192 levels of pen pressure and 60 degrees of tilt sensitivity.

It comes with a 15.4-inch compact IPS 1920 x 1080 (16:9) resolution screen, which provides a great viewing experience. And, the tablet is equipped with full laminated screen technology which ensure the minimize parallax .

The tablet has an amazing gamut color of up to 99% Adobe RGB which provides various natural colors on the screen display.

The Artist Pro 16 is the first XP-Pen's display tablet with the X3 Smart Chip stylus which increases 10-fold the sensitivity of the initial activation force ( IAF to under three grams ) that recognizes even the lightest pen strokes.

The Stylus have a digital eraser at the end. And we can physically flipped the tool over to use its eraser end to scrub out mistakes.

In the center of 8 customizable keys, there's a Dual dials. which you can use as per your choice.

Different amazing features of Artist Pro 16 makes it one of the top graphic tablets . This screen drawing tablet will work very smoothly and it will provide a great user experience.

3. XP-Pen Artist 22R Pro

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XP-Pen Artist 22R Pro is a 21.5-inch large drawing tablet with 1920 x 1080 display resolution.

120% SRGB will provide good color accuracy and improve your visual experience with the tablet.

Totally outfitted with 20 specific keys and 2 red dial wheels , animators can absolutely customise their workspace, aided by the adjustable monitor stand that effortlessly alters the tablet's angle.

PA2 battery-free stylus comes with 60 degrees natural tilt recognition and 8192 levels of pen pressure that helps to achieve realistic drawing experience.

With this large size display drawing tablet, you will get a comfortable experience while working.

4. XP-Pen Artist 24 Pro

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For animators and creators looking for a graphics tablet, but still want a professional graded product, then the XP-Pen Artist 24 Pro is a worthy option.

with a huge drawing surface of 24-inch , you can Create directly on a large canvas with premium color performance.

The combination of 90 percent Adobe RGB colour accuracy, 2k ( 2560 x 1440 pixels) Resolution, and a 16.7 Million colours produce a true-to-life visual experience.

The Battery-free Stylus has low pen latency, tilt support, and pressure sensitivity provide artists with a more precise control and a natural pen-on-screen experience.

There are 20 shortcut keys and 2 red dial wheels available on the tablet that will allow you to customize keys as per your need.

It has fantastic build quality, accuracy and precision. This XP-Pen tablet is a great option if you are looking for a large screen tablet that is feature-rich.

5. iPad Pro

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Ideal for animators as well as regular users, the Apple iPad Pro comes replete with powerful features and a stylish body.

The 2021 refresh of the iPad Pro comes with the M1 processing chip, which was previously only found in Macs. This enables apps to run faster than ever.

with its luminous 12.9-inch liquid retina XDR display, creating incredible works of art is easier.

The Apple Pencil 2 makes for smooth , intuitive and impressive drawing, especially when combined with the Procreate app and some amazing Procreate brushes.

With the addition of a Magic keyboard, it can be converted into a laptop. but you'll have to fork out more money for the Apple Pencil 2 and Magic keyboard.

If you wanted portability you should've took the iPad Pro. Also 12.9-inch is a really good size for carrying arround (I always carry it with me).

Conclusion:

Overall, as you can see, the advantages of using a drawing tablet for animation, cartoons outweigh the benefits of using other devices. They will make your life as a digital cartoonist so much easier, particularly when you're working in Toon Boom Harmony , Moho or OpenToonz!

Stylus pens will make you feel more natural and you will be able to get more information about your projects. Shortcut keys and pressure sensitivity functionality will carry the job to a different level, and you'll be able to do more in less time!

Developing drawing skills while being a digital cartoonist takes time and practice, but it can inspire your creativity much as it did in childhood. To achieve that point, it's worth taking the time to learn the fundamentals of how to catch the human face and how to draw flora and fauna. From there, you can build up character illustration, comics, manga and animation, or whatever style you find suits your aesthetics.

Do let us know if you've been using any other tools for your creativity in the comments section and we can write about the same in our upcoming articles.

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