Beauty Retouch
Fundamentals, Hardware & Tools, Video Tutorial

Setting Up Your First Wacom Tablet

My first Wacom tablet was the original Wacom Bamboo. At the time, I couldn’t afford nor needed the professional Intuos line, which is what I now use, having grown into that professional tier. Before that, I had only been using my mouse and had little experience using Photoshop. It wasn’t until I started learning retouching as a trade that I realized my mouse was seriously holding me back.

After opening the box and plugging everything in, I pressed the pen to the smooth and silky surface of the tablet and started doodling stick people on a white layer in Photoshop using the brush tool. After several terrible doodles, I tried retouching an image with the healing brush tool.

In short, it did not go too well; I was all over the place, and my hand-eye coordination was way off. As a result, I put the tablet away for about two weeks before giving it another chance. Thankfully, after getting some help and watching online tutorials, I eventually got the hang of it. With the efficiency that the tablet added to my workflow, I will never retouch again without it.

To help you get started, and to save you the time it took me to find this information when I was starting out, here is an excellent tutorial with Aaron Nace, on how to set up your tablet. Here, he’ll go through the following five tips for beginners.

  1. Get to know your Wacom preferences;
  2. Use the Brush Menu to change Pressure Sensitivity;
  3. Change Brush Size and Hardness with shortcuts;
  4. Discover the difference between Flow and Opacity;
  5. Use other tools with Brush Dynamics.

Source: Wacom | Featured Image: Gerry Kingsley

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