Wacom: pen tablet

mfreakz's picture

Hi everybody, This thread seems to answer but i would like to be sure before buying an expensive hardware (i'm working with a little Artistic low budget compagny). http://kineme.net/Discussion/GeneralDiscussion/Controllers

Optional historic logorrhea: I'm working on kind of "Live Drawing Composition" for a contemporary dance show. First i was working as musician, and now i plan to introduce some of my QC's works in the show. The deadline for the first performance is in two weeks... (think less than two weeks because i've got a lot of work to prepare this new proposition !) First, i was thinking that the deadline was too short to manage something new with QC (i hate being in such a rough state for public performance !). But as i've finish my musical works, and as i'm more and more interested in working with QC, i would like to make a try and introduce my first QC's public performance !

The point:

  • Does someone already use a "Wacom: pen tablet" with Quartz Composer ?

  • Does all "Wacom: pen tablets" that works for Mac OSX works also too with Quartz Composer ?

  • Does "Wacom: pen tablets" works as a classic input with the HID Imput Patch or Tablet Patch ?

  • Is Wacom the best mark (not only about quality but essentially about compatibility) ?

  • Is there some special tricks for integrate and using them with QC ?

  • Which models seems to be great for live performance (in your own experiences) ?

Thanx for sharing your ideas and experiences. This is an urgent help request !

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DanieleCiabba's picture
Re: Wacom: pen tablet

I'm testing.... I let you know soon...

DanieleCiabba's picture
Re: Wacom: pen tablet

its not so easy to use and connect but its seems that works... I got bluetooth one... some probelm with connection... someting like wii...

in the HID you can see a lot of output, but only 3 work...

psonice's picture
Re: Wacom: pen tablet

I have a wacom bamboo tablet, as I've been working on a painting tool partly based on QC.

In short: it works, but badly. A friend I'm working with has an intuos 3 or 4, and had the same issues I've been having.

"Does all "Wacom: pen tablets" that works for Mac OSX works also too with Quartz Composer ?"

  • Yes.. kind of. It gets picked up by QC using either the mouse or tablet patch. The mouse patch will only give very basic support of course. With the tablet patch, you get pressure, tilt and so on.

HOWEVER - it's not fast, and there's a major issue with tapping/drawing.

I find that painting lags behind the pen by perhaps 0.25 seconds - it's not bad, but it's horrible for drawing. It works find with mouse input.

The other big issue is when you draw or tap and then lift the pen. It seems like QC thinks the pen is still being pressed down after you lift, sometimes for a whole second. In my app, that means I often get a big ink blot at the end of each line I draw, or worse still if I lift the pen and move it, I get weird lines all over the place. This problem makes it near unusable with my app.

"Does "Wacom: pen tablets" works as a classic input with the HID Imput Patch or Tablet Patch?"

  • No, or at least I've not got mine to work. It seems to be recognised, but I haven't yet got it to output anything. As I said though, the tablet + mouse input patches work. A bit.

"Is Wacom the best mark (not only about quality but essentially about compatibility) ?"

  • According to my artist friends (and I happen to know a few good digital artists through demoscene), they're the best tablets. For compatability, I don't know, but I wouldn't recommend them for QC based paint apps. I'll be writing my own tablet input plugin at some point to try and fix it (tablet support is essential for a paint app!) but I'm too busy writing iphone apps lately.

"Is there some special tricks for integrate and using them with QC ?"

  • Just the tablet input patch.

"Which models seems to be great for live performance (in your own experiences) ?"

  • Ignoring the QC issues, I find the bamboo is great and I use it more than my mouse now. The things you might want to spend more money for an intuos are:

Bigger size. The bamboo is just big enough, but I often hit the edge. With a big a4 sized tablet, it would be better, but it's big. Also, with the intuos you get tilt output in QC, that could be used in interesting ways IF you can get it to work properly.

Good luck with it anyway, and if you want anything testing with a tablet let me know.

usefuldesign.au's picture
Re: Wacom: pen tablet

I use a intuos 3 6x11 (wide screen format to match monitor). Strangely I haven't tried the tablet patch yet as I haven't made any painting type apps. I went for intuos over cheaper ones after reading lots of reviews about illustrators not liking the cheaper ones but loving the expensive ones.

So i'm just using with the mouse patch and it seems to be on time and no lag with buttons. One thing that bugs me in the editor window is it is very hard to hover over an input or output node to get the value (tooltip or mouseover box). Tablet is very sensitive to movement. Likewise the Patch title to findout what someone has renamed patch from or to read patch description (I need that less now). SO i use mouse for QC more than any other application.

If you are planing to use the tablet with Adobe apps etc and can stretch to intuos I would. If just for drawing in QC probably doesn't matter. The quality difference is real though.

psonice's picture
Re: Wacom: pen tablet

The lag is only within the QC view - i.e. it's fine for using the editor, which is 95% of QC use. It's only if you're using tablet input inside the composition, which you have to for a paint app.

Re. the hovering thing - I found that a big problem at first, but I got used to moving the pen over the input and then lifting it up. Then the tablet loses the pen, and stays stable. Not as easy as a mouse, but you can get used to it.

The big problem I have with mine now is the new safari 4 beta - it's nearly impossible to select tabs first time. Because the title bar and the tabs are now one and the same, if you click + drag on a tab it moves the window. Fine, but try clicking and not dragging a few pixels with a tablet!

cwright's picture
production halted

Holy Crap! your comment about safari 4 (re: tabs on the title bar) shocked me so much I decided to actually try it out (mostly to see if it's a trainwreck or not - seems rather unorthodox).

... must.... release.... more betas!

mfreakz's picture
Re: production halted

Safari 4 doesn't seems to be safe for Xcode developers... I read in a French Mac Forum that it make some bugs with Xcode tools... Well... About the new tab system and place, i think that's a good point for optimising space but a very, very dangerous idea... Closing Tabs is now so confusing that you could close one when you only want to move the main window, etc...

mfreakz's picture
Mouse Vs Tablet (reactivity)

Thank you for sharing your experience. Maybe the Mouse Patch could be enough for my first drawing Comp, if it seems to be more reactive. Does i understand correctly ? Mouse Patch input seems more reactive than Tablet one ?

I would like to stay in touch for your future new improve Tablet Pluggin !!!!

Thanx for yout help !

cwright's picture
Re: production halted

Yeah, I agree -- I played with it a little bit, but I don't think I like it much -- No other apps use the title bar like that, so it's very unnatural feeling. That much work for 20-30 extra pixels just doesn't seem worth it.

I've not had any xcode problems, so hopefully that continues to be the case. If not, it comes with an uninstaller, so no big deal (ideally).

(I was also excited because of the webkit-in-coverflow stuff, but that's just still images, so they've not solved the Render Quickly To OpenGL Texture problem either, it seems...)

psonice's picture
Re: production halted

I really like it after using it for a while. The tab bar... well, it saves quite a few vertical pixels, and apart from the tablet control issue it works OK once you get used to it. They need to work on the loading indicator though - it's a tiny thing at the end of the address in the main tab, and a thing in the tab for other tabs. The old blue bar was much better.

Javascript is MASSIVELY faster, I tried webkit nightly builds before to see what the difference is and didn't see much, in safari 4 it's very noticable.

The new "top sites" thing is quite nice, but what I really love is how that appears in new tabs.. there's no delay, it's quicker and better than bookmarks, and it shows which pages have been updated.

Oh, and safariblock still works \o/

(no xcode issues here too, and I've been writing a lot of code over the last few days)

psonice's picture
Re: Mouse Vs Tablet (reactivity)

Hmm.. can't remember the specifics now. Tablet with tablet input patch, definitely bad. Mouse with mouse patch, perfect. Tablet with mouse patch.. not sure. I'll try it tonight if I get some time.

Don't hold on for the tablet patch, I have a full schedule planned for at least the next two months :/

dust's picture
Re: Wacom: pen tablet

Does someone already use a "Wacom: pen tablet" with Quartz Composer ?

i have a bunch of tablets. can't use a mouse for an extended period of time. the tablet is much more ergonomic. i use them all with quartz and they seem to work fine with tablet patch and or the mouse patch. obviously there are some features that are mappable that the patch doesn't recognize.

Does all "Wacom: pen tablets" that works for Mac OSX works also too with Quartz Composer ?

every one i have tried seems to work, some programs don't like the tablet at all.

Does "Wacom: pen tablets" works as a classic input with the HID Imput Patch or Tablet Patch ?

have not tried as hid good suggestion.

Is Wacom the best mark (not only about quality but essentially about compatibility) ?

it all depends on what you are doing, i use the tablet for ergonomic reasons, everything else feels funny. my wife can't even drive the tablet. its hoover thing she just does not get.

Is there some special tricks for integrate and using them with QC ? the tablet patch in QC is limited, i would suggest using OSCulator and sending scrolls buttons pressure tilt etc into quartz OSC for extended usage. OSCulator also converts to virtual midi so if you are thinking of doing music with it you could route your tablet to a synth or something.

Which models seems to be great for live performance (in your own experiences) ? well in all honesty i don't use the tablet for any live situations, i have other controllers for that, but you could think of it as one of those korg XY kaos pads or something. map the XY to some synth parameters or effect parameters. i suggest the small ones, i have a large one but don't use it. its like if i want to move my mouse to the edge of screen i have to move my hand 17 inches. its a pain in a production environment and a waste of money if you ask me to get the big one. just get a small 5x6 intuos or bamboo or something works better for daily use.

flx's picture
Re: Wacom: pen tablet

Does someone already use a "Wacom: pen tablet" with Quartz Composer ?

i have been using the wacom tablet for live performance for some time now (3 years), once you get used to move (mouse) things around without touching the tablet it is fantastic because you are moving in the air, i have routed the pen buttons to click and he top one to right click so i never touch the tablet, i have also routed controls of different kinds in QC and SuperCollider and it can make your performance very smooth and the feel of the control is very natural.

Does all "Wacom: pen tablets" that works for Mac OSX works also too with Quartz Composer ?

yes, with the Intuos 4 I have you can customize the tablet buttons and slider, for different applications

Does "Wacom: pen tablets" works as a classic input with the HID Imput Patch or Tablet Patch ?

Is Wacom the best mark (not only about quality but essentially about compatibility) ?

yes, the resolution in the Intuos series is very precise.

Is there some special tricks for integrate and using them with QC ?

customaze the tablet for your need, so you dot have to use the keyboard

Which models seems to be great for live performance (in your own experiences) ?

for me the Intuos model is fine, I do recomend to use for live performance the small tablet, so yau can have everything tighter.

usefuldesign.au's picture
Re: Wacom: pen tablet

I meant lag in viewer window! window window

but don't use that way much so maybe just not noticing the lag. Getting used to safari 4 sliding around less with practice. I used to drag tabs from one window to the main window when new windows popped up. you can't do that now. that's the biggest irit. Have to make new tab in old window THEN drag url over... grrr.

Customising QC app to tablet buttons is fun, run/stop etc. Wish I could assign tablet buttons (not pen buttons) and touch strips in comps.

gtoledo3's picture
Re: Wacom: pen tablet

So, you are using it with the mouse patch it sounds like?

OK.... if anyone can give any pointers in HID (sounds like no one has this working yet), or using the function buttons on the tablet, it would be greatly appreciated.

I have the wacom working with the tablet patch OK, no lag seemingly. (model CTE650)

Only thing is... I have this little wheel thing, a forward and back arrow, and two function buttons. I am going "hmmmm". I want to get those into the mix.

I'm thinking about pulling up the keyboard patch and see if the function buttons from keyboard will correspond with when I hit fn1 and fn2 on the wacom. (this is just occurring to me now as I'm writing)

I'm really BAD, and looked at about 1% of the documentation, and just immediately started messing with it.

It seems like the HID would be the way to go, but... my results with that are mirroring psonice's so far. I guess I'm getting lucky with the pen up pen down, though I can get it to not act correctly if I'm not "deliberate" about it.