Drawing sprites with mouse vs tablet.

Discussion in 'Game Design, Development And Publishing' started by Fanifacation, Aug 6, 2016.

  1. Fanifacation

    Fanifacation Member

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    Heya, so with my set up i draw all of my sprites i make with a mouse and wanted to know if its easyer to draw with a stylus on a tablet. My mouse is failing on me and i figured i'd ask before buying a new one.

    In my game im working on i need to draw higher quality versions of sprites for conversations between characters. Either placing their head in the text box or full bodies above the box like in shantae.

    For this i wanted some advice on what would be easier to draw with in this instance. I have drawn images on paper, taken a picture of it, then drew over it with a mouse before so it wouldnt be hard to do again. However i am quite interested to know how good a stylus would be over a mouse.

    Thanks in advance.
    -Parker
     
  2. Will

    Will Member

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    I do all of my work (programming and the little pixel art I do) on a Microsoft Surface, and when I'm doing art I always use a stylus with the touchscreen. I personally don't think there's a better way to go than tablet/screen + stylus.

    If you're new to spriting, however, don't go and spend $60-100+ on a drawing tablet. Definitely use your mouse until you've got the hang of it, and then think of buying the hardware.
     
  3. RichHopefulComposer

    RichHopefulComposer Member

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    Tablets are way faster than mice for drawing, obviously. Stop wasting your time, and go buy a cheap Wacom. You'll work twice as fast. =)
     
  4. Yal

    Yal GMC Memer GMC Elder

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    I've not tried it myself, but I've got a friend who's taking on some university-level game design courses, and his verdict of tablets is something along the lines of "powerful but harder to learn than you think, and it's not the same as drawing on paper". So be prepared that it might not just be plug-and-play to use a tablet.
     
  5. chance

    chance predictably random Forum Staff Moderator

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    That's my experience too. For me, the difficult part is not seeing the line appear underneath the stylus as it does with pen and paper, but rather on the monitor screen. That breaks the hand-eye coordination for me. (which isn't that good to start with.)
     
  6. Widget

    Widget Member

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    You're going to go a lot further with a pen and tablet.

    I bought a cheap graphics tablet for £30, wasn't bad, the hardest part was getting use to drawing on one device and seeing the results on another. I will say that it's much better than if I used a mouse (it's way more quick and accurate), I can't guarantee the same for you but it's inexpensive anyway so you might as well try.

    Then a pen display graphics tablet for £550 (Though most of the cost was reduced by my family for Christmas). This is the kind where you draw on the actual monitor. Only get this if you're absolutely serious about drawing assets. The hand-eye coordination issue is gone, provided the cursor syncs up with your pen. It's really the closest you can ever get to drawing like pencil & paper but digitally. Plus, you can use it as an extra monitor! Also, if you're the type of person who thinks screen protectors are useless (like I was), well...
     
  7. RichHopefulComposer

    RichHopefulComposer Member

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    That's why you buy a Cintiq, haha!;D

    It's gloriousss X'D

    I did use my trusty graphire for 10+ years, though. Still a great tablet. :)
     
  8. HammerOn

    HammerOn Member

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    People play a guitar and sing at the same - you can move your hand in the tablet and look at the screen at the same. It's a matter of getting used to it.
    Coloring and painting is fine but drawing is not so comfortable. I usually sketch in paper first, redraw, and paint in the computer.
    I don't have a notebook now so I'll take the opportunity and get a Surface Pro for myself.
    The price in my country is absurd but I usually get the money back working with it. If you don't work daily with drawing, I don't recommend it.
    Anyway, I don't recommend using a mouse no matter your condition.
     
  9. RangerX

    RangerX Member

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    Just throwing this out there,
    And what about drawing on paper / scanning / fixing workflow? That sure must also work for some people when you really want hand drawn looking graphics. Sure you have to fix your scan and make it look good but that probably not take much more time than drawing it on the screen.
     
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  10. Khao

    Khao Member

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    I'd only recommend a mouse if you're either doing pixel-art (as you wil mostly be placing pixels, not doing lines and strokes and stuff), or if you're simply tweaking a previously-made image. If you're doing anything else, you must be drawing things from scratch, and a tablet will be a superior choice. Nothing can replace a hand-made stroke with variable thickness/alpha. I can see how they're sorta hard to get used to, but honestly... Not really. Use one even for a single whole day and going back to the mouse will feel as weird as the tablet did when you started.

    This is great and I fully recommend it. I haven't actually made a game like this but I've created a ton of stuff for fun and it's very effective. The drawing in my avatar was made this way for one. First I had the entire thing done with a cheap pencil, fully drawn and fully shaded, then I scanned it and added color on photoshop (a mouse is good enough for this). All you need after that is a few more extra details like highlights and some extra colors in shadows here and there so it doesn't look flat. If you're using a simple style you probably won't even need to go any step beyond adding flat colors.
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2016
  11. Yal

    Yal GMC Memer GMC Elder

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    I can second the draw-by-hand-and-scan approach, and you can actually get pretty nice result by photoing if you've not got access to a scanner. Just reduce the colors to monochrome in GIMP and you get very editable lineart in a jiffy... often needs some tweaking in one way or another, but a lot faster than drawing with a mouse.
    upload_2016-8-7_0-8-57.png
     
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  12. HayManMarc

    HayManMarc Member

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    I've done it both ways, too. Scanning produces a better product than photo, especially if you have good, solid lines for pen work.
     
  13. Yal

    Yal GMC Memer GMC Elder

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    From my experiences, the big problem isn't line quality... the main problem with using a camera is that it's easy to get small distortions at the edges of the image if you angle the camera from the surface normal direction... which is very easy to do. Also, some cameras has fisheye effects near the edges anyway. You can get issues with camera flashes/ambient lighting reflecting in glossy parts of the art (especially if you do pure carbon-pencil drawings) but the lens/perspective distortions is the biggest issue IMO.
     
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  14. HayManMarc

    HayManMarc Member

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    Which scanning eliminates. ;) Also, you can fix the perspective distortion with the perspective tool in GIMP. All I'm saying is the nicer your hand drawn lines are, the less you have to do digitally cleaning it up.
     
  15. Fanifacation

    Fanifacation Member

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    Well when it comes to hand drawing i do it with normal notebook paper. Im just gonna assume you mean you guys draw with constuction paper then scan.
     
  16. RichHopefulComposer

    RichHopefulComposer Member

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    No, every real artist draws exclusively on lined notebook paper during geometry class. :p
     
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  17. Fanifacation

    Fanifacation Member

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  18. Carnivius

    Carnivius Member

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    I can't remember the last time I even saw that Wacom tablet I bought yeeeears ago. Not sure if I sold it or if it's in some box somewhere. It was much too small for my large hands anyways and I have shaky wrist issues due to anxiety that made it impossible to use. I wouldn't mind trying out one of those Cintiqs where the tablet is basically a monitor you draw on but they ain't cheap, no sir they are not.
     
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  19. miaohou

    miaohou Member

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    I use a XP-Pen Star G640S Small Graphics Tablet , but I also use a regular mouse. XP-Pen Star G640S Works fine for me, although I do fairly simple drawing sprites work .

    Input devices are all about trade-offs. By mixing it up between my Apple Mighty Mouse and the XP-Pen Star G640S Small, I have found it helps to combat RSI, as well as breaking down rigid thought that can come with using one input device.

    I have found a smaller tablet better for faster movement around the desktop, and less forearm movement.
     
  20. Sn3akyP1xel

    Sn3akyP1xel Member

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    Despite being slightly allergic to apple, i can't help but be impressed by the ipads 'best feel' approach (and minimum parallax at the tip). The ipad pro with pencil has a very close feel to drawing on paper at a very affordable price:
    I still use a mouse and good old pencil/paper. A good mouse on a smooth surface has done me proud so far, and agree with scanning work in. Something about drawing the traditional way which is true and super quick.
    I applaud the tablet users for embracing the tech, but still not convinced myself.
     
  21. Niels

    Niels Member

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    If you do pixelart or vectorart there is no reason.to buy a tablet, if you want to digitally paint your art then you should buy a tablet.
     
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  22. Bayesian

    Bayesian Member

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    Yeah this thread is very confusing
     
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  23. Niels

    Niels Member

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    I drew everything in my portfolio with mouse only.

    But I am practicing digital painting lately and that is were tablets really shine
     
  24. JackTurbo

    JackTurbo Member

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    Pixel art or vector art = mouse

    High Res raster art = tablet

    Generally my preference. Maybe for the higher resolution end of the pixel art spectrum id consider a tablet... Maybe
     
  25. Adrien Dittrick

    Adrien Dittrick Member

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    The way I see it, I draw much faster with a tablet, it's just the way you're biologically meant to draw.
    However the mouse is superior for precision movement (and as said above, more adapted for pixel art)

    IMO, using a tablet is best for starting drawings, using the mouse is best to add finishing touches and details.
     
  26. GM029

    GM029 Member

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    I use a Surface Pro 6 with the Microsoft pen, way better than using a mouse for me. Not that I can draw that well anyhow.
     
  27. NeonBits

    NeonBits Member

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    After a time, I abandonned the touchpad and went for the cheapest wacom tablet; I hate those two buttons on the pen and had to find a position; with the right click on the tablet, it's great; faster than a mouse, precise, but it takes time to adapt. I don't remember what it was, but I had to uncheck an option that lagged the drawing; dunno why but the tablet gets deactivated sometimes but never while working. I think it's great even for pixelart. It's a personal choice, I guess.
     

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