If you don’t already have one, now is the time to get a touch graphics tablet for sculpting and painting.
update: Maya now supports touch!
Since Maya 2015, the program has supported tablet touch interactions. All the more reason to use a tablet!
Touch support for Mudbox:
Since 2014, Mudbox also supports touch gestures. Between Mudbox’s new support, and Photoshop existing touch support, my tablet just got a lot more useful. If you are trying to sculpt with a mouse (or worse, a trackpad!) – get a tablet. It makes a big difference.
I have the big one; not cheap, but I think my last tablet lasted around 10 years. Also, you can get wireless versions, so you can sit back and sculpt from your couch.
On a budget:
Now, while I always recommend getting the biggest possible tablet, because you have more control over your interactions that way, that might not be feasible. Especially if you want a tablet you can carry around in your laptop bag, in that case you might try the Wacom Intuos Draw Small Tablet, it’s only $77 at Amazon.
And if you want something even cheaper, you could always try a tablet by a company that isn’t Wacom: Huion New 1060 PLUS 10 x 6.25 Inches Drawing Graphics Tablet . If you do get this leave a comment and let me know how it turns out…
Wondering why you need a tablet?
It allows you much finer motor control than a mouse. Consider that a mouse is controlled largely by your arm and hand muscles. That means you’ll be able to make large moves well, but very fine accuracy is hard to come by.
Whereas with a tablet, you are interacting via a stylus, or directly with touch, both of which are primarily based in your finger muscles. That means you’ll have much more precision control over what you’re doing.
Think a tablet is too hard to learn to use?
I’ve had students express to me the fear that learning a tablet would take too much time and concentration away from learning software or art techniques. Not so! For painting a tablet is generally very intuitive – it’s like normal drawing or writing. And after a few minutes, you stop paying attention to it, and never need to think about it.