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mouses, trackballs and other human interface devices

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    I’m starting to really work seriously with Photoshop and have quickly found my mouse to be a major hinderance when making selections. I’m looking at a trackball mouse although I have heard good things about the Bamboo tablets as well.

    Have any of you used the tablet? Do you find it hard to get used to?


    Pangolyn absolutely swore by hers when she was around, but she used it more for graphic design in illustrator than photo editing. I still want one but can’t justify the purchase until I set up a designated graphics machine.


    Impulsively, I bought the stupid thing. I can return it within 30 days if I hate it. The jury is still out on whether or not I hate it. I can tell you that it is a damn pain to get used to. I managed to figure out how to do the basics with my finger or with the pen. When I tried to use it in Photoshop, it was a mess. I cannot get the keyboard shortcuts to work when using the tablet which is a deal breaker for me. I also love the alt-scroll to change magnification with a mouse and I don’t have that option with the tablet. I need to dig a little deeper to figure out if my issues are due to a setting or preference that I don’t have set right. That is a project for another day.


    I bought a Bamboo tablet but didn’t invest the time trying to get used to it, maybe someday. I have been sticking with my old Logitech Revolution MX for many years. I bought a new mouse, but it just doesn’t cut it as far as programmable buttons and comfort. Please let me know if you get used to the Bamboo and how it works for photo editing.


    It’s been a long time since I’ve used one (it connected via serial port, if that gives you an idea), but I think the thing you’ll like once you get used to it is the pressure sensitivity.

    For example, when doing dodging and burning or vignetting, being able to control the amount of the tool applied to the image by the pressured applied to the pen is something you can’t really replicate with a mouse. If you don’t do much of that or other similar retouching, it may not be worth getting used to.


    I’ve got a Bamboo Fun, thanx to Mrs. Yugoboy. Because I literally wore a hole through the paint on my laptop’s touchpad doing dodge and burn for my Photoshop entries it had become slightly uncomfortable to use in PS. It took a while to gin up the courage to use the Bamboo, but with some practice it’s a very nice little tool. I only ever use it for serious Photoshop work*, and still use the touchpad for pretty much everything else.

    As CauseISaidSo mentioned, you’ll love the pressure sensitivity. It takes practice, but with time you’ll love it. I just enjoy the feel of it, and when making selections with the lasso tool, or trying to erase a pixel at a time, it’s perfect. Practice practice practice!

    *”serious Photoshop work” to be defined as anything using more than 3 or 4 layers… don’t need it for much Farktography stuff, even though I’m serious about that too.


    I stepped away from the computer, rebooted and tried again today with a glass of wine at my side. It worked much better. I managed to complete a task using the tablet and shortcut keys. It does take some getting used to especially if you are really skilled at Photoshop with a mouse. Luckily for me, I am not really skilled at Photoshop (yet). I’m really impressed with the amount of control you have with the pen. I’m looking forward to getting better at this.

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