Why I love to edit with my Wacom Tablet

Why Edit with a Wacom?

As an editor I sit in front of my computer at least 8 hours a day. Eight hours of developing ‘The Claw‘ that was swiftly becoming my mouse-hand. Soon I started to get tingles in my fingers and found them moving up my forearm – not a good sign. So after watching this video (and then blogging this post on Ergonomics) I stumped up some cash and bought the Wacom Intuos 4 Medium and I’ve never looked back.

UPDATE: If you’re looking for the two product’s Kenny mentions in the video you can find the ErgoRest wrist support on Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk and the cool little glove Smudge Guard here on SmudgeGuard.com | Amazon.co.uk

5 Reasons to Buy a Wacom Tablet

One it solved my RSI problems straight away (that and a decent chair and desk)

Two it just makes using the computer more fun.

Three it makes me edit faster and more fluidly. I feel like the time it takes to achieve what I am thinking is shorter because with a tablet you just click where you’re looking and you don’t have to scroll the mouse across the screen. So everything is more intuitive.

Four Although you do need a bit more desk space for something like a medium sized tablet, its really not any wider than your keyboard and the bonus of those extra function buttons is well worth the desk space investment. Its great to map FCP7 functions to them to save more time.

Five  I had thought the price was quite high (£300 now on amazon) I’ve not regretted it and its well worth the price given how long it will last me and above all to not have those RSI induced tingles!

Getting up and running…

It arrived in some sleek packaging and pretty easy to set up. It also came with a choice of free (fully functioning) software which was an added bonus as well as some great tutorials from Video2Brain which definitely helped to educate me on the finer points of tablet life.

Originally I had shied away from getting a tablet because I had previously and clumsily tried to use them at post houses in town, but once I figured out that its just a pixel for pixel representation of the screen its pretty straightforward. Want to click in the top right hand corner? Click in the top right hand corner of the tablet. Simples.

But wait – why all this talk about the Intuos 4 when the 5 is the latest one? Well I have the four (5 wasn’t out back then) and its plenty good enough for me. The 5 does have some pretty sweet touch capabilities but I’ll wait till I’m rich enough to buy the Cintiq 24HD at a princely £1,935.53* or $2,799. (*Currently with over £1k off the RRP? how can Puremac do that?) But saying all this you can probably pick up price-dropped 4, now that the 5 is out. If you’re after something smaller/cheaper like a Bamboo be sure to read through this excellent guide first.

About Jonny

Jonny Elwyn - A freelance film editor, living and working in London.
This entry was posted in Editor's Tools, Review, Workflow and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Why I love to edit with my Wacom Tablet

  1. What comfortable chair do you recommend. I edit with fcp7 and may consider the wacom tablet.

  2. Thanks for your recommendation of the wacom tablet. I’ll look into it. What’s a good chair for editing?

    • jonny says:

      Hey Leslie. The chair I have is the Logic RH4 which I think is one of the best you can get, but lots of people go for Herman Miller’s if you want something swish looking.

      The RH4 isn’t cheap though so see if you can get one second hand. But pop into a chair shop and try a few out first.

      Alternatively consider a standing desk as its much healthier!

      Also having the correct height for your desk plays an important role in good ergonomics.

  3. Pingback: What A Film Editor Actually Does | Jonny Elwyn - Film Editor

  4. Chris L says:

    I find the touch functions incredibly annoying. They usually just end up triggering when I don’t want them to. The first thing I do on a new computer is disable all of the touch pad and touch strip buttons.

    I’d prefer having a bare-bones tablet that takes up less room on my desk than having all those buttons and features. For my next tablet, I’ll investigate some of the other brands too, like Monoprice which gets good reviews.

    I agree with this post. I gave up the mouse years ago and now only use a tablet and the trackpad on a laptop and the tendinitis I used to get regularly in my wrist and forearm has completely disappeared.

    • Jonny says:

      Thanks for taking the time to comment Chris and for your suggestions! I prefer the Wacom 4 over the 5 for the same accidental touch reasons.

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