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Animation with a Tablet and Pen

Animation with a Tablet and Pen

Animators are always looking for better ways of getting their jobs done. If you’re an animator looking for information about the latest tablet and pen technology, then you’re in luck because this is the information that you’ve been searching for.

In this article we’re going to discuss three aspects of digital animation technology that’ll help you quickly and easily determine whether animation with a tablet and pen is right for you. First, we’re going to talk about why tablets are so popular. Next, we’ll discuss the different types of tablet technology. Finally, we’ll finish up with the specific advantages tablets have to offer.

The Lure of Tablets

Animators who work with 3-D software like 3-D Max and Maya understand that a lot of time is spent viewing the character model and manipulating various body parts. Users of tablet PCs claim that it’s a far more natural process when done with a pen vs. a mouse. They also claim that a higher level of precision can be achieved at a much greater speed.

The reality of animation is that achieving stellar results with your images requires two steps. The first step takes place with your camera and the second step is accomplished with your computer. Being able to wield these tools with expert precision is what separates professional animators from the amateurs.

Tablet Styles

The dominant player in the tablet market is the Wacom pad brand. The pressure sensitive tablets and pens are fully integrated with Adobe Light Room and Photoshop and are capable of delivering powerful features that didn’t previously exist.

This gives you the ability to adjust the temperature, color, tone, exposure, contrast and other features of your images dynamically with the assistance of your own finesse and dexterity.

Still, there are a number of different kinds of tablet PCs on the market that cater to various consumer and industry requirements. Some of those Tablet PCs are:

  • Slate Tablet PC
  • Convertible Tablet PC
  • Hybrid Tablet PC

For many animators, the question is it whether or not Tablet PCs with a pen should be used, but which Tablet PC would be the best choice.

Advantages of a Tablet PC

Essentially, a Tablet PC is a redesigned Slate formed mobile computer or laptop with a built in touchscreen that’s controlled by a stylus, digital pen or finger. Tablets don’t require a mouse or keyboard and they offer significantly more mobility than common laptops.

According to professional animation artists, the primary advantages of using a Tablet PC compared to a laptop are:

  • Tablet PCs easier to transport because they’re so much lighter a typical laptop.
  • They have a superior ability to capture esoteric input such as scientific and mathematical equations, diagrams, and similar kinds of input.
  • Superior navigation using a touchscreen with a pen, stylus or finger that’s measurably faster and effortless compared to a mouse or keyboard.
  • Flat form Tablet PCs allow users to work with any display presentation and on any surface while simultaneously increasing interpersonal interactions with colleagues.


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