Brush Settings for More Natural Cartoon Style

I have been trying to draw directly in the computer to go paperless but just can’t seem to find the right brush combination to provide a rich looking drawing without the flat Flash look of so many poorly done cartoons. I have an Intuos3 9" X 12" and the pressure sensitivity seems to be working fine. My paper sketches capture the look and feel but since I’m a one man operation, I’d like to find some efficiencies.

Does anyone have any suggestions for brushes they’ve had success with and/or other techniques that were effective?


There is probably not a more often discussed area of animation software than the issue of “inking” line quality. This is such a personal artistic question. I wouldn’t even hope to give you a satisfactory answer, so here are some things to try that may help you in your quest. First go to the Wacom tablet preferences in your control panel (PC) or system preferences (Mac). You can adjust the pressure sensitivity and the tilt sensitivity of your pen there. I like my pen about 3/4 of the way to the firm side, which helps me achieve a lighter touch. Basically the firmer you set this setting the firmer your touch has to be to regester on the input. So for people who want a thin starting and ending to their lines they get a better response with a firm setting. Soft makes it very difficult to have a light enough touch. Next, you can adjust the tilt sensitivity. I go all the way to high which make the tablet more responsive to the pen angle. I also position my tablet on a 45 degree slant which promotes a lighter touch and more use of the arm and shoulder for drawing and less hand and wrist.

Next you go into TBS and set up some pens to suit your line styles. The min and max size sets the thick and thin variations of your line. Smoothing compensates for wobble in your strokes. Then it is all just a matter of confidence. The more you use the tablet the more confident your strokes and the better you get at controlling your line quality. Of course I’m talking about inking with the brush tool. -JK

Thanks for the input. I’ll have to try tweaking the pressure settings.

What is everyone’s favorite brush setting for achieving the look apparently we’re all trying to achieve?