Wacom Intuos vs Traditional Light Table

So I decided recently to buy a nice Wacom Intuos4 tablet for drawing in Toon Boom and my Adobe Suite. I am about to purchase it but I have one setback: I love drawing on my light table. Though it is more or less home made, I like the feeling of working on paper. This really drags out my workflow, though. The reason being that I have to scan all of my drawings in at high resolutions and vectorizing them usually produces choppy results (I use 2B pencils and my drawings can be sketchy). Also the drawings are hard to paint digitally due to certain lines being eliminated or thinned out too much.I decided I needed to get a Wacom tablet in order to hurry up clean up and such. Plus it will work better when making Flash animation or other art projects. I just have a feeling using one will eliminate the need for a traditional light table which would be a little unnerving. Anyone here run into this dilemma when working with 2D traditional animation? Thanks!

Well, it was never really a “dilemma” for me switching from paper to a Wacom-tablet…
Did the switch about 9 years ago and never looked back…

Even, I still very much enjoy drawing on paper or canvas from time to time…
Have always paper and an iPad in my bag for sketching…

All my characters, scenery, accessories etc…for 2D animation
I draw directly with the Wacom into the software…

Have you tried the Intuos 5 yet…? The surface feels nearly as good as paper…


Nah haven’t tried the 5 yet. I have heard mixed reviews about it compared to Intuos4 but I haven’t bought anything yet so further research will be done haha.

And yeah, I feel like a lot of time would be cut out if I did most of my work with the Wacom. Maybe I"ll just do key drawings on paper since they need to be reworked and reworked a lot. But you have me pretty convinced this change is for the better!



I’d say if you want the best of both words (and can afford it) get a Cinitq tablet!


There’s also the Modbook which is what I use (I currently use the old model, not the new Pro model they’re coming out with):


I started using a Wacom Intuos2 about 12 years ago and now I use a Cintiq 12WX. I still do my rough sketches with paper and pencil–2B mechanical–and refine the sketches on a home made light table.

Once I get the sketches to my liking I scan them and import them into my favorite drawing program Xara Designer Pro. Then I do the linework and color in the final art using the tablet. The final result is vector so it imports well into Toon Boom.

Perhaps some day I will abandon my pencil and go completely digital, but for now, I am happy with my workflow. Graphic art is becoming more and more digital and in order to be competitive it is practically a MUST for the serious artist.

I never could wrap my head (or my hand) around drawing with a tablet so I stuck with paper until I got my (beloved) Cintiq - now I rarely draw on paper at all aside from sketchbook drawing. I know some people who tried the Cintiq after drawing on an intuos tablet for years and promptly asked for their tablet back, but for my money the Cintiq is the only way to intuitively draw digitally. I just could never bridge the hand-eye coordination gap (must not have played enough Nintendo as a kid!), and would only use the tablet for drawing with the pen tool, selections, etc.

Just to chip in here on the Intuos 5 front, it definitely has more of a textury feel to it when drawing. As a consequence, though, the nibs run out rather fast. But I like having the touch too, because I can use the touch as a mouse functionality then switch to my pen when drawing.

If you can afford it, of course, working on a Cintiq really gives you the best experience. It still takes some getting used to, because it feels like drawing on glass, but you do have the visual feedback.