So in my previous video, I introduced you to Wacom tablets and why they are useful to photographers and also why we have the different sizes. Why Ashleigh is using the smaller one and why I choose to use the medium one. Now, in this video, I’m going to run through how you setup a Wacom tablet for the very first time. And then I’m going to show you how I use my tablet in Photoshop or with Photoshop. Thanks to Squarespace for sponsoring this video. So I asked Ashleigh to set up our own tablet so she could get to grips with it and I’m going to talk you through the key things that she came across during that process. Now, the first thing you need to do is plug the tablet in to give it sufficient battery charge, and then after that, you can actually use it wirelessly with Bluetooth, but you need to pair it with your computer by checking. You have Bluetooth running and choosing connect whilst holding down the circle button on the tablet. The other important thing you need is the software driver to make the tablet work. Now you can get this from Wacom’s website. – you need to download it and install it. On the medium size tablet for some reason, it seemed to self install. Now once installed, you’ll likely get loads of warnings from your operating system wanting permissions granted allowing the tablet to take control of your mouse. Your screen area, etc. These will be in the privacy settings on a Mac in System Preferences and shouldn’t be too difficult to figure out. Now Wacom also have some tutorial videos on their website, which you might find useful, but I did find them a little basic. Once you’ve got the installation out of the way, then you need to personalize your tablet and this will be a bit unfamiliar to begin with if you’ve never used a tablet before You’re also going to be already getting frustrated if you’ve picked up the pen and are trying to use it as a mouse, mainly because that’s not how it’s meant to be used. At this point, many people give up with a tablet, but please persist because a tablet is going to make a world of difference to retouching in Photoshop. Now before you get stuck in, consider if you also want the touch gestures on your tablet activated as well as using the pen. Now, personally, I turn these off as I’m only interested in using the pen for retouching and not using the tablet with an iPad style touch gesture mechanism. Some people may find using the touch gestures useful for zooming in and out etc, but I prefer using the keyboard in one hand, and then the pen and tablet in the other You can always turn them on again later, but I’d leave the touch gestures off for the moment while you’re getting used to the thing. Now you can turn the touch gestures off on the side with the switch, and I’ve only used the touch gestures on the large Wacom Cintiq screens. So I may well try them again on these new tablets to see if I find them more useful. So first of all, let’s deal with the pen pressure. Now you can personalize this with a simple slider or the more advanced customization, using the pressure graph and test area. So this personalizes the applied pressure to suit you, and if you’ve got a light touch or a heavier hand when retouching or drawing it compensates for that? Now there’s also another feature for tilt personalization. That’s the angle of the pen, But here I leave mine on standard. The next control is double click. Now some people use this, but I find it particularly annoying as I would occasionally accidentally double Click the tablet when I didn’t want to, so I disable that function. Now the next buttons to consider are the two buttons on the pen. Itself these can be customized to your taste. Some retouchers set them as the undo button, but again my personal preference is to have them switched off as I tend to accidentally press them when I’m retouching and I prefer to use the keyboard for these commands instead because I’m using the keyboard anyway. For my Photoshop shortcuts. Now, after all of this, you can consider mapping and you may remember in my last video. I explained that’s why I’m using the medium size tablet with a dual-screen setup and Ash is opting for the small size tablet with a single-screen setup. Now you can see here. Ash can remap any portion of the tablet to be your screen area or any portion of your screen to be a part of the tablet. Right enough of Ashleigh. For now, we’ll come back to her shortly when she updates us on how she’s finding the experience of using a tablet for the first time for retouching. So let me show you a couple of further items with my Intuos Pro medium. Let’s talk about the mapping. In my office upstairs, I have a large EIZO 31 inch 4K screen, and I have my laptop alongside it to the right side, and I use this as a dual screen setup. Now, down here in studio. I’ve got an Asus Pro Art monitor and my laptop And with the mapping I can specify the same thing to do. A dual screen setup across the tablet, so lets. Show you how we do that. So if I go up to the menu at the top here and I can choose Wacom tablet preferences, you can see my Intuos Medium. Pros 65% charged at the moment. Click Wacom tablet preferences, and that will open up this dialog that you’ve already seen that’s in your system preferences and can also be accessed via the Wacom tablet down the bottom. Now, if you look here, you can see how my two screens are mapped to my Wacom tablet. So this gray box on the left is actually the Asus or my EIZO, the larger screen and then this one on the right is the 16 inch Macbook Pro screen. You have a number of options on how you want to spread this on the Wacom tablet. You can choose monitor one purely for the tablet as I’m doing there. So now my tablet will only work across all the way side to side across the whole screen or I could select monitor 2, or we can select portion and with portion You can then define the area that you want to use, but I’m going to say full on there and then here are some other options. You’ve got portion again down the bottom for the tablet area, but again. I’m going to say full. Now the interesting one here is this force proportions button. If you turn that off, it kind of gives you a strange setup for the tablet. It basically stretches your screens to fill the whole tablet from the top down to the bottom. And that just doesn’t feel natural to me because, obviously. I kind of want the proportions to match the shape of the screens that I’m working on. So I say force proportions here, and then you can see that change in the little icon there, on-screen. So that’s how I work and that’s exactly the reason, as I explained in the previous video, why I prefer the medium-sized tablet because part of my tablet is allocated to my big EIZO screen or my Asus screen and part of the tablet is allocated to my laptop screen, and normally I have these two items side-by-side the big screen and the laptop, and then as I drag my pen across, it just moves into the other screen. Now that particular working area portion on this tablet ends up being about the same size as Ashleigh’s tablet. If I was to use Ashleigh’s tablet and try to map those two screens on to the smaller tablet. I think I’d find it a bit fiddly. Okay, now, while we’re on the subject of this tablet. What are all these buttons down the right-hand side -. Well, these are called the Express keys, and they’ve got a number of default features or default settings, and we can access those in the menu here by simply pressing the functions icon here. Now before we do that, let me just jump back to the tablet again itself. First of all because I just realized something interesting, So we will go back to the pro pen and here you can see orientation, and that says Express keys on the right top left or bottom. Now I have my Express keys on the Right-hand side, so I’m using the tablet this way because I’m left-handed and by being left-handed, I don’t want to keep accidentally pressing the buttons on here with my hands, So my buttons are over on this side, so this gives me a clear area to work. If you’re right-handed, you’re using a tablet over on this side with your pen like so, and you’re likely going to want the buttons over on the inside this way around which I believe is how Ashleigh’s got them because you also want your other hand able to access the buttons here. So the orientation of the tablet. It’s completely rotatable. You can use it either way you like. It’s entirely up to you. You can even use it vertically if you want, but you will need to specify that in that tab here on the Wacom tablet’s preferences section. So let’s get back to these Express keys. – now to be absolutely honest. I don’t really use them and it’s not that there’s anything wrong with them. They can be useful. I’ll show you the one that I do use, but the reason I don’t use them. Is that the shortcuts that you can allocate to them Aren’t really useful to me because I have this here. This is my normal keyboard, and I have to use my normal keyboard, really, for all of my keyboard shortcuts for Photoshop. I’m so familiar now with changing brush size or pressing V for the move tool or choosing the pen tool or choosing the lasso tool and I’m familiar with pressing the shift key and running through the tools. All of my options for choosing tools and speeding up my workflow are taken care of in my standard keyboard. Now, if I had to start using or setting some of those on those Express keys, I’d be back and forth from here to here to here to here, and it just seems a little bit unnecessary and it just wouldn’t be efficient. So generally speaking whilst these Express keys work really well, and I’m sure you could allocate what you want to them and make use of them. I think you’ll find if you’re a proficient Photoshop user. You’re going to have far more versatility using the actual keyboard and the keyboard shortcuts that you’re familiar with from Photoshop and not worrying about those keys at all. Well, let me show you how you can modify and change them anyway while we’re here. So if we go into functions and then you can see here, you can start to customize your Express keys, and you can allocate what you like to each different button, and you can also allocate particular specialized things to Photoshop as well if you want. Now the touch ring itself is quite interesting because this one I do find quite useful occasionally when I’m working in Photoshop. So if I just go into an image in Photoshop now, for example, if I add some extra layers to this image, let me just bring in some burn and dodge layers. Bring in a couple of layers there and let me just duplicate this layer as well. So if I press my Express key button here, I will have a number of options, so I’ve got cycle layers is on or brush size. So if I press the center button on the Express key there, it’s rotating it through those commands, and the cycle layers is actually quite useful. So now by running my hand around the circle, so I’m running my hand around the circle on the Express key, I can basically navigate through the layers. Now that is, you know, one, possibly useful shortcut. Other ones, of course, in there as well are brush size as well. So currently, it’s they’re set to rotate auto-scroll zoom brush size, which again, so if I’m doing painting on an image, I can now use that circle on here to change my brush size, but as I said, because I’m familiar with using my keyboard shortcuts instead or simply sliding the mouse, then I prefer to use the keyboard shortcuts. So whilst I’ve got this image open, I’m just putting a dodge layer on here and I’m just going to show you How nice and easy you can see. I’m just dodging up that face area and change that brush size down with my keyboard, shortcuts, just lightening in a little bit, And that’s the beauty with this sort of more fluid. Feel that you get with the Wacom tablet for burning and dodging much nicer feel than working with a mouse. So there I’ve just applied a little dodge onto the face to lighten up the face so much more fluid so much more control than using a mouse. So it’s entirely up to you, which way you prefer to work, but they are there for you if you want to customize them. But as I said, I think you’re probably going to end up, preferring using the keyboard. Now some final things to consider are the pen choices. This is the pen that comes with the Intuos Pro range and also the surface material That’s on the tablet as well. Some of the Intuos Pros have an interchangeable surface material that offers a rougher or a smoother or the standard feeling. If you like, it’s the sort of pen scratchiness feel to the top of the tablet. Now the standard one is pretty good, but I’m actually keen to try out the smooth one. Because when I was testing the smooth one, it did really feel quite nice. So I am going to order one of those and see if I can test that out as well. Now the one thing that does irritate me about the pen that comes with the tablet. Is that it’s too fat? Only a painter with a paintbrush would be used to something this thick, But for me, I prefer the feeling of a normal pens, so I opted for the thinner choice pen. I find it less tiring in my hand, especially if you’re retouching all day. But unfortunately, the thinner, more elegant pen is going to set you back another $70. Now, as you can see from my workflow as a photographer, I think these Wacom tablets are amazing things, and they help me do my job more efficiently and more creatively, But let’s go and find out how Ashleigh got on as a newbie to Wacom tablets. So I wanted to work on my retouching, which is why? I’ve now got a Wacom tablet. It’s been quite an adjustment to get used to, but it has been quite a good move. I feel when it comes to practicing and improving on retouching. I’ve got small one as you can see being a new user. That was part of the reason I got a small one and it has been. It’s been quite a taken some time to get used to, but it has definitely been worth it. I felt that I’ve managed to get to grips with burning and dodging one of the key retouching skills and it’s. Yeah, it’s been a really good move to get one. It has taken me a good Retouch to get used to it. I say good in that. It’s taken me at least a good few hours to get used to. It takes some time to get to grips with it to first of all. Set it up so that it works for you as well. I spent a lot of time going back and forth to the settings, adjusting how the pen feels the pen pressure, the angle of it. Everything like that, so it definitely isn’t something that you’ll get used to in 5 minutes 10 minutes, even 20 minutes, even a day, but again, if you persevere. I do think it’s very worth it because I did flick back to the mouse to test it just out of curiosity to see how it would feel having spent a few hours with the Wacom tablet and it’s so much easier than a mouse. So is the hours practicing and going back and forth to the settings, so definitely worth it. Compared to a mouse, I would say it depends on what you’re using the tablet for if you’re using it for burning and dodging Spot Healing things like that, which is mostly what I’ve been using it for 100% I’d say the tablet is easier than a mouse. This is purely because it’s a far more natural movement. If you’re doing burning and dodging, and you’re working on little bits. It’s easier than having to continuously move the mouse. However, that being said I felt that using the tablet as a mouse wasn’t very easy, so I wouldn’t, for example, flick layers on and off. That was something that was a bit tricky. I couldn’t go to file or any of the menus with the tablet. I found that was quite. It’s almost too sensitive for that. I found so the mouse has its purpose. But the tablet is much easier for general retouching tasks. The only thing with that is that it is much – knowing your keyboard shortcuts for. Photoshop will make it a lot easier. The process, as well to use the tablet instead of changing my brush size continuously by going to the brush settings. I could just do it on the keyboard. I could zoom using the keyboard. I could pan across the image using the keyboard and that made the process easier. If you don’t know shortcuts, you will have to keep flicking to the mouse, which will in slow your work flow down and probably not make it worth it, but I would. I think for skin retouching, burning and dodging healing. I would 100% want to use the tablet rather than the mouse. I’ve got the small tablet as I mentioned. I would definitely say that this was the right size for me. I’m only using one screen, so I don’t really have need for a bigger tablet. In fact, I did even remap my tablet to use just the lower left corner because I found that I was reaching for some things, so I’m actually using a smaller tablet than what I’ve got. So if you’re a first-time retoucher, yeah, the small tablet I would say is quite a good choice. The buttons are a feature on the tablet that I haven’t really used to be honest. I haven’t found a need for them at all. If I could use them for anything, Perhaps I would use them for flow rate of a brush, but it’s really not a problem to adjust that the buttons on the pen. I also haven’t used. We’ve disabled those, and I haven’t found a use for them. Perhaps I could, if I keep going. I might consider setting them to undo or redo functions. I didn’t find at any point when I was using the pen that I accidentally clicked the buttons, so for me, they might be a good choice to have to speed up the workflow, but at this point having just started. I haven’t made use of any buttons or on the tablet or the pen itself. Using the tablet was amazing for doing burning and dodging. That’s what I mostly used it for and also Spot Healing. It was very useful. I didn’t experiment much with cloning or anything like that. I did just stick to healing at this point. So burning and dodging and healing were the three features. I used it all predominantly and I think at this point. I was quite happy just using those three. I got the tablet obviously, because I wanted to work on my retouching skills. It was something. Karl recommended. I’d never really used a Wacom before I hadn’t really known too many photographers who had coming from just my studies, but having used it myself now if you’re wanting to Retouch higher volumes of images, more precise work like skin retouching. I would definitely say that. I think it had that would help with that purely because it’s far more comfortable than using a mouse and it’s much quicker than using a mouse. So for those reasons, I would say it’s definitely worth it. If you’re not doing as precise work, maybe not maybe it wouldn’t be worth it, but for what we’re doing and for what I was doing with it. Definitely, I enjoyed using it as well. I actually did when I got to grips with it. I thought it was a really good way to smooth out the workflow. Speed it up and make it easier so yeah. I’ve enjoyed using it and I thought it was a really good move to get to work on my retouching. Now, if you’d like to learn the key concepts of photography retouching in an easy step-by-step way designed specifically for photographers, then visit my platform KarlTaylorEducationcom and go to the post-production section and for just $19 we have multiple classes, including one key class for people new to retouching, and it goes right through to the very advanced classes, too. This video is brought to you by Squarespace From websites and online stores to marketing tools and analytics. Squarespace is the all-in-one platform to build a beautiful online presence and run your business Head to squarespacecom for a free trial and when you’re ready to launch, go to Squarespacecom/Karl to save 10% off your first purchase of a website or domain.