It's been a long time since Apple released an officially branded graphics tablet in 1979, which came to life on the Apple II thanks to Rundgren’s Utopia Graphics Tablet System software.

“Essentially, this was the first example of a paint-box program that used cutting-edge programmers tools to build a tool intended for artists, not necessarily programmers. It was meant to be a companion program to graphics tablet hardware that Apple was going to put out as an accessory to the computer” Rundgren told The Guardian in 2004 of his software.

Fast-forward to 2021, we have cars flying in space, and a huge range of cutting edge Graphics Tablets and Displays, designed to help bring our ideas to life.

What is the difference between a Graphics Tablet and a Pen Display Monitor?

There are two kinds of Pen tablets: those with a screen and those without.

Tablets that have built-in external monitors that hook up to your computer as referred to as a Pen Display Monitor or Creative Pen Display. They offer a natural experience and help take your creative ideas and illustrations to the next level. Apart from looking stunning, you can draw or paint directly on the screen using your favourite 2D Software or 3D Software which makes it more intuitive and responsive for the digital artist to use.

Graphics tablets or Pen Tablets that don't have screens are more common and affordable. They’re basically large, pressure-sensitive trackpads that you control with a special stylus.

Why should I use a Graphics Tablet or Pen Display Monitor?

The big advantage of a Pen tablet over a mouse, or, even worse, a trackpad, is how much control you have.

With a Graphics tablet, it’s significantly easier to work with natural, flowing lines. You can draw neat circles, accurately trace the outline of a model you want, and generally just work as you would if you were using a pen and paper. If you’ve ever tried to sign your name using a trackpad or mouse instead of a pen, you’ve experienced the difference.

What do digital artists create with a tablet?

The sky's the limit in terms of unlocking your creativity with a Graphics Tablet or Pen Display. Here is a small snapshot of what digital artists typically create with these pieces of hardware.

Sketching and Drawing

With the help of a Pen Graphic tablets you can easily draw or sketch digitally just like you would with any pen or paper. Whether you’re a hobby artist or a professional working at a studio, there are tablets suitable for everyone.

Comics and Illustration

Since tablets are compatible with various illustration and design software like Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator, comics artists and illustrator are renowned for using tablets to help improve their work and their processes.

Animation

Everyone enjoys watching animated films and very often fall in love with the animated characters. But only an animator will know the time and effort invested in bringing the character to life. Animating can be a really time-consuming and a repetitive process on most days. From concept design to story boarding to character development, a tablet will help you to make the entire process smoother and faster. All tablets are compatible with industry leading Animation software packages including Autodesk Maya, Houdini, Blender, ToonBoom, Adobe Character Animator and more.

3D Modeling

Think modelling and sculpting with clay is difficult? Well, doing the same in the virtual space isn’t that easy either, especially if you're trying to do it with a mouse. Tablets help in creating complex and visually appealing 3D models and elaborate environment with ease. Once again, tablets are compatible with all 3D modelling software including Autodesk Maya, ZBrush, AutoCAD and more.

Photo Editing & Manipulation

With changing times, photography now is not limited only to clicking good photos. There are various other factors that come into play like editing photos, manipulation, colour correction, retouching, compositing etc. And this is where a tablet comes to the rescue.

Video Editing

Using XP-Pen graphic tablet along with editing software like After Effects and Premiere Pro will allow you to process your videos quickly and intelligently. Adjusting and composing will be extremely simple and fluid with the help of a pressure sensitive stylus and tablet display.

Graphic Designing

As a graphic designer, one often has to work on projects ranging from logo designing, designing of marketing collaterals like brochures, to designing of social media posts and managing everything with a mouse can be tiring.

Fashion Designing

When fashion meets technology, the outcome ought to be the showstopper. Tablets help fashion designers to add depth to their designs and work on the other nuances which might not be possible with the mouse.

Product Designing

A very important aspect of introducing any new product in the market is the designing part. From the simplest of the wall clocks to the biggest of the cars, a lot of thought and effort are put into its design. Starting from the 2D conception till the final 3D model, a tablet will become your favourite tool during the entire creative process of product designing.

The XP-PEN Artist 22 (2nd Generation) comes with a strikingly large 21.5-inch display. It also features 1080p resolution, has a superb colour accuracy of 86% NTSC , and it delivers more vibrant and realistic images and videos. Priced competitively, this is an incredible piece of hardware worthy of place on your desk at home and in the office.

Enter to win a Pen Display Monitor from XP-PEN

As mentioned, there simply is no better way to improve your 2D and 3D skills with the help of a Pen Display Monitor or Graphics Tablet. To help you unleash your ideas, we are super excited to offer you the chance to win 2 x Pen Display Monitors from our friends at XP-PEN.

To go in the running for this incredible opportunity, we are asking aspiring 3D Digital Modeling artists to showcase their skills in our upcoming Flash Gordon Modeling Contest.

Full details for the contest can be found using the link below:

Flash Gordon Modeling Contest
It’s your turn to re-imagine the famous world of science-fiction spaceman hero Flash Gordon and bring our concept art brief to life in this modeling challenge.

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