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23
Nov

How to Set Up Photoshop for Pressure Sensitive Tablet Artwork

This tutorial will show you how to set up your machine to recognize pressure sensitivity. You can use this for digital inking, painting, and shading in Photoshop. I use this technique in my comics, mostly for dynamic expressions and (with a large brush on a very low opacity) the multicolored shading. If you own a tablet, you absolutely have to do this setup.

comicpanel

You can use a version as old as Photoshop 7 and still be able to use this tutorial.

Step 1: Set your your graphics tablet up as described in it’s user manual. I personally use a Wacom Intuous.

Step 2: Go to your tablet’s manufacturer’s website and download the newest driver. Most likely any driver that was packaged on CD with the tablet is totally out of date.

Step 3: Go to Start > Settings > Control Panel on the PC or System Prefs on the Mac. Here will be a tablet menu where you can adjust what the buttons on your tablet and pen do. You can also adjust the pen’s pressure sensitivity.

How you set these are based on your personal preference. I usually totally deactivate the buttons on the side of the pen because they get in my way. I also make the pressure sensitivity just a little bit softer than the default setting.

NOTE: Cheaper tablets like the Graphire/Bamboo will offer a very limited array of settings. The Intuous level and higher will offer a full array of settings that you can adjust as well as double the points of sensitivity.

Step 4: Launch Photoshop

Step 5: Open your Brush Preferences (WIndow > Brushes). Make sure that Shape Dynamics is turned on and that it is set to Pen Pressure. This allows the tablet’s pressure sensitivity to respond to how hard or soft you press on the tablet with the pen.

shapedynamics

You can now ink by hand with your pen if your pen tool is set up properly. I recommend a hard edge brush, not the soft, fuzzy brush.

7 Responses to “How to Set Up Photoshop for Pressure Sensitive Tablet Artwork”

  1. soul says:

    thanksss it helped a lot!

  2. Kevin says:

    I’ve been trying to solve my problem of not having pressure sensitivity FOREVER. I’m a self taught cartoonist and I could not figure out what i was doing wrong… i just need to update the driver for my tablet! I never thought of that, silly me. But thanks to you guy’s I now have a whole new way to achieve my tasks. I just had to say thank you for posting this you made a 40 year old family man, do a little happy dance this morning. lol
    Cheers
    Kev

  3. devin says:

    thank you soo much. it solved my problems immediately

  4. C.Page says:

    Finally!! Exactly the information needed, precise and easy to implement! I’ve been looking through Wacom documentation for hours! THANK YOU !!!!

  5. Dason Douglas-Murray says:

    Thank you so much sir I appreciated this heavily.
    I needed this for a Flash game project that im working on and you are just a life saver man!

  6. Thanks so much! I’ve been through numerous sites, and none solved the problem until I found this one. Simple and straightforward. And thanks for speaking in Mac language!

  7. Helen says:

    Omg! Thank you sooo soo much! I just fixed my pen sensitivity; I haven’t been able to use it for like a year because of this problem!! THANKS SO MUCH.

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