Wacom Pressure Curves Suck

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I came across this thread on the Wacom forums, tried to wrap my head around what they were discussing, and tried it out for myself. In a nutshell, my Photoshop now feels like the sketching brushes in SAI and Sketchbook Pro.

Apparently, getting under the hood to manually fine tuning your Wacom tip feel isn't a new trick, but still not a lot of people know about it. Anyhow I sketched out my notes, and thought I'd post them here for feedback and also to spread the word about this trick.

*In Windows, you can do everything discussed here through a little frontend app, downloadable here.

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PressureCurve_01.jpg

PressureCurve_03.jpg

PressureCurve_02.jpg

PressureCurve_08.jpg

PressureCurve_04.jpg

PressureCurve_05.jpg

PressureCurve_06.jpg

Related links:
Junkyard Sam - Manually Adjust of Pen Sensitivity
Conceptart.org discussion thread

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  • Zpanzer
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    Looks interresting. I have to try this out!
  • rollin
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    thx. this was now so easy that I eventually did the changes ;)
    cheers!!
  • Snowfly
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    Let me know if anything's unclear or needs more explaining!

    Slides 5 and 6 have been updated, previously I got the numbers reversed. So if you followed any of the recipes...might wanna go back in there and tweak them again. :) The control point values are basically organized into 3 pairs, which say "Press this hard to get this pressure."

    Also I confused RSI for RSS, doh!
  • Steve Schulze
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    Isn't this the same effect as turning down the click threshold in the Wacom control panel?
  • Snowfly
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    It probably is, though I sure don't have that option in my tablet settings (Intuos3/Bamboo) :( Which Wacom are you using? (nevermind, I see click threshold on the Intuos3. In which case, fail)
  • rooster
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    no, I think the click threshold affects the left side of the graph, not the right side as per the drawings
  • Emil Mujanovic
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    Awesome!
    I'll definitely pimp this shit on my Intuos 4, cos my low pressure threshold is whack at the moment. If i press really softly and release. It still thinks I have the pen down until I move the pen far enough away from the tablet surface. Annoys the shit out of me when sculpting.
  • Rwolf
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    Tried this, but didn't like it. Probably because I use the spring nib, it made everything too sensitive.
  • Justin Meisse
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    This is great, I messed with that curve editor in the past but I didn't really understand what I was doing, thanks for explaining things.
  • Calabi
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    Works perfect for me, thanks snowfly.
  • Zipfinator
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    Looks interesting but I haven't had any problems with pressure on my Intuos 4. I don't use it that much though so maybe I just haven't noticed it yet. If I do start seeing issues I'll definitely use this fix. Thanks!
  • Snowfly
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    Cool, glad folks are finding it useful though the presentation's all over the place. Junkyard Sam's writeup is still the best guide to this.

    Wacom actually addressed the issue of too large a dead zone with the Intuos4, but still they won't bring back a full blown pressure curve editor, so you still have to press very hard to get maximum pressure. You'll probably get the most of this tweak if you draw with a light touch like I do. :)
  • ErichWK
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    Too bad my tablet doesn't work every time I restart my computer... I have to remove preferences every time I plug it in.. Otherwise I'd try this. =(
  • Dado Almeida
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    Ahah, nice you wrote this in plain English Snowfly, because I was digging a time to translate a similar (less math) article I wrote about this same issue. Perfect timing.

    Mostly of the peoples really don't see the changes. I think this hack is really noticeable for when you need to inking in the computer, paint soft gradients, or have a nice and polished Cintiq to play.

    Avoid RSI problems is a great reason to people at least try this changes. Another thing that I warned in my article is to use this trick to make their nibs last longer and keep the tablet surface smooth. You can have any tablet size, but due we "pan the image, in your software, to the center of the screen" when painting, sculpting, etc., that area in the tablet became very scratchy quickly - and have a little imperfection in that area is very frustrating.

    Last but not least, if you guys have a very scratchy tablet already, I recommend to put a "LCD screen protector" over it.It's a sheet of plastic with a gently glue to stick. During the first days looks like you're drawing on the Nintendo DS screen, but then it became less smooth and more "sandy". I'm using mine for almost a month. Believe me, that's the better and cheap solution I've tested.

    So. Let's draw! : )
  • dejawolf
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    looks nice. is there any way to fix the pen tilt as well? its been broken for ages, in that it works the opposite way it should (tilting causes strokes to become thinner instead of thicker)
  • conte
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    do you use standart windows notepad for editing that dat file? when i change anything in it, i have error- can't find driver
  • Dado Almeida
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    Hey Conte I'm using the default Notepad to edit the file, saving it in ANSI mode.

    One thing I've noticed today: if you mess with the .dat file using an undefined value (like 2048 when your tablet support only 1024 levels of pressure, or change the Threshold value), the Tablet service wouldn't start automatically. You'll need to do it through Task Manager or Windows Services panel.

    So, to test how the thing works, I suggest use the frontend app. instead, because it never screw up in my RIG.
  • conte
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    oh hey Dado, you're right, saving in ANSI helped, thanks a bunch!
    and Chris, thanks for sharing all this info and images!
  • Snowfly
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    Dado - thanks for the addons! It's a running joke that Wacom intentionally sets the pressure curve so high to make a little extra lunch money from selling spare nibs. and that's a good point...i've got to get a screen protector for my tablet. those things come in a matte finish also so that might be a good alternative.

    Dejawolf - in which software have you come across this problem though? is it a photoshop thing? i personally don't use tilt much, but with Painter, the brushes that do support tilt work as expected. i'll poke around and see if i can find any tilt settings in there though.

    Conte - glad you got that sorted out :) and yeah the frontend is less of a headache than the method i wrote about. reason i do it manually is because i'm on a mac so no such app exists.
  • Mypeople
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    wow, i cant WAIT to try this out in the morning. bookmarked! thanks so much for that.
  • Wells
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    ooh, will definitely try this out.

    thanks for doing all the work
  • Mypeople
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    i adjusted my wacomtablet.dat file, restarted my pc now my tablet wont turn on? the services say its running, if i try and go to tablet properties it says "talbet driver not found" i dont know WHAT just happened. man i hate wacom drivers so gd much.
  • Two Listen
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    This is great, I saw this listed elsewhere but it wasn't explained very clearly. I've never had a lot of trouble with the Wacom default settings, but I did notice and sometimes get frustrated having to push so hard for those heavier marks.

    I'm trying this out, thanks for posting.
  • Mypeople
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    I called wacom, got my tablet working again. my problem with doing this curve stuff Snowfly, if i check my .dat file after i've saved it always says this

    UpperPressureThreshold 5
    LowerPressureThreshold 65525
    PressureCurveControlPoint 20 0 819 1024 1638 2047

    Low pressure should be 1 right? i dont get why it keeps changing
    using intuos 4 btw
  • Justin Meisse
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    It seems to be a difference that appeared recently, I had a small tablet in
    '98 and I was able to do very light strokes on it and I've never gotten the same results on newer models.
  • Snowfly
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    Mypeople- Yeah lower threshold should always be lower than upper. that is strange, not sure why it keeps reseting itself to that value. The only reason I can think of is there may be a Wacom process running while you edit the .dat, that usually borks the changes...are you editing manually? Try using the Pressure Curve Tool and see if you still get that error.
  • Dado Almeida
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    Just in case people still using this trick, here's an updated version of the hack:

    http://www.lab.envirex.cz/?page_id=3

    The new Wacom drivers creates a different type of ini file (a less human readable xml)so it's useful to use this program. The old version of the driver wasn't showing the graph correctly aswell.
  • D4V1DC
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    Dado Thanks for that link I needed it, I am having an issue with some random drag thing after I finish a brush stroke it keeps drawing for like 1-2 seconds after I lift the pen and before I put it down it creates some random stroke before the pen touches the surface of the tablet...

    Anyone got any ideas?
    It was doing that before I installed/edited the pressure settings with the tablet pressure curve tool.

    Edit:
    For now the remove preferences from the utility app did the trick but I still worry this will not work indefinitely.
  • Fingus
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    I'd just like to add to this that if you're on a Mac and want to restart your tablet driver without rebooting you can find the PenTabletDriver.app or WacomTabletDriver.app under ~/Library/Application Support/Tablet/
  • loop
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    ur a fucking retard
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