Drawing Tablets for Animation: Tools for Professionals and Beginners -: Complete Guide

Are you looking for the perfect tool to unlock your creativity in animation? Drawing tablets are the perfect solution and this guide will help you find the best one for you.

From professionals to beginners, everyone can benefit from a drawing tablet. Let’s dive into this guide and discover what fits your needs!

Drawing tablets have revolutionized the way animators and graphic designers create art. Whether you’re a professional creator or just starting out, using a drawing tablet gives you greater accuracy, more control over your hand movements, and a whole new world of artistic possibilities.

To get you started on your craft journey, this guide covers the most important aspects of drawing tablets so you can choose the right one for your needs. We cover: types of drawing tablets, features to consider when making a purchase decision, common mistakes to avoid when navigating through the different options available, and tips for enhancing your work with digital art tools.

We hope this guide helps you find just what you need to bring all of your creative visions to life.

Explanation of what drawing tablets are and their use in animation

Drawing tablets are electronic devices used in the production of digital artwork, animation, and other forms of graphic design. They feature an LCD panel which allows the user to draw or control a cursor by moving a stylus across the surface. Drawing tablets typically come with pressure-sensitive features which recognize how hard a user is pressing down on the stylus and can help replicate hand-drawn lines and strokes in digital art.

For animation, drawing tablets can be used to produce 2D drawings or 3D models. 2D models require traditional drawing tools such as pencils and brushes while 3D models are created using software programs such as Autodesk Maya. The tablet’s pressure-sensitive features allow animators to produce realistic line weights and textures that would be difficult to achieve with traditional tools.

Drawing tablets come in various sizes and come equipped with USB ports, touch pads, and styluses that give users more control over their workflows. These tablets are suitable for both beginners looking to get started in animation, as well as professionals who want greater accuracy when creating digital works of art.

Brief overview of the guide

This guide will provide readers with an introduction to the different types of drawing tablets that are available for animation professionals and beginners.

We’ll cover the features and benefits of each type of tablet and also discuss their differences in order to help you find the best one for your needs. We’ll also look at some key considerations you need to take into account when choosing a tablet and give helpful tips on how to use them most effectively.

Finally, we’ll review some of our top picks so that you can easily compare them and make an informed decision about which one is right for you. With this comprehensive guide, you should be able to quickly identify whether a drawing tablet is the ideal tool for your animation needs, choose from our top picks or discover which device suits you best.

Benefits of Drawing Tablets for Animation

Drawing tablets have revolutionized the world of animation, allowing both professionals and amateurs to create high-quality images quickly and efficiently. Compared to traditional methods of animating, such as pen-and-paper or even computer animation software, drawing tablets offer a range of benefits for artists.

The most obvious benefit is portability: drawing tablets are small enough to be carried around wherever you go, allowing you to work on your project from anywhere. This is particularly useful when you’re working with a team on a larger project that requires frequent communication and coordination. Additionally, drawing tablets are fairly low-cost compared to more specialized animation equipment such as computers and fancy cameras – making them an especially great choice for aspiring animators.

Another significant advantage of using drawing tablets is the fact that they use pressure sensitive styluses which allow for extremely precise lines, shapes and shading. This means that you can produce professional-looking artwork with just your tablet and stylus in hand – allowing you to save time by skipping the step of scanning in/digitizing your drawings. Additionally, many drawing tablets also come with sophisticated features such as tilt sensitivity – further enhancing their capabilities as tools for digital artistry.

Finally, drawing tablets also give animators the freedom to experiment with their projects in real time without having to stop and start again at each step – resulting not only in greater efficiency but also greater creativity when producing animated works!

Improved precision and control

When it comes to creating digital artwork, having accurate and precise control is essential. Drawing tablets provide artists with increased accuracy, allowing them to achieve the level of detail they need for professional-looking results. These tablets use pressure-sensitive pens or styli to trace and capture movements played out on the tablet’s surface. This can range from forceful pen strokes for cartooning and illustration, to gentle penciling for fine art or delicate alterations in animation.

Tablets also come preloaded with intuitive features such as brush size scaling, cursor tracking and gesture recognition that help create a comfortable working environment. Furthermore, some drawing tablets are designed with shortcut functions which make it even easier to turn a rough sketch into a polished piece of art.

Drawing tablets help boost productivity while maintaining accuracy in your artworks with its improved control levels, versatile shortcut functions and intuitive features such as cursor tracking and brush size scaling — making it an ideal choice for professional artists and beginners alike.

More efficient workflow

For animators, the use of a drawing tablet can be a major benefit when it comes to achieving a more efficient workflow. Depending on your desired level of functionality, there are different types of drawing tablets that cater to each user’s specific needs. These range from pen-only tablets for animation professionals and aspiring amateurs, to all-in-one tablet PCs with additional features and increased levels of customization.

For beginner animators, lower priced tablets such as the Wacom Intuos Pro offer entry-level features such as customizable buttons for quick access commands, improved pressure sensitivity for varied lines, and specialized software for creating television episodes or streaming broadcasts.

Professional animators require more robust features like tilt recognition or pen input options that allow users to create customized line art with precision accuracy and brush strokes. These require higher-end tablets with the latest technology such as the surface pro 4 which offers 8192 levels of pressure sensitivity, multi-gesture support on both sides of the screen, plus connectivity options like Bluetooth or Wi-Fi along with USB port. Additionally this model also boasts increased accuracy while drawing small details as well as superior color accuracy when editing photographs within programs like Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator. Other features may include access to high resolution displays at up to 4K configuration allowing for greater clarity in motion graphics projects too.

Ability to work remotely

In today’s digital world, the ability to work remotely has become an important consideration for animators. Drawing tablets for animation allow you to create complex 3D and 2D artwork, as well as motion graphics, right from the comfort of your home or on-the-go. Whether you are a professional or just starting out, having a drawing tablet that offers accurate pressure sensitivity combined with convenience is essential.

With a drawing tablet, you can draw directly onto the monitor and make modifications in real-time while working on a project. This makes your workflow efficient and saves time by removing the need to print out artwork or export to other mediums just to see how changes would look. Additionally, having easy access to precisions cursor pointing lets you refine shapes faster and easier than ever before. Many drawing tablets offer multi-monitor support so that you can use multiple displays for different elements in your animation process. This helps create an even more efficient workflow by keeping related elements on one display while providing more space for viewing other components at the same time.

Having access to an ergonomic wireless setup also increases efficiency by allowing you to move around freely without being restricted by distance or cables, making it ideal for remote work and collaboration sessions alike. Drawing tablets with customizable shortcut keys put vital tools, such as brush size and opacity adjustments at your fingertips so that adjustments are quick and easy – giving more room for experimentation and creativity when it’s needed most during long hours of work.

Better ergonomics and reduced physical strain

Drawing tablets for animation provide cartoonists and other digital media creators with a range of benefits that cannot be achieved with a standard mouse and keyboard. Improved ergonomics and reduced physical strain can bring about an improved sense of comfort and improved artistry when drawing for long hours, helping to reduce eye strain, repetitive stress injury, muscle fatigue, and more.

With the addition of an accompanying stylus pen, users can achieve highly accurate lines and better control when compared to traditional mouse input. Drawing tablets also offer tools specifically designed for animation software, allowing users to easily apply color palettes, texture brushes or unique patterns to their artwork quickly and efficiently with the touch of a button.

Connecting to a computer or other device using either wireless Bluetooth or USB cable connection means that users can work remotely without sacrificing precision or accuracy. For beginners just starting out in the world of animation, drawing tablets are an essential tool which will help them acquire all the necessary skills needed in order to create their own works of art.

Factors to Consider when Choosing a Drawing Tablet

When looking for the right drawing tablet, it’s important to consider a range of different factors. Factors such as pressure sensitivity, resolution, contrast ratio and tilt sensitivity all influence how the tablet performs, offering different advantages and disadvantages. These factors should all be taken into consideration when choosing a drawing tablet that is suitable for your style of work.

Pressure Sensitivity The pressure sensitivity of a drawing tablet measures how hard users can press the stylus tip against the surface to affect the amount of detail in drawings. A large pressure range offers more flexibility – however tablets with fewer levels are more affordable. Pressure sensitivity usually ranges from 512 to 8192 and higher.

Resolution The resolution of a drawing tablet describes how accurately monitor images are displayed on its surface. Higher resolutions enable sharper lines and crisper details in drawings, although this can come at an increased price point compared to lower resolution options. Resolution ranges from 2540 LPI (Lines Per Inch) up to 5080 LPI for professional models.

Contrast Ratio The contrast ratio describes how accurately black and white areas appear on screen when working with these elements in art applications or gaming software. Tablets with lower contrast ratios often appear washed out or lack clarity when it comes to darker elements, so it’s important to consider this aspect before confirming the purchase if you take color accuracy seriously in your work. Contrast ratios usually range from 1000:1 up to 3000:1 or greater in high end models such as Huion’s Kamvas Pro 24 & 16; Ugee M708 & 1910B; Wacom Cintiq Pro 13 & 16 & 24; XP-Pen Artist 22HDX etc..

Tilt Sensitivity Tilt sensitivity refers to how sensitively a tablet responding when stylus is tilted during use, enabling users to create significant effects just by adjusting their pen angle instead of increasing pressure on its tip – often used in adding shaded textures onto artwork or data entry programs relying on written inputs instead of keystrokes . Not every pen model includes tilt sensor technology so make sure you get one with adjustable angle sensing if you’re looking for one that does offer this feature.


If you’re looking for a drawing tablet that won’t break the bank, there are some great budget options out there. These tablets offer a good range of features and can help you create great animations without spending too much money. Here are some of the best tablets for animation on a budget:

– Huion H610 Pro V2 Graphics Drawing Tablet: This is one of the best budget drawing tablets for beginners. It offers 8 build-in shortcut keys and 16 customisable express keys, ensuring you get efficient control over your creation. Plus, with its 10 x 6.25 inches work area and 2048 pressure level pen sensitive, this drawing tablet is ideal when animating at a basic level.

– XP-Pen Artist12 Graphic Drawing Tablet: Another great budget option is the XP-Pen Artist 12 graphics tablet. This device also offers 8 express keys and plenty of space to create animations – 11 x 6 inches to be exact – making it perfect for those starting out in animation or who want to keep their expenses to a minimum but still crave a high quality experience.

– Wacom CTL4100 Intuos Graphics Drawing Tablet: If size matters to you more than portability then the Wacom CTL4100 like can be an ideal choice as it sports an expansive 11inch x 6inch working space . Other features include 4 customizable express keys, 2048 pressure sensitive levels and comes with compatible cords for both Windows and MacOS systems.

Size and resolution

When shopping for a drawing tablet, size and resolution are two of the most important features you should be considering. The size of the work area will largely depend on the type of work being done. For example, a professional illustrator needs more workspace than someone who just wants to do basic sketching. Higher resolutions require more power from your device and provide crisper images but can also lead to slower operation if a device’s specs are not up to par.

The active area of a tablet is measured diagonally for size, typically stated in inches. Professional tablets often come with larger sizes, ranging from 6–16 inches in diameter, whereas entry-level drawing tablets for casual drawing range from 7–10 inches. The resolution refers to how many individual points your cursor will move when it moves across the tablet surface – measured in lines per inch (LPI). High-end tablets can have resolutions up to 5080 LPI with levels that are adjustable depending on specific tasks. Cheaper models may offer resolutions as low as 4000 LPI or less.

Pressure sensitivity

When choosing an animation tablet, the level of pressure sensitivity it offers is an important consideration. Pressure sensitivity refers to how hard or lightly you push on the surface of the tablet and the ability for this pressure to be picked up by the stylus and then translated into a line weight in your drawing software when you’re illustrating.

More advanced tablets typically offer better levels of pressure sensitivity, allowing for more precise lines and thicker line weights with less effort. Beginner-level tablets may provide only two levels of pressure sensitivity — light and heavy — while intermediate and professional tablets may provide three to four levels of pressure from lightest to heaviest. Anything beyond four levels usually falls into master-level or industry standard range.

In addition, some animation tablets are designed with tilt recognition capabilities (also known as “tilt response”). This feature senses when you’re tilting your stylus to create more rotational, angled lines, rather than simply scribbling in one direction. Tilt recognition lets you achieve a much more natural look when drawing with a digital pen — allowing for accuracy that is incredibly close to working with traditional media like ink pens or pencils on paper.

Compatibility with software

When evaluating the various drawing tablets for animation on the market, it is important to consider compatibility with different software applications. Different models, sizes and construction may have impact on your productivity and accuracy when creating artwork.

Before making a purchase, verify that the tablet is compatible with your software of choice — for example, some tablets may be designed specifically for use in Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator. Some models may also be able to be used with a variety of programs, such as 2D animation software like Toonboom or Anime Studio Pro. Additionally, if you plan to connect multiple devices at once (e.g., a keyboard and mouse), ensure that they are all compatible with the drawing tablet.

It is also essential to check what type of USB connection is used with each model as this will determine which cables are necessary and how quickly data travels across them. Most tablets today are also equipped with wireless capabilities and display support– benefits which can help streamline workflow when working on intricate drawings or engaging in lengthy projects.


In conclusion, drawing tablets for animation offer a great combination of affordability and power. Whether you’re an experienced pro or just starting out, there are a range of models available to suit your needs. These tablets provide complete creative freedom and an array of features for making incredible digital artwork. Above all else, you have the ability to create accurately and quickly on the fly with every stroke of your stylus.

Regardless of your budget or experience level, investing in a drawing tablet is sure to bring a huge boost in productivity and enjoyment to your animation workflows.


Which drawing tablet is best for beginners?

Some good options for beginners include Wacom Intuos, Huion H610 Pro V2, and XP-Pen Deco 01 V2.

Do I need a drawing tablet for animation?

While it’s possible to do animation without a drawing tablet, a drawing tablet can greatly improve the accuracy and efficiency of your work.

How much does a drawing tablet for animation cost?

The cost of a drawing tablet for animation can vary greatly depending on the brand, size, and features. Prices can range from around $50 to over $1000.

What is the best animation app for a drawing tablet?

Some popular animation apps for drawing tablets include Adobe Animate, Toon Boom Harmony, and TVPaint.

What drawing tablet do professional animators use?

Some commonly used drawing tablets among professional animators include Wacom Cintiq, Wacom Intuos Pro, and Huion Kamvas.

What tablets do animators use?

Many animators use drawing tablets such as Wacom, Huion, and XP-Pen tablets.

What do most professional animators use?

Most professional animators use high-quality drawing tablets and software such as Wacom tablets and Adobe Animate or Toon Boom Harmony.

What do professionals use for animation?

Professionals often use high-end drawing tablets, professional animation software, and powerful computers for animation.

What devices do professional animators use?

Professional animators often use high-end drawing tablets, powerful computers, and professional animation software such as Adobe Animate or Toon Boom Harmony.

What drawing tablet does Pixar use?

Pixar has been known to use Wacom Cintiq tablets for their animation work.

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