Using Intuos 5 tablet with Corel Painter X3


Varying the line width using pen pressure

Digital painting of black boar using pen and pastel

I've now installed an Intuos 5 tablet (the previous drawing of the elephants in the mini was done with a very old, tiny Bamboo tablet).

I installed the tablet using the CD that came with it, and opened Corel Painter X3. The feature I was most excited about was the ability to vary the line width depending on how much pressure I apply with the pen.

Settings for the brush size using pen pressure for expression

In the Painter brush settings, there are options for changing the line width under the Brush Options > Size settings.

Settings for Painter brush with expression by pressure

These are the settings I used - but it didn't work.

I tried several brushes, pencils and pens, thinking perhaps it didn't work with some of them, but it didn't work with any of them.

Settings for the Intuos tablet and pen

I searched for a solution and found a lot of people with the same problem in both Wacom and Adobe forums.

These seem to be the possible solutions:

  1. Install the latest driver from the Wacom site.
  2. Plug the tablet into the computer directly (not via a USB).
  3. Start the application (in this case, Painter) using the tablet pen, not a mouse.
  4. In the tablet settings, set the pressure sensitivity (see diagram below - select Pen - Customise, and drag the points on the line to make a curve that works for you).
  5. Apply the pressure sensitivity settings to the Painter application (the default is to all applications).

I did all of these things and found that the pen pressure now changed the line width, as you can see in the drawing of the boar and the scribbled line below.

However, I then wanted to check which of these solutions actually made a difference, so I reversed all steps except the first (from reading the posts, I'm pretty sure that the new driver is critical).

Intuos tablet pen pressure sensitivity applied to line width in Corel Painter X3Step 2 - Plugging the tablet in via a USB did not make a difference, it still worked.

Step 3 - Starting Painter using a mouse didn't make a difference, it still worked.

Step 4 is critical (see the settings I used below).

Step 5 isn't necessary unless you don't want to use the same pressure sensitivity in some other applications that you're using the tablet with.

Settings for the Pen

Here are the tablet settings I used. On the Pen tab, change the Tip Feel to a softer setting. Click on the Customise button under Tip Feel, to open the Interactive Pressure Profile and change the curve.

Selecting softer tip feelAltering the threshold for pen pressure