I use a Wacom tablet to draw in GIMP on a Linux computer. It has
pressure sensitivity and draws quite smoothly and overall is working great.
However, the ideal way to work with a tablet in a graphics application
is in "Window" mode, so that the entire surface of the tablet
corresponds to the entire area of the window for the image being worked on.
Using the latest Wacom drivers, this is possible, but with some severe
caveats. The main one being that having "SendCoreEvents" enabled in
one's xorg.conf is completely incomatible with GIMP's Window Mode.
Just to be clear, "SendCoreEvents" means that the tablet will move the
mouse cursor for everything that you do with a mouse, like navigate
around the OS.
To make a long story short, here's what I'm currently doing. The Wacom
tablet has 3 "devices" on it, the "cursor", which is the wireless mouse,
the "stylus" which refers specifically to the pen tip end of the pen,
and the "erasor" which refers to the other end of the pen.
So what I've done is I've removed the "SendCoreEvents" option from the
"erasor" device. This allows me to set the "erasor" end of my pen to be
in Window Mode in GIMP.
This means I can use the pen tip end of the pen to select from menus,
navigate around the OS, open and close GIMP, and that sort of thing. And
then I just flip around the pen to and use the "erasor" to actually draw
on the image.
I could have mixed up any combination, like make the pen tip end the one
I draw with, and the erasor the one to navigate the OS with, or brought
the mouse into it. But for a variety of reasons, I found this one to be
the most comfortable for me.
In any case, the limitations I'm about to describe apply regardless of
which device I set and how I set it.
The thing about "Window" mode is that you can't touch the menus. The
mouse cursor will only go to the edge of the drawable area, and no
further. If I have a dialog box, like the tools panel or the colour
selector, over top the drawable area of the image window, my erasor will
go *under* the dialog window. Basically, Window Mode is very strict -
you can only move within the drawable area of the window. Nothing else
can be touched.
This can almost be worked around. For example, if I want to change the
tool for my "erasor", I can use a keyboard shortcut.
But what if I'm drawing with the pencil tool, and I want to change it's
colour from black to red. Well, I can use a keyboard shortcut to open
the colour selector. But, I can't actually change the colour because the
tool won't go into the colour selector window. If I flip my pen over and
use the pen tip end to select a new colour... that doesn't work because
each tool remembers its own colour. As soon as I flip the pen back to
the "erasor", the colour goes back to black.
Some other things just seem to not work. For example, I can increase and
drecrease the size of my brushes with the "[" and "]" keys. But that
doesn't seem to work regardless of what tool I use with the "erasor".
Okay, so where am I going with this?
Well, I'm wondering if there aren't some solutions out there.
Like can I resolve the conflict between "SendCoreEvents" and GIMPs
"Window Mode"? I've talked about this before on the Linuxwacom mailing
list, with the people who develop the Wacom drivers, and they say it's
something to do with the way the application handles cursor locations. I
assume that means that it's up to GIMP as to whether or not this can
ever get resolved.
Otherwise, is there a way I can further work around this limitation?
Like, for changing colour, can I do that entirely with the keyboard so
that I'm not stopped by the fact that the "erasor" in Window mode won't
go into the dialog box?
Or is there a way I can make it so that my colour and size selections on
my tools are universal?
Any advice would be much appreciated.
Dave M G
Ubuntu 6.10 Edgy Eft
Pentium D Dual Core Processor
PHP 5, MySQL 5, Apache 2
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