Convert a cheap tablet into a pro graphics tool

Switch tools on any tablet with this cool app, which offers simultaneous pen and touch functionality.

When it comes to professional art and design work, one of the biggest differences between an ordinary tablet and a pro graphics tablet is the ability to switch between tools quickly and efficiently. Well, here's some software that can help you do just that.

Tablet PC Mouse is a suite of apps for creatives who want to convert a tablet such as an ageing Surface Pro into a more modern, professional tool. In short, explains creator Justice Frangipane, it enables you to place custom virtual buttons on the screen to convert your device into a more modern, professional tool when using software like Zbrush, Manga Studio and Photoshop.

The software also offers simultaneous pen and touch functionality on all tablets. Update: this now includes the Cintiq line from Wacom.

Artist collaboration

"What we are attempting to do is replace the need for a keyboard and mouse for every need besides writing," says Frangipane, who's been working to develop the software with developer Takashi Yamamoto. "We've been working hand in hand with professional working artists and the response has been extraordinary."

It's early days for the tool, but it's certainly worth checking out if your current tablet is holding you back and you're looking for a quick and cheap fix. In the video above, Alex Cheparev demonstrates how it can make your workflow faster when using Zbrush.

Note that the artist pad is a feature only available in the beta (you can sign up for the beta here). When the company transitions from version 1 of Tablet PC Mouse into version 2, they are planning to undergo a product/software name change to Tablet Pro.

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