Asset Creation Tools

Cropped view of animator using digital tablet near sketches


Creating assets is a crucial stage for 2D and 3D animation. Hence, every detail matters and artistic expression is paramount. That’s why choosing the right tools can make all the difference. After all, these assets are the building blocks of the entire animated video. Without them you have nothing.

When it comes to creating digital animations, The Studio Bridge animators choose between two primary contenders for input devices: the classic mouse and the versatile pen tablet. Both have their strengths and weaknesses, but which one truly reigns supreme with our digital team? Let’s see . . .


The mouse has long been a staple of digital art creation and animation. It offers familiarity and ease of use, as most of The Studio Bridge’s animators, VFX artists, and graphic designers have been using it for years. It provides precise control over cursor movement and is adept at handling tasks such as navigating menus, selecting objects, and manipulating layers. Additionally, for those on a budget, a mouse is a more affordable option compared to a pen tablet.

However, the limitations of a mouse become apparent when it comes to the intricacies of animation. Drawing smooth, flowing lines or intricate details can be a challenge due to the inherent lack of precision. The absence of pressure sensitivity can make it difficult to achieve varying line weights and create nuanced strokes. The mouse’s reliance on clicks and drags can also slow down the creative process, limiting fluidity and spontaneity in animation.


Enter the pen tablet, a digital artist’s dream come true. A pen tablet, also known as a graphics tablet or drawing tablet, offers a more natural and intuitive drawing experience. It consists of a pressure-sensitive surface and a stylus that mimics the feeling of pen on paper. With varying levels of pressure sensitivity, pen tablets allow artists to control line thickness and opacity effortlessly. This opens up a world of creative possibilities, enabling artists to bring their visions to life with precision and finesse.

The pen tablet’s advantages extend beyond its drawing capabilities. Many pen tablets come with customizable buttons, allowing artists to assign shortcuts and streamline their workflow. The ability to directly interact with the screen, especially in displays that support pen input, enhances the overall experience and reduces the disconnect between hand and eye. The result is a more immersive and intuitive animation process.


Selecting between a mouse and a pen tablet for animation ultimately depends on personal preference, budget, and specific requirements. Here are a few factors to consider:

Skill Level and Comfort

If you are already comfortable and experienced with a mouse, sticking with it may be a viable option. However, if you are willing to invest time in learning a new tool, a pen tablet can greatly enhance your artistic capabilities.

Artistic Style and Complexity

For detailed illustrations and animations that require precise control and intricate details, a pen tablet’s pressure sensitivity and natural drawing experience will be a significant advantage.


Pen tablets come in various price ranges, with more advanced models being pricier. If budget constraints are a concern, starting with a basic pen tablet or opting for an entry-level display tablet can be a cost-effective choice.

Workflow Efficiency

Consider how each input device aligns with your animation process. If you value speed, fluidity, and the ability to replicate traditional drawing techniques, a pen tablet will likely be a better fit. However, if you primarily work with vector graphics or motion graphics, a mouse might suffice for precise manipulations.


In the mouse vs. pen tablet showdown for animation, the pen tablet emerges as the clear winner for unleashing creativity and efficiency. Its ability to deliver precision, pressure sensitivity, and a natural drawing experience make it an indispensable tool for digital animators. But that doesn’t mean you’ll be hard pressed to find a mouse in our digital department. It really all boils down to the individual needs and preferences of our creators. Whether they opt for the familiarity of the mouse or the fluidity of a pen tablet, what matters most is that they embrace the tool that empowers their artistic vision to create captivating animations for our clients.