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itc
02-04-2011, 11:49 AM
So has anyone tried one of these devices? If so .. what are your views on it? I have checked online and it sounds like a decent device, but there are a few comments about negatives... and wanted to hear what the LW group thought about them, and if one is better than the other models.
I am doing some very basic modeling, and scene design work, but it would be nice to not have to run my mouse all over my desk to get an idea of what a scene would be like.

Philbert
02-05-2011, 11:03 PM
I personally have not but since it's used in both LW10 and 3D-Coat I plan to get one very soon. Everyone I've talked to who owned one loved it.

wrench
02-06-2011, 04:02 PM
I have a Space Explorer, but you'd be better off not spending the money on anything more than a Space Navigator (about $100?) right now since none of the Space Explorer's buttons do anything. Secondly, I don't find the 3D mouse useful in Modeler where you are always using keyboard shortcuts. In Layout it's great to fly around your scene, but I'm not convinced it is more than a gizmo right now. The main reason for getting one right now would be the Virtual Studio, but that's badly documented and very flakey.

B

Philbert
02-07-2011, 12:36 AM
You can actually find a Space navigator on eBay for about $50, I just looked and saw a lot of them

Does anyone know what what the deal is with the HP branded Space Explorer? I see it's a bit cheaper than the one listed by 3DConnexion.

Hieron
03-08-2011, 09:32 AM
It works, but if I move more than 1 axis at a time (which is always) screen refresh goes into a weird superlow fps mode. Moving with the mouse is very fluent..

(it's a big scene, and I set bounding box threshold low so it updates very quick.. perhaps it is buggy and trying to redraw or something..)

jeric_synergy
03-08-2011, 10:35 AM
You can actually find a Space navigator on eBay for about $50, I just looked and saw a lot of them
That's a bit optimistic: $70-$90 is a lot more realistic price point.

Then there's this (http://cgi.ebay.com/Vintage-Flash-Gorden-Style-Space-Navigator-Badge-MOC-/320661994143?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item4aa8f1ba9f).

Greenlaw
03-08-2011, 10:37 AM
I have one (Space Navigator) that I use for 3D Coat when I'm at home. (Unfortunately, I use 3DC at work more than I do at home.)

It's an interesting device. The important thing to understand is that it's definitely not a mouse replacement, rather it enhances the function of an existing mouse. In my opinion the device is not very necessary for most applications but it can be fun to use. But to be fair, I haven't really used it enough to get used to it yet. I've used it even less in Lightwave but again mostly because I've been running Lightwave mainly at work or on my tablet PC. I guess I should bring the device to work and just leave it there...maybe then it with see some usage. :p

G.

Philbert
03-08-2011, 10:52 AM
I see the prices have gone up but there were a lot for $50 at the time I posted it. In fact I ended up getting a SpacePilot for $50 (plus shipping). Here's the one that I won, it's siting on my desk now:
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&_trksid=p4340.l2557&rt=nc&nma=true&item=370483042233&si=55Es1lQxX7zMiGQU9tLL72GgPGo%253D&viewitem=&sspagename=STRK%3AMEWNX%3AIT

And it actually is HP branded. Still no idea why, but it works just the same as far as I can tell. What I was doing with eBay was searching with just Buy It Now and sorting by lowest price first.

Cloak&Dagger
03-08-2011, 10:56 AM
I use my mine all the time in Lightwave and 3DCoat. Personally i find it a huge boost to time and workflow - not having to keep moving the mouse pointer away from the viewports to navigate.

It will be better when the added funtionality is implemeneted into LW (the function buttons do nothing at the moment) and it will also be better when we can control which axis on the 3D mouse control what axis within LW.

It really struck me how much i now use it when on my home machine i keep reaching out for the thing when navigating.....

Greenlaw
03-08-2011, 11:08 AM
...Personally i find it a huge boost to time and workflow - not having to keep moving the mouse pointer away from the viewports to navigate.
Maybe that's part of why I don't use it so much at home. At home I use a Cintiq with 3DC so I navigate while I draw/paint with a pen directly on the screen. It's a different experience of course and not necessarily better, but it's what I'm used to. Reaching for a separate device is actually a little awkward when working this way. (Space Naviagor or even a standard mouse for that matter.)

Thanks for the info though. I'm definitely bringing my Space Navigator into work tomorrow. :)

G.

Hieron
03-08-2011, 11:12 AM
None of you have the slow redraw issues I have with the Navigator in LW10? (heavy scene, Bounding Box threshold low needed, mouse navigating is fine) Makes it unusable for me.

jeric_synergy
03-08-2011, 11:16 AM
And it actually is HP branded. Still no idea why, but it works just the same as far as I can tell. What I was doing with eBay was searching with just Buy It Now and sorting by lowest price first.
I think you're better at eBaying than me. :cry:

+++++++++++++++++++++++++

I wonder what the holdup is on utilizing the function buttons. Does the SN come w/software that allows you to map keyboard keypresses to the buttons?

Greenlaw
03-08-2011, 11:17 AM
It's been a while since I tried it with LW10 but I don't remember it being slow. I'll give it another try tonight.

BTW, just a guess but it could possibly be related to your graphics card or graphics card drivers. Try updating the drivers if you haven't already tried that. (I assume you have the latest Space Navigator drivers.) Hope this helps.

G.

Hieron
03-08-2011, 11:49 AM
Thanks! With current drivers and a fast Nvidia card which works fine with a mouse I'd assume there's no problem there... If I make sure to only move the navigator over 1 axis (not easy) then it works but sorts of negates any advantage it had in the first place.

If I try it on a simpler scene and make sure bounding box threshold is set low, to mimick the big scenes, I already notice a difference between mouse and Navigator. It jumps a bit. That behavior gets really bad with big scenes. Which is odd, since the mouse works well and it is just displaying bounding boxes anyway.

So I guess there is a small bug there that renders it useless for me.

Greenlaw
03-08-2011, 12:00 PM
Okay, I'll give it a test at work then. My scenes at home tend to be fairly small and optimized so I might not notice any slowness. Our scenes at work can get very heavy even after a ton of optimization so they might be a better test for this.

g.

Philbert
03-08-2011, 12:21 PM
I haven't noticed any slowness or refresh problems, the only thing that really bugs me is the lack of control like how it only uses one axis at a time and the issue with the buttons not doing anything.

Cloak&Dagger
03-08-2011, 12:54 PM
No slowness here either, although none of my scenes since using it have been particularly heavy.

Hieron
03-08-2011, 02:32 PM
hmm it seems to use more than 1 axis at a time here.. Well actually, it is failing to do so :) But trying which leads to the slowdowns... hmm will recheck 3Dconnexion drivers..

Philbert
03-08-2011, 10:15 PM
Here's something really strange I had Google Earth open which works really well with the 3DX mouse, but then I have LightWave Modeler open on top of that. Modeler definitely has the focus, but the 3DX controls both programs.

Quick video:
http://screencast.com/t/oZ2DoWVQM


hmm it seems to use more than 1 axis at a time here.. Well actually, it is failing to do so :) But trying which leads to the slowdowns... hmm will recheck 3Dconnexion drivers..

Correction: Modeler can do it, but it's a little weird with Modeler's up/down to zoom. In Layout I can only do one axis at a time. so zooming at an angle is more like a stair stepping process.

Correction again: I had the Dominant Axis button checked, that's why it only did one at a time.

bassmanjam
03-08-2011, 10:43 PM
My feet would like to try one. They get so bored just hanging out all day while my hands have mice, tablets, and keyboards to play with. Then I could tell clients that I can control my 3D software with my mind and raise my rates accordingly. :)

BenMora3D
03-13-2011, 03:20 PM
I have one that I used in Maya for a while and LOVED it until I think upgrading to Snow Leopard sorta killed it.

I tried it in Lightwave and was surprised at how I did not need to use any drivers or plugins but it does not serve the same purpose as it did in Maya, so I don't really use it much for Lightwave.

What made it so AWESOME in Maya is how easy it is to fly through a scene and you could record the movements as key frames for your camera! I don't think that can be done in LW yet.

wrench
03-13-2011, 03:54 PM
Yes, it can! Rather than controlling the view, go into the Nav tab of the Options panel and set it to Current Item and you'll be directly controlling the camera and making keyframes as per usual in LightWave - by hitting return or having autokey on. If you have autokey on and hit play, you will leave keyframes you can adjust afterwards if you would like. It's usually easier to do played back at a slower rate hence the Rate field in the lower right-hand corner of Layout 10.

B

PS. There's also Virtual Studio that you can use with several 3D mice to act as puppeteers - one could be the cameraman and the others could all control aspects of the characters in the scene. It's an exciting idea, but the first implementation of Virtual Studio isn't very reliable or easy to use.