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itc
08-16-2012, 10:50 AM
I have a question for everyone out there. Are there any extra gadget besides a really nice mouse, that you have attached to your computer to make work easier?
Such as 3Dconnexion 'mouse', or wacom tablets.

Before anyone gets bent out of shape on this, I am asking for my nephew is looking to go to school for 2D and 3D, I just use a plain old optical mouse, but the computer itself is a dual cpu, 12 processor, 8GB, workhorse.
I haven't updated my input path, but was wondering if anyone had recommendations for someone just starting up in school.

thanks,
chuck
Castlewood,SD:help:

khan973
08-16-2012, 12:15 PM
I use G1 controlle which is a Game controller to assign all my shortcuts + 3D connection Mouse (cheapest) + A4 Wacom Tablet. Then I can pilot the Enterprise :D

nickdigital
08-16-2012, 12:26 PM
A wacom is good. From a health perspective it's good to change up how you interface with the computer throughout the day.

jeric_synergy
08-16-2012, 12:45 PM
Foot pedals would be nice. A piano has them, why can't we?

I will say my left forearm tends to activate the "wheel" on my Intuous , because I'm reaching across it to hit the right side keyboard keys. That's not good. I should use my G13 to take my arm off to the side.

So: Intuous, +G13. Also, so glad I finally got a wireless mouse-- huge difference. I luv U, Logitech.

itc
08-16-2012, 01:34 PM
I appreciate everyone's suggestions! I may have to look at a few myself, I know that with typing most of the day and mouse cords that aren't nearly long enough, that I my wrists are sore if it is really busy..
Still taking suggestions and always looking for more.

Thanks, now on to looking at putting together a computer for him, and I can have my fun!

jeric_synergy
08-16-2012, 02:17 PM
FWIW: I like my G13, but I wish it had a few MORE keys. Maybe ~30.

But the thumbkeys are really nice for vuport navigation.

geo_n
08-16-2012, 02:23 PM
Bamboo tablet. I have the cheap silver one. Indestructible!

Skonk
08-16-2012, 02:29 PM
Razer Naga mouse is great for Lightwave due to it having a number pad built into the side of it.

biliousfrog
08-17-2012, 03:23 AM
The two things which have helped me work better are:

Sit-stand desk
Ergohuman chair

Most desks are designed so that a person who is 6ft+ can sit without their knees touching the underside of the desk (30-32" high). Most people aren't 6ft+ so most desks are too high meaning that you either scrunch your shoulders or sit too high. My desk height goes between 27" high and 54" meaning that I can sit comfortably or stand at the touch of a switch.

The ergohuman chair is designed for 8hr+ usage, most office chairs are designed for 5hrs max. Everything is adjustable meaning that it can be tailored to your bodyshape. It looks great too.

You don't need to spend mega-bucks on chairs and desks but having the wrong ones will cause serious health and productivity problems, especially during long hours at a computer.

fablefox
08-17-2012, 03:28 AM
Genius tablet, because i'm too poor to buy wacom :-)

fablefox
08-17-2012, 03:29 AM
and kvm. so if i want to work on my laptop, i can still use my normal pc keyboard and screen. and also netbook with it tiny keyboard and screen.

XswampyX
08-17-2012, 11:01 AM
I have one of these....

http://i465.photobucket.com/albums/rr16/xXswampyXx/bAMBOOpEN.jpg

About 45.00 and it's pressure sensitive. Great for Sculptris as well as Lightwave. :)

gravin
08-17-2012, 11:18 AM
looks like I'm not the only one using a G13 :)

I also have a wacom but for a mouse I like to use a trackball. I don't have a lot of desk space and I find it less of a strain on my hands. To be honest though I rarely use it unless I'm playing a game or something. Once you get used to the wacom it's hard to use anything else.

I'd love to see what kind of profiles everyone is using with there G13. I've pieced together a few neat scripts to drive the thumbstick as a navigation tool but it's not without it's bugs, would love to see if anyone else has a similar setup and if it would be an improvement over my own. I haven't upgraded to LW11 yet but I'm curious if anyone has setup there G13 to take advantage of the virtual studio tools sdk yet?

Bill Carey
08-17-2012, 11:27 AM
Razer Naga mouse is great for Lightwave due to it having a number pad built into the side of it.

+1

I use this with a space navigator. Nice combination at a reasonable price.

PixelDust
08-17-2012, 06:16 PM
Foot pedals would be nice. A piano has them, why can't we?

Totally agree. I'm a medical transcriptionist in my day job, and I use my foot pedal all the time. I saw this software called Pedalware (http://www.altoedge.com/pedalware/index.html). It triggers mouse clicks with a USB foot pedal. I haven't tried it, though. Wonder if it would work with LW?

jeric_synergy
08-17-2012, 06:35 PM
BTW, I have a blank PSD template for the G13, a cheatsheet. Every button broken out in layers.

It's probably already here on the forum, but I could hunt it up again if anybody would find it useful.

3dWannabe
08-17-2012, 11:04 PM
If you use several programs along with Lightwave, a 3dConnexion puck is really essential. In theory, you'll learn one set of movements to control all of them.

At the moment, Lightwave's interface with 3DConnexion is not ideal. No matter what your preference (you want it to move the object down when you move the puck up - or vica versa), there will be a mode where you'll have to add or remove a negative sign in front of the Lightwave config for 3DConnexion to get it to work the way you want.

Chuck recently said they are looking into this (I suggested a quick fix of an optional hot key to resolve the situation - as it's a pain to add and remove the minus sign again and again).

Kryslin
08-17-2012, 11:23 PM
Hmm...

Cyborg RAT 7 Gaming mouse, which you can customize to fit your hand, and alter the resolution on the fly. About as indestructible as you can get.

Intuos 5 Touch pad - makes painting in various programs much easier... not that my painting skills are that great. Also works well with Rhino (Old ACAD user here - I learned the software on old Calcomp digitizer pads...)

I get any more toys for the workstation, I'm going to need a bigger desk...

JonW
08-18-2012, 04:08 PM
Monitor hardware calibration device.

Save his eyes from from an early age by cutting back the monitor brightness to something sensible around 100 cd/m2 or for the ideal setting, 90 cd/m2.

Philbert
08-18-2012, 06:19 PM
For LightWave I mostly just use a mouse and keyboard however I have a wireless mouse with several extra buttons that make life easier. For example one is set to deselect in Modeler, another does Alt+Tab to quickly switch programs. Outside of LightWave I have a Wacom tablet for Photoshop and 3D-Coat. In 3DC I hardly touch the keyboard, everything is Wacom and 3Dconnexion device.

Rayek
08-18-2012, 08:36 PM
A second screen is almost mandatory for efficient work. I got three hooked up to my desktop machine right now (newest one 2560*1440, 1920*1200, 1600*1200), which is great (and the 1920px one in portrait mode for long documents and browsing).

Once you've worked with multi-screen setups, you *cannot* go back.

Also important: hardware colour calibrator, such as a Spider, Munki, or something similar. And a Wacom tablet.

Rayek
08-18-2012, 08:39 PM
Almost forgot: Razer Naga mouse with a numeric keypad built-in on the left side. Great for mapping often used shortcut keys, without having to resort to the keyboard all the time.

jeric_synergy
08-18-2012, 08:45 PM
Once you've worked with multi-screen setups, you *cannot* go back.
I'm kinda worried about that, as I may soon have a gig that REQUIRES a personal laptop.

It'll mostly be AE work, but still, not looking forward to using one stinkin' screen. :grumpy:

Rayek
08-18-2012, 10:50 PM
I'm kinda worried about that, as I may soon have a gig that REQUIRES a personal laptop.

It'll mostly be AE work, but still, not looking forward to using one stinkin' screen. :grumpy:

You could always carry that 12" portable Cintiq around with you as a second screen ;-)

JonW
08-18-2012, 10:58 PM
Multipul screens save a lot of time & just make life easier. My setup is 2560x1900+1200x1920 (vertical for menus, which is great for a stack of layer) & another 2650x1600 for reference material on another computer so I can see everything at once.

I could not go back to a single postage stamp size screen!

jeric_synergy
08-18-2012, 11:20 PM
I'm not at all familiar w/the laptop world: how often are 2ndary screens used?

Rayek
08-18-2012, 11:34 PM
I don't see them used that much, if at all. Mostly on-location when a spare screen is available, but it's a bit clunky. A student of mine uses his iPad as a control screen for Photoshop on his powerbook via an app, and I have observed the use of the 12" Cintiq in the wild.

But mostly people using notebooks and laptops do not really fancy or understand the effectiveness of a secondary screen. It sort of contradicts "portability" ;-)

That said, this is rather interesting: http://www.gscreenlaptop.com/

Greenlaw
08-19-2012, 01:13 AM
My #1 vote is for Wacom Intuos. A pressure sensitive tablet is extremely useful and, in my opinion, a necessity for a true generalist, and the Expresskeys on the Intuos' (and the Cintiq's) bezel give it an extra edge for high productivity. Over the years I've had other Wacom tablets and other brand tablets, and none have been as durable and lasting as the Intuos series. An Intuos tablet may cost a bit more but it will practically last forever.

A digital camera is also necessity for the 3D generalist. After that, maybe a desktop scanner. Maybe.

I also have a Space Navigator, which is fun to use but, unlike a tablet, I can't call it a necessity.

G.

Philbert
08-19-2012, 01:13 AM
If you want a cheap secondary monitor check this out. I saw it a while back when it was $99 but this is still cheap.

http://www.amazon.com/AOC-E1649FWU-USB-Powered-Portable-Monitor/dp/B005SEZR0G

JonW
08-19-2012, 01:37 AM
I have a cheap Acer monitor for checking technical problems. It's a miserable thing to use, it's not worth the eyestrain! Not even for menus!

Greenlaw
08-19-2012, 01:37 AM
A student of mine uses his iPad as a control screen for Photoshop on his powerbook via an app, and I have observed the use of the 12" Cintiq in the wild.

Painter can use the iPad as a separate controller through Cinco (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8aMl2m1Uum0&feature=plcp). It's pretty neat because it maps your whole hand to the UI. I haven't used this feature myself (don't have an iPad,) but there's a video on YouTube that demonstrates this feature.

I own a 12" Cintiq 12WX and I sometimes use if for drawing my weekly comic Brudders (http://bit.ly/PzIZnq). For 3D work, it's really nice for 3D Coat, ZBrush, Painter and Photoshop.

I originally bought it thinking it was portable so I could use it at home or at work. After a few weeks, I decided that it was more 'transportable' than 'portable'. The problem with the 12WX is that there is a big breakout box with four hefty cables dangling from it: USB, Video, Power, and tablet connection. I used to run it off a laptop computer and it really was a big hassle. Nowadays I use it as a secondary monitor at home, and it stays there permanently.

I kinda wish I had a larger model because 12" really is too small for a lot of programs. On the other hand, I do like being able to put it on my lap while drawing. It does get a bit warm on your legs after a while though.

I also use it as video display monitor for Vegas Pro--much nicer than the tiny preview window in the main interface that fills my primary monitor.

Not long after I got the 12WX, I decided that what I really wanted was a tablet PC. A few years ago I got an HP tm2 with the optional ATI graphics card. This tablet is amazing because it not only has a pressure sensitive Wacom screen but multi-touch as well. After I tracked down the full-sized Wacom Intuos pen (aka Axiotron) that was compatible with this screen, added the free gMote (pen gestures) and ModLock (onscreen modifier keys) programs, I essentially had a true 'Cintiq on the go'.

Most of my comics work is drawn on the HP tm2, and most of 'Happy Box' (http://bit.ly/IDZsVG) was created on this tablet PC. For 3D it's not as fast as a decent desktop but I can run Lightwave, Motion Builder, Modo, Maya, 3D Coat and ZBrush on it just fine. (I run these apps on it at home and at work.)

As far as I'm aware, there is no other tablet PC quite like it. Unfortunately, HP cancelled this excellent Tablet PC during that period a couple of years ago when they made a spectacular series of idiotic business decisions. If this tablet ever dies it will be a VERY sad day for me.

G.

Rayek
08-19-2012, 01:16 PM
There is an alternative comparable tablet: Asus EP121. I am the lucky owner of one of these: it runs Windows7, 4gb, i5 cpu, and an ssd. It boots in less than half a minute, and comes with a pen (though I bought ones with shoulder buttons on ebay for $10 a piece).

I also installed modlock, and the ep121 also comes with a built-in wacom tablet - like you write, it feels like a Cintiq on the go. The advantage of the ep121 over the hp (which I *almost* purchased at the time) is that it's cpu performance is better and it is more portable. The drawback: intel graphics, so opengl performance is quite bad, but sufficient for low poly work. Zbrush runs like a dream, though, since it does not use any 3d api.

For digital painting on the road it's a dream to use - I know what you mean!




Most of my comics work is drawn on the HP tm2, and most of 'Happy Box' (http://bit.ly/IDZsVG) was created on this tablet PC. For 3D it's not as fast as a decent desktop but I can run Lightwave, Motion Builder, Modo, Maya, 3D Coat and ZBrush on it just fine. (I run these apps on it at home and at work.)

As far as I'm aware, there is no other tablet PC quite like it. Unfortunately, HP cancelled this excellent Tablet PC during that period a couple of years ago when they made a spectacular series of idiotic business decisions. If this tablet ever dies it will be a VERY sad day for me.

G.

Philbert
08-19-2012, 03:21 PM
If the Microsoft Surface had a pressure sensitive pen I'd be all over it in October. Unfortunately there's never been any mention I can find saying whether it does or doesn't have one. Of course they could be just assuming the general public wouldn't care so they don't report on it.

Greenlaw
08-19-2012, 04:39 PM
There is an alternative comparable tablet: Asus EP121.
Thanks for the tip! Glad to hear there is another option in case my current tablet PC gives it up.

I have to say the switchable ATI option in the tm2 does make a huge difference in performance even in some 2D programs like Photoshop--when in ATI mode there is no latency problem at all. But I imagine that's probably going to be balanced out on the Asus by the higher cpu performance.

Just wondering, how is the Asus' performance with Photoshop? Thanks for any info.

G.

Rayek
08-19-2012, 06:26 PM
I installed Photoshop CS5, and did not have any performance issues (except for the 3d stuff, which is a bit useless in that version as it is). The i5 does keep things chugging along.

However, I have to confess that I uninstalled Photoshop on the tablet, and I am using Photoline since a couple of months: for pure image editing it actually is more powerful than Photoshop (I'd never *ever* thought I would say something akin to this!). And a far, far smaller footprint (harddrive space-wise and financially) than Photoshop.

corsa
08-20-2012, 11:47 AM
Foot pedals would be nice. A piano has them, why can't we?

Hmm, interesting idea... I have a MIDI foot controller I use with my synth rig. Someone should write a plugin that allows LW to respond to MIDI CC changes. :)

And, heck, if you could control LW via MIDI, that opens up all sorts of possibilities for controllers... there are a number of iPad apps for example where you can design your own MIDI controllers. You could basically design any control surface you want.

http://www.behringer.com/assets/FCB1010_P0089_Left_XL.jpg

Philbert
08-20-2012, 03:09 PM
If that connects via USB and shows up as HID I would think you could use it in Layout with the Virtual Studio Tools.

DogBoy
08-21-2012, 01:02 AM
Like greenlaw, i've got a TM2 but use WifiPad so i can use my iPhone as a second input. Works pretty well for Painter or ZBrush.

Greenlaw
08-21-2012, 01:26 AM
Like greenlaw, i've got a TM2 but use WifiPad so i can use my iPhone as a second input. Works pretty well for Painter or ZBrush.
That sounds cool! I don't have an iPhone but I do use an iPod Touch for drawing (http://forums.newtek.com/showpost.php?p=1255760&postcount=382). What exactly is WifiPad and how do you use it? (I use both Painter and ZBrush too.) Thanks in advance for any info.

G.

Edit: Found info about WifiPad. That is pretty cool! I can see using this to replace Modlock and some aspects of gMote. Do let me know how you use it with your tm2.

Lewis
08-21-2012, 02:02 AM
Foot pedals would be nice. A piano has them, why can't we?


who says we can't have them ?

There is plenty of USB Foot Switches :)
http://www.scythe-usa.com/product/input/008/usbfootswitch_detail.html
http://www.delcomproducts.com/products_usbfsw.asp

Philbert
08-21-2012, 02:59 AM
Foot pedal wouldn't work for me, my feet are all over while I work, it's like I've got restless leg syndrome.

jeric_synergy
08-21-2012, 07:56 AM
Foot pedal wouldn't work for me, my feet are all over while I work, it's like I've got restless leg syndrome.
That's 'cuz they've got nuthing to do. They're like those hooligans down on the street corner. Now, give 'em a job and they'll straighten right out. :)

Now that the hardware issue has been addressed, the (fun!) question becomes, what/which functions make sense for foot pedals?

I'd probably want overlap between keyboard and pedal functions, but I still think it'd be good to involve more of the body, and that there's probably stuff that would be done (slightly) better by pedals, especially if the UI were slightly different, sayyyy, if "sticky keys" were one interaction modality.

(Seriously got to get a job involving UI design.....)

hunter
08-21-2012, 08:41 AM
BTW, I have a blank PSD template for the G13, a cheatsheet. Every button broken out in layers.

It's probably already here on the forum, but I could hunt it up again if anybody would find it useful.

If you could point me to it that'd be great. :thumbsup:
I can see the g13 in the device manager for studio tools but it's generic and has no settings of its own. And I wouldn't know how to write a script to add it to control booth. I'd love to use the joystick to move the camera around.

But to the point of the thread a Wacom is a welcome addition to the desktop. As has been said the 12" Cintique is a little too small to be useful. I tend to use mine as just a tablet not a monitor due to size and heat. Should've just went with a wireless version.

jeric_synergy
08-21-2012, 08:48 AM
If you could point me to it that'd be great. :thumbsup:
I can see the g13 in the device manager for studio tools but it's generic and has no settings of its own. And I wouldn't know how to write a script to add it to control booth. I'd love to use the joystick to move the camera around.
Here's an old thread w/a sample.
http://forums.newtek.com/showthread.php?t=112083&highlight=g13

Attached is the actual layered PSD file, ZIPped.

AFAIK, the G13 can only emit keypresses, so moving the camera around would be non-trivial. OTH, the thumb buttons are good for emulating SHIFT+ALT, as shown.

Nicolas Jordan
08-21-2012, 08:56 AM
I finally got a new Wacom tablet since my old Graphire isn't officially supported under Windows 7 anymore and I needed something more than a mouse for painting and sculpting work. I ended up choosing the Bamboo Create. I thought even though the Intuos was a professional tablet it was overkill and way to expensive for what I needed. There are actually a number of digital artists out there that even prefer the Bamboo over the Intuos. So far I really like it and recommend it to anyone who needs a new tablet.

sandman300
08-21-2012, 09:18 AM
These are pretty cool.
http://www.doublesight.com/product/?idx=63
I have one at the office for a POS. and a non touch screen version for another machine. (strangely enough, the non touch version comes with a stylus molded into the shell)

It is USB so theoretically (I've never tried it) several could be hooked up via a Hub.

jeric_synergy
08-21-2012, 09:33 AM
I work alone, so I always thought voice activation would be nice for certain tasks, especially "Save" and "Save Increment" and possibly triggering custom scripts. Maybe view switching: ie "Front", "Right", "Light". I'd use full-screen mode more if I could do that.

@^@ I realize in a multi-person environment this would not be ideal, so save your (boring, predictable) umbrage.
+++

Hmmm, just fired up W7's speech recog tutorial, very interesting. It's canned, so don't know yet how RW work will go.

ken_g9
08-21-2012, 09:50 AM
Add another vote for the Wacom Intuos. Wonderful tablet, totally removed the lingering pain in my wrist. A must for Photoshop as well. :D

jeric_synergy
08-21-2012, 10:13 AM
Add another vote for the Wacom Intuos. Wonderful tablet, totally removed the lingering pain in my wrist. A must for Photoshop as well. :D
Wrist pain! Lately the edge of my desk has been aggravating my forearms, WUWT??

hunter
08-21-2012, 10:36 AM
Here's an old thread w/a sample.
http://forums.newtek.com/showthread.php?t=112083&highlight=g13

Attached is the actual layered PSD file, ZIPped.

AFAIK, the G13 can only emit keypresses, so moving the camera around would be non-trivial. OTH, the thumb buttons are good for emulating SHIFT+ALT, as shown.

Sweet. Thanks.

Greenlaw
08-21-2012, 12:10 PM
Hmmm, just fired up W7's speech recog tutorial, very interesting. It's canned, so don't know yet how RW work will go.
I experimented with it a while back to trigger mocap recording and saves with iPi DMC. Using it went like this: step onto the stage, assume T-Pose and shout the command (which 'pressed' the spacebar, iPi Studio's record/stop-save toggle switch.) The microphones on the PS3 Eye cameras would pick up the command and send it to the computer and start the recording. Shouting the command again stopped the recording and saved the file with a timestamp in the filename.

This technique really wasn't necessary for my workflow and I could never be sure it worked correct until I walked over to the computer to see the results, so I never bothered with it again. But it did work and that was kinda neat.

G.