View Full Version : Alternative Input Devices

06-03-2005, 10:43 AM
Greetings. I've been working with computers for too long (that is the opinion of my mouse hand...). What alternative devices would you recommend to help ease the strain?

I've found the 3DConnexion devices (SpacePilot, SpaceBall5000, etc) interesting, but they don't support Lightwave.

Suggestions anyone?

Thanks for your inputs.


06-03-2005, 10:52 AM
Wacom Tablet. Best way to go.


Wacom and Repetative Stress (http://www.wacom.com/comfort/index.cfm)

06-03-2005, 11:09 AM
I can't go without my mouse when working in LW or maya, but i also can't go without my wacom in painter and photoshop when painting.

A graphic tablet is the best option.

06-03-2005, 11:39 AM
Definitely a tablet is the way to go especially if your hand hurts or tires from mouse overuse. I also had this problem-couldn't even hold a mouse without a little pain but after switching to a Wacom, no more problem. One thing I'd do different though would be to get a smaller one. I have the 9x12 and it can make for a lot a arm movement when modeling. It can also be clumsy at times so I'll probably get a smaller one when I get my new laptop.

06-03-2005, 12:10 PM
Thanks for the responses, I'd shake your hands, but mine is still a bit sore.


06-03-2005, 01:10 PM
Definately give a Wacom tablet a go if you have problems. I also use a 9 x 12. Which is great for fine, and frequent point moving. All day long, no problems. I don't use a mouse for modeling at all. Also the programmable tabs on the Intuos 3, mean that you can model and hardly ever have to touch your keyboard.

keep your 3 button mouse handy for layout though.


06-03-2005, 03:35 PM
Honestly, I find a tablet is great for both Layout and Modeler. The only time I use a mouse is if I'm traveling with my laptop and have no room for a tablet (I even prefer a pen over a mouse for web browsing). I use the 9x12, but I'm also a big fan of 6x8. I wouldn't go any smaller than 6x8, though.

06-03-2005, 03:43 PM
Not that it will work with Lightwave, but this is about as close to digital clay as one might ever get when it comes to modeling for 3D... I have never used one, but from what I can tell, it's really an alternate input device! ;)


06-03-2005, 07:21 PM
hi Charles.

i have been using a trackball mouse for years now and have never had any pain or discomfort. with a trackball, you don't have to hold or squeeze anything and also because it's stationary, you can place it wherever it is the most comfortable for you. i find that it is also faster and much more accurate and precise than a standard mouse. much finer control. i know a lot of people don't use them because at first, it's kind of wierd to use and it seems like you'd never be able to get used to it. it took me about 3 or 4 days for it to feel normal. and now, when ever i use a regular mouse, it feels clumsy and slow compared to the trackball. to me, it was like going from dial up to broadband. not just faster, but a much more enhanced experience overall. they are not all the same ergonomically though. the one i have is the microsoft "trackball explorer 1.0". i agree with the other comments about the tablets as well. being comfortable is so important when you spend long hours at the computer. i hope you find something that works for you.

06-04-2005, 01:58 AM
Wacom,all the way! No pain,faster,more accuracy and control. I hardly touch my mouse anymore.

06-05-2005, 09:32 AM
Thanks again for your suggestions, the quality and caring nature of the LW community is truly impressive.

I had submitted a feature request to newtek re. 3d motion controllers and their response was "it may happen sooner than you think". A properly politic response, but an encouraging one. In the meantime, it looks like wacom is going to get some of my money.

06-05-2005, 09:28 PM

An artist was surprised by my use of the puck over the Pen on my Wacom most of the time - especially with lightwave.

A three button mouse is a great addition but does not have the proportional mapping that the Wacom does, so you are constantly scrolling around your desk without a refrence. I use the pen for paint work, but need to contantly click in lightwave and like the tactile feel of the Wacom mouse (Don't cheap out with the $99 wacom, which does not have the feel or durability of the pricier models).

I have used Wacoms daily for about a dozen years and have never had a tablet fail, and although I have probably gone through 20+ pens in my career, I always can justify the expense vs. a sable brush.

ALSO P.I. ENGINEERING -- www.piengineering.com --makes some awesome dedicated macro keyboards - they would be on my Top Ten list if they could only work out the bugs with OSX.

06-06-2005, 11:45 AM
Wacom...... I switched to a tablet 6 years ago because of mouse related pain in my hand....... Can't / won't work without my tablet. The new Intuos 3 even has mouse features like zoom and scroll built in.....