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New 3D mouse is the bomb!

by Randell Trulson on 01/21/11 12:28:00 am

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The following blog post, unless otherwise noted, was written by a member of Gamasutra’s community.
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It has been a while since I posted, .... have been SUPER busy. Going to try to get some more content blogged from now on. At least once a week :)

With that being said. I went to get the mail the other day and got a package from MoxyLava in the mail. My heart always skips a beat with stupid happy joy when I see anything from them because they send us the best stuff ever! They are truly an awesome development partners. Well the box was small so I knew it wasn't another computer but hey they can't send free computers all the time.

I open it up and found a SpaceExplorer 3D mouse from 3DConnexion! These are cool.  They were asking me if I had ever used one with 3D Studio a month before and I told them I hadn't because I never got to play around with one and I couldn't justify paying 300+ dollars for a mouse online that I can't play with first.  But now I have one and I was super stoked to try it out and see what could make a mouse cost 300+ bucks.

First off, the thing I noticed is that it is not technically a mouse. Nor does it replace the existing mouse. That was news to me. I had always seen pics of them, but they never imply that they are for the opposite hand from the mouse. So you use the mouse with your right hand and the 3D mouse in your left. At first this seemed really strange. So I went through the tutorial and oddly enough I picked up on it very quickly.

Then I used it in 3DS Max 2011 and it was super quarky! Viewports flickering, really super slow delays when the regular mouse was clicked on....all sorts of annoying crap. So I contacted the support forum and got no response. I told them I was going to send it back if I couldn't get it to work better than it was.

Finally I uninstalled the drivers completely, reinstalled them with all the extra crap stripped out (there are a ton of drivers for other software tools). Then I found on a forum that Windows 7 has tablet PC services that screw with 3D mice behavior. So I went in and disabled all the tablet PC crap.  None of this is mentioned in the company's support :(

Poof! Now it works awesomely. I have only been using it for a day and already I can see about a 200-300% increase in my productivity!!! I had no idea I spent so much time dorking around with keyboard and mouse combination moves to adjust the viewports all the time. Now I can move around freely and work without even touching the keyboard. So my verdict now is that the SpaceExplorer is a must for any 3D modeler! Unfortunately the support and installation instructions are pretty lean for such a high end product.  It gives you all the most common keyboard combination controls at your finger tips, as well as movement in the 3D world on all 3 axis and rotation around all three too.  Even at the same time while moving.  I am finding that one of the reasons it works so well, is that is sorta lets you stay "right brained" and you don't think about the logistics of what you have to do to move somewhere in a scene.  I found that over time I wasn't even thinking about it.  I was just looking where I wanted to be and moved there without thinking about it much.  Nice!

Thanks MoxyLava! You guys are the best. Yea!

You can read more and follow me and Neuron Games, Inc. here:

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