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Thex Lecker

Using a SpaceNavigator?

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I got one of those SpaceNavigator 3D mouse things. I wrote a review of using it with SL here, but I'll summarize: meh.

 

Maybe I'm just doing it wrong? Anyone who has this thing have tips for setting it up properly? Or maybe there's a better one out there?

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I drew pretty much the same conclusions for SL use... nice for machinima makers but not really worth any more than a decent joystick that costs half as much. for 3 modeling evnironments it might be a little beter, but since it's option under powered at two buttons, for the low end model my overall estimation is "overpriced gadget" rather than "costly but useful tool"

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Since I got mine I use it almost exclusively in replacement to alt-click zooming.  This includes during building, panning around groups of people, monitoring students projects while teaching a building class, and shopping.  (^_^)

Larger builds have become far more easy by basically double-fisting it.  SpaceNav in my left hand, Trackball in my right, and I can tear into any build with far more finesse. (^_^)

And... When I'm saying "Larger" : http://snapz.me/i/482500.jpg : I mean it. (^_^)y

Also, using it to pan into my AV for lost attachments on the fly is fun. =^-^=

As for setup... I run defaults but disable avatar motion.  I use it strictly as a camera control. (^_^)y

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I use it only to control the Camera, and it's awesome for that.
I think I paid it less than 90 US$ when I bought it.
Personally I think it's completely worth its price, as it changed the way I look around in-world to a much more smooth, cinematic / movie-like experience.
Very powerful tool. It requires some effort in learning how to control it, and you want to tweak the Preferences values in order to balance smoothness, speed, responsiveness.

 

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I think before I dropped 90 bucks on that thing I would just get  a top end trackball instead. I had to switch from my trackball to a mouse when I started using blender because it didn't have a scroll wheel. As soon as I can afford it I am getting a track ball with a scroll wheel.

Just not a big fan of the mouse I guess. Or maybe I am lazy and would rather move a finger around vrs my whole my hand lol. Not to the mention the running out room withe mouse and having to pick it up and move it because I hit the key board or bottom rail on my keyboard tray.

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I use the Space Navigator with SL all of the time. It is good for avatar movement and fly cam. It is not so useful for moving prims while building. While building, the fly cam is great for being able to view your objects from any position. I would hate to build with out it now. For moving your avatar it is much easier than using keyboard. A trackball, like a mouse only provides 2 degrees of freedom where the Space Navigator can provide a full complement of 6. That is x,y,z translation (movement) and roll, pitch and yaw. Typically roll is not used because it is desirable to keep a level view. When I am stationary I am almost always fly camming around to see everything. In my opinion SL is a much better experience with a SPace Navigator because of the ease of control it gives you.

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I would probably be more enticed by it if it where not for the price and the fact that it works WITH a mouse not instead of it. 90 bucks for something else I have to use is a bit extravagant for me. But then I am broke lol. If I had the money wouldn't be a big deal I guess. I suppose if I spent a lot time making movies it would be a nice addition, but I spend most of my time building and sculpting.

For me I would probably opt for a joystick that has the extra axis like one made for using with helicopters or something that has a twist axis in the grip. If it would work with sl my guess is it would do about the same thing. And I could use it with flight sim as well.

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A few more days into using it I can see that it would be great for making videos. Flycam is the only good use for it for me. I'm still dubious about walking around with it (easier to double-click teleport). When building, no matter how carefully i try to just position the object, i always end up imparting some random rotation to it that I've got to override with typing later. Would be good I suppose for building organic things or if I could make it snap to the grid.

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Oh I do want one of these, good to see some comments about it!  Now I am just trying to figure out which model to get. I guess there's a smaller, notebook model now, and I have heard that it's perhaps too light and moves around a bit? Anybody tried the notebook model?  I like the idea of a slightly smaller one, but not worth it if its going to be sliding around.

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I'd be completely lost in SL without the SpaceNavigator. I haven't looked back since the first minute I used it. I use it for everything; walking, flying, camming around, when building both to get around my creation, and to actually twist and turn whatever I build. It is great fun to navigate around in mouselook using the SN in combination with the mouse. It just feels a lot more natural than using the keyboard. Looking around in flycam mode is WAY easier, in my opinion, than alt-clicking and you have a huge range doing it. I think you can get the same range with alt-clicking by changing a setting in the Advanced menu, but I never did.

Oh, and I have one button set to enter flycam mode, and the other set as an 'Esc' key.

The best thing ever!

- Luc -

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I too use the space navigator. However i am mostly using it for making small video snippets for my tutorials. There is only one caveat i can see: Almost ever when i am doing a longer smooth camera move, i get small "jumps" or "stutters". I can get this to a minimum when i disable all sorts of interruption like IM or local chat events. But there is almost ever a small hop once every few seconds (nothing constant, sometimes i can go for 10 seconds until it happens).

I just wonder if i am alone with this or if i can optimize the configuration to get rid of this problem. The problem is most apparent with the SL-viewer-2 and it is least apparent with Kirsten's viewer (S21) And it has nothing to do with the graphics settings...

Just to say it is very subtle, and maybe you won't even see it in every day usage.

If someone happens to know more about it, i would gladly learn ;-)

cheers, Gaia

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Gaia Clary wrote:

Almost ever when i am doing a longer smooth camera move, i get small "jumps" or "stutters".

 

I have seen something similar, although at a lot higher frequency. In my case it happens just about every second. A momentarily drop in fps (that I see in the performance panel) so that the 3d view jerks ever so slightly. It could be a different issue than you are experiencing, and the frequency could have to do with me being on a portable (Mac).

The stuttering, for me, is there even when I don't use the SpaceNavigator. If I stand in one spot and turn around, the same thing is happening. Have you noticed anything like that? If so, I don't think it is an issue with the SN, and I am not  sure configuration of the SN would fix it.

- Luc -

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It is possible to read 5 out of the 6 axes of the SpaceNavigator with a script using llTakeControls.

up/down, right/left, forward/back, and turn-right/left can be read by the documented bits.

pitch-forward/back can be read by 0x40 and 0x80.   These controls are only generated by joysticks, not the keyboard.

(note that pitch will move the camera, regardless of what is passed to llTakeControls, unless the avatar is sitting).

Haven't found any way to get to the "roll" axis.

http://community.secondlife.com/t5/LSL-Scripting/Are-keyboard-controls-really-limited-to-just-movement-keys/td-p/776481

 

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Recently Space Navigator updated their drivers from 1.6.2 to 1.6.3.

I updated my drivers on my Macbook pro with system 10.6 and the new drivers switched the up-down and front-back motion of my avatar when controlled by the space navigator!

I went to the driver download page on the space navigator download site and reloaded the historic 1.6.2 drivers and all was restored!

You could also go to the preferences page in viewer 2 and re-assign the space navigator mapping to the SL motion mapping. Go to Move and view >Other devices>

find the boxes x-axis mapping, y-axis mapping and z-axis mapping numbered 0,1,2

renumber them until you get the correct relationship between the space navigator and the motion of your avatar or camera!

I love my space navigator for moving my avatar and camera with my left hand while I mouse with my right!

Two handed motion rules!

Except when I fight in tournaments then I use a game controller!

Patio.

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