Input devices of the "mouse" type.


J. Hallo

New Member
Hey, there. I am seeking a type of input device which allows for greater control of the cursor and over movement upon the computer display screen. One doesn't realize how "shaky" one's hands are until attempting to do something which requires minute movements and changes in position. Obviously, graphic designers and illustrators need better control than most people over movement around the display, so I am hoping that I can get some ideas here regarding types of device other than the mouse for moving around in that environment with greater accuracy and control. I'm not thinking so much of pen inputs here, more of something like a "joystick" or a better mouse... What types of input device do illustrators and designers use for such accuracy of movement and position on the screen?
Thanks in advance,
Hal
 

scotty

Moderator
Staff member
The standard tool would be a drawing tablet or an add on track pad (like a laptop).

I wouldn't underestimate a tablet as when I used one I would use it for everything and it pretty much replaced my mouse.
Because of the way you use a pen it lends itself to much more accurate and focused movements.
 

J. Hallo

New Member
I have an iskn Slate, which works fine for doing some things, but is not optimal for what I am trying to accomplish. I am thinking more of trying to move a bit of graphic into "just the right position" without having to maintain pressure on the left mouse button (after having cut it out of a photo in Photoshop using your "magnetic lasso" tool, for instance). I am just using a garden variety Logitech wired mouse (think it cost me around ten or twelve bucks), and I am thinking that there must be a type of mouse on the market which it is easier to finely manipulate elements on the screen. Maybe some kind of gamer's mouse (I'm not a gamer myself)? More specifically, if there is a type of mouse that allows one to drag a piece of graphic around and coax it about in very minute ways without maintaining pressure on one of the mouse buttons, it will be quite helpful to me. Does the mouse exist which allows one to click on a free element and then drag it about, and coax it infinitesimally, making the most minuscule of movements, and so make very minute changes in position of said element without worrying about the natural inadvertent movements of one's hand (because of having to hold a mouse button down) , before dropping it or fixing it into position? That's the type of thing I'm looking for. If I could just worry about moving the mouse around minutely on the desk surface without keeping a button depressed, I would be in business. Perhaps some type of CAD mouse or trackball might do the job? Does a trackball allow one to drag objects without having to hold a button simultaneously?
 

sprout

Member
Wacom every time for me. I have a trackpad mouse I use for quick scrolling with one hand, whilst I do most everything else with a Wacom in the other. Quickest, most efficient and accurate way I have found to work. Image retouching with a mouse is like trying to draw with a house brick. Nowhere near the level of control.
 

J. Hallo

New Member
Image retouching with a mouse is like trying to draw with a house brick.
Hahaha, I think I know what you mean!
If I can find a device that will free me from the slavery of having to "click and hold" a button while trying to position something, I'll love it. I know that trackball mice are often used by audio engineers, but I'm not sure whether they can do this or not.
 

Levi

Moderator
Staff member
Honestly it sounds like you need to tinker with the settings on the mouse. The sensitivity of the sensor/wheel, the acceleration of the pointer etc on a mouse can have quite a dramatic impact on 'judder'.

However if it's more artistic I would go with a wacom (adjust settings to your needs) tablet, it's basically the next step up from that iskn you mentioned. Some of the things you mention can be done using the arrow keys in a lot of programs too....

If you want to look at some alternative hardware, take a look at 3DConnexion, they have some devices which are more specialised for CAD design but also work in most programs if you set them up.

There are some mice which are designed for people with disabilities so might be worth looking at them too, not that I have much knowledge on that area specifically.
 

J. Hallo

New Member
Thanks, Levi, for giving name to what I am attempting to minimize the effects of; "judder" is just the thing that is perplexing me. I didn't know that the settings of a mouse can be adjusted. I kind of expect that such adjustments are limited with respect to the lower level mouse that I am using.
If you want to look at some alternative hardware, take a look at 3DConnexion, they have some devices which are more specialised for CAD design but also work in most programs if you set them up.
I was viewing online a product by 3Dconnexion called the "space mouse", which is designed primarily for movement within a 3D interface. I wonder, however, if it contains technology which might mitigate the effects of "judder"...
 

Levi

Moderator
Staff member
Thanks, Levi, for giving name to what I am attempting to minimize the effects of; "judder" is just the thing that is perplexing me. I didn't know that the settings of a mouse can be adjusted. I kind of expect that such adjustments are limited with respect to the lower level mouse that I am using.
check in windows mouse settings first, then look to see if your mouse is supported by logitech options software (basically it's there settings app) or the older version I've forgotten the name of.
I was viewing online a product by 3Dconnexion called the "space mouse", which is designed primarily for movement within a 3D interface. I wonder, however, if it contains technology which might mitigate the effects of "judder"...
I actually own a 3Dconnexion device and the best way of describing it is '6 degrees of freedom' (google it for images) movement in a 3D environment. In things like photoshop it allows you to pan and tilt, adjust the size of the brush etc (works well with a wacom) but it's probably not going to replace the mouse in your circumstances without some custom coding (there is an api iirc)

Also a little side note... what surface are you trying to use your mouse on, a decent cloth mousemat can make a difference too, especially if you're on a shiny surface.
 
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