The 3D-Spheric-Mouse simplifies 3D workflow navigation
By Paul Ridden
November 4, 2010
Digital artists working in a three-dimensional graphic environment may find current input peripherals a little restricting. Before the creative juices can be let loose, the workspace needs to be moved, zoomed and rotated to the correct position for work to start. Then it's a case of repeatedly stopping to reposition before being able to apply just the right amount of texture, tone or shadow. The 3D-Spheric-Mouse from axsotic promises to make things a little easier by allowing for one-handed rotation and movement of the virtual object over six axes. Job done!
Trackball mice are now a familiar addition to an ergonomic workstation design. But the 3D-Spheric-Mouse offers much more onscreen control than the two-dimensional capabilities of its distant cousin. The 3D workflow aid offers 1000 dpi optical rotation precision over three axes and 2170 dpi magnetic precision for zoom and pan navigation, again over three axes.
Designed to be used in addition to, and not as a replacement for, the pen stylus or mouse, it allows left- or right-handed users to push, pull, twist, zoom and lift objects in three dimensional modeling suites with one hand, while the other hand draws or paints the detail onto the next immersive gaming character or intense backdrop features.
The German creators say that "because the mouse lets you to use your fingers to rotate and your hand to move, there are no interferences or errors while navigating." There are no mechanical sensors to generate unwanted blips and errors and the hardware will work with both Mac and PC modeling software, such as Autodesk Maya and Maxon Cinema 4D, once a plugin is installed on the host machine.
Although the device was created to help 3D modelers, the 3D-Spheric-Mouse could well attract the attention of gamers searching for an edge over other players, researchers looking to access and control virtual environments, or medical personnel wanting to better interact with and operate scanning equipment.
There's no word on price or availability but it's aimed at design professionals so probably won't be at the cheaper end of the peripheral market. Axsotic is inviting registration on its website for updates.
The company has produced a short video introduction which shows what the device can do: