A brief introduction to the 3Dconnexion workflow. The company’s new SpaceMouse Pro slots into its controller line-up one price notch higher than the SpaceNavigator, pictured here.
3Dconnexion has released the latest of its love-them-or-loathe-them 3D control devices for CG software.
At $299, the SpaceMouse Pro is priced identically to the old SpaceExplorer, which it rather resembles – and presumably will eventually replace.
As with all of 3Dconnexion’s devices, the SpaceMouse Pro offers six-degrees-of-freedom navigation of 3D scenes, and is designed to be used in conjunction with a conventional mouse – a combination the developer says is more intuitive and less repetitive-strain-inducing than a conventional mouse and keyboard.
The new features
Like the SpaceExplorer, the SpaceMouse Pro boasts an ergonomic wrist rest and a set of programmable function keys around the main controller.
Unlike the SpaceExplorer, it provides an overlay display on your monitor showing what those keys are currently assigned to – a function available on the top-of-the-range SpacePilot Pro, but only via the little on-board screen.
The new device also offers a virtual on-screen NumPad, enabling users to enter numeric data via their mouse.
The SpaceMouse Pro is supported under Windows, OS X and Linux, and supports a range of common software, including 3ds Max, Maya, Cinema 4D, Blender, Photoshop and SketchUp, out of the box.
(LightWave and Softimage have been ‘under review’ at 3dconnexion for as long as we can remember.)
If you already use 3Dconnexion devices, it looks like an intelligent upgrade of the SpaceExplorer, adding in a few of the more useful extras from the SpacePilot Pro.
If not, the main factor will probably still be simply whether a controller and mouse set-up suits your workflow.