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A 3D mouse for Photoshop? Last month, we wrote an article about 6 accessories you can buy to improve the way you use Photoshop. One of the least used is the 3D mouse; many people never used or heard of it. Because of this, we asked the company if they could send us one to review and they were very happy to do so. Read our thoughts on it and learn how it can benefit your Photoshop workflow!
Why Use a 3D Mouse?
Have you ever tried moving/rotating 3D objects? It's a lot more complicated than it could be. With a regular mouse, you’re constantly switching between the 6 different 3D move modes. But with the SpaceMouse Pro, you can use the controller cap to move in 6 axis without having to change between any of the 3D move modes. It makes rotating 3D objects much easier and faster and easier than using a mouse.
Moving 3D objects with a mouse involves using 6 different 3D move modes.
The 3dconnexion SpaceMouse Pro lets you move 3D objects in 6-axis without having to switch between any of the 3D move tools.
Using the controller cap on 3D mouse is like reaching out to move the object with your hands. Screenshot from 3Dconnexion’s website.
The Controller Cap and Buttons
The SpaceMouse Pro has a controller cap (the main part) along with several sets of buttons. The controller cap lets you rotate and move your 3D objects as if you were directly holding the object in your hands.
Starting from the top of the device, the four buttons on the top are programmable keys that you can customize with one of the many preset commands. You can also record a chain of keystrokes for it to playback; just like the macro keys in gaming keyboards. I have mine set to undo/redo and increase/decrease speed.
To the left of the controller cap are four modifier keys and a menu button. Your left hand sits over these keys and it's easy to press the buttons with your pinky or ring finger. These keys are handy to have because they let you hold down the modifier keys without taking your right hand off your mouse. Unfortunately in Photoshop, modifier keys aren't used much for 3D work. Holding the shift key while moving usually contrains the movement to one axis; this doesn't happen with the controller cap. One way to get around this is to enable the “Dominant” option in the 3Dconnexion properties which will limit the movements to one axis at a time.