View Full Version : Optimizing Apple's Magic Mouse for Blender

Quantum Anomaly
21-Mar-10, 01:21
I just got a 27-inch Quad-Core i7 iMac for my Blender projects. :D
Yeah... I'm a happy guy!

I downloaded the third-party freeware MagicPrefs (http://magicprefs.com/), which adds Middle Mouse Button support (among many other features) to the Magic Mouse. This is working out well.

But the thing that continues to drive me nuts is the zoom sensitivity of the Blender interface when using the Magic Mouse. It seems like the slightest scroll on the MM causes the Blender 3D view to zoom way in or way out really fast and it's a major annoyance.

I'm sure that an app as sophisticated as Blender has some sort of setting to control scroll sensitivity. Does anybody know what this setting is?

21-Mar-10, 04:27
I'm also thinking of getting that same machine, so I'll be interested to know if you get
the problem with the mouse sorted out, although I could live with using another
mouse just for Blender use. Are you happy with the rest of the iMac's performance?.
My current machine (from new) is a Mac Cube, with a 450 MHz processor and 16 MB VRAM.
Woe is me..... but I've had my moneys worth out of it!.


21-Mar-10, 06:07
Look in System Prefs under the keyboard and mouse tab, there you can change sensitivity.
Hope it helpes you out.

Quantum Anomaly
22-Mar-10, 09:33
Look in System Prefs under the keyboard and mouse tab, there you can change sensitivity.
Hope it helpes you out.

Believe me, that was the first thing I tried. But Blender is still too sensitive.
Plus, slowing down the scroll for the system makes scrolling too slow for my other apps. It's going to have to be a preference within Blender that I can change, otherwise I will need to use a different mouse. That would be a shame, since I love the Magic Mouse.

Are you happy with the rest of the iMac's performance?

I am happy with all of the iMac's performance! It makes a night and day difference to have a fast machine when doing 3D work.

The i7 iMac's ATI Radeon HD 4850 graphics card handles 3D really well. I haven't had a chance to test it on games yet, but I will be installing Doom 3 soon. :evilgrin:

I am upgrading from a 13" Black MacBook [2.4GHz Duo-Core, 4GB RAM, 250GB HDD] which is a good machine except the Intel GMA X3100 is a terrible graphics chipset for Open GL (or any 3D-related processing). Blender was crashing left and right and it was a major setback (I almost stopped using Blender entirely for two years!) I'll probably still use the MacBook for making music, but I'm happy to be free of it for 3D work.

Coming from a 13-inch, the massive 27-inch display is going to take some getting used to. Sometimes I feel like I'm lost in the screen. :) Had there been an option to get an i7 with a 21.5" I probably would have chosen that. But I will adapt - I used to use a 30-inch Cinema Display at work and I adapted. Larger is generally better for productivity anyway.

If you need a really good computer for Blender work (or any 3D work) the Quad-Core i7 iMac will give you the most bang for your buck. The only other option you might consider is the Mac Pro tower with a separate display, but at that point you're looking at spending at least $2,500 on just the computer and if you get Apple's 24-inch external display you're looking at another $900. Plus it takes up more space. Although there are rumors of an update coming soon to the Mac Pro, it's still not going to be a very cost effective solution. The Mac Pro might be an appropriate solution for businesses on a larger budget, but for individuals I recommend the i7 iMac. The cost/processing power ratio is unbeatable.

24-Mar-10, 06:25
Hi QA,
Thanks, it's good to know you are happy with the performance. I'm not
sure if I'll go for the i7 though, the i5 will still be a MASSIVE step up from
my clapped out (but lovable) cube. Did you look into the performance
between the two chips?, sorry, I'm not much of a tech head.
Also, I'm guessing your not having any issues with flickering or a yellow
tinted display?.
The only other thing playing on my mind, the age old question, do I buy now
or wait till the next update?. According to Mac roumors website, the iMac is in
mid cycle.....hummm. But, I want I want I want!.


Quantum Anomaly
25-Mar-10, 02:03

I wasn't much concerned about the difference between the i5 and i7. If I was going to drop the dough I wanted the best.

Here's where it gets tricky: When it comes to multi-core processors, the performance also depends on whether the application you're using is written to utilize multiple cores, AND whether the particular task the app is executing uses multiple cores.

From what I can tell, Blender has multi-core support for rendering, but not for the 3D interface. I could be wrong though about the interface... still trying to figure that one out. I suspect that there is still room for improvement regarding how Blender is written to handle multi-core. I'm still researching the topic.

As for the display, I knew that Apple had just supposedly resolved the majority of those issues at the time I purchased it. Also, I knew that they would replace mine if I got a faulty one and reported it immediately. So I wasn't too worried.

And don't worry about it being in mid-cycle. That's actually my favorite time to buy because the bugs have been worked out but it's not obsolete either.

Not so much luck with the Magic Mouse in Blender though. Besides the scroll/zoom speed dilemma, I found myself accidentally clicking the L or R buttons when trying to click the Middle button. You can't feel exactly where your fingers are placed on the mouse because it's all smooth. Maybe this is why Apple didn't include support for a third button by default. For the last couple days I've reverted to my trusty old Logitech and I'm happy. The only downside is, when I use the Logitech while browsing the web I miss the 2-finger swipe for navigating back and forth, and the smooth scrolling. So now I can't win. Sometimes I use them both side by side and switch off depending on which application I'm using.

25-Mar-10, 02:21
thanks for the mouse software suggestion ... i should check that out ... you never know!

A few months ago, I bought the i5 version and so far have not had any problems with the machine! Best of all, it renders the blender test scene in about 11 seconds!

The reason why this is so good is that I finally have an image that I can say that I rendered :)