Blender + SpaceNavigator = Awesome!

I had my doubts of its usefulness - I even had my doubt that I’d ever get used to it
and then the day came when 3dconnexion wrote drivers for Blender and I had to buy
it just because “it’s for Blender” (know that feeling?) :smiley:

Well…after much delivery hassle it finally arrived and I tried it on a special edition
of Blender that can use it (ndof-blender) and got totally blown away with the performance.

This thing is SO intuitive to use that I wonder how I could do without for so long.
It may be faster to use short-cuts with the viewports - but FAR from this intuitive,
it has the feel of a real sculpting turntable …or a camera dolly that I am in total control of.

after just a few hours of use - it feels like second nature and its virtually piece of cake
to handle and its so much “fun” because you model a different way because of the
live “fly” action when you are working on a complex model - sure, shortcuts are more
effective but doesn’t give you this way of working wich is very inspiring (and did I mention - FUN!?!)

With the price range of the Personal Edition I bet there will be games (if not already)
supporting this thing. Its fun fun fun!
It gets my thumb up.

One thing I’d love to have with Blender and the SpaceNavigator would be a way to
RECORD transforms and viewport action so it could be used as a motion-capture device
it must be incredible for that!

So how does workflow with this look like? Do you use it all the time or only when switching the view? I find it a bit hard to imagine using blender without any shortcuts.

It does not replace the shortcuts! I still use all the shortcuts


When considering the model (looking around it, especially with many details)
it is VERY practical to get to control all viewing angles instead of just hotkeying
to a few defaults, especially when working with organic models, it isn’t too useful
on architecture (unless you want an fun easy way to navigate trough the building…then
its heaps of fun).

One thing I’d love to have with Blender and the SpaceNavigator would be a way to
RECORD transforms and viewport action so it could be used as a motion-capture device
it must be incredible for that!

I dont remebmer how it is done, but blender will allow you to record your real time movement into keyframes with your armature. Not sure if you can record IPO’s or not.

Would this be it?

wow! cool you can record IPO :slight_smile: thanks Clean 3D :slight_smile:

that doesn’t help with spacenavigator though. it would be really cool to record camera movements with the space navigator. all we need is fly mode to work with it…

you can record the flymode movement, which ‘would’ help with the space navigator.

i remember a plugin somewhere for the flymode specifically


You can record flymode movement for a camera by using the Timeline record button.

Thats cool!

What I’d really (no…REALLY) like to do would be to record when I’m moving my rigs with “whatever device” available instead of having to “shoot” keys all the time, and it
should be inherent recording…meaning that it ALSO records the linked objects that moves
with the rig etc.

This would ROCK - because one can make pretty convincing movements by using
this method. Its kind of like puppetry action!

I think BuckBeaver’s plugin does that. I’m not sure about the current state of release, though.

Interesting tip Clean 3D, thanks for that.

Btw folks - do you guys have ANY IDEA how FUN this thing makes Painting?!
FUN!!! Even with just painting with vertex painting…its like holding a sculpture in your hand and just dabbling paint onto it…it was hard to do precisely when just short-cutting views or having to switch between the mouse functions …now we just dabble and turntable as we would with a sculpture in our hand!

Gee! Can´t wait until Bretch get that Projection Paint thing going!!!

The Ndof wiki page states that 2D window integration is not a high priority at this time – I hope lukep will reconsider… I, for one, would love to be able to use the SpaceNavigator for simple panning and zooming operations as well, for example to speed up map editing in the UV editor. IMHO, these devices can result in modest to dramatic productivity increases across a range of blender workflows, not just 3D viewport navigation. Productivity gains will depend on your preferred workflows and your hardware context though (kbd layout, other input devices you use).

After having used this (and similar 3DConnexion devices) for several years now in CAD apps, I’m very gratified to see its now possible to use with blender and that the community can get stoked by its benefits too! Wholeheartedly agree with JoOngle here, y’all! Get this thing, and get it now!

BTW, be sure to visit the 3DConnexion feedback forum and post your thots.

Looks nice’n’fun! I just have a few question and thoughts.
Can this also work as a jog shuttle for video? I have been thinking about getting one, but if the SpaceNavigator can double as a jog, I’m sold! Of course, the lack of frame-by-frame step control may be a (big) problem. And since I’m not a programmer, I can only wish for support in Kino and Blender sequencer editor…
Does anyone use this under Linux? Is the SpaceNavigator working as any other input device, like a Wacom, through Xorg? Is the driver/software binary only?*
It looks a little small… Ok, I don’t have big hands, but is it comfortable to use? And does it matter if you use Trackball or Turntable mode?

Sorry for the many questions! Even though it’s very affordable, I wouldn’t like it to end up as a gimmicky gizmo with limited use, for me personally.

*I looked it up on google, and found this - not too optimal yet, unfortunately, but nevertheless great to see official Linux support.

I’m working with the SpaceNavigator at work with Pro/E. (The software I sure do not like… :evilgrin:)
And I rather like it with Blender. Even though there are some minor errors with it.

Can somebody tell me if it will be supported in the future Blender releases?