[Solved] Trackballs

Hello, i’m considering purchasing a slimblade, and a space mouse. but these things being a bit costly, i’d like your thoughts about the subject. the question is simple, are these things a plus in 3D modeling. Do they improve comfort, and workflow

I am also kinda in between a trackpad and a trackball. I have to get more opinions before making the big experiment and spending that money.

i bought both. when i saw the arguments in the videos, i decided to give these a try. i often have lot of issues with zooming, especially on very small polys in high res meshes, so i decided to give them a try. But unfortunately i can’t give any feedback, as the La poste (French national mail) has lost my parcel. it’s actually very rare, the La poste is know for its very high degree of reliability, but since the Covid appeared things became quite messy (lot of mail lost) . So i’ll try to give an opinion when the problem has solved (hope it will soon)

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Trackpads work great in Blender on Mac, and trackpad gestures will probably be implemented in 2.90 on Windows too.

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At the moment I use a simple vertical mouse of Anker on the right hand (I am more right-handed) and on the left hand the EX-G from elecom. I also have the one for the right hand. Both together are cool, but permanently uncomfortable. I also use the Space Navigator and an old Wacom tablet. 3D mouse and tablet are the dream team for sculpting and painting. But mostly I use the vertical mouse together with the trackball. The mouse buttons are swapped so that I have middle and index finger for the main click on the table (right) and the trackball mainly for main and middle mouse.

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I used a Logitech trackball for a long time, then I went back to the regular mouse.
Lately, I finally decided to use the trackball again and I’m not regretting it. My carpal tunnel wasn’t doing well with the extensive use of the mouse. Now it seems it’s getting better.
The tricky part was to get used to the trackball in Blender. After a few days, it’s now feeling natural and at this point I don’t think I’ll go to the mouse anymore.
One thing I’m not sure about is the device I bought: it’s the Logitech M570, cheap but good though I think the Logitech MX Ergo would have been a much better choice.

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so, after having testing it a bit, here are my thoughts about this
first, the spacemouse. that thing is absolutely something you need on your desk. it’s not a mouse actually, it would be more a navigator. it gives you full control onto the camera which is crucial for 3D professionals. i own the spacemouse compact (not navigator), and its tiny size is awesome as you can put it easily next to your keyboard
concerning the Kensington slimblade. even if i’m not as mind blown than with the spacem. compact, it’s still an awesome hardware. and now i don’t even use my corsair harpoon anymore. i use it only on rare occasions.
the slimblade is great because it’s very accurate. much more accurate than a mouse. it’s great for selecting, but great for extrusion too. its accuracy makes it also great to use with connecting nodes. you move fast, and rarely miss the target
it’s also more comfortable than the mouse, as the moves are smaller. you move only two fingers
in bonus i can also give you my feeling about tablets. as because of what i was doing, i had to buy one. for starting i bought a cheap Gaomon M10K. it’s a cheap tablet, i conceed, but for texturing, which is what i need it’s largely enough, and it has lot of very good reviews. the tablet is great for painting, especially curves. but way under the spacem. compact, and slimblade for 3D. you probably can do 3D with these, as i saw Youtube vids of guys doing it. but the workflow will be much slower than with a SM, or SB
hope this helps. ask if you need to know something

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I 100% endorse the trackball/spacemouse combo.

I’ve been using trackballs for almost 30 years. I owned a Kensington Slimblade for 5-ish years, and the Kensington Expert Mouse (also a trackball) for about a decade before that. Switched to the Elecom Huge Trackball from the Slimblade about a year ago, and now prefer it because of all the extra buttons. Also the wrist pad. The way it is shaped also puts less strain on my wrist compared to the Slimblade.

Similarly have been using a space mouse for over a decade. Owned every model up to the enterprise version that I currently have. It’s expensive as hell but also very much worth the cost. It works especially well with Blender, due to it being a very hotkey-heavy workflow. So those 36 buttons to play with are VERY handy.

The trackball/spacemouse combo is the pinnacle of 3D ergonomics, and almost mimics VR modeling in execution. Cannot recommend it enough, though beware the learning curve. If you can get past that, you’ll be able to work so much faster.

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i use a Fellowes mini wrist rest with the slimblade. i read the Elecom huge is really comfortable, but i also read it’s not that smooth. The slimblade is really accurate, and a pleasure to use

So the thing with the Huge not being smooth is… temporarily true. The same issue exists with the Slimblade when you first break it out of the box, but to a lesser degree. It sounds dirty, but you gotta rub the ball around between your hands for awhile to get it “greased up”. I would not use any actual oil or anything, as it can degrade the components inside the trackball, but natural oils from your skin is enough to make the tracking buttery smooth. The Huge was jittery/sticking for about a week, but have had no issues since.

I would even go as far to say that it’s much smoother and more accurate than the Slimblade/Expert Mouse. Rather, I can control the ball to a great degree due to its placement.

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so as it’s one of my main everyday tools, i decided to give the Huge a try. and my first thoughts are pretty good. there’s a small ‘grip’, this is correct, but nothing really dramatic. if (and i think it will) it gets smoother with time, i think i’m gonna stick with that thing. it’s comfortable (using it with the Fellowes mini wrist rest), the buttons are smooth, well placed, and numerous (compared to the slimblade)
only using it for a couple of hours so far, but i think that thing is a winner

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Awesome, glad you like it. I especially love that I could assign the scroll wheel tilt up/down different functions. Like I have tilt up as select loop and tilt down as select ring since it’s one of my most used actions. But then stuff like the sensitivity adjustment is also nice to have.

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after a couple of weeks using it i confirm that the Huge hitching fades away with time. trackballs (especially the Huge) are way superior to mice for developpers. the moves are so fast, with ridiculous effort. with a small move you can go through an entire screen, which is fabulous