3Dconnexion SpaceNavigator support!

Discussion in 'Wish List' started by Jessy, Jul 16, 2007.

  1. Jessy

    Jessy

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    I just got a 3Dconnexion SpaceNavigator, and it is one of the coolest things I've ever used. It's awesome in Cheetah 3D and Google Earth. But it doesn't work in Unity. :cry:
  2. DaveyJJ

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  3. Jessy

    Jessy

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    I'll be using the SpaceNavigator in my left hand and my Wacom tablet in my right. I think the SpaceNavigator is going to be a giant productivity increaser, and it is more important to have it working in a standalone modeling/animation program for now, but when Unity 2.0 hits, painting in a landscape is going to be clunky as heck without it.
  4. thylaxene

    thylaxene

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    yes please unity support would be great. I've got one and it works great with maya, google earth, sketchup and pscs3... just wish modo, zbrush and unity worked with it! :wink:
  5. Joe ByDesign

    Joe ByDesign

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    Another vote for this!
  6. Neural Echo

    Neural Echo

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    Native support by Unity for the SpaceNavigator would be great.

    Although I'd like to vote for support for the entire range of 3DConnexion Space<modelname> products as I just got a SpaceExplorer and it has more buttons than the Navigator.
  7. JR

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    I also vote for SpaceNavigator support natively in Unity. In fact I've made a quick, hacky plugin using the 3DConnexion SDK to read the SpaceNavigator for a test application. It is a great navigation device and would be very useful in the editor in navigating the game scene. Cheetah3D got a form of SpaceNavigator support, however the manipulation mode is not FPS style. I feel FPS style would be better for Unity. I understood that Cheetath3D does not use the SDK, rather the HID device reading functionality of OSX.
  8. jeffcraighead

    jeffcraighead

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    I vote for this one as well. I've got one in the mail. :)
  9. DocSWAB

    DocSWAB

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    Ooh, now you're making me want one. Yeah it would be great for Unity to support it!
  10. Neural Echo

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    Does your 'hack' use the Navigator driver? The ControllerMate application is able to recognise and make use of the Navigator/Explorer without the driver being installed.

    The driver only supports two buttons. So not relying on the driver would potentially allow greater functionality for other 3Dconnexion controllers with more than 2 buttons.

    I'm pretty sure Cheetah3D (C3D) uses the SDK. I read on the C3D forums that Martin was able to integrate support into Cheetah in an afternoon using the SDK.
  11. Jessy

    Jessy

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    Martin actually told me he didn't understand the SDK too well. So, the Cheetah support for the SpaceNavigator is buggy and unusable right now, despite that being advertised as a new feature.

    I was going to go with Cheetah3D, but I just can't do it now. :(
  12. kyleh

    kyleh

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    I just picked one up at Siggraph this week. It's a great little device.

    I would also like to through in a vote for native support in Unity.
  13. thylaxene

    thylaxene

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  14. JR

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    To Neural_Echo: Yes, I've got all the 3DConnexion stuff installed.

    To Jessy: How come? I have not noticed any bugs when using the SpaceNavigator with Cheetah3D, however the navigation mode is different from what I prefer, which is camera centric rotations a'la FPS. But to me it seems to be working.
  15. Neural Echo

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    The only bug I have found when using the SpaceExplorer with Cheetah is that the Horizon Plane sometimes shrinks and even disappears when you zoom in close to an object. When this happens the Zoom speed also decreases dramatically so it looks like you can no longer zoom, but you actually can, just very slowly. Zooming back out seems to reset things, or you can press button 1 to reset the scene.

    The controls do seem a little strange and would probably be better if they were more like an FPS. It might be possible to change the behaviour by modifying the controller's setting under the driver configuration window which is accessed by pressing button 2.
  16. Jessy

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    All you do is reset the axes in the 3Dconnexion Prefences pane. It's not hard, and you should be doing this with all of your applications to get proper results. If what you describe sounds usable to you, by all means use it, but as far as I'm concerned, it makes Cheetah unusable. You can only reset the scene a couple times before it breaks completely, and the bugginess is saved in the file, rendering the SpaceNavigator useless even after a Quit and Open again of Cheetah.

    Also, Martin limited the control to only use 5 of the 6 axes of the SpaceNavigator because he personally didn't like using the sixth one. I go with Maya for the time being. Hit the left button in that program, and you get a nice custom-tailored control screen.

    The version of Blender with "alpha" SpaceNavigator support also won't run on my machine (MacBook Pro).
  17. cbullock

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    I just received my Space Navigator in the mail, works great. Doesn't look like anyone's mentioned this in a few months, so I thought I'd see if there is any news about supporting the 3DConnexion devices in Unity? If not, I cast my vote as well for it.

    Also hoping that Cinema 4D on the Mac will soon support it (They do on Windows I believe, just not the Mac for some reason). I put in a feature request, but who knows if it'll ever be added. In the meantime, support for it in Unity would be oodles of fun.
  18. Jessy

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    I don't remember if I said this already, but I requested it as well. I'm still a 3D newbie, but Cinema 4D has a great interface, so it would be nice if it would have support for this essential tool.

    Now that Unity supports everything natively with Blender, I'm going to focus there for now. Hopefully 2.46 comes out soon with real SpaceNavigator support.
  19. Swine

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  20. jashan

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    I definitely would say that SpaceNavigator support is a MUST. I'm using it with Cheetah3D - and basically, that kicked out Realsoft 3D as a modelling tool even though the functionality set of Realsoft 3D totally rocks.

    But it's so much more fun to navigate in the scene with the navigator. I would even consider supporting that device in games because it's so much fun using it!

    Which leads to another question: Would it be possible to integrate SpaceNavigator support into the Web player (as a plugin, or "by default")? I would assume that that's a rather tricky issue, but maybe I'm lucky ;-)

    Maybe that's even something one could talk to 3dConnexion about. Imagine how that could boost their sales, when the Unity Web Player has taken over the world (which it hopefully will, pretty soon ;-) ). After all, a EUR 60-device is something that many gamers wouldn't mind adding to their system...

    Sunny regards,
    Jashan
  21. Jessy

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    I used to think the SpaceNavigator would be a great gaming device myself. I've used it with the Unity FPS demo, and I think it works out very well. The problem is the lack of buttons. I like to use one shoulder button for crouching and another for jumping when I use a gamepad, but the SpaceNavigator, although it has two buttons, doesn't really allow for this, because you need to grab the thing with so much of your hand.

    Now, my favorite games are generally the ones that allow you to create your own levels, and I think other people who are into that would find the SpaceNavigator to be a necessary tool, after having used one for a couple minutes. But the real power of this device is absolutely amazing camera/navigation control, and it at least needs to be made available in the editor. It feels ridiculously clunky coming back to Unity after working in Maya.
  22. jeffcraighead

    jeffcraighead

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    I want to resurrect this thread now that the major bugs in v2 have been worked out. As discussed already in this thread native support for SpaceNavigator in the editor AND in-game (without having to use some 3rd party app to make it look like a joystick) would be quite handy.
  23. ken m

    ken m

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    I'm not really interested in it as a game controller, but I'd love for it to be supported in the editor.
  24. Joe ByDesign

    Joe ByDesign

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    Anyone know if writing a plug-in for this is possible, or would we need Unity Editor source code also?

    If a plug-in is possible, I wonder if us Space Nav users could pool our interest here $ufficient to motivate a willing programmer to add such support.
  25. jeffcraighead

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    I've looked at the SpaceNav SDK and it looks like it would need to be integrated into the Unity source, not as a plugin. The process seems straight forward, but I don't think the script->Unity Editor interaction is robust enough to do it as a plugin.


    Oh and as a game controller I agree, however I do a lot of work w/ Unity as a visualization environment and in that case in-game support would be good.
  26. Jessy

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    I honestly don't get it. Not using the SpaceNavigator for 3D content creation is INSANE. It is so cheap, I honestly can't see how anyone doing what we do wouldn't immediately buy one, unless they had something similar but more expensive. The support for it in 3D applications (at least on the Mac) is pitiful, as well. Is the product just too new?

    Martin, the creator of Cheetah 3D, seemed to think that it wasn't easy to integrate the Space Navigator code*, but it obviously can work absolutely wonderfully, because it does for me. I could see how it would be easier for a rich company like Autodesk to make that happen, but I can use the SpaceNavigator as if it were 3 analog sticks (using ControllerMate), with multiple Axes in Unity, and that works just as well (only in-game though, so not useful for what I want to do with it). So I find it hard to believe that this could be all that difficult.

    Don't get me wrong. I currently know nothing of the processes that would be involved in getting the SpaceNavigator to work in Unity like it does in Maya. I'm also not trying to sound cocky or snobbish. This device just really is that good.


    * The SpaceNavigator "works" in Cheetah 3D, but not well enough for it to be anything but a demo, for the time being - at least from my experience. Only five of the six axes were usable, like in the Google apps, and the functionality seems to disintegrate randomly after a short time.
  27. bigkahuna

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  28. guategeek

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    As stated I think a number of us would be willing to dontate something to Unity Tech to get SpaceNavigator support, would Unity Tech be willing to do this for us? The overwhelming silance from UT is rather ominous, seeing as they answer other things on here very quickly.

    We could even set up a Chip-in if that would benefit this at all. - Jeff
  29. Yann

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    Just bought the SpaceNavigator, and the lack of a Unity port is indeed pretty surprising - as is the absence (AFAIK) of any official comment by Unity people on the subject. Hope this will change soon...
  30. thylaxene

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    yes I'd pay for it, if UT offered it as a 'plugin' or something.

    Cheers.
  31. ktravers

    ktravers

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    just putting my vote in! I have one and it is indeed a great tool. I'd love to be able to use it more.
  32. Yann

    Yann

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  33. ratamorph

    ratamorph

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    This also gets my vote, I'd like to see native support for this device or atleast be able to code support for it myself, but as far as I've browsed the docs I don't see any way to move the editor scene camera, can we atleast get scripting support for this? Maybe together we can come up with a plugin and share it on the wiki so the whole community can benefit from this awesome device.

    Has any of you tried emailing the Unity contracting services (contracting@unity3d.com) about the cost of developing such feature? Maybe a bunch of us can get together and pay for it, given is not ridiculously expensive.
  34. Jessy

    Jessy

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    I'll do it. It's worth quite a bit to me. Moving the camera with the mouse, or even tablet, feels like having one of my arms chopped off nowadays. ...Er, well, at least, like, the aftermath of that, several months later when it's healed over.
  35. marty

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    Hey, Unity!

    Any chance we can get this topic hot again?

    I love my 3DConnexion too and would love to see it work in Unity - even if only for controlling the editor's viewport cameras.
  36. Jessy

    Jessy

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  37. marty

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    When I first got it and saw how little Mac support it has, I was this close to returning it. Heck, it still doesn't even support Maya 2009?!?!

    But then I booted up Windows and used it in Max. Wow. Just amazing.

    This thing should be standard equipment on any computer that is going to use 3D.

    Seriously, Unity guys (i.e. Joe, Nic, David, Tom, et al), if you could get support in Unity for this thing, it would practically be a sell point. If you don't believe me, just pick one up and give it a spoin.
  38. marty

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    When I first got it and saw how little Mac support it has, I was this close to returning it. Heck, it still doesn't even support Maya 2009?!?!

    But then I booted up Windows and used it in Max. Wow. Just amazing.

    This thing should be standard equipment on any computer that is going to use 3D.

    Seriously, Unity guys (i.e. Joe, Nic, David, Tom, et al), if you could get support in Unity for this thing, it would practically be a sell point. If you don't believe me, just pick one up and give it a spin.
  39. errormaker

    errormaker

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    SpaceNavigator is a natural tool to be used in Unity.
    Unity must support it, sooner or later.
    Its only a matter of time.
    Why wait?
  40. Yann

    Yann

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    Just came back from a trip on the surface of planet Mars, thanks to Google Earth's new Mars feature and my SpaceNavigator : it's simply fantastic. Being allowed to fly this way inside Unity scenes would be awesome.

    To those who aren't still convinced : be aware that some apps (which are officially listed as fully compatible) have much better implementation than others. Best integration of the SpaceNavigator I ever saw is in Google apps : SketchUp (in "camera" mode) and Google Earth. And if you experience strange behaviour (like the earth or Mars constantly moving) just go to 3DConnexion preference pane, and click on "calibrate".
  41. Jessy

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    I didn't like the integration in those, last I checked, because you did not have local Z-axis rotation. Has that been added, by any chance? I don't like Maya, but it's the best app, in terms of SpaceNavigator control, that I've tried yet.
  42. HiggyB

    HiggyB

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    All: to tidy things up a bit I've locked the other two threads on Space Navigator support to encourage the conversation to occur here, in one location.

    Space Navigator Support (locked)
    SpaceNavigator (locked)
  43. Yann

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    @Higgy : hi Higgy, good idea. Still thinking of the big planetary laugh we had the other day at the front of the "Unity store" in the Unity 2.5 announcement thread... er, sorry, nothing to do with the SpaceNavigator :)

    @Jessie : I didn't see such an option in Google Earth, but Sketchup allows you to enable/disable what they call "rolling", which makes the camera behave like the plane you point to. But I can't get used to that feature, so I always leave it off. If you have indications on how to use it correctly, I'm interested.
  44. HiggyB

    HiggyB

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    And just to answer this. The "why wait" is because we have had, and have, plenty of other things to do that have been or are higher priority than space navigator support. Eventually you may see it, but for now this hasn't risen high enough to make the cut.


    @Yann: whuppin' stick round 2
  45. errormaker

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    Ok Higgy, I vill post a replay on only one threads in the future.
    Further more, I vill not make a new post on a topics already exist.
    I realize that is must be some order in a forum.
    Sometimes I got too impulsive. Thats me.

    And once more, I want to say: there is not anything more important
    that an optimal control over an application. The application it self comes
    in second hand (if its working properly... and Unity does...)
  46. Yann

    Yann

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    :D :D :D Ouch ! Is that the new SpaceNavigator secret experimentation area you're defending ?
  47. Jessy

    Jessy

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    Apparently some people can't. That's why Cheetah3D didn't even have the option, also last I checked (quite a while ago, now). But the SpaceNavigator itself also you to turns axes off, via its preference pane, so I don't believe that app creators should limit users in that fashion. However, it's just a matter of manual stabilization, as with the other five axes. Without the roll ability, modeling, sculpting, and painting can get very cumbersome in areas of overhang. It's similar to rotating a page...even Photoshop didn't have that ability until CS4. I can't believe that. :?

    Unity certainly doesn't provide this functionality; I don't know of any 3D app that does, with only mouse support (Blender sort of does, if you start rotating near the edge of the screen, but it's not really possible to isolate the axis). If you're talking about the current Unity terrain engine, roll is not important. With anything in which polygons overlap each other in the Y axis, though, not having roll is a nightmare to me.

    Right on. They spend all this time making the GUI nice, with useful features to help us work better, but the Scene View navigation is stuck in the dark ages. (What they have done for 2.5 is surely going to be nice, if you're on your laptop without a SpaceNavigator around, so I'm happy it was done, but it should have been done after getting the solution we want in place.)

    The SpaceNavigator is not expensive. If you work with 3D, it doesn't make sense to not use it. I can understand UT not wanting to unnecessarily embrace third party technology, but there still is no competition, after it being out for about two years - this is the only reasonable choice for modern 3D control, for Unity's target market. Simply, UT is doing everyone a disservice, and slowing down everyone's productivity, by putting this on the back burner. I like these guys a lot, but the official word on this topic has been inauspiciously unprogressive.
  48. errormaker

    errormaker

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    Yes!

    This is my own personal opinion: if You develop an app (Unity), You
    are completely in THAT world: GUI, features.. and so on.
    We are working with it...


    Or maybe its very difficult to implement (SpaceNavigator)... dont now...


    That company is going to be happy, if you do, and it will be
    a positive (and economical) spinoff for both UT and 3dconnexion.
    And if a new divide is born, it is certainly built on the old one...
    3D mouses are not going to disappear from the market...


    Agree...

    /err
  49. ratamorph

    ratamorph

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    I think its unrealistic to expect UT will support every other 3rd party input device that comes along, even if its the only one of its kind.

    Just give us a way to add such support ourselves then some of us can get together and put it up on the wiki.

    That to me is the way to go.
  50. Jessy

    Jessy

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    I don't agree with you in this particular case, because the SpaceNavigator is important enough that it ought to have an official implementation, but in general...

    ...that would be great. There are bound to be a few people who have even better, more expensive input devices, and they certainly shouldn't be held back.