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3DConnexion SpaceNavigator Configuration

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I have finally had time to work with the SpaceNavigator again from 3DConnexion on macOS Sierra 10.12.1.

 

This machine was upgraded from 10.11 so I manually deleted each custom profile I had configured for each application by going to System Preferences > 3DConnexion > Configure > Remove Application (I had Vectorworks 2016, 2017 and a few other like Sketchup already configured, I removed them all.) Then I uninstalled the 3DxWare utility completely and reinstalled the latest version (10.4.2) from their driver site: http://www.3dconnexion.com/service/drivers.html

 

I then opened the newly reinstalled preference pane and ran the Install Plug-Ins command from the Tools submenu. Then, added a New Application from the Configuration menu, selecting Vectorworks 2017. Then launched Vectorworks 2017 SP2 and configured my Axes the way I like (I mainly use the Helicopter/Walkthrough mode in Perspective with the knobs movements directly mapped to the view movements in Vectorworks), pictured below:

 

Screen Shot 2016-11-28 at 1.33.31 PM.png

I noticed that the Walkthrough mode when in Perspective view seems to work just fine, nice and smooth with no issues. However, I did have to reduce my Overall Speed (I settled on 1/4 of the way up the bar) under the Device pane of the preferences window, as my model was in a 1:1 scale, the speed of this movement is related to the default units and changing the scale of the drawing area affects the speed of the SpaceNavigator's movement currently.

 

My 2D movement in Top/Plan also seemed smooth and to work as expected.

 

However, I noticed that 3D rotation when in Orthogonal projection using the Flyover control mode always seemed to focus on the document's 0,0 origin regardless of selected objects or the setting of the Flyover tool itself, which seems to be to not be the correct behavior. I would expect it either to default to center on selected geometry or to inherit the setting from the Flyover tool, such as the newer View Center mode which should make it behave a lot more like Sketchup's 3D view control.

 

If anyone gets a completely different experience, or if they can verify my findings as well, please let me know. I'm gathering everything on this kind of navigation together for a larger bug/wishlist submission.

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Yes Flyover Rotation Center is a bit tricky.

But that seems to happen for temporary flyover by CTRL+MMB too.

 

I think the best is simple by View Center if nothing is selected and by Selected Object Center

if something is selected - and would like that setting kept for 3D Enterprise and normal MMB,

if set for Flyover Tool.

(Always View Center would be ok for me, as you mostly have centered the interesting parts of geometry

anyway. At least better than File Origin, which mostly is the most left edge below of your Model)

Edited by zoomer

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Hi JimW

 

I've done reinstalls all as you describe, except that I'm on El Capitan not Sierra.

 

My favoured mode is "helicopter" and I always use perspective mode when in 3d.

 

I still have the main problem I've had since using VW2017: movement is very jerky when zoomed in on close detail. Essentially, there is a kind of minimum speed of travel which means that the slightest nudge on the joystick makes the view jump around. Reducing overall speed settings doesn't solve it. This is as per the video I sent you a while back. I notice that the problem is more pronounced in "helicopter" mode than it is in "target camera" mode but seems to exist in all modes. This problem exists regardless of which of my two 3dconnexion devices I use. It does not exist when I use 3dconnexion's own viewper app.

 

There is another problem I've been having which is to do with the overall smoothness of movement (I get flickering when thinsg move across the screen, as if it's running at a low framerate), which I have using a current model "spacepilot pro" but not when using my older "spacepilot". Although I had previously thought this was specific to vectorworks, on closer examination I think it is also happening when using the 3dconnexion apps (their "viewer" or "puzzle" apps). Therefore, it might be a problem with my device and I'm going to try replacing it.

 

By the way, what does the "install plugins" actually do? Anything?

Edited by line-weight

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On 28/11/2016 at 6:41 PM, JimW said:

My 2D movement in Top/Plan also seemed smooth and to work as expected.

I can confirm the same, nice smooth movement even when zoomed right in.

For me, it would be more intuitive if moving the joystick forwards and backwards (ie on the plane of my desk) meant the screen panned up and down, and moving the joystick in and out (ie perpendicular to the plane of my desk) meant the screen zoomed in and out - at the moment it's the other way around.

 

On 28/11/2016 at 6:41 PM, JimW said:

However, I noticed that 3D rotation when in Orthogonal projection using the Flyover control mode always seemed to focus on the document's 0,0 origin regardless of selected objects or the setting of the Flyover tool itself, which seems to be to not be the correct behavior. I would expect it either to default to center on selected geometry or to inherit the setting from the Flyover tool, such as the newer View Center mode which should make it behave a lot more like Sketchup's 3D view control.

It's doing something like this for me as far as I can work out:

- initially, rotates around origin

- stay in same mode and select object A: still rotates around origin

- select object A, then switch to target camera mode: now it rotates around object A

- stay in target camera mode, select object B: continues to rotate around object A

- switch to object mode with object B selected: continues to rotate around object A

- switch to target camera mode with object B selected: now it rotates around object B

etc.

Also, sometimes I suddenly jump to some position under the ground looking upwards. I can't work out what prompts this though.

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1 minute ago, line-weight said:

For me, it would be more intuitive if moving the joystick forwards and backwards (ie on the plane of my desk) meant the screen panned up and down, and moving the joystick in and out (ie perpendicular to the plane of my desk) meant the screen zoomed in and out - at the moment it's the other way around.

 

Agreed, currently we can't map the axes that move in 2D separately from the mappings in 3D so for now I favor the 3D mode and make the mappings comfortable for that, but I've put in requests to allow those to be inverted to the more logical 2D movement when in Top/Plan.

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I've attached to this post a short screen recording which is to explain the trouble I have with jumpy motion whilst zoomed in, in case people don't understand what I'm on about.

 

There are three cubes, each 10 times smaller than the previous one. If I position myself so that in each case, the cube fills a large portion of my field of view, you can see that with the biggest one, movement is fine. However, with the smallest one it's very difficult, because the slightest touch on the joystick makes things jump around.

 

This is kind of important for architectural work because I want to be able to zoom out and fly around the outside of the building but also to be able to work on small details like furniture fittings or window frames and so on.

 

In VW2016 this was easier.

VW2017.mov

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35 minutes ago, JimW said:

From what I understand Install Plugins checks your list of installed apps and applies the intended defaults for those apps in the 3DxWare preference pane. I believe it functions for all of the apps listed here: http://www.3dconnexion.com/supported-software/software0.html

Ah, ok. But at the moment there are no intended defaults for VW, right? Or at least, they are just the same as the defaults for "any application"?

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There are some but not the new advanced ones being worked on by engineering, those are pending some Mac changes ie icon display and a few other items.

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Hmmh,

I don't find any axis mixup that works for me.

In Flyover it works except that the rotation about Z is mixed up and does not change when I mirror the direction.

(I changed view rotation about Z to rotation by the device button's rotatio about Z of course.

From roll about Y as it was by default !?)

 

As I see, mirroring these directions doesn't work for walkthrough too.

 

Generally I have a great Problem that any navigation, 3D Device or Mouse, like scroll zoom,

is heavy lagged or prohibited as long as the cursor hovers over any selectable Element.

 

Why do the modes when switching between Flyover, 2D and Walkthrough use any different names,

communicated by the red error warning message field in the bottom bar ?

Are these modes also thought to be different like the standard usage elsewhere ?

 

Normally such a device works mainly in two easy to understand 3D Modes.

One is what normally is called Flyover Tool in VW,

where the movements of the 3D Bubble mean 1:1 movements as if you grab the objects on screen.

Second is called Walkthrough Mode everywhere,

which is just the mirroring of ALL Axis, because it means the 3D Bubble will move your head instead.

 

Edited by zoomer

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38 minutes ago, zoomer said:

 

Generally I have a great Problem that any navigation, 3D Device or Mouse, like scroll zoom,

is heavy lagged or prohibited as long as the cursor hovers over any selectable Element.

 

For me, if I hover the cursor over an object, it lights up with the orange "selectable" outline, but as soon as I nudge the 3dconnexion joystick, the cursor changes to a "flyover" symbol and the orange outline disappears - is it different for you?

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Yes it does too.

And that is nice as it seems you can access center settings options while spacemousing

and that way that setting is kept for the 3D device.

 

That lag appears even more often with normal mouse usage than effecting Enterprise.

Mainly Zoom by Scroll Wheel.

And it may be worse when hovering over complex geometry opposed to just a single solid.

here are my highlight settings :

 

 

Screenshot-35.jpg

Edited by zoomer

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MMB Drag seems to work without lag.

And I notice that Apples Magic Mouse scrolling doesn't work nearly at all and finally lags the whole GUI

including click to open Menus.

 

I even removed all 3DCon Devices and did a reboot. Magic Mouse doesn't work. works even worse

when hovering over geometry

 

Edited by zoomer

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To go into detail about my scroll lag.

 

If I hover with my cursor over an empty space outside of my model - there is no lag.

If a model is less detailed, the lag much is smaller but still there.

Deactivating all Snaps by the Icons does not help.

 

What helps is activating the Pan Tool.

Than I can even hover over the geometry and still get no scoll zoom lag.

So it may have to do with the Selection System in VW.

 

And if it is true that I am the only one that suffers under that lag when scroll zooming,

I already posted the Highlight Settings,

the only thing that I can imagine is that I

a) have 3DConnection Devices plugged in and the Driver installed

b) I have an additional Logitech Driver installed

c) I configured Custom Colors for Selections and Highlights in Interactive Appearance Settings

d) I played with the Highlighting Timer Settings a while ago.

 

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Yes, i leave my cursor off the drawing area while using the spacenav and I recommend the same for rapid movement. This has to do with our view changes often being controlled by tools, an issue we and @Kevin McAllisterand others have discussed before, but for now it can't be fixed within the scope of 3DConnexion features.

 

The movement sensitivity mentioned by @line-weightare because motion from the joystick is interpreted directly and based on document units, so when youre looking at something small the movement is fast but when looking at something the size of a house, the movement is slow. This is likely caused by our perspective view not having a zoom factor, it simply moves the user camera around the document and doesn't know how small the objects you are looking at are. I am not sure how this could be addressed given our current system of view control, similar to the above paragraph.

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On 28.11.2016 at 7:41 PM, JimW said:

 

Screen Shot 2016-11-28 at 1.33.31 PM.png

 

 

 

OK,

 

by your settings (set doubled roll for spin and roll) it is working again for me for Walk and Fly.

 

By playing and changing Axis, something set my "Speed" Setting to zero.

So it was temorarily not working at all for Roll and Spin.

Everything fine now.

 

 

And I see that "Enterprise Zooming" has no zoom lag if cursor hovers over geometry.

It is just scrolling by a normal mouse wheel, that will not work for me as long as Selection or Highlighting

is involved and geometry under the cursor.

Edited by zoomer

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29 minutes ago, JimW said:

 

The movement sensitivity mentioned by @line-weightare because motion from the joystick is interpreted directly and based on document units, so when youre looking at something small the movement is fast but when looking at something the size of a house, the movement is slow. This is likely caused by our perspective view not having a zoom factor, it simply moves the user camera around the document and doesn't know how small the objects you are looking at are. I am not sure how this could be addressed given our current system of view control, similar to the above paragraph.

 

I understand what you're saying. And that explains why it's not an issue rotating (because a degree of rotation is the same regardless of scale) when it is with panning.

 

What I know is that it was ok-ish in 2016 but not 2017. Something's changed. I think a bit of tweaking at the bottom end of the motion scale might be enough. See another attached video, where I'm looking at the same 1x1x1 cube in VW2016 and VW2017. In 2016 it's still a bit jumpy but manageable but in 2017 it's out of control.

 

Is there a possibility of a user setting, to adjust relative to the drawing units somehow? Because for someone drawing architectural stuff with 1 unit = 1mm, as long as the 10-unit cube is manageable that's enough. Whereas someone drawing machine components with 1 unit = 1 inch then presumably it's not, but they also don't need to zoom out to 500m from their model.

 

The other comment I can make...when I was fiddling around with the 3Dconnexion preference settings in their config files (I gave up after a while) I could see there's something called gamma (I think) which as I understand it, controls the response as you push the joystick harder, so it can be more linear or more like a kind of logarithmic function, so that pushing the joystick 1mm when it's near its rest position moves you much less rapidly than when you're pushing it further, so the same 1mm of joystick movement further from its rest position will make you "move" more quickly. Isn't this function kind of to deal with the problem we're looking at?

 

 

c2.mov

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The axes themselves have speed settings, as does the overall speed setting in 3DxWare and that is handled per-application. I am not able to see a difference between 2016 and 2017 on my end but I completely reset them both to defaults before my recent tests. Adjusting the movement relative to units is being considered but apparently is on hold for the same reasons the other features are.

 

I'd not heard of it referred to as gamma before, but yes that kind of control could be it, but I have not pulled open their raw config files to mess with anything so far.

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On 30/11/2016 at 1:14 PM, line-weight said:

There is another problem I've been having which is to do with the overall smoothness of movement (I get flickering when thinsg move across the screen, as if it's running at a low framerate), which I have using a current model "spacepilot pro" but not when using my older "spacepilot". Although I had previously thought this was specific to vectorworks, on closer examination I think it is also happening when using the 3dconnexion apps (their "viewer" or "puzzle" apps). Therefore, it might be a problem with my device and I'm going to try replacing it.

 

Quick update on this, not sure if it's relevant to others.

I got a replacement spacepilot pro (also 2nd hand) from the same supplier, but same problem of flickery motion. So going to return it. No idea if the problem is an incompatibility between that model and my machine, or what. I don't think it's Vectorworks related anyway.

 

I've since got a "Spacemouse Pro" (one of the current models) - and this is fine. Smooth motion as with the older spacepilot. Buttons generally seem to map fine. In fact, I think I prefer this anyway as it takes up a fair bit less desk space than the Spacepilot Pro (or I assume Enterprise) and I think the LCD display and so on is probably overkill really (especially if it might never really work properly). Spacemouse pro has 15 buttons on it and I'll do well to actually commit to memory and use all of those.

 

It's one of these (their device naming is really confusing!)

 

 

Screen Shot 2016-12-16 at 14.16.49.jpg

Edited by line-weight

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