[Chimera-users] Chimera with 3d (6-axis) mouse?

Andrew Fant fant at moleculargeek.com
Tue Apr 8 13:06:49 PDT 2008

At the risk of sticking my nose into a discussion, has anyone in cgl  
looked at the nostromo n52 as a potential input device?  it's a USB  
device with a 8 way thumb pad, a trigger button, a scroll wheel, and  
14 function keys arranged in three rows under the finger tips that can  
shift into 3 different states.  I've been thinking that it could be
combined with a mouse or track-ball to control the functions in a  
modeling program without having to use pull-down menus or typing as  
many commands, much like the old button box on SGI workstations.  Of  
course, the
big question would be setting up a sane command scheme.  I have a  
couple kicking around here if anyone else is interested in this sort  
of a scheme.


On Apr 8, 2008, at 3:39 PM, Tom Goddard wrote:
> Hi Mario,
>  We haven't distributed any game controller support in Chimera.   
> Conrad
> Huang in our lab recently tried head tracking with a Wii remote.   
> We've
> tried Wii remote control of Chimera using just mouse emulation.  We've
> tried a force feedback device called a Phantom (from Sensable) for
> placing markers in density maps.  That was distributed with Chimera on
> Windows in the past but is not currently working, though I am just now
> fixing it.  Greg Couch in our lab has experimented with a game pad API
> and a consumer device.
>  So we have some interest in alternative input devices but it is  
> mostly
> just in the tinkering stage.
>    Tom
> Mario J. Borgnia wrote:
>> This reminds me that several years ago Alwyn Jones introduced the use
>> of gamepads to control the display. Is this available in Chimera?
>> Tom Goddard wrote:
>>> Hi Lee,
>>>  I added Chimera support for the Space Navigator 6-degree-of-freedom
>>> input device (costs only $60) for Mac and Windows.
>>>    http://www.3dconnexion.com/
>>> I expect it will work with other 3dconnexion devices such as your
>>> Space Explorer.  If you download the current Chimera daily build
>>>    http://www.cgl.ucsf.edu/chimera/alpha-downloads.html
>>> for Windows or Mac OS and have the 3dconnexion driver installed, the
>>> device will move and rotate Chimera models.
>>>  I have only two button assignments:  Button1 or Fit centers the
>>> models and scales them to fit in the window, Button2 toggles a mode
>>> allowing simultaneous rotation and translation (default off is  
>>> called
>>> "dominant" mode by 3dconnexion).  The Windows Control Panel or Mac  
>>> OS
>>> System Preferences lets you change the assignments of the device
>>> buttons.  You may not have any assigned to be "Button2" unless you
>>> change those settings.
>>>  There are also a few keyboard shortcuts that change modes.
>>> Shortcuts or Accelerators are turned on with menu entry Tools /
>>> General Controls / Accelerators On.  Shortcut "nf" turns on "fly
>>> through" mode.  Instead of the device behaving as if you are holding
>>> the models it is used to control the viewer position (ie. pushing
>>> forward flies you forward rather than pushing the models away from
>>> you).  It is hard to control -- needs more programming work.
>>> Shortcut "na" allows the device to move both inactive (frozen) and
>>> active models.  This can be useful if you are docking a molecule  
>>> into
>>> a map with the mouse and changing view points of both molecule and
>>> map using the space navigator.  Shortcut "nd" toggles
>>> translate/rotate only mode (i.e. "dominant" mode).  I just added  
>>> that
>>> today so it won't be in Chimera until tonight's builds.
>>>    Tom
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