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AE input devices

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Wallace Adrian D'Alessio
AE input devices
on Dec 28, 2015 at 3:50:03 am

I am interested in opinions as to the best input devices for editing AE layer masks and other fine pixel work.

Also does your preference have advantages for other AE operations? i.e> how often do you set it aside to use a mouse or other input device ? Do you keep multiple devices on your desk? How many ?

Is there such a thing as one device for all AE operations ? Constantly changing devices interrupts mental flow. How do you cope with that?

Among mice, track balls, track pens, pen mice,drawing pads, or gesture detecting devices what are your favorites for which AE operations and why?

How well do your favorites work when in a multi-program situation. When you have other linked programs working on the same project for layer tuning etc. ?

I am looking for a cost effective device for more accurate and faster mask selections an unifying tool use as much as possible.

Thanks in advance for any opinions on the subject.

Adrian D'Alessio aka; Fluxstringer

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Chris Evans
Re: AE input devices
on Dec 28, 2015 at 4:51:10 pm

I figure most people use mice for After Effects and probably most programs. If you're looking for something different, check out a wacom tablet or something similar. I've never used one, but I've heard they give you a lot more control and you can basically use them in any situation you'd use a mouse with the same functionality. You'd have to judge the cost effective-ness for yourself and see if you can afford it.

You could also look at a mouse that has multiple dpi settings like a decent gaming mouse. They often have a button you can hold to slow the mouse down to allow for finer control.

Ultimately, I don't think something other than a mouse and keyboard are going to significantly speed up your workflow enough to really justify (though some would argue about wacom tablets I think). If you need that fine control, just zoom in. And a keyboard gives you all the buttons you need for shortcuts.

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Joseph W. Bourke
Re: AE input devices
on Dec 28, 2015 at 6:29:30 pm

Hi Wallace -

I use a Wacom USB tablet, but I only use it for design work in which tight accuracy is necessary - the RotoBrush in After Effects, or painting, for example. I haven't really given it a fair chance as a full time tool, to replace the mouse, because I find that certain functions, such as the scroll wheel, as well as the right and left mouse buttons, are easier to use than the buttons on the tablet pen.

It may be that I've been using the mouse for so long, that my muscle memory just works as if the mouse is part of my hand. As I say, I haven't tried using the pen for everything. But for Illustrator, Photoshop, and certain After Effects functions, I've got to have the Wacom tablet.

If you want to give the tablet a try, but don't want to put out the fairly expensive price for a Wacom, you might want to give one of Monoprice's tablets a try:

I purchased one a few years ago, learned my way around it, but found that it's not as good as the Wacom (you get what you pay for). It was, however, reliable.

Joe Bourke
Owner/Creative Director
Bourke Media

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Tero Ahlfors
Re: AE input devices
on Dec 28, 2015 at 8:13:51 pm

[Joseph W. Bourke] "(you get what you pay for)"

Every cheapo tablet I've tried has been HORRIBLE. There is also the cheaper Wacom series which are now the Intuos Art/Draw/Photo and Comic. I have the older Pen & Touch Wacom which is still working well at home and I got an Intuos 3 and 4 tablets at work.

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