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Discussion and Support for the OptiTrack, SmartNav and TrackIR brands by NaturalPoint

Hints and Tips for SmartNav use.

This is the place for comments, criticisms and even the occasional compliment related to the SmartNav drivers and profiler. Also the place to discuss and review support issues.

by jjckjjck » Tue Oct 04, 2005 4:52 am

Hi All.
Just got my SmartNav and I'm enjoying using it, just hope my neck is going to hold!

It is still far from a 'mouse experience' and anything but pixel perfection and I have to move my head so much!

My unit is clipped over my laptop screen and these are the settings I found works best for me. I dont seem to be able to tune it better.

Dot between my eyes
Cursor Position - Absolute
Speed - Max on both Ver and Hor (linked)
Motion - Max Smoother 120
I use keyboard shortcuts to click

These are some particular problems I have.

The cursor seems to "swim" slowly around even if I am sitting completely still particularly towards the left of the screen

I find it hard to move the cursor smoothly and it is more of a click fast enough while passing the icon etc. affair.

It also seem that cursor keeps 'sticking' to the sides.

Any help will really be appreciated.

Thanks,

Johann
jjckjjck
 
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by kevin » Wed Oct 05, 2005 7:25 am

Hello Johann,

I had a few pointers for you that hopefully you can try with your SmartNAV unit.

You should not need to move your head so much; by customizing the different features the SmartNAV can easily deliver a smooth and pixel precise mouse experience. There can be a small learning curve though. The biggest thing to remember is that it is key to remain relaxed and comfortable, do not tense up and try to control the cursor, just let your small natural head movements do the work for you.

Everyone who has gone through and tried my hints listed below has been able to eliminate any and all neck pain.

For starters I would decrease the smoothing and speed. Start with the speed near the middle (I have my setting at 12) and turn the smoothing down toward the middle as well. Having both set to the extreme is not usually necessary. As you get more comfortable with the device you can increase the settings, but it helps to start slow. You may also want to try decreasing your screen resolution while you are getting used to the device.

For the �swimming� check the tracking tab in the SmartNAV software, is anything showing up beyond the green dot? If there is, you can use the light filtering option to remove any artifacts.

Try adjusting your Windows Mouse settings, these settings matter and you can increase your precision by turning on Mouse Acceleration, or Increase Your Pointer Accuracy, whatever it may be called in your version of Windows. Also try turning up the speed in here, about 3/4 way and then lowering our speed setting, that can help on some systems. This is recommended for more advanced users because if too much acceleration is applied it may cause the unit to �swim� around as well.

I would use the unit with a hat, with the dot placed on the end of the brim. This will increase precision by a factor of 2X. Hopefully you don�t mind wearing a hat.

I use Key Activated mode with Key Release Clicking. This is the most convenient way of using the system, according to me anyway. If you assign the Move key to your CapsLock then you can simply press this key to engage your mouse control and let up over the item you want to select, press down again and you can double click, drag as well. This setting, along with other useful hotkeys like �pause� and 'precision' are located in the Behavior tab of the SmartNAV software.

Finally, play with the Gravity feature, I think it rocks, but you do have to set it up for your own tastes. Gravity is a feature you have with the SmartNAV software and should be tried out. Try just having it turned on for the Control Boxes, those are the Close Minimize and maximize ones, the hard to hit little ones. Once you get comfortable with this, you can add more buttons in.

There is also a thread on our forums that deals with a user who had some neck pain and worked through it and is now very satisfied. Please check out this link: http://forums.naturalpoint.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=4;t=000084

The SmartNAV can work completely hands free and has helped many people, please go through my hints and I am sure you will be satisfied.



Cheers,
Kevin

[ October 05, 2005, 02:27 PM: Message edited by: NaturalPoint - Kevin ]
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by jjckjjck » Thu Oct 06, 2005 5:28 pm

Thanks Kevin,

That was some great advice. My SmartNav is skill is already 200% better!

I reckon you should include that post in the manual.

Cheers,

Johann
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by SaCe » Sun Dec 10, 2006 1:15 pm

These tips have helped me tremendously too Kevin! Thank you!

I agree with Johann that including them in the manual would be a great addition.

Carol
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by kevin » Tue Dec 12, 2006 2:59 pm

Thanks for the feedback, I have some additions as well:

As I mentioned earlier for getting your clicks down I would use the unit in Key Activated mode with Key Release Clicking. If you assign the Move key to your CapsLock then you can simply press this key to engage your mouse control and let up over the item you want to select, press down again and you can double click, drag as well.

To further reduce the number of double clicks you need to perform open My Computer and go to �Tools� -> �Folder Options� -> �Click Items as Follows� -> and select �Single-click�. This will save you the need to double click almost entirely.

If you experience any neck pain, or just want to try something different, I have spoken with users who place the dot on their leg/knee and mount the SmartNAV under their desk. Then they use slight leg movements to control the cursor. This may not work if you are using foot pedals to click though.

Hope this helps...
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by maye » Wed Dec 27, 2006 2:40 pm

Hello!
Your hints helped me a bit, but not to the end yet.
I am a new user as well and am struggling with a strange phenomenon.
I have a swimming pointer as well, but with a clear tendency to move back into the direction i came from.
So, when i move to the right and then keep my head still, the cursor "swims" back to the left, first quite a bit, then more slowly until it finds somehow a rest.
This happens on both sides with the same amount, it's even a bit happening on the vertical axis, just not so much.
The amount of "back-swimming" changes of course with different settings of acceleration, but it's always there.
I tried to play with the Windows XP mouse settings, and have a question to this:
How can the acceleration of this influence the movement of the cursor while the SmartNav software has control?
Because to me it looks like the Windows mouse settings are only active, when I move the trackpoint on my laptop.
For example, I reduced acceleration on Windows to minimum, couldn't see much change for SmartNav moves, but the trackpoint control was now very slow. So it seems to me, that any acceleration setting here is not connected to SmartNav moves? Or is it?
Any further help to debug this would be appreciated.
Best regards,
Michael
PS.:
Here some machine/settings data:
Windows XP Prof on Thinkpad R51 with IBM/Lenovo UltraNav driver installed, normal mousepad is deactivated, I use trackpoint only.
SmartNav settings:
Speed: Horizontal 6, Vertical 10,
Motion: 66 (middle), Positioning Absolute, all other settings at the default.
no other images in the tracking screen, only green dot (100 pix) (used on baseball cap's rim at the moment for testing, but no change to swimming effect)
maye
 
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by VincentG » Wed Dec 27, 2006 3:07 pm

The spped settings will effect the SmartNAV, as well the TrackPoint. The thing is the SmartNAV is being effected by both the SmartNAV settings as well as the mouse settings, so it allows for more precise fine tuning.

Have you enabled the mouse precision check box, in the control panel?
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by maye » Tue Jan 02, 2007 6:11 am

Hi!
Happy new year everybody!
Yes I had the enhanced pointer precision activated.
I learned some more things over the days using the SN3.
First, translational movement is at least as much, if not even more translated into cursor movement than my head rotational movement. For example, I find that my breathing and therefore a periodical movement of my whole body can be seen in a periodical back and forth movement of the cursor.
But I'm quite fine with the current settings actual:
Relative positioning,
XP Mouse acceleration to maximum, enhanced pointer precision.
SN settings: 5/6/42 being Horiz/Vert/Smoothing.
Because of the quite fast back-swimming effect I also had the annoying problem that a double-click is not executed by XP, as a movement in between two clicks cancels it.
I tried to increase smoothing to avoid this and it works okay, but not very well yet. Is increasing the smoothing the correct way to handle this issue?
Also interesting is, that the assigned key for mouse first button click seems to be better (=faster?) in making a double click than my trackpoint mouse buttons on my R51 thinkpad. Is that part of the SN software?
Best regards,
Michael
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by VincentG » Tue Jan 02, 2007 6:00 pm

The mouse key function in the software is part of the software mapping process. Not sure why it would be any faster than your thickpad, unless it is going trough other software before preforming the mouse function.

Smoothing
The Smoothing is used to stabilize head movement as it is converted into in-game view control. Increasing the amount of smoothing will provide a steadier view, while decreasing the smoothing will make panning the view more responsive
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by dziki » Wed Apr 23, 2008 1:16 am

[quote=NaturalPoint - Kevin]
...As I mentioned earlier for getting your clicks down I would use the unit in Key Activated mode with Key Release Clicking. If you assign the Move key to your CapsLock then you can simply press this key to engage your mouse control and let up over the item you want to select, press down again and you can double click, drag as well. ...[/quote]
Hi,
I am interested by this tip but
I can't find the "Move key" ?
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