Screen Tablet malarky => Heyaaaalpppp => Topic started by: Aerendraca on June 06, 2013, 08:22:29 AM

Title: Hotkeys: Dials/Rings/Buttons - Are they useful??
Post by: Aerendraca on June 06, 2013, 08:22:29 AM
So I'm in the midst of planning the Serenitiq2 and after much deliberation I've decided to go for having some hotkeys on the edges in a similar way to the Cintiq 24HD. But, I'm wondering how useful these are. I predomenantly use Photoshop and imagine that most of my time using the Serenitiq2 will be with Photoshop, but I occationally use Blender too.

Anyway, my questions are:
Does anyone have a Cintiq or other tablet which has hotkeys/shortcut keys that can advise on how useful they are?

Also, how many keys/dials/rings are there on you device and what do you have them assigned too.

Oh, and does the Cintiq have any kind of haptic feedback like a small click as you scroll around the ring?

I am gathering equipment to make this all work via capacitive touch so any suggestions here would be mucho useful!

Thanks in advance.

Title: Re: Hotkeys: Dials/Rings/Buttons - Are they useful??
Post by: pntbll248 on June 06, 2013, 07:52:12 PM
I now have the 22HD and the buttons are essential for my workflow. I mainly use them for step back/step forward, switching through common tools, switching between zoom fit and my current zoom level, and that sorta whatnot. When I use Aperture and Photoshop for photo editing, the express keys are entirely different; this is also true when I use my Cintiq for painting ecosystems in Vue (which does not like express keys). The 22HD has a straight zoom strip on the back of the panel whereas the 24HD has a circular zoom ring located on the front. I've tried both, and I very much prefer the location and shape of the 22HD zoom strip for the way that I hold the screen (I anchor my left hand over the express keys and rotate the screen often as I work). If I had the 24HD, I'm sure I'd prefer the zoom ring over the touch strip -- just a matter of what I'm used to using.

The 22HD has 18 express keys (9 per side) and 2 touch strips (1 per side). I almost never use the express keys on the right side except on those rare occasions when I have the screen turned vertical, and their assignments are mirrored from the left side. There's no haptic feedback on the 22HD.

Title: Re: Hotkeys: Dials/Rings/Buttons - Are they useful??
Post by: Aerendraca on June 06, 2013, 11:30:38 PM
Thanks that's really helpful! You confirmed my suspicions, so now all i need to do is design the circuitry to perform the task (since I am using an intuos 2 and it has no such express keys/dials). I think I need to have a think about what I want the keys to be assigned to, based on my most used keyboard shortcuts I would say these will be brush size, new layer, options menu, zoom, switching the colour palette, hide/unhide gridlines/marching ants, erm..... I think those are the top ones. I must pay more attention next time I use photoshop. :D

Title: Re: Hotkeys: Dials/Rings/Buttons - Are they useful??
Post by: Aerendraca on June 06, 2013, 11:32:42 PM
Oh, and im a bit obsessed with the touch ring so i think i might involve some haptic feedback too for the hell of it, if i hate it i can always turn it off.

Title: Re: Hotkeys: Dials/Rings/Buttons - Are they useful??
Post by: TheGreenBean on June 07, 2013, 06:37:16 PM
As an intuos2 owner I feel your frustration, on my build I’ve used a keypad with reconfigured keys (autohotkey) that only take effect when ie Photoshop or Mudbox is open ( have a profile for each program) and a mouse scroll that is reused as a ‘wheel’  that controls pen size – not the cool wheel on a intuos4+ but it works…


At work I use the new cintiq 13” wich is very very nice, but I really need a lot of keys and a good ‘feel’ so I can work seamlessly!

Keypad is mostly used for, zoom, brush, colorpicker, rotate, undo, switch, transform, fliphorizontal, deselect, save and so on… I would get as many keys as possible ;)

Title: Re: Hotkeys: Dials/Rings/Buttons - Are they useful??
Post by: abeyance on June 08, 2013, 07:21:16 PM
I know that this may be a touch off topic (I'm very tired) but I thought that this might be helpful for those who love hot keys. I use an old Gravis Gamepad Pro USB controller with a free application called JoyToKey. I keep it in my left hand as I draw with my right. It's VERY handy if you're poor and trying to keep your build as close to zero dollars as possible. You can find JoyToKey here

Title: Re: Hotkeys: Dials/Rings/Buttons - Are they useful??
Post by: Aerendraca on June 09, 2013, 02:37:22 PM
Great idea about using a keypad as hotkeys!

I love my Intuos2, it's great and it does everything I require apart from hotkeys but I can't justify an upgrade to a more recent Intuos based on this alone especially since I understand the I2 and know how it feels.

Also, that JoyToyKey looks pretty good too! It's great to get ideas from other people on solutions they've found to the same problem. I'm gonna stick it all in the cooking pot and have a think about what I want and how these ideas might be useful in reaching the end goal.

If anyone has anymore suggestions or ideas on how to achieve hotkeys please share, I imagine this thread will likely be very useful for other DIY Cintiq builder using tablets which omitted this feature.

Thanks for the ideas so far everyone!

Title: Re: Hotkeys: Dials/Rings/Buttons - Are they useful??
Post by: JaseBristol on June 12, 2013, 12:30:30 AM
I also have a A3 intuos 2, which is sadly lacking any shortcut keys, I use sketchbook pro, and would like a wheel for zooming in and out close up detail.
I have been toying with the idea of , griffin powermate, contour xpress or 3d connection navigator.
I'll keep you updated on any of my findings.

Title: Re: Hotkeys: Dials/Rings/Buttons - Are they useful??
Post by: bernard on June 12, 2013, 01:36:22 AM
One idea I had in the past was to use just the wheel from a usb mouse. Very ergonomic and since it is on every mouse nowadays, it is almost always maps to something in any software.

Title: Re: Hotkeys: Dials/Rings/Buttons - Are they useful??
Post by: cabroon on June 16, 2013, 04:05:07 AM
I use a Razer Nostromo gaming keyboard, been using it with ps5 and I forgot completely about the keyboard. The plus is that it has a a scroll wheel integrated. I configured it to zoom in & zoom out. Brush size +/- is configured to the up and down keys in the directional cross. I can surely say It was a very wise adquisition. You can program button combinations, macros, modifiers, even with time delay on them. Interface is a bit difficult at first but you´ll get it in no time.  You can even have 8 different button configurations for using it with different programs. It has fullfilled all of my needs. I made my build with the intuos 4 XL tablet, and to this day, I havent configured the touch ring or the buttons for any actions.
Though that sounded as publicity, I don´t work for Razer. Check my pick and you can see the nostromo to the left side of the screen.;topic=2228.0;attach=6555;image

Oh! and it only works for right handed  artists, since the nostromo is designed exclusively for the left hand. Sorry lefties...

Hopefully that´ll help you, or at least gives you another choice.

Title: Re: Hotkeys: Dials/Rings/Buttons - Are they useful??
Post by: Aerendraca on June 16, 2013, 10:08:41 AM
I wondered about the idea of using a mouse which lead me to stumble across this guy ( who has done exactly that. It's pretty basic but with a bit or care and design it could be a good cheap method to control something like zoom.

As for the Nostromo, it looks prettty cool and I'm a bit of a fan of the design of the Razer products, I'm holding this one in consideration if not for the device itself, for inspiration.

Once again cheers people!

P.S Cabroon, I can't believe you don't use the Wacom touch ring it's so appealing! Your build looks fantastic by the way, very smartly done! Are you enjoying it now it's done?

Title: Re: Hotkeys: Dials/Rings/Buttons - Are they useful??
Post by: TheGreenBean on June 16, 2013, 09:58:51 PM
a lot of great ideas here, a digital painting website (ctrl-paint) have a little on this subject: and 

but i've currently been thinking of re-building my mini-tiq (10" netbook ) and i thought about MMO-mice like the logitech g600 and Razer Naga - quite a few macro enabled on very little space...

( btw. what about a external multitouch surface, ) for rotate and zoom - ofcourse with additional keys ?

Title: Re: Hotkeys: Dials/Rings/Buttons - Are they useful??
Post by: Aerendraca on June 17, 2013, 09:28:22 AM
That's a great link, from there I noticed in the comments a link to a site by a guy called  David Revoy who has modified both a game controller and a keypad for use with his Cintiq. The first example is a little rough and ready but the second simple mod to the symbols on the keypad is quite nice, shame there's no mention on how he achieved his silkscreening of the keys.

That Logitech T650 looks pretty sweet although it's £70 in the UK, I wonder if the Razer Nostromo suggested earlier might be a better bet for this kind of price. That said, it may be the case that gestures feel more natural that using hotkeys. This thread has become very interesting.

Well I've been thinking about all of these suggestions alot and I haven't made any solid decisions on what to use myself yet, but since I want to integrate the controls into my build I'm leaning towards capacitive touch since my soon to be logged build is likely to have a sheet of glass across the surface. So I've been thinking about building the switches using some kind of microcontroller and this in turn has lead me to stumble across the TI MSP430 Launchpad and Capacitive Touch Boosterpack (TI's version of Arduino Shields) ( This is little kit seems very appealing due to the very low price tag and the capactive touch ring, plus the kit comes with a little demo which illustrates how to control MS Media player using it.

I should admit that I am a beginner at programming but I have got one of these things now and I'm using it as an excuse to do some in depth learning, might take a while before I have this thing controlling Photoshop but it will. Once I start my new build properly I will post progress, but for now I'll leave some of you with something to think about. Cheers for reading and thanks for the suggestions thusfar!