Tabletpc mouse, Touchkey, Artdock?- Help an idiot

Discussion in 'Professions' started by rirawin, Dec 26, 2015.

  1. rirawin

    rirawin Scribbler - Standard Member

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    Can anyone guide me to which app is the easiest to use and implement, basically I need something I can use and customize for Photoshop and Zbrush. I understand some work will be required, however, I'm baffled to which one is the best. I know people say download them all and try them out, however, I rather be gently guided by people' experiences from pros and cons.
     
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  2. surfaceproartist

    surfaceproartist Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    It depends on your device to a degree. To the best of my knowledge, no one has been able to get ArtDock, which is based on Autohotkey, working successfully on N-Trig tablets. RadialMenu and Toolbar Creator are the easiest to use, in my opinion. There are useful threads here and I've written about them all on the blog.
     
  3. cleft

    cleft Scribbler - Standard Member

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    To make thing more "complicated", you should also take RadialMenu and/or ToolbarCreator (pen-only though) into consideration. As for RM, you can also create a wacom-like radial menu. As for TC, there are intuitive implementations to hide/minimize the toolbar when being inactive

    IMHO although RadialMenu and TabletPCMouse (i.e. TabletPro) are the easiest to customize, TouchKey is the most stable with the least quirkiness (observation was on Surface Pro 3). I ended up creating toolbars with TouchKey (based on this approach), coupled with RM's radial menu for less common commands.

    In concrete, when it comes to ease of customization (i) RM and TPCM lead the pack . Both allow users to interactively create and edit toolbar layout and (button) functionality. (ii) TK and TC also allow creating toolbar interactively, but editing layout requires editing the toolbar source file. It takes minimal effort with TK though, where each button is defined in a single line in the source file. It's just a matter of changing line order, and pairs of number associated with button width and height. In contrast, it's substantially more tedious with TC. Each button is defined in a *block* of code, and you need to specify x-y position of the buttons. Lastly (iii) ArtDock is the most cumbersome, which all creating and editing process need to be done on an even **longer** source file.

    However
    , both RM's toolbar and TPCM often are not responsive when press-and-hold ctrl/alt/space, which is not the case with TK. It's a pity since button background can be truly transparent with RM, which makes nice and non-distracting toolbar.
     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2015
  4. Steve B

    Steve B Moderator Moderator

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    I know this thread has been silent for a while but I'm trying to figure this out. I currently am testing out a TPY gen2 14. It has touch, which is making an absurd amount of marks when I'm inking. The problem is that the AES hover distance is small. So.... I want something that can maybe turn off touch, but allow me a toolbar to the left that can activate things like Spacebar, etc. In a perfect world, I will be able to simultaneously use touch on the toolbar and my pen elsewhere, while touch input it turned off. Does this exist for a Win10 device?

    I tried RM on a SP3 last year and liked it ok, but it can't be like RM, because the little button on the TPY pen is too small to reliably find. Makes it very hard to activate right-click, etc. So, it needs to be "touch-based" button UI and it needs to be able to run simultaneous with pen usage. Am I hunting for a unicorn?

    What I understood from the last post is that TK is the only real option for what I'm looking for?
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2016
  5. Steve B

    Steve B Moderator Moderator

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    Does TBC also allow simultaneous input? I'm playing around with TK, and I can get Touch Guard to work on it, but I can't get Touch Guard and the TK layout to accept input at the same time. .... which sort of defeats the whole purpose.
     
  6. Steve B

    Steve B Moderator Moderator

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    I'm just going to continue to have a conversation with myself here for a while.... ;P

    I just tried Toolbar Creator in conjunction with TouchKey while running Sketchbook Pro- this was a marvelous combo. Though I'm not sure I really need TouchKey. I think I just need TouchGuard. Does TouchGuard come on it's own? Anyways, with TouchGuard activated, of course I couldn't make any marks on my canvas (Yay!), but even cooler was the fact that I was still allowed to do a variety of other touch-based activities... so confused by this, but in an AWESOME way. It allowed me to select tools with touch, use the Onscreen Keyboard and name my layers with touch, do swiping gestures with touch, use the buttons with Toolbar Creator with touch, and yet.... no marks on the canvas. This is normal? If so, I'm glad I've joined the 21st century.

    The last time I tried toolbar, I didn't have a touchscreen device. All of this is MUCH cooler now. I feel rather late to the game. LOL! It's sort of like how I dreamed it would work. The only thing I wish I could do is simultaneously press the Spacebar button and use the pen. This is not working. I had to use the Toggle option for it, do my zooming, panning, and rotating, and then retap the button with my left hand to deactivate the command. More than acceptable for my needs, but if there's a way to do them simultaneously.... ???

    I will say that I like that I can still do all the other touch things I need to do, just not while making marks. I know I could use CSP to help with this, but I need the very flexible and mobile geometric tools in SBP for my work needs. Unless CSP allows this kind of flexibility. I know it allows geometry, but it never seemed as quick and mobile. I make landscape plans and layouts with SBP- so many circles and graphics of different sizes, done by hand. For this, it seems easily the best.

    Anyways, very excited that this seems to be a superb option. Easily the best tablet/pen experience I've ever had. :D
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2016
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  7. lblb

    lblb Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    @Steve B
    Long time! Sorry for the late reply, I haven't been around much lately and completely missed your post.

    - Touchguard can be downloaded from here: http://butimaru.blogspot.com/2012/11/tguardtouch-toggle-app-for-windows8.html

    - I haven't tried TouchGuard recently but it's cool if it's working the way you say, even if it's really not supposed to! It really just creates a veil over the whole screen with a hole that follows the pen tip. So it's supposed to block all touch input, even on toolbars. But hey, if it works how you need it to, that's a rare win!

    - Toolbar Creator is, I think, one of the most stable toolbar alternatives (although it's still full of minor bugs) but it won't allow simultaneous pen and touch inputs. The best at it is RadialMenu, although there are issues with holding down modifiers and general stability issues. TabletPro (previously known as TabletPC Mouse) is also excellent , but holding down keys is still troublesome (the developer recently discussed some of the issues in the comments on surfaceproartist's site if you are interested). I'm confident that very soon it will be your best bet. TouchKey is good but you are limited to the computer profiles the author has included. And in the past it's been quite buggy to use for me, a bit like RadialMenu with random glitches. All the ArtDock-RawInput scripts haven't been updated in a while and have not been ported, as far as I know, to Win 10 and/or N-Trig. You can get some basic functionality (see for example the CHOMP toolbar), but it's all very buggy to me.

    - In the end, I think most people have waited for software makers to get their sh.. together and have migrated to more touch-friendly programs. That would be my best bet as to why there is no update/alternative to Touchguard. By the way, if you are interested in turning touch ON/OFF, you may be interested in Tray Touch Toggle from the first post here:http://forum.tabletpcreview.com/threads/apps-for-tablet-pc.56322/
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2016
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  8. Steve B

    Steve B Moderator Moderator

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    Indeed, it does seem that your Toolbar Creator may be the most stable and functional of the set for this sort of usage- I can toggle and hold things like the spacebar, which is obviously very valuable when navigating sans touch. I also like that you can make undo repeat itself. Radial Menu seems very similar, but doesn't do either of those things. Because of the tiny buttons on this pen, it's hard to really use, however, ... the radial menu part of it. Touch Guard is REALLY messing the TPY14- if I run it, neither the PEN, touch, or keypad clicks work. I had to reboot it. I tried it twice with the same results too. Maybe its because of the new AES panels? Oddly, Touchkey is buggy too- if I run it, it stops me from making marks on my canvas, but it also stops me from touching its own buttons! Oddly, if I minimize it, it stops blocking touch on the canvas. It only works when maximized. I just hide it behind your own toolbar, and it seems to work fine. All in all, it's weird, but who cares if it works good enough.

    Something that would be nice would be to have the interface that Spacebar pulls up (for example, a in SBP it's their navigation puck) start in the middle of the screen, instead of under the Toolbar Creator UI. Is there a toggle for this sort of placement? I couldn't find one, but I remember things like this in some of the older toolbars we worked on.

    Still, your final thought may be the most valid- find a better software solution. Bah!! Having to bend work habits to a new tool is annoying sometimes. Does PS CC have geometric tools? Does it block touch-marks like CSP? I may also need to try CSP again and apply it to work applications.
     
  9. lblb

    lblb Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Hi Steve,

    I have no clue what's going on with TouchGuard in your case...

    For the Spacebar thing, have you tried the preset "Release Space"? From what users have described, the effect really depends on the system. On mine, it shows the puck under Toolbar Creator, I can drag it, and a click makes it go away. If it works like that for you, it's super easy (I just tested it) to instead make the cursor move, for example, to the middle of the screen then start the command so that the puck would appear in the middle of the screen.
     
  10. Steve B

    Steve B Moderator Moderator

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    Hmmmm.... Exploring. All I can say is that Toolbar Creator works better if I don't use TouchGuard- less glitchiness and occasional loss of pressure. It sounds stupid, but I also bought a thicker glove and just cut a bunch of fingers off- it atleast works right in the short term. Ugh. Change is tough. LOL.
     
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