So I've finished my Animation Technologies essay and now have 500 words to remove from it. Yay. Easier than adding 500 though I guess.
So here's a quick snippet of what I've found out about Computer Mouses.
Microsoft are still trying to develop actual mice, and not doing a very good job of it, but at least they look kinda cool.
This is the Side Mouse and is basically a camera that tracks where your fingers are.
The drawback is you have to keep your hand still and make your fingers very precise because Microsoft couldn't make any software to tackle the complexities of the human hand (I doubt anyone could). The cool part is it does away with conventional clickers and scrollers and brings us one step closer to making Minority Report a reality!
Speaking of which here it is. Imagine how cool this would be to animate with. Or better yet that Jarvis system in Iron Man (can't find an actual picture) that Tony Starks uses to design the Iron Man suit after he escapes from the terrorists. You could actually physically interact with your 3D model. I think that'd be much better than an optical mouse.
This is the closest thing I found to it. Remember the Nintendo Power Glove? (well I don't because I never heard of it before but if you did then...well....well done?) They've re-made it for the Wii and it mixes 3D mice and Air mice with the Power Glove to create a bulky Minority Report Glove. No idea if it works at all but it looks very cool.
Compared to this anyway. The first mechanical mouse. Douglas Englebart's 1963 design. Unfortunately for him the idea didn't catch on until the 1980s and by then his patent had run out so he never got any royalties from it. Don't worry though he's doing pretty well for himself otherwise.
Another one of Microsoft's genius ideas to give you yet more repetitive strain injury. If you're reading this, take out your hand, spread out your fingers like you're holding a normal mouse and then touch your forefinger and thumb together repeatably. That's how it looks like this mouse works (there was a video on the website). When I do it I can feel a bit of tension in my palm so I can imagine this one getting uncomfortable after a while. Even so it's still a cool idea and it's a step in the direction of having say, 5 little things on the end of your fingertips to control the interface.
This one literally is a camera that captures what your fingers do. However unlike the side mouse you still 'click' on that perspex bit with your fingers. There's just no actual button. It's not going to go commercial though probably because the camera is high resolution and therefore quite expensive.
Here someone has made their old 1989 Nintendo Power Glove into a gyroscopic 'air mouse'.
This is the first ever mouse...thing. It's a bowling ball an works like a mechanical mouse. The discs are attached to rollers (those little things you had to clean all the damn time). It was developed by 3 guys with the Canadian Navy after WWII and it weighs several pounds.
So now pretty much all my drawing is out of the way (save for a few I can mess with in the evenings to keep me from robbing banks), my maquette is done, my 3D model is modelled, all that is left to do is to create the final footage of the motion tracked head which is all set up and ready to complete before Wednesday (the hand in day).
Bare in mind I'm going to try and give her sponge hair...I just have no idea how to fix it on. I may need to just use ally-wire rods.
I think it's about as good as I'm going to get. I'm still keeping it in the fridge and I'm still going to keep working on it but I think it's close enough for me to be able to submit it for marking without stressing about it now.
I might get a ping pong ball and cut it in half for the eyes, the beads are a little small.
The side view would look a lot better with sponge hair.
I've had to give her a bit of a rugby player neck as a compromise to allow the head to actually stay on the mount slab bit. It kept falling off.